* Posts by ICPurvis47

51 posts • joined 15 Jul 2009

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Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

ICPurvis47

Re: Mini - not really

This was also done by the students at University College, London, about the same time. Engineering department students rigged a sheerlegs on the roof of the Engineering Building during the day, when it was not unusual for students to be up there, and one night they pushed the Austin Seven (about 1928 vintage, I think) up to the blank end wall of the building, hooked the hoist onto its front axle, and winched it up onto the roof. It was then manhandled across the roofs of that and other buildings until it was left perched crossways above the main entrance portico. College authorities had to employ the army and a huge crane to lift it down as they never found out who put it up there.

Many years later, at a College of Engineering in the Midlands where I was studying, one of our classmates woke up one morning to find his beloved Beetle perched on four (empty) beer barrels outside the Principal's Office.

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

ICPurvis47

Re: As any good medical professional will tell you

"or the old prank about sending the apprentice to the stores for a 'Long Stand'..."

...or the packet of sparks for the grinding machine.

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

ICPurvis47

Job descriptions.

Back in the early 90s I was employed as a Technical Author and Editor at a small publishing company in a suburb of Birmingham (UK). After I had been there a couple of years, I became friends with the IT Manager (let's call him George) as I was interested in home computing and networking. One day he mentioned that he was having problems extending the office network, so I spent some time at home researching the problem, and came up with a solution, of which I duly appraised him. He thought that this would have to be done over the weekend, as it entailed a complete rewire of the offices' IT cabling, and would I like to come in on Sunday (for double pay!) to help him carry it out. We ripped out the thin Ethernet cables and reconfigured them to take a shorter route, and split the network into two halves with a bridge between them. Come Monday, no-one noticed the difference as everything was working perfectly. About a year later, we (the company) bought our main rivals and merged the two businesses. George was now the IT Manager for all eight offices, and each office had a Deputy IT Manager with George on a roving basis in charge of all eight. He offered me the position of Deputy IT Manager at the original office, which was now Head Office. As part of the re-organisation, we had a new Office Manager assigned from one of the other offices. Everything went along smoothly for a couple of months, and I was then summoned to the new Office Manager's cubicle, where he proceeded to berate me on the fact that my Technical Writing output was down, I hadn't done any editing, and that I was spending too much time "interfering with other Authors' computers", and if I didn't buckle down and improve my productivity he would have to "let me go". I asked him if he had actually read my job description, which he admitted (eventually) that he hadn't. I left the cubicle and printed off a copy, which I returned to him and left him to read it. About ten minutes later, my phone rang, and a very apologetic Office Manager said that he had phoned George, who had scorched his ears for him, and would I accept his apologies, together with a 20% pay rise. We are still good friends, even though I was head-hunted away from there many years ago.

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Virgin Media only adds another 127,000 homes to Project Lightning

ICPurvis47
Mushroom

Re: Would love to join

I was a VM customer since the ntl: days (ie, before VM even existed). I have recently been forced to move house, but I chose to move to a small village near the welsh border. VM refused to extend my connection, they apparently don't include Wales as part of the civilised world, and they refuse to use Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) to install their kit in a BT box, despite the fact it is only 3 miles from their nearest hub. I was extremely pissed off that they tried to charge me £30 "disconnection fee", I had a big argument with their Regional Manager and pointed out that it was they that disconnected me, not the other way round, as I was still asking for their service to continue. I am now with BT, but their service is nowhere near as good as I had with VM.

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NEWSFLASH Now even science* says moneybags footballers are overpaid

ICPurvis47
Flame

Stop paying them anything at all.

After all, they are *PLAYING* a *GAME*. If I want to play a game of most sorts (and they definitely do not include football), I have to pay to use the facilities provided for me. If I want to use the local climbing wall in our leisure centre, I have to pay £6.50 for an hour's session. If they want to chase a ball around the pitch, let them pay for their entertainment.

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Clear August 21 in your diary: It's a total solar eclipse for the smart

ICPurvis47

Re: Clouds?

This exact phenomenon happened to me as well. We were on our way to the Black Forest in Germany in 1999, and had planned our route to pass along the Autoroute north of Metz at the correct time. The french authorities decreed that all traffic on the Autoroutes should stop some ten minutes before totality, so we were in an Aire, but it was ten tenths overcast and pouring with rain. We thought that we were going to miss the show, when a small hole appeared in the cloud cover, and we were treated to a magnificent view of the String of Pearls and the Diamond Ring, before the clouds healed up again and the rain resumed. Nearly everybody in that Aire were cheering and taking flash photographs (why flash against the sun?), and ten minutes later the Autoroute was opened again and we continued on our way.

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Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

ICPurvis47

Re: Ok ok...

I was at school with a lad called Warren Peace. What were his parents thinking?

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

ICPurvis47

Re: Jesus!

I went to school with a chap named Warren Peace. What were his parents thinking of???

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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

ICPurvis47

Parental Chuckouts

Whilst I was away at Uni, my mother passed my huge collection of Meccano (Put together over many years from my pocket money) and my collection of Dinky and Corgi cars and lorries, to my cousins. The next time I visited my uncle on his farm in Devon, the farmyard was littered with Meccano pieces, mostly rusty and crushed by the passing of the tractor and other implements. Broke my heart. On the other hand, I now regret getting rid of several collectable cars that were, at the time, beyond economic repair but now would be priceless. Such as a 1959 Chevrolet "Gull-Wing" station wagon, a 1961 Van Den Plas Princess 3 litre, a 1947 Austin 10 (the same age as myself), two 1960ish Goggomobils, and a 1961 BMW Isetta bubble car. 20-20 hindsight is no substitute for a glimpse into the future.

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Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

ICPurvis47

Re: My home town...

Last time I saw a total eclipse was in August 1999. We were on our way on holiday to Switzerland by car and planned our route to be just south of Metz in France at the critical time. Of course, it was raining heavily, with 10/10ths cloud cover, but as the French authorities imposed a standstill on the Autoroutes for the duration, we were in an Aire (a sort of glorified layby, but not a service stop). We couldn't see a thing until, magically, the clouds parted and we had a glorious view of the Solar Corona. A huge cheer went up from all the assembled multitude, a thousand cameras flashed (why?), and then the clouds closed up again and darkness once again ruled. We didn't get to see Bailey's Beads or the Diamond Ring effects, but it was a truly magnificent spectacle.

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User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

ICPurvis47

Re: "a workman had been in"

Some years ago our TV reception slowly deteriorated to the point we started losing channels. I suspected the aerial downlead was damaged, so joined a new length of co-ax to it and pulled it through. The old cable was chewed almost through at one point, where it ran through the roof space. Later that night I heard scrabbling noises in the ceiling, opened the bedroom window and shone a torch up under the eaves. The back half of a large rat was protruding, he was obviously enjoying a feast of the new co-ax. Next morning I fitted a balloon grating over the top of the rainwater downpipe to prevent him climbing up again, problem solved.

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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

ICPurvis47

Re: Guns and kids

When I was in Junior School in the mid fifties, one of the boys brought a .303 shell in to show off to his mates. It was discovered that it was a perfect fit in the support wire holes in the concrete fenceposts around the playing field, so it was inserted, and hit with a nail and a rock. Enormous bang, cloud of dust, and the bullet hit the next fencepost in line, causing a large crater in the side. Not as large as the crater in the post that had held the shell, though. The hole on the cap side still fitted the cartridge case, but was about three inches diameter on the other side, with the reinforcing bars bulged outwards into the air, and the brass of the case laminated against the tapered sides of the crater. Damage was still there many years later when I revisited the school before I went up to university. There was a lot of live ammo kicking around during that period, another schoolboy (not from my school though) put a cartridge in the vice and used a hacksaw to try to remove the detonator end, the shell went off and the bullet entered his left forearm, travelled along through the muscle, and exited from his elbow. He recovered, but his left arm was always weak after that. Kids today don't know what fun we had.

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'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

ICPurvis47

Justice isn't blind to honesty, it just gets a helping hand from whoever has the biggest wallet.

Justice is not for the little person, I too have battled with a large financial organisation for the last four years, and eventually I have had to sell my home of 35 years and move into rented accommodation in order to pay the legal fees. At the final hearing last October, the judge didn't even read my defence deposition, he asked one question about when the mortgage had expired, and in spite of it having been mis-sold on two counts, awarded the building society a possession order. Unless you have unlimited funds or the backing or a large organisation, you are doomed to lose to those who have more money and resources than you.

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Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

ICPurvis47

Re: I wonder how many times he bounced the heads on the platters?

I wrote a small TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) program in X86 machine code to automatically park the heads on all of our hard disks, as they didn't auto-park but stopped where-ever they had last read. One of our workstations had a sticky drive too, so I swapped it for the one from my workstation so I had the problem, and every Monday morning I just opened the back of the machine and swivelled the HD back and forth (it wasn't screwed in) until I heard the disk spin up. Lasted several years like that until we upgraded.

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

ICPurvis47

Password?

I once had a user who complained that he couldn't log in to his new system as the password he was typing was being replaced by "Blobs". He would then delete them and try again, with the same result. Took me a long time to convice him that the Blobs were there to disguise his password so no-one else could look over his shoulder while he typed, and that pressing the Enter key would let him in.

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Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey

ICPurvis47

Re: Everyone in the study used NRT

"Short term, no-one has produced methodologically sound evidence of any serious harm*" Bollocks!

My father smoked all his life, and died horribly, painfully, and slowly from Emphysemia, his lungs turned to a black goo, and he was on oxygen for the last three miserable years of his life.

If you want to see a good reason to give up, go visit someone like my Dad in the last stages of his suffering.

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ICPurvis47

Going Cold Turkey, Old Style

When I was an apprentice, back in 1970, I was off sick with a stinking cold, feeling miserable and dejected. I was sitting at home watching TV (Black and white then) in front of a coal fire, and smoking a cigarette. I couldn't taste the fag, and was deriving very little comfort from it, it was more out of habit than anything else. There was a program on the telly, bemoaning the cost of living, and totalling up the amount of money one would need to survive. I was at that time smoking 30 to 40 a day, and at 4/6d for twenty, I reckoned it was costing me over £150 a year, which was 7½% of my then £2,000 a year salary. I threw the half-smoked fag in the fire, gave the remaining half a packet to my mother, and said "That's it, I'm giving up!" My mother said that she didn't believe me, and that she would put the packet on the shelf against the day that I resumed. The next morning I caught a train and the tube to Tottenham Court Road, and walked the length of that road looking in every electrical shop, until I found the radio cassette tape recorder that suited me. Back at college, and every time I felt the craving, I would scurry back to my Halls of Residence and put on some music instead. Almost 47 years later, I haven't smoked a single cigarette since that day, and I still have the radio cassette. Give it up, it's easy. (And so much more healthy for both your body and your bank balance).

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Fire alarm sparked data centre meltdown emergency

ICPurvis47
Holmes

Strange Coincidence

Exactly that happened to me just yesterday, an aged relative phoned me in great agitation to say that he'd switched on the living room light, and a bright flash had occurred inside the fusebox. I hightailed it over to his place and removed and checked the bulb - blown. Asked him where his spare bulbs were - blank look. Fuse wire? - another blank look. So, into the car and drive to the nearest hardware store (not many of them around these days) and purchased a pack of light bulbs and a card of fusewire. Back to his place and rewired the fuse holder. Didn't put in the new bulb yet, but checked that the fuse didn't blow when switch was operated, so checking that wiring and light socket were OK. Lastly, insert new bulb, and it works. Don't know how old the bulb was, but he now has spares and spare fusewire for the next 'emergency'.

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Virgin goes 4G with zero-rated Facebook and WhatsApp

ICPurvis47

Maybe they have their priorities wrong

All very well for the population that are covered by Virgin, but I am being forced to leave this area, and the village where I am going does not have any sort of coverage from Virgin at all, no 2G, no 3G, not even a land line. This means I will have to change suppliers after 18 years good service, and lose all my email addresses (ntlworld). Please persuade Virgin to extend their coverage to the whole of Wales, it's not the end of the earth, and other ISPs and Telcos can do it.

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Hapless Network Rail contractors KO broadband in Uxbridge

ICPurvis47
Flame

"Engineers" - Again!

"Openreach has said its engineers are on site working 24/7 to get the cables fixed"

NO, I very much doubt that any Engineers were involved, more likely Linemen or Wiremen. Engineers are the ones that have studied for four to eight years to get at least a BSc, and are more likely to be developing new tech rather than fixing old tech. Would you refer to your local butcher as a Surgeon? He cuts flesh and gets blood on his hands, but that does not qualify him to rub shoulders with the other person. In some countries (Germany, for one) it is illegal to use the term Engineer unless the correct qualifications are held. Apparently, anyone who gets their hands dirty is allowed to do so in the UK.

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Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

ICPurvis47

Re: Spot the clues...

My name is Iain, the Scottish spelling, and that always stumps them, they ask for Lain, whoever that might be. Actually, it's not restricted to Indian call centres, either, I had a call from someone the other day, and when I challenged them and asked where they were physically located, they said Alabama. Oops!

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That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

ICPurvis47

Three months' notice

When I was made redundant from the company I had worked for for 18 years, they gave me (and all the others) three months' notice. We were told that we were expected to turn up at work, and that the company would support us with CVs, letters, and travel expenses for job hunting, and that's exactly what they did. I spent those three months applying for 88 jobs, had 8 interviews, and was offered 3 jobs. At the end of the three month period, I had a week off, and walked straight into a better paid job with excellent travel and overtime arrangements. Six and a half years later, I was head hunted back into my old job, at a much improved salary, a job which I only left when I had to take early retirement to become a full-time carer. It worked for me, but I realise that I had a lucky experience, one which is not available across the board.

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

ICPurvis47

Re: the ramp

Looking* at the damage to the rear end of the car, it would appear that it first nose-dived into the ploughed field, then went end - over - end in the air, landing on its rear end, before finally landing on its wheels and coming to rest. The lack of damage to the roof or doors points to the fact that they never came into contact with the ground, as they would have done in the event of a rollover, thus allowing the doors, windscreen, side glass, etc., to remain intact.

* Several years as an accident investigator at Ford's Dunton Research facility, in Essex.

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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

ICPurvis47
Headmaster

Irony

I once bought a pair of ex-US Air Force vehicles from the Redistribution Centre (Center!) on Molesworth Air Base, in Huntingdonshire, and they were described in the catalogue as "Irony Scrap". Rebuilt the two into one functioning vehicle and registered it.

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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

ICPurvis47

Re: @AndyS

Trees are actually helpful in some accidents, I once had to use one as a ground anchor to attach a winch to when I was working as a breakdown mechanic and had to extricate somebody's car from the ditch that they had driven it into.

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A plumber with a blowtorch is the enemy of the data centre

ICPurvis47

Energy Management

In the 1980s I worked in Site Services department for a large electrical manufacturer, there were three different divisions on the site, two on one side of a public footpath, and my employers on the other. It was decided at very high level that we would install an energy management system to control the lighting, heating, etc, and to read and report energy usage. It was further decided that the three divisions should deal together with one contractor to save costs. I specified that the outstations should be individually connected by fly leads to sockets on a central spine in each of our buildings, and the spines should be run in steel conduit to prevent accidental damage in the factory environment. The other two divisions' Site Services departments thought this too expensive, and simply daisy chained the outstations together using multicore cable strung along the structural steelwork. Once the systems were up and running, we had no trouble, but the others were constantly plagued by disconnections caused by mechanical damage to the cables, rodent activity, and even, in one case, the cable being burnt by a shower of welding sparks from roofing contractors on the outside of the building. Needless to say, a complete reinstall was decided upon, using the same method that I had originally used.

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'I found the intern curled up on the data centre floor moaning'

ICPurvis47
Holmes

Transposed numbers

When we bought a house back in the 80's, the phone was already connected, and all was well for a while. A couple of months later, the local cab company had an incoming only phone installed at the local cab rank in North Street, but unfortunately, the number was very similar to ours, so we had lots of calls from people asking for a cab to pick them up from home or somewhere else (the pub?) and take them to town (or home?). We politely informed them that they had the wrong number, and that this was not the cab rank. We occasionally had calls at ungodly hours of the night, but we understood, until at 3 AM on Christmas morning, we were woken by a call. Did the usual explanation, and went back to bed. Five minutes later, same bloke, rather drunk, and extremely irate. Another polite explanation. Five minutes later, same bloke, swearing and threatening us with violence, so I had to go downstairs and unplug the phone line so he couldn't call us again, he would only get the opt-out tone. The very next working day I made a complaint to The Post Office (as it was then), and they issued us with a new number. Blessed peace!

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Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

ICPurvis47
Windows

Re: More dead cats :)

I ran over a snake whilst riding a bike through Epping Forest, didn't stop to find out what type, although I suspect it was a Grass Snake (harmless).

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EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

ICPurvis47
Headmaster

The UK's withdrawal from the EU will take at least two years.

"The UK's withdrawal from the EU will take at least two years so UK companies will be subject to the rules for several months, if not longer." Incorrect! The two year period is the maximum time for withdrawal, if UK has not done so within that period, it is automatically excluded. There is nothing to prevent our withdrawal on an accelerated timescale, well within two years, if the political and economic will is present.

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Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

ICPurvis47
Headmaster

Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

Asimov's Rules only apply to sentient, autonomous robots. This so-called robot was nothing of the sort, it was operated and controlled by a human being, which are not subject to these rules.

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A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

ICPurvis47

Hans Niesen

How strange, I was just thinking about our (very) french teacher, Miss Picard, who entered the classroom in two distinct phases - her jumper, followed sometime later by the rest of her body - when I came across the comment from Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese. This brought me back to our german lessons, ably conducted by Herr Rodwell (he of the crew cut, rucksack, and hiking boots), and of the rather younger german assistant, Herr Hans Niesen. For some reason, he never understood why he was accorded the pseudonym "Bumps-a-Daisy", and no-one ever enlightened him before he returned to his university somewhere in Germany. (We also had another german assistant, her name was Gerda, and all the boys lusted after her).

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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

ICPurvis47

Personally, tea bag (Tesco Red Label) first, boiled water second, sugar third, and milk last. Reasons, soaking a teabag in milk stops the tea from reaching the correct temperature to bring out the flavour, and sugar does not dissolve completely in a solution containing fats, the fat globules coat the sugar crystals and prevent solution. It has taken me best part of 50 years' experimentation to reach these conclusions, and I will stand by them against all comers. PS scone pronounced sc(oh!)n.

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Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

ICPurvis47

Re: Bah!

Must have been made by good old BTH* (Big, Thick, and Heavy).

* British Thomson Houston, later Allied Electrical Industries (AEI), and then General Electric Company (GEC) before being subsumed by the french Alst(h)om Group (Bah!!!)

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GoDaddy plugs account hijack XSS vulnerability

ICPurvis47

.....and this is the gang that Virgin want to dump their Webspace users onto!!!

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Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

ICPurvis47

Re: "We are the engineers"

Hear! Hear! I am continually disgusted by adverts for service providers that promise that "One of our Engineers will be with you the same day". No they won't! The true Engineers, those that have spent four to six years studying at university to get at least a BSc are not going to come running out to fix your broken boiler or start your broken down car for you. They are sitting at a desk or computer designing the next generation of equipment in order to make the world a better place. The grimy handed ones who come running are at best Technicians, or maybe only Fitters (not that I have anything against Technicians or Fitters, they do an essential job), but the general concensus of opinion in this country is that, if you get your hands dirty, you must be an Engineer. Would you call the local Butcher a Surgeon, just because he gets blood on his hands whilst cutting flesh? No, I don't think so. As James said, it is illegal in Canada, and also in Germany (where I have worked) to call yourself an Engineer unless you have a degree, but over here there is no such control, much to the annoyance of real Engineers like myself.

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NASA injects cash into solar electric motor

ICPurvis47

Xenon?

Sorry to inject a note of caution, but where are they intending to get a supply of Xenon from? Apparently it exists in the Earth's atmosphere as a trace element at a proportion of 1 in 11.5 million, and is extremely difficult and expensive to extract. The cost of producing sufficient quantities to propel an interstellar craft would be prohibitive, and its storage would present insurmountable problems too. OK for small scale laboratory demonstrations, but not in the real (future) world.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

ICPurvis47

Re: Choice

Same goes for Google Maps. Just because I choose to stay with XP, I am forced to use the broken husk that is Google Maps Lite, whereas before they "Fixed" GM, it used to run perfectly well on all my systems. If Mr. Designer/Developer is hell bent on "improving" our user experience, please make sure that a backwardly compatible path is left available for those - such as myself and thousands of others who have complained - to migrate back to what we know if we don't like it.

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

ICPurvis47

Re: I'm an international money launderer...

Once had a five pound note refused at a chip shop because it fluoresced under their fraud lamp. It had been left in my jeans pocket and gone through the wash, and the brightening agents in the washing powder had been absorbed by the note.

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Jump aboard our load balancing Maglev, Google tells devs

ICPurvis47

Re: Maglev

Seems to me that everyone has forgotten the original Maglev People Mover installed at Birmingham International Airport in 1984, and which ran until 1995, when the cost of maintaining it became too high. It is now replaced by a cable hauled, wheeled system called SkyRail. Magnetic Levitation was first demonstrated by Eric Laithwaite and his research team at Imperial College London (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) and implemented by a consortium including GEC, Balfour Beatty, Brush, and MetroCam.

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

ICPurvis47

Re: American exceptionalism! <3

When I took my driving test in Louisville KY a while back, the Driving Examiner had a gun on each hip, and took up more than half of the bench seat.

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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

ICPurvis47

Re: Who's paying the piper?

My GF used to like it when we drove through the tunnel under Rugby railway station, because the sodium lamps gave her the appearance of having a good tan "like an Essex Girl". She's not so keen now they have been replaced with LEDs, as they make her appear pasty white instead :-(

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

ICPurvis47

At the risk of being considered strange.....

I actually welcome the adverts on TV channels, they give me a chance to nip out to the loo, make a cuppa, or surf the Program Guide to see what I'll watch next. I can also pause a program at its start and go to the kitchen to fix a meal, and when I return I can watch in time-slip mode, skipping on FF through the ads. That way, every hour long program can be viewed in three quarters of an hour, with a quarter of an hour away from the telly to do the things you must. I very rarely watch BBC progs, as someone else said, Dr. Who and Top Gear are about it, but I also get my news during the day from BBC News channel. On balance, twelve quid a month isn't a lot to pay to keep one's self entertained during the long cold winter nights.

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Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

ICPurvis47

Google Maps "Lite"

I used Google Maps for just about everything up until M$ stopped supporting XP. Now I can only use Google Maps "Lite" (whatever that means), which is a dumbed down subset of the original, and does not allow the user to drag the route to another road to avoid (say) a known bottleneck. I used to do this to plan my delivery routes before setting off, but now I have to add the waypoints manually in the left hand upper panel, using cut and paste to move the subsequent waypoints down the list in order to make room for the new one. I, and thousands of others, have complained voluably about this change, but Google are arrogantly ignoring customers' problems by insisting that I upgrade to at least Win7 ( and how much longer before they insist on Win8, Win10, etc., etc.?). I have no intention of moving on from XP64Pro, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Streetview has been changed for the worse, too; now, wherever you go, it appears to be on a 90 degree corner, the kerb is no longer a straight line across the screen, it is bent out of all recognition.

Come on, Google, please listen to your users, dump this "Lite" rubbish and reinstate the old, full function GM, and please, fix Streetview so the location one is viewing is recognisable.

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

ICPurvis47

River water is cold, too

Data centres could be submerged in the middle of large rivers, such as the Thames. Natural flow of fresh cold water, close to large conurbation and business district, and good power availability. I am sure there are other large cities with commercial centres straddling rivers, such as Koln, Budapest, etc. etc.

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Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

ICPurvis47

CX, UX, or just plain common sense?

"In certain sectors – such as telecoms, logistics and grocery retail – performance has declined, rather than improved,”

I recently had an excellent CX (or UX, if you like) when my Virgin Mobile contract came up for renewal. Phoned the Helldesk expecting to have to struggle to understand the robot on the other end, but was pleasantly surprised to hear a jolly, knowledgable, helpful Brummie accent, who took me through all the possible routes to extending my contract, explained all the pros and cons of every tariff, and made sure I was sold the very best for my needs. Well done Virgin Mobile!

On the other hand, I have had some pretty dire experiences with other service providers, and as a result have shifted my business to their competitors.

On a slightly different tack, Customer Loyalty. Why is it that if you stay with a service provider for a long time, your costs slowly increase while your benefits slowly erode. Getting a quote from a new provider, using exactly the same criteria, will nearly always get much better deals. This is why Price Comparison sites have mushroomed, if service providers valued Customer Loyalty, there would be no need to trawl the net for the best deal, you would already have it.

And don't get me started on train ticket websites! How come a ticket from Rugby to Stroud costs £80 if you buy it on line, but if you go to the trouble of buying two tickets, one from Rugby to Birmingham International, and one from BI to Stroud, the pair of them only cost £18. You use exactly the same seats on exactly the same trains, for less than a quarter of the price. Madness!

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Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

ICPurvis47

I am a retired, disabled pensioner who drives a "gas guzzling mobile road hazard". I used to drive a small sports car, but with the onset of my disability and the subsequent corrective surgery, I found I could no longer get into or out of it without a serious struggle. Eventually, I traded it in for a larger vehicle, one that allowed for easy entry and exit, but I ensured that it was cleaner and greener than the Scooby, as it runs on LPG and not either petrol or diseasel. One troll verbally abused me at the local supermarket, I said nothing, but ripped open my shirt to show him the livid scar across my chest, he didn't know what to say or where to look. As many people have pointed out, many disabilities are invisible (unless, in my case, I am naked from the waist up), and the size of the vehicle is often an absolute essential in order to deal with the driver's problem.

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

ICPurvis47

Re: Bah!

I have a 12 year old DC04 upright, which is still effective in my mainly carpeted house, but as the little rollers have disappeared from the cleaner head, it is not so good on hard floors and the Flotex in the kitchen. It once blocked up completely, and I had to dismantle it and clear its tubes out, but then, I was using it to suck up building rubble after knocking down a wall. I also managed to throw it down the stairs once and break one of the bearings that hold the head to the motor body, so now it steers itself left when you push and right when you pull, but as it still does a perfectly adequate job, I will not be replacing it soon.

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

ICPurvis47

Avoiding catatstrophe

When I was an apprentice at a big motor manufacturer's, I attended a college as part of the course. Other motor manufacturers also sent their apprentices on the same course. One lad was from Rolls Royce, and he regaled us with the tale that, when a new model, to be called the Silver Mist, was ready to be introduced, the company sent all of its sales literature off to a (human) translator, who returned it with the name translated to Silber Nebel. The company said that no, the name must not be translated, it must stay as Silver Mist. The translator replied that the company might want to consider that Mist, in German was a rude word, and roughly meant excrement (but not so politely). Needless to say, the name of the car was hastily changed and retranslated.

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NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover

ICPurvis47

It's already started

Until recently I could receive ClassicFM anywhere in the area I deliver to, which is about a 5 mile radius around Rugby. For the last few weeks I have noticed much reduced signal strength, causing drop outs and interference in low lying areas, especially under the railway tunnel. This problem is not confined to my employers' three year old van, I get the same effect in my private car, with a ten month old Sony FM receiver. I have reported this to the BBC, who gave me a very curt and, frankly, rather patronising answer, and have also contacted the Department of the Environment, but have so far received no reply. I think that the signal is being purposely degraded to encourage listeners to migrate to DAB, but in my case, it ain't gonna happen!

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Help-desk hell

ICPurvis47
Holmes

ICP

I used to be the Deputy IT Manager at a large manufacturing company, with a typing pool full of young (and some not so young) ladies to type up the notes from our various managers' dictaphones (remember them?) and hand written notes. One young lady, who was rather short and fairly round, was forever complaining that her Wang word processor kept inserting random spaces into her text, but whenever we tested it in our departmental lab, we could never get it to display the fault. One day, in desperation, I went down into the typing pool (at great personal risk) to observe how these spaces were happening. I observed that she was sitting on a wooden chair, and the top of the desk was about three inches below her bust. Every time she leaned over to read the next sentence of the script, her right boob pressed the spacebar, resulting in a string of spaces. Problem solved, nip down to the pattern shop for a set of four three inch cubes of deal and some four inch nails, invert the chair and attach one cube to each leg, and, voila! no more rogue spaces.

Those were the days!

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