* Posts by DaveB

89 posts • joined 2 Apr 2008

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USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

DaveB

Crazy Idea

I was thinking as the US retire their Harriers why don't we crowdfund a UK purchase.

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HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

DaveB

Inkjet printers no longer viable for low volume printing

Over the last few years I have found that the amount I/we print at home has decreased to about 10 pages a month. Some months there is no printing at all.

While due to the low volume I use HP ink, I found that getting the printer to start required many cleaning cycles, which requires ink.

Why you would use the most expensive substance known to man to clean a print head is beyond me but HP do.

The final straw was when the cleaning cycle used 70% of the ink. Printer next stop was the tip.

I replaced it with a Dell multi-function colour laser (Xerox re-badge) and some third party toner. In fact the installation toner lasted 2 years.

Printer prints when required and no cleaning clycles.

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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

DaveB

DVLA killed the golden goose

On the face of it the changes they made should generate more revenue but

"according to the DVLA’s 2015/16 accounts published last month, the department noted an increase in unlicensed traffic of 0.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent of all traffic compared with the previous year."

Well under their old system they got all their revenue up front when you taxed your car. When you sold your car that tax continued. So all the cars in second hand dealership had road tax paid while the car sat in the dealers so they could say "6 months car tax and current MOT"

As a car dealer your now have a car on your forecourt without car tax as it terminated when the dealer bought it in.

New owners also take the view buy the car drive it home tax it later, if you get caught you have a good excuse for driving an untaxed and uninsured vehicle. Stupid new DVLA tax stuff.

Suddenly the old system looks more attractive in terms of revenue than the new one.

LOL

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ISS astronauts begin spacewalk to install new docking adapter

DaveB

Don't drop that wrench

At an ISS briefing two years ago it was said that they had dropped two wrenches, into earth orbit, due to a design faults in the tethers.

Each wrench cost more than $million. In fact when astronauts practice in the "tank" they use plastic wrenches as the real ones don't like water.

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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

DaveB

RIP Demon

To think when I used Demon I was running Windows 3.1 with Trumpet Winsock which had to be loaded as a DOS TSR.

It was also during this time, as my e-mail grew that using an e-mail address tied to my ISP was a bad idea. I created a domain and email service at www.tierra.net so that all my e-mail is hosted in the US in San Francisco, for $7.95 a month paid quarterly. Oh! and I get US customer service.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

DaveB

Re: Counter-measures; OPENVPN+OBFSPROXY

Its much easier than that just "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow"

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DaveB

So 1942

It does sound fun, straight from a world war II SOE story. Where the Germans used detector vans to triangulate the transmissions of enemy radio operators.

I hope the vans have a nice big loop Ariel on the top that can be rotated and the inside equipment is housed in those nice big blue hammerite racks with big dials and large bakerlite knobs.

I sort of regret having a TV license as I will miss the fun of sitting in the forest, watching Strictly on my tablet knowing at any time I could be incarcerated like the members of the French resistance before me.

Luckily the BBC are not modern enough to use drones, now that would be 21st century.

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DaveB

Message from the real world

I think the Telegraph have leaked a new script for W1A, based on Project Fear.

Detector Vans LOL

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Privacy warriors drag GCHQ into Euro human rights court over blanket spying, hacking

DaveB

Strange

So is this the same Chaos Computer Club that trashed VMS systems at Padua University and Digital equipment in 1987 before the word hacker was invented.

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

DaveB

Stock up

I assume that just before the law changes we will be able to buy e-liquid by the gallon

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E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

DaveB

Safety

I love the long discussions of safety of e-liquids, to people like me that have been smoking for 30 years. I gave up completely with e-cigs.

I now consider the fumes from vaping safer than the fumes from my VW golf that I spend two hours a day driving to work.

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ISS to host space truck rally

DaveB

Request fly by

ISS this is ghost rider request flyby........

Negative Maverick the pattern is full....

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

DaveB

BT Director to Marketing

I said I wanted this announced on the 1st April.

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DaveB

Stock levels - let me tell you

A couple of months ago we placed an order for a run of the mill graphics card, nothing fancy just adding another monitor to an office machine.

Before order card in stock. Place order goes into "waiting stock". Web site says in-stock. Call DABS no its not in stock but new stock in a weeks time. Two weeks later, still awaiting stock. Call DABS oh yes we did have stock don't understand why your order wasn't fulfilled.

So it went on 6 weeks later the graphics card arrived and its now in our stock as we upgraded the system with one from Amazon that arrived a day after order.

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Want to boost your payslip? Get DevOps on your business card

DaveB

DevOps so last year

Come on guys DevOps so last year. Get Cyber Defence in your job title

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Big Blue's big iron daddy Gene Amdahl dies aged 92

DaveB

The Swimming pool

I remember visiting the head of Operations at General Accident in the days when we were pushing Mini computers to replace mainframes. After a good pitch as to how good these new mid range machines were the Ops Manager said, "you may be right but we will not be getting rid of the Amhdal " asking why the Ops manager looked into the distance and said "because it heats the swimming pool".

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UK's super-cyber-snoop shopping list: Internet data, bulk spying, covert equipment tapping

DaveB

Re: How is the data stored?

Always knew that old line printer would come in handy. Print it to paper.

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

DaveB

Re: Where do I sign?

From memory the PDP 11/10 and LSI 11 did not have floating point hardware, or multiply. The quick win was to use the Fortran runtime which emulated floating point or alternatively do all the maths with fixed point.

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TalkTalk attack: Lad, 15, cuffed by UK cyber-cops

DaveB

Homework

Probably last week his teacher set him homework on "SQL injection"

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The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

DaveB

Re: CYBER 74

"Cray supercomputers early on featured a population count machine instruction, rumoured to have been specifically requested by the U.S. government National Security Agency for cryptanalysis applications."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamming_weight

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

DaveB

Re: Who wrote the code?

Version 1

enable_emission_control()

Version 2

enable_emssion_control()

if test_mode:

set_testing()

elif performance_mode:

set_performance()

Version 3

if test_mode:

enable_emssion_control()

set_testing()

elif performance_mode:

set_performance()

So the question is not who designed and built the defeat device but who turned it off

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Hello Barbie: Hang on, this Wi-Fi doll records your child's voice?

DaveB

Its a bad old world out there

Lets imagine what happens when your Barbie doll gets joined to a zombie network by some specially crafted malware.

Mummy Mummy why does Barbie keep asking to be switched on when Daddy is doing his online banking?

Barbie wants to know your account number and pin number for a game she is playing.

Its OK Mummy Barbie has ordered her own new dress from Amazon

Mummy what is a Jihad?

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We'll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of 'MILLIONS' of people – Privacy International

DaveB

Ok Back to basics

wound my heart with a monotonous languor

The rabbit drank an aperitif

Mademoiselle strokes her dog’s nose

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UFOs in the '50s skies? CIA admits: 'IT WAS US'

DaveB

Yes but

Talking to a retired U2 pilot some years ago he confirmed that they were often reported as UFOs. He also said that the pilots also saw the odd UFO but they didn't report such events.

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Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

DaveB

60% rise for delivering stuff I don't think so

I have been using prime since it started in the UK and buy more stuff because of it.

I think its good value and would be happy to pay more, but not £80.

I am not interested in LoveFilm poor platform coverage, poor content and not worth the monthly subscription.

So have turned off my automatic renewal of the prime service, hopefully if enough people do this them Amazon will get the message that this is a stupid product bundle.

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UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

DaveB

Re: In the 70's

I think the pop count was missing from the original VAX 11/780 running VAX VMS V1.0, however version 2.0 of VMS came with a new set of CPU boards which included pop count.

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Windows Blue preview to land at end of June

DaveB
FAIL

How different it could have been

I think if Windows 8 had maintained compatibility with the existing Windows 7 desktop, but also offered the "Metro" desktop as an alternative. Nobody would have hesitated to upgrade.

Also I note all this guff about Windows 8 is doing great "look at our sales of Windows 8 licences" is because the only Enterprise license you can buy today is a Windows 8 license. So if your going to deploy 2000 Windows 7 desktops, you need to buy 2000 Windows 8 licenses.

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Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

DaveB
Facepalm

Atlas Virtual memory never catch on

I joined the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) in about 1972, which had moved on from Atlas to Control Data 6400, 6600 and 7600. Most of the people I worked with had worked on Atlas.

I understand that many of the patents from Atlas passed eventually to ICL, who let the Atlas patent laps on Virtual memory, after all with machine memory then getting as big as 32K, why would you need it.

In 1978 the VAX 11/780 with a massive 128K of memory supporting 12 interactive users re-introduced us to Virtual Paged memory, and I suspect never paid a dollar in royalties for Virtual Memory usage.

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UK High Court split over Twitter airport bomb joke

DaveB
Facepalm

There is a time and a place

This reminds me of the Oil worker flying in to Algeria. When asked by airport security if he had a criminal record, he replied "I didn't know it was a requirement".

It took him 6 more hours to gain entry to the country.

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Satnav blunders blamed for £200m damages

DaveB
FAIL

Turn Right!

I was driving down the M4 when some 10 miles from any junction my Garmin announced "Turn Right!", given that option would have required me driving into the crash barrier I ignored it. It then went into a "recalculating" and proceeded to allow me to continue on the motorway.

I think it was board!

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Bah, humbug! Virgin Media censors Charles D**kens

DaveB
Happy

Automated smut filters

I had a problem in trying to book into a London hotel from my US HQ. The confirmation kept being dumped by the smut filter. It was so bad that it went straight in the bin without notifying me that it had been filtered.

This happened when I sent the confirmation from my personal system to the company system. In the end we captured the very dirty message and indeed it was just a hotel booking confirmation. It turned out that the designer of the WEB site had named all the image files used to render the pictures of the hotel TIT001.jpg and by the time the smut filter got to TIT003.jpg it was just too many T*Ts for it to take.

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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

DaveB

Its simple

If you could just go to web site enter your license details, and download a digital certificate allowing you to watch TV the BBC could rid itself of all the geo location stuff as it knows its sending its programmes to a license payer

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Google Linux servers hit with $5m patent infringement verdict

DaveB
FAIL

Knuth

I suggest Google just supply Knuth's "Art of Computer programming" as prior art, or even call him as an expert witness. If they don't know who he is they can always Google him

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O2 tries to explain its new prudish nature

DaveB
Alert

Just wondering

Are you limited to one security check ot can you buy 10 and get £25 back?

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Intel boss searches planet for post-Nokia MeeGo spouse

DaveB
Happy

Just for Fun

I think I will buy the Nokia MeeGo phone when it comes out. Not because I want one but just to screw up Nokia and Microsoft.

It would be fun if this phone turned out to be a market leader

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DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

DaveB
WTF?

VAX - Just how wrong can you be

Interesting that you should consider VAX not Gordon's best work, and lacks elegance. Well as somebody who wrote device drivers for DEC in the first days of the VAX and for 10 years on PDP 11 I for one consider the VAX some of Gordon's best work.

While the PDP had an elegant instruction set you still wrote code for the hardware.

The major step forward on the VAX was that the hardware was designed for the operating system. Take a look at how the Exchange/Jump instructions work and you will find hardware that automatically dumped process context onto the stack or the process header. Suddenly when you called a subroutine/function the interface was through a hardware instruction that put the calling parameters into a frame on the call stack. The hardware was so integrated with the software that when we upgraded from VMS 1.0 to 2.0 we changed all the CPU boards.

Next lets look at Virtual memory, in 1978 we were in an office with 8 users running all the packet network development code, with one 11/780 which had 256K of memory. It was still quicker than we got from our 11/70 running RSX-11M+.

The VAX took DEC from a small computer company to a monolith that didn't know how to spend its money. There are many reasons to show why DEC got it wrong, but VAX/VMS was not one of them.

Though the PDP 11 was my first love after programming a CDC 6600, VAX/VMS was spectacular with an instruction set that made high level languages obsolete. It was only later when we returned to MIPS/INTEL/RISC/ALPHA hardware, that we lost the wonders of the 11/780 instruction set.

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Why you can't move a mainframe with a cloud

DaveB

selling the cloud

Back in the early 90's I was trying to sell the benefits of Microsoft and Unix servers to Legal and General.

The IT manager listened to my pitch and agreed that it was the way to go, but it will never replace the mainframe.

Asking why not he said "Simple the mainframe heats the swimming pool".

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Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills

DaveB

But I thought

Haven't the EU and UK clearly set a legal framework that says that an IP address owner is clearly guilty as everybody knows that an IP address identifies its owner.

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Star Wars set for 3D rehash

DaveB
Happy

The Crew will be happy

I have a friend who was a senior member of the crew on an early Star Wars movie. As I understand that every time they re-release the movie the cast and crew receive the same pay they got for the first movie. This will make a nice retirement bonus.

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Feds crack phone clone scam that cost Sprint $15m

DaveB
FAIL

Its easy

I filled my car up on the M4 in Reading and paid by credit card. I then drove to White Waltham in Maidenhead and flew a private plane to Northern France. When I tried to pay for lunch on the same credit card I was told it was refused.

Later in the day I got a call from the credit card company to say somebody had tried to use my card in Northern France after use in Reading. I said yes it was me. I was told it was impossible for me to have been in Reading at 8:00am and Northern France by 1:00pm so I explained.

I was not unhappy that they refused my card, just used another one, but was very impressed with the fact that they noticed that a transaction was suspect.

So if credit card companies can do it why not Cell phone Networks.

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Apple inks Ping trademark deal with golf gear maker

DaveB
Happy

HPUG

The HP VMS mag has been known as PING for many years. Now delivered on-line rather than "dead tree format" by logging into the members E-PING account.

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Apple coughs to iPhone 3G IOS 4 upgrade problems

DaveB
Happy

Errrr Hello

My 3G is working fine, probably due to the fact that I haven't updated it to 4.xx.

I might when the IOS gets to about 4.3.

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Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

DaveB

Swindon still likes its mobile speed traps

Last year the speed limit on our local road was dropped from 40mph to 30mph despite there having been no accidents on this stretch of road recorded.

The reason was to protect children walking to school, thats fair, but they changed the limit about three months before knocking down the school.

Now, because of the hill into town every week we see a mobile speed camera setup on a motorbike which is part of the Swindon camera partnership.

In fact these guys appear to be getting very good at finding target rich environments for speeding motorists.

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BBC news apps squeeze onto iPhone, iPad

DaveB
Thumb Up

Good News

As the BBC WEB design team(sic) have broken the news site its good news that we now get the content on iPhone.

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Airline ejects passenger for being hungry

DaveB
Unhappy

Bad Answer

This reminds me of the guy asked by Algerian border guards if he had a criminal record.

His response of "I didn't know it was a requirement" ensured that it took the guards 6 hours to process him into the country.

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James Bond's autogyro revived by Brit spec-ops pilots

DaveB
FAIL

errrrm

There are lots of these flying, they fall into the microlight category we have one at our local club

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Apple reckons light shines between iPhone customers' ears

DaveB
Happy

Look its simple

I think this problem is confined to Apple users and all they have to do is put their finger in the other ear to stop the light getting through.

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BBC Online to be scaled back, budget cut by a quarter

DaveB
Stop

news.bbc.co.uk international edition

I fail to understand why when your outside the UK (or inside on a none UK network) you are delivered an International(USA) version of the BBC news website.

Why can't the BBC news site just be one version, the UK one.

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BBC chief acknowledges DAB flop & internet radio

DaveB

Internet Radio

I listen to Internet radio via my Logetech Squeezbox, specifically 6 music. In fact I see no reason why all radio cannot be delivered in this way.

Add to that that using the internet its possible to go beyond stereo to 5.1 surround sound.

I think the reason that the BBC hasn't moved to real sound broadcast on the internet is because it would kill DAB stone dead.

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BCS votes to keep spending secret

DaveB
Pirate

This is not going to end well

The way that this is going is not good for the BCS or its members.

I can imagine in future going to an interview and being asked "Are you or have you ever been a member of the BCS", in the style of the McCarthy communist hearings in the US.

Maybe it would be better to make it a secret society.

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