* Posts by eldel

69 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps


One thing to be amazed at

So much narcissistic delusion in so small a mind. It's amazing it all fits.

US govt can talk about the end of lockdown, but Silicon Valley says 'as long as it takes' – and Twitter says 'WFH forever'


Re: Negatives?

Rather depends on one's perspective. From the point of view of the worker bee it's an unmitigated positive. From the point of view of the clueless fuckwit who now has to measure output, and hence understand what's supposed to happen it's a total disaster. YMMV :-)

Reg readers have not one, but TWO teams in Folding@home top 1,000 as virus-bothering network hits 2.4 exa-FLOPS


Yeah - due to having a lot of cores running when the work was predominantly aimed at CPUs I got up to the lower 10,000s at one point after quite a few years of working. Nowadays a single GPU will outstrip the lot of them. No matter - it all helps.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer


Re: The obvious get-out phrase...

My usual response is "I work in QA, I break shit, you haven't left me much to do".

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport


Re: You gotta shoot...

Ahh Budweiser - a testament to the urinary function of cats everywhere.

Believe it or not - they have a "beer garden" in the chemical plant that spews it out. I often wonder where they get the beer from.

Problems at Oracle's DynDNS: Domain registration customers transferred at short notice, nameserver records changed


Re: Yet another reason Oracle sucks.

I managed MySQL and Java - but getting rid of VirtualBox is proving somewhat more problematic. Convenient (and I stress that word) way of running ad-hoc VMs on Linux isn't something I found when I last looked. KVM sucks and I'm not about to implement an openstack setup.

What else?

[EDIT] Getting off my sorry ass and checking - it appears that VMWare Workstation now allows Linux as a host - I'll try that out. Of course - this is predicated on VMWare being any better to deal with than Oracle - which isn't something I'd put real money on.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you


Re: Consumer hardware

Ah - 'happy' memories of dropping the boot stack for a 1904S and having to reorder the cards by hand. I think they call those 'learning experiences'.

Newly born Firefox 71 emerges from its den – with its own VPN and some privacy tricks


Re: Few legitimate uses of VPN?

Indeed. For those of us who live in the United States of Monopolies and are saddled with Comcast as an ISP a VPN is pretty much mandatory.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


Potato Clock alternatives

Sometimes the El Reg timings are eerily aligned with my reality. One of my home office potato clocks died this morning and I feel disinclined to purchase another. Any advice from the commentariat regarding a suitable alternative?

It's back: The mercifully normal-looking Moto 360 smartwatch


Re: 1 day battery?

My beloved kickstarter Pebble died earlier this year. I replaced it with a Garmin Vivoactive 3 (courtesy of Amazon 50% off). It doesn't look *too* much like a wannabe fitness tracker and I get a solid 6-7 days on the battery. Took a while to sort out notifications like I wanted (the app s/w is nowhere near as good as the pebble) but it's a suitable replacement.

TalkTalk bollocked after fibre marketing emails found to be full of sh!t


In light of this (and totally off the topic of TT and broadband) has anyone else noticed that the quality of the Amazon Basics stuff seems to have gone up of late. I use them for essentially disposable or short lifespan items, like usb cables, but the last few things I've had from them seem to be of somewhat higher quality. Certainly better than I would expect at the price point given the competition.

I wonder if this is a new strategy or just an anomaly on the race to the bottom?

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


Re: Doing this in parts of the US too

In my area (nestled up against the Rockies) they fitted 'smart' water meters - which have a SIM card. I pointed out to them that there's no effective coverage right there - but that wasn't deemed important. Cue the exasperated email "asking" if I'd tampered with it. Then the visit. Then another visit. Followed by monthly visits to read the meter. Wuckfits.

Gagarin's Start now Soyuz-FG's End as shutters pulled on historic launchpad


Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

They do - because the think the Russians are too liberal. Which rather bends the imagination.

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament


Re: Regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

Her Maj is a constitutional monarch you dimwit. Which means she is subject to the rule of law.

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law


Re: Surely...

4 (ish) decades ago whilst doing my apprenticeship I was on placement to the factory fitters. Was called out to remove the remains of an arm from a very large (i.e. multi-ton force) press. There was a fold-down guard on the front which enabled the machine. Genius operator on piece work figured that a bit of wire and 2 croc clips would by-pass the cutout, so he could just keep the foot pedal depressed and time the ram. Worked until he got his sleeve caught.

Chrome on, baby, don't fear The Reaper: Plugin sends CPU-hogging browser processes to hell where they belong


Re: Firefox next ?

I would make a shout-out for pi-hole at this point. Latest versions of FF and Chrome on Mint - since I spooled up pi-hole at the weekend it's been blocking 60% of requests (and this is with umatrix running) and the footprints in both instances have not increased. At least not appreciably - whereas in 72 hours I would expect to see it. Might be worth a look.

I don't know but it's been said, Amphenol plugs are made with lead


Re: So why did it have a dead power supply?

Well, theoretically you can - but the relevant hunting licence is almost impossible to get nowadays,


Re: "The router went dark"

Oh I had one of those. Back in the late 80s - was demonstrating the new Telegram Retransmission Switch to BTI to get their sign-off. Was based on a Sequoia fault-tolerant unix box. We had the test traffic running as we were casually pulling out circuit boards and disks - all that happened was that it slowed down. We were just getting to the end of the demo when Paddy and his JCB took out power to the whole building - and the demo system wasn't on the UPS.

Underwear changes all round. Fortunately the BTI guys hung around for long enough for the power to be restored. At which point the whole thing just carried on where it left off. The force of exhaled breath probably started a major meteorological perturbation..

The seven deadly sins of the 2010s: No, not pride, sloth, etc. The seven UI 'dark patterns' that trick you into buying stuff


A great way to get my repeat business is to be honest. Example - a bullet supplier (that's the lead bits that come out of the dangerous end - not the whole cartridge) - web site shows no stock (this is a few years ago when the "OMG the dems are in power" stupidity was going on).

Phone up -

"can I have some"

"there's a reason we're showing no stock"

"yeah - I know - but I'm out"

"Hmmm - how many do you need"

"Couple of thousand - normal order"

"No - how many do you NEED - not want"

<thinks> "150?"

"OK - we can do that - be with you this week"

They've been getting my regular business ever since.

Oblivious 'influencers' work on 3.6-roentgen tans in Chernobyl after realising TV show based on real nuclear TITSUP


Re: Can someone explain...

Just looked it up. Then went and looked at a bunch of his other videos. Absolutely arse kicking stuff. Highly recommended.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'


Re: Dumb solicitor vs legal secretary

Don't get me started on solicitors and probate. When my mother died a couple of years ago the 'family solicitor' started rubbing his hands at the thought of probate. After all, it's clearly impossible for me (living in the US) to deal with a UK probate myself. In fact would I like to fly back (3 times IIRC) to sign papers or should they retain representation in the US for the purpose (which would cost more than the freaking flights).

A quick call to the probate office in Leeds and the nice lady there said "no problem - just download the docs, fill them in, add supporting docs, have your signature notarized and send them to us." She even apologized for me having to send them physically.

I took a certain amount of pleasure responding to the solicitor's email (probably sent by his secretary as it was grammatically correct) when he reminded me some months later that the matter needed attention.

BOFH: It's not just an awesome app, it'll look great on my Insta. . a. a. AAAARRRRRGGH


Re: We have Bosses like this

My attitude to this as a test engineer (and I used this not 4 hours ago) "excellent notion, here's your jumpstation address and credentials. Please forward the list of bugs you find to me"

Actually had a manager dumb enough to take me up on it. Once.

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


Re: Why the urge to dumb everything down?

The phrase I always used when training race crews (back in the dark ages when I had slightly more utility than self-moving ballast) was "step up into the lifeboat". Bye and large the best place to be in *In The Damn Boat*. /rant

Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh


Re: Works both ways

Nope. Had two of them. Was very sad at both funerals (having stayed close to the offspring of the first one). I suggest that if the (natural) female parent of a prospective partner is a total nightmare then that should be considered a red flag. Genetics.

Hello, tech support? Yes, I've run out of desk... Yes, DESK... space


Re: Set up Guide?

No no no no no. The manual is an essential item for any new piece of equipment. How else do you know why the magic smoke is coming out of *that* hole as opposed to the other, redundant, ones.

What do WLinux and Benedict Cumberbatch have in common? They're both fond of Pengwin


Re: I've asked this before, and I'll ask it again ...

You have a point. Maybe it's just that I'm familiar with the Debian (and derivatives - all my home machines run Mint) 'style' and that makes it easier. The presence of 'apt' makes getting extra functionality simpler. That's about the only concrete advantage that comes to mind. As I said above it's just my choice - not a definitive statement of superiority.


Re: I've asked this before, and I'll ask it again ...

I have a number of dedicated Linux VMs at my disposal for dev work. My corporate laptop is windows. I choose to have Unix utilities on there because it makes my life easier. Cygwin in times past. Now Ubuntu. My choice. I'm sorry that it seems to offend you.


Re: I've asked this before, and I'll ask it again ...

People who (like myself) are stuck with a corporate windows box and want something better than Cygwin. A small minority probably but a thankful one. Cygwin is getting awfully old in the tooth.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers


Re: Annoying pedantry - Try aviation, anything aeroplane is expensive.

The most expensive fluid in the world. The ink in the A&P's (airframe and prop) pen. Get him to sign anything is a grand.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit


They spent how much?

So - not being a user of farcebook - how the hell do you run up a 6 grand bill in a few months?

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers


Re: Corporate Parasitism

I have fond memory of a previous employment where I was in a technical meeting regarding the new "wonder project". The topic of conversation got around to lead engineer/architect and we informed the attending bigwig that we had identified the ideal person and had informed HR to make the job offer. At which point the HR drone that was present informed the bigwig that due to HR rule they wouldn't be making the offer. The response was beautiful. The bigwig, an ex naval aviator with the classic steely glare, simply looked at the HR waste of space and said (and I'm paraphrasing a little - it was quite a long time ago). "I am the President of this division. You work for me, not the other way around. That offer will be emailed within the hour or your replacement will be sending it".

We got the guy. Was worth it too.

If at first, second, third... fourth time you don't succeed, you're Apple: Another appeal lost in $440m net patent war


Re: Not sure how I feel about this

I believe the standard phrase is "a pox on both their houses"

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231


Re: (for US readers)

I suspect the USAF are about the only source of genetic diversity there in the last 500 years. Which probably means something.

You're burning £1.2bn for what? UK spending watchdog gives digital court plans a kicking


Re: I took the advice of a duty solictor before a court case

Some decades ago, when I was still resident in the sceptered isle my mechanic friend was clocked doing #stupid mph when 'road testing' my car. His copy of the copper's roadside paperwork clearly showed his name and details. Yet the ensuing court case was aimed at me. Nothing I could say would alter the "that's the police report so it's you" response from the system.

Until I paid a good lawyer who just laughed and surmised that the idiot in a uniform had lost his copy but still had the number plate info from the stop check enquiry. So they put my name down (the registered owner) and thought job done. One letter later (only 50 quid because it was a standard letter) and the charges were dropped - well, redirected.

So lawyers may be blood sucking parasites bit sometimes even leeches have their uses.

LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears


LG? Never again

The fact that the G4 is praised makes me discount the rest of the article. I have one. Biggest purchase mistake I ever made (given the cost). Crappy battery life and a network stack that was written by an intern after a heavy might out. Totally incapable of maintaining bluetooth connection when moving between cells. Sometimes requiring you to re-pair with the phone (for reference the car and the headphones work just fine with every other phone in the household).

In 3 years I had 3 security updates. I've had that many from Motorola already for my G5s in 9 months.

I would ding it on call performance but given that we're on Verizon that would be unfair on the phone. The only thing worse than Verizon is the GSM coverage around here. Still, the Moto is better. If you listen very hard.

My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?


Re: Offline

That's not just Western Colorado - anywhere between the Cal central valley and the Mississippi once you're 5 miles out of town and more than a couple of miles from the interstate or other major road you're pretty much hosed. Even then it can be iffy. I76 north out of Denver is a phone dead zone for freaking miles.

Happy 100th birthday to the Royal Air Force


For a historical perspective

May I suggest "Britain's Wonderful Air Force". Published 1942. Given to me when I were but a lad in the late 50s. As you might understand it's not exactly a 'balanced' narrative but it makes clear just how influential they were.

Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...


Re: There are holes

Or, as the revered Milligan put it ...

There's holes in the sky

Where the rain gets in

But they're very small

That's why rain is thin

WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas


Re: It's not Christmas without a game of...

Mine a million. Ye gods, that takes me back a few decades. Just tossed the old battered box from my mum's loft last year. Now you've got me looking for a new copy :-)

The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?



<quote>Corporations view such systems very differently – as a vital route to bring in the best people</quote>

Errm - no. Really really no. To bring in cheap indentured labor. That's the vital part of it. Often as a transition to moving the whole thing overseas and thus avoiding all those picky data security regulations that just cut into the bottom line.

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back


Re: Yellow 'sunglasses'

As a competition shooter I can readily confirm that in poor light (or indoors) yellow tints on glasses are a good thing. Especially when shooting iron sights (as opposed to optical).

In the Arizona sunshine however, because you forgot your normal ones which were now 1000 miles away, they generate a headache of quite spectacular intensity. Apparently the latest thing for such conditions is a pale reddish tint (I hesitate to call it pink - but it looks rather like that). Maybe I'll try that.

Android gets larger-than-usual patch bundle as researchers get to work


Re: Hooray!

Whilst I rarely have anything positive to say about LG (mainly because of the bizarre swapping behaviour that android seems to have on this platform as opposed to the S6s in the household) they are at least pretty good about patch OTA updates. I got the March update on the 21st and Android 6 before that. Not exactly Nexus levels obviously - but waaaay better than Samsung.

Bitcoiners are just like everybody else: They use rubbish passwords


So - what constitues a suitably strong password

If they can run 10e9 password checks for $60 - what sort of complexity is 'suitable'? For normal use. I'm not talking about withstanding a year of continuous attack on something that isn't rate limited or anything of that nature but let's assume a non-2FA web site (i.e. not your bank).

Yeah - I know that's a 'how long is this piece of string' question - but I really have no idea what sort of size/complexity we're dealing with nowadays.

Now if you'll excuse me there's some youngsters I have to chase off my lawn.

We applied to Google's €150m journalism fund – here's what we sent in



>Stories exposing alleged wrongdoing at Google are unlikely to draw huge online audiences.

>Advertisements placed on the same page as the stories would bring in significant income

If they are unlikely to draw huge audiences where does the income come from. Jeez - you're asking for a 6 digit handout and you can't be bothered to proof read. Welcome to modern journalism.

America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?


Re: Amex transfers

Yup - did just that (quite fortuitously) 14 years ago when we first moved out here. That plus the credit union which still had my employers name in it made the credit score a comparative non-issue. It took me quite a while to realise just how lucky I'd been. Talking to other newish arrivals and hearing horror stories of not even being able to rent somewhere to live because there was no credit record.

In fact the biggest issue I had was persuading one of the phone providers to give me a phone which was capable of international calls. Now *that* was hard.

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH



Indeed - I will disinter mine for a very rare outing today. A reminder of a beloved old friend that is no longer with us.

Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays


Interestingly enough, and this may qualify as a social commentary, Wal-Mart automated check outs have a major hissy fit with alcohol, requiring all sorts of authentication (and I haven't looked under 21 for a number of decades) but ammunition goes straight through with no issues.

You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?


Once learned - never forgotton

After 17 years as a contractor (and now 13 years 'on the dark side') I was recently invited to mentor some junior engineers. The mid-level manager type nearly had a fit when I proposed the following exhortation "It's a commercial transaction, they rent your life for 40 hours a week, if they decide to waste that time that's their privilege and they will exercise it. Take every opportunity to plausibly add buzzwords to your resume because you will inevitably be deemed expendable when a PHB fouls up a project and you will be out with the trash because the bean counter's spreadsheet is more important than you"

Apparently I also lack respect for the company. No shit sherlock - I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't told me. Now STFU and pay me.

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'


Ah yes - the Johnson manned space center (as was). First went there about 20 years ago - fascinating stuff, guided by people who were space geeks. Now that I live just up the road (well, in Texas terms - about 200 miles) it's an easy day trip - and no longer worth the effort. Some of the 'specials' they put on are OK but in general it's set up for the touring family with young kids and no real interest in the space program outside crappy CGI movies. The 'more interesting' (read older) parts are almost deserted. I suspect because they aren't interactive enough.

Much the same has happened to the Kennedy facility. There is a saving grace there though. Pay for the Canaveral rocket site tour. That's the old army rocket/missile sites. Again (well, as of a couple of years ago) that is still guided by people who worked there when they were preparing things like nuclear anti-aircraft missiles designed to take out the Russian bomber fleets in mid-atlantic. You get to see the bunker which was the control station for the original Redstone manned flights. And find out why it was only 250 ft from the launch pad. Wonderful stuff - highly recommended for your El-Reg reader.



Re: bacon

More to the point - you can even get 'proper' bacon in Austin - unlike the streaky mass produced crap that seems to be endemic elsewhere in the colonies.

Hmm, now I'm salivating, OK - I know where I'm going for breakfast on Saturday.



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