* Posts by Mystic Megabyte

1656 posts • joined 18 Feb 2010

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

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Re: Remember DAT?

Yes, we used to rent them to studios for making stereo master tape. DAT was very popular for a while.

Cisco sues lawyers on its own side – for bigger slice of capacitor price-fixing settlement pie

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Heat @eldakka

I'm sitting in front of a Philps fan heater that belonged to my long dead parents. It has a label on the base which says "MAINTENANCE: Every six months unplug the heater, remove the base, remove any fluff and oil the bearings". I did that last week, this heater must be at least 40* years old. Similar modern appliances have tamper proof screws and will die after two years.

*the neon lamp died but I replaced it with one from a dead kettle

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

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Xenix with 48 serial ports*

I once had to wire up a music business between Christmas and the New Year. It was two floors of an office block and the heating was in metal ducts under the windows. This is where we had planned to run the cables. You'd have thought that management would have got everybody to clear their desks but no!

Long rectangular desks with the short end up against the ducts. As well as the usual clutter each desk had piles of EPs and LPs (that's vinyl to you youngsters!) on and under it. There's a limit to how many records that you can carry or stack because they slide off each other. The cleaners had obviously given up trying to clean around them a long time ago, dirt and fluff everywhere! Four of us spent two days just moving desks away from the walls :(

I discovered that there was no easy way to get the cables from the top floor downwards. The chief accountant wanted the server in his office so I hired a diamond core bit and drilled a two inch hole in his floor!

We did get the cabling installed and all the desks replaced before they came back to work and I got paid a good chunk of money.

*This ran surprisingly well. IIRC there were 36 terminals, 4 printers and a modem connected to it. I can't quite remember the software, Sun systems maybe. Everyone had a word processor, spreadsheet etc.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

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It's shorter than you think

Trying to blackmail very rich people may lead to a shortened life expectancy. As for Agent Orange, how long before some patriot realises that having a Russian stooge is not acceptable?

It's 2019, and a PNG file can pwn your Android smartphone or tablet: Patch me if you can

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Suggestions please

Maybe it's time to retire my 1st. gen Moto G even though it is still working fine. I wouldn't do banking on any phone but I don't want it dialling premium rate numbers.

Any recommendations for a phone that's less than about £150 would be welcome. When I get a new one I'll try loading Lineage on the old one.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

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Re: A Domain of Fire and Ice

Unfortunately that's what the UK will look like after Brexit :(

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

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What a shit!

The swamp has been replaced with a septic tank :(

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

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A reminder of how crap Apple products are

Back in the day when I had a 386DX and ran Photoshop with no problems my neighbour got a "special deal" on an iMac G3. The fecking thing could not even rotate a jpeg! To get her holiday snaps into it I had to burn a CD with under 100 files per folder and rename all the files into a 8.3 all caps format.

Who the fuck buys this shit?!!

P.S. It's Linux and Gimp that does everything (photographically) that I need now. RIP Windows :(

Yes, you can remotely hack factory, building site cranes. Wait, what?

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Heavy lift marine vessels have remote operated cranes. You could capsize one by extending the jib too far when it's holding a load. Usually line of sight when standing near a pier.

*taps on glass* Hellooo, IRS? Anyone in? Anyone guarding taxpayers' data from crooks? Hellooo?

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Based in Cyprus!

Meanwhile the newly incorporated Rumpo Construction Co. is tendering to syphon off the funds build the wall.


It's the weekend. We're out of puns for now. Just have a gander at China's Moon lander and robo-sidekick snaps, videos

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Danger! <insert robot voice here>

In the video it was amazing to see the lander autonomously seek out a flat landing site. That must be some pretty sophisticated software at work. Cool!

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

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I wonder how many facets they have. Would it be a simple 12 *sided or a gazillion sides?

*<starts playing the Blue Danube>

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

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IT Angle


My partner and I lived in an apartment above our elderly and very deaf landlady. In the evenings she would use the remote to crank up the volume on her powerful Grundig TV to 11. It was so loud that we could not hear each other speaking. Her fusebox was outside of her door so we'd go down and briefly switch off her entire apartment, the TV would reset to normal volume and she'd be asleep and not notice the lights going off and on.

Have a nice weekend!

Thought Macbooks were expensive? Dell UK unveils the 7 meeeellion pound laptop

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"Ferries not included" LOL

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again

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Re: FCC and FTC are totally unreliable to regulate industry @Big Al

I don't know the answer to that but here's a strange thing. One of my web-mail accounts in the UK is OK to send me virus laden attachments. But when I try to forward them to the UK's *eFraud department they get blocked, message says "This contains malware". ???


AT&T (sucks) upgrades folks to 5G (Evolution) that isn't actually 5G

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Ain't Capitalism just great

Jeepers! Weird how 'Merkins are brainwashed to accept their corporate overlords. They don't mind being ripped off or the lack of tax paid by these global corps. Just mention socialism and they're like turkeys voting for *Christmas.

*other events may apply

P.S. I'm not a socialist, but IMO you need a balance of the two sides to hinder outrageous greed.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

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Border farce!

The government bleat on about our border while cutting back on the people who protect it. In one CG station that I know of the staff turnover is high because they are expected to work 12 hour shifts for not a lot of money. So then a new person is appointed who does not have the experience to deal with emergencies, disasters or just about anything else. For example, they will ask for the launch a lifeboat that is further away from a casualty than a nearer one.

Ultimately the government would like to shut all but one of the coastguard stations. So if your yacht is in trouble on the west coast of Scotland you'll be talking to someone in Dover who has no local knowledge of that area. In short, you'll be lucky to be rescued.

A few years ago the police started Operation Kraken <insert ominous music here> where the public are asked to report suspicious behaviour on the coast. Another cost cutting exercise perhaps? Get something for free rather than pay people to protect our border. Call me a cynic.

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Re: Brexit just gets better? @Walter

In a news report a couple of weeks ago the head of the truckers association said that a UK business with 400 trucks would have to complete 7 million pieces of paperwork every week.

Pre-EU I used to deliver expensive (~£100,000) equipment to Holland. You needed a carnet, then at the port you stood in the rain outside five different porta-cabins to get the required stamps. The Dutch side had a warm modern building with showers and a coffee machine where all the paperwork was processed.

Tl:Dr It's going to be a disaster!

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

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Cosmic background weirdness

He spent the Christmas break binge-reading back-issues of Fortean Times and Heavy Metal and is now having trouble trying to come back to terms with conventional reality.

I'm clutching my Fortean Times mug this morning, it always makes me smile. For what's written on the drawing of the monitor see title.


Forget 2019's tech biz takeovers, here's the mega-merger everyone's talking about: Milky Way and LMC, coming soon

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Re: Future Sky

Clicking the Quicktime 1080p link takes me to a German site for anti-stretchmark cream :(


Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

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Brain dead

I kept getting text messages from a woman in Scotland inviting me to parties "wiv drink an' drugs". Texting her back had no effect so I rang her up. All she could say was "Who are you?", I explained that she did not know me. The response was "Who are you?" !!!

As the conversation was going nowhere I told her to f*** off. She then gave her phone to some guy to "sort me out". Not being afraid of getting beaten up over the phone I told the guy the problem and asked him to delete my number from the phone. He said OK and did it, result!

China's loose Chang'e: Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media

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I hope that they got some pics of the helium3 tanks on the way down :)

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

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Full speed ahead

We were invited to board a RN destroyer at sea. The main weapons control room was in the middle of the ship, exactly where a Exocet missile would hit :(

When trying to depart we found that our 52 ft. boat was "glued" to the side of the destroyer, tricky!

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

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James Irwin

In 1980 I was living in Switzerland and went with a friend to a *conference featuring James Irwin. We went early but found that the place was packed. People were already sitting in the aisles. I suggested that we sit on the floor at the front but my friend said that his eyesight could not deal with being so close. So I made a route through the middle row expecting to be sitting in the middle aisle. Almost at the aisle we found a man with his coat covering two seats, when asked he said that he was trying to save them but his pals had not turned up. So we got seats in almost the centre of the auditorium.

We saw footage from the chest mounted camera while the astronauts drove the lunar buggy! Totally amazing!

Mr. Irwin explained that part of the mission was to find some white rock that the geologists had predicted would exist. The problem was that everything was covered with a grey dust. On their last day they had prayed to God that they would find it. Driving up the side of a hill they saw a large boulder, on top of which was a white rock, dust free! Mr. Irwin pulled a white rock from his pocket and then admitted that it was a NASA copy :)

At one point he also did the "blue marble" speech, I kid you not, when he held up a blue marble the audience was completely quiet.

Totally fecking amazing!!!

Mr. James Irwin was a brilliant orator. During the Q&A at the end he never once umed or ared but after a moments deliberation always gave a clear answer. RIP brave man.

*L'Ecole Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne

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Re: I remember watching Armstrong walking on the Moon on the TV

Yes, frig that!

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

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Tethered projectiles

A bit late here but why not a tethered projectile?

I've fired these things a few times, they are powerful enough to make a two inch hole through your head! Range approx: 250m

If you could add a tracking system it would be perfect.

This link just came up first after a search:


Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

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Re: Not my idea of sport

I'll upvote you for the "don't kill it if you won't eat it" but I eat some venison in Portree and it was *very* gamey. I presume that it was an elderly stag, I am not an expert in this field. Anyway, the meal was expensive and I forced myself to eat it . I prefer Roe deer :)

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Not my idea of sport

I was living in Germany but went diving on the west coast of Scotland. On Jura I saw a German registered VW with four guys in camo and holding rifles. "Feck me!", I exclaimed, "It's the fecking German army!"

Actually they were paying big money to shoot stags. IMHO it takes no skill to kill something with a modern rifle from half a mile away. And of course the numptys wanted the heads as trophys.

Dixons Carphone smarting from £440m loss as it writes down goodwill on mobile biz

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Their crap web-site lets you register but when you want to buy and checkout it's "UK mainland only".

As they knew my post code why did they waste my time? I hope that they sink!

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

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Speaking of confusion.....

Here's how to confuse the Taxman.

I'm sure that I read about this in a book by Sir Patrick Moore but I might be wrong:

First letter to the taxman, My Ref: ABC123

Next letter, My Ref: ABC124

Next letter, My Ref: ABC126

In which you state that all the info that they required was in the previous letter, My Ref: ABC125. (which obviously does not exist)

I've done this and it feels good!

It's nearly pub o'clock and as there are no police here we drive there and back, ooops!

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

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I've never had a FB account but after reading this I'm going to install Pi-hole this weekend. In fact I might make a few pennies by selling an advert free solution to local people.

Japanese cyber security minister 'doesn't know what a USB stick is'

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Re: The assumption that everyone uses a PC

In a pre-computer age a friend worked as secretary to a fashion company. After some time her bosses turned out to be not very nice and they sacked her. Unfortunately for them she had kept all their records of clients and suppliers in shorthand; her own version of shorthand which was unreadable by anyone else!

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Re: That's nothing

Find out here at 0:40 Probably SFW unless your boss is German


Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

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I saw 2001 when it was released, in Cinerama. I've never been the same since then! Mind blowing!!

ZX Spectrum reboot scandal man sits on Steve Bannon design tech shindig committee

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I personally would not invite Steve Bannon to the opening of a new land-fill site. He's a fecking moron!

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

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"A man's good name is worth a thousand gold mines". Is that a quote from the Bible? (i can't remember)

Anyway, Ajit Pai is an arsehole and I would not employ him to walk my dog.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

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I'm pink, therefore I'm spam

As René Descartes used to say while bashing the bishop

You like HTTPS. We like HTTPS. Except when a quirk of TLS can smash someone's web privacy

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She no loady

Recently Firefox 62.0.3 stalls with the message on the bottom left "Performing TLS handshake", the page never loads. I hit stop and usually the page loads on a second attempt.

Any idea why?

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

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Not just phones :(

Twice this year I've been enjoying a meal in a restaurant when a woman has arrived who has seemingly applied an entire bottle of perfume onto herself. Within seconds the whole room is saturated and I'm unable to smell my tasty food. If I had not paid for it I would just bin the food.


Bloke gets six months for fixing up Russia's US election trolls with bank accounts, fake identities

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I've been trying for ages to get a friend to understand the downside(s) of Facebook. She has created a local interest group. Yesterday she came into the office and wanted to update something so I let her use my laptop. She could not work out why only half the FB page was visible. "Do I have to login to your computer?", she asked. I replied that for those outside FB's walled garden most of this info is invisible.

What can you do? :(

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

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Trump is trying to divert attention from his Russian master, look over there---> It's Chinese hackers!

Iron Mike Pence blasts Google for its censor-happy Dragonfly Chinese search engine

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It's a double WTF!

Pence is a moron who has sold his soul in order to promote his "Christian" beliefs. How crazy is that?

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

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this did not go well

This is from my addled memory so may contain nuts.

Had a client whose office was 100m from Threadneedle St. (yep it's banking related)

Mission was to somehow get MSDOS 3x to communicate in Portuguese to the mainframe in Switzerland and print locally. Codepages, who the feck designed that?

Also X25 :( and a Swiss IT dude who did not want anything not DEC connected to his system.

P.S. It's Friday here! (When you retire you can choose what day of the week it is)

Google taking action against disguised code in Chrome Web Store

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For general browsing I use Firefox but it's locked down so some sites don't work properly. I only use Chromium for banking and one private streaming video site, that's it! I don't know how they can target adverts at me although I had planned to only click on obscenely expensive bling that I don't want.

Does NoScript work now? It went all weird a while ago.

Groupon to pay IBM $57m after getting money off e-commerce patent settlement

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I thought that Groupon had vanished years ago. No sign it around here anyway.

Cookie clutter: Chrome saves Google cookies from cookie jar purges

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A couple of years ago they were going to label my YouTube uploads with my real name. I had to alter my name in my Gmail account.

While the UN laughed at Trump, hackers chortled at the UN's lousy web application security

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Trump the Chump

Stupid enough to let yourself be compromised by the Russians.

Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

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I represented myself once in a traffic offence case. I proved in court that I would have to have been doing 100mph to have done what I had been accused of. This was odd because the policeman in the witness box had just agreed that I had been driving at 50mph. I got banned from driving and 5 points on my licence. By happenchance I had learned that the policeman was emigrating at the end of the month so while I was still in the court I asked for an appeal. The police prosecutor had a whisper with the magistrate who then informed me that I had to fill out the papers and hand them in before I left the courthouse.

No! No! No!

The papers stated that they had to be submitted within 21 days.

I waited 18 days and sent them in. I had to go to the Crown court to be told that there now was no evidence so my ban was negated. I asked for costs and was told to fuck off!

British justice at its best /s

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Re: A new Dickens novel? @GBE

Sounds like somebody's found a new Dickens novel to me...

Bleak Expectations?

No doubt it's Mr. Gently Benevolent!


Good news: Sub-surface life on Mars possible, moons from big impacts. There is no bad news

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Re: Japanese are developing a mission called MMX @DJV

Nope, it's a marble machine that plays music. It may need a bit of amplification in Mars' thin air


Joking aside, this video is very interesting.

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