* Posts by Anonymous Custard

1764 posts • joined 25 Jul 2008

All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Reassurance?

The 42-year-old 727 is "built like a tank"

Very reassuring words, at least until you stop and think quite how well the average tank flies...

21
0

UK.gov puts Suffolk 7-year-old's submarine design into production

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Or if you're of a slightly practical nature and want something to make with the kids, there's always the classic cartesian diver project.

Just needs a soda bottle, a pen lid and a bit of blu-tac or plasticine.

0
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

OK, we'll standby for action then...

11
0

Self-driving cars still do not exist even if we think they do

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Rock n Roll

Michigan?

5
0

With WPA3, Wi-Fi will be secure this time, really, wireless bods promise

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Pirate

It's standard for some hotel chains and conference venues. They de-auth personal hotspots and the like to force you into their expensive, slow and insecure WiFi where they can also keep an eye on you and "tailor things" like served ads and services to your needs.

The quicker we can get rid of such actions the better.

42
0

The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

OnCall is like chocolate - very enjoyable but having had so much of it in the last week or three it's nice to have a little rest to let the enjoyment muscles recuperate.

6
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Meeeeee tooooooo.....

... lump hammer, cattle prod, large and weighty screwdriver, disc shredder, angle grinder, big spiked stick.

The opportunities for “TALATOBIG” club merchandise are endless

12
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Mushroom

Windows 10 can certainly smell urgency and desperation.

Whenever I need to leave the office in a hurry for an appointment or just to pick up the kids, that's always the time when it decides it must install an update that it downloaded especially in the background without telling me.

And then to top it off it even says "do not turn off your pc" on the screen whilst sitting there whirring away but otherwise seemingly doing nothing with the percentage counter sat stationary.

Unfortunately that one also does not seem to respond well to percussive maintenance, the other failsafe backup tool of the tech repairing overlord.

13
0

Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Joke

Re: My strategy

So you're risking a BSOD too?

6
0

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Fighting talk...

their beloved national soft drink Irn-Bru

Irn-Bru a soft drink? That's fighting talk right there...

18
0

Beyond code PEBCAK lies KMACYOYO, PENCIL and PAFO

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Other more subtle ones are mouse/keyboard driver issue (ie the person using them).

Also for some of our web forum support requests without any information or logs - CBR (crystal ball required).

5
0

Meet R2-DILDO: 'Star Wars' sex toys? This is where the fun begins

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge

Re: Calls in to question all sorts of quotes from the films, doesn't it?

Plenty more to choose from:

"...don't get cocky!"

"Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"

"Aren't you a little short for a Storm Trooper?"

"Put that thing away before you get us all killed."

"Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?"

" I can see the tower, but I can't see the exhaust port"

"You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home!"

"Possible he came in through the south entrance."

"Hurry up, golden-rod..."

"I must've hit it pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh, kid?"

"I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me."

"Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?"

"Rise, my friend."

"Open the back door!"

"Hey, point that thing somewhere else!"

"I want you to take her. I mean it, take her!"

"Get clear Wedge, you can't do any more good back there!"

50
0

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: That farmer...

@Alan J. Wylie

and +1 back for the education on the original source... :)

7
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: At Paul Shirley, magic.

"the new system is broken and what was wrong with the old way"

And do you have a good answer for that? Fixing what wasn't broken is all too often the tech industry's substitute for productivity.

@Doctor Syntax - sadly all too true, especially when the new way is only done 'cos some consultant moron persuaded people it was better (and took a cut of the sale afterwards), or it features one of the trendy buzzwords (cloud-based or IoT or somesuch shit).

We just suffered a transition here from local server-based email to cloud-based, and it's driving me nuts (as a dumb user fortunately rather than having to support the management-generated mess). Forever getting messages of things being out of sync or additional messages being available on the server (ie ones I've moved and the sync hasn't caught on or caught up) or the whole of Outlook just locking up as it tries to have a deep pow-wow with some server somewhere on the wrong end of a piece of wet knicker elastic in the arse-end of some backwater somewhere.

And from having talked to my helldesk colleagues who have to support it even though they fully agree it's crap and somehow it's "their fault" even though they got no say in it, somehow I doubt it'll improve any time soon. The age old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is still all too true - make sure your updates actually make things better for everyone, especially those who have to live with it on a daily basis.

18
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: That farmer...

To be honest, it seems like a fairly sensible solution to me, at least for the non-tech user. At least it got the photos to where they needed to be.

Brings to mind what my old syshack at uni used so say back in those days of wet string 56K (and slower) modems and file transfers - "never underestimate the data transfer rate of an estate car with a boot full of CDs" (this being back in the day before writeable DVDs and easily removable hard drives of any useful size).

18
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: I'm not sure what's worse

Even today it happens - I do volunteer work (moderating and support) for the forum of a very well known media player app, which produces a text debug log during operation. When things go wrong, we ask for a copy of it via pastebin or suchlike.

And of course the number of times we actually receive photographs of screens showing it (of course in a similarly small and unreadable font) does sometimes make you despair. And that's not counting the times when they take the photos and then ask how to get them to you...

8
0

Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: What a loss.

Not just educator, but entertainer with it.

He (and a few others of that generation such as Johnny Ball and Magnus Pyke) had the quality to make science a show as well, either fun or at least captivating, so you ended up almost learning stuff without noticing it as you were so wrapped up in the spectacle of it all.

Certainly an eccentric too, which definitely helped the showman side of things. But your sentiment about needing loads more of them these days is definitely spot on.

1
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Helen Sharman to become the first Briton in space.

They all do, especially in current times of the Russian rockets being the only way to get up there. Everything's labelled in Russian, so you need to be able to read it to use it, and of course the launch control is in Russia (or at least Russian speaking territory) so speaking it helps too.

And Michael Foale also beat Tim Peake as the first male Briton to space (just after Sharman did iirc), but he had dual US/UK nationality and flew as an American as a result. Peake was the first "true" Briton to go up there.

1
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

A Sad Day :(

Another of my childhood (and indeed adulthood) heroes gone, and as many have said one of the inspirations in getting people (including me) into science and engineering.

Had the honour of meeting him a few years ago at a "family fun" event where he gave a lecture/demonstration on various science bits, including supergluing a hot-dog onto his hand as an extra finger. We must have talked for 10-15 minutes afterwards (he was there for ages talking to everyone and anyone who wanted a chat), and he was one of the most humble, warm, engaging and enthusiastic speakers on the subject I've ever met.

Farewell Professor, and thank you...

49
0

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: My keyboard stupidity.

The one I always fall over when using French colleagues machines (with their keyboards) as the numbers are on the shifted keys there, with the punctuation etc being the "normal" keypress.

Apparently it's designed that the users use the number pad for the numbers and so having them directly on the row above the letters on the keyboard is redundant. But of course this does not consider that a) they're the only ones that do this, so everyone else just gets confused and b) the laptops we have don't have number pads, although the external keyboards do.

Hence when they're doing a lot of number work they use caps-lock (which puts the number row into number mode) and then tend to leave it that way.

These days I just switch the thing over to UK language/keyboard mode, touch-type and be done with it. And of course get moaned at if I forget to switch it back when I finish.

3
0

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Hydrogen baloons with lit fuses floating at the ceiling - you name it.

@AC - This one?

https://youtu.be/2vqgKrJUA3w

If not it's a damn good little documentary on the subject anyway.

Oh an as for thermite and welding - it's how they fix railway track lengths together. Quite impressive to watch it in action.

2
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

Also brings to mind my old chemistry teacher (and safety officer) at high school, who also had a penchant for making Nitrogen Tri-Iodide (and the fool taught us how to make it too).

He used to enjoy putting small quantities of it under lab stools, especially when the stool occupant was a girl wearing a long skirt so that the resultant draught when they moved set the stuff off.

Apparently in the year after I left the place he got a little overenthusiastic with how much he used at once, resulting in it going off on the bench in front of him and so I'm told he "came flying backwards through the door to the prep-room in a cloud of purple smoke".

He also enjoyed doing end-of-term "chemistry displays", basically all the kind of experiments that would today be utterly banned under health and safety (and probably terrorism) laws. Nothing quite like the red lead thermite reaction to fill the lab with dense acrid smoke ;)

20
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Makes for a good cleaning fluid.

Yup, excellent for floor cleaning.

Also totally true about the gloves comment. If you stick you hand in it and keep it there then you're in trouble, but you can actually "swish" (for want of a better word) your hand through LN2 without issue as long as you're quick and keep it moving. As noted the vapour that forms around your hand insulates it from the liquid and you're fine.

But if you're wearing gloves and it splashes on them, they absorb it and freeze to your skin if you're unlucky. The only cryo-burns I ever had during my PhD years (using LN2 and LHe on a daily basis) were from gloves until I learned that lesson.

Great stuff for getting kids interested in science though. We did a schoolkid lecture every year with all the usual tricks (hammering nails into wood with a banana, shattering rubber tubes and roses, making a metal ball shrink and pass through a ring that it had been sat on at room temperature plus the standard superconducting magnet stuff).

Oh and it's great on hot summer days for making instant ice pops, and of course keeping the place nice and cool with the aid of a small fan.

Fond memories indeed...

33
0

Container-flinger pushes Win 10 transformer for legacy apps

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

It enables such legacy apps to run in the Amazon and Azure pubic clouds as well

Unfortunate typo of the day, or just in need of extra protection?

8
0

It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Childcatcher

These are my minions

Anyone who trusts the safety of their home to insecure, unreasoning autonomous devices probably deserves what they get.

You mean I shouldn't have given my teenage daughter house keys?

17
0

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Orphans?

I'd be interested to know how the convoy idea would deal with mundane things like slip-road roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights?

Get two or three semi trailers in a row, and then have to make sure you can get them all through said obstacle before the lights change or someone else with right of way comes along and splits up the convoy? Then all the fun and games of the leader having to slow down or stop to let the trailing drones catch up again and reform the convoy, around a busy area? What could possibly go wrong? It's hard enough to do that sometimes with a meatsack-driven convoy of cars, let alone autonomous lorries.

Not to mention the far end fun when multiple lorries arrive at once in convoy and the loading docks of the destination have to deal with them all at once?

8
0

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

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Or the alternate option we use - the cat flap.

Works fine for almost everything we order (presuming Amazon don't get up to their old tricks of using a stupidly sized box compared to the size of the content), and has the added advantage of allowing the master of the house free access to bring his latest prey in to munch on in some hidden corner somewhere.

In any case most of the deliveries need to be signed for anyway, which no amount of gadgetry can overcome, at least until they start supplying auto-pen options as well.

9
0

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: All I want for Christmas...

...and bigger knickers

8
0

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Immovable window

Yup, been there, done that...

Windows snipping tool has been the cause of many an abrupt "stop and think" moment working out which was actually the live window and which was the screengrab it was displaying, having just taken and pasted into PowerPoint or something...

3
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Is this a test of our credulity?

Nah, it's a Voight-Kampff test to confirm you're actually human...

1
0

The day I almost pinned my tushie as a Google Maps landmark

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Grease is the word

[I]Judging by the inconsistent performance of Apple's iPhone X Face Recognition, I wonder if the industry is quite ready to roll out what the French might call Fesse Recognition.[/I]

Apparently the FBI have been able to do this since the 50's, at least according to Grease.

7
0

'Sticky runway' closes Canadian airport

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Joke

Re: I found this story to be quite tacky

Oh come on, stick around...

11
0

Logitech: We're gonna brick your Harmony Link gizmos next year

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Idiots !

For those who end up with orphaned Harmony remotes that they still want to make use of, may I suggest looking into a FLIRC dongle.

Excellent little dongle product which can pair with most IR remotes (including the harmony) and works with all sorts of media (and other) stuff seamlessly and easily as it emulates a keyboard input.

5
0

We talk to Tron artist Syd Mead: On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Vision on

Personally I just wish the actual future looked as superbly good as his vision of it...

2
0

Raspberry Pi burning up? Microsoft's recipe can save it and AI

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Flame

Flirc case

The best solution I've found for this is the Flirc case. It's made of aluminium, and has a pillar which comes down directly onto the top of the SoC and connects to it via a pad. Hence the whole case is a massive heat sink, and works beautifully.

Had the heat problems with my Pi3 running LibreElec (Kodi) when doing more demanding media files, and putting it into that case cured them immediately. Before I saw frequent temperature warnings, since going into it a few months back not one has appeared.

Of course that exact case design may not work for bolting onto the touchscreen etc, but something of a similar concept with a suitable design should work fine.

4
0

Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Sounds like my kids school, where there are "temporary" classrooms of a similar nature which some of my fellow parents who have always lived locally tell me were there when they went to the school 30 years ago...

2
1

Crappy upload speeds a thing of the past in fresh broadband 'net spec

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Data Caps?

At least this way you'll be able to break your data cap in both directions...

3
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Great

Given how much Vermin Media must be spending on their glossy spam brochures and suchlike that drop unsolicited through my letterbox at least once a week trying to entrap me into taking their services, I'm not surprised they're having to get stupid on the pricing.

So it's a self-defeating cycle of course as I'm never going to take them, and given they've ignored any attempt previously to get them to stop filling my recycle bin with their junkmail I've certainly got no inclination to fall for their spiel...

2
1

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus – even though watchdogs say they're something quite atrocious

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: "Fully autonomous"

The fun part comes when two of them meet head to head in such a scenario...

And it's not just Norfolk, had exactly the same on a recent holiday in Cornwall, indeed more than once. And there it was quite often at least two vehicles going in each direction, just to add to the fun of synchronised reversing and manoeuvring.

0
0

Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Alien

Re: Given the nationalist language used...

They're waiting for SETI to find someone to pay for it...

9
0

FCC gives Google's broadband balloons 'experimental license' in Puerto Rico

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Power?

Also power at ground level. Whilst the bloons themselves might be solar powered, the kit on the ground probably isn't and last I heard there were still major problems with that part of the infrastructure.

So having a nice signal for broadband/LTE etc is useful, having something available and powered to actually connect up to it is also rather a necessity there.

1
0

Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Boffin

Lash-up

Not sure about fixed with tape, but I can certainly say that my PhD lab equipment back in the day (over 20 years ago now) was held together with GE varnish, duct tape and dental floss.

Especially the latter, amazingly good stuff to secure wiring etc out of the way even at liquid helium temperatures.

10
0

Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Alien

Re: Oi! That's my tinfoil hat you're takin'!!

Coat, not a Mylar blanket?

5
0

UK lotto players quids in: Website knocked offline by DDoS attack

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Maybe they just like to gamble and risk it?

15
0

Out, damned Spot! Amazon emits Echo ball with screen, inevitable ever-listening mic

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: One for the laydees?

Indeed, a nightstand device with a front-facing camera and the current state of IoT security and general hacking. What could go wrong...

I think I'll stick with my venerable 7-segment displaying clock radio without all the stupid unnecessary stuff thanks.

3
0

Boeing slams $2m on the desk, bellows: Now where's my jetpack?

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Already done?

At least militarily, I thought this question had already been answered by the helicopter?

Or failing that talk to Yves Rossy and his jet wingpack (which has flown across the English Channel successfully iirc).

0
0

Quebec takes mature approach to 'grilled cheese' ban

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: If even the Canadians can do it

Croquet Monsieur usually has ham under the melted cheese (or it has every time I've had one in France), whilst a cheese toastie doesn't (at least a purist one).

6
0

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

Anonymous Custard
Silver badge

Re: The Nest Secure has to sit on a surface

The cats or the burglars?

In our house, so far this week the little black predator has brought in a squirrel, a large rat and various small mice. Basically the only local rodentia he hasn't gifted us are any Pokémon that may still be around from Go...

And yes he does get fed twice a day by his humble minions.

3
0
Anonymous Custard
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: The Nest Secure has to sit on a surface

At least you can do away with the pot-plant to hide it behind, if it's under a cats bum. And any burglar would have to fight past teeth and claws to disable it.

From experience of my own feline lord and master I would agree a nice warm box on a nice flat surface will just become a cat perch, especially now the weather is on the turn colder. At least until it gets full of fluff and hair and stops working having overheated.

7
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018