* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5489 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

'Help! I'm stuck in this ATM,' writes poor bloke on a scribbled note

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Why did he not simply unplug the ATM?

And a week later he'd have arrived, and submitted a report saying: "machine failed due to dead guy in works"...

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What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Prosthetic Controllable Thumb

Here is a link to your nightmare fullfilled: linky to Youtube

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Oh the hell with it - I'll post it and hope that Vulture Central does not send a hit squad.

Sorry, but I can't resist posting:

There was a young man from Torbay,

Who set sail for China one day.

He was lashed to the tiller

By a sex-crazed gorilla.

And the Far East's a very long way...

As for Mr Dabbs article, I only have two words to say: Oooooooh Matron!

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

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That leads me to wonder why they're worried their bank account might be frozen?

Bitcoin's value once collapsed from $1,500 to $100 in two days. That's quite a high risk. Plus it's so volatile that the price can fluctuate by a few dollars each time a coin is sold for cash - which is a similar (or higher) cost than you pay for changing currencies. And $100 in a day shifts happen quite often.

Obviously if you're getting paid in Bitcoin, then it makes sense to use them for what you want. But that huge volatility is very expensive compared to the stability of almost any currency you care to name.

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Re: Bitcoin is bound to collapse in value prior to this date

Bitcoin isn't worth £1,700 per coin. Sure you might get that when you sell your first one. But what happens when you sell the 10th? Or the 100th?

That's why it crashes so often, because it only takes a few people selling a few coins at the same time to trash the value.

It's certainly an interesting experiment though.

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Re: "virtually zero" How are Morgan Stanley counting?

technoise,

Markets are often helped by speculators. Some do need them. This is because you need liquidity in order to make a market. This for example is what killed the banks in the 2008 crash. They had assets that were worth lots of money, those mortgage backed securities, but because nobody had any faith in how they'd been packaged nobody would buy them at any price. The banks had to apply market value to them (which was basically zero), and suddenly the banks were looking insolvent. Now obviously this is an example of how you need proper regulation, but it's also an example of why markets need liquidity to work.

Take for example the futures market. I am Farmer Giles. My wheat will be harvested in 3 months. Do I want to risk there being a bumper crop from everyone, so I don't get a good enough price and go bust? Or do I want to hang on for the reward of a bad harvest, where my wheat is suddenly worth loads and I can afford extra beer and hookers? Or do farmers have groupies? Tractor tarts perhaps?

Anyway that's what the futures market is for. I can sell my wheat now - and get a predictable return which means I don't risk going bankrupt in 3 months. Meanwhile a bread company might want to secure guaranteed prices for the next few months, so they can do a deal to sell to a supermarket on a fixed price contract - thus losing the ability to react to changing wheat prices.

But often the two sides of futures transactions don't balance. So everyone benefits from some speculators coming along. They're risking their (or their clients') money to make a profit. Booo! But actually this is good. Both the baker and the farmer don't care about making huge profits, what they want is steady, predictable ones. So they're willing to give up some potential profit for certainty. But the speculator needs risk in order to grow the investment. So in this case, everyone can be a winner.

This is why markets work. Sure they sometimes fail, but the point here is that everyone is getting some of what they want.

This is (or at least was) a fundamental problem with Bitcoin. I looked a couple of years back, and the Bitcoin daily turnover was laughably small. It was so illiquid, that someone selling a bitcoin ($400-odd at the time) could change the global price by a couple of dollars! That's high volatility in an investment asset. But in something claiming to be an alternative currency, it's laughably pathetic.

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Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

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Surely that would mean pressing the button 42 times?

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

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Happy

Re: I had not heard of Tizen before

You can tell it's Tizen when your eyes are shut!

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Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter

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Devil

Re: Think that one was bad?

Will the Christmas campaign involve Santa's sack in any way?

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Re: 2 Wrongs make a right here I think

Its offensive to me that I must treat people who claim to believe in a sky fairy with respect and not ridicule.

Then you should take a long, hard (fnarr fnarr) look at yourself.

Treating people with respect should be your default position.

You don't have to agree with their views in order to do that. You're even welcome to ridicule those views, though don't be surprised if this doesn't make them happy, or causes them to dislike you.

Hence that quote that you should never discuss religion or politics in polite company.

Maintaining respect for people you disagree with is simply basic politeness. And is something you'd do well to learn. It might increase people's respect for you.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Sorry, but your post instantly made me think:

"Holy dildo Batman!"

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

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Is settings in Win 10 so bad? It seems perfectly fine to operate with either mouse or touchscreen - so what's the problem?

The thing that I see as bad is that there's a separate settings and control panel at all. This stuff should all be in one place. But I don't particularly care which it is. And they may as well make it tablet friendly as not.

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I ain't Spartacus
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However, the big deal for Surface has been the stylus/pen. Unlike earlier attempts at PC-stylus interaction, the stylus and your finger are recognised as two separate types of input device

My old Vista tablet PC did this. It had the Wacom stylus and a resistive touchscreen. It had really good palm recognition, so you could rest your hand on the screen with the tablet, but still point at stuff with the other hand - and it had gesture controls you could still operate with the other hand. Though the gesture controls were unreliable, and I think I eventually got pissed off and switeched them off.

I really liked it, but not so much that I didn't replace it with an iPad the month they came out. But I've missed having a stylus on my iPad most days since. Now the iPad 3 finally needs to be replaced I'm thinking through what to get. iPad Pro, Android tablet (cheapy or maybe Samsung still do the Note line) or Surface.

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I ain't Spartacus
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MS gave up on the universal Metro interface when Windows 8 failed. Win 10 now happily lets desktop users ignore Metro and people with tabletty things can have Metro on the tablet and desktop when the keyboard's attached - or even just desktop. So I don't really see what you're complaining about?

The weird thing in my opinion is how Metro everwhere failed to win at Microsoft even in the glory days of Sinofsky - when he was forcing Windows 8 down everyone's throats. He didn't manage to get enough resources to the phone division to get that to match with the desktop - which was surely the whole bloody point of the exercise. Meanwhile the Office team ignored him completely, and carried on operating as it touch didn't exist, which seems to be their attitude still.

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

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Re: Shit we don't know

I don't remember all the details now, but even Corbyn's team admitted that the train crew found them seats. But they all weren't able to sit together - which they wouldn't be on a train with no reserved seats either, unless it was totally empty.

Given he was going up for a planned meeting, it looks pretty incompetent that they didn't all have seats booked beforehand - given that saves money. Unless not all sitting together wasn't really the issue. For example if they happened to be making a little film about train crowding...

This was a cynical little stunt, where Corbyn got caught. A minor matter of course, but if you're trying to portray yourself as the honest outsider practicing a "a new kind of politics" - it does affect your image.

Yes our train network needs more capacity. Short of rebuildling all the bridges to have double-decker trains, or knocking down thousands of buildings to build extra tracks - that basically means building more trainlines (HS2?). Which isn't Virgin's job, they just run trains on existing track.

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People have a right to have something to hide. There's no law against having affairs for example, and nor should there be. Hence we try to make a compromise to protect people's privacy with the DPA while allowing useful things like CCTV.

Corbyn's crew would probably have got away with this if it had been any other company, but Virgin have a much more free-wheeling marketing department than most. If they'd just issued a statement saying there were seats, it wouldn't have been a story. But because they instantly put out the CCTV, the stunt backfired.

I still remember when Pepsi changed their cans from white to blue, the Virgin Cola marketing crew put out a bunch of big ads the next day saying they had a new type of can out now, where if the drink was past its sell-by-date the can would turn blue. Childish admittedly. But quick.

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Got a Windows Phone 8 mobe? It's now officially obsolete. Here's why...

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Happy

Re: No worries!

Thanks for the info. I'm more worried about complications in the UI - as ease of use as a phone is what I love about Windows Phone - and why I'm sad it's failed to take off.

If all I'm going to lose out on is a threesome, then it's not too bad...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Zune was great. It was the PC software that proved to me that iTunes could have been worse.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Shame but predictable

Yeah, my Mum's Lumia is coming up for replacement. Having only had to sort out problems with her sat-nav, and it only taking half an hour to show her how to use it, I don't know what to recommend next. For my own convenience, as well as hers...

If she gets an Android, that's hours of set-up and headaches showing her how it works. And I reckon I'll be fixing some problem every 6 months or so. Not sure she'll be willing to blow £600 on an iPhone.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Going Nowhere soon?

It's not fair to say it was too resource heavy. Windows Phone actually did really well on battery life and price because it was so resource light it could get away with using less memory and less powerful chips. The downside being it had less RAM and processor power available, and was therefore less good for apps.

My 2 year old Lumia 735 still does 2 days on a charge easily, with email a bit of light internet a few texts and usually at least an hour's calls a day. It doesn't get used for apps much, but then neither did the iPhone it replaced, as I prefer a tablet for that.

The lack of management committment, any kind of strategy (or even vague plan), and the lack of apps that followed from that obvious lack of committment killed it off. The OS itself is fine. Much better than Android or iPhone as a phone, though a worse mobile computer and the browser still sucks.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Microsoft's big mistake was in not filling their app store.

It was such an obvious thing to do. They didn't even have a decent torch app for Windows Phone 7 for the first year. Which is truly tragic. And utterly crap, obviously.

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Re: Windows Phone is dead. Period.

I very much doubt Nokia are interested in getting back into selling phones. They're making plenty of money in their network and software businesses.

They've got a good name in mobile, and they're going to license that to other companies to use.

Nokia didn't get out of mobiles due to some evil plot my Microsoft. Nokia were incredibly glad to get out of mobile phones with a big heap of Microsoft cash because they'd utterly fucked up their dominant position in the market due to massive management incompetence. They had all technology they needed, they were just unable to stop infighting long enough to pick one and actually bring it to the market.

As a Symbian user from back in 2003 (Sony Ericsson P800), it was already clear they'd knackered Symbian by deliberately encouraging the development of two incompatible versions (S60 and UIQ). Which is why Windows CE was able to get 50% of the smartphone market, even though Symbian was probably way better. I still remember the frustration of finding a shiny new app, only to find it wouldn't work with my UIQ phone.

Nokia continued downhill from there sadly.

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Re: No worries!

Question for you. My Lumia 735 is still on 8. How different (read worse) is 10? And is it worth the upgrade - which I've been ignoring for the last year?

I'd read that they'd changed bits of the nice simple UI, which is why I've not upgraded. And I've not checked into whether it's possible to downgrade again, if I don't like it. Something you can't do with Apple for example.

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Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

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Happy

Re: what?

> The sky is still blue?

Blue with white text.

Yup. And it reads:

Your planet has performed an illegal operation and needs to reboot.

Error Code: 6x9=42

Share and enjoy!

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NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

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Re: I'm lost

Bradley probably only had a 286.

Don't be ridiculous! The PC wasn't invented in the 18th Century.

He used a ZX Spectrum as any fule kno...

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Happy

Wouldn't that mean the plane would have to fly upside down? Aerobatics in a 747 sounds fun...

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

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Devil

But surely all the PCs are already fitted with armadillo repellent. After all, I don't see any armadillos round here.

I want a proper upgrade!

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Flame

Are you suggesting the use of napalm on the more annoying users?

I'm sure HR will have something to say about that. Unless you call in an airstrike on them first I suppose...

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

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Devil

Or, just empty the bucket of water out the window as the beancounters are on their way out to lunch...

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Now Uber sued for textual harassment

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Re: Interesting approach

There are different standards of proof. So in civil court the judge or jury decide on the balance of proof, whereas in criminal trials it's beyond reasonable doubt.

Also juries aren't supposed to take any notice of whether you testify or not in criminal cases. I don't know if that's true of civil law.

So if you refuse to disclose documents and have similar tech to the company you just left, the civil judge/jury might well decide against you. Whereas for a criminal trial, that might not be enough to prove guilt. Given his company was valued at $700m, if he's nicked that data wholesale and discloses it to the civil trial, the case against him in a subsequent fraud trial is going to be rather easy to prove. Hence pleading the 5th.

That's not going to help Uber in this court case against Waymo. But presumably they can then sue him to get the money they paid for his company back, and then if he still refuses to reveal data, that helps them easily win against him. Unless of course they already knew the data was nicked, in which case, oh dear what a shame.

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Tesla, GitHub, tech bro VCs... Silicon Valley sexism row explodes as more women go public

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I have seen it. Though not inside our (very small) company. But from customers, it's quite regular. Our sales people have been propositioned and had inappropriate texts/emails. Though I did ask, and no naked pics - though they have had ones meant to show off that the bloke had cash to splash.

I also went for a job at a local company 15 years ago where the sales director asked me during my interview if I'd be OK sharing an office (as in the physical room) with 4 women. Asked as a serious question, not as a joke. I'm not sure if he thought femaleness was contagious...

Anyway he made the Sun the next month for bullying someone at an interview to dance like a chicken. All I got was the sexism thing, and being asked "what do people say about you after you've left the room."

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Re: Let him without sin cast the first stone

We get a lot of our social conditioning (i.e. learning acceptable social behaviour) just from bouncing off other people. So I wonder how much of it is just the male-dominated industry thing? Obviously there's some chicken-and-egg in that you're likely to get fewer women working in an environment hostile to women.

But I'm in the building services industry. And it's incredibly sexist. Now sure we have some engineers, but most of them aren't doing anything particularly esoteric and I don't think have quite the same cliched image as IT has got for having more than its fair share of poeple not so comfortable in social interactions. Plus the majority of the people we deal with are buyers (non-techies fulfilling the role of the salesperson's anti-particle), sales people and guys on the tools and their bosses.

I've had customers put through who said they needed to talk to a man to have a technical question answered - after it already had been. I pointed out that not only did the woman who'd answered his question physically build the product he was asking about, she also designed the electronics. I probably only see one once every couple of years. I can think of 5 or 10 times I've had that happen, though not so much recently - but then there's now has a technical guy in the office who probably gets those calls.

We used to have a woman working for us in technical sales. She was happy to do a bit of light flirting to get ahead - and being different (sometimes having purple hair) meant she got remembered.

But then one of our customers poached her for a technical role. Which turned out to be taking customers out partying in London and being the eye-candy.

Casual sexism is obviously still a thing on building sites. But it's also a thing in all the offices of the companies related to them. And that includes the big stock market listed ones who ought to have proper HR policies.

I can think of about 5 women engineers, and only one female senior buyer. Our contacts database has 8,000 people on it, and I probably speak to at least 1,000 of them a year. I don't remember every speaking to a woman site manager or maintenance manager in over a decade.

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It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

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Happy

Re: Plastic Pal

The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as, "a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

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I ain't Spartacus
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That's the 64 thousand dollar question isn't it though. Does giving the behaviour a safe outlet satisfy the desire, or does it increase it? There was some evidence (last time I looked, I claim no expertise in the field) that the internet has increased paedophile behaviour. That many people used to be isolated from others who shared their sexual desires - and ended up doing nothing about them. But they then there was an online 'community' which they could connect with, and this then gave them an outlet for those desires as well as ways of satisfying them that used to be unavailable without serious risk and/or serious illegality. So you'd always get some people who'd take those risks, but many others wouldn't.

Whether that's held up to recent research I don't know though.

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Create a user called '0day', get bonus root privs – thanks, Systemd!

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Happy

Re: POSIX

I can't have 1234 as my username. That's my password.

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MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

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Re: What can be learned of the crash at this late stage?

Even just the dispersal pattern of the wreckage will rule out some theories though. So that's useful.

We might be able to estimate the speed of impact and whether the plane was in controlled flight when it crashed or even if it broke up in mid air.

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Re: What can be learned of the crash at this late stage?

EuKiwi,

Even two hours may not be enough in this case. Though that being an average I imagine the more modern ones store much more data.

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Well the ocean is huge. The floor in many places is unmapped, so there are many places where you might not spot a crashed plane even if you search right where it is. Much easier if you have pre-existing data to compare against. Although, I think modern sonar kit is much better, making this less likely.

Obviously while the black boxes were pinging we were much less likely to miss them. Assuming the pingers weren't damaged. And of course they found the Air France plane in the South Atlantic well after the boxes were out of batteries.

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hatti,

There is indeed all sorts of kit to make sure we know where stuff is. However, satellite data rates are expensive, so many airlines don't pay for it. Malaysia have been in financial difficulties for a while, so were one of those cheapskates. I imagine one of the envtual fall-outs from this crash will be over-ocean satellite positional data upload becoming compulsory.

Many large carriers have constant reporting from all their aircraft all the time, and so know their location to within a few meters. Rolls Royce for example have vast amounts of data coming in directly to their control room on some of their more modern engines, and so can tell the airlines what maintenance they may need to do before the plane has even landed.

However, when this data is not switched on, the Indian Ocean is huge. And very empty. Look at a map. There aren't many radars out there. And with the aircraft's transponder switched off, it mostly needs to be an active military radar, as modern civilian ones basically just ask the plane to please tell them where it is.

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This is science. We theorise from the data we have, then we test, then we refine (or completely dump) our ideas and start all over again.

So completely different scientists in a different field did some rather innovative work with the satellite handshake data to give more information than anyone else had at the time. Then the ocean currents people got into the act, which couldn't happen earlier, as they didn't have the data. Because a lot of their data comes from the location of crash wreckage and post-crash testing of ocean currents.

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Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

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Re: Preemptive strike

Most of these tests are known about in advance from satellite images. Though if the Norks go the solid fuel route, then that warning could disappear.

But they do have the ability to analyse the trajectory of the missiles once fired. So they can decide to think about intercepting anything they don't like the look of. Also, anything that comes in range of the Alaska missiles is probably fair game. Much harder for the AEGIS ships in the Sea of Japan to decide in time.

Remember though that Sourh Korea ought to find it much easier to recruit intel sources in a neighbouring country that shares a language, culture and direct family ties.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Oy!

What do you mean, "the other's got a bad haircut?" Which one are you claiming has a good haircut?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: "just gabbing on until..Norks have the ability to nuke the whole US and..free to invade SK.

Don't need to, just need to make sure the Americans don't intervene, which they won't if there's a risk of getting into a nuclear war.

This is why the US has troops stationed on the inter-Korean border. And the same reason the US had troops in Germany, even though NATO doctrine pretty much admitted the Soviets could get to the Rhine whenever they wanted. Unless NATO used tactical nukes.

The idea is that nobody would want to join in a posisble nuclear war. But once the other side has already killed 20,000 of your troops, you're already in it. Which gives the other side pause for thought, as obviously to attack Germany/Korea meant/means engaging US troops, i.e. attacking a nuclear power directly.

Also, it's not a given that the North can beat the South. Obviously their army hasn't been tested in a long time, but then neither has the North's. South Korea's defence budget is only something like 3 or 4% of their GDP, but that's equivalent to the entirety of the North's GDP, because the North is a dirt-poor shithole that's been run into the ground for the last 70 years.

On which subject, what's the morale of the DPRK troops going to be like? There's more of them than the South have, but a quick Google suggests they still use 1950s T55s in frontline units, and the best they've got are T72s. So we're talking similar capabilities to Sadam's Iraq, though they may be better led (or not). Good military leaders mean rivals for power, which Sadam didn't tolerate, and I doubt the Kims do either. They do have a ton of special forces though, which would create havoc. They've probably got much more artillery, and better defensive terrain (if they choose not to attack), but a much less modern airforce.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

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Happy

Re: "pushing LGBTQI"

I used to be trisexual. But my wheels kept getting stuck...

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Facepalm

Re: Rainbow

What about the ZX Spectrum? Big rainbow plastered all across the front of it. No wonder we all turned gay in the 80s! Remember the 'Pink Windmill'?

That's why they had to make all computers beige in the 1990s. To stop the evil gay propoganda!

Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?

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Re: Have you visited the petition?

Reminds me of Dave Gorman's 'Modern Life is Goodish'. His found poems, culled from the bottom half of the internet are very funny.

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Re: The Bible

To be fair, Noah also had his 3 sons Shem, Ham and Japhet. And their wives.

And a lot of sheep. Just sayin'.

Yes I was in Noah! The Musical when I was 8. Our poor, poor parents. Except for the night when Japhet buggered up his lines, started the wrong song, and managed to miss out a third of the script. Bonus early ending.

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Coat

Re: @AC

Confucious say, "man who go to be with itchy bum - wake up with smelly finger."

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

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Re: KATIE Hopkins Is FRIEND KF AMONERIC

Gulp! Erm...

Nurse! He's out of bed again.

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Mushroom

Re: Confused units

How high is a Chinaman.

Depends if he's played the piano in General Kash Mai Chek's secret NAAFI or not...

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