* Posts by Blofeld's Cat

815 posts • joined 27 Jan 2010

Page:

No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Ah...

Ah yes I remember those days - you would look up the program you wanted to record in TV Times, lie on the floor to set the clock, spend five minutes getting the cellophane wrapper off a new E120 cassette and finally press "timer".

Later you would return to find that:

a) You had recorded the programme you wanted*

b) You had recorded a completely different programme

c) The TV station was running late so you got 20 mins of snooker and the recording ended just as Miss Marple was about to expose the murderer.

d) That was last week's TV Times

* In this case you would usually overwrite the tape before remembering to watch it

24
0

Samsung spills beans on mystery username, password emails to devs

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Are you sure ?

"... that instant "oh, nooo" moment ..."

Yes - Been there, done that, recreated the database table...

2
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Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

Blofeld's Cat
Devil

Ah...

Some people just never learn ...

Innocent young college kid goes for a "meeting" with a stranger and then wakes up the next morning, in an unfamiliar box, with a massive, alcohol-induced headache and suddenly realises that someone has ...

... installed Windows 10 on their laptop.

77
2

NASCAR team red-flagged by ransomware attack

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Re: to be fair

A former colleague went working for one major F1 team and they were air-gapping everything long before it became fashionable.

Nothing on the R&D side had any direct connection to the outside world and production software was kept away from development areas. Their race-day hardware was also completely locked down and triplicated.

Their primary concern was keeping confidential information away from other teams, but the systems they put in place would have laughed off malware attacks.

17
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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

Blofeld's Cat
Happy

Ah...

Thank you for drawing this to my attention. I will now go and celebrate in the appropriate way...

... by having a bacon sarnie with my mug of Yorkshire.

9
0

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Blofeld's Cat

Hmm...

"There's nothing in the streets

Looks any different to me

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye

And the parting on the left

Are now parting on the right

And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I'll get on my knees and pray

We don't get fooled again

Don't get fooled again

[...]

Meet the new boss - Same as the old boss"

Won't get fooled again - The Who (Released 25 June 1971)

19
0

Lester Haines: RIP

Blofeld's Cat

GNU Lester Haines

Sad news. Lester managed to hit that happy balance between information and humour which made his articles so enjoyable.

Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

The world of "garden shed" engineering will never be the same again.

5
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Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Blofeld's Cat
Holmes

Hmm...

I am not surprised by these findings.

We used to house, feed and entertain* a cat that could determine the contents of a tin while either sleeping or stalking the local wildlife in the far reaches of the garden.

If the tin contained something it liked**, then the creature would be rubbing round your legs before the opener could dent the lid.

* Nobody ever really owns a cat.

** i.e. not cat food or peaches.

19
1

'I am not a lizard' Zuckerberg proclaims in public Q&A

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

"Mark Zuckerberg has denied that he is a lizard ..."

"Well he would, wouldn’t he?" - Mandy Rice-Davies, 28 June 1963

28
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Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

Blofeld's Cat
Headmaster

Re: Popcorn ready!

"... severe wheather conditions ...

That's the worst spell of weather we've had for some time.

Sorry I couldn't resist it.

40
0

On her microphone's secret service: How spies, anyone can grab crypto keys from the air

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

"... to deal with most situations ..."

Most situations yes, but presumably not the Noodle Incident.

3
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Leak: Euro Patent Office 'court of appeals' rails against King Battistelli

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

"So who has the power to fire this guy?"

I think you have to throw his letter of appointment into a volcano.

11
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Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

So ...

Dateline 22 October 4004 BC, about 3:30 pm: Place the planet Magrathea:

Two figures stand on a construction gantry surrounded by partly assembled dinosaur skeletons and surplus firmament.

"Right that's the crust finished, shall we call it a day?"

"Nah, we'll pour the core in before we go. It'll only take a couple of hours or so to heat it up."

"OK, but I'm taking tomorrow off for a rest."

17
0

Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

Blofeld's Cat
Devil

I can dream ...

I keep hoping one day we'll get a real Queen's Speech ...

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! Go! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!" - Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament, April 1653

14
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Curiosity find Mars' icecaps suck up its atmosphere

Blofeld's Cat

So ...

"Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it's cold as Hell." - Elton John, Rocket Man.

15
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Researcher arrested after reporting pwnage hole in elections site

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

Evidently somebody still believes the best way to protect their stuff is to train a crack squad of marksmen to shoot any messenger who comes into range.

36
0

You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

"To add to the Twilight Zone feel to the day, the fridge blew a fuse and a lightbulb in the shower chose that moment to begin flickering."

Sounds like Murphy's Law in action ... or possibly O' Toole's corollary ...

"Murphy was such an optimist"

16
0
Blofeld's Cat
Coat

"... Roots are not the only thing that can block them ..."

When some of the drains at our hollowed out volcano backed up during a thunderstorm and flooded part of the offices, the boss called in a drain clearing company.

They traced the problem to a particular manhole under the stockroom floor. On removing the (approximately 240) bolts that secured the access cover, it was discovered that the chamber contained a donkey-jacket with the builder's name on the back.

25
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Extreme photo-bombing: Bad ImageMagick bug puts countless websites at risk of hijacking

Blofeld's Cat
WTF?

Er ...

Is that "Kitten Kong" lurking in the background of the accompanying image?

3
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I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

Blofeld's Cat

Always look on the bright side ...

"No, I am Brian Craig White, and so's my wife."

27
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Chap runs Windows 95 on Apple Watch

Blofeld's Cat

Re: Conflicted

"This inquiring mind sort of thing has resulted in a good few discoveries that we rely upon every day."

Quite so, and I suspect most of those discoveries did not start with somebody leaping out of a bath and shouting "eureka", but with phrases like: "That's strange", "How do I make it do that again?", "What happens if ... ?" and "I wonder why it did that?"

13
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Pop goes the weasel! Large Hadron Collider blown up by critter chomping 66kV cable

Blofeld's Cat

Zap!

Any piece of electrical equipment in a rural setting is liable to become home to the local fauna as it is often the only warm, dry spot for miles around.

A standard 20mm hole is more than sufficient space for entry, and the little buggers are happy to rip out or chew up seals, grommets, cables and plastic plugs to get through.

A colleague used to maintain the matrix signs on UK motorways, and one of the most common causes of failure is something (briefly) setting up home inside the PSU. Apparently the odour of carbonised fauna is unmistakable.

4
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Quad-core coffee table trumped by dual-Mac garden furniture

Blofeld's Cat

"I was expecting a Windows ME disc not NT Workstation."

Ditto - Presumably they finally used up all their Compuserve and AOL disks.

My accountant uses HMRC update disks as coasters.

1
0

Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

Blofeld's Cat
Childcatcher

Hmm...

Installing lights at ground level is far too simple a solution for use here in the UK.

Instead The Powers That Be would commission a complex, multi-million pound project to develop technology that would make vehicles take avoiding action when a distracted phone user steps into their path.

The project would naturally be outsourced to a minister's friend suitably experienced consultant, get delivered five years late, be extremely over-budget, and be incompatible with any phone or vehicle in use at that date.

14
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Colander-wearing Irishman denied driver's licence in Pastafarian slapdown

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Perhaps ...

He could always go for a compromise and have the "Invisible Pink Unicorn" in his photograph.

1
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Cambridge Uni spins up green and beefy supercomputer project

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Re: "This...makes it possible to power a spintronic device using a supercomputer"

"Er....what does it mean?"

Fortunately I asked a quite interesting person about this earlier...

It appears that a "spintronic device" is some sort of IoT enabled washing machine.

The "magnetic elements" are there to stop odd socks being dragged through the wormhole (present in all washing machines) by the "spin polarized supercurrents", and reappearing in an "emerging field" near Holloway.

The supercomputer is needed to track the four-dimensional trajectories of the individual socks, and divert them to a research centre in Cambridge, where they will be used to assist in understanding overalls.

18
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You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Oh dear ...

Never mind, they can always upload "something useful" to it now they have access.

[FX: Silenced rotor blades]

Not that they would ever dream of doing that of course ...

4
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America's Intelligence Transparency Council to meet for the first time … behind closed doors

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Yes, Minister ...

Sir Humphrey: How are things at the Campaign for the Freedom of Information, by the way?

Sir Arnold: Sorry, I can't talk about that.

Sir Humphrey: Good, good.

- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, Yes, Minister Christmas special (1984)

15
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Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

A golden opportunity to say "Curses, foiled again !"

36
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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

Blofeld's Cat
WTF?

Petrol prices ,,,

"... trialling fuel price signs on the M5 ..."

I seem to remember every service area on the M6 (at least) used to display the petrol price on their "one mile to go" sign. Some of the signs still have the fittings for sliding in the numerals.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what this innovation actually is.

2
0

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Er ...

Could be interesting when the FBI try and break into that one...

4
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Closing courts to fling £700m at digital stand-ins will fail, MPs snarl at UK.gov

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

"... We need to create a modern and flexible Courts and Tribunals Service that is fit for the 21st century ... These reforms will increase access to justice by making it swifter, easier to use and more efficient ... "

I Dredd to think where this is heading...

6
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Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star

Blofeld's Cat
Mushroom

Re: Plot!

"... we have 30 minutes to get to safe distance ..."

"Very well, Number One. Tell the PPI Recovery Agents, Navigation Sub-committee that I will be holding a course-change meeting in fifteen minutes.

Now go away and let me finish my bath, there's a good chap."

21
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Domino's trials trundling four-wheeled pizza delivery bot

Blofeld's Cat
Terminator

Hmm...

FX: Ding-dong, door opens

Robot: "Good evening, here is your Domino's pizza."

Householder: "Thank you"

Robot: [still holding box] "Did you order black olives?"

Householder: "Yes".

Robot: "Can't stand black olives"

Householder: "Just give me the pizza."

Robot: "I could have been a military robot and seen the world you know. But no, they made me deliver pizza instead."

Householder: "My pizza, please."

Robot: [sigh] "Here you are. It's probably cold by now. They usually are as all the heaters on my left side are broken. I've told them of course but no one listens."

Householder: "Goodbye" [closes door]

FX: Ding-dong, door opens.

Householder: "What now?"

Robot: "You forgot your garlic bread ... That's cold too."

Householder: "I didn't order garlic bread."

Robot: "Everyone gets free garlic bread in happy hour ... not that I have ever really been happy..."

Householder: [slams door]

FX: Ding-dong, door opens.

Robot: "Did I mention your foster parents are dead?"

...

38
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Who'd be mad enough to start a 'large-scale fire' in a spaceship?

Blofeld's Cat
Pint

Re: A little light Monday morning entertainment...

Excellent. I like this concept of the Pod receiving a traditional Viking funeral...

7
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UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

Blofeld's Cat
Big Brother

Re: This:

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Continuing the Orwellian theme ...

Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

22
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'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Blofeld's Cat
Pint

Re: VBA date handling has taken at least five years off my lifespan

"The UK tax year starts on the 5th of April because of our transition to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian, doesn't it? We skipped days in the calendar to make the transition, and merchants rebelled against the idea of being taxed for non-existent days... So the end of year date was moved back to placate them."

Correct. The year used to start on 25th March but was moved to 1st January at the same time. Allowing for the 11 days correction for missed leap years we get 5th April.

10
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UK plans robo-car tests on motorways in 2017

Blofeld's Cat
Devil

Announcement ...

No doubt this will shortly be followed by a government announcement that in order to take advantage of development work carried out elsewhere, the UK will switch to driving on the right.

This change will be phased in over a period of two years, starting with automatic cars and large goods vehicles.

4
0

I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

Blofeld's Cat
Happy

Cannot unsee ...

This reminds me of a former colleague who decided to keep his collection of pr0n on his work machine.

To hide the images he renamed them to things like "draft whatever report.doc.jpg", and put them in several different folders.

Late one evening his PHB (who was more technically adept than usual), accessed his machine over the network looking for a draft report. Unfortunately for our hero the PHB had the "thumbnails" view selected in Windows Explorer at the time...

The next morning my colleague found all his pr0n files contained a photo of the PHB grinning and holding up a card reading "Don't do this again".

41
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Nest: It's no longer all about you. Now it can recognize your kids, too

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

Presumably the version for teenagers will include a setting so they can automatically leave every light on in the house, the heating right up and the TV on, when they go out.

Not that I would have ever done that...

11
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Heartless hackers break into Florida cancer clinic network – 2.2 million records exposed

Blofeld's Cat
FAIL

Hmm...

Perhaps the headline could have read: "Cancer clinic fails to protect the data of its patients and employees - hackers blamed".

That "the clinic was informed of the breach by the FBI" does not really inspire confidence in the way access to the data was controlled and/or audited.

"... no evidence that the leaked data has been misused ...".

Surely the fact that somebody accessed it (and the FBI noticed before the company did) could be considered evidence of misuse.

7
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Don't snoop on staff via wearables, says Dutch privacy agency

Blofeld's Cat

Re: Be seeing you @AndyS

Is that a quote from something?

Yes The Prisoner.

5
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Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Re: Be seeing you

Actually most of that opening interchange is unnervingly appropriate...

6 What do you want?

2 Information.

6 Whose side are you on?

2 That would be telling. We want information...information...information!

6 You won't get it!

2 By hook or by crook, we will.

6
1

FBI says NY judge went too far in ruling the FBI went too far in forcing Apple to unlock iPhone

Blofeld's Cat

Helping with our enquiries ...

"... the San Bernardino phone belonged to mass killer Syed Farook ..."

I gather that the San Bernardino phone technically belonged to the former employer of Syed Farook and that they are happy for the FBI to try and break the encryption.

Those appear to be important differences between the cases, but IANAL ...

12
0

Oracle support sackings and 'consolidation' almost complete

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

"Support is now provided by teams in Egypt, Romania, India and the United States."

Well at least they have gone for countries with an impeccable record on data security.

Oh, wait ...

7
0

Amazon kills fondleslab file encryption with latest Fire OS update

Blofeld's Cat
Childcatcher

Oh well...

That just made my selection of a tablet slightly easier.

12
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GDS gets it in the neck from MPs over Rural Payments Agency farce

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Re: But will heads roll?

Don't worry lessons will be learned, processes will be put in place and improvements will be made...

The rest of the day will be spent nailing a blancmange to the ceiling.

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