* Posts by heyrick

3371 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

heyrick
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Re: I can't believe the Ref didn't stop the fight!

Use real easy text and boss guy will know what it does mean.

[it's actually harder than it looks, to stick to four letters or less]

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heyrick
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Re: One Two Many

"seconde or deuxième (prefered usage when enumerating)"

Not quite. The rule is: You use "deuxième" when referring to the second of <many>. You use "second(e)" when referring to the second of two.

As we are talking about a language, there are of course exceptions: classe de seconde, seconde nature, and of course the Seconde Guerre Mondial will probably remain that even if there's a third attempt. I say probably because this time we have nukes and countries run by lunatics, but asides from that...

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heyrick
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Re: So I take it...

ARM split off from Acorn circa 1990. Acorn itself carried on afterwards.

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heyrick
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Happy

So I take it...

...that this is another hype-happy outfit with a five letter name beginning with A that's never going to invite you to another publicity bash ever?

Well, "Acorn" is no longer (at least, not the one I remember). Who's left?

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Wires, chips, and LEDs: US trade bigwigs detail Chinese kit that's going to cost a lot more

heyrick
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Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets

Yeah, remind me... Didn't my iPad Mini say on the back or the box something like: Proudly designed in California. Made in China ?

There's your problem right there.

It's really hard to have any sympathy with Trump's point of view when you realise that it would have been pretty easy to have American stuff made in America and the IP would never have to have left the country (and would have to have been actually stolen), but no, the shareholders wanted more money and the management never gave a shit about such things as employee rights and child workers, so all this important IP was willingly dumped in the hands of the Chinese in return for making stuff at Chinese prices (to be sold at American prices, kerching!).

And now the guy in charge is crying?

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

heyrick
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Done that a bunch of times

In various shops, a library, and a bank (in the days before the rampant paranoia).

All you need to do is explain in really simple terms, reassure them that it won't blow up, and be certain to never actually touch (or attempt to touch) anything yourself. Most people are grateful because although you're just one person, it's probably been "on the blink" for days/weeks and they're the ones stuck attempting to carry on using the thing.

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heyrick
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Re: Keyboard ecosystems

"proudly proclaiming on its box at the time that it was spill-proof"

A local shop has a keyboard that claims waterproof to a depth of a metre, and up to 30 minutes.

Looking at the keyboard (in a clear plastic case with translucent plastic moulding), it's pretty clear to see that the controller logic and radio transmitter are in a little sealed compartment. The membrane and the batteries are not. I can't imagine that'll work particularly well in or around water...

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heyrick
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Re: Keyboard ecosystems

"Now they're a consumable item."

It's perhaps an economic thing. Keyboards these days are pretty cheap, and you're paid how much per hour?

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

heyrick
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Re: It's nice to see the government being courageously optimistic!

JC? I can't help but to think of a dead guy who was supposedly important two millennia ago.

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heyrick
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Re: Brexit Schmexit and other Perverse Costly Abominations

"sometimes much more"

I think in these post-referendum days, the verbal landscape has changed so much that amanfromMars1 is now understandable. It's all the rest of them that make no bloody sense at all...

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heyrick
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Re: Good old Alan T

"who will pay you a pittance and then castrate you for your trouble"

And remember, big megacorps, once we're out there will be no pesky EU "rights" telling you how to treat your workforce, so feel free to skimp on protective clothing, put the entire lot on zero hour contacts, change their positions and remuneration from month to month, and to top it off, feel free to dump all the waste in any nearby river.

Isn't Blighty marvelous?! Come, please, for the love of God come, before another high street name goes under...

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

heyrick
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Re: EU Are Being Vindictive

"and we all are subject to the same threats as the EU countries"

Funny how all this "better in it together" was a bad thing during the referendum when the populace wanted to "take back control", but now that the dust is settling and it's becoming clear what the consequences are, suddenly "better in it together" is more like a desperate plea.

There's actually a fairly easy fix for all of this - call off Brexit. But, wait, can you see Dacre and Rees-Mogg accepting that?

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heyrick
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Re: Well

"France can't afford to take back its citizens"

And the UK can afford to take back it's citizens (many of whom are retirees)?

"Would you believe that at he "pole emploi" [...] actively encourages the unemployed to go to the UK."

No, I wouldn't. And given the reputation that the UK is getting regarding how foreigners are treated, the "advice" (if any is given) is likely to be the opposite. Crack open a copy of Ouest-France once in a while or watch the téléjournal.

"For the UK a no-border is obligatory"

For the EU, a barrier between the EU and the non EU is also obligatory, not to mention the lack of any sort of border would make it an easy place for all this uncontrolled immigration that people fear so much. So in essence it's two opposing immovable points of view and since it's the UK who had the brilliant idea of Brexit, it has to be their responsibility to come up with solutions rather than passing the buck and passing the blame like they've been doing for decades.

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EU-US Privacy Shield not up to snuff, data tap should be turned off – MEPs

heyrick
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Re: Disagree

"How much time do they need?"

Apparently a LONG time... http://www.tronc.com/gdpr/baltimoresun.com/

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No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

heyrick
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Uh huh...

I've been reading this in the totally logical and accurate British press. The ones screaming about a 25 hour day (as if it's something the EU is going to foist on them next year).

Nice to see science reporting is concentrating more on the days being longer, rather than that they were once shorter.

&lt;facepalm&gt;

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Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

heyrick
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This is still a thing?

As far as I'm aware, the majority of the phones sold in France now are "débloqué". I know SFR don't lock their phones, and my S7 (Orange) was not locked either.

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'Moore's Revenge' is upon us and will make the world weird

heyrick
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Re: "it may dampen our enthusiasm for the connected world"

Quite.

Things that require internet connectivity require internet connectivity. A web browser is just a boring white square without.

But things that require internet connectivity "just because bullshit waffle FUD fudge"? No thanks.

Seriously. No.

The only way you'll tempt me with a "smart fridge" (etc - WhyTF does a fridge need to be online?!?) is if the controller board is documented, schematics are available, and the FULL sources are available on GitHub (or, at the very least, a tarball) so that it can be updated and expanded long after the manufacturer has lost interest (which is usually some point before purchase).

Otherwise, any "connected" things that I will buy are merely considered toys and are usually for "playing with" (in a manner of "playing" that involves screwdrivers and USB serial ports).

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heyrick
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"Its interesting how one person's logical thought process produces different results to another."

I'm a Brit. I live in France.

It's pretty much burned into my brain to move more to the left to get out of the way (just like when crossing a road I instinctively look to the right first).

For the Frenchies, they move to the right to get out of the way.

Oops.

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

heyrick
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Re: Indeed on the pork ...

"Ever get a tie caught in a cooling fan or a line printer?"

When I did tech support for an office: long hair and laser printer. Never yanked a power cable out so fast in my life...

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

heyrick
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Strange...

The article was posted at 17:50 (I assume British time). I used my Visa card to purchase some stuff in Brittany at about 18h50 (French time), no problem there...?

But, yes, as others have pointed out, my other card is a MasterCard, just so that I have available payment methods on different (unrelated) networks (and from different banks). If a silly little bit of plastic is what determines whether or not I have dinner to eat, it doesn't hurt to be a little paranoid. Especially given the banking sector's general "oh well, something went wrong, not our problem, move along now" attitude. Do you think if I wrote a cheque for money I don't have, I could use the same nonchalant "don't really give a shit" attitude with them? So, different cards, different networks, different banks. Otherwise known to us geeks as: have a working backup.

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A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

heyrick
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Re: Or...

"Elsewhere collections would be summed using sum(array)"

The example code looked a lot like C.

Standard C does not have a "sum" function, and if it did, it would likely just be a loop that does what the example loop did.

Yes, it would be more logical indeed to use the facilities provided by the language rather than using old fashioned code to "do it yourself", so long as the language provides such functions in the first place.

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heyrick
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Re: Auditing

"checking the outputs are sane should be mandatory for any banking software"

Having watched the news for the past BIGNUM years, I'm convinced that banking is the very definition of insanity. Thus, the software was working correctly and proving an appropriately bullshit value (since it's adding up, not giving an average, the result should have been comically off the mark).

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Sysadmin's PC-scrub script gave machines a virus, not a wash

heyrick
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Re: a Mac SE FDHD installed as a gate guardian

"Mac could store a little more on a floppy disk than a PC could (although the amount extra, about 10-20%, was disappointing given the extra effort and cost required to make it work)."

DOS - 720K, RISC OS 800K

DOS - 1.44MB, RISC OS 1.6MB

Same disc hardware, same discs. Just a format that wasn't as crappy as FAT.

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Remember that $5,000 you spent on Tesla's Autopilot and then sued when it didn't deliver? We have good news...

heyrick
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Re: Let's talk autopilot

"Autopilot is intended as an aide, not a substitute for a driver."

I'm not sure I would have called it "autopilot" as that name brings to mind (of normal people, not professional pilots) certain things that "driving assistant" does not; things helped by the hype and blurb surrounding the product.

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Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

heyrick
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Re: 45°? Pfft.

I recall a female performer (Sarah Brightman?) on a TV show ages ago (when TOTP was still a thing) beating that. She didn't move on stage and she had a big dress, clearly to hide the fact that her shoes were probably fixed to the floor, but she was bending to crazy angles - way more than 45 degrees.

But if we're talking about insane, try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZLldDtZYt8

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heyrick
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Re: Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

"... not even ones about Dev-Ops."

You say that like it's a bad thing...

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Router admin? Bored? Let's play Battleships using BGP!

heyrick
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Didn't Doctrow's Little Brother reference the idea of streaming video through the DNS protocol? That's a little more far fetched (given the latency and throughput issues of video), but it's the same premise - hiding unrelated information within an existing protocol...

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'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

heyrick
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Re: GDPR violation ?

"Yes, you did consent."

No, you didn't.

1, The fact that Facebook pillages your personal data is likely not disclosed in any of the agreements. It'll be some generic legalese mentioning "our partners" which fails to say what, who, and why.

2, If there is no option to disable the collection of data, it isn't valid to imply "informed consent" because there is no mechanism to grant or revoke said consent.

3, In this juridiction, even though it is never enforced, all those terms that you "agree to" are utterly meaningless. Why? Because it is something (usually a restriction or somebody granting themselves permission that you would not knowingly grant) that appears after purchase.

4, In a good few cases, YOU never even agreed. In order to claim a service charge for helping with setting up the device, the rep in the telephone shop will unwrap the phone, install the SIM, power it up, tap through all the agreements, then check the device is registered with the network (and charge you for it). [1]

So, yes, I'd like to see this nonsense tested in court. And I mean a real court, not an American one.

1 - My S7 is the first phone that I tapped on the agreements myself (it's my fourth Android). I made it quite clear that if there was a Facebook app built in that could not be disabled, I was handing the phone back. She didn't know. Her S7 had it but she didn't know if it was built in or if she installed it. So she went to check another and by the time she came back I'd already fitted the SIM, so she just let me do all the rest and - hey - no stupid charge and no baked in Facebook.

I'd like to believe the news of recent months would have more people refusing devices with Facebook, but when I glance at people using their phones at work I see the same distinctive bluish layout on each of them... Oh well...

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heyrick
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Re: GDPR violation ?

"There need to be prosecutions."

Indeed there should be, but given how Safe Harbour was ruled invalid and replaced by some extra words that mean bugger all, I won't hold my breath.

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

heyrick
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Re: Instead of fixing the problem...

"Armed security guards in the schools is the only solution."

Fat lot of good having an armed guard did the kids in Florida...

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heyrick
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Re: Early information

"Should his father be charged for letting him get to them? Maybe, but good luck with that in Texas."

I think that there says all that needs to be said...

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heyrick
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Re: Early information

"Wow, I've hit a nerve."

Triple figure downvotes on the first post, and getting there with this one. The thing is, maybe you think that...

"Some people have been trying to further regulate guns in the U.S. for more than 60 years."

Sure, some people might have been, but is there any actual serious attempt to talk about gun control? Even before the scapegoat of video games was dragged out as "justification", there were the usual calls to arm the teachers. You don't get rid of a gun problem by introducing even more guns to people unlikely to be trained in, or wanting to have, use of weapons.

"Anyone who thinks there's a quick and easy 'fix' is deluded."

Certainly. It's going to take a lot more dead children to change the mindset of the powerful lobby known as the NRA.

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UPnP joins the 'just turn it off on consumer devices, already' club

heyrick
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Re: Knocking on my firewall door

"But even help desks get tired of the same requests over and over."

And?

Some days I get tired of doing the same stuff over and over, but it's my job, it's what I'm paid to do.

Perhaps if the help desk keeps getting the same questions (from different users, I should add for clarity), it implies that the first line of assistance (the online help) is inadequate, confusing, or difficult to find?

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heyrick
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Meh

Re: USB cables

"I don't think I've ever seen one myself either."

Try with USB battery packs. Or anything that has a USB connection for charging, not data transfer.

Unfortunately when you have several kicking around and they look identical to normal USB cables, it is all too easy to pick up the wrong one, plug phone into computer, then wonder why the thing doesn't pop up the connection confirmation. Oh, yeah, no data... Grrrr...

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heyrick
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Re: another lesson

"What happens when (not if) it shuts down?"

Given the price of the printer...I go buy a different one. ;-)

Your point about intermediaries is valid though, but then aren't so many things dependent upon some sort of third party service? (if nothing else, it means phoning home and telemetry are baked into the service)

Oh look, on this very day... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/17/nest_outage/

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heyrick
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Re: another lesson

"Sorry, but nothing you have REQUIRES a port-forward, unless you are providing an actual service."

This. I'm running a small server on my Pi. Port forwarding set up manually. I also have an HP printer that I can print to by emailing PDFs. It has no port forwarding and there is no UPnP yet somehow it all still works...

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heyrick
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Re: Doctor, where have you been all this time ?

"Without UPnP or the ability to port forward, you cannot host."

The Orange Livebox comes with UPnP enabled by default (yes, I killed that and WPS the moment I first logged into it). Your sentence, I'm wondering how many people with these routers would even understand what that means, never mind needing it. UPnP is something that should be off until it is required, not the other way around.

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German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way

heyrick
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Re: Eternal sentence

I could cope with the idiots. I could cope with the flakey WiFi (when I was young, V.23 was a thing). As a tea drinker, I could even cope with bad coffee.

But this...

"forced to read YouTube comments forever"

...is beyond cruel.

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It's Galileo Groundhog Day! You can keep asking the same question, but it won't change the answer

heyrick
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Re: ???

"You seem to be suggesting that there is a high-resolution service available only to the military. If so, could you please give a reference? Thanks."

It's quite well known that the US government requires domestic GPS receivers to cease working above 60,000 feet altitude and/or faster than 1,000 knots. Receivers capable of more than that are classed as munitions. Google for details.

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heyrick
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Re: The UK go it alone?

I'll skip over your Brexit comments. As a British citizen denied the right to vote in a referendum that directly affects me (as a person living and working in the EU), I'm sure it won't take you much difficulty to work out exactly what orifice you can put the whole Brexit mess into, nor the hideously incompetent mess that is worse than a banana republic that we're how far into negotiations and we're all still approximately nowhere? I say this so you understand that from where I sit, calling the Brexiteers "ignorant numpties" is extremely polite, much more than a single one of them deserve.

Instead, I shall respond to this: "And back to this topic, we are actually quite good at space stuff" That may be so, however there is a certain need for international cooperation. If you are intending to launch a constellation of satellites to compete with the American, Russian, and EU systems... Who do you think is going to be willing to put them up there? The big players are the aforementioned three.

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heyrick
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Re: A logical outcome

"As the advisory Referendum was supposed to be for the definitive answer,"

There. Fixed that for you. It only ceased being advisory and became "the will of the people" when the Leave side won. You can bet your ass that had Remain won, it would have been "merely advisory" and somebody like Farage would be calling for another vote. He as much as said so, saying a 48-52 result would be "unfinished business".

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Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

heyrick
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Re: Don't wear high vis

Ah, yes. The curse of a bright jacket. I used to wear a bright yellow plastic jacket (not a high-viz, just yellow) on days when it was raining and I took a load of cans and stuff just down the road to the recycling station. Cue a large number of people completely ignoring the big "I don't work here" message stuck to my jacket and asking where does this go? Where does that go? Can I recycle this?

The first? A bloke holding an old rusty metal thing and me standing next to a big crate with a sign saying "metal goes here".

It's as if a bright jacket is an invitation for people to completely switch their brains off.

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Let's kick the tyres on Google's Android P... It's not an overheating wreck, but UX is tappy

heyrick
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All that bloody whitespace

Not only does it suck battery life on the new generation of OLED screens, it sears a hole right into your brain when waking bleary eyed in the middle of the night. How about instead of pissing around breaking the task switcher, they try something genuinely useful like "night mode" where all the white becomes black?

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Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

heyrick
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Re: Back in my day

"explanation of the difference in parallel and serial in painful detail"

If you don't mind me asking - what did the Amiga consider to be a serial port? Parallel works (usually) around 0V/5V, while serial works at nominally swings larger than -3V/+3V (and anything in the region of 6-12V either way is entirely normal). So I'd have thought that you would have been more likely to kill the printer than the computer?

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heyrick
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Re: Saved by the power supply

"Yet the power supply had taken all the real damage"

A few years ago, it seems as if the Livebox (ADSL router) suffered a lightning strike through the phone line (perhaps as induced?). That's because although the main trip switch fired, most of the damage was evident around the Livebox. The phone plug was scorched. The router itself rattled with numerous parts loose inside. The power supply was bulging. And everything connected to the box was history - the LivePhone transmitter, a DECT base, and a generic phone. All lightly toasted. Thank God no computers were attached. I am aware of the risks of lightning so it's purely WiFi here in order to air gap machines as much as possible.

It was amusing calling Orange support to request a new Livebox. The woman was reading through her script (plug it in, turn it on, tell me what lights up) and she was starting to get a bit wary when I was asking her about the potential liability of instructing me to plug in a clearly burnt out power brick. In the end I held up the box, rattled it, and said "I'm a programmer so you can skip the scripted diagnostics, the sound you heard was the Livebox with bits rattling around inside, do you still want me to try turning it on?". The replacement was ordered then and there. ;)

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heyrick
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Re: Lightning icon required =========>

"It was going quite well until I noticed that one valve was entirely glowing red."

The only valve TV that I ever owned was terrifying. It dropped 240V down to whatever it wanted internally by way of a big length of ceramic with wire wrapped around it. Effectively a huge resistor doing double duty as a bar heater - yes, it glowed red.

After seeing that, I came to appreciate my mother's paranoia with televisions spontaneously combusting. Hence an approriate icon.

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heyrick
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Re: That happened to me

"a bunch of 15 year olds who have chosen to do a Computing Studies course"

Is it really a surprise when in the late '80s Computer Studies (you have a 32KB computer with about 20K free memory, write a database that can cope with at least two hundred records of about 700 bytes each, to be accessed in a manner to be defined but not sequentially) somehow morphed into Information Technology (this is a computer, computers are complicated, this computer runs a special program called a database, databases are complicated)? While nobody blew the power supplies, they certainly messed with the network. The few students (not faculty) that kept the system running since the dumbing down also replaced competent teachers with morons, kept a healthy supply of line drivers to swap in as needed.

I was one of the "good" (haha) students, if only because of an unhealthy addiction to Chuckie Egg... If the machines didn't work, then neither did Chuckie, and that would lead to a miserable depressing weekend with nothing to do after The Chart Show.

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Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

heyrick
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Re: I am not sure but...

"but I am not at all sure I want to be deleted"

Would you object to getting a copy of your information and then copy-pasting it here?

Because that's what it comes down to. A disastrous inability to keep private information private. To be honest I really don't understand how they can suffer a breach of this scale and still be operating. We, as customers, should be holding our banks responsible, for that's where the information originally would have come from; and the more everybody mumbles "credit references" and "anti-terrorism", the more nothing will happen. Screw the many excuses, why are we tolerating doing business with any company that continues to use such an untrustworthy outfit?

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HP Ink to compensate punters for bricking third-party ink cartridges

heyrick
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Re: Motherf***ers. I strongly doubt this is the only HP that has done this.

"I've bought actual HP cartridges"

I am a subscriber to the Instant Ink programme. A fiver a month for 100 pages, plus I can roll over up to 100 pages (it accumulates, which is nice).

I think I've printed maybe 150 pages (and since I don't have to worry about ink consumption, a fair few photos) since I installed the cartridge, and it is still reading over three quarters full.

Compare this with a standard cartridge pair that will set you back around €26 and maybe manage 100 pages of you're lucky, rather less if printing photos.

The obvious question, from the point of view of "the consumer experience" is why don't they sell these bigger tanks in the first place?

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Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

heyrick
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Wait, are we sure we aren't already here?

I would have hoped The Real World would have a better resolution...

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