* Posts by Tom 38

2823 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

BT to splash £550m integrating EE. Firm shrugs: Cheap!

Tom 38
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Most pension funds are in deficit at the moment because interest rates are so historically low and so larger funds are required to cover the same liability. Its maybe fine for a while for larger firms for a while, but yeah, either interest rates need to rise soon or these holes need to be plugged.

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UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London

Tom 38
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Re: FFS - it is NOT fibre.

Virgin Fibre is the same as well, HFC is fibre to the local headend whereafter it's all coax to the home.

<smug>I have true FTTH, and it's very nice indeed, symmetric gigabit, sub ms ping</smug>. To think we could all have had that, instead of a really fast choo choo to Leeds...

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Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Tom 38
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Sure you can. The set of locations where you get data signal is definitely a proper subset of the set of locations where you get phone signal.

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Tom 38
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Re: It'll all end in tears

Meh. I like making tasty curries from scratch, and whilst I could finely chop my onions, and grind my spices in a pestle and mortar, the £25 I spent on a mini food processor and a specialised spice grinder definitely is worth it in terms of my time and effort. My (retired) parents make fresh bread overnight each day, easier and tastier than driving 20 minutes to the nearest shop/baker.

I don't have them now, but we definitely loved the sodastream and our toasted sandwich maker when were kids (the 80s equivalent of the panini press).

If you use it, it is useful. If you get it because you think it might be useful or it will change your lifestyle, it definitely sits in the drawer, doubly so if they are gifts. I don't and probably never will make buckwheat smoothies for breakfast, my sister swears by them and so we all got them as gifts over the years. Mine has never even come out of the box..

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Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Tom 38
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...the US Agency for International Development has a $35bn budget

Problem is, that barely covers the annual fixing bill for the bits of the world they blew up last year, and probably has to go to neo-con Military-Industrial-Complex companies that assisted in the blowing up in the first place</tinfoilhatapplied>

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Canny Canadian PM schools snarky hack on quantum computing

Tom 38
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Coat

Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

He's like a hot version of Saakashvili?

What do you mean, a hot version? How can you not .... I'll get my coat.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Tom 38
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Re: Apologies in advance to all Christians......

The book never made the claim to December. I think the word didn't even exist when the book was written.

What have the Romans ever done for us, except give us the name for the tenth month of the year (Roman years started in March)

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GCHQ is having problems meeting Osborne's 2020 recruitment target

Tom 38
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Re: Obvious

Where I work (private sector, not security), we have display screens showing us motivational slides, news, internal job adverts etc all around the office. After Star Wars 7 came out, they put up a slide asking for us to deliver to HR talented people we knew at other companies, and they chose to have a picture of Darth Vader reprising the famous "Kitchener WANTS YOU" recruiting poster.

It's like ".... so that means we're the Empire, right?"

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Tom 38
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Re: @Tom 38

Ad hominem == winning I see.

If you deploy software to a linux stack, develop on a linux stack. Linux syscalls translated in to windows syscalls is not linux. I really don't care what UI you or text editor they use, but develop and test things on the platform that you are going to run it on.

I don't want to debug failed jenkins builds from my junior devs that are a result of something they should have caught before they even committed it because they aren't developing on the platform that they should be.

Put another way, would you write an app for windows using Linux and WINE as your primary development environment? If you would, thanks for coming, next CV please.

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Tom 38
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...full of interest, especially for developers working on Windows but deploying applications to Linux

AKA idiots. Please don't deploy stuff developed on linux on windows to my servers.

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Blighty starts pumping out 12-sided quids

Tom 38
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Re: counterfeit pound coins

The old-old 10Fr piece in France in the 80s/early 90s was almost the same shape and weight as a British 2p. The 10Fr was worth about a quid, and gave 5 goes on the arcade machines in the cafe in our campsite until someone noticed when they came to empty the coin hoppers... blatantly unfair to claim it was me, even if I was the only adolescent British male in the campsite...

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FreeBSD 10.3 lands

Tom 38
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Re: Who uses FreeBSD in preference to Linux and why?

That's one way to spin it. Another is that Sun intentionally released it under a sketchy assed licence to ensure GPL incompatibility.

It's a sketchy assed license that is compatible with 3 clause BSD...

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'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

Tom 38
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Joke

If they called it kik_im, I'd have quickly found a Russian woman to branch it off to make a new module called kik_im_inna_forks

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True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

Tom 38
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Ok, but why not run FreeBSD directly?

On servers, its awesome. Most every bit of hardware you will want is well supported and has great drivers.

On consumer kit like laptops, not so much. We lag behind with things that are primarily Linux driven by manufacturer choices. As an example, DRM support (that's Direct Rendering Manager, not any encryption malarky) lags behind Linux, so Intel graphics are really only supported up to Ivy Bridge.

This is because everything that Intel will push to the linux kernel has to be ported to FreeBSD, and there is a very small team of people (led by the awesome Juan-Sebastien Pedron) competent enough and with enough free time to actually do it. On Linux, there are teams of Intel employed software engineers doing this. Also, for a long time no-one in the Linux world could agree how the kernel interfaces should work for DRM; when there is that uncertainty, or it changes every year to a new system, it is disheartening to pour immense amounts of effort in to porting it.

Even when you have a consumer device manufacturer who does port stuff themselves, like nvidia who produce excellent closed source BSD drivers for their discrete cards, often there are rough edges, like missing CUDA or Optimus support.

I don't mean to be down on Intel, their server support is reasonable for chipsets and network drivers. (Its only "reasonable" because there is one guy for *BSD NIC drivers, and a team for Linux NIC drivers, and last I read Jack doesn't even get access to the cool test hardware, he has to borrow it from the Linux team..)

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Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Tom 38
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Happy

Re: it's so easy

Because it is so easy, MySQL has a command line option for its shell called '--safe-updates', which disallows UPDATE or DELETE without a where clause.

It originally had a much better name, '--i-am-a-dummy'. Gladly, it still accepts both variants.

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How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Tom 38
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Re: Who is the thief?

Yeah, that's basically the definition of open source.

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Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Tom 38
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Do you really want to see physical searches before you are allowed on a train? Can you imagine the chaos at rush hour if that were implemented? Or the same at the entrance to bus stations and airports?

I don't disagree, but last time I went on the Shanghai metro, I went through a metal detector, my bag went through an x-ray machine and there was scope for me to be frisked. I'm fairly sure they weren't doing it at every station, and the next morning I was just waved on through, but clearly it is possible if citizens can't don't object.

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Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

Tom 38
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Re: don't look at them.

As part of an investigation I was asked to carry out a few years ago I had to spend half a day retracing the browsing habits of an employee. A full morning of having to go through and categorise someone elses porn habits including a site that I didn't bother trying to get past the big "FBI has impounded this web page, it is a criminal offence to go any further" splash page.

There's not enough money in the world to make me do that, CP being a strict liability offence. FBI might have shut some of them down, but even the remotest risk of possessing content like that, even if ordered to do it to examine someone else's habits would have me going to the boss man and saying "No more - if *you* want to see what he was looking at, here are the URLs".

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Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Tom 38
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Flame

Another article blathering around DevOps without discussing any aspect of it, and telling us that if we don't drink the kool aid we'll be redundant next year. Jog on.

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Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

Tom 38
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Joke

You know what doesn't help literally anyone? Another speech by some bloviating windbag about DevOps "culture" with zero practical discussions about how to actually get on with the practical side.

Yeah, reading el reg has become a little tiresome recently with the plethora of devops non-articles.

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Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

Tom 38
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Re: You What?

These are all interesting data points guys, I can feel the synergy flowing through the project. Lets kick all the negativity in to the long grass and align ourselves to the big picture.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 3

Tom 38
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Re: teaching computing to kiddies.

They might even tempt some users back from Linux

I booted in to windows the other day, I wanted to update it to Windows 10 before it was no longer free (hey, I might not use it at all, but if I do need to use it, I don't want to have to pay again for the latest version). It did all its update perfectly happy, rebooted and now won't boot back up. Spent two hours trying different "rescue" options, none of them fixed anything, so I gave up and booted linux to play some TF2.

I don't think I can be tempted back now, even though I need to fire up a VM to book holiday (*20* different ActiveX plugins required!) or get my payslips (this is an awesome one, it only works in two versions of IE. I don't know if they are being deliberately ironic or just daft, but ADP have the temerity to call their IE-only portal "myfreedom"...)

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Tom 38
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Re: PCs fading away...

Yeah, but the thing they invented was HDCP and then just nailed it on top of the existing DVI standard.

DVI can also have HDCP; HDMI can also carry audio, and has a higher bandwidth, even compared to dual link DVI. It's a smaller connector, and the combination of audio+video in one cable makes the rats nest behind my AV amp considerably smaller than in the one that had separate DVI/component/SCART sockets and matching coax/SPDIF/RCA plugs for each input.

Personally, that makes me perfectly happy to pay ~2p per device to the rent seeking scum.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Tom 38
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Re: I looked into this a while back

He's now worth 4.5 billion according to Forbes but a figure as low as 2 billion is plausible.

He purposefully over-inflates estimates of his net worth. In 2005, he was claiming a net worth of $5-6 billion, but the a NYT journo got the inside track from 3 different sources with direct knowledge of his finances that it was actually $150-250 million dollars.

Trump got irate at this, sued the reporter (for $5 billion!) and lost, and then lost the appeal as well. His net worth is important because by inflating it he can access more favourable loans (how happy would you be lending $1bn dollars to someone worth $150m vs someone worth $10bn?). OTOH, it's largely irrelevant because he has shown (four times!) that when he gets a loan wrong, he's more than happy to let the company go in to chapter 11 and buy the assets at a discount.

Some people think Trump is this amazing property developer, whilst in fact most of his income comes from branding deals to put his name on buildings - its all one big shell game.

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US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Honest Question

The WWII Enigma machine had billions and billions of combinations in the 'keyspace', but because they sent weather reports in standard format, and ended with "HEIL HILTER", the nearly-infinite rotor settings fell out each morning in about 20 minutes.

Who is this Hilter character, sounds interesting.

PS: If a few of them had ended like that, it would probably have taken us a little longer each day.

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Argos offers 'buy now pay in 3 months' deal

Tom 38
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Re: Because data protection

Me: "You're my bank - you've called me on the number i've given you. I want to know *YOU'RE* who you say you are before I give out any personal information! Can *you* confirm *my* address?"

Bank monkey: *silence*

I think more of us are doing this, because last time I did this, HSBC refused to give me my information, but said I could call back to the telephone banking service, authenticate with that and then gave me a number to give to the CSR so that I would be transferred back to them, which seemed an acceptable compromise.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The gargantuan Gatsby

Tom 38
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In SA you also get Bunny Chow, which is basically a loaf of bread with the top cut off, the insides scooped out and then filled up with Indian food and the top replaced. The Indian immigrants weren't allowed to sell food to blacks, so they would sell it out the back door, disguised in a loaf of bread. Ingenious, tasty and you can use the top as a sort of spoon.

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

Tom 38
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Re: Transparency doesn't matter

So men, women and.....?

Gender is not binary.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Transparency doesn't matter

Which actually might give slight advantage to women, because in other studies they have demonstrated to be more emphatic than men.

I think actually men are more emphatic usually, women are thought to be more empathetic.

I've seen shit code from every gender tbh.

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NOTHING trumps extra pizza on IT projects. Not even more people

Tom 38
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We do scrum properly at our place

As in, we're likely to collapse in a heap 3 times out of 4, and whenever we try to push forward, 8 people oppose us and try to gouge our eyes occasionally.

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BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

Tom 38
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Re: Redundancy?

Well that's going to need some rewriting on the website or it had better be rock solid and stay up for the next 24 years (Estimating a two hour outage yesterday.)

The router can be up and misconfigured.

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Secret Service Silk Road scammer in the slammer

Tom 38
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What a dumbass

He'd clearly managed to stash some of his gains offshore and hidden from the Feds, just take the 71 months, don't be a dick and be out in 36. On-shore the money later as consultancy fees paid from the dummy corps.

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Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Tom 38
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Re: Easier

I really don't fancy flying in a plane with ejectable wings.

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Netflix picks up Molly at university, scores harsh character assessment

Tom 38
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Re: Netflix

https://openconnect.netflix.com/software/

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Tom 38
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Re: I find this one a bit difficult to believe

Red next to black, jump the fuck back. Red next to yella, cuddly fella

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Tom 38
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Re: I find this one a bit difficult to believe

Not only are adapters available, but its trivial to make your own using a molex crimp tool and the appropriate 3x2 and 2x10 molex socket/plugs.

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Tom 38
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Re: Rule 3: Functions should be curried.

seq_7_10_13_16_19 = map(partial(int.__add__, 4), range(3,18,3))

Much too ugly*:

seq_7_10_13_16_19 = [ val + 4 for val in range(3,18,3) ]

* but you are obviously illustrating the FP aspect of it... list comprehensions are about as functional as I like to go ;)

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Tom 38
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Who is presenting?

Craig Charles and Philippa Forrester? Yes please

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Upset Microsoft stashes hard drive encryption keys in OneDrive cloud?

Tom 38
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Re: Making data recovery difficult

Twiddling bits in the CPU is not the issue, it is that some flash memory controllers in older SSDs (notably older SandForce SF-2281) are dependent upon it being able to compress the content that is being sent to it to achieve high read/write speeds. Encrypted data should be largely indistinguishable from noise and thus be very poor to compress, resulting in a lower disk performance than if the content was being loaded in the clear.

CPU speed doesn't come into it.

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MoJ digital software glitch sends thousands of divorcees back to negotiating table

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: digital software?

Haha! Ahahahaha!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ... Can you get me a glass of water please? ... HAHA HAHA!!!

Wait, that can't be right Igor

(RIP TP)

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US House okays making internet tax exemptions permanent

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: What's so wrong with tax?

Businesses (above a certain size) don't pay VAT, but must collect it from their customers and give it to their state.

Everyone pays VAT - sole traders, small companies, private individuals, VAT registered companies, mega-corporations. Anyone VAT registered is also obliged to charge VAT on goods and services that are rated for VAT, but they only have to remit to the taxman the difference between what they paid in VAT and what they received in VAT.

They do also get a rebate if they pay more in VAT than they received in VAT, but businesses that pay more in VAT than they receive don't tend to be around for very long.

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Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code

Tom 38
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The only way the election process can possibly be truly transparent is to do the whole thing by hand

Fairly certain you can rig an election with paper ballots too - substitute one box of votes for another box of votes during transit to the counting station.

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If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

Tom 38
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Utter BS. Transistors have a lifetime, particularly the more they get squashed down and used. You replace your servers on a rolling 3-5 year cycle, because dealing with the shitty intermittent problems that older servers give you is not worth the time when a replacement server will be faster and use less power. If you have servers older than 5 years old, and they actually do real work, replace them now.

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Hungryhouse resets thousands of customers' passwords

Tom 38
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Re: I never liked them anyway...

Meh, that's just BS. Before hungryhouse and justeat came along, most of the takeaways, particularly the cheaper ones, round my way (East London) either didn't deliver at all or only accepted cash. Having a single payment processor for takeaways is a win for consumer trust, enabling more places to deliver to more people and employ more delivery drivers and staff.

Similarly, TopTable can be seen as a parasite on restaurants, or a way that allows them to maximise their covers on a slow tuesday.

PS: What's going on? What all this shouting? We'll have no trouble here!

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Tom 38
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Re: Very disappointing

On the plus side, this sort of pro-active data handling actually makes me want to register with hungryhouse.

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Russian nuke plant operator to build on-site data centre

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Whole new level

Actually, there are 4 x 950 MW units, because you need to do maintenance every now and again and no-one likes power cuts.

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Cartoon brings proper tech-talk to telly

Tom 38
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My (least?) favourite gimmick is in anything involving law enforcement "Keep them on the line long enough so we can run a trace". Yep, ok.

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Austria's highest court mulls class action status for Schrems v Facebook

Tom 38
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FAIL

You don't have to use Facebook to be used by Facebook.

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George Osborne fires starting gun on £20m coding comp wheeze

Tom 38
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Re: And the winners are...

Don't be daft, the winners here are Rohan Silva and his merry band of pick-axe sellers.

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'Shut down the parts of internet used by Islamic State masterminds'

Tom 38
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%STOCK_YOU_DONT_UNDERSTAND_CANUTE_RESPONSE%

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