* Posts by Stevie

6526 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

'Occult' text from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ep actually just story about new bus lane in Dublin

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Re: a suitable enough clusterfuck of vowels

If you take out most of the vowels you just end up with Polish, don't you?

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Re: Bah!

You can certainly kill people with the proper use of mistletoe.

You say "Hey! Look at that mistletoe!" and when they take their eyes off you you shoot them.

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Re: Buffy Bouncing

I preferred watching the Borgette 2 of 36D running around the corridors of USS Voyager.

Indeed, it was the only thing that made the show watchable for me.

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This just in: turns out vampires, demons and angels etc not real either. Just actors.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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We have road atlasses

But ya don't have the Ordinance Survey.

You can get maps almost, I say almost as good, but you have to special order them.

Every contract I worked I bought an OS map of the area, even in the outskirts of London where the full beauty of the form cannot be properly realized, from a local WH Smiths or equivalent.

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Re: Garmin does the same thing.

Not according to recent practical experiment, it don't.

Long Island, Belt Parkway, Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Staten Island Expressway, Goethal's Bridge, I95 South to Sunny Florida, Land of Giant Anthropomorphic Mice. No suggestion that this journey would be improved by a trip into scenic lower Manhattan for an hour at the hands of the NY Traffic Cops (who at rush hour have the job of madly waving you away from the signposted routes to the way out of Manhattan so you can fully savor the chaos).

Return trip unblighted by cries of Garmin GPS desperate to go on sightseeing tour of TriBeCa and SoHo at night.

So: Shenanigans.

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Re: Piloting still needs a list of waypoints

We used to call those waypoints "road signs" when I used to drive all over the UK in search of work and drink.

If you need an address that works always, you need (in the UK) an OS Map and the grid reference of where you are going. Or you could use Lat. and Long. and use a compass, sextant and chronometer (at which point I reckon the GPS is actually the better deal given the cost of a serviceable sextant and the cloud cover this time of year).

For most car-accessible places you don't need such things. You takes your compass and do the longest bits by poor-man's dead reckoning (I'll drive south-west until I see something I know is near where I need to be) then pilot using terrain features pulled off the map until you are there.

If you need an internet metaphor to do the job, no problem, it's your head you are working with.

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Re: Malta driving

"Or you can alternatively use Waze, edited and maintained by the users....It's got me around New Zealand, 20 states of America and Malta, all at no extra cost for maps."

Not bad, though the Ordinance Survey can show you a quicker route from Manchester to Sheffield.

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Re: The worst my Garmin has ever done

I had that happen just last week. I was heading up 192 in Kissimmee Fl trying to get to Coliseum of Comics. I was about a quater mile from having to make the U-Turn and pull into the car park when the until-then Trusty Garmin ordered us to make a left now. Intrigued, we did.

At one point on the single track road we saw a sign "Road Narrows".

"Where do you keep this GPS?" I asked, after we had finished laughing hysterically.

My wife said "Next to the old TomTom".

"Well there you go! The bloody TomTom has infected the Garmin with Stupid Route Syndrome!" I yelled.

We navigated the chicane with one wheel in each roadside ditch, and drove slowly past what looked like a Buddhist commune c/w outbuildings gilded to eyewatering levels. As more statuary and architecture became apparent we became less sure of the Buddhist attribution and entertained the possibililty of vile cultists a-la HP Lovecraft.

Eventually we reached the place we wanted to be after a needless diversion through banjo-player country, swamps and non-euclidean architecture. The route had, I estimated, cost us at least ten minutes.

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Re: New cars too

The patch is actually a rectangle of denim designed to be taped over the GPS screen.

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Re: key is in the ignition

Tee Hee. The latest iteration of the Steviemobile has a keyless ignition system. I am halfway to being unprosecutable in Victoria!

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Re: Can't use smartphone GPS in Australia

<mode=Clouseau> Yes, yes, very sensible, the burning phone scenario, yes.

Er ... is it possible that the recent spate of the forest fires was causéd by drivers hurling their blazing Australian cell phones from their vehicles?

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Re: Less bits

That's *fewer* bits.

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Re: I use a map.

Using known points of reference to trace a longer route is called "piloting", and is one of the two forms of navigation used since navigation was invented (the other one is called "dead reckoning" and is how ships discovered new places by crashing into them before the advent of the chronometer and an established meridian baseline against which to calibrate it).

It has been around for centuries, and you've been doing it since you could walk. Neat, eh?

No routers needed.

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TomTom has idiots working for their route algorithm. Both of ours used to insist on entering Manhattan when going past it.

Once I set waypoints across the Goethals Bridge, Staten Island and the Verrezano Narrows Bridge in order for us to travel from New Jersey to Long Island, NY. The bloody TomTom started yelling about making a left turn, but I told my wife to ignore it. Then I grabbed the device and zoomed the map out so I could see the route, and, yes, it wanted us to go across the bridge, back into NJ, then take the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan, turn right around and take the same tunnel out of Manhattan and the same bridge back onto Staten Island before resuming the route I had planned.

Several times it tried to get us to drive into Washington DC while I was driving around it on I295. Once I was tired enough to let it persuade me and it took me into a road blocked off with concrete blocks and chainlink fence. It looked like Beirut after a particularly successful urban uprising.

There was also that beyond stupid "Keep left ... then ... turn right" thing on multi-lane highways in rush hour.

I switched to Garmin after my wife did when TomTom announced it would no longer support map updates on our models and urged us to buy a new device.

Last week I got a survey from TomTom asking what they could do to improve.

I gave them a point-by-point list, starting with "break the fingers of whoever came up with the route planner".

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e were actually driving through what had been the old Peugeot factory

Sounds like you were actually driving through my alma tomata Frederick Birds Infants School.

Fond memories. Not.

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Bah! (2 the baby engineer)

You can't have been much cop if you couldn't glance at a map of the Coventry ring road area (like the A-Z) and simply count off the roundabouts as you drove until you got to the one you needed.

And the only way to get off the ring road and end up back on it again on Gulson Road, Fosehill Road, Radford Road or the road that went past the Memorial Park whose name I forget (it's been 30 years since I was there) is if you stupidly made a u-turn or several consecutive right or consecutive left turns.

Bah and double bah on whiny people with no sense of direction.

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But ... all those Smug Young Things couldn't make that sort of mistake after so many years taking the piss out of Cobol, surely?

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

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Famously, it was the introduction of railway timetables that forced standardisation of the meridian at Greenwich on us;

Really? I'd always thought it was because we needed a way to stop ships crashing into places because they didn't know where the hell they were, and that we'd had the meridian long before we learned how to weld a boiler.

Learn summat every day.

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Re: I'll Bite.... Yes, I know he was trolling

I was once asked if I had any interesting/humorous suggestions for the title of a chapter on Euclid in a math primer a friend was writing.

I suggested "Here's looking at Euclid."

He went with that after shouting at me that he'd been working on a pun title for over two days and come up mostly dry.

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Re: Using a sundial at night

Nonononono! NO!

It's night. The sun is on the other side of the earth. You must hold the phone under the sundial to mimic the sun.

Azathoth's nebular nodes. They'll be voting next and there goes civilization as we know it.

Here come the riled MPs (it's private, huh), Facebook's a digital 'gangster' ('disingen-u-ous'). Zuckerberg he is a failure (on sharing data)

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I just assumed someone had dragged the needle over the godsawful rap and cued up Land of a Thousand Dances.

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

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Re: A Long Time Ago In A Electronics Factory

I once worked for an agency where one of the staff put it about that I wandered across the Mexican/US border sans passport and cost the agency a fortune in flights from Mexico to London to NY once the passport had been retrieved and sent back.

Protests that I had never been south of Florida or west of Texas fell on deaf ears. Someone in our department did pull that stupid stunt, but it was the office "pretty boy" and the agency staffer had a non-gay man-crush on him.

Same bloke got me a roasting from our mutual boss over a balls-up that happened in New York while I was on a two week vacation in the UK. I waited until the rant was over before pointing out the geographical situation, which in those days pre-interwebs'n'cell phones only left The Boss looking at the pretty one and himself in the frame (and let's face it, it wasn't going to be him).

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

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Re: Leetspeak can be your friend.

What would be wrong with 'correcthor5ebatterYstapl3"?

Two years later:

Attempted & rejected password attempts:






(all the versions with inadvertent typos redacted for brevity)

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Re: scott

AC because who wants to admit to working with Oracle in these pages?

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Re: The Usual Response...

" it needs to be secure, and you need to be able to remember it."

And the one they always miss: You have to be able to type it reliably without visual cues.

Let's face it; everyone who has a short password likely started out with a longer one but all the retyping got old fast.

Blockchain is bullsh!t, prove me wrong meets 'chain gang fans at tech confab

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"I'd like Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain,SAP and Blockchain."

"SAP's off"

"Well can I have Blockchain instead of SAP?"

"You mean Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain,Blockchain and Blockchain?"



Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

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You only just heard of spear phishing?

Don't you read The Register?

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

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Re: Bah!

Attention downvoters! Any time the zoologic geneticists use the term "Living Fossil" it means they haven't the faintest idea where to stick the animal in question in the big branchy diagram of life.

And they use that term for both Giant Pandas *and* Red Pandaraccoons.

It is the genetic equivalent of throwing up one's hands and just hard-coding "true".

With respect to the Giant Panda, the classification of "bear" is actually one of "common ancestor with bears if we look back to the days of sloths the size of schoolbuses" and horses the size of greyhounds.

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a) Pandas not = bears except by stupid genetic "theory" rejected by awoke scientists

2) Rub the kid with bamboo juice first next time you toss one in the enclosure.

Roses are red, so is ketchup, 'naked' Huawei tells its critics to belt up

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Roses are red

Hearts sometimes ripped

Naked Huawei tells critics

To keep their traps zipped.




Head of Apple's insider trading program charged with… you guessed it... insider trading

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Re: Why would you do this?

Yes, but what is cost when measured against user experience?

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

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Re: Gerber Legend

Though I have to say, the Leatherman Wave (new iteration) and a set of skinny bits to fit the bit holder are more thunderingly useful than the Gerber tool, or any tool with a dedicated driver. The Allen Keys work spectacularly well, as does the Philips - the most positive and easy-to-use folding Philips driver I've ever had in my hands. Even the Torx bits work above expectations.

The only downsides to the Wave are the propensity to gift the user with a really good blood blister if the pliers slip when really giving whatever-it-is a damn good squeezing, the way the cutter jaws can bind up while cutting soft and thinner wire (a problem with all folding pliers because none of the ones I've seen lock in the "pliers deployed" configuration) and the scissors are not great for cutting lightweight paper.

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Re: What, no ferret,

That's what the tape measure is for.

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Re: They call themselves Aviators

Because in the Navy a pilot does a different job involving steering the ships.

Lest you think this is daft sailor nomenclature nonsense, talk about stalling the engine in a small aircraft in front of an aircraft pilot and get lectured - endlessly - on the proper use of "stall" when it comes to aeroplanes.

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Re: don't have any wheels

Then come landing time they'll be needing International Rescue with their three big aeroplane landing gear trucks, or possibly, 1/24th scale leccy R/C models of same.

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Re: Pah, I weigh 101.6kg

Real SAs would have both. The Gerber is in the lower right leg pocket of the cargo pants with the miniature butane soldering iron and solder tape.

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Re: Police drama

Yes indeed. And why oh why don't newagents and bodega owners fit these instead of the older model only good for footage of the Loch Ness Monster?

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Re: Just because you're paranoid...

No, you're good because as someone here assured me, you *can* shoot down drones using a Karcher pressure washer.

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Would be more awesome if it had a Cox .010 TD with brushless motor (doubles as starter/genny ) for APU.

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Re: Pah, I weigh 101.6kg

Is that with or without the belt-mounted Leatherman tools, bits for the Leatherman tools, Wenger Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, Stanly Multi-Tool, Work Cellphone, Private Cellphone, Apple Newton (for street cred), Spring-Loaded Tape Measure (for snaking network cable), Mini-Maglite, and carabiner loaded with a ridiculously silly number of sharp car paint scratchers and upholstery rippers?

Or aren't you a *real* SA?

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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I wonder how this integrates with proposed legislation in my state making it illegal for companies to require employees to monitor email outside office hours?

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

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former or current employee

My guess: DFE (Disgruntled Former Emloyee).

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

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So it's Bognor Regis again next year, I s'poze.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

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Re: personal hygiene shortcomings

Gah. At that same place we had a bloke who had a body odour problem of a scale necessitating a window that was *not* painted, nailed or welded shut in any room in which meetings including him were held. Yes, even in winter.

When the aforementioned network guy with the hammer and cold chisel called a meeting in the factory one time in late August, I discovered that George Smelly was going to be attending and that the room was a converted store-room sans windows or ventilation as we walked into the factory proper.

I expressed my dismay rather sharply and mouth-breathed for about an hour of entirely too close seating, which made my contributions rather nasal - I explained this as hay fever. Mr Brickbolster turned to me as we walked back to the office and quietly said "I see what you mean". No more meetings were deemed necessary, so a partial win I suppose.

George Smelly was, coincidentally, at the other end of the phone during that Bob Newheart-esque call I got every three weeks that I have mentioned before (possibly more than once; trawl through on-call or mi' comments to find) where the answer was always "switch your terminal on".

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Re: Brilliant

I am a lineman for the county

And I drive the main road

Searching in my Lycra for another overload.




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Re: they call them fins

I believe "people of Finnish descent" is more proper and acceptable in general conversation these days.

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Re: "I'd wear a boiler suit or ex-RAF surplus jumpsuit if I could"

So where does this idea fit in with wearing clothing that makes sliding around under desks easier? Said carabiner will snag on anything it can and eventually end up either preventing you from escaping something sudden and unpleasant and/or dangerous or ripping off your belt loop as you depart the theater of action at toot vitesse (optionally screaming and/or swearing).

As you walk past people's cars your keys will also leave magnificent marks that I'm sure will make you the toast of the workplace.

Stevie Silver badge

Re: "I'd wear a boiler suit or ex-RAF surplus jumpsuit if I could"


Important safety and comfort tip. Have an e-beer.

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