* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Raspberry Pi Zero gains a camera connector

Herby Silver badge

Prophecy coming true.

A person of "great influence" mentioned to me a long time ago that the computer would become "just a bump" in the power cord. Devices like this indicate it coming true.

Of course in those days, the power cord was to an ASR33 teletype, but it still holds true today.

Bitcoin-ransoming Romney tax 'hacker' faces 25 years inside

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Now if they could...

Go after other "ransom" people. There are all sorts of them out there, and they ALL need to get the same treatment.

I dream on (*SIGH*).

Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

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Joke

Humor...

There was the Cobol programmer that wanted to escape the Y2K mess, so he gave instructions to cryogenically frozen until after the Y2K had passed. He was awakened a little later and he asked about Y2K, only to be told: "We understand you are a Cobol programmer, and we have this problem with years rolling over from 9999 to 10000".

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Amazing how paranoia spreads...

From the looks of it (evidence in comments) the problem was mainly in "management" that really had no clue how to handle the "problem", assuming that it would be catastrophic in its nature. The response was typical: Throw more money (people) at it to make sure that there won't be a problem. The better solution was to do some brief testing to make sure there isn't a problem, and fix the problems encountered at a reasonable pace (not at 11PM on the 31st.).

But as we all know, our best laid plans rarely get followed, because "the boss" thinks he knows "better" because his cousin's brother in law told him so. Us IT types just nod and get paid lots of $$ just to babysit things that we know are going to be OK.

Then there is the problem with 2038, but that doesn't bother me either, since we now have 64 bit machines, or since time only moves forward, could treat time_t as unsigned. Life goes on.

Then again, dealing with systemd is a pretty big problem (*SIGH*)

Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

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"exempt the top 10 domains"??

Would one of these be YouTube?? Which is owned by......

I could go on, but why bother?

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

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An experiment??

I've always wanted to get a small 1/4 inch (or so) wooden dowel and properly paint it in while with a bit of orange/red at one end. Then "use" it as a "vaping" device here in anti-smoking California, just to see the reaction (I'm a rebel at heart!). I suspect that it would be universally condemed and I would be asked to leave. That's just the way it is. Some are anti- anything and don't like much of anything that hurts their "personal space" real or percieved.

As for tobacco products, I suspect that governments are as addicted to them as any other for the tax revenue they produce. I don't think you will see a ban on them anytime soon.

Me? No, I don't smoke at all.

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

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What is a "native" to do??

Being a native (yes, I was born here) of Sillycon valley, I've seen it all. You start in the tech industry (I wrote my first program over 50 years ago) and keep on going. If you have people getting these visas (what no Master Card?) you need to wonder what is really going on. In this day and age, one could just as easily do "work" from the other end of an internet connection, as a physical embodiment most likely isn't needed. So, we have a couple of cases: 1) Import the worker (for whatever reason) and let them find out what it costs to live here in the USA, or 2) export the job to the other end of a wire where monsoons happen yearly. Given the choice, importing a worker may be the better choice.

The bigger problem is that job providers (companies) are having trouble getting proficient talent. The younger ones seem to think that right out of school they are entitled to a nice $100k job when they have no experience (and being tied up in acedemia for so long think that they can program a BIOS in Java or some such. The more experienced have figured out that they don't know everything and apply their skills to forge ahead. When an economic downturn happens they hope it doesn't last too long (unfortunately not the case for the last 8 or so years) then soldier on.

Life goes on, and visas will be issued, jobs exported, and iron turns to rust. One hopes for startups and new horizons and keeps a positive attitude which is what we should all hope for. (*SIGH*)

UK.gov pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

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I have a great product idea...

Have a product called future money. It is sold in various increments and has a physical embodiment. A nice box of something "special" that may have nice blinked lights (activated upon opening of box). Assign a value to said item, and allow it to be traded in for "other stuff".

Call it a Budgetary Box. Take a little off the top (1% ought to be enough for most instances) and go to town.

I'll be rich, and retire to a beach somewhere (I understand Hawaii is nice!).

IBM's Internet of Things brainbox foresees 'clean clothes as a service'

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Things get a little silly.

Microwave ovens are but on example.

In my case, I look to my first (late 1970's version) microwave oven. It had THREE controls, and I only used two most of the time. The main control was a simple dial for the time to cook. It was nicely logarithmic in nature as the first minute was quite large, but the last one (minute 29/30 as I remember) was quite small.. The second control (rarely used) was the one that controlled the percentage cook intensity (I usually left it at 100%). Lastly the third control was the "GO" button that started the whole thing. Marvelously simple to operate and almost impossible to mess up. Fast forward to today's computerized (the old one used a mechanical timer) user interface. They have all sorts of buttons to control time, delay start, defrost, and which item of food to use, along with an incomprehensible display (which has a segment out in my case). You get to push all sorts of buttons and in a dark kitchen (my wife likes the lights out when se watches TV there) you just can't use the "touch method" to get going. It is a REAL MESS. The problem is that in order to make their product "different/better" a manufacturer needs to have something unique/new and match his competition's bells and whistles. This leads to an never ending spiral of silly functions and people like my mom putting yellow stickums on the "important" controls of the microwave that she needs to use (about three of them).

The lesson here is that fancier and flashier (shinier) isn't always "better". You may have lots of controls for your appliance, but yes, you only select a VERY limited subset for everyday use.

Applications for computers succomb to the same "feature creep", and things like Word or Excel take this to the limit! The software vendor keeps adding features so differentiate the "old" from the "new", I'm sure we have all seen it.

When all else fails, a nice charcoal grill works fine.

Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

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Document for yourself...

Because you will be the one who ends up needing it. Weather wires or programs, in 6 months you will most likely forget EVERYTHING you knew about whatever system you have. Labels are nice, and be sure to label components as well, then you can ask the flunky nice user to flip the switch on the (no not that one) proper box.

There is a nice article in the Wall Street Journal about family tech support: mom & dad calling offspring to assist in their problems.

We do so much for so little (*SIGH*).

Windows 10 build 14342: No more friendly Wi-Fi sharing

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Joke

Windows??

Aren't they those things that have glass in them that you open to get fresh air?

Seems we've gotten away from the concept of opening windows to get fresh air. The other alternative is to break them, but it seems that most of the windows referred to here appear to already be broken.

Cue David Letterman's broken glass sound.

Maybe this shouldn't be classified as a joke, but I digress.

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

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We now need to support...

...the emoji messaging service. so these can be used.

Look up "accidental emoji expert" and get an even further explanation.

Malware scan stalled misconfigured med software, mid-procedure

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Wait for it...

Windows 10 nagware incident to follow. Now back to the studio.

ICANN knifes Africa's internet: New top-level domains terminated

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Too crowded anyway.

We should go back to nice two letter top level domains. Maybe .org for REAL organizations and .net for real network operators with .com for the rest if they want it.

Do I really want "accountonline" to be citibank?? I've got other accounts you know.

Falling flat: Silicon Valley satire is a no show

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It is a shame they don't...

Look at a "real" company and allow its principals to help write the scripts of its ups and downs. I've lived (it was a while ago) a startup life from "first employee" all the way to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It was a wild ride, and taught me BUNCHES about how VC's think and the like.

Hint: If you get a new CEO, two weeks later there WILL be layoffs (this happened twice to me). I'm 1 for 1 in living through it.

The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

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Just a question:

Has Microsoft done ANYTHING original (other than Bob and Clippy)?

I rest my case.

Wait, they are good at extracting moola from suckers. That might be original.

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Re: I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

Actually is it the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) alphabet.

Link included for reference. You're welcome.

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

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Re: If you smell smoke...

Corrections:

s/upper/uttered/

s/stopped/silly/

Thankfully the needs for sewer rats aren't needed any more as that problem has gone away. Unfortunately the solution required an operation a few years ago, but all turned out OK.

Life goes on

Herby Silver badge

If you smell smoke...

The fire is out...

This is a famous saying in my family, as my nephew first upper this phrase to my older sister when he accidentally "fired up" a telephone book late at night. My incident was when I (again late at night) heard the (grumble) smoke detector outside my home office start bleeping. Since the battery had not been changed recently, I (stopped me) assumed that that might be the problem and got up to start sharing at the nasty device. Then upon further reflection, and exercising my "acute" sense of smell, I detected an odor of SOMETHING BURNING, and proceeded to walk towards the ever so stronger smell. Yes, my nice wonderful wife had put some dishtowels on the top of the gas fireplace in an adjacent room, and THEY WERE ON FIRE. Thankfully the wall behind and above the fireplace was nicely tiled with an wonderful ceramic pattern, and a quick application of DHMO solved the problem.

As for wastewater backups, just be careful about the lowest toilet in the house. When the sewer lateral line (from the house to the street) gets clogged, it is the place that has the largest opening. In my case a couple of showers and flushes worth. After a call to the drain guy and his expending the entire 75 feet of snake, the problem was resolved. It turned out to be a sewer rat that assisted in clogging up the pipe. It was an interesting cleanup. Thankfully the half bath containing the toilet in question had a direct door to the outside that in combination with a garden hose assisted in the cleanup. It was an adventure!

Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

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And it all works until...

The NEST server get the Windows 10 upgrade nag. Then it makes the thermostat go to "roast" in the middle of summer, or "chill" in the middle of winter. Welcome to big brother, he is at the other end of the wireless signal.

Me? I want a device I can talk to directly WITHOUT any outside involvement AT ALL.

Google-backed Yieldify has acquired IP from ‘world’s biggest patent troll’

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Solution to this mess...

Loser pays.

Enough said.

Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

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Joke

This just in.....

Windows 11 announced for August. Windows 10 to include "Upgrade to Windows 11" software in a mandatory update. Details to follow.

Yes, this is a joke, but is it far from the truth? One never knows!

In the election season this year in the USA, I wonder if a teleprompter will spout an "Upgrade" dialog box in the middle of a speech. Now THAT would be interesting.

iOS apps must do IPv6

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Is it me, or does this look like...

Someone forcing Windows 10 down our throats.

IPv6 is probably "too much" for normal use, or it would have been adopted LONG AGO (years).

For me, there should have been a SIMPLE method to accommodate the IPv4 address space in the new fangled IPv6. Unfortunately the path wasn't that clear, and the address space for IPv6 probably assigned an individual address to every grain of sand on planet earth and have a few left (billions and billions!) over.

Oh, well at least it isn't a proprietary thing that we don't know much about, or what is going ot happen next.

Microsoft: Why we tore handy Store block out of Windows 10 Pro PCs

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Wine is looking...

...better than ever. It is only a matter of time.

Microsoft is aiming for a continuing revenue stream to replace the every other year OS/Office upgrade that users have decided they don't need.

No, I don't use Windows. Anderson does windows nicely. Much friendlier!

I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

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Nothing to see here, please go away...

NSA Nothing NSA to NSA see NSA here, NSA please NSA go NSA away NSA...

Intel has driven a dagger through Microsoft's mobile strategy

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Just remember...

If IBM back in 1890 or so chose a different processor/operating system for its PC, both Intel and Microsoft would be much different than they are today.

When a major desktop machine builder goes away from X86 architecture people will need to adapt, and quickly. I believe that the trend started by the likes of a Raspberry Pi are just the beginning.

Sadly (or not as you chose it) both Microsoft and Intel are eating dust from the trail that is being pioneered by others now.

Restaurant booked, flowers ordered ... Microsoft has a hot date for SQL Server 2016

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I just keep wondering...

Is the same company that produced ACCESS? One wonders if any features have drifted between the two?

Who knows what the answer is given how they publicize things.

Another question:

Is there a 'clippy' helper that allows you to write better SQL?

Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

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Similar to a "connected toaster"

And about as useful. What did we do before computers invaded every part of a vehicle. It seems that we got along "just fine".

At one time I drove a 1964 VW bug (seatbelts installed) and had little problems. Great car to learn how to drive, and not a computer in sight.

If you wanted a "self driving car" you hailed a taxi. Life goes on.

No, a toaster does NOT need to be "connected". Go away!

Silicon Valley, season 3: CEO Richard learns humility, tech style

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Interest (possibly) lost...

When they (from what I remember) cut the scene that had a vehicle going down Page Mill road. Why do I remember this? I was at a stoplight waiting for the cops to release traffic when it passed by at the corner of Hanover and Page Mill. I just wanted to see if my vehicle showed up during the take.

Interesting how they film people in cars toodling down roads.

Yeah, it was the first season.

My experience: I've been in a company from its founding all the way through VC to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is quite a ride.

It's World IP Day! Celebrate by making money from a dead teenager

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Simple solution...

1) No software patents.

2) Public review period BEFORE the patent is granted to show "prior art" (much of which is unpainted!).

3) Loser pays in patent suits.

4) Wishful thinking (*SIGH*)

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

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Darwin award??

Maybe they shouldn't have the lights. The world needs people who pay attention to silly things like their surroundings!

A better idea might be to have a light bulb above their head so cars can run them down with impunity.

US tech CEOs demand Congress programs US kids to be tech workers

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Given how people are taught...

And some of those who are "learning", the outcome of this will be that EVERYONE will get a "passing grade" and have absolutely no knowledge of the subject at hand. You see, university work is HARD, and takes WORK. Both of these are limiting factors, and those who want everyone to be educated see as barriers to learning. Yes, they will have a piece of paper that says "Computer Science", but will they actually know how to do addition without using a calculator application on their smart phone.

Good luck! Those hiring will need it. Welcome to mediocrity, the new norm.

All men are created equal, after that it takes hard work!

MIT launches campus lunch bug bounty

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No beer??

Bummer. College/University life without BEER is terrible. This must be corrected!!

Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

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And exactly what...

...is the value of this "certification"? I suspect it doesn't amount to much, other than a tick box in the HR department.

Charter can gobble TWC for $78.7bn ... if it bins monthly download caps

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Which brings us to "The tragedy..."

"...of the commons". If there are no bandwidth caps, when 20 or so people start downloading a nice 1080p movie, it might get bogged down a bit. The nice cable has a finite bandwidth, and without some limiting factor, there WILL be a few resource hogs that will probably spoil it for everyone.

Weather this actually happens will be interesting in any event. At that point, Charter might say "I told you so".

Meet the malware that screwed a Bangladeshi bank out of $81m

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"...Why go for a billion??"

The answer is pretty simple: Crooks are greedy. It is the nature of the beast. Otherwise they wouldn't be crooks in the first place.

Note: Most crooks are caught due to this flaw, or trying to brag about their exploits.

Note to self: Don't be greedy!

FBI spies on how many?

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Trollface

Pick a number...

Between 1 and 1,000,000. It should be in there somewhere. Rough enough??

Amazon attempts rule fudge to take exclusive control of new dot-words

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Why don't they...

Just register ".amazon" and be done with it.

Then again, maybe Brazil and other governments in South America might not want it don't that way...

Guess what's 'easily hacked'? Yes, that's right: Smart city transport infrastructure

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Re: Now all we need is a safe full of gold!!

Now the question: Are you the "Napster?"

I still like the HiFi that was demonstrated at the end of the movie.

SpyEye duo behind bank-account-emptying malware banged up

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But...

Will anyone get ANY money back from this scam?

I have my doubts.

This begs the question: Where did the money go??

Big Cable threatens to sue FCC: You can't stop us ripping off customers

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Why do we need cable boxes at all??

Every new TV sold in the USA has "digital" capability which can provide LOTS of channels. Why not use that to distribute the signal. Seems pretty silly to go to the trouble of having another (redundant) box just to make the cable people happy.

Oh, if you don't want to have your subscribers watching HBO (because they haven't paid for it) go back to installing filters in the subscriber's cable. It worked before when we had "cable ready" TV sets.

FBI boss: We paid at least $1.2m to crack the San Bernardino iPhone

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Note to FBI...

Watch the TV show 60 minutes. You might find out something and do it for far cheaper!

See: here. Keeping up to date on the news might help as well.

Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

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Just be thankful...

...that they don't have an app for sausage. You just don't want to know!

Obama London visit prompts drone no-fly zone

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So when somebody tells me to...

"Go fly a kite" I can't do it??

What about if I blow on a dandelion? Would that be banned as well. Knowing our "El Jefe" I suspect it might be. You know national security and all that..

Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

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Makes one wonder...

What Intel would be if IBM had picked a different processor for the original IBM PC back in 1981?

I have doubts that it would be anything close to what it is now.

As for other directions, there is the ARM chips which are both cheaper and lower powered AND are being used in LOTS of mobile devices.

The X86 business is fading away.....

Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

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Why not let Google be your publisher

It isn't like they already have the information. They slurp it from every corner of the earth.

Why bother with the likes of Random House, Pocket Books, or Prentice Hall. Go direct to the eventual holder.

Lacking that, include a note on the title page:

"This book shall not be indexed while it is either "in print", or the author is alive".

Chinese con-artists cop to US military counterfeit chip switch caper

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Alternative...

Just turn the "counterfeit duds" back to them, and pocket the $$$

It isn't like they should be able to tell the difference if they are good "look alike".

I don't know how happy the buyers would be, but it isn't like they could take me to court. Unfortunately they might resort to the same "court" as drug dealers use when ti comes to being "ripped off" (2nd amendment and all that).

Probably not a safe business to get into. I'll need to re-think the career path.

US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

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Joke

Maybe it is time for....

SS8??

Maybe not so much of a joke.

Apple pulled 2,204lbs of gold out of old tech gear

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Just for the record...

Cupertino doesn't have a landfill. It takes its trash elsewhere. Most likely to the San Jose landfill.

Verizon bribes customers

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Is it secure??

Will it comply with the proposed dumb bill that is trying to get off the ground?

Why are there so many standards on this issue??

Sounds like this is a case of the "second mouse gets the cheese".

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