* Posts by Spamfast

13 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010

Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

Spamfast

Re: Not based on location? How weird

"How about this instead. Door number, street name, town, county :-)"

Damn right.

Postcodes always struck me as a way for the mail carrier to outsource the sorting work to the customers. Why should I have to write out some random string of characters if I've put the correct house, street and town suitably disambiguated using village/county/province/state and/or country if necessary?

We don't have to remember IP addresses. We get the /computers/ to do that for us - they're good at that sort of stuff.

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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

Spamfast

Oops. $1.3 million, sorry.

And yes, I'd not thought of that. Must read the fine print before donating next time. :-)

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Spamfast

While I agree that impactor warning is a good thing, the event in question is being supported by a an organization called the B612 Foundation. This so-called "non-profit" raised $1.3 dollars in 2013 to support building telescopes to search for such things - and promptly paid its chairman Ed Lu and chief operating officer Danica Remy $240,000 and $204,279 annual salaries. Hmm. Not sure those two are fully committed to the cause!

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Spamfast

Re: ... as well as ...

some 19p and 66p coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary next year (we'll probably never win it again)

"We"? I was two at the time and I'm pretty sure I didn't contribute. (If Alf had asked me, mind ...)

Were you even alive?

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Spamfast

Re: Water-loo Taking the P*ss

Well this year we're rubbing the German's noses in it again with new £2 coins celebrating the first world war and a 50p coin for the Battle of Britain.

Just the one German? And he's got more than one nose? (Check your punctuation.)

Actually, probably not even one. The ones I've met - Germans that is, not noses - seem pretty indifferent. We're the ones who seem to have retained the chip on the shoulder.

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What's broken in this week's build of Windows 10? Installing it, for one

Spamfast

"Slow ring signups get cleaner, but later, code."

Erm ... no. They get earlier code, or they get code later. They don't get later (i.e. newer) code.

I'll get me coat ...

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Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

Spamfast
WTF?

Started a computer revolution?!

(from the soundtrack) "In 1982 the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was launched, a computer which gave a generation of school children their first introduction to computer programming and started a computer revolution in the UK and beyond."

Hogwash. The computer revolution was well under way already - think TRS-80, Apple ][, Acorn Atom, etc. not to mention all the earlier hobbyist kit from which they were derived. It would have continued whether or not the Spectrum was launched what with the BBC Micro, Commodore VIC/64, Amstrad CPC & PCW (ah! CP/M) and all the other many and varied options until the PC swept them away.

The Spectrum's only selling point was that it was inexpensive - 48 KB model for £175 at launch. But the price tag came only by seriously compromising functionality - no usable I/O except a rather dodgy edge connector directly onto the memory & I/O buses that positively promoted unreliability when you started trying to use peripheral modules, no hardware polyphony, no thought-through provision for different types of local or or networked mass storage, no proper layered OS/language/application separation, a slow BASIC interpreter that didn't support named procedures with parameters or local variable, a weird way of entering keywords to minimise key presses on that awful keyboard, no chance of touch-typing, no support for other programming languages and not even a built-in assembler.

(Anyone remember the Beeb manuals? It shipped with a nice think ring-bound "BBC Microcomputer System User Guide" with a complete BASIC and OS API reference as well as excellent tutorials including for the built-in assembler and you could get the awesome "BBC Advanced User Guide" with circuit diagrams and even more detail about the firmware. Sinclair Spectrum manual? Pah!)

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BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Spamfast

Re: Free market?

"(*)That [V90] required BT to install modems in telephone exchanges so that one of the D/A conversions could be skipped."

Utter tripe. V90 only requires that the analogue local loop at the subscriber end is converted to and from 8kHz 8-bit digital at the local exchange as it always is with digital exchanges. If the other end, e.g. at an ISP, is digital it can then control the DAC/ADC in the subscriber's exchange directly allowing it to provide anything up to just under 64kbps using a bit of fancy digital signal processing. BT didn't have to do anything to help other than putting the digital exchanges in and supporting ISDN. (The reason why V.90's top rate is only 56kbps is because in some digital systems in other countries, the telco nicks one out of eight bytes to handle signalling instead of doing it out of band.)

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What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

Spamfast
Thumb Up

Re: shocking

"Your winnings, sir."

Apposite quote.

"In Casablanca I am master of my fate!" comes to mind too.

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CERN team uses GPUs to discover if antimatter falls up, not down

Spamfast

Re: Einstein's answer:

Unlike the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, weak & strong or electro-weak & strong if you prefer) gravity has the peculiar property that it is, so far as we know, only ever an attractive force not a repulsive one. If mass and energy are equivalent (E=mc^2 and all that) then antimatter has positive mass and therefore will be subject to positive gravity. Any other result would tear a big hole in the standard model, at least as far as my admittedly out of date understanding goes.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Spamfast
Alert

Re: RCJ misses the point, again.

"The "C" is redundant."

And yet after twenty-nine years I'm still using it to write code for everything from PIC micros to multi-core servers. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Seriously, I just get depressed when I hear the political/business high-ups banging on about school education's purpose being to equip children for work. School is supposed to equip children for LIFE, not just work. As has been mentioned by others, school should be providing basic life skills, exposure to the various options for adult employment & most importantly the ability to reason & learn for oneself. I am especially sick of the likes of the CBI who just want the taxpayer to fund the staff training they used to pay for out of company funds so as to make even more profits. (Along with "Don't tax our profits. Oh, but subsidise our loses, of course.")

* ageing leftie exits stage left, rant, rant, mutter, mutter *

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Spamfast
Thumb Up

Solutions...

Ah yes. All too recognizable.

I've got some ways of handling the problem.

1. My fiancée bought me a T-shirt that has the simple message "NO, I WILL NOT FIX YOUR COMPUTER FOR YOU' printed in large type on the front & back. I make sure I wear it to all events where I'm likely to meet friends of friends or other strangers who might assume I've nothing better to do with my free time.

2. As ribosome hinted, answer "Certainly, but my accountant insists I tell you that my rate is £100 per hour plus expenses."

3. Memorise the phone number for PC World or some similar outfit and say "Sure, call this number to arrange a time."

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No secret to stopping XSS and SQL injection attacks

Spamfast

Spamfast

We shouldn't be constructing DB queries by concatenating parameter strings onto constant strings containing SQL statements. The SQL query should be preprepared with parameter placeholders and then have the variables containing the data from the user bound to it. This not only does away with the risk of the sanitization not being thorough enough but is also generally quicker.

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