* Posts by Kubla Cant

2057 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Kubla Cant

Re: "who had a computer at home (with a modem)"

The problem was the modem - many computer didn't come with one, and they were expensive

Before BT was privatised and relaxed the rules, modems all had to be tested and approved by Post Office Telephones. As a result, there were about three models available, each costing more than a week's wages. All were robustly engineered so that you could stand on them to flash an Aldiss lamp - this being generally the fastest communication they could manage.

vi was built by programmers, for programming

I wouldn't have the nerve to badmouth vi. But for those of us who don't use it all the time, the startup sequence is usually like this:

$ vi filename

<start typing stuff, then notice that I didn't enable insert mode until the first 'i' in the stuff>

:q!

$ vi filename

i

<start typing...>

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National Museum of Computing to hold live Enigma code-breaking demo with a Bombe

Kubla Cant

While the machine does its work, participants in the conference will hear papers

If they're in the same room they may struggle to hear the papers,

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Click your heels, um, mouse thrice and you've quickly got Ubuntu on Hyper-V in Win 10 Pro

Kubla Cant

Solution?

I recently acquired a sexy new Dell laptop. The fly in the ointment is that it came with Windows 10 installed. Even after several weeks I feel a wave of nausea every time I see the garish applications on the start "menu".

I've thought about zapping the horrible thing and simply installing Linux, but reports on the web suggest the battery life suffers. I've also tried a dual-boot installation, but it turns out the Ubuntu installer can't see the disk unless I tweak some BIOS setting that can only be changed before installing Windows.

I wonder if this might be a solution?

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Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Kubla Cant

Telstar

It's great to find that name still in use, but now my head's filled with warbly electric organ music.

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Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

Kubla Cant

Re: What's this Silverlight thing?

In an era where complete emulators for entire processor architectures can be implemented in pure JavaScript...

But SmallBasic presumably runs in a different era.

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Mozilla changes Firefox policy from ‘do not track’ to ‘will not track’

Kubla Cant
Black Helicopters

Rearranging the deckchairs

I've just spent 30 minutes reading the fascinating, but ultimately rather depressing page about client identification that @Norman Nescio posted. The short version seems to be that browser-detectable tracking is strictly for kids. It's only a matter of time before more sophisticated undetectable tracking methods are commoditised and generally used. To my personal knowledge, they're already used as part of anti-fraud offerings.

Basically, were all doomed.

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Kubla Cant
Thumb Up

Re: Check your tracking status

Thanks @Norman Nescio: very interesting and useful links

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Fruit flies use the power of the sun to help them fly in straight lines

Kubla Cant

Drosophila can fly nearly 15 kilometers - over nine miles - across Death Valley in a single evening

As long as there's an over-ripe banana on the other side of Death Valley.

The other superpower of fruit flies appears to be evasion. Judging by the way they fly and their small size, you expect to be able to grab one in flight, but they always seem to dodge at the last minute.

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No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Kubla Cant

Re: The Last One.html

The Last One was actually the first in a long line of tools that make simple things easy and complicated things impossible.

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Kubla Cant

Re: I do wonder...

That's an interesting and plausible explanation, but I'm sure the coins-above-notes annoyance isn't limited to change from electronic cash registers. I'd always assumed the reason to be a subconscious fear that the notes might blow away.

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Kubla Cant
Mushroom

Web development these days is all about dragging in pointless dependencies from NPM.

Don't forget superseding last week's must-have tool with this week's. And devising new opaque commands. I just got used to npm, then I read a book where some of the commands have to be executed as 'ng npm'. Even this is apparently too lucid, as somebody's introduced a command called 'n'.

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Windows 95 roars once more in the Microsoft round-up

Kubla Cant
Angel

20Gb disk? I'm sure Gigabyes were such stuff as dreams are made on in 1995.

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Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

Kubla Cant

Re: All these people agreeing with Verizon...

carry on with the Ad Hominims

I think you mean ad hominem. I'm not sure what the plural is (maybe it's "testimonial").

If it means anything, "ad hominims" means "to the ape-men".

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It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

Kubla Cant

Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

an abstract application name is just not helpful

Gnu Image Manipulation Program. The name says exactly what it does. (Apart from the Gnu bit, but then Adobe Photoshop doesn't have much to do with mud houses.)

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It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

Kubla Cant

Re: Eh?

Makes sense if you assume "will" is implied before "hit end-of-life".

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Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy

Kubla Cant

The hacking world's summer camp ... a week of lectures, networking, and partying.

No doubt I'm succumbing to stereotypes, but imagining the sort of party they have at the hacking world's summer camp makes my toes curl.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

Kubla Cant

Re: Better than things used to be

I hate you can't ask to have items delivered all together, and you get things delivered three days in a row

I recently ordered some dental floss from Amazon. It's a fairly low-value item, and it's annoying to run out, so I ordered 10 packs.

Over the next couple of weeks I received 10 deliveries. Each packet of floss was packed in its own padded envelope (though it's not a breakable item) and individually posted from the Netherlands. Luckily, they were small enough to be pushed through the letterbox.

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Kubla Cant

Better than things used to be

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

Long ago, before I found refuge in IT, I used to be involved in direct response marketing. We would advertise "Please allow up to 28 days for delivery", and I'm afraid it was not uncommon to miss that deadline. It seems incomprehensible now.

I agree that Amazon should adhere to the delivery schedule it advertises, but I'm still childishly thrilled when things arrive the day after I order them.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

Kubla Cant
Headmaster

Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on is stylii

Well you and Jobs both have it wrong. The plural of 2nd Declension Latin nouns such as "stylus" is formed by replacing "us" with "i", not by adding as many "i"s as you think looks cool. You're probably confused by the fact that "radii" has two "i"s. The first of those is part of the root, and appears in the singular, too.

Pedantic? Yes, but if you don't know how Latin works, you'd do better to stick to your native tongue, in which "styluses" is a perfectly acceptable plural.

4
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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Kubla Cant
Headmaster

Asking for a what?

Point of information: in English, the thing you ask for if you want to be paid more is a "rise". I believe this word is difficult for foreigners, who misspell is "raise".

4
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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Kubla Cant

Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

Lemme guess - Serial comms, and cheap cables without the DTR pin connected?

I think it was actually some weird optimisation in HP laser printers that was supposed to save memory*. It wasn't very well implemented, so the output occasionally have bits missing.

*Printers of the time, especially PostScript ones, would often fail to print complex pages because of insufficient memory.

5
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Kubla Cant
Headmaster

Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

When doing long print jobs, they would start to loose letters.

Did they also start to add letters, thereby mis-spelling "lose" as "loose"?

27
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Julia 0.7 arrives but let's call it 1.0: Data science code language hits milestone on birthday

Kubla Cant

Re: Indices...

Only Visual Basic really seems to have arrays sorted out.

It's been a long time, but I recall that Pascal allows array [x..y], and the indices don't have to be contiguous, or even numeric.

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Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

Kubla Cant

Re: What to do with the fine

Considering the possible backlash, and the cost of the litigation if I was the artist involved I'd be donating the fine back to the school as a thanks for being involved in establishing my rights.

On the other hand, the artist has had to finance a law suit and subsequent appeals all the way to the ECJ. His opponent was backed by the more-or-less unlimited funds available to a German state. In return for assuming this massive risk he gets... €400.

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Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy

Kubla Cant

Further issues include the digital skills capacity in government, which has historically struggled to recruit and retain the best people

Since their latest effort is to arbitrarily apply IR35 to as many public-sector jobs as possible, the struggle is likely to continue.

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From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit

Kubla Cant

Never mind shops getting back lost revenue, how about consumers being refunded for overcharging? If the price-fixing manufacturers had to shoulder the cost of locating everyone who bought the overpriced goods and offering a partial refund it would right a wrong and be a costly deterrent.

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ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

Kubla Cant

Widdershins is anticlockwise, Richard.

Depends whether you're looking from above or below.

1
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It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Kubla Cant

Re: If only!

the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade

How? I own a Samsung laptop, a few years old, but still perfectly usable in Windows 7. During the Great Nag I finally decided to try Windows 10, but the installation failed because of hardware incompatibility.

The hardware in question is an Intel processor with integrated GPU, about as vanilla as possible. I need hardly add that none of the Linux distros I've installed has had any problem with it.

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Kubla Cant

Re: Windows Update on 10

Will there ever come a time when Windows can be updated without reboots? Other operating systems seem to manage most of the time.

9
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Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Kubla Cant

Re: Oops

Maybe it's the font, maybe it's my eyes, but when I read the words "Shift Supervisor" that many times it transmutes into something that must be one of the worst jobs in the world.

15
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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Kubla Cant

Re: Linux Mint is free

complicated, confusing, and difficult. And that's just email

As far as I know, the email system built into recent releases of Windows isn't complicated, confusing, and difficult. It's non-existent.

Some Windows users may pay for a local copy of Outlook, but I suspect most simply use some kind of webmail site. And that's the same whether your browser is running on Windows, Linux, MacOS or other fine operating system.

It's odd that people who allege Linux is difficult to use seem to have managed primitive versions of Windows without issue. And many are quite happy to use MacOS, which has far more in common with Linux than Windows.

14
4

This job Win-blows! Microsoft made me pull '75-hour weeks' in a shopping mall kiosk

Kubla Cant

Re: To be honest...

...difference between 'professional' and other workers for overtime...

I think the rationale is that "professional" workers put in extra effort in the expectation (realistic or otherwise) of promotion. Your career prospects are also supposed to make you a stakeholder in the business, so you put in more effort than you're paid for. The free overtime is an investment in your future.

A worker in a menial retail job has no prospect of promotion, and won't be paid more if the business thrives, so can't be expected to contribute free overtime.

This, at any rate, is the line that management expect people to swallow.

The theory is borne out by people like software engineers. They're professional and often highly-paid, but they can only be promoted by turning good engineers into crap managers. They usually get overtime and out-of-hours pay. Me, I'm a contractor, so I have no prospects of any kind.

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If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Kubla Cant

I don't see how you can say both "I need dual monitors to do my job" and then "I need a laptop".

Here I am, working on a laptop that has dual monitors, keyboard and mouse connected to it. The monitors are more-or-less essential for my job.

When I have to do out-of-hours support, or when I work from home, I can carry the laptop home in my backpack and use the monitors etc that I have at home anyway. I can also use it on the train, where I connect to the company's secure VPN via a mobile hotspot. Neither would be possible without the laptop.

This has been the usual arrangement in most of the companies where I've worked over the past five years. Fortunately, they haven't had an idiot like Lee D making the decisions.

13
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BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Kubla Cant

Gobshite

I am utterly unsurprised that the Beeb are paying some gobshite who fronts up a dull regional news programme as much as the prime minister

To judge from the £2.2m paid to Chris Evans, BBC pay is in direct proportion to the gobshiteness of the recipient.

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Kubla Cant

Re: Any news on whether the BBC pays their side of the bargain?

I, and a good chunk of the people reading this have to pay NI; don't have a lot of sympathy for those that don't.

This seems a bit unfair on those of us who have slogged through 45 years to reach State Retirement Age, after which NI is no longer payable.

11
4

Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Kubla Cant
Thumb Down

Re: *Shrug*

I run my whole house from a 4G Wifi router

Great idea! Oh, wait, I have to stand in the garden to get any kind of phone reception*, and it sure as hell isn't 4G. How's that going to work?

* According to the coverage maps, it will be the same with any mobile network.

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Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'

Kubla Cant

servings[sic] tens-of-hundreds of people

Or, as we call them in English, "thousands".

15
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Winter Olympics website downed by cyber attack

Kubla Cant

Re: Call me a cynical old codger..

Honey gets you more flies than Vinegar.

I am not an entomologist, but I think those who know say that the opposite is true. Fruit flies like vinegar and they are very numerous.

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No yolking matter: Google Translate cock-up gives Norwegians more than un œuf eggs

Kubla Cant

There used to be a Swedish chef on TV who was very hard to understand. If Norwegian chefs are similar, I'm not surprised the translation went awry.

5
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It's been 50 years since those damn dirty apes took the planet by storm

Kubla Cant

Re: Bridge on the River Kwai

They changed the original film ending of Alec Guinness screaming at the allied forces

Who did? When? I'm sure that was the ending when I saw it.

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Kubla Cant

Re: Spaceballs?

Dark Star?

7
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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Kubla Cant

Re: "trying on shoes in a shoe shop"

I had no idea that might be old-school. What do modern people do instead? Guess?

8
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Kubla Cant

Re: Pics, or it didn't happen!

Student me in the late 1960s:

  • black crushed velvet flares
  • flowered shirt
  • bright-coloured nylon scarf worn as a neckerchief
  • black hat with a wide brim
  • short green military-style coat that I was told originated with the Women's Fire Brigade*
  • best of all, a pair of zip-up chukka boots that I had personally re-coloured purple
*I now doubt that there ever was such an organisation, but the surplus store had dozens of these coats.

5
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EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

Kubla Cant

EE claims it delivered 100Mbps

Just like the EE network I use on my mobile phone? Funny, it never seems that fast.

In other news, EE kindly supplied me with a picocell-type device that connects to my broadband, so I can use my phone at home without having to go and stand in the garden. If I had their new gadget too, the ugly box outside the house would use the mobile signal from the picocell, which will route it down the broadband connection, and so on ad infinitum.

2
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ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t

Kubla Cant

We ask that you send a strong signal that you are supportive of creativity in advertising.

Nothing against smutty, but I think they're flattering themselves when they call it "creative".

11
4

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

Kubla Cant

Re: Not a UK plug, but a useless Continental one.

Not that it excuses the error, but didn't you have a travel adaptor of the right kind lurking somewhere?

Think about it. You buy travel adaptors so that you can use your native plugs in foreign outlets. Why would somebody who lives in the UK have an adaptor that connects a continental plug to a UK outlet?

16
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On yer bike! Boffins teach AI drone to fly itself using cams on bicycles, self-driving car

Kubla Cant
Flame

Our intuition was that cars, bicycles, or similar vehicles, already have this great ability. Therefore, we developed an algorithm to make drones that can imitate them.

Your intuition was rubbish. Cars, bicycles, and similar vehicles have no ability. Their drivers or riders may, in some cases, have great ability.

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Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Kubla Cant

Re: And the job opportunities?

There are plenty of opportunities, but they're all for nanojobs, paying up to $50,000 * 10-9 per annum.

13
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Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM

Kubla Cant

Re: @kain preacher

If driving the speed limit cause traffic jams then there is some thing else wrong such as the limit is way to slow.

Not true. In heavy traffic conditions it's common for the speed limit to be reduced to prevent traffic jams. Urban motorways have variable speed limits for just this reason.

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Camels disqualified from Saudi beauty contest for Botox-enhanced pouts

Kubla Cant

Re: a beauty pageant for camels? how does that even work?

Eye. Beholder.

Shouldn't that be "Eye. Needle"?

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