* Posts by TWB

206 posts • joined 19 Feb 2010

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Ex-sperm-inate! Sam the sex-droid 'heavily soiled' in randy nerd rampage

TWB

Re: I'm Sorry, I haven't a clue!

Thanks - many upvotes

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TWB

Re: Humanity is doomed

Is that such a bad thing? We humans are'nt that great

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At last, someone's taking Apple to task for, uh, not turning on iPhone FM radio chips

TWB

My decorator...

...has a DAB radio - woo hoo!

I am not a convert to DAB - I nearly only ever listen to Radio 4 and have it on in many rooms at once on multiple radios so would have to change all of them to DAB to keep everything in sync. I don't understand the push for DAB over FM - yes it is supposed to go up to 20kHz but I'm not listening in a silent environment and my hearing rolls off at 13k...could they not cram the metadata* into the RDS part of the signal? (I really ought to know the correct terminology here)

[*station name, frequency, programme, song title - what else do I need - I'll watch TV if I want pictures]

I don't see the need for great numbers of radio stations - I'd prefer a narrow choice of quality rather than a wide choice of crap.

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TWB

Antennae?

As much as I am an advocate of FM radio and 'proper' (IMHO) broadcasting - I think many smart phone users may be unaware they have an FM radio in their phone and in an emergency situation may well not have thought about finding a wired set of headphones to work as the antenna.

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Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

TWB

Re: Didn't they used to have a flywheel?

As someone born in Reading, upvote from me.

(it's not all bad....)

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Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

TWB

Re: Whilst I've toyed with the idea...

@David Nash

Thanks for heads up, and indeed.....

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TWB

Re: Whilst I've toyed with the idea...

"Can't understand why cyclists seem to wear headphones" - many of us don't - I tried it once and felt far too isolated - in fact I used to drive a Mini Moke for years without windows/sides and tired headphones once for music* but much preferred being able to hear/sense everything around me.

I would love to listen to music while I'm cycling but have not come across a method which would keep it personal to me but also allow me to be be aware of the sounds around me - if anyone has any tips let me know.

*I believe this is illegal - I'll hand myself in when I'm very old.

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10% of UK's top firms would be screwed in a cyber attack – survey

TWB

Yeah but....

Having worked for years in a place that tried to practice disaster scenarios, those scenarios never occurred, but having staff who understood how things worked meant that we could work out what to do when the shit hit the fan as it did from time to time.

Having said that I'm surprised that something more serious has not occurred to date.

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

TWB

Bans required

Social networking, the internet, computers, printing, books, reading and writing, talking, secrets and thinking.

That should sort out all terrorism.

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Capita flogs Asset Services division for £888m

TWB

Hmmm...

"The division provides asset and company administration, sourcing investment, distribution, origination, governance, finance & accounting and data analytics. Link sells outsourced administration services." - whatever happened to proper jobs????

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

TWB

Re: Observe the user

'There's a couple at my work who met like that and are now married with kids.'

How careless!...

I did not want to suggest as much but happy to hear this.

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TWB

Observe the user

'Len reckons the moral of this story is to listen, really listen, to customers' - I think it s more that Len observed his user.

I like this story as I have worked in broadcast engineering support where the engineers seem to prefer to talk to the users over phone or talkback(intercom) rather than visit them (in the same building) and actually see what is happening.

I always advocated visiting users for several reasons:

1. You really see what is happening - users are human and can use the wrong terminology for something causing much confusion - you may see they are 'doing it completely wrong' or learn new things eg. shortcuts.

2. Exasperated uses, more often than not, like someone to turn up - it makes them feel that people care about their problem - even if you don't fix it.

3. It gets you off your fat arse - lots of little bits of exercise, getting up and down etc etc - much better than sitting for hours in one sweaty chair.

4. You might get to meet some nice people - and even become friends etc.

5. An exasperated user is usually much gentler face to face than over the phone/talkback and will see you as an individual rather then just a voice in support.

Only my experience.

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

TWB

Re: Interesting.

And not only that - a booking fee! - it's not as if I cannot buy them without (rarely do they seem to sell them at box offices anymore)

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My unpopular career in writing computer reviews? It's a gift

TWB

Blaggers

"Try as I might, I've never been able to climb aboard the blagging train." - sadly I am also deficient in the blagging gene or whatever it is. If a stream of people are passing a ticket check point all without tickets - I'll be the one who gets the 'Excuse me Sir, can I see you ticket....."

Keep up the rest of the good work, maybe your luck is changing.

BTW - just to be boring, those rubber padded/dipped/whatever gloves are really good for picking up heavy items like sheets of plasterboard - far easier to grip than with bare hands and fingers.

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IBM wheels out bleedin' big 15TB tape drive

TWB

Compression question

Honest question so please be gentle.

In the article it says compression can be used to up the capacity of the various tape systems - I presume this using lossless data reduction techniques - the equivalent of zipping up files on write and unzipping on read - correct me if I'm wrong.

My question is - what happens if all the data is already compressed .e.g .jpgs, mpegs etc?? (Where I worked, we had an LTOx archive just for video - so no compression used)

Is there an assumption that most users will have a mix of data which is readily compressible and hence the manufacturers can quote compression ratios?

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User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

TWB

Re: Slot loaders

My son took an interest in my Macbook when he was much younger and one day the occasionally used slot loader stopped loading discs - it would only take them in so far and I knew pressing any harder was not going to help. One nightshift I finally decided to do the 30 to 40 step strip down and ultimately found an old car tax disc had been inserted and then crumpled itself nicely in the drive.

I removed it, reassembled and all has been OK since.

My son no longer inserts things in the slot....

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Oh dear, Prime Minister! Nearly 100 Beeb bosses make more than you

TWB

Re: Bloody Stupid Metric

Could not agree with your sentiment(s) more.

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

TWB

2 Laptops - neither my fault

Years ago my wife managed to spill hot tea in my Macbook. It failed immediately and after a stripdown and dry out I only had to replace the wifi card and it has been fine since.

While she was away once with her laptop, my then toddler spilt water over it. This time we could not revive it. I called up the insurance company saying was my laptop covered for damage in the home to which they replied - no it is only covered outside the home - I felt that saying 'Oh it got damaged outside the home' at that point somehow would not wash, although completely true.......

We sold the damaged one for a couple of hundred and bought a refurb.

We're still married.

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

TWB

OK, daft question

How does a hacker* find out the phone number of SMS device in the cooker? (other than by asking the owner)

*if I was a hacker I would find this a bit of a dull 'hack' to carry out - great, I can switch someone's Aga on or off.

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User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

TWB

Another Excel abuser

Years ago when I used to train broadcast engineers in analogue TV, I needed a way to show how RGB gets changed to YUV - loses or gains levels and then gets changed back again to RGB in TVs - I could not afford signal generators, coders, processing and waveform monitors, but excel was great as a way to show multiple waveforms and with slider controls I could vary levels.

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Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

TWB

Switching is a bit painful

I've done it a few time with mobile ops and ISPs and only once has it been smooth and all I lost was a few hours connection time.

Often it is difficult to compare like for like charges, Halfmad has a good example - I found for ISPs/broadband I had to consider line rental which I pay yearly up front but which is not cancellable (normally) and then whether to move my phone as well and whether I could get a similar call plan, so I suspect all these things hold people back.

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Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

TWB

Julian Clary

or Jo Brand, or maybe Sandi Toksvig - though I cannot imagine any of them running around much.

I would like to see a non-white and/or non-male though and nothing made of it at all - no remarks from the new doctor when he/she appears about skin colour or sex - this could be truly non-racist and non-sexist.

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Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

TWB

Fine for a data centre

Where no one ever goes in and has to reach above the racks - we have all our power cables up top and our data centre is in a permanent state of change and updates. Probably not for us in the way we work.

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Please come back! TalkTalk woos customers with broadband offers

TWB

A someone who left them

...I used to get better speeds with them (17Mbps) at times than I currently get with Plusnet (13Mbps) - but Plusnet seem slightly better and were cheaper and I have had OK-ish support from them so far....

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Brilliant phishing attack probes sent mail, sends fake attachments

TWB

Re: This is why I never use webmail

'Webmail makes users choose easy passwords' - mine does not - it gives me a pain-in-the-ares-to-remeber one and I cannot set it myself - but yes most webmail systems allow you to chose.

My webmail is not provided by my ISP though...

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Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

TWB

Re: With the TV powered off,

Upvote for this:

"How is anything going to happen while the TV is powered off? Stand-by is probably the mode we are looking for."

Like you, I wish people would use the correct terminology - "powered off" to me me means "without any power applied, connected etc"

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

TWB

Minimal OSes

Now that 'the masses' are getting sick of the bloat of the main desktop and phone OSes, could this herald a new era of devices where you get a a lean OS with bare minimum included but decent support/updates for say 5 years?

Not sure what I would call this business model, but I sometimes wish I could buy [IT kit, phones, tablets, laptops, PVRs etc] which was a little more expensive but worth the extra as some of the cost would go towards supporting it in the future.

Maybe the masses just prefer to buy something new every year....

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Smartmobe made 'intermittent bright flashes and a hissing noise' in Biz class seat

TWB

Easyjet warning

On a recent Easyjet flight - which got delayed by an hour - we finally belted up, pushed back and taxied towards the runway. On our way there, the crew read out that it was not allowed to bring a Samsung 7 on board - as we were all belted up and about to take off it seemed a rather daft time to mention it - if I had had one I certainly would have kept quiet.

Maybe this is normal - I don't fly much....

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

TWB

Apple's demise

As an Apple buyer since 1998, I can also add my voice to the list of people who feel their current hardware from them may well be their last. I liked the 'whole-system-works-well' but it is getting too clever and bloated. I tried a Rasberry pi recently and really like the bare minimum set-up you get - maybe Linux next time....

I know many people who have been fans for years who feel similarly and have moved away or will do soon. It saddens me as there are many aspects of Apple I like, but they [Apple] seem to always be coming up with new ones I don't.

Hint to Apple: 'Sony'

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Suspected Russian DNC hackers brew Mac trojan

TWB

No Adobe reader or MacKeeper

I just use Preview to read .pdfs and MacKeeper's pushy selling techniques have made me steer clear of it, so am I vulnerable to this?

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Scale-out sister? Unreliable disks are better for your storage

TWB

Interesting...

A couple of things I took from the article - HDDs are very reliable - yes and reliable things when they fail seem to often have a dramatic effect. I can make an analogy here, where I work, slightly less reliable systems that need 'occasional' nursing become far more familiar to the support guys and so when they go wrong, they can be restored and fixed very quickly. Stuff that runs for years and years gets forgotten about, so when it fails, often can take a long time to fix.

Secondly - the bit about HDDs retrying a mis-read - important for my bank balance and detailed documents, but for a video server playing a TV programme out to an audience, you don't have time to have another try at reading - much better to have a bit of mangled image and it press on regardless than it stutter and skip or stop.

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UK Science Museum will reconsider its 'sexist' brain quiz

TWB

After doing the test...

I seem to have the wrong body, or the wrong brain....

Actually one thing I don't understand about the World, is that girls seem to be way ahead of boys when they are young, so why don't women run everything? (or do they?.....)

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Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

TWB

Re: The windscreen glass melted

@Are car fires usually that hot?

Where I work, the building engineers use a figure of 1MW for 'each' car on fire in the basement car park (if such a thing were to happen) - they have this figure in mind when they consider the resilience of the building in relation to the services we provide - if we had to evacuate and how long it could sustain it etc.

We do lots of different things for different people and do not have full DR for everything.

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TalkTalk's appeal against paltry ICO data breach fine thrown out

TWB

I voted with my feet

I enjoyed filling out the 'why did you leave' questionnaire though I suspect TT will not act on what really matters.

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$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

TWB

How do I buy a license from Apple?

I thought you could no longer buy OSX except via the app store as a download and you need to have a Mac with OS X on it to start with - can anyone enlighten me? Or are they suggesting you buy something like a Snow Leopard CD secondhand then upgrading from there? I'm interested. If I did'nt have a machine already I'd consider it.

The website lists the machine as a Mac - I strongly suspect Apple will go after them for this if nothing else. (I wonder what happens for rain coat sellers....)

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Bloody Dell! Is EMC going to drop its logo? Answers on a postcard to Brentford

TWB

Re: You mean the Martini Clock!

Here here! It was always that to our family on our occasional jaunts up the M4 to London when I were a lad.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

TWB

Marketing opportunity

Dell, IBM, HP, Acer, Samsung, Asus - this is your chance to say how great you are and how you don't exploit the workers (indirectly) at the plants which you use to manufacture your stuff in China.

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Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

TWB

Shame

I hope this is not the end for this thing - having held a PPL for HABs many years ago, I've been intrigued by LTA and similar flight. I like it and have been hoping someone would get something of this ilk working.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

TWB

Time machine anyone?

If anyone has one handy and could go back and check what happened please - it would save a lot of speculation and rumours.

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BT internet outage was our fault, says Equinix

TWB

Re: Ah, that was it

'Why on earth would you join PN??!!'

Because I had been with Talktalk.

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TWB

Ah, that was it

I had just transferred to Plusnet today and thought it was odd that I could not reach some websites.

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175-year-old in storage deal

TWB

Insurance

While it is good to hear they are "putting their money where their mouth is" as it were, if I get them to store my data and they lose it, all the money in the world may be of no use to me if all I really want is my data back.

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

TWB

Sad

I also used to like Maplin (actually still do) and it has/had some good staff. Sadly it will probably fail soon as typically the people at the top these days only seem to know how to run businesses one way and that will be to try and compete by being the same as everyone else.

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TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

TWB

So pleased I am leaving them

Oddly when I have chatted on line to their support staff about my T+Cs they have not tried to keep me as a customer but have been open and honest* about whether I am in contract with them and when my service runs to each month. So top marks for them for that.

Still don't have much confidence with their tech support and can get better (hopefully) and cheaper.

It'll be quite fun telling them why I am leaving, "...well four reasons, have you got a pen?...."

*Of course time will tell whether they are honest - I have kept copies of the chats I had if I need them later on.

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5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

TWB

Re: Wot no Kathy Klugston?

Eigh-ut might confuse too many people.

Nice to know someone else here listens to R4 (I like her)

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

TWB

Re: So if you wrote a book...

I'd be pissed off but I don't think you'd need to go to prison.

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

TWB

How IT are you?

Can you remind me again what IT stands for?

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