* Posts by Stuart Halliday

937 posts • joined 2 Jul 2007

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Dell Corp UK makes 1.46% net profit margin on £1.556bn in sales – 'satisfactory' apparently

Stuart Halliday

Smaller margin than the Farmers get for their Milk?

Should we be therefore be subsidizing them? ;)

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30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

Stuart Halliday

Oh didn't we love 10 years ago looking for password files using Google Search from stupid Admins leaving root drives searchable from the Internet.

Seems we've learned nothing and this time people are getting killed....

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Roscosmos: An assembly error doomed our Soyuz, but we promise it won't happen again

Stuart Halliday

Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

I can only imagine what the ground crew of the recent Helicopter crash are going through.

Most crashes are caused by the very complex maintenance required on the main rotar motor not being carried out correctly.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

When I worked for Ferranti, we had the usual Military and Space standards.

Amazing how many assemblers would botch their job to get a time bonus.

We as the prefinal testers would regularly see amazing errors that people would do.

The next stage from us was environmental testing. Then it was fitted into the Space craft or Fighter Jet.

I was in disbelief at one PCB that had a dozen 2" long component leads still attached to the board so that you couldn't close the carry case it came in.

The Quality Inspector who was supposed to check assembly before me said, "anyone can make a mistake". Yeah right a little mistake caused by the Assembler and you!

If the British Air force pilots or Ariane knew how many errors were spotted and fixed at the last moment, I doubt the Pilots would switch their planes/Rockets on!

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Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell

Stuart Halliday

Completely pointless.

Only the top tech junkies will buy it and then only to unfold it in front of their sad peers.

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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

Stuart Halliday

Windows update checks the C: for errors. Finds the user profile directory damaged (people will just switch off their computer instead of shutting it down) and repairs it.

Therefore deleting many files.

End of mystery...

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Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

Stuart Halliday

Hmm, I wonder what America would make of Scotland's no law of trespass.

You basically can't stop people walking across your land as long as they're not damaging it.

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Guess who just bought Maplin? Dragons' Den celebrity biz guy Peter Jones

Stuart Halliday

Probably because you were using lead-free solder?

If you'd swapped to silver-based solder which Maplin sold you'd be laughing.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: Is it worth it?

Staff were told Maplin was debt free in 2016.

Their Web site was abysmal though. They couldn't get it into their head that the search function had to work.

We in store couldn't find items we knew we sold by using the site!

They didn't have a way to build a search list for an item for example. They didn't use electronic experts adding alternative words for components.

It was a right mess.

I suggested allowing staff to add search tags to items. Nope.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: First Tandy goes then eventually Maplins.

Menkind?

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Stuart Halliday

Re: Offline

They had cables for £4.95...

They had better stuff than TP-Link. You're choice to buy it or not.

In virtually all areas they offered a basic (1 year guarantee) , standard (2 year guarantee) or high quality (lifetime guarantee) item.

You just needed to ask the benefits from a member of Staff.

We were never given incentives to sell one brand over another.

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Stuart Halliday

Worked in a Maplin store for 8 years.

Sure, the prices weren't the cheapest. But at least they weren't crap or forged.

We'd hear from the local Police about raids on local phone shops selling counterfeit cables and chargers. We'd get customers coming in with fakes virtually every day.

Maplin wasn't a Saint, it used to place cheap cables at the far reaches of the store, well away from the cable walls.

We were instructed to not mention this unless the customer specifically asked for cheaper versions. I'd usually listen to the customer needs and explain the differences between a £4.95 HDMI lead and a £9.95 one. Basically reliability.

Most customers had no idea how technology worked, so I could see how other shops would sell them £90 HDMI for example. But in our shop we never up-sold beyond their needs.

We were told that Maplin was no longer in debt back in July 2017. So we were astonished to learn of its closure.

It did have a typical British old fashioned mindset and had no idea how to run a modern mail-order Internet business.

It hates selling the tiny electronic components as it had a minimum stock level of 2 on parts. Sure, a small amount on something you may need 10 of. But you were probably the only person that year to want it.

Most staff were hired on the basis of their youth. I was an exception at 48. They were given much higher standard of training than most retail shops. You wouldn't believe how stupidity low retail training is from the likes of Google, Amazon, etc is provided.

I was a long standing Electronic professional so I'd be roped into dealing with customers who had no idea what a transistor is. But still needed one or it's equivalent.

In our shop we took pride in getting the right thing for a customer. Even the idiots trying to kill themselves because they thought they understood what they were doing.

I personally miss helping folks out. So many folks over 50 or under 30 have no idea how technology works. We at least were there to give unbiased advice and the right product for them.

No other shop in Britain did this.

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Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

Stuart Halliday
Trollface

You just know that somewhere, sometime someone will try to run RISC OS on it! :)

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Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Stuart Halliday

Authisic?

Being Aspers myself, sounds like he's got Aspers....

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The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

Stuart Halliday

Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

4 bit SSDs will become the VHS of storage. Naff quality but the consumer will buy it because it's in the shops.

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Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

Stuart Halliday

You need to get permission from the owner.

If the website gives permission and it turns out it's not the owner then the owner gets to sue the website for misrepresentation.

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Cracking the passwords of some WPA2 Wi-Fi networks just got easier

Stuart Halliday

Just in time for Router manufacturers to claim they can't add WPA3 and you'll need to buy a new Router?

How convenient.

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'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist

Stuart Halliday

"Unhackable", sounds like "Unsinkable".

We all know how that went...

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SMS 2FA gave us sweet FA security, says Reddit: Hackers stole database backup of user account info, posts, messages

Stuart Halliday

So they'll have offside backups right? Err right?

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From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit

Stuart Halliday

Re: They're still at it!

Absolutely immoral.

They do that to get around the rules.

Supermarkets often sell items which look superficial the same as elsewhere. But in fact they've removed features and hope the customer doesn't spot the difference.

Most buyers don't know about this practise. It creates more profits.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: But why?

You don't want your product getting sold cheaper as this leads to pressure to do price cuts for other retailers.

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Stuart Halliday

Oh we had all sorts of restrictions...

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Stuart Halliday

In Maplin, big brands wouldn't sell their products unless you'd guarantee a minimum sales number per month.

You were restricted to how low you could sell their products.

Even Apple would restrict us on how close other products could be to theirs!

If you had walked into Maplin, you would think we didn't sell Apple products.

Apple wanted a minimum of 1 metre distance from others and dedicated areas with just their products. Hardly achievable in a ordinary shop.

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

Stuart Halliday

Good luck getting ISO standards free....

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Give Samsung a hand: Chaebol pulls back Arm to strike Intel's chips

Stuart Halliday

With a RISC processor taking an average 2 clock cycles per instruction, against a CISC of 20 CC/I.

Am I right in thinking it'll be a darn sight faster at 3GHz than anything Intel can do?

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Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Stuart Halliday

Wow, there's a thing I've never heard of before...

The Register needs to inform us of more bizarre technology and the companies that make them.

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Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters

Stuart Halliday

They need to electrify Sex.

After last week's announcement to use electric vehicles for everything, it could work!

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Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

Stuart Halliday

I went to help out my Boss's friends Accountancy business IT.

The company has 15+ staff and turns around £3+ million . OK. not huge. But then they're handling the accounts of thousands of local businesses.

I discovered that their 3 year old Backup system, which consisted of a DAT tape getting backed up every night at 2am, was coming up with "Do you want to overwrite this tap?" window and defaulting to no because no one was around!

The CEO was duly swapping the tape every morning for the last 3 years. But sadly didn't bother to actually check it was working. The set of tapes were full of 3 year old data....

I wish I had taken a picture of the CEO when he went very pale and then very red and sat down as the enormity of what mess his company and his reputation would have been in if his system had fallen over.

All I had to do was add /Y to the backup script line. Two ascii characters that would have costed him £3+ million?

You have to laugh at folks.....

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Citation needed: Europe claims Kaspersky wares 'confirmed as malicious'

Stuart Halliday

Can't they just take their Source code, compile it in front of a team after they've went through it and hash it against a released version.

Or am I being too naivé? :)

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Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory

Stuart Halliday

So Flat Earthers claim there is no gravity, just acceration.

Can this clock test the difference between the two? ;)

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Linus Torvalds decides world isn’t ready for Linux 5.0

Stuart Halliday

Has everyone forgotten Windows ME....

If only I could....

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'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers

Stuart Halliday

IIRC Clive was famous for delaying his products.

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Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

Stuart Halliday

If folks want personal robots, how do expect them to see?

They'll need devices like this and these nuggets won't spontaneously be invented when robots go on general sale.

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Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers

Stuart Halliday

Interesting. I thought the Germans had hidden the bones.

Didn't realise the Russians had came across the bodies.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: Um… Why?

Because when people get a set of falseys they usually don't wait until every tooth has fallen out?

Duh.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: Still I don't understand why Russian doesn't allow full tests.

Because who wants 1cm holes in your valuable fragments?

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

Stuart Halliday

OK, why did this so called professional IT company not have the UPS in a standard regular test mode so at least the customer knew that the battery was needing replaced.

They should have had a email from the UPS that it was dead.

They also need to read up about lead acid batteries safety. No need to call the emergency services.

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Stuart Halliday

Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Smelled a little like Ammonia. Doesn't mean it was.

If it's in an office then there should be a health & safety certificate listing what chemicals are in the Fridge.

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Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

Stuart Halliday

It's got two choices open to it to keep it's shareholders happy.

Increase prices again, or launch a new product that it can sell.

First option seems to be popular with them.

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Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...

Stuart Halliday
Facepalm

Re: countless issues

Which is why you have in-house Beta Testers and out-house Beta Testers.

The only trouble with out-house testers is unless you're very careful, you end up with a load of folk more concerned with One-Upmanship Status with their friends and they can't be bothered to do any real testing.

Surely Apple hasn't fallen for this old trick?

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Audiophiles have really taken to the warm digital tone of streaming music

Stuart Halliday

Streaming is a young person's game.

The over 50s have no interest.

Still, all my life I've yet to hear a HiFi system that sounds like real-life.

Can we get that sorted?

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Planned European death ray may not need Brit boffinry brain-picking

Stuart Halliday

If you use mirrors, the beam simply bounces off and goes into someone else?

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Boffins pull off quantum leap in true random number generation

Stuart Halliday

One thing I noticed over the decades is that if I seed a RND function with a fixed time value the resultant 'random' number is different on different computers.

So a pile of obsolete computers each feeding into each other.

Sounds very HHGTTG.

Good enough? :)

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Stuart Halliday

Re: how about ...

Brownian motion machine?

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Stuart Halliday

Pardon my ignorance. But take a picture of the sky.

Cloud formation looks pretty random to me, so the bits making up the image should be random (assuming a working CCD)?

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Mark Duckerberg: Second Congressional grilling sees boss dodge questions like a pro

Stuart Halliday

“we thought that when developers told us they weren’t going to sell data” they meant it."

So very naivé or very stupid or lying.

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German sauna drags punters to court over naked truth

Stuart Halliday

Stamp it out.

Just what has this News got to do with Technology or Science?

Isn't it about time The Register stopped telling us about politics or other non technological subjects? :)

Very dull.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Stuart Halliday

Had a customer complaining about radio frequencies with her PC.

She gets headaches seemingly.

I suggest she upgrade from 2.4GHz to a 5GHz Wi-Fi dongle.

She went away happy.

Didn't like to tell her there was about 20 Wifi networks around her as PC World was next door....

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Ariane 5 primed for second launch of year after trajectory cockup

Stuart Halliday

Nice to know that we can still Cock things up big style.

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Badmins: Magento shops brute-forced to scrape card deets and install cryptominers

Stuart Halliday

Re: "Not changing the default credentials" . .

You're not talking about the Human Race sadly. People take the easy path.

If that leads to mud and shite, then they really don't care or know about it to avoid.

Time to put some obstacles in their path and explain why they're there.

Far too much open source software makes the absurd assumption the user knows what they're doing.

Remember when Routers first became available? They were shipped with no security set as it was assumed professionals were going to use them.

The Public got a shock and manufacturers had to ship them with the security turned on.

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