* Posts by Phil Endecott

491 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

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Sysadmins: Use these scripts to fully check out of your conference calls

Phil Endecott

Recent Dilbert - Wally has replaced himself with a chatbot.

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Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

Phil Endecott

Fantastic!

There is someone on the planet who is worse at tetris then me....

But he's surely better at soldering!

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Neo4j bolts on binary protocol to up its graph database game

Phil Endecott

Re: Use the all purpose tool

By that logic, the entire article could be simplified to "Neo Technology has released Neo4j 3.0" and we could just use Google to find out the rest.

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Phil Endecott

Some clue what "neo4j" is in e.g. the first paragraph might be useful.

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Phil Endecott

Did I miss page 2?

Why is this 700kg shipment going to the US? What are they going to do with it? Why are they happy to take it? What's this about "cancer curing uranium" in exchange?

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Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe

Phil Endecott

You can buy a widget to turn an ice axe into a selfie stick.

Unfortunately not vice-versa.

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

Phil Endecott

Re: it's so easy

My approach is to type

SELECT * FROM IMPORTANT_TABLE WHERE ATTRIBUTE = SOMEVALUE

cursor up ^a^d^d^d^d^d^d^d^dDELETE

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BT: We're killing the dabs brand. Oh and can customers re-register to buy on our site?

Phil Endecott

Dabs was truely the worst customer service I ever got from any retailer ever.

Many of the others I won't buy from because of the constant deluge of spam that continues daily a decade after I bought from them just once.

I've recently stopped buying from Amazon after they charged me £70 for "prime" that I didn't ask for (presumably I forgot to not un untick the 'no, I do yes not no do don't want to not not not join' box).

It's a shame there doesn't seem to be a retailer who can just get it right.

(Apple and John Lewis work OK, but they obviously don't sell everything.)

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Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack

Phil Endecott

Re: They gave him their password

In your car insurance example, the insurance company are not saying that stealing the car was legal because of where you left your keys; they're only saying that they won't pay out. The theif, if caught, would still be convicted.

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Google-backed British startup ‘stole our code’, says US marketing firm

Phil Endecott

Re: "behavioural marketing automation software"

> I don't much care which one wins, and rather hope that both lose.

I think I first heard that said re Mohamed al Fayed and Nigel Hamilton.

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ICO fined cold-call firm £350k – so directors put it into liquidation

Phil Endecott

“We want to send a clear message to other firms that this type of law-breaking will not pay.'

On the contrary, the message seems to be that you can make a million pounds and keep £650,000 of it.

The fine is less than 1p per call, which is even more pathetic than the other recent ones. As a start, I'd like to raise it to at least as much as the fines for littering, parking etc.

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California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

Phil Endecott

Re: Pressure

And temperature! Don't forget temperature! Charles' law and all that.

Maybe we need an el reg "standard temperature and pressure" ? Suggestions? Improvements on; "as warm and squashed as a good boozer on a Friday afternoon".

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ICO slaps HIV support group with £250 fine following email blunder

Phil Endecott

Suspended sentence

How about this idea:

"You trustees are each sentenced to a fine of £100,000, suspended for 10 years.

"During those ten years you will be supervised by a probation officer who will make unannounced visits to your premises. If they find that you are storing your patient data in a system from which it may be copied-and-pasted or otherwise exported in bulk, or if they find that your email system is configured to allow messages to be sent to large numbers of recipients without multiple levels of confirmation and a time-delay, you will be liable to pay the fine in full."

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Telemarketers hit with £70,000 fine for cold-calling pensioners

Phil Endecott

Less than £2 per call. Pathetic.

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Khronos releases Vulkan 1.0 open graphics specification

Phil Endecott

> Apple created and gave OpenCL to Khronos back in 2009

But the more recent data point is that they created Metal in 2015 and kept it as an Apple-only technology.

> has its high-level SceneKit and SpriteKit as proprietary APIs up where most

> developers now hang out.

Not developers who are trying to write portable code.

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Phil Endecott

I fear Apple is unlikely to support this, as they have their "metal" language which does a similar thing. So for cross-platform development, you're probably still stuck with OpenGL.

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Virgin Atlantic co-pilot dazzled by laser

Phil Endecott

Technological solution

Legislating about this is as likely to change anything as increasing the fine for littering.

For once, a technological solution might be the most effective. Presumably the military must have some ideas; they must have worked out that dazzling your opponent with a laser was a good idea long ago, and worked out how to protect themselves against it.

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FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

Phil Endecott

Re: Not much sympathy

> isn't USB to serial port completely standard (like day 1, first line of USB protocol specs).

No - though I can understand why you might think it would be. See http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/ for a list of classes of device that are standardised.

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Phil Endecott

Any entries from employees of VW ?

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How to build the next $1bn tech unicorn: Get into ransomware

Phil Endecott

> couple of criminals abuse the system, so lets ban the whole thing

How much use is Bitcoin getting for purposes other than ransomware and drug deals?

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Watch out, er, 'oven cleaners': ICO plans nuisance call crackdown in 2016

Phil Endecott

That's less than £10 per complaint.

How long does it take to prepare and file an ICO complaint? OK, I guess this does come out at better than the minimum wage, but not by much.

I gave up complaining long ago. The fines really need to be 100X or 1000X larger in order to be worthwhile.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Phil Endecott

I find it interesting that they find this a better economic trade off than either (a) parachutes and fishing it out of the sea, like the shuttle boosters, or (b) gliding, perhaps using some sort of air-breathing engine. It would be interesting to hear how they decided on this method, despite its obvious challenges.

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3 continents, 8 countries and one cyber attack on a fake petrol company

Phil Endecott

> Bulgaria; Georgia; Lithuania; Moldova; Romania; Ukraine; the UK ... and the US

What an impressive of countries.

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HMRC aims for fully digital tax system by 2020. Yeah, whatever

Phil Endecott

Making things "easier" for me by making me submit a form four times as often. Wow, thanks.

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NZ unfurls proposed new flag

Phil Endecott

Re: I Like the Swirly One

Swirly = Debian logo = coffee stain of quality:

http://dilbert.com/strip/1996-06-11

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Japanese hack gets space probe back on track

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Oxford Uni unearths 800-year-old document to seize domain names

Phil Endecott

University of Bums on Seats

If you fancy a laugh:

http://cynicalbastards.com/ubs/

"The Antithesis of Academic Excellence"

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Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

Phil Endecott

Re: Why do people pay these people

Yes, great find, and also interesting to see that the first few comments there are saying "but in 2006 they said.....". Reading the comments would seem to be a more reliable predictor.

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BOFH: Taking a spin in a decommissioned racer? On your own grill cam be it

Phil Endecott

Re: Ferris Bueller!

My point re the apostrophe is that it is not "it" that it belongs to.

"The woman who's carrying its shoulder"

Here "it" refers to the bag.

But it is the shoulder of the woman.

Imagine if we were describing a boy carried on someone's shoulder, rather than a bag:

"The woman who's carrying his shoulder"

"The woman who's carrying him's shoulder"

Easy to say but hard to write in a way that is convincingly correct.

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Phil Endecott

Re: Ferris Bueller!

I see it as a shoulder bag. The pointy bits are the straps, with the top bit of strap hidden by the invisible woman who's carrying its shoulder.

Weird, I know.

BTW, should there be an apostrophe in the "it's" above?

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Correction: 220,000 kids weren't exposed in VTech mega hack – it's actually 6.4 million

Phil Endecott

Secret questions and answers

Not much point hashing the passwords if the secret Q&A to reset them are in plain text....

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ICO fines PPI claims firm £80,000 over 1.3m spam SMS deluge

Phil Endecott

6p per text

Should have been a thousand times more; then it would be comparable with a parking ticket or letting your dog shit on the pavement.

Even compared to the number of complaints it's a tiny fine; it surely doesn't even cover the cost of submitting and processing the complaints.

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Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station

Phil Endecott

Re: Boo, hiss

> Making light of

It's not "making light of", it's saying "WTF are they doing this considering the imperfect safety record!!!". I had assumed that that failure would delay manned flights for many years.

I'd actually like to see some stats that compare this to the previous systems; no shuttles exploded prior to the first manned missions.

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Google engineer names and shames dodgy USB Type-C cable makers

Phil Endecott

Re: Er....

> Old USB allows up to 5A

That's not how I remember it. Maybe you meant 5W ?

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Smartmobe brain maker Qualcomm teases 64-bit ARM server chip secrets

Phil Endecott

I'm hopeful of an actually-shipping and sensibly-priced AMD board in the next 6 months or so. Maybe mini-itx or similar, maybe via 69boards. This Qualcomm product is clearly further off.

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EU desperately pushes just-as-dodgy safe harbour alternatives

Phil Endecott

Franchises

What happens in the Microsoft Ireland case is the next thing to watch.

If that goes the wrong way, i.e. if the court says that Microsoft US is obliged to exfiltrate data held by MS Ireland, then these multinational US-headquartered companies will have to decouple themselves further. I see one option as a form of franchising, where e.g. Facebook EU is an entirely separate company from Facebook US, with its own shareholders, but it pays a license fee to Facebook US for the use of its brand and technology.

Ultimately, though, the spies will continue to spy. As I read them, the Snowden revelations were suggesting that at least much of the interception was without the consent of the companies concerned. It is probably legally easier for the NSA to hack an EU company's infrastructure in the EU than it is for them to do that in the US. So this judgement may end up not increasing practical privacy at all.

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Shuttle bus firm Terravision belatedly adopts https for credit card sales

Phil Endecott

My favourite example of this was a site where card details were "encrypted" by a chunk of JavaScript and then transmitted over plain http. Except that if you had JavaScript disabled, as I did, that code didn't run and the unmodified card number was sent. Very frustrating that visa and MasterCard don't have any obvious way for the cluefull to report things like this.

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Mold whine: Soylent superfood shipments stopped by spore scare

Phil Endecott

400 000 bottles!

Half a million bottles! Seriously, are there really thousands of people drinking this gloop?

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Solar panel spammer hit by UK’s biggest ever nuisance calls fine

Phil Endecott

That's....

3p per call.

Pathetic.

Compare with, say, a £30 fine for littering. 1000x greater.

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VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

Phil Endecott

Re: ARM did it!

> IIRC a talk I heard a few years ago from Sophie Wilson ARM added another

> instruction specifically to get Nokia as a customer. I suspect ARM would be

> very different (even maybe not exist) if they hadn't done that.

The main thing was adding a completely new MMU in order to get Apple as a customer, for the ARM610 in the Newton.

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Phil Endecott

Re: ARM did it!

> I can argue that it would be useful

OK, I'll fix my sloppy grammar:

"I'm sure that adding multiply would have improved benchmark results, but you can't argue ((with my assertion)) that it is also useful in real applications."

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Phil Endecott

Re: ARM did it!

> IIRC ARM added an extra instruction to their ARM 1 design for

> ARM 2 as an extra test had been

No, you don't recall correctly.

The ARM1 to ARM2 instruction set changes included adding a multiply instruction, and removing certain complex shifts. I'm sure that adding multiply would have improved benchmark results, but you can't argue that it is also useful in real applications.

But more to the point, the changes were completely public and were not designed to work around government rules that were intended to protect peoples' health.

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Phil Endecott

Re: ...due to the actions of some lone shark at VW. ????

>. there was a hidden adblue microresorvoir..

Was there? I've not read that anywhere.

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Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

Phil Endecott

BT

So WTF is BT still not doing IPv6 on domestic broadband?

(They haven't started without me noticing, have they?)

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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

Phil Endecott

Re: A physics question, I'm confused.

> in an engine I want the maximum amount of CO (converted

> to CO2), H2O, NO to come out of the exhaust for a given

> volume of fuel.

Formation of CO, CO2 and H2O is exothermic so yes you want to maximise those.

But formation of NO is endothermic.

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Phil Endecott

European testing

The Beeb have been quoting someone saying this sort of cheating couldn't happen in Europe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34325005

"Mike Hawes, who is chief executive of the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the EU operated a "fundamentally different system" from the US, with tests performed in strict conditions and witnessed by a government-appointed independent approval agency.

"There is no evidence that manufacturers cheat the cycle," he said. "Vehicles are removed from the production line randomly and must be standard production models, certified by the relevant authority - the UK body being the Vehicle Certification Agency, which is responsible to the Department for Transport."

Hmmm.....

Does anyone know what the difference is? It seems to me that taking random vehicles off the production line and having a government witness isn't going to make any difference if the software on all the cars is programmed to recognise that it's on a rolling road. So is this guy talking rubbish, or is there really some difference between how the two continents do testing? Would it be sufficient to put a sack of spuds on the drivers seat and move the steering wheel periodically?

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Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS

Phil Endecott

Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

> Well, given time, he exponentially threatens to exhaust the resources of the Universe!

No. It increases quadraticly, not exponentially.

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AVG to flog your web browsing, search history from mid-October

Phil Endecott

Re: sign of the times

And to think people used to actually pay for software.

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It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Phil Endecott

Re: "The farm decided to go with a more modern, off-the-shelf software solution."

> It is like booting Windows: for the past 30 years it has seemed to take about

> the same time, regardless of the increase in the power of the computer I run

> it on!

In other news this week, all animals take about 21 seconds to piss irrespective of their size.

Must be related somehow.

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Journos to be spared replacement by robots, BBC claims

Phil Endecott

Prostitute

Prostitute is not on the list. Which is odd, in view of today's other news.

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