* Posts by smudge

709 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

Page:

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

smudge
Silver badge

in time any internet device with audio in and audio out will work

Being built into toasters, fridges, light bulbs and sex toys right now :)

That last one's interesting. If the thing's already vibrating, would an incoming call be signalled by regular pulses of increased intensity?

"OhmyGod, yes, yes, YES!!! Errr, I mean.... Bagshot 1234, hello..."

27
0

Australia wants tech companies to let cops 'n' snoops see messages without backdoors

smudge
Silver badge

Re: It's simple

What you missed was a short, well-stated summary of exactly what's wrong with key escrow or, indeed, any other form of back door..

You mean like "giving your private keys to someone else is not a good idea, and the baddies won't do it anyway"? The reason behind my "didn't bother reading this" comments is that I thought that every thinking person in the industry knew all that anyway.

Must be 20 or more years since I wrote my company's response to HMG's request for views on key escrow. I basically said what I said above, quoting the experts - mostly in the US - who had already said this.

I then went on a short holiday.

When I returned, the paper had been rewritten, by a salesman. It now said that we wholeheartedly welcomed HMG's proposal, and looked forward to the opportunity to work on their implementation, etc etc, ad nauseam.

I asked for only one change - removal of my name from the paper. Otherwise my reputation, amongst my peers, would have been shredded.

11
2
smudge
Silver badge

Re: It's simple

So I didn't miss anything, then :)

10
11
smudge
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: It's simple

In fact, key escrow systems have been designed that would serve this purpose fairly well.

But that is NOT what they are talking about:

“There's been ideas around for decades that you should create some kind of key that law enforcement can get access to … that's not what we're proposing... "

Despite assertions to the contrary, it would be possible to make them reasonably secure against theft - at least as secure as could be done for any other data.

I stopped reading your comment at that point :)

15
14

UK military may recruit wheezy, alcoholic keyboard warriors

smudge
Silver badge

"... alcohol or drug dependency are currently barriers to enlistment in the British Army" - but are pretty common amongst those who have been in the Army :(

And, from what I have seen, these people get no help from the Army. Once they are out, they are out.

35
1

I see a satellite of a man ... Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, that's now 4 sats fit to go

smudge
Silver badge
Boffin

How many people in the Space faring, aircraft carrier, nuclear nation that is India ?

About 1.35 billion. With an average annual income of $1,670 in 2016.

The population of the EU is around 510 million. With an average annual income in 2017 of $21,340. (Highest income - Denmark, $43,454. Lowest - Bulgaria, $5,700.)

I know which I'd rather trade with.

30
5
smudge
Silver badge
WTF?

What's in a name?

I don't really give a toss, but how come the "UK's winner" is the name of the patron saint of another EU country?

Couldn't we have got something more appropriate? Like "Dick", or "Billy-No-Mates".

20
4

UK has data adequacy issues? Oof, that's too bad! says Isle of Man

smudge
Silver badge
Holmes

Another view

That was all very positively spun. Another view is that they are hoping to consolidate and build on their established position as a money-laundering tax haven.

10
1

Church of England will commune with God for you via Amazon's Echo

smudge
Silver badge
Alien

Re: 42

A really odd cult, whose main tenant is ignoring the fact that HHGTTG is awful.

You are Marvin, and I claim my five ningis.

15
0

UK Home Office hands Sopra Steria £91m digital visa contract

smudge
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Its just not right

Doing what's best for the country despite leaving the EU. All government contracts should be done by UK companies unless its not possible

So you'd be OK with the many, many other countries for which De La Rue produces passports and banknotes taking those contracts elsewhere?

3
1

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

smudge
Silver badge
Holmes

Ain't no flies on you!

I used to work in information security. If I had been asked to do a general review of the security of a location, a ploy was to arrive at reception, and then ask - with some urgency - to go to the toilet. If they were inside the building from reception, this often got you admitted into the building without signing in, without a visitor's badge, and without an escort. FAIL!!!

Also highly revealing about a workplace is the signage displayed in office restrooms.

On a more sombre note, I will always remember, after a company merger, visiting the premises of the company we had merged with, shutting the toilet cubicle door, and discovering, on the back of it, a sign with information about the company's employee counselling services. I know it's quite common now, but this was the first time I had come across anything like that, and it did make me wonder what sort of company we had merged with.

The icon chose itself.

36
0

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

smudge
Silver badge
Joke

One fewer American lawyer.

What's not to like?

19
0

Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

smudge
Silver badge
Flame

Silvermere Lake

Wallis devised the bouncing principle by watching children skim stones off the surface of a pond.

And for those of you who play golf in Surrey, he tested models fired by catapult on the lake at what is now Silvermere GC.

One story I heard was that he got the idea for the bouncing bomb when he saw someone hit their tee-shot thin at the par 3 17th, and watched it skim across the water. Unfortunately for the story, the course didn't open until 1976...

I also heard that he was rowed out into the lake by his secretary, who was an Olympic rower. I've never checked up on that.

7
0

Agile development exposed as techie superstition

smudge
Silver badge
FAIL

Bad example

Pointing to the science pioneers like Isaac Newton, who is buried in Westminster Abbey, across the street from the conference venue, Rising observed that while we recognise science, we don't often practise it.

"For those who call themselves technical people, this is a strange way to make decisions," she said.

Oh dear. If she knew anything about Newton she'd have known that he was a deeply religious and superstitious man who dabbled in the occult, alchemy, prophecy, Biblical chronology and interpretation, Rosicrucianism....

8
0

We've found it! A cloud-and-AI angle on the royal wedding

smudge
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Now that

At the moment, Glasgow has no Street Parties booked for the day.

And, as the referenced article says, it had none in 2011 either.

Proud to be Scottish :)

0
0
smudge
Silver badge

Re: I'll raise you

(especially if you wonder where his chin is)...

...or if that's a dimple in his chin...

1
0
smudge
Silver badge
Happy

...details about their connection to the royal couple with on-screen captions and graphics...

I think we need a graphic for "shagged by Harry"!

9
0

Britain to slash F-35 orders? Erm, no, scoffs Lockheed UK boss

smudge
Silver badge

Re: I read that as:

You don't often hear former RAF Air Marshals speaking like that!

11
0

Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

smudge
Silver badge
Flame

Re: User interfaces in 2018:

If the last bit was simply "duh duuuuuuhhh" it would be the tune banned from all geetar shops - "Smoke On The Water".

Icon of Montreux Casino burning down to the ground...

13
0

UK Ministry of Justice knocks down towers, brings IT BACK in-house

smudge
Silver badge
Headmaster

Who??

a three-year £36m applications agreement handed to CJI in 2015.

That'll be CGI. 4th or 5th largest IT services company in the world, but so low-profile that everyone thinks you're talking about special effects in the movies.

11
0

UK.gov demands urgent answers as TSB IT meltdown continues

smudge
Silver badge
Holmes

Morgan added: "This is yet another addition to the litany of failures of banking IT systems. Potentially millions of customers could be affected by uncertainty and disruption.

"It simply isn't good enough to expose customers to IT failures, including delays in paying bills and an inability to access their own money.

"Warm words and platitudes will not suffice. TSB customers deserve to know what has happened, when normal services will resume, and how they can expect to be compensated.

Not defending TSB, of course, but for a politician and former Government minister to say all this, without a hint of embarrassment or self-awareness, just beggars belief. Does she know nothing of the Government's record in IT?

Does the term "Universal Credit" mean anything to you, Nicky? Because you have just described it in a nutshell.

25
1

Cutting custody snaps too costly for cash-strapped cops – UK.gov

smudge
Silver badge

I don't believe it

These records are structured around a person’s contacts with the police...

However deletion from the PND will not lead to an automatic deletion from the local police system as there is no link back from PND to local systems.

It's not clear whether "these records" refers to the local records or the PND records.

However, there must be some structure and context around PND records. There must be identification of who the images are of, and probably why they are there, when they were created, and where they came from. Otherwise it's just a jumble of unlabelled images.

So there must be a link back - albeit an inefficient one - to local systems.

2
0

Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

smudge
Silver badge

Re: I am disappointed

Gene Hunt and not a single play on words

Much easier with his brother Mike.

5
0

BT rearranges deck chairs, launches good ship Enterprise

smudge
Silver badge

Re: Translation Required

"Combining our enterprise businesses will allow us to strengthen the services and products we offer to businesses and sharpen our focus on customer service, through clear accountabilities and by introducing efficiencies."

Do I take it that "leveraging synergies across business units to be more than the sum of our parts" has gone the way of the dodo?

3
0
smudge
Silver badge

Re: Knock, Knock, Adastral Park*

That makes as much sense as most management-speak nowadays.

You may have come far, but you'll also go far.

12
0

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork

smudge
Silver badge
Pint

Re: I miss Demon Internet

My website is still there - years after I left them.

1
0

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

smudge
Silver badge

Re: Bring my optical disk drive back!!

@Greg D - thanks, but sticking a disc in doesn't help. The disc access light comes on for a few seconds, then goes out. The disc doesn't spin up.

But now I find that if a stick a disc in and then fire up Disk Management, that seems to force it to find ALL the drives - and the optical drive is there and ready for use by everything!

So thanks again - you pointed me in the right direction. And my olde librarie of ye ancient DVDs is not yet a collection of coasters and bird-scarers :)

5
0
smudge
Silver badge

Re: Bring my optical disk drive back!!

@Doctor Syntax

Use more up-to-date hardware. The fashion there is to leave optical drives out "because there's no demand" as I was told when I asked about it.

Jeez, that was really helpful. I appreciate that there may not be demand nowadays, but there is a vast installed base of optical drives around the world, which will continue to function for years to come.

@Greg D - thanks, but sticking a disc in doesn't help. The disc access light comes on for a few seconds, then goes out. The disc doesn't spin up.

@javapapa - let me introduce you to Doctor Syntax. I feel that you two are made for each other...

3
0
smudge
Silver badge
Windows

Bring my optical disk drive back!!

Just realised yesterday that Win 10 no longer recognises my Bluray/DVD drive. Or, to be precise, Disk Management and Device Manager report it as being there and working properly, but File Explorer and all other applications just don't know it's there.

It seems that this is a common problem that has being occurring for years. There isn't a proprietary driver for the device, so the generic Windows driver is used. And it must have changed recently.

Have tried all the suggested fixes. Changing the drive letter, uninstalling and rebooting, registry edits, swapping the SATA connectors around on the motherboard, etc. Only one which worked in any way was moving the SATA connectors around, but that only worked sometimes, and for one use of the drive only.

If anyone knows of any other solutions, please reply.

6
0

HMRC delays digi tax plans amid Brexit customs woes

smudge
Silver badge

Re: I hope that HMRC...

IMHO, Dover will be a port to avoid.

As will import and export of perishable goods.

9
0
smudge
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: On a slightly related tangent...

In other words, can we not effectively ban LHD lorries and EU-licensed HGV drivers from our roads to improve road safety?

Yeah sure. Cos we'll never again want to export anything to the EU or have our true-Brit drivers and their RHD lorries travel abroad. Not to mention your next little hop across to pick up cheap booze and fags, play golf, go camping in the Dordogne....

Your scheme also depends on fairly precisely equal numbers of trailers going in each direction, will add immense costs, and still has those dastardly un-maintained death-trap Continental trailers all over the Queen's (Gawd bless 'er) highways.

11
1

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

smudge
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

There's a very well-known message which conveys the same meaning and is much shorter!

3
0

An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

smudge
Silver badge

Re: And that's exactly why...

I do not need nor feel the need to tell the world and it's dog what I had for breakfast, where I had breakfast, provide an image of that breakfast and a map to the location of the eatery in which I ate breakfast to prove it either.

But you have just told world + dog that you do eat breakfast, and that you go out to eat it. More than enough for them to get started on you :)

6
0

2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

smudge
Silver badge

Re: The models

IIRC the space station survived a bit longer and ended up being dumped in Stevenage.

Mentioned in the Guardian last month...

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/images/ss4.jpg

1
0
smudge
Silver badge
Alien

Re: Still Waiting...

Ringworld, please - and sequels.

Or maybe a whole series based in Known Space.

7
0

Facebook want us to believe banning Putin's troll army safeguards Russian democracy

smudge
Silver badge

For the record, it isn't "about where the data" are. It covers EU legal entities processing data on US citizens in the US and US entities processing data on EU citizens in the US.

Cheers for that. Have become a bit out of touch since I stopped working.

That last bit intrigues. Are we really saying that EU legislation will apply to US entities processing data in the US? How do we enforce that?

Don't we spend a lot of time in Register comments slagging off the US for trying to impose their laws on the rest of the world?

4
0
smudge
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

And it's not about who the users are - their nationality or their location. It's about where the data is.

Does he understand that?

Paris, cos she'll cause them no end of confusion.

3
2

Tech’s big lie: Relations between capital and labor don't matter

smudge
Silver badge

Re: Too expensive to fire?

However when I joined IBM in the mid-90's they were just starting a round of lay-offs.

In the early 90s, I (non-IBM) was working on a major programme in the UK where IBM was the prime contractor. They started laying off staff - it may have been the first time that they had ever done so.

They picked on the wrong bunch of people to lay off. It was those with 30+ years service - although in these case they were certainly customer-facing. Pretty clued-up, knowlegeable people. There was a lot of resentment amongst this group about the way that they were being treated - and of course they knew the company, they knew their rights, they knew how much money IBM could save, they knew how much money they could get out of IBM, and they knew exactly what to do. They took the company to the cleaners.

If your colleagues in the mid-90s were in the UK, then they may well have reaped the benefits of what this earlier group achieved.

22
0

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

smudge
Silver badge

Re: sub for a riot

but did you ever ask your girlfriend for coal?

Still trying to work that out. But I do know that sex is what they carry the coal in, in Morningside, the posh district of Edinburgh.

7
0
smudge
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Validation Vs verification

Many, many years ago, a colleague was heading off abroad, and wanted to send a telex to say when he'd be arriving. Last line of his message was "Put the wine in the fridge and the pizza in the oven.". He handwrote the message and passed it over to the telex operator.

The clent was a bit bemused to receive a message which said "PUT THE URINE IN THE FRIDGE..."

11
0

Software gremlin robs Formula 1 world champ of season's first win

smudge
Silver badge
Go

Re: Same concept...

...the flow on the inside lanes is usually better.

I leave and rejoin the inside lane, and I don't move into lanes further out until it is obvious even to an arsehole like me that they are moving faster and will remain that way. So thank you for your detailed justification of my tactics!

I'll wave next time I am passing.

2
0
smudge
Silver badge

Re: Same concept...

So explain why, in really heavy traffic, the inside lane or lanes nearly always move faster than the outside lanes.

If I am in the outside lane and see a three-lane jam ahead of me, first thing I try to do is get into the middle lane - then take it from there.

2
0
smudge
Silver badge

Re: Same concept...

Works more reliably in areas with low population density, where it's not likely that any 3rd party on the on ramp would accidentally derail the plan.

Have used that many times to cut down wait time in traffic jams on the M25 around London.

Though you have to know which junctions have roundabouts above them, so that you can get back on, and which have non-intersecting slip roads,when you find yourself heading away to points unknown :)

4
0

How do you make those darn code monkeys do what you want? Just give 'em a little nudge

smudge
Silver badge
Facepalm

Let the devs decide!

"We started asking developers to think about things like monitoring and resilience. It's hard to tell a team that they may be woken up at 2am if it breaks. You have to give your teams a level of power to take decisions."

How about the business - not the developers - deciding what level of resilience they want and are willing to pay for... and specifying it in the requirements? You do have requirements? Ohhh....

11
0

UK watchdog finally gets search warrant for Cambridge Analytica's totally not empty offices

smudge
Silver badge

Re: Elvis has left the building

Please tell me that's an attempt at humour!

17
0

Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

smudge
Silver badge
Headmaster

There's a PhD in that

Because so many programming environments are based on English, the structure of sentences and expressions can be difficult for non-speakers to pick up even when the words themselves are translated.

Would be interesting to investigate that. You'd be able to cover Chomsky's classification of formal grammars as well as his ideas on a universal grammar for natural languages.

7
0

We need to talk, Brit Parliamentary committee tells Mark Zuckerberg

smudge
Silver badge

Re: About time

We're a bit short of gunboats these days, so unless he comes voluntarily there's not much HMG can do...

"My dearest Donald,

You know this Assange fella that many of your chappies would like to have a chinwag with? If you could, ah, see your way to persuading Zuk to pay us a visit, I'm pretty confident that we could deliver Assange to you with no more than minor transit damage. Might have to drop a sweetener to the Ecuadorians - so perhaps you could see your way to taking more of their bananas and shrimps? I'm sure that Melania (give her my love!) will know some good recipes for them.

Regards to your boss - tell him to ignore everything I've been saying in public. Got to keep up appearances - you'll know that!

Toodle-oo,

Boris"

30
3

I couldn't give a Greek clock about your IoT fertility tracker

smudge
Silver badge

might like an article?

Have you tried "New Scientist"? Worth a go.

In fact, they could do with a regular technology column. Step into Barry Fox's shoes :)

6
2

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

smudge
Silver badge
Pint

some strange sort of manually-operated machine called a Banda which duplicated hand-written forms,

Oh God, I can smell it right now :)

"The duplicating fluid typically consisted of a 50/50 mix of isopropanol and methanol"

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

20
0
smudge
Silver badge

My foreign body story

A long time ago in a computer room far far away we had a DECwriter II attached to a PDP-11. For those under 50 (55?, 60?), a DECwriter was a keyboard terminal, but with paper, not a screen. You could type stuff in using it, and it would print stuff out - up to 132 characters across the page.

Here's some info - http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/3367/Digital-DECWriter-II/

So all of a sudden, this DECwriter suddenly starts printing only 80 characters per line. This was very significant because, as no one under 60 (65? 70?) will know, 80 characters is the width of an IBM punch card. The IBM card became the industry standard, and, when computer terminals were introduced - both printer terminals and screen-based terminals - it was very common for them to be 80 characters wide.

Everything was working perfectly - except that it just wouldn't print more than 80 characters on a line. A longer line would be split into two. Annoying, and very puzzling.

So we spent a few days trying everything we could to find out what the problem was. Re-installing the OS (RSX-11M). Re-starting the machine umpteen times. Disconnecting and re-attaching the DECwriter. And so on. But the damn thing wouldn't print past the 80th column.

Then one day it occurred to me - a software guy - that maybe I should actually look at the device itself. I immediately discovered the problem - a pencil! It had fallen into the DECwriter and was firmly jammed in the path of the print head. By adjusting the position of the right-hand side paper tractor, you could use different widths of paper in the DECwriter. So our DECwriter was quite happily printing away, hitting the pencil, and doing CR/LF.

It was sheer bloody coincidence - down to the posiion of the pencil - that it was printing only 80 characters!

72
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018