* Posts by John Brown (no body)

12038 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Britain to slash F-35 orders? Erm, no, scoffs Lockheed UK boss

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "...a retired RAF air marshal who is now chief exec of Lockheed Martin UK..."

..and not biased at all, no siree Bob!

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Dear France

"Please rename the Eurostar-hosting Gare du Nord in Paris as Gare du Hastings. Then we can have a good laugh together as all the prats who thought this jolly Agincourt jape tres amusant explode in fits of angry outrage."

But Hastings was quintessentially English while Poirot was Belgian.

German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Ikea trip rules...

"I've got Ikea shopping down to a fine art; my PB is 65 minutes door to door"

So, you know exactly what you want, precisely where it's located and it *STILL* takes over an hour to purchase from start to finish? There's something seriously wrong about IKEA and the people who shop there!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Ikea trip rules...

"4) Never go all the way round the shop, learn the shortcuts"

And there's the problem. If you need to do that then they don't really want you there.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"And an eternity assembling things, only to find a key component is missing..."

Oddly, that was part of the plot of a Big Finish Dr Who audio book I just listened to last week. Mel and the Doctor had to recover a number of "treasures", one of which was the "perfect" self assembly shelf which Mel and her pal had to assemble, but the parts kept slipping in and out of an alternate dimension, even after being assembled.

Ubuntu sends crypto-mining apps out of its store and into a tomb

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: games from ubuntu store?

"people download actual games from there? it's good for software, but if you want games you get steam or something; the ubuntu store ones are the card or puzzle games you just knock together over a boring weekend"

Some people like card or puzzle games.

NASA will send tiny helicopter to Mars

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It's a tough one at 1/160 Earth sea level pressure.

"You've decreased the Density of the atmosphere, so to still get the same lift you need to either increase the area of the wings 160 times or the V squared*."

So, maybe something like DaVinci's design them?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Nope - this is a real mission. It's not a drill."

Congratulations! You just won Teh Internetz!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


"Airwolf had the better theme tune"

...which is now running through my head. Thanks guys!!!

(no idea what the Blue Thunder tune sounded like though, despite watching the show back in the day)

Wanted that Windows 10 update but have an Intel SSD? Computer says no

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"It is not like SSD are a new technology that MS have had to re-write the OS to support. They worked under the previous version of Windows 10 yet somehow this 'feature update' breaks a previously functional system."

Yes, because either it's a standard interface and so Windows should fall back to a generic driver, or the manufacture provides the driver using the Windows API. The latter can fail if the driver writer uses non-official APIs or MS changes the APIs without notice, neither of which should happen. Since other commentards have reports other SSD with similar issues, maybe it's MS changing the APIs in ways they thought might not damage anything.

ESA's all-seeing space eye captures momentary sunshine over Britain

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I think that the data from ESA satellites like this is made public after ESA members get first research dibs on it.

...and no one in the UK was asked to vote on leaving ESA so there's no reason the UK, as an ESA member, should be denied access to data we paid for in our membership dues.

App devs bewildered by last-minute Google GDPR klaxon

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: re: Do you really think Google cares?

"GDPR has a fucking big sting behind it, predicated on a transgressors *global* turnover. Which, in Googles case, is billions of dollars."

Unless we suddenly discover that Google.eu is a separate entity from Global Google and/or Alphabet and they don't actually have any turnover because that's all handled by another separate entity outside of the EU. Avoiding GDPR will become as a big a sport as avoiding taxes.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"If the instructions being reported in the article are an accurate reflection of Google's advice then they've already fucked their GDPR compliance."

If you mean Google, then no because you can still access the Google Play Store and there are ad-free apps there as well as pay to play apps.

If you mean the app providers, then the clarification seems to work, ie consent to targeted ads, consent to generic ads or buy an ad-free version. Those who, dom't, won't or can't provide am ad-free version may have issues, but even that's not a given since there are very few, if any, unique apps giving the user the choice that way.

There will be blood: BT to axe 13,000 employees

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The definition of insanity

"tarted flogging off any building which wasn't (metaphorically) nailed to the ground, under some bizarre sell-and-rent-back scheme."

Yes, that really is bizarre. Didn't some rich industrialist one say "if it appreciates in value, buy it, if it depreciates in value, rent it." Property invariably appreciate in value so selling off your buildings and renting them bark is barking mad unless you are desperate for short term cash and have failed at every other option to raise some.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: No people skills whatsovever

"because that's what dick-brain CEOs rely on for any decision more complex than "do I need to go to the toilet?"

They have PA's for those minor decisions.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Does the ban cover smartphones also?

"Do it right. A port block at epoxy level."

Workaround. Unplug either mouse or keyboard and replace with device of choice.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Does the ban cover smartphones also?

"I have an old BB Playbook which I use for music/films/eBooks but it has an added advantage that when I connect it to my work laptop it is mapped as a network drive rather than as a USB drive"

This is why I have Total Commander file manager on my android phone with the SMB LAN add-on. It also means it's more convenient to dump stuff between the phone and server without having to boot the desktop or laptop.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Same old...

I had a similar catch-22 with a replacement RAID card once. The onboard firmware had to be upgraded before it would work in the box but that box was the only box available. The box wouldn't even boot with the card in unless the card was updated first.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I know that business don't want their employees to spend all day on Facebook or looking at cat videos on Youtube but I can't believe that they have a complete blanket ban on internet use in 2018, especially for staff who work in a support role."

At some stage, there has to be a level of trust placed on employees if the business is to work efficiently. If the trust is abused, there are procedures to deal with it. Blanket bans almost always cause more upset and costs than trusting your staff to do their jobs.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It's not for everyone but for most it could be good

"So when you take a new server out of its box, and you need to install an operating system on it, what do you use? I've never seen a server with a "boot from OneDrive" option on it."

LAN boot? Even desktops have that as standard now.

Having said that, I do get the point. Most of the field repairs I go to require a USB boot to run diagnostics. If the OS won't boot or the hardware is flaky enough that a full OS boot won't happen reliably, it's very useful to boot a minimal OS like FreeDOS to run HDD diags, or boot memtest86 etc. Few systems have built-in diags, which may not work anyway depending on where they are stored

NASA boss insists US returning to the Moon after Peanuts to show for past four decades

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Pratchett

"And for the retired Russian...

A certain realization dawned on him. ‘Oh,’ he said. YES, said Death. ‘Not even time to finish my cake?’ NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE."

In Russia, you don't eat the cake. The cake eats you!

T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Is this a CYK joke?

"That I can no longer buy Magenta cartridges for my laser printer?"

No, but probably explains the price of ink for inkjets!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Just asking...

".... do you have to be already be a total utter **** to get a job in "corporate branding"? Or are you allowed to learn to be a total utter **** on the job?"

It does appear to be lucrative so I've just placed an order for a copy of "Learn to be a Total and Utter **** for Dummies". I did consider getting the version for intelligent people, but apparently that one doesn't exist. Being a Dummy is a required starting point.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Who is plainly stupid ?

"Reply saying that the Great British Public are clearly more intelligent than the directors of T-Mobile as they do not get the two mixed up."

I thought T-Mobile and Orange merged in the UK and became EE. Looking at the DataJar website, it doesn't look like they trade outside the UK. There doesn't appear to be any territory or business overlap. And of course there;s the point raised earlier that the trademark is for a highly specific colour definition which DataJar are not using.

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Horrible by today's standards but at a time when the majority of C64 punters owned tape drives it was nonetheless a welcome improvement."

Having started with a TRS-80, the Commodore floppies felt like a backward step. I could never quite figure out why they went for a serial data link that required so much processing power in the drive unit. But then I can't get my head around why SATA should be faster than PATA :-)

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: the easier it is to get it (horribly) wrong.

"Merely traps for the unwary..."

Who was that masked interrupt?

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Vi

"there was a bypass key that let you CR without LFing, so you could overtype."

I don't recall a by-pass key. Just pushing the carriage back using the platen advance knob instead of the feed lever :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


"but then, I thought, even a mechanical typewriter (yes we had one of those at home I am of a certain age) has some sort of "automation" that combines carriage return and line feed into one operation for the user,"

All the pure mechanical ones I used had separate line feed and carriage return mechanisms, but the line feed lever was always on the carriage so if (as you almost always did) operated the line feed lever by pulling it all the way over, you got a line feed and carriage return in one physical action by operating two distinct mechanisms. You would, of course, quite regularly use carriage return on it's own to do underlining or bold or after Tippexing out the inevitable mistakes.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: relief arrived a long time ago

"Yeah. The guy thinks using a sequence of two characters is superior to using one to tell us the line ends there. Clearly pre-stone age stuff! LOL!"

Well, if you're going to be anal about it, CR is Carriage Return and without a Linefeed, LF, will cause the next line to overprint the first. Likewise, LF, Linefeed alone means drop down to the next line at the same character position so you keep printing till you reach the physical end of line and then lose everything following. If anything is odd, it was whoever decided that only one of CR or LF should act as both CR and LF in the days when many people were still using Teletypes.

Windows app makers told to think different – you're Microsoft 365 developers, now

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: JavaScript + AI + Excel = ...

"All very well for it to show a sad face with a "Whoops" caption,"

That might work for home users, but our users really, really hate that. At least with a proper BSOD there were technobabble numbers and things which could be passed to tech support so at least the user felt they were helping to sort the problem and had at least a tiny bit of control. Now they ring up and say "My computer says Whoops. What do I do now?"

LESTER looks up, spins its wheels: The Register’s beer-butler can see ...

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Somewhere up(?) there...

I was more concerned with "copious amounts of delicious, delicious beer." and whether that was the plan to fill Lesters boots! If so, the Richard is on the right track. He just needs to learn that the sausages need to be more "unusual", eg dipped in home made fiery chilli sauce or something.

UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: A sledgehammer to crack a nut.

"the best solution is for parents to actually be parents to police the kids internet use...."


John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: there are no private VPNs

"So yeah, I use anon (actually not so much) sessions + double VPN for legal porn,"

I don't give a stuff if "others" know I'm visiting porn sites. If it's legal, it's not a problem.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The Government* response?

"If kids want to see it then they will and the BBFC ain't going to stop them."

Exactly! It's the parents job. It's not as if parents didn't grow up with computers and the internet. The www has been around for a while now. Govt. seem to work on the assumption that parents are numpties who don't know what the www is. (they may be right, but that's can only be the fault of the education system)

Hacking charge dropped against Nova Scotia teen who slurped public records from the web

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Why would you want 7000 freedom of information requests?"

Because you can if you want?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Ohm really?

"I guess it comes down to which way you look at it - are you working below your salary and working your way up to it once youve proved yourself? ( 8 years later ...)"

Having worked in local gov. many years ago, I saw it as a way to reward people for staying on. The longer you are in the job, in theory the better and more experienced you are. The problems arise from strong unions making it almost impossible to fire the useless ones so it's just become a back-door pay rise for many these days. Having said that, when we went through The Great Job Re-grading Process, despite having doubled the team team under me, more qualifications, more responsibility, all boxes ticked, I got a feck all so I left.

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

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: That happened to me

"The school rarely bothered, so the result was lots of awful mice where getting the cursor from one side of the screen to the other was a challenge in its own right."

But excellent hand/eye co-ordination training, a valuable core skill!!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I often wonder if low power consumer kit has a blocking diode - or even a bridge rectifier - in order to survive people applying power the wrong way round."

That might appear logical at first glance, but if power can be applied incorrectly, then it's probably because someone realised they could save money in the manufacturing process by not using keyed or otherwise "foolproof" connectors. I think it unlikely they would then add "unnecessary" components. See, for example, your own observation of PP3 batteries in R/C toys.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"If I remember correctly, the connector for a floppy drive is just four bare pins and it's your responsibility to do any lining up and orientation. No hand-holding here"

Yes, on 3.5" floppies, especially in the early days where sometimes even the "tongue" was absent. The fact the person questioning the possibility mentiond Molex connectors means he was thinking the FDD referred to was a 5.25" drive which, by the time of the IBM-a-like PC had a standard connector which only fitted one way.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Hats-off to the inventor of the CPU notch or whatever it's called that prevents you from doing just that!"

A workshop colleague once sat a CPU on the socket then dropped the retainer flap over and quickly jammed the lever over and under the latch to the sound of the corner of the CPU snapping off. Yeah, notches are good if you check the notches are in the right place before you apply loads of pressure. His face was a picture!

Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"In practical terms, what then is the difference between registering and guest checkout?"

Probably some nuance of data protection laws. Personal data must only be held for the defined reasons and for as long as necessary. "Guest" ordering, by definition, means you are not planning a long term business relationship with the company. If you register, then you must take action to close the account so the data can then age and expire.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Just sign here....

"A recently introduced "encrypted mail" scheme I have seen sends, not an e-mail, but a link to the encrypted e-mail company's site, where you register and log in to see the e-mail."

That's how our "e-payslip" system works. Yes, we are a tech company and people higher up still put "e-" at the front of words because it's what the "cool kids" do, yeah?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Sites sharing passwords with each other?

"I have never, ever been able to understand why any organism higher up the evolutionary tree than a prawn would ever have thought of having the same password for every website was even close to being anything less than an absolutely barking mad idea."

A different identity and email address on two or more sites means using the same password at those sites is no more a security risk than using the same identity with different passwords. Only you know those accounts belong to the same person. If the identities can't be linked, then neither can the re-used password.

Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck, AI research jobs, and more

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Dumb drivers

"In the end, it doesn't matter how dumb the mistakes made by self-drive cars are. The only thing that matters is that they cause fewer accidents and injuries per mile than human drivers do."

And yet the most common faults seem to be GPS and sensor errors. The sort of things that should already be a done deal, unlike the AI components.

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"The human eye is a very small target and aircraft move fast, lasers cannot be held on such a target for very long."

Eyes take quite some time to adjust properly to night vision mode, while a bright flash can switch it off in the blink of an eye. It doesn't need the power and/or duration to cause permanent damage.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I say escalate it to

...and cut off the hands of thieves while you;re at it?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not biting the hand that feeds it?

"It was clearly Canada."

You mean they aren't Americans? Does that mean Mexicans aren't either?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Laser canon and sonic death rays.

"2000mW and up"

2000mW? Is that bigger and more scary than 2W?

The Rocky Planet Picture Show: NASA Mars InSight ready for launch

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: A 401 -> 4m shroud. 0 SRBs 1 engine Centaur

"Which is a bit ironic given the stage was called Centaur because it had two heads (engines)."

A centaur has one head. I suppose it has two torsos though.

Drone 'swarm' buzzed off FBI surveillance bods, says tech bloke

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"they'd have near zero chance against a good pilot flying a racing drone that does 100mph+ which can turn and dart off in a different direction faster than you can pull the trigger on a net gun."

Assuming the crims have people with that skill level.

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