* Posts by Rupert Fiennes

285 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007


Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror

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Fitness trackers can be tricky

When I was working for Yahoo, Marissa Meyer decided to give the entire company fitness trackers from another company of which she was a board member and institute a "100 mile" challenge for employees: we needed to walk at least 100 miles a month. Some people really got into this, with my director winning with 25+ miles a day by dint of fitting a treadmill to his desk. I was cycling to the office anyway, but the 18 mile round trip only ever showed up as 6 miles of walking, until I took to fastening the tracker to my ankle instead of my wrist, which caused the mileage to double.

Still didn't win any prizes though!

Where's Zero Cool when you need him? Loose chips sink ships: How hackers could wreck container vessels

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Re: MSC Zoe was a proof of concept hack?

I think quite a few sensitive containers already have GPS trackers. The only issue is probably the requirement for said container to have a power hookup to keep it charged and how a container buried under twenty others is going to get a satellite fix.

You know the drill: SAP has asked Joe Public to name Munich arena so go forth and be very silly

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Flame on!

Brexit Palace?

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

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Re: Because

There are more than twenty times as many murders committed with handguns than there are with rifles (any sort, "assault" or otherwise). You cannot declare that assault weapons are the problem: they aren't.

Airbus will shutter its A380 production line from 2021

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Turns out Airbus was the silly one

Two decades ago when ultra large aircraft were being discussed, everyone assumed that whomever announced the development program first would be on their own: it was acknowledged that there was only ever a market for one aircraft this size. Turns out there wasn't even that...

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

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Re: they have been even known to sit on their new born offspring

How very true :-)


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Had the chance to pose with one once

...in the breeding centre in Chengdu. Going rate for a selfie in it's cage was 100Y, which was about 8 quid at the time. I wasn't interested, largely because I got the impression they would have drugged it up first. As an animal, they are a bit useless: they have been even known to sit on their new born offspring.

The UK's Cairncross Review calls for Google, Facebook to be regulated – and life support for journalism

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Re: Just throw them out

Leave will involve Google and the like actually paying UK taxes on UK income. No incorporating in Ireland for sandwiches, double or otherwise :-)

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Newspaper's lack of a sustainable business model is not the government's problem

Looks to me that given how much dross is in the average newspaper, there's scope to reduce costs. No surprise no one is calling out the BBC as a monopoly and state funded supplier though :-(

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

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Re: "Sounds a bit like the Brexit campaign"

Actually the EU specified the 2 year process.

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

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My experience

1) Mum got me to deliver a parcel to the daughter of a family friend at the same college. Twice :-)

2) Mum tracked down my location and got and called it's phone number after I idly mentioned I was dating a Russian lecturer's daughter and was not home immediately after the end of term.

I made sure to tell her nothing from then onwards. Possibly just as well :-)

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

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Re: I have some questions

Bear in mind they are also often correct. There's a reason John Edwards ended up as a footnote to history rather than running for President in 2008 or 2016...

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

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Re: "when vehicular traffic was restricted to 20 checkpointed crossings"

About two thirds of NI's exports and imports is with the rest of the UK. In the event of a backstop, all the EU bureaucracy will be applied to NI-GB trade, which is 4 times as large as all NI-ROI trade. It's also 2.5 times as large as all NI-EU trade.

In practice, the backstop is far worse for NI than hard Brexit...

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Definition of "hard border"

Despite the attempts of some to claim that leaving the EU Customs Union produces a "hard border", this actually refers to the time during the troubles when vehicular traffic was restricted to 20 checkpointed crossings by dint of blocking all the others.


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Re: WTF?

ANPR clearly works, since otherwise the London Congestion Charge zone would have collapsed in a blizzard of lawsuits.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

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Re: "Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty"

Such products are covered under existing WTO rules, and are imported or not to the UK on that basis *now*. Those processes are not the problem, it's EU imports and export processes that are going to change.

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Re: Ahh...

It's not our own piss, it's a "fine wine". Or perhaps, the complaints are merely a "fine whine"?

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Re: Ahh...

I think you'll find we have plenty of purchasing power: 65 million customers of it.

However, leaving the EU means we don't have to impose all those high tariffs on foodstuffs (11% atm).

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Re: Just in Time

Forgive me for pointing out the bleeding obvious, but since we wave through all EU goods through now, why should we need to inspect some later? They are still going to have their country of origin papers.

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Re: a severe case of the trots.

I think you'll find referendums become a thing when people *lack* faith in politicians. Grandly declaring that those proles should never be allowed to decide their fate is liable to increase the demand for referendums, not reduce them :-)

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Re: Ahh...

Not quite. The Withdrawal Bill that passed the Commons last year basically copies EU law into British law, so all the standards etc are exactly the same on March 30 as they were on March 29. It's just that EU imports (about 30% of the food total) which would have required no inspections might then require them. But there's nothing that says the government *has* to do this.

It's all a bit silly to pretend we're going to starve....

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Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

Actually not true. The only non-binding attempt to rule out no-deal Brexit failed.

Office 365 enjoys good old-fashioned Thursday wobble as email teeters over in Europe

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Mine's still working, dammit :-)

So this is how that terrifying killer AI will end us... by pushing us down hospital wait lists?

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Diagnostics is not the problem

In my experience, NHS scanning and X Ray scans are completely siloed in that they don't distribute electronic copies of anything: you get a nice printed scan. Even consultants have issues getting electronic copies.

Nothing 'unites teams' like a good relocation, eh Vodafone?

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Being with the bosses has it's advantages

Out of sight, out of mind is a thing. Personally, my experience is that being in the "head" office is good for both your career and job security.

Plus Newbury is a nice place to live. Certainly better than London :-)

Lawyers' secure email network goes down, firm says it'll take 2 weeks to restore

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Re: Down for 2 weeks - WTF?

Provided the Yak's are transiting the mountains, my experience is that they are faster than loaded humans. Plus they cannot live below 3000 metres or so....

Two out of five Silicon Valley techies complain Trump's H-1B crackdown has hit 'em hard

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Re: Can still get into the US if you want to.

Yup, the L1 seems to be the new hotness, and has been for a while. H1B's seem to be reserved for the companies who want people working in Silicon Valley for starvation rates.

Please tell me The Register can actually do reporting rather than ill-informed Trump bashing based on anonymous "surveys"...

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

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Enigmail was usable

Back when I still used Tbird...enigmail worked fine. Not that many people used PGP :-(

US states join watchdog probing CenturyLink's Xmas data center outage that screwed 911 system

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Re: Redundancy

They are almost certainly redundant, but this is no guarantee of failover if the issue isn't a link down. The worst network problems are usually intermittent issues that cause repeated failovers and churn in the routing process

Millennium Buggery: When things that shouldn't be shut down, shut down

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Crap router routing code, Foundry addition

I can still remember the old Foundry (then Brocade, then Dell) course in Bracknell. Never got to finish it due to a dislocated shoulder, but the inability of the router code to take any bloody notice of static or dynamic routing config changes in the labs without a reboot was notorious. Not to worry: it had a "fast reboot mode" which would only take 3 seconds! Well, that was a fix as far as Foundry were concerned :-)

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

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You say that like it's a bad thing :-)

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On the other hand, remember this?


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I feel better about leaving already

I confess I own an Eifel 65 album and quite like some Europop. But this is awful.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

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Re: machine gun?

"old machine guns" fired much the same ammunition as machine guns today, with much the same velocity and kinetic energy. The old WW1 Vickers had a "map predicted" mode where you could fire them up in the air and assume they would strike say 2.5km away, where gravity would ensure they would have the energy to still kill.

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Re: Proof of concept

"SAM-6's" are 6 metres long, weigh 600kg and require a heavy launcher vehicle. I think you mean SA7, SA14, or SA16 :-)

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Re: Environmental Protestors?

Well, not entirely. Frivolous lawsuits are also are a specialty, as is mechanical sabotage.

That being said, this lot appear to be very much avoiding publicity, which is not their MO at all. Whether this is a terrorist or environmental issue, whoever is responsible is of the "lone wolf" type. That is, someone sitting in their parents basement deciding on all this themselves. The way to catch this person or persons will be when they feel the need to boast.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

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Clearly we need a "fighter" drone

Something that fires a net. The services are fine with shooting it out of the sky, but we keep fighter aircraft at partly because although SAM's are effective, they cannot identify and warn.

Dev's telnet tinkering lands him on out-of-hour conference call with CEO, CTO, MD

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Re: About a billion years ago in internet time (call it 1986) ...

Well, strictly cosmic rays are nuclei and electrons, which penetrate quite a bit better than alphas. But although I seem to remember some Google report saying they identified them as a cause of issues over a fleet of millions of computers, I suspect us normals have little to worry about :-)

EMP E1's on the other hand...

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Re: About a billion years ago in internet time (call it 1986) ...

The PhD's didn't know alphas are stopped by a sheet of paper, let alone x number of walls and plastic chip cases?

It's not that unusual: I once had a spirited argument with a Chemistry and Civil engineering PhD students who apparently didn't know what the law of universal gravitation was. It's only after they looked up what G was they believed me...

NASA names the date for the first commercial crew demo flight

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CIMON is going to be "broken" soon. Very soon.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

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Security and but also third party issues

Fax is "secure", but maintaining it requires a phone line. Which is usually plugged into a printer both on the network, and usually in a trusted network, despite people like me getting grumpy about this. That's the security issue; worrying about someone tapping the phone lines is less of an issue. War dialling isn't the thing it was twenty years ago, but it's something people should be aware of, not least because the fax numbers will be well known.

That being said, there's plenty of third parties who will rely on fax to send things like PO's and contracts...

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

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The dyslexic can be worse

A couple of decades ago when on an ISP helldesk, I had the misfortune to be supporting the government decision to give the chronically dyslexic their own PC's, which would apparently magically ease their condition. Now, having had friends at school who used word processors for exams, I understand this can help for some.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, which is why lots of people who really couldn't read anything on a screen called in. You can try to walk people through by describing windows and boxes, but with very limited success...

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

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Re: This is unfortunately a common Silicon Valley trick

On a slightly related matter, I was made redundant while configuring a router for a customer: called into a conference room with HR on the phone. Bonus: I had been told I was safe 2 weeks previously and it was a week before Xmas. I was then escorted out of the building, with my laptop and secureID token still in my possession. Despite this, my escort still refused to allow me to finish the only line of customer config left (passive-interface gix/x in EIGRP) before logging off. Or to wr mem.

EIGRP melted down two days later. I can't say I was upset :-)

Talk in Trump's tweets tells whether tale is true: Code can mostly spot Prez lies from wording

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Why no comparison?

Did the same team run the same analysis on Trump's predecessor? Why not? Surely we need a baseline to compare Trump to?

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Re: nothing truthful about them

The Russians have cut off gas to those that displeased them, several times in fact. As per the construction of Nord Stream 2, there comes a time when your physical infrastructure is so biased towards one supplier that you lack the ability to go elsewhere in a hurry. At which point, you don't need to cut people off to demonstrate your power: just have some "technical problems" that reduce the flow, while asking if your customer would mind doing a few things for you.

How is an LNG tanker a security risk, exactly?

Brits shun country life over phone not-spot fears

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Kildare was worse

It's OK now: I have in laws around that way. But 5 years ago I was asked to look at a family friend's computer using dialup, which connected at 21300 using a 56K modem. I suggested a USB 3G stick, which was rapidly returned once we found it connected at much the same speed!

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FTTC is wonderful

My parent's hovel in darkest Somerset is finally on fiber. They get marginally better speeds than I do in London. But don't tell anyone, obviously :-)

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

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Re: According to the BBC...

Really not going to make the slightest difference. The issue here is how wrong routes get propagated. BGP for v6 is basically the same as v4 here.

Yikes. UK military looking into building 'fully autonomous' killer drone tech – report

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Re: Drone wars, not

There's something similar on the cards already: small missiles :-)


Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

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Yup, this is exactly the BBT plotline :-)


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