* Posts by Martin

1003 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Martin
Pint

Couldn't agree more. Your best since the legendary rant about self-service supermarket checkouts.

Have a beer!

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Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies

Martin
Happy

Re: Enjoy it while it lasts!

All your jobs and especially DevOps will be either

1) sent overseas to South Asia within two to three years

OR

2) totally automated so that even a PHB can understand it and use it.

I retired a couple of years ago, after nearly forty years in the software industry.

I heard this sort of thing constantly during the whole of my career. I didn't lose sleep over it then, and I'd recommend that no-one loses sleep over it now.

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NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

Martin
Happy

Re: It's not rocket science

Upvote for the simple and sensible questions.

Mulitple downvotes for "wake up sheeple".

But I can only downvote once.

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Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

Martin
FAIL

Oh my.

I didn't see the Labour Party put the press under government control in 1945-51. Or in 1964-70. Or 1974-79. Or 1997-2010.

OK, the last one was not even close to a Socialist government, but the other three were - particularly the first two.

And do you think that the govenment being under the control of the press is an improvement? That's what we have at the moment.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch: A tough and classy activity tracker

Martin
Happy

Re: God that’s huge!

Judging by the downvotes, there are obviously one or two people here who have wrists on a par with the Incredible Hulk and feel everyone else should have the same...

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Martin
FAIL

Re: God that’s ugly!

It's also HUGE.

For people like me with a small wrist, 34mm is the largest watch I can wear without it looking clunky and oversized. Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

42mm across is far too big. 46mm is just silly.

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Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

Martin
Headmaster

Re: not a religious lot then...

Downvoted for tabs AND relivant...!

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Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

Martin

Re: From experience...

Does VirtualBox do the trick?

That would involve me having to actually find a Windows 10 installation, with presumably some sort of license that I'd have to pay for, wouldn't it? (I'd rather not do something actually illegal...)

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Martin

Re: From experience...

I can't install it on my machine either. In my case, it's simply that I only have a 32G SSD. I've tried adding an extra USB disk temporarily, but it still won't install.

It starts by saying You need at least 10G free. After a bit of hard work, I manage to get 10G free, let it update for about three hours - and then it fails.

And it always fails with a magic number - nothing useful. But when you look up the magic number, it goes to a Microsoft page which says "You need more disk space".

It's quite clear that 32G is NOT enough to run Windows 10 - or at least, not enough to be able to upgrade it.

And people wonder why I use Chromebooks and Linux rather than Windows boxes.

(I have exactly ONE piece of software which I can't run on Wine and has no equivalent on Linux. That's all I need this box for.)

45
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Well, well, well. Crime does pay: Ransomware creeps let off with community service

Martin

Re: "notoriously difficult language"

...everyone just replied or talked to me in English as soon as they heard my accent!

I used to know an English guy, who was married to a Dutch lady and lived in Holland. If he spoke Dutch to someone, and they answered him in English, he used to say politely (in Dutch) - "Sorry - is my Dutch not good enough for you?"

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Doctor, doctor, I feel like my IoT-enabled vacuum cleaner is spying on me

Martin
FAIL

Re: IoT foolishness

So yes, you need your app and the vacuum cleaner to be on the same network, so they can talk to each other. That I get.

But WHY do they then have to talk to the internet?

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Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Martin

Re: New version of Cluedo

And presumably it is the Beancounter who is found dead in the cellar.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: "get"

twat: "can I get a latte?"

It may be apocryphal, but I like the story of the sign in the coffee shop:-

A latte, please - £2

Can I get a latte? - £3

Gimme a latte - £4

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Martin
FAIL

Re: Only cracking I have done is

I was once waiting in reception for an interview at a security company.

Someone came in, went into the internal door, which had a keycode lock. She hesitated, and looked towards the security guard, who called out "3285" so she could get in....

(Just to add to the fun, I didn't get the job - I was a contractor, but for some reason the agent had sent me for an interview for a permie position.)

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Martin
Happy

Re: And submarine crews.

At one time I worked for the largest brewery in the US, who was facing a problem in that there was a "bubble" of a large number of brewery staff coming up for retirement. How to pass on a lifetime of knowledge to their replacements?

I'm moderately impressed that they noticed that they might have an issue. Most places I've been just sack their older staff, then wonder why things start going wrong on a regular basis.

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Smash-hit game Fortnite is dangerous... for cheaters: Tools found laced with malware

Martin
WTF?

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

@Robert Helpmann:-

There is a world of difference between getting a competitive advantage by reading books and taking lessons, versus actually breaking the rules of the game. Does that really have to be spelt out?

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Martin
Happy

Re: Ahhh, the youth of today...

In my day, a poke was something else entirely...

3
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Martin
WTF?

Can't feel too upset about this

Yes, I'm sorry that people are downloading malware, but not that sorry.

What is the point, really, of downloading a cheat code to improve your chances of winning, when the only thing you get from winning is satisfaction and kudos?

This is a serious question. It seems to be rife in gaming, as far as I can tell - people play for a while and as soon as they get stuck, they search the internet for the clues and cheat codes. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to take the point away from the whole thing.

Anyone got any insight into this?

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Startup bank Monzo: We warned Ticketmaster months ago of site fraud

Martin
WTF?

Ticketmaster / GetMeIn

I wouldn't buy from Ticketmaster if I could avoid it.

I was horrified to find that they own GetMeIn - which means that Ticketmaster have no incentive whatsoever to worry about getting tickets to valid fans - they'd rather they went to people who will resell on GetMeIn - double profit!!

On the other hand, I have just opened an account with Monzo.

1
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Israel cyber chief's 'pants' analogy for password security deemed, well, 'pants'

Martin
Thumb Down

But if someone else gets hold of it, it's not exactly hard to break into....

4
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Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

Martin
Happy

Re: He started a new life

There is an Agatha Christie book which had a love interest between a dentist and a young lady. A friend of the young lady said to her something like "A dentist! Why, if he was going to kiss you, you'd feel he was going to say, 'Open a little wider, please.'"

(If you're interested, the book is Death in the Clouds. It's one of her better ones, imho.)

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JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

Martin
Happy

Re: What will happen is

Can you imagine the internet without any mentions of GOT except within the publishers sites. It would have generated far less interest and income.

True, that is one upside I hadn't considered....

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Hills

OK - so how does a Devonian pronounce Aveton Gifford? (Sounds like a riddle...)

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UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

Martin
Happy

Interesting. Two down-votes. Boris and David?

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Martin
Unhappy

...if something went wrong that would be a catastrophe which would reduce the UK to an international laughing stock...

Hmmm. I rather thought our Brexit negotiators and our Foreign Secretary had done that already.

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UK judge appears in dock over Computer Misuse Act allegations

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Doctor, doctor! My NHS Patient Access app has gone TITSUP*

Martin
Happy

Actually, the old credentials do work, but it's got a new address - that's why LastPass seems to have lost it. You'll have to set it up like a new site, but just copy'n'paste the i/d and password into the new site. Or edit the account directly in LastPass to change the address.

I know that the old credentials work as I have not successfully logged in (it just times out), but I HAVE had an email saying:-

Thank you for signing in to the new Patient Access, we hope you are enjoying the experience!

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Martin
FAIL

Re: Colour me surprised.

He did not comment on whether he thought it was a good idea. He merely said that (a) most people carry their phones and this makes it easier to track them and (b) if legislators were to enforce it, it would be even easier.

And actually, it tends to be senior judges who have a better idea of what a free society means than, say, the lawmakers in Parliament. Which is why, for example, when the government said that they were just going to impose the deal they got for Brexit without going through Parliament, the law lords told them that they couldn't.

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Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

Martin
Happy

I used to work for a company, who had a team of engineers who used to build the most amazing leaving presents for any member of the team who resigned.

One guy was given several boards in a rack with a keypad and display on the front. When it was powered on, a zero appeared in the display. It did not take him long to discover that this beast was actually a huge calculator. Being an engineer, the guy thought "OK - what happens if I try to divide by zero?" So he punched in 17 / 0 = .....at which point an alarm went off and smoke appeared out of the back!

9
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My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: I recall even my mum (a bit like Dilmom) telling me a fire story

Stuff we did in the labs when I was at school which I bet kids aren't allowed to do nowadays...

Yes, all of those, plus my personal favourite - using a Van Der Graaf generator to get yourself charged up to several zillion volts, then lighting a Bunsen burner with the static spark. We actually used that as a demo at our School Open Day!

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Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Martin
FAIL

Re: Glad you've covered this

the Shane Ridge situation you refer to was quickly resolved the next day...

No - it was resolved the next day after the papers got hold of it. He'd presumably spent several days before that in a major panic.

But hey, the Home Office apologised, so that's all right then.

7
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Martin

Re: Labour/Tory?

Sadly bugger all difference between Nu Labour and Tory.

In general, true. But this particular Tory government has demonstrated callousness and utter contempt towards anyone who is disadvantaged in this country, the like of which I have not seen in all my forty five years of voting. They are truly loathsome.

5
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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Martin
Happy

It is embarrassing, having to explain quotes from Cant, Goethe, Kleist, Schopenhauer, Kafka et al to young Germans...

Or even Kant.

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Martin
FAIL

Re: That takes me back

You're getting old. Not YOUR. And you know that, because you used "you're" later on, correctly.

If you're going to do a sarcastic rant, do it right. Have a downvote.

12
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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Martin
Thumb Up

Force me to vote by all means, as a civic duty. But give me a "none of the above" or even "Other (complete details) ________" box in which I can enter anyone that I like, including nobody.

I actually agree entirely with this. I think that if voting were compulsory, and we had a "none of the above" box, it would win an overall majority fairly often - which might persuade people that they need to improve the calibre of the candidates.

But I still think you should vote. If you really don't like any of them, scrawl "None of them - they are all rubbish!" on your voting slip. You'll at least be counted as a spoilt paper.

3
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Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Martin
Happy

Re: Do we have any rights left

At this rate they might as well burn the Constitution + Bill of Rights and start again.

Look on the bright side - with no Constitution, there is no second amendment...

2
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Martin
WTF?

Re: The 10 minute rule

If you want a 6 month (that's right just 6 months) visa for Thailand they will without fail audit your bank account for the last 6 months to make sure your balance has not dropped lower than £5000 in that time period.

Not that I have any plans to go to Thailand, but how on earth are they going to audit my bank account unless I tell them my bank details, and also give them authority to contact my bank to get that information?

And if I have to do that to go to Thailand (or anywhere else) that's another country to add to the growing list of countries I'm never going to visit.

Which is a shame.

3
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It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Fantastic!

I use one as a Plex client into my TV (it used to run Kodi, but it works better as a Plex client), one as a Squeezebox server, and one as a simple backup handler running a nightly rsync. OK, the third (which is the oldest RPi) is probably barely necessary, but it works every night without fail - why would I change it?

2
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Martin
Happy

Re: Fantastic!

I've done quite well - I have four of them, and three are actually being used...

12
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My PC is broken, said user typing in white on a white background

Martin
Happy

Re: Entirely unrelated to the above but...

"...twenty minutes of the two of us leafing through his 1944 Mosquito pilot's log book...."

My father-in-law (unfortunately no longer with us) was a Mosquito navigator. It's just possible that your bloke and my FIL flew together.

1
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Martin
Happy

Re: Pah!

She'd had to use the mouse upside down but was so worried about being yelled at had kept quiet.

...

No, if she had turned the monitor upside down the mouse would work normally.

No, it wouldn't. If you move the mouse from right to left, it goes from left to right on the upside-down screen. And if you move the mouse up, it goes down on the upside-down screen.

Turn the mouse over too, and all works OK. Though how you press the buttons is an interesting question in itself.

1
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Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

Martin
Thumb Up

@John Smith 19 Re: The 70's called. Contextual Dependency blah blah...

Excellent post - thanks.

Just one more point. Human beings are remarkably good at deducing meaning from context - and one of your sentences with made-up words demonstrates that elegantly.

"I just drumped a can of lager off Jack" - if I heard one teenager say it to another, it would be obvious that "drumped" is a slang word for "cadged". And I wonder if AI will EVER be able to do that.

2
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Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

Martin
Happy

No more religious wars?

Powershell is far superior to Bash and I call BULLSHIT on your suggestion that Bash is superior.

Just one quote from this comments thread from yesterday.

I rest my case.

2
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PowerShell comes to MacOS and Linux. Oh and Windows too

Martin
Happy

Re: PowerShell?

Powershell is far superior to Bash and I call BULLSHIT on your suggestion that Bash is superior.

And yet, only today, there was an article in El Reg bemoaning the fact that there are no more religious wars in IT.

8
0

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Martin
FAIL

Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

Oh, dear, dear, dear.

I can't explain it, and neither can anyone else. Therefore goddidit.

Come on - that was a reasonable argument in prehistoric days, but it's just tripe nowadays.

The real issue about abiogenesis is that we're trying to understand something that happened perhaps only once in a totally different environment about three point eight billion years ago, and something that clearly doesn't happen easily (or it would presumably have happened again, probably multiple times). Of COURSE it's likely that we can't explain it. It's very likely we'll never have a really convincing explanation. But that doesn't mean that, therefore, there is a god.

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1

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Martin
Happy

Re: New calendar..

Speak for yourself re birthdays. I'm 63 next year, and I still enjoy my birthday as much as ever.

We have a concept of "birthday powers" in our family - on your birthday, what you say goes. And we always start our birthdays the evening before, so they last for about 30 hours.

Birthdays are great.

3
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Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?

Martin

Re: Well Article'd

TBH, there are times (eg their performance against the Saints this lunchtime) when I wonder why I watch them too :{

3
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Martin

Re: Well Article'd

Though I am a football fan (or at least an Arsenal fan - sometimes I wonder if that's quite the same thing) I don't think I'm prepared to argue about footballers, and the amounts that the top players "earn". But I maintain that there is a significant difference between watching twenty two top athletes working as two teams with talent, determination and occasionally breathtaking skill, and watching an overweight guy on a video game swearing at the screen.

7
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User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

Martin
Happy

Haunted messages...

Someone once spotted me in the machine room on a security camera. So they remotely logged into the machine nearest me, made it beep, so I turned towards it - then they typed "Hello Martin..." on the screen.

I will admit to a slight HAL shiver...

58
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Amazon Key door-entry flaw: No easy fix to stop rogue couriers burgling your place unseen

Martin
Happy

Re: Good idea but

Yep - a parcel safe works for me. Postie bungs item in box, locks it. Seem not to be easily available any more.

I remember a lot of people said to me "Don't see the point. What if you get two parcels, and the second person can't get into your parcel safe?" I never could persuade them that 95% of my parcels being delivered rather than taken back to the sorting office was significantly better than zero.

Our main problem with the parcel safe seems to be that our local couriers cannot see a three foot by two foot green metal box on the wall right beside the front door.

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