* Posts by John Brown (no body)

12060 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Scaremongering

"not leaving the EU would cause civil unrest by the majority (he seems to be assuming its about 95% who voted to leave)."

There's an interesting article/video on the Beeb website about "dog whistling". The art of deniably giving out targeted/reinforcing messages for certain groups of people "hidden" in apparently benign messages

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Scaremongering

"Comes March there will be no empty shelves."

Oh, there will be empty shelves. Even if there's no issues at the ports and all goods are being delivered on time, there will still be empty shelves. It only take s a few people to be seen "panic buying"/buying in bulk and others will think they know something and do the same. Before you know it, the shelves rapidly begin to empty faster than even normal deliveries can cope with, never mind if there are delays at the ports.

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Speaking of Magnet Fishing...

"I remember having a toy magnetic fishing set as a child"

This one is pretty close to the one I had in the mid to late 60's. In mine, the fish had numbers on for scoring and each player had a card with fish silhouettes to place that catches on so you could score for a winner when the card was full. If you caught a fish and didn't have a matching silhouette or had already filled any matching ones, you had to throw it back.

I made something similar for the grandkids when they about 5-6 yo and they absolutely loved it. No lights, no motors, no electronics, just good simple fun.

Crispest image yet of Ultima Thule arrives on Earth, but grab a coffee while the rest downloads

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

"I was more thinking that the universe might just be a giant bathtub."

Ah! That explains the swirly galaxies! Plugholes.

Have I got time for one more bath?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Beam me up Scottie...?

About 92 lightyears. Star Trek will be at about 54 lightyears.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The rubber ducky comparisons are right on.

Well I for one welcome our fossilised pooping rubber duck overlords!!

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Also England

"60/44 > 0.5."

Do'h! OK. I'm still in "half of income" brainfart mode.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Also England

"It's true that it makes no sense if you don't actually read all of the words.

You're right, I mis-read it as a portion of wage, not portion of income tax.

He said that NI is more than half the rate of income tax. At 12% versus 20%, and with a much lower threshold, this is definitely true."

Average wage is £528 per week.

Current tax free allowance is £228 per week, so 20% income tax on £300 is £60

Current NI threshold is £162, so 12% NI contribution on £366 is £44

Did I get something wrong? Looks like I did, but I'm not sure what.

Also, from OP "for a person employed and on average income."

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Also England

"national insurance" - being more than half the total income tax paid for a person employed and on average income.

Eh, what? NI is 12% of earnings above £160somthing per week An average income worker is in no way paying more than half their income on NI.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

As I understand it, the proposed tax was on annual income above $10m. You'd need a lot more in the bank than "just" $10m to incur that tax since only the interest is income. Added to all other taxable income you may have too, but no, it's nothing to do with your savings.

Q. What connects the global financial crisis, Ursnif malware, and Coldplay's Viva la Vida?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Is this a thing still?!

"Can't remember the last time a version of Office allowed the execution of a macro in Word/Excel/PowerPoint etc without jumping through a number of prompts and hoops."

And i many places, the users are being sent legit files with macros on a daily basis so it's ingrained into them to, on auto-pilot, click "yes" etc every time without even stopping to think. Or worse, change setting to default allow. And I still see files emailed to people in the same org because a) it's what they've always done and b) no one has shown them how to share files through the other options available and the admins won't or arn't allowed by manglement, to filter them on the mail server.

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Grateful..

"I'd say the most disturbing is when someone leaves their crowning achievement for all to admire, but there isn't any toilet paper in evidence in the bowl. "

You never dropped a load that doesn't flush on the first go? Everything else goes, but the captains log is still waiting another entry. No, I always check, just in case another flush is required.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Arrested development?

"the sort of filth that many so-called professionals leave behind themselves in the toilets"

...and take out with them. I drive. A lot. So I use motorway service most days (just for a pee mind, they look clean but I'd rather not sit down in there) and the numbers of blokes who walk out after both #1's and #2's who either don't even approach the sinks, or at best wave their hands near the water (no soap) is staggering. On weekdays, during working hours, outside of holiday periods, the majority are in sharp suits, well groomed etc, with shot and piss on their hands (or at least the bacteria associated with it)

I assume it's the same in the Ladies, but I wouldn't know.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

"To be fair, there's an equal chance of getting that combination as any other combination. Of course you would end up sharing the winnings a bit more widely..."

There are also significant number of people who use signification dates such as birthdays for their picks so all their numbers are below 31. You have less chance of sharing your win if you pick at least a few numbers over 31. No doubt there are entire websites out there dedicated to telling people how to pick the "best" lottery numbers.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Glad my coworkers leave the toilets and kitchen clean after use."

Same here, at least back when I worked in the same place everyday. The one time I went into the kitchen and found a mess I walked back out and said, in a loud voice, "who the hell left this mess in the kitchen? You should be ashamed!". Never happened again.

Nowadays, I'm in other peoples offices everyday and can't say I've ever seen disgusting kitchens or bogs apart from one council depot where the only bogs near the office are the ones used by the mechanics and drivers. Not shitty, or piss-in-the-floor messy, just...dirty/scruffy looking.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: ignoring the fact of Prior Art ?

"Prior art is left for the lawyers to sort out later."

Has anyone ever tried to sue the USPO for granting a patent where it's obvious there is prior art? Are they protected from being sued in some way? Is there something in their contract with the patent applicant that says due diligence is not part of the process?

Six Flags fingerprinted my son without consent, says mom. Y'know, this biometric case has teeth, say state supremes...

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: had not alleged any actual harm,

I came to the comments section with exactly the same thoughts in mind. SIx flags defence is that whether they broke the law or not isn't relevant if no harm is alleged. WTF? Now THAT is a broken system.

Oof, are you sure? Facing $9bn damages, Google asks Supreme Court to hear Java spat

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: @Doug S ... Better if they refuse cert

"This will kill IP property in software, forever."


Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: This is similar...

"With all the fake ads with his face on it. Facebook didn't seem to give a shit until he sued."

I get a sense this is just standard US business practice. Any action on FBs part before being sued might be seen as an admission of guilt. And in the US, suing or being sued seems to be a nationwide, all comers, full participation sport, They don't seem to have even a concept of the way it works in the UK.

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: 128K+

"When you have the operating system source code you can extend it everywhere."

Yeah, try telling that to your average user today and they'll just go all glassy eyed and wander of muttering something about geeks and nerds :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Typical el Reg

"The guy could have blown me off for 72 hours and it would have become my problem."

Really? Is that level of US customer protection? Over here, so long as you start the complaint process before the warranty is up, then it's their problem, not yours.

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Ain't science wonderful ?

Yeah, The Space Merchants was supposed to be a warning of a dystopian future, not an instruction manual.

UC Berkeley reacts to 'uni Huawei ban' reports: We unplugged, like, one thing no one cares about

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

in the light of public concerns

Back in Britain, last week suspended all research grants and donations from Huawei "in the light of public concerns raised in recent months surrounding UK partnerships with Huawei."

Public concerns in that the general public have raised concerns or concerns that have been raised by interested commercial and political entities that have been raised in public? I suspect the latter, since I don't see any public groundswell by the "man in the street" against Huawei. 99% of them have probably not even heard of them, let alone understand the possible issues.

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "...programming skills assessed only via examination..."

"in the early eighties our school programming course was paper only with the joy of 30 kids standing around the single terminal of the DEC PDP/11 housing in a room the size of a bathroom once a week watching a lucky suck-up (pupil) type the program in and seeing if it worked."

Oooooooh, you jammy begger! In my 1978 Comp Studies, we either submitted coding sheets to be typed in by the punch operator at the local town hall, or submitted rolls of 5(!!) hole paper tape and prayed we'd not made a typo. Deliveries between school and town hall were once per week. Latency between submitting the programm and getting the printout was TWO weeks. In a school of 1100 pupils, there were 10 of us on the GCE O level course.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: pffft, does it matter any more?

"But on a Raspberry Pi or Arduino with the whole web to help you, it’s literally child’s play. Far easier."

Easier than out 0x378,1 to toggle bit 0 in MS-DOS on a PC?

(Note, I may have the port address wrong. A google search brought up pages and pages of links to MAC addresses and network printing and I admit you'd be hard pushed to find a PC with a parallel printer port these days)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Most of the content is really fundamentals of computer science though,"

Which is what it should be. Very few kids leaving school at 16 with a CompSci GCSE are going to walk into a programming job. They need to go on to A levels and college/university where they can learn more.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Old skool

...and is exactly why the article is about Computer Science, an optional subject, and not general IT which all students do at least until they choose there exam courses at 13/14 or so.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"the kids know more than the teachers."

My experience is that the kids only think they know more than the teachers. Yes, some kids are a whizz at programming, but get them to write the code in a structured, maintainable and documented way, and they don't have a clue. It's all in their heads. A good teacher will guide those kids, hopefully without the kids getting frustrated at having to slow down a bit.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Exams are generally harder to cheat."

And that's the issue. Some people will cheat, given the opportunity. So-called league tables have increased the pressure on schools to "do well", which can lead to people on the borderline of maybe cheating being pushed over to the dark side. Sadly, the attempts to stop the cheaters means the trustworthy majority get restricted too.

Golly 4G whizz: Vodafone caught using a cheeky bit of Three UK's spectrum

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"certainly not recompense Three."

But Three didn't actually lose anything of monetary value. Some users *may* have noticed some slightly lower connectivity (but that happens all the time anyway), but not in a way that Three had to pay out compensation.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: MacBook Pro 17”

"three drop of condensed water"

Having just read about coffee made with condensed milk further up, that phrase just gave me a "WTF?" moment before my brain re-engaged and realised what you meant.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"When I used to do desktop support we had many a drink end up in a keyboard and mouse."

The Keyboard and Mouse is my local too!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: felt pad

"A sharp blade did the job very nicely too."

I found that using metal blades to clean the rollers almost always ended up with the mouse picking up crud at ever faster rates. Probably because the rollers got scratched from the metal tool. Using plastic tools to scrape the rollers clean seemed to result in less need for cleaning. (also making sure all traces of grease were also removed with soap and water on the balls and IPA on the rollers.)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Mice are not particularly intuitive

"So it could be argued that trackballs are more of an intuitive solution "

I suspect that at the time, few people had seen much of either before being sat in front of a PC with a mouse attached for the first time. But at least some will have seen trackballs in video arcades, eg missile command, centipede etc.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not sure...

"Fizzy wine of any variety should be served in flutes to stop the fizz escaping too quickly."

Depends on how fast you drink <hic!>

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Mouse balls

"Hm. In 50+ years, I've never seen a single-ended q-tip."

You won't in high street shops, but your local electronics supplier (hah!) will sell them.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not sure...

"Water wouldn't harm a mouse."

Possibly not if the mouse internals are thoroughly dried before plugging it back in. But user with the sticky hands after dowsing it in orange juice probably neither flushed the internals out properly nor made sure the internals were dried out before plugging it back in. :-)

A picture tells a 1,000 words. Pixels pwn up to 5 million nerds: Crims use steganography to stash bad code in ads

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

white listing "nice ads"

Depends on your definition of "nice". For me, that means no or minimal animation, no auto-play sound or video, no floating over the real content, no pushing the content "below the fold". If something appears on my screen or pops up to attract my attention, then it's something important from my OS or one of my running programs. If any ad server can fall back to a non-JS supported image on screen, then I will see it. If it can be served directly from the domain the site is hosted at, then I *may* see it (and the site owner takes responsibility because they serve it to me, no "oh, sorry, we have no control over 3rd party ad slingers). But if it comes from a 3rd party ad slinger loaded up with JS and no "clean" fallback, it gets black-holed.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Sometimes it *doesn't* suck to be blind...

"Fonts? you don't have to see them, sure, but the default system comes with X y & Z fonts."

Nice rant, but did you actually read what he wrote? "Don't use anything other than system colours & fonts."

Why should a site not even load if you don't allow it to download fonts via JS scripts? I've seen sites like that, closed the page and gone elsewhere.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Rehabilitate, don't exclude

"with a murderous order of thugs from the previous century."

"the previous century" sounds so long ago that it doesn't matter now. Except maybe to those still alive who remember it.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Oh FFS

"Or some slightly less white (on average) people just under 2000 miles away?"

Well, the Italians mounted attacks on Sudan during WWII, so not all that far away.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It's time

NATO was set up only two years before the birth of what became the EU and both military co-operation and trade is what has kept the EU more or less together since. I suspect neither alone would have worked. What the EU has become might be open to debate, but what it's achieved in keeping negotiations at a talking level instead of possibly a shooting level should not be underestimated.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It's time

"Time to let go."

Maybe next generation. There's still a lot of people alive who suffered under the Nazis. And they made sure their children knew all about it. Maybe their grand children might begin to forget and "move on".

Having said that, most of Europe and her allies of the time have just spent the last 4 years remembering all the significant event of WWI as each 100th aniversary came and went. This year sees the start of the 80th anniversary of the start of WWII. I can't see the media outlets passing that up after the "bonanza" of the last four years.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Political correctness running amok?

"I know a guy with a 1961 Impala SS who might take exception to that."

Has he tried mounting rockets on the roof yet?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"sorry. I can't fight youse. I'm busy fighting me mate, Barrie"

What? The whole "island"?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"You think that recent events in Westminster have not engraved that message on the inside skull of every Scot on the planet, living or dead?"

You're probably right, but many people seem to think that because all constituencies of Scotland voted remain, that all Scots voted remain. 38% of Scots voted to leave the EU. It's no where even close to a "win" for Scottish Brexiteers, but it's still a sizable portion of the voting population at the time.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: worth it!


I just had a look. It looks like some sort of "music venue" with overtones of Mad Max Guitarists facing off to medievial bagpipe players.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Domain Expre.ss

"I see your Schutzstaffel and I raise with Secret Service (those people charged with protecting Trump, now not getting paid)."

He just caved (at least for 3 weeks) and not only claimed victory, but called all the poor saps who've lost out "heroes and patriots". Like they had a choice in the matter. So the Secret Service will now be back on the payroll.

Under Armour and Virgin Galactic team up so tourists can stay on-trend throughout white-knuckle ride into space

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Something Larry Laffer could have used back in the day.

Open sourcerers drop sick Fedora Remix to get Windows Subsystem for Linux pumping

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Seriously ...

"Agree. What's the benefit of this over native, or even Fedora in a VM?"


A few years back, MS told the world how much they loved open source (and by extension, Linux).


Windows now "supports" the most popular Linux distributions by letting them "run" on Windows.


Try to get Linux users to see the advantage of having both OS "seamlessly integrated" then

drop support, or break the APIs, or something.

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