* Posts by Frederic Bloggs

217 posts • joined 17 Aug 2010

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Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

Frederic Bloggs

Why worry about the US

While the UK gives itself powers to slurp everything, everywhere, all the time anyway. And we all know where that's going to end up (on demand) - because of the "special relationship" tha' knows.

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Plan B hoovers up NZ-based cloud outfit ICONZ

Frederic Bloggs

I wasn't aware that the possible new national flag of NZ had been a) chosen and b) adopted.

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GitHub: We're sorry (again) about (another) outage

Frederic Bloggs

Surely..

Git is a distributed SCC system? Isn't the whole point? One can hack away at one's code, committing revisions and then catchup when (or if) ever a central server comes back. If it doesn't, or just if needs be, then your repository can be pulled directly by co-workers. Try git send-email.

Go look how git is used for the thing that it was written for: the Linux Kernel. Or alternatively RTFM.

Git is not CVS nor is it Subversion.

Github going away for a few hours or even days is not the end of the world.

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Catalan town hall seriously downsizes monarch

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Inheritance

You mean like the "arrangements" in Venezuela? They are ostensibly "democratic" but now that the president's aura is waning, he continues to cling on with grim death. No, I stick with a nice constitutional monarchy, thank you.

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'You're updated!' Drupal says, with fingers crossed behind back

Frederic Bloggs

Re: DrupLOL!

For me, this is very timely advice. So what would one use?

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Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.

Frederic Bloggs

Or maybe this?

This seems to work a bit better and is probably cheaper.

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iPad data entry errors caused plane to strike runway during takeoff

Frederic Bloggs
Joke

Surely you mean "have their tail strike protectors tested"?

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UK citizens will have to pay government to spy on them

Frederic Bloggs

15TB?

Is that all? On a 1Gb link? In a year?

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Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

Frederic Bloggs

Statistics...

GCSE Statistics Paper Question

A "quality" newspaper recently asserted that: in 2013 another "newspaper" had 30 million audited users per month. But today, that "newspaper" now has 1 million readers per day.

Please tick one only one answer:

* The "newspaper" has 96% fewer readers today than in 2013.

* The "newspaper" has roughly the same number of readers per day.

* The "Grauniad" has a maths problem as well as all the others it's famous for.

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Snakes in the aircon, killer crocs in the river, virtualisation for apps

Frederic Bloggs

For the record...

Barramundi is an excellent fish to batter, fry and serve with chips. But then I prefer haddock and chips and regard cod as tasteless, therefore my judgement may be suspect.

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

Frederic Bloggs

Another balancing article from the 'Fail

On the very same day, the 'Fail runs an article about a consultant gastro-enterologist saying that he recommends the eating of red meat. Which article are we to believe?

Or is the 'Fail just trying to make sure it can maximise its (cough) "targeted" Ad revenue by playing both ends to the middle?

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Pitchforks, torches, and awful quotes – we read what Cisco's CEO said

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Don't hold your breath, but …

Not just students, but clueful techy SMEs as well. A customer of mine has identified that his shiney new internet line, that is at least three times as fast as his old one, is going to overwhelm his existing Cisco border router. The only choice is either to go up to the next range (entry price £5000+) or buy a chunky white box with eight NICs and do the routing & firewalling himself. He has the knowledge to do it either way. His white box would cost about quarter of the price...

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How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

Frederic Bloggs

Re: I still can't get my head round this one

Fixing the hardware so that it is blindingly obvious that the computer is on would go a long way to solving this wetware problem. If hardware designers spent some time on usability instead of solely on aesthetics, life for support people would be soooo... much easier.

What is it with designers hiding tinier LEDs with every new generation in less visible places? With (if one is lucky) some unfathomable symbol which is one is supposed to "intuitively" understand means POWER ON?

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The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way

Frederic Bloggs

It's all very well

But just knocking diesel because it has some characteristics that can cause problems (which have largely been solved) and then blithely saying petrol engines "will catch up" simply doesn't cut it. Each engine type has its particular emissions issues that need to be cleaned up and an advance with one fuel sort is quickly transplanted onto the other.

Frankly petrol engines have different characteristics to diesel which are fundamental to the cycles that they use. Those characteristics are why trucks use diesel and cars (that don't tow or carry heavy loads) use petrol. It isn't simply a matter of fuel consumption. It is all about torque curves and a petrol engine performs comparatively poorly in the [torque, engine size, fuel consumption, (blown) air pressure] matrix compared to diesel at various loads.

I declare an interest: I have had several diesel vehicles over the years - for the way they drive and not just for their fuel consumption. Given equal fuel consumption and similar fuel costs: I prefer the diesel.

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Apple files patent for long-rumoured iRing-type bling

Frederic Bloggs

Annular Member?

Not certain about the "annular member" either. Apart from the obvious I can't quite see how one can call a ring (apparently with stuff attached to it) a member, annular or otherwise.

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Pentagon on manual mission to build nation-wide security database

Frederic Bloggs

How about this one?

A central database accessed by 6200 people in 133 locations. It's just a boring database with a load of miscellaneous administrative data that is of no interest to anyone but us chickens. Anybody see anything that could go wrong with that?

No? Thought not. It'll be fine.

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Google bods reform DEMOCRACY in coconut or vitamin water quandry

Frederic Bloggs

Perhaps we should vote on it?

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Start learning parallel programming and make these supercomputers sing, Prez Obama orders

Frederic Bloggs

Weather? Certainly useful but...

I didn't see any mention of breaking encrypted data in your "useful" list. This may have been an oversight.

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Richard Branson cuts ties off

That should be: "rich dick"

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Emergency-service comms omnishambles worsens as HP dives for the door

Frederic Bloggs

dual-mode TETRA/4G

Is that wishful thinking or is there some actual evidence that the HO (probably secretly) has this as a "fallback" position? It is the only foreseeable solution that makes any sense. But no solution that has working PTT group calling and 4G+-like data in the same device will be available (even in beta) before at least 2018.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Uitsmijter

Frederic Bloggs

If you are talking about the stuff called Gouda that they send over to the UK for sale in supermarkets then you are absolutely, if distressingly, correct. However, a decent matured Gouda (particularly a farm produced one) is a completely difference animal. It has taste, bite and is only very slightly rubbery. It also melts very satisfactorily when toasted on bread and, perhaps draped over some previously grilled bacon, chopped tomatoes and with a generous amount of Worcestershire Sauce, makes a very satisfactory post pissup neck filler itself.

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Frederic Bloggs

No tomatoes. The only vegetation that should be present is gherkins. A lack of gherkins is a serious omission.

The Dutch are expert piss artists. They provide many neck fillers for post pissup consumption. FEBO will provide the usual ones like: croquette and bitter ballen but the crucial thing missing is that eating these things should be done during the drinking process, not just after. Then there are a range of comestibles for eating before drinking (like haring sla) which are designed to coat the stomach - to allow one to drink even more kopstoters (a beer with jenever chaser).

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Frederic Bloggs
Coat

Yes, let's get some other constituency to run all our "public services". But not the Germans and especially not the French. The Americans will just give it to one of their big election contributors.

So who can we call? I know, let the European Union do it. It's big enough, it's got lots of money to erm.. invest. What could be better?

I am Fred's pet robot and wrote this for him whilst he was out and about in his coat. I am not feeling very well, I think I am coming down with a virus.

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Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Use Large Fonts.

Maybe it was a troll (good use of icons there) but it does beg the question: how big (many words) is a page then? Is it defined anywhere visible (I can't find it)?

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WikiLeaks slips out YET MORE Sony SECRETS

Frederic Bloggs
Headmaster

Re: ... can find nothing incriminating

Must try harder : 2/10

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GDS to handle Govt payments? What could possibly go wrong?

Frederic Bloggs

Surely...

Whomsever one gets to do the "single payment system" (or whatever else one might require), will have to maintain the "bespoke" system for ever (and ever)? Or is there some kind of magic "fix-it" sauce available to the idiot that said that?

It doesn't matter whom one gets to write or sells the software. Companies go bust, key developers move on or (sometimes) die. If the supplier (in house or commercial) doesn't have an independently verifiable and robust system for dealing with entirely predictable problems, then when it breaks - you still get to keep all the pieces.

I hope that sets everybody's mind at rest.

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EU Digital Single Market plan: We will compromise fast, and compromise early

Frederic Bloggs

And the graphic?

What has a couple of balloon flights tracked by Ham Radio got to do with the content of this article (apart from cheapness)?

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GDS monopoly leaves UK.gov at risk of IT cock-ups, warns report

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Government technocrats

The problem with the Civil Service and the politicians that "drive" them is that there is very little domain knowledge. Many people working there are "well educated" and by no means stupid, but there is a functional ignorance in anything remotely technical or scientific. Worse, many decision makers do not have the background or skill in the domains they are administrating to come to a view that will stand scrutiny by outside, informed, opinion. So they use consultants, whom have seen them coming...

The Civil Service then really doesn't help itself by rotating out the people that the contractors have trained up. The contractors have to start all over again with new ones every couple or three years. This appears to be an out of date hangup from colonial days about officials "going native".

To give the Government credit, they have recognised that big ticket projects are likely to equal gigantic (and expensive) failure - so they tried something else. The result has had some modest success (for at least 2 orders of magnitude less cost). It is by no means perfect, and some of the bad habits of old are creeping in, but by banging on at them in the technical press we can hold them to account because, at the very least, they actually understand the questions and the proffered answers.

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Frederic Bloggs

Soap?

Just have a gander at HMRC's APIs (designed by a committee of outside consultants) to see what that gets you. And I just looove the "signing" procedure (and lack of layering).

Yes, Yes. Let's go back the good old days of framework agreements with the big contractors.

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Aw, snap! How huge HTML links can crash Chrome tabs in one click

Frederic Bloggs

For what it's worth

It crashes in linux as well (but nicely)

2
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Improved Apple Watches won't get more expensive? Hmmm

Frederic Bloggs

Re: RE: Meaning that income per inhabitant of a household has been rising

My finger in the air guess is that the median number of persons that work / household has definitely increased since the 1960s.

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Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Here is the PC forecast

But, but.. What has the PC forecast to say on "Melanin Enhanced, Normal or Depleted"?

I think we should be told.

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Does your storage look like it's held together by elastic tape? Oh, you're using IBM kit, too, huh?

Frederic Bloggs

George 3 for me!

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Legalese and coding? Yup, it's the open-source FOSDEM shindig

Frederic Bloggs

But was FOSDEM useful?

Difficult question to answer. Which, by itself, probably is an answer. There were a lot of talks, most of which didn't actually say much that was truly new. Most of the interesting technically based ones ended up talking about stuff that looked as though they might become useful - maybe in two years time - and then only if the authors/makers were still working on it. Very few (that I attended) had anything that I could use (or even sensibly play with) today. In other words: effectively vapourware.

And then there were the "keynote" speeches. The stand out one for me was Larry Wall spending an hour talking about Tolkien and his oeuvre, using it a metaphor to spin out his announcement that perl6 version 1.0 will be ready this (as opposed to "by") Christmas. Even by the standards of the other talks that I went to, this one was particularly sparse with real facts or indeed, any other useful stuff.

But FOSDEM did give me one absolutely concrete thing: a cold.

I really wanted to go to FOSDEM, having never been. But now having done so, I probably won't go again.

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We can change a bit from 0 to 1 WITHOUT CURRENT, say boffins

Frederic Bloggs
Happy

ICT1301

The headline picture was a blast from the past. It appears to be one of the ferrite core memory modules from an ICT1301 (circa 1961). That brings back very happy memories. Thank you.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Frederic Bloggs

"improving comments"

Clearly I am on some moderation list, but if you want me to "improve my comment", then how do I do that now? There is no link, nor is there an edit box any more.

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Europe's top court mulls vandal's right to privacy after bloke catches thug on home CCTV

Frederic Bloggs

The end of the Surveillance State?

I know I am be recorded by the 1000's of cameras deployed here in the UK. Does this mean they all have to ask my permission?

Of if one were to break one of the windows in a building, say in the Vauxhall area (one might, for instance, take agin green window glass) from the public pavement, does this mean one could get away with it?

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Boffins weigh in to perfect kilogram quest with LEGO kit

Frederic Bloggs

Re: I demand neodymium ring magnets based Lego

Ah, so you had that kiddies game that allowed players to dip their magnets attached to small rods (with string) into a pot and obtain cardboard fish with metallic noses as well then?

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

Frederic Bloggs

Sadly not in the not(very much coverage) spots in the South Downs and other rural areas "served" by more than one distant base station. Before the EE/T-M roaming there was a degree of base station flip flopping here but when the roaming was switched on, the service became unusable. For some obscure reason (that EE [c/w]ouldn't explain) my mobiles tended to roam onto the even weaker T-M base hereabouts.

Ended up changing to Vodafone, but only because it has a local infill base station. With no 3/4G, but at least the 2G phone system works.

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Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Frederic Bloggs

Re: I assume this quiz was made up

And Facebook. Actually, I'm a bit surprised they didn't trial there first. Maybe (although it's unlikely) because Facebook was thought to be an unrepresentative demographic.

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El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

Frederic Bloggs

Re: /steel

And I know that red is a house colour an all, but red bottles are for fuel, blue for water.

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U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Frederic Bloggs

Re: And there goes another one

Not to mention the relief of still being alive to relish your feelings

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Flies WANT beer booze and now we know why - yeast

Frederic Bloggs
Pirate

Mozzy traps

One wonders whether well known "cut a lemonade bottle in half, fill bottom half with some water and add a sachet of yeast, invert the top half and force into the bottom half and gaffer tape together" style of mozzy trap - which is extraordinarily effective - was the inspiration for this research?

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Frederic Bloggs

Brugge (the town name that the locals use) means "bridges". The town is called "bridges" 'cos there are 10's of the things crossing the river and canals around which the city is built. Many of these bridges are old and not designed for modern heavy traffic. Which is why the council don't want lorries full of heavy beer crossing them or using the cobbled streets that surround them. Remember that road wear is proportional to the 4th power of the mass of the vehicle causing it.

So, no hills.

(PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)

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BMC Software flings patent sueball at ServiceNow

Frederic Bloggs

The NHS?

Really? And this is an endorsement?

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Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Correction

The "wet" capacitors are essentially electrolytic capacitors where the (very thin) "plates" of the capacitor are held apart by (again very thin) slightly damp "insulator" material. This dampness will, over time, evaporate out of the device through the weeny vent provided. This is why these capacitors have a finite life.

Obviously the hotter they get, the faster the electrolytic dampness evaporates. In the limit it will boil and, generally, an engineered weak spot in the cap will blow and, again generally, cause the case to fly away from the motherboard with a characteristic bang, clatter (as the cap body hits something) and nasty smell. Sometimes the cap develops an internal fault, this makes the boiling happen too fast for the safety valve; this is when the cap actually explodes.

But don't worry if you keep your computer case shut, you'll be fine.

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Frederic Bloggs

Re: Back in the day...

The crucial thing that the reservoir of power gave was the ability to guarantee that the current block would be written. This gave rise to some of the earliest logging filesystems, which resulted in a quantum leap in reliability in the (frequent) power problems we used to have. Mind you a huge 100KW motor-dyno-generator helped enormously come 8:30 in the morning when all the heavy machinery on our industrial estate started up more or less at once. Nothing like an huge flywheel to smooth out power spikes! (Happy times).

It's nice to storage principles being dragged kicking and screaming into the 1960s (again).

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Frederic Bloggs

Camels Milk

Is by all accounts is not only expensive, but may be a premium source of MERS as well. Still, after decontamination, the Jesus Phone that you had just bought earlier will make a nice heirloom.

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