* Posts by My Alter Ego

385 posts • joined 16 Sep 2009

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'DJI Mavic' drone seen menacing London City airliner after takeoff

My Alter Ego

Re: Idiots

They can descend close to terminal velocity if you're not careful. While tuning my home-build quadcopter I wanted to get it on the ground quickly, and just started descending. It started to look like it was simply dropping with a loud buzzing noise and my helicopter aerodynamics lecturer sprang to mind "shit - vortex ring".

Fortunately I had enough time to increase thrust and managed to fly it out of it's own downwash. From then on I learned to descend in a nice coordinated spiral.

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Forget Bruce Willis, Earth's atmosphere is our best defense against meteorites

My Alter Ego

Re: Doesn't follow

Regardless of whether it'd make a difference, surely it'd be worth trying. Every little helps...

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Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

My Alter Ego

Re: let me guess

Funnily enough, I once asked somebody in our engineering department where Professor Lockett was, and was told "you don't want him to hear you calling him that, he's a Doctor". Although it's quite likely that he was joking.

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My Alter Ego
Coat

Re: let me guess

Not unless you're discussing the relativistic effects!

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My Alter Ego

Re: let me guess

I don't get the whole calling yourself an engineer thing.

I've a BEng in Aeronautical Engineering, but I don't call myself an Engineer because I don't work as an engineer. Nor do I call myself a Software Engineer because I didn't train as one, even though I spend [most of] my day writing software. The closest I come to describing myself as an engineer is that I was trained as an engineer, although pedants might pick me up on that, seeing as I never touched engineering outside of academia.

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Shady US sigint base upgrade marred by stolen photograph

My Alter Ego

Re: Reminds Me Of That Time...

That video's great. I don't know how have I never heard of him up until now.

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Drone collisions with airliners may not be fatal, US study suggests

My Alter Ego

"May not be fatal"

I'm pretty sure they will be to the drone. Won't somebody please think of the drones

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Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login

My Alter Ego

Re: Sends a terrible message.

Well, the public voted her in so of course she should be more trustworthy than us plebbs. I can't wait for Damien Green to start claiming that it must have been a member of his office, because he too shares his credentials.

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User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

My Alter Ego

Ugh - pretty much had that happen. Colleague dumped his laptop on my desk and asked if I could have a look at it. After lifting the lid I decided I wasn't touching it and whilst deciding whether I just hand it back with the comment "clean it first", I opted to dig out a keyboard and mouse.

I did make the point of leaving it on his desk and then immediately washing my hands.

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

My Alter Ego

Re: PBKAC

I know where you're coming from with the van as it's not standard behaviour.

Computers and monitors have had separate PSUs (and therefore switches) pretty much from when computers had VDUs.

It's also quite useful. I lock my session when I leave work and turn my monitors off. That way I can ssh if required.

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Guy Glitchy: Villagers torch Openreach effigy

My Alter Ego

Re: Lies, damn lies and BT excuses

We've had that locally. A company called Gigaclear started burying fibre around Oxfordshire (although it seemed a little haphazard in places). BT (who've had no interest in installing FTTC) started chasing them around slapping "Infinity coming soon" stickers on all the cabinets.

In the mean time, we're trying to upgrade our BTnet leased line to a resilient one. We've been quoted £40k for the fibre to be pulled in from the Headington exchange. When we queried the cost we were told there's no existing fibre - a lie seeing as one of the neighbouring businesses already have what we're asking for (and with no excess construction costs). We were then told that all the fibre's been utilised, which while possible is highly unlikely. Unless of course Openreach blow in a single fibre at a time.

Oh yes, and we've been charged an extra £4.5k because our useless Local Business rep signed us up for a new contract, but forgot to remove the early termination fee.

I'd struggle to find a company who are so completely incompetent in almost every department as BT are.

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'Lambda and serverless is one of the worst forms of proprietary lock-in we've ever seen in the history of humanity'

My Alter Ego

Lambda - great on paper

My experience with AWS Lambda was that it looked like it was exactly what I needed. Until I tried using it...

The documentation for the particular function I wanted to use was horrific. There was a single page on the internet that described its used, and much of the information was missing or incorrect. With 18 hours Amazon had to make three changes to the documentation, while I tore my hair out wondering why I was getting unexpected data passed to the function.

Then there's the cold start times - I had a function that took <600ms to run, but if not run for a while would actually take >20s* to run. Seeing as the AWS service calling that function mandated that it would timeout after 5s, I realised that it's pointless to rely up it. Unless of course I decided to dedicate an EC2 instance to the function, but then I'm paying for 750hrs a month (which I'm sure Amazon would love).

I learned that biggest barrier to using Lambda isn't the vendor lock-in (I was aware of it when I started the project), it's Lambda itself.

* 4 s of that was used to deserialize 500 bytes, ffs

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Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can

My Alter Ego
Joke

Re: The adjusted pixels

"...catastophically destroyed the ability of the algorithm to catgorise the image..."

That's a little unfair, some of like dog pictures!

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Is the FCC purposefully screwing up US school broadband projects?

My Alter Ego

Nothing to see here, nope, no conflict of interest.

Ajit Pai, former Associate General Council for Verizon. I'm sure his experiences there have no relation to the FCC being overly against any broadband schemes not being run by large telecoms companies.

And I'm sure he won't be moving back to a similar company when his tenure at the FCC is over.

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Tories spared fine after being told off by ICO for election telemarketing

My Alter Ego

Well, you're the first person to mention GMB and unite so all I can say is "that's a lovely strawman you've knocked down".

Besides, why do you assume people aren't bothered by Labour breaking electoral rules just because they're critical of the Tories? Most people grew out of using the "but teacher, Jim did it too..." excuse decades ago.

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HMRC's switch to AWS killed a small UK cloud business

My Alter Ego

Re: 85% of revenue from a single client?

When you make the rules you don't have to follow them...

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Jeff Bezos fires off a blue dart, singes Elon Musk and SpaceX

My Alter Ego
Happy

Re: Something doesn't add up

Rocket science would be a lot easier if Tsiolkovsky hadn't come up with his Rocket Equation. What a bastard!

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OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

My Alter Ego

Already turned off on my One+3

I have no recollection of having turned this off (of course I could have forgotten doing so).

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Smut-watchers suckered by evil advertising

My Alter Ego
Happy

Re: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

I was disappointed because I thought there was a new website specialising in German porn!

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Ghost in Musk's machines: Software bugs' autonomous joy ride

My Alter Ego

Re: Really??

That was my thought when I read that quote. From what I know the circumstances were that the side of the trailer was white and blended into the bright sky - something that can also happen very easily to humans. Anyone who's drive towards a low sun (especially during Winter with wet roads) will know what it's like to be overpowered by the glare. The M40/A34 junction at Bicester was a prime example - During the Winter there was almost a daily accident until they installed the traffic lights.

This will sound awfully cold (and is no consolation to relatives), but autonomous driving will always be responsible for deaths. The question is, is it safer than us meat bags and according to Tesla (who are not exactly unbiased) it is.

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New coding language Fetlang's syntax designed to read like 'poorly written erotica'

My Alter Ego
Facepalm

Re: Idiots in the IT field.. too many in the last few years...

I know, can you believe that somebody actually wrote RFC 2549 (IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service). I mean what were they thinking - it's a ludicrous idea.

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

My Alter Ego

Too bloody right. How are we supposed to know what the Government have decided is terrorist material?

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

My Alter Ego

Re: "Upvote for that link, but disappointed that it misses Ruth wossname,"

"But you're right. Working class Scottish Tory lesbian. If only she was black and in a wheel chair you'd have electoral Platinum on your hands."

Not in my office you wouldn't - they'd prefer hanging!

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Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'

My Alter Ego

Re: Closing scene of "The Ruling Class"

I was about to watch that, and then decided that I need to watch the whole film as Peter O'Toole is brilliant.

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Well, whad'ya know? 'No evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

My Alter Ego

"Fake news! Deep government! It's all a conspiracy man!"

It goes all the way up the white house...

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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

My Alter Ego

Is this the same Royal Navy that had a drone land on it recently?

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

My Alter Ego

Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

s/SOLAS/COLREGS/

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My Alter Ego

Re: Worth a read

I've been in a situation crossing the Southampton MTZ. I was clearing well ahead +1NM) when the guard vessel drastically changed course towards me. I was over half way across to Calshot when he got to me and all the pilot did was shout "do you know where you are". My replies were "yes, where do you want me to go?", which he completely ignored. After a minute of being shouted at I did an about turn and he motored off.

He had no interest in giving me instructions, just shouting an incredibly unhelpful question at me. It was left to me to read his mind. All he had to do was shout "reverse your course".

* The Moving Traffic Zone is an area of the Solent where you have to stay clear (1km ahead, 100m abeam) of large vessels. A guard vessel often motors ahead to ensure it's not encroached.

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My Alter Ego

Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

SOLAS might say that if you're "on the right, you're in the right" (McCain was hit on the port side, so was in the right), it's not relevant if one vessel is constrained by draft or manoeuvrability. Also, avoiding collisions is the most important rule.

If the destroyer had steering issues then it suggests a very unfortunately timed accident (for it happen ahead of a large vessel).

It was suggested that Fitzgerald was under EMCON when she was hit, so it's possible McCain was in a similar situation. I also wonder if the US navy isn't keen on informing general traffic that they're having technical issues - it's a bit embarrassing to admit that to the Chinese, North Koreans, etc.

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Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

My Alter Ego

Re: The crazy fringe right still believes it is true despite the retraction

Like Trevor Noah said about Trump's conspiracy theories, that he's the one in charge now, yet he's still harping on...

*In Trump's voice* "I know, it goes all the way to the White House"

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

My Alter Ego

Re: brain bypass Politician proclaims "good people agree with me"

Careful now, they probably want to ban SSH too...

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Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

My Alter Ego

Re: Broadband Only Lines

"A&A's usage limits are ridiculously low, however."

Yup - they're quite expensive if you want a decent allowance, but personally I think they're worth the extra cost.

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Scary news: Asteroid may pass Earth by just 6,880km in October

My Alter Ego

Re: It's those damned Arachnids again...

Maybe it just me, but I really enjoyed both. Plus, I felt that the over-the-top jingoism was satire. Same goes for the sequel, where the recruiter coos at the baby and says "we need fresh meat for the grinder".

Slightly related - I once described the film as "Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers with gratuitous violence and nudity". I was corrected by somebody saying "the gratuitous violence and nudity description is redundant".

Would you like to know more?

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Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps

My Alter Ego

Re: ROTM

Is there an RFC for FOIP? I want to make sure I implement it properly...

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

My Alter Ego

Jesus - people actually did that? They'd get a dumb phone if that was observed here.

But then, "stop being a c**t" is a regularly used phrase in our office.

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Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests

My Alter Ego

Re: Chicken gun

Ah, Tales of the Unexpected. I've got to find a copy of them again.

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My Alter Ego

Re: I'm sure

How hard is it? Very easy - it's how I built mine. I went to hobby king, bought all the bits, put them together by following some how-tos and common sense. Almost removed a finger too (common sense was on a coffee break at the time).

I also checked out the regs because we get RAF Pumas at low level near my office, plus we're just at the edge of a MATZ.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

My Alter Ego

Re: The end

I'm crap at art too, so this video of somebody using MS paint to draw the Mona Lisa was even more impressive...

Mona Lisa drawn in MS Paint

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

My Alter Ego

What about precocious children in adverts.

Where you have some 8 year-olds saying stuff that is meaningless to them.

I remember a program on advertising with Hale & Pace (or was it Smith and Jones) where they had to come up with an advert. One idea they had was getting a child to say something, but was nixed because it was unrealistic and therefore [possibly] forbidden in the 80s/90s.

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

My Alter Ego

Re: Conjours up the image ...

"A picture of Theresa May smiling beautifically."

We have a few of them in the office. One colleague decided to get a collection of Theresa May photos as a present for another colleague (who was overly enthusiastic about her when she became PM).

These now have large amounts of very crude graffiti all over them since the GE (even the previously enthusiastic TM supporter joined in) - how the mighty* have fallen!

* Not that she was mighty in the first place.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

My Alter Ego

Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

"Costume" - you're luck he didn't tell you it was dress like a pirate day, just for shits and giggles...

When I turned up at work I got strange looks because I was wearing tidy trousers and a double cuffed shirt. It turns out they heard "a programmer is joining us" and thought pony tail and socks & sandals!

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My Alter Ego

Re: At Wolfetone, your MILTB...

Yup. I've learned that it's easier to show people how it's done and let them write down in their words what they should do. Then I get them to follow their own instructions to make sure they've got all the steps.

I tried to create a flow chart for the printer, as I got fed up of being told "the printer isn't working - it says ink low". I probably should have put the XKCD Guide to understanding flow charts beside it. All paths did end in "have a coffee" though.

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My Alter Ego

Re: the nub of the issue...

While I mainly agree with you, I disagree with your car analogy - I rarely have a user being that specific. It's more often analogous to "my car won't work" when they can't tune in Radio 2.

I often get "is the system down?", only to be told that they actually mean that they can't access online banking (while netflix plays on the other screen, and the CRM on the third). I've tried explaining that HSBC isn't keen on giving me access to their internet banking backend, but it doesn't seem to sink in.

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Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

My Alter Ego

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

I use the Make Trump Tweets Eight Again plugin for Chome - it converts tweets by him into a coloured 8 year old scrawl and puts some well needed levity* into his otherwise disturbing communications.

* Sometimes you need to laugh, just so you don't cry (or at the very least hurt your head by slamming it into the desk).

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My Alter Ego

Re: WTF

"2) WTF is 'Obaka' supposed to mean anyway?"

I guess it was an honest typo, unless he's using a DVORAK keyboard. Shame he didn't got full keyboard warrior and use "Barrack HUSSEIN Obama" - it always amuses me when I see that.

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

My Alter Ego

Damn it. You got in there before me.

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My Alter Ego

El-reg unit for Anti-matter

I don't think "The Hopkins" should be a fraction of a thought. It should be used a unit of ant-matter as her screed is liable to suck intelligent thoughts from your brain.

Also, I don't think she's ever written a positive thing in her life...

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

My Alter Ego

Re: Connections

Joined at hip. Apparently an orthopaedic surgeon got a tad confused...

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

My Alter Ego

Re: Don't give me no static ...

I hand't considered electro-static discharge for the reason for their removal. My dad keeps a pop-rivet in his Discovery for exactly this reason, it's diesel so I imagine the chance of ignition is a lot lower. Plus it means you don't have do hold any oily diesel pump.

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

My Alter Ego

Re: Good call

Floating decimal point?

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