* Posts by TRT

6424 posts • joined 11 Sep 2009

Uber rebrands to the sound of whalesong confusion

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Something to chew on...

the "were there" original sentence.

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Looks like...

Pac Man with a mouth ulcer trying to eat a pineapple cube in a Moroccan brothel.

When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

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Re: The comment about the one and zero sounds apocryphal

I've often come across comments I left myself in my code, warning myself not to change something that I think will fix some problem, but will, in fact, have knock on effects. Usually as a result of trying that fix once before and finding out the hard way. For example, using "0" to represent a generic value or undefined case. I decided that it should, in fact, be NULL not 0, like in the other tables, but found that there were 6 other pages referencing that table that expected and required that undefined cases were represented by a 0. Or the note I left myself warning that there was a reason that the variable in this function had a special scope applied to it.

The most frustrating f***ups of recent days have come from developing code both at home and at work. Dreamweaver is a massive piece of shit, but I kind of like it. It has this odd quirk where if you have the files view set to "Remote", so you see the files on the server, and click to open the file, it opens the locally cached copy without checking if it varies from the remote (live) version first. So you invariably end up opening an old version without that tiny change you made a few days ago in the other location and reintroducing the old bug, but you've now overwritten the working version and you have to wait to get to the other machine in order to restore it, by which time you've forgotten the fix you made which was your whole reason for opening the file in the first place.

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Re: Three glasses of whisky

This is true. An AFK break does do wonders for clarity of thought. That's why I keep my spare pair of trousers in the downstairs locker room.

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Re: Baked beans solitaire problem.

That was a fault with the sauce code.

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And it still works to this day. But beware the class of manager who, even if it was YOU that pointed out the obvious error, thinks "I saw that, what am I paying them for?"

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Re: Three glasses of whisky

I find tea has a far quicker effect. If by the third mug you haven't solved it, you simply set a condition "I cannot leave my desk until this is solved." The problem then quickly shifts to one's secondary (some might say primary) processing centre located around the pelvic region.

If you piss yourself, you can declare the problem insoluble.

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Re: What are the odds?

Oh, and he said one more thing. He said, "Someday a kid or an old guy with crazy hair is gunna come asking questions about it. And if they do... kill them."

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I must admit... I just spent a real two minutes rereading that code thinking, "Nah, that's too bleeding' obvious. Must be something deeper."

BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

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Re: 'Faulty Router'

We're talking BT's hardware here. All of them.*

*EDIT. Just kidding. I've no idea how good or bad their HomeHubs are. I'm probably biased because I only get to hear about them when they stop working properly. Which seems to be fairly often, actually.

Firing a water rocket to 1km? Piece of cake

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Re: Oddly reminiscent...

@MyffyW. I can't upvote you enough for that.

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Re: Zippy

By any mode of transit, fucking aaaaaaaaaages. The roads go round and round the mountains, the trains are non-existent except up the coast if you don't mind them being some miniature gauge, the bus follows the road, on foot you'll be cold, miserable and exhausted (see mountains), by air you have to go up and up to avoid the mountains and the rain clouds... really, it's not worth even setting out.

BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

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It's ISIS isn't it?

Worse. Microsoft.

What's the odds on some piece of control equipment having auto-updated to Windows 10 just?

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

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Re: There are robots killing people already

There are robots Roberts killing people already...

There. FTFY.

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Other AI robot shockers

Saturn 3. If you can stand Kirk Douglas's bare arse on screen every ten minutes.

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Re: you missed one

My favourite film of all time.

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I was going to point out Demon Seed. Truly impenetrable AI, its own form of intelligence in fact.

TalkTalk admits losing £60m and 101,000 customers after THAT hack

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Do they also...

admit to losing millions of emails over the last week as a result of some balls up where mail set to forward and don't store (a setting used by many people after last year's debacle where incoming email was delayed for days and days on end, causing many to abandon TalkTalk) didn't forward and didn't store?

It's started working again now, presumably because the bit bucket overflowed.

Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people

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Re: co-op IT are dysfunctional

who flew the coop.

'International tax' needs reform. Google's chicken bill makes me chuckle – comms guy

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Re: So we need...

We're getting into the area of juris prudence here. Jeremy Bentham and HLA Hart etc. There's a moral obligation to society and the planet not to shit on the doorstep. Arguable, of course, but I think we've come past the point of it being OK dumping oil-contaminated bilge at sea, or leaving defunct rocket stages in orbit, or having faulty pressure heads on deep sea drilling rigs etc.

So taxes pay for things used communally. Police forces, fire services, roads, rail etc etc. It's all well and good arguing that it's a legalised protection racket, but the laws that allow the loophole are those posited and enforced by a recognised government which has its own costs. i.e. the law is itself a user of taxes collected. Otherwise you would just set up in a truly anarchic state, pay no tax at all, but have no legal framework to declare that you are operating under. Catch-22.

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Re: if you are a big multinational

Companies Act 2006.

Directors of a registered company have a duty to promote the success of the company. You must act in the way you consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its shareholders as a whole, bearing in mind (among other things) the likely consequences of any decision in the long term;

So, you're both right.

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Re: So we need...

No, seriously... if companies use differing territorial tax rates to avoid paying it where it morally should be paid, then we need a non-territorial tax rate. Obviously no one nation can benefit from such a scheme, hence the non-territorial nature of the use of such taxes; whether that be disaster relief, oceanographic research / cleanup, space debris cleanup, open data global observation platforms... The rate should be set at the global mean and applied to the residual not paid to whichever nation the profits are declared in.

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So we need...

a worldwide rate of tax. A big pot that can be used for e.g. disaster relief.

Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

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Re: For once, I agree with FaceBook.

I've always found that the best way to teach someone a lesson is to give them exactly what they asked for.

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Re: English?

Biscuit. From the French meaning "twice-baked". However the argument presented by the Bork's lawyers is one fourth of this, being only half-baked.

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For once, I agree with FaceBook.

However, by the same argument, as FaceBook is a portmanteau of two English words, it should therefore no longer be allowed to operate in Belgium, or indeed any country where English is not the first language.

Whaddya know? I fixed teh Interwebs.

Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

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Re: Just

@PCar, I meant the electric version proposed by another commentard. I've seen the snorkel versions. They also have the high level exhaust. An all-electric drivetrain wouldn't need the intake or exhaust I guess.

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Reminds me of KITT and KARR... the Data & Lor of the 80s.KARR was programmed for its own survival, thus protecting the driver.

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Re: Just

Does it go through a river deep enough to cover the bonnet?

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Re: The Evoque

My brother, a REME engineer who was one of the casualties of "death by a thousand cutbacks", got a short-term placement on the Evoque line, mainly on the strength of his 10 years tinkering with Landies in whatever theatre the Army had deployed them to. He said, on coming home after his first day on the job, and I quote as close as I can recall, "What a piece of shit. Never, ever, ever get an Evoque. If you hear of anyone thinking about buying one, tell them not to. If you ever see anyone about to sign on the dotted line in a dealership, you have my permission to shoot them through the wrists."

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Re: Why are they ending it now?

I have to admit, the question crossed my mind, why ditch this and keep the Evoque?

Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

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Re: I'm waiting for the prequel...

There's a post-sequel trilogy as well. The final part is a futuristic sci-fi where the white paint finally dies a death by being at the business end of a Tyrolean Flicker Gun.

Or has it???!!!

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Re: Brilliant

I'll get my (second) coat.

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Re: I'm waiting for the prequel...

The prequel is a trilogy...

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Re: Brilliant

Our college put on the stage version of this twice in 1985.

The first time was about three weeks before our production of Cabaret and they put it on again about three weeks afterwards.

For Cabaret, the freshly undercoated back wall of the stage was painted with a 40 foot high mural of can-can girls legs in fishnets with various lewd and leering audience members featured. That show was a killer as I had to move the fully loaded lighting bars back ten feet to light the back wall instead of the curtain! Queue some very strong ropes to make a sling for them to slide along. Also had to dig out and bring the old 1960s era foot-lights up to code. That was a learning experience. And I had to renovate one of the five Junior 8 banks that had burned out some years earlier. Needed full lighting for that production. This was in the days before you had to be certified to do that kind of shit.

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I'm waiting for the prequel...

10 hours of watching someone pointing.

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Re: A Half Bond Movie

The name's Bond. English Garden Wall Bond.

'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

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Re: It seems...

The Warranty Agreement Termination / Transgression / Invalidation Notification Generator Thing?

Or TWATTING Thing for short?

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It seems...

That the criticality detector chip*, a component developed in 1992 and added to every electronic device created after that date (some earlier equipment had development prototype versions of the aforementioned circuit) has been expanded with the addition of an AI irony sensor.

*The purpose of the device is to detect the urgency of the situation at that moment in time and upon passing a threshold value fail the device in a variety of ways. It also seems to be responsible for undoing the settings that make things work as soon as the tech guy has stepped into the lift to leave, and detecting when the tech guy is within ten feet so that it suddenly starts working perfectly again.

'Blue light services will get 4G on London Tube!' Cool, how? 'Errrrm...'

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Re: Might be a sudden onset of honesty?

Christ almighty. If they had an outbreak of that around Whitehall... disastrous.

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Just for once...

wouldn't it be nice to have the people in power actually know what they're talking about? Or if they don't at least not try to flimflam everyone that they do?

Instead of using the well-defined term 4G as some short hand for "packet switched data broadcast over radio spectrum" in the hope that the public will then understand (because they really, really think everyone who's not an MP, lawyer, board member of a PLC, earning over £250k without kicking a football or posing for cameras, are just uneducated plebs who wouldn't understand a technical term if it imparted an impulse on their physiognomy), why can't they just say, "We're doing a deal for better 999 service radios. Ones that work on the tube and in other traditionally hard to get a signal to locations."

Or is it, perhaps, that someone's making a lot of money out of this deal and it's deliberately been structured so that there's no breach of contract - they get what they asked for, but what they asked for wasn't what's going to do the job as promised or understood?

30 years on from Challenger, NASA remembers the fallen

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I remember that day...

I had been woken up early because my grandmother had died overnight. My mother had phoned in to the college and I'd been granted a leave of absence. Then, at about midday, the news came in from my other grandmother's house. My cat of seven years, whom she had been looking after whilst we were having building work done, had also died.

"What a shitty day," I thought as I sat down to watch the NewsRound special. "How could this day get any worse?"

It did.

I was a 17 year old studying science A-levels. I'd collected the whole of Insight, a magazine / encyclopaedia of science in weekly parts with binders, which I read with my father as I grew up, and was filled with the promises of reusable space exploration vehicles; I'd studied the cut-away diagrams of the STS craft and their launchers; I'd stood as close as it was allowed to the giant rocket assembly hangars in Florida; I was a great fan of Dr Who and Blake's 7, with their visions of cities in space and regular off-planet living; I'd stood on the roof of Manchester Airport's terminal building as the 747 carrying a shuttle had overflown the UK that time.

My jaw dropped as the vapour trail rising into the sky unexpectedly split, then mushroomed. A brief flash and the camera changed to a wobbly extreme tele-photo lens. Debris was spreading out and down from the inside of a cloud. I was overtaken by an almost maniacal laughter as the words of the launch controller permeated my cortex.

"We appear to have a major malfunction".

Malfunction? That has to be the understatement of the century.

Then shock, disbelief, rapt fascination, spilt tea.

Then the soothing voice of John Craven, usually so level, a hint of alarm edging his voice. My recall will not be 100%, but it was along the lines of...

"Well, we're going to stay with Cape Canaveral for a while. It appears as though there's been a problem with the launch."

The rest of the evening was just a blur. Analysis, shock, reaction, more analysis, waiting for news of survivors, politicians making speeches, speculative analysis, experts wheeled out, financial analysts making predictions about the future of the space programme which was, for me, the future of mankind.

Every year on this day, I ring my father. I never tell him why. It's because he lost his mother. I'm sure he knows that's why, but he'd never say. Maybe he's not noticed. It's a date etched on my memory, though.

Major Hollywood studio eyes Paint Drying sequel

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Re: Unlikely to meet approval on Parliament Hill

*I was half asleep. Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Unlikely to meet approval on Parliament Hill

There won't be any whitewash at the White House.

Apple yanks international travel plugs over shock worries

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Re: Mystery solved

I just put that down to some bright spark somewhere.

UK.gov plans to unveil a new Digital Bill

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Re: Digital

I can tell them where to insert a digit...

Europe: Go on. Ask us to probe the £130m 'sweetheart' deal HMRC made with Google

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If only...

they had some sort of software that they could use to index and query the Government websites concerning tax rates...

Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player

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If they rank their wins versus losses on a year by year basis, side by side, and cross-correlate...

then they could do a Go compare.

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Game playing AI - obligatory media favourite references

(1) What would a computer do with a lifetimes supply of chocolate?

(2) Have they tried training it to play "Cups"?

Safari iOS crashing: Suggestions snafu KOs the Apple masses

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OK, who Safari'd Safari?

Come on... own up.

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