* Posts by John Brown (no body)

12064 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Tall, slim models are coming to take over dumpy SSD territory

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Height Correction

Maybe they are nice round numbers in Angstroms. Or pico-Brontosuarusususus.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Yes

"the SEO stuff means that instead of finding answers to queries before purchase the search results only point to the aspects of the item that they want you to know about "

Search term: History of Dingle Waddlers.


Best prices on "History of Dingle Waddlers."

WTF? How does that work then?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I think you forgot one

"Actually, I find that the first ten pages invariably turn out to be either from Pinterest "

-pinterest.* -ebay.* -shutterstock.* search term

Now, if there was a way to make that ( + other sites!) permanent across all device. Maybe I'll have to do my own Google front page which lets me add/remove those and then passes the resulting search term to google?

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: A repeat from April 2016, but relevant here...

"Back when I had to man the front desk, students knew that jumping the queue was a Very Bad Idea."

A surprisingly large number of university students are arrogant twats. Not a majority, but many more than you would expect from a supposedly self-selecting group of "intelligent" people. They can be especially arrogant and inconsiderate when I'm moving boxes and toolkits to the next job and walk 3-4 abreast and don't move out of my way like any normal and polite person would. After all, I've already moved over as far as I can for them, so I expect them to meet me half way. Those type seem to assume that I must be "lower down the pecking order" or something because of my job. I have, on occasion, said words to the effect of "hey, wait till you get your degree before you decide if your too clever to be polite. I got mine already!". I'd love to see the results on any research correlating student arrogance with degree results. Being there doesn't mean you are clever. Finishing successfully might.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: PC world

"Not convinced! Obviously the CD could not have been in a jewel case, but even if you placed a CD still in it's square paper or plastic wrapper into the drawer, would it even close?"

Two possibilities come to mind, the first being it was so long ago it was a caddy based CD drive (I still have a SCSI based IBM one somewhere) and second, though unlikely since a manual eject was mentioned, is a trayless CD drive.

Google prints money for Alphabet to stuff into Uncle Sam's pockets: $10bn blow from Donald Trump's tax shakeup

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

What I find funny...

...is Google/Alphabet make billions, but come in a measly few 100 grand under their profit prediction and the share price falls. WTF?

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Seriously...ideal topping additions

"Personally I prefer savoury pancakes to sweet...so where's the problem?"

Ah, something else I grew up with. Full plate sized thick pancakes with chips, sausages and some veg _ lots of gravy on it. Mmmmmmm...

My wife still finds it odd that I like savoury pancakes. She's a dyed in the wool traditionalist and only has suger and lemon juice on them. I've almost got her to try honey, golden syrup or even jam, but savoury? No way!.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Use a spring form cake tin to make a plate sized Yorkshire pud."

Springform? You pour the batter into smoking hot oil. It doesn't stick. A high sided pan will ruin the "rustic" appearance. All you need is a 1 to 2" deep metal cake pan.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"With an equally deviant dessert."

Spicy Indian ice cream?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The Universal Food

"The Yorkshire Pudding can form the basis of any course, for Sunday dinner...Yorkshire puddings are made of batter"

Absolutely. If it can be served deep fried in batter, then it can be served in a Yorkshire Pudding[1]. The upside, of course, is that even stuff that can't be deep fried can also be served in Yorkshire Pudding.

[1] NB for Southern Jessies. No, I DO NOT mean Aunt Bessies or any other pre-made frozen cardboard masquerading as Yorkshire Pudding.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: How else?

"RIP the legendary Lester. My first pint will be raised to him this evening."

Ditto, in my engraved, hewn from the living glass, LOHAN tankard.

(which gets daily use, I might add!)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Reminds me..

"... of the bolognese sauce filled one I had served me inn South Shields. "

Which eatery was it? I like trying new things!

Mam used to make plate sied Yorkie puds when we were kids and fill them with sausage, chips, peas and gravy. Luuurvelly!

UK data watchdog whacks £300k fine on biz that made 9 million nuisance calls

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Good Omens

"I imagine that Hastur's telephonic visit to a call centre will raise loud cheers if it's included in the film."

Good Omens? Wow! I had a severe moment of discord at the Hastur reference. My first thought was Marion Zimmer Bradlys Darkover books I read when I was a teen!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"When is the ICO going to do the same for the "Green Deal Funding" double glazing people? Their recorded message comes through several times a week as "International"."

I get similar ones offering "green deal" or "scrappage" (I forget which) for oil fire boilers, only people on benefits being eligible. Never having had an oil fired boiler or claimed benefits, I'd realy like to know where they get their data from. Sadly, despite pressing "5" for more information at least three times now, no one has bothered to call me back.

Oh dear, Capita: MPs put future UK.gov outsourcing in the spotlight

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"contingency plans in place to examine how it would handle the fallout"

I was wondering who they outsourced the contingency planning to.

Dinosaurs gathered at NASA Goddard site for fatal feeding frenzy

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Time to rename

Yeah, that last thing we need is DINOSAUUUUUURS IN SPAAAAAAACE. Especially without a Doctor to help out.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Doug McClure's footprints?

Joking aside, that story was written in a present day sense, ie "survivors" of thought to be extinct creatures rather than a time travel story.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"It was opening time at the local pub?"

That does raise an interesting question though. Assume human civilisation is wiped out tomorrow by, oh I dunno, a huge meteor strike. What evidence of us would archaeologists find in 65 million years? What about if we'd been wiped out 100 or 200 years ago?

Uber saddles up for a new cycle of controversy

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Er, another cash burn effort?

Good point. They can;t even make a profit with their existing business, why would they want to expand into other markets? I can't even see the point in them doing driverless car stuff either. They'll never have the capital to build their production model. Everyone else is already doing their own research, some of whom actually have car assembly lines. I can see why they want driverless cars, but not why they are spending billions of other peoples money on it. At best, they may have some patents that others may choose to licence, but that is risky. There are so many others doing the same research, it's quite possible any Uber patents will be worked around.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: How about...

"I find the dockless system really convenient. Just taking one to quickly bike to the train station saving me a 25min walk is really useful."

It is, but a train station sounds like one of the prime locations to actually put a "bike dock".

Anti-missile missile misses again, US military mum on meaning of mess

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I give it about a week

""Drone, lightly used. Buyer must collect."

Ordered drone, got used, water damaged rocket instead. 1 star. Won't buy from this seller again.

$14bn tax hit, Surface Pro screens keep dying – but it's not all good news at Microsoft

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Misleading

"While it has been booked in 1 time, Microsoft has 8 years to pay the tax."

Do they get charged interest on the outstanding amount over that period like your ordinary Joe would?

Crowdfunding small print binned as Retro Computers Ltd loses court refund action

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"It's an interesting judgment, but it doesn't set a precedent. No other court is bound to follow this decision until or unless it's upheld by a higher court (if there was an appeal)."

But it's still now in the record. It can and will be used in support of similar claims to add weight.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: On the other hand

"The problem is the crowdfunders' false expectations, compounded by unclear terms and legalese, and the typical crowdfunder's lack of experience with the process."

As the judgement makes clear, the crowdfunders were made promises. There were no caveats.

Oh, and I think in light of the judgement, your last point ought to read "...the typical crowdfundees's lack of experience with the process.", ie it was up to RCL to make clear when forming the contract that there may be no product at the end of the process or that delays may be years in extent.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"That's a BIG, IMPORTANT judgement."

Absolutely correct. It sends out a huge warning to future crowdfunders to make sure they include all the relevant caveats that you are making a donation and *may* get a reward if the product makes it market. Of course, this will make it harder for crowdfunders to raise the capital if the donaters don't get any sort of guarantee but should cut down on some of the more esoteric and wacky ones that anyone with a bit of common sense would realise is a pile of monkey cack. If the risk to the donator is higher, they are less likely to donate.

Bring the people 'beautiful' electric car charging points, calls former transport minister

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Horses for courses

"Then it'll be 80% fill in 20 mins or so, just nice time for a cuppa and a slice of cake in our cafe."

Is that the tea and cake you eat while it's charging, or the three cups of tea and slices of cake you get while the three people who got there before you gets theirs charged first? Has provision been made for queuing or might there be fisticuffs over who gets the cable next?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: And where will they be?

"No Hotel parking, little nearby parking, I think a couple of days I had to go back to move the car a couple of times a day."

That does seem to be the case in places with comprehensive Park & Ride schemes. York seem to have taken it to the extreme, but the Park & Ride is decent if you are visiting and want to go to the city centre. Not so much if you don't fit into the standard model though.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: And where will they be?

"The other thing to consider in that situation is, what is there to stop people from unplugging the cables so the car doesn't get charged."

You mean the car manufactures never thought that cars may get charged in public places and included a method to lock the charging cable in place? I'd have thought that would be an obvious thing to do. I've never owned, hired or even had a ride in a leccy car, so have no idea if any of this is true.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: And where will they be?

"Or they all invest in armoured extension cords."

Didn't you get the memo? Wireless charging is all the rage these days. Alll you need to do is dig up all those residential roads and bury charging plates all along each side of the road and wire them to the street lights. Profit!

In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Bastards!

"And if they answer, "Who do you think taught me to do this?"

Funny you should say that. It made me think. I don't recall any scam/survey call from someone with an Indian sounding accent being from a woman. It's always men. Has anyone here had an Indian woman phone scamming them before?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "they would get you on federal crimes"

"Um, I don't think the FBI has jurisdiction on"

That's why they have the CIA.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Too mild in both cases

"The punishment in both cases is nowhere near serving as a deterrent for the next lot to try the scam."

True. It seems in the US, the scammers "go large" and then end up paying large chunks of their "profits" to the government while in the UK it's on a smaller scale and the fines are also on a small scale. In neither case do the scammed get any of the cash back.

Billionaire bros Bezos, Buffett become bonkers bio brokers: Swap W in AWS for H for healthcare

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Once they are out of the picture they can then negotiate drug prices on a massive scale. When both the health insurance companies and drug companies lose their ability to bribe politicians then something can be done."

You'd almost think that was possible too, then you look at the NHS in the UK and realise they just pay whatever they are asked for.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: America Fuck Yeah

"Nope, remember these 'founders' are capitalists. I doubt they'd be in it if they didn't think they could turn a tidy profit."

Maybe they just bought a load of healthcare shares after their announcement and will, in 6 months or so, decide their venture into the healthcare arena was a mistake, then sell off those share on the uptick.


Borked bog forces flight carrying 83 plumbers to bug out back to base

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"I'm trying to block the temptation to pipe in on this... er... thread. Really trying!"

Don't strain yourself.

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Bombs away

"Surely there are times when Top Brass wants to bomb something but doesn't want anyone to know what they bombed, not even the pilot?"

Yes, I came here to say the same thing. Coordinates can be entered and sent but no confirmation tha they are what are received. Plausible deniability..

When you play this song backwards, you can hear Satan. Play it forwards, and it hijacks Siri, Alexa

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: And if your significant other insists?

"And if your significant other insists?"

"Wrap them in curtains."

I believe the preferred method is carpet. Not, or course, forgetting the shovel and the quicklime.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Yep, in a similar vein

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny …”

(Usually attributed to Isaac Asimov)

Crooks make US ATMs spew million-plus bucks in 'jackpotting' hacks

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Sounds like a social engineering attack

"Maybe the firmware should call home if it detects the hard drive has been changed..."

Or even some form of active monitoring so the owners know which of their machines are running low on cash, powered down, unexpectedly rebooting, system crashes etc.. You know, the normal stuff a sysadmin would be expected to do when looking after a fleet of computers.

Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Ah, flamethrowers

Hah, try garden shed engineering instead, courtesy of Scrapheap Challenge

US Pentagon scrambles after Strava base leaks. Here's a summary of the new rules: 'Secure that s***, Hudson!'

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Don't see it.

"Somebody or other had a Strava map showing very neatly the location of a base in Afghanistan. It was amusing, but I can hardly imagine that anyone in the province, whether friendly or hostile, or simply concerned not to get blown up by land mines or sentries, didn't already know this."

The heat map shows the most used routes and therefore the better places for IEDs without someone having to hang around to gather that intel.

Intel alerted Chinese cloud giants 'before US govt' about CPU bugs

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Thanks Intel

"I think it's fair to assume that the Chinese government would be unhappy if Intel were to overtly tell the US government about security bugs before telling major Chinese customers. "

Not to mention that this is the sort of bug that commercial customers would be only too happy to honour an NDA. Whereas informing Govt. early, all it takes is one politician, possibly looking at a forthcoming election, who wants some extra publicity and the NDA is in the bin, on fire.

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Please, please, please...


Dodgy parking firms to be denied access to Brit driver database

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Petty Speeding

"A speed limiter ? Cruise control works as a MINIMUM speed limiter. The only MAXIMUM limiters I've seen (in my admittedly limited experience of current cars) is just a beeper."

Every car I've driven in the last five years with cruise control also has a speed limiter. Even the crappy mid-range Kia Ceed I normally drive, which is a long way from being a high end or luxury brand/model. It's an either/or toggle setting and you manually set the upper speed limit, starting from whatever your current speed is. The standard seems to be a green speedo-like indicator lamp for cruise control and a similar but white one for speed limiter,

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Petty Speeding

"Which, to be fair, camera's (especially surprise ones) do tend to do, because some people start paying more attention to the speedo than the road."

Yep, that is a real thing. On one of my regular routes, about 500yds after a drop from 70mph to 50mph, just as you go over the brow of the hill is a 50mph speed camera. I regularly see people hitting the brakes when they see the "surprise" camera even though they are doing 50mph or less anyway. Lots of people have a moment of panic when they see a speed camera, especially just after a change to a lower speed limit.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"A mandatory code of practice that unscrupulous companies will ignore as much as possible."

IIRC, the BPA came into existence with it's voluntary code of conduct because a mandatory was was the only other option. They have failed, hence the new Bill.

It knows where the gravel pits and power lines are. So, Ordnance Survey, where should UK's driverless cars go?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Maps are useful, but things change

"It does raise a point. How will an self drive car deal with things such as new roundabouts. If the car was to "scan" the area, it would think little has changed, as the old road, pretty much goes straight on as it did before (just with a little kink), but it now has to give way to traffic from junction that used to never have priority."

Hopefully, the AV designers will continue to, as now, give priority to what the car "sees" over what the probably out-of-date maps show.

As for online maps being out of date, there's no real need for that now. I don't see it being a hard thing to have a central OS mapping portal where all changes must be logged as part of the planning process. There's no practical reason why that can't happen since the only people making changes to the road network are national and local government. Changes already have to go through a planning process which involves all sorts of legally mandated processes. The AV will still need to identify short term blockages such as vehicle making deliveries etc., but that's a fundamental part of the design process anyway.

The really interesting bit will be the sudden appearance of sink-holes or weather related events such as flash flooding, mud slides and exploding manhole covers, not to mention identifying where the road is in heavy snow! I've driven down the A1 from Scotland and there are parts of the single carriage way stretches where a few inches of snow makes it almost impossible to identify the edges of the road. Yoiu really don't want to be the one in front in those parts.

You can't ignore Spectre. Look, it's pressing its nose against your screen

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Reaping what you sow

"Beancounters: you believed the 'Good+Cheap+Quick' marketurds' spiel, didn't think hard enough about downsides (security and privacy risks that many folks much more knowledgeable than I have been going on about for years now) and so today ... well, to coin a phrase, the skeletons are coming home to roost."

On the other hand, it's all one big house of cards. It only takes one bean counter to realise that cheap works for the majority and that's where it all goes. If your competitors don't follow you down that road, they'll go bust. This applies across most of industry, goods and services. There's usually some small niche at the top for quality, lots of cheap tat at the bottom, and not much in between.

Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with 'dead' satellite

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I wonder ...

Pre-dated by Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Communication is the real issue

Yes, but the moral of the story is "don't release updates on a Friday!"

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019