* Posts by Joe Harrison

607 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Stop worrying and let the machines take our jobs – report

Joe Harrison

Private Eye cartoon this month

Bloke (talking to cylinder shaped thing next to bed): "Alexa when will the machines take over?"

Alexa: "Piss off human scum"

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Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

Joe Harrison

Who would pay for BBC access?

To watch TV you need a TV license and the money goes to the BBC. But I believe lots of people would say no if asked to pay directly to watch BBC. I for example wouldn't pay and would be fine with being denied access to Eastenders and Strictly Dancing and so on. Maybe they know that and would rather just harvest the easy money via the license fee.

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One-third of mobile users receive patchy to no indoor coverage

Joe Harrison

PAYG and contract SIMs not same coverage

Not my field but I don't think trying out the coverage with a free PAYG SIM is representative. When I had an O2 PAYG they told me that using 4G was not allowed unless I paid extra so it's clear they can discriminate on a per-SIM basis.

Following that I moved house to a place with unusably slow wired broadband and very little mobile coverage. Careful experimentation with a cellular router, directional antenna, and a selection of both contract and PAYG makes me think that there's definitely a difference.

Of course sod's law, while I was still trying to figure it out Openreach upgraded my wired access to a decent speed, which is good but I am stuck with all this now-useless cellular hardware.

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Facebook vows to double staff with new cadre of Net Police

Joe Harrison

Re: Facebook is finished

Definitely agree. It was great at first as simple tool for keeping track of friends and local events but creeping-featurism kept adding on daft bits until it finally developed an incurable 100% fatal problem - it is now Too Much Trouble and nothing can survive that

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Google remembers it has an air-fares API, takes the usual action

Joe Harrison

Re: Who knew eh?

I didn't know. But is this the same as www.google.com/flights ?

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Two drones, two crashes in two months: MoD still won't say why

Joe Harrison

Re: Strange goings on...

I have always been sceptical of the ridiculous claim that these drones are fully automated and remotely controlled. Now we see the real pilots who ejected and were washed up onshore.

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Joe Harrison

Re: Voice control

Also there's a bug where it stops recognising your voice, about halfway down the second glass.

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Joe Harrison

Re: What does it do...

I have a Gigabyte Brix running Kodi, everything has been fine for the last couple years. Except now there is so much H.265 content which requires a decent CPU and the one in mine can't handle it.

Never heard of Beeline media PC but when buying anything like this make sure its processor is beefy enough for modern video standards. I would avoid anything with the word "Celeron" in it just in case.

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Chinese whispers: China shows off magnetic propulsion engine for ultra-silent subs, ships

Joe Harrison

Re: MHD engines will NEVER be used for a Military "Stealth sub"

Maybe that's the plan

1. Build what looks like submarine but is actually giant bomb

2. Switch on loud magnetic dooda

3. Enemy detects magnet and sails directly towards you smirking about your stupidity. Fires at you, gets blown up

0
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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Joe Harrison

Re: Google really is your friend for this kind of stuff

Cars are computer networks with wheels these days

FTFY

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Joe Harrison

Re: Possible Solution

Snap, I had a Fiat xri (extremely rusty indeed)

10
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AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch

Joe Harrison

Re: What about...

I can manage Russian well enough for the sites I like to visit but I am floored completely if I encounter any captchas. I can mostly recognise A no matter how much it is distorted but try telling the difference between л and п or ш and щ

2
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DXC slashes meal allowances for travelling troops: Please sir, may I have some more?

Joe Harrison

Re: No health based exception to per-diem, well sorry no deal.

I have a special diet, not for health issues or adherence to any -isms, I just don't eat chopped up dead animals because it's gross. Dealing with that on business trips really is specific to where you are going but in some meat-with-everything places I literally don't eat anything at all on a short trip. For longer ones I get clean stuff from a supermarket. Nobody in accounts ever complains that I am not claiming enough...

2
7

Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Joe Harrison

Re: It really

I accidentally met a guy who is a rocket-scientist level car designer in Germany. He said the future is two-stroke engines. Thanks to Honda they have got a bad name and people think they are greasy smelly things but he was completely sure about it. Didn't talk to him long enough to find out whether electric hybrid would be in the mix as well.

0
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Europol cops lean on phone networks, ISPs to dump CGNAT walls that 'hide' cyber-crooks

Joe Harrison

Re: v7 needed

As for technical complexity... a believe a drunken monkey can set this up with little effort.

I always assumed that the reason for IPv6 having so little adoption was that the perceived benefits did not justify the necessarily huge learning curve. If what you say is true then there must be some other reason that nobody bothers with it. Perhaps it's a bag of spanners destined to fail hard once it moves from geek's garage to live production work...

3
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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Joe Harrison

Something the article forgot to mention

The gadget comes with free 500TB of online storage.

At the NSA.

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It's a real FAQ to ex-EDS staffers: You'll do what with our pensions, DXC?

Joe Harrison

Re: Coincidence?

why would you spend your entire IT career working at a company like this? [...] most IT careers are far too mobile in terms of switching jobs in order to make significant career progress that I don't think this is a massive issue for the industry in general.

That is probably true now but it wasn't then. A bloke in our company has been here 50 years and there is a lot of it about.

5
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The UK isn't ditching Boeing defence kit any time soon

Joe Harrison

Nonsense, Ryanair land in very convenient places. I flew into Polperro London Airport with them only last week

25
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Kebab and pizza shop owner jailed for hiding £179k from the taxman

Joe Harrison

Random? How do HMRC decide

I think everyone has acquaintances who we strongly suspect must surely be dodgy af taxwise, but living it large and not in jail. Buy-to-let landlords are the most obvious example. Taxman ignores them for years, and anecdotally I've heard people say they are tired of grassing people up to the HMRC hotline because nothing ever happens anyway. Then suddenly a random dodgy kebab guy gets hit. Wondering how it really works.

0
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UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

Joe Harrison

Re: Hmmm

Surely though these days nearly all tech is made in China. Buy your stuff directly from China in dollars and Bob's your uncle. You might (very unlikely) have to pay a bit of import tax, and if need to send back for repairs then it's more work than taking it back to Currys, but you're only paying 2/3 of the piss-taking price.

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Joe Harrison

Re: @UncleNick

The pound was worth 1.50 dollars as polls closed, then dropped to 1.33 the next day - the lowest since 1985. Now we are all saddled with expensive computer parts. How can you blame the BBC

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Inept bloke who tried to sell military sat secrets to Russia gets 5 years

Joe Harrison

Re: Selling out the US to Russia...

... I thought that was Donalds job.

Well, so it is said in campaigns by his political enemies, based on no evidence whatsoever...

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RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Joe Harrison

And let's not forget this other bloke

Seems like Vasili Arkhipov did a very similar brave deed on a different occasion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov

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

Joe Harrison

Half-apologies? Please use the correct technical terms

I believe "unpology" is more correct ☺

0
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Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers

Joe Harrison

Just get a dog

In my experience dogs are obsessed with the smells of other dogs above all else.

3
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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Joe Harrison

Bitcoin

"Ah but mining isn't economical any more because electricity costs."

I never understood this at all. The electricity doesn't disappear it just turns into heat - so put your miner in your house and turn off the central heating in that room.

4
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Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...

Joe Harrison

Depends what you call proof. When I was a pension rep at work it was clear that management were looking at more than salary when deciding how much an employee was "worth".

For a while my own company had an intranet thing where you could see your total reward package as a pie chart with slices for company car, private health, and so on. It was not at all unusual to see people with 50 percent of that pie saying pension contributions. It's hard to believe that it did not factor in to "how much pay rise shall we give this guy".

4
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El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

Joe Harrison

Re: My first job!

The new boy/girl traditionally gets sent to the stores to get a long weight, tin of striped paint, or a left-handed spanner. Not sure what the digital equivalent would be but I am sure El Reg will think of something when the time comes.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Joe Harrison

I am a road-safety freak but even I can't agree with that. The primary reason for using a mobile phone in a car is surely for satnav, which definitely counts as part of "driving your car" given that the driving test is soon to include it.

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TalkTalk plans to bail on mobile in major shake-up for beleaguered biz

Joe Harrison

A few random comments

  • I have a dual SIM phone with Three and EE. I do a lot of mainline train journeys between South East and North of England and mostly lose Three but retain EE signal. So maybe go for EE if you travel by train a lot.
  • A friend's experience of Talk Talk involved being expensively billed for four SIMs they didn't know they had, and finding it hard to get anything resolved
  • A phone which supports Band 20 could get you better indoor coverage, also some cell sites report themselves as Band 20 only so I am guessing this means without it you will have no signal at all.
  • The correct spelling is "supersede", just sayin

1
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Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

Joe Harrison

Copied the idea?

Vkontakte (Russian copy of Facebook) had free unlimited music from day 1 more or less.

3
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Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

Joe Harrison

Re: Time flies like an arrow.

English language is like that. "Alice made an Ikea bookcase with a screwdriver". "Bob made a coffee table with Charlie". How confusing is that to a someone learning English?

Is it just me but genetically modified flies with glowing green brains? What if they escaped and mated with the genetically modified frikkin-laser flies from someone else's research project? Remember you heard it here first - if you want the film rights we'll talk.

4
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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Joe Harrison

Briefly tried Android Pay but honestly cannot see the point. Especially as it specifically won't work with a Revolut card, which by the way I can seriously recommend.

0
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Joe Harrison

Bossy lady in McDonalds in America got quite cross when she saw me moving my card towards the top of the weird-looking reader where I saw the contactless logo. "SIR YOU CAN'T -" . Her face was priceless when it beeped and said authorised. Apparently she had never seen it happen before.

5
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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Joe Harrison

Lappy

What is it with "Lappy"? It's hardly much of an abbreviation as it only saves one letter. "Addy" saves three letters but somehow even more annoying. Although even so not quite as annoying as people who insist on"firing up" notepad...

13
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Is it possible to control Amazon Alexa, Google Now using inaudible commands? Absolutely

Joe Harrison

Private Eye

Funny cartoon in Private Eye print edition which I can't find online. Cat half asleep on floor looking at budgie in cage, Amazon Echo on coffee table. Budgie speech caption "Alexa cancel the cat food and double the birdseed order"

2
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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Joe Harrison

That's nice

I posted earlier in the thread about counting on fingers and thumbs, now someone has given me 1 thumb up for it

4
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Joe Harrison

Re: So much for digital

You can do better than 1023 if you count up to 2 on each finger, I mean finger down = 0, finger halfway up = 1, finger completely up = 2. You could probably have even more finger positions but then it gets confusing.

3
3

Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

Joe Harrison

Surprised

Didn't expect how many think going out to shop and buying lunch is normal routine. Not sure how much you would spend but let's say 4 quid is conservative. That's at least 80 a month out of taxed wages. How do you afford that on a regular basis.

A lot of companies have a subsidised canteen. If you're out travelling somewhere you are missing out on the subsidy; that was what our accounts department once told me was the reason for being able to claim lunches.

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Cybersecurity world faces 'chronic shortage' of qualified staff

Joe Harrison

Experience not recognised

I have donkeys years of "cyber-" (dislike that word) security experience. This is basically because up until recently it was always seen as a hateful drudge job that nobody wanted to do and (as the least unwilling peon) I always got lumbered with. Now there are so many organisations who claim to be desperately short of cyber-securititians, but what they actually are looking for are pen-test script runners and box-tickers. No way am I getting suckered into that.

1
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Reality strikes Dixons Carphone's profits after laughing off Brexit threat

Joe Harrison

What is the attraction of a two-year interest-free period? I don't see it.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Joe Harrison

Nothing special anyway

I managed to find my way (not easy) onto Escondido Beach in Malibu and was rather disappointed. I suppose nice if you have one of the houses but purely as a beach it is nothing much in comparison to your average Spanish one.

0
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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Joe Harrison

It never used to be about money

I remember the early days of the www when it was a communal resource for information sharing. After a while people came along and said "you know what, we can use this thing to make money". Now they are complaining that my ad blocker is getting in the way of their business. Am I supposed to be bothered?

I suppose the difference between then and now is that hosting used to be "free" i.e. you leached off your university or employer. So I have some sympathy and recognise I need somehow to contribute to legit hosting costs, but even so I still don't want ads.

10
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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Joe Harrison

Obviously the shoes v. boots thing is ridiculous.

We would still need to keep the important and sensible parts of tax law though, for example above what temperature does a pasty become a hot pasty and therefore need VAT.

3
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Uber drivers game Uber's system like Uber games the entire planet

Joe Harrison

I had a mate used to work on the ferris wheel ride but he got the sack. Took them to court though - clear case of funfair dismissal.

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Virgin Media mulls ditching 1 in 3 UK facilities, starts £20m spend audit

Joe Harrison

Re: Virgin on demand (not)

Completely right. What is the point of cabling up a road except for three houses. You had to put up with the same roadworks inconvenience as did those who are getting the service.

Ultimately it's up to them to make their business decision but the most annoying part (and I speak from experience) is that they will still put an invitation through your letterbox to order their new service. When you do they are happy to take your order despite you asking them five times "are you sure because the street digging didn't come this far" and let you waste a morning off work. They will then mess you around forever neither fulfilling your order nor admitting they cannot deliver.

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You need to assemble a crack AI team: Where do you even start?

Joe Harrison

Think this was meant to be a joke but logically it's the right thing to do surely. I am not trivialising the massive amount of work to somehow bodge together an AI that is just adequately smart enough to design another AI, but once that was complete just leave it running while you go to the pub.

3
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Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Joe Harrison

So where to next?

Wosign was the only place I could find for a free email (S/MIME) certificate. Don't want to get involved in whether or not they should be black-holed but it does leave me without a paddle when my cert expires.

0
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UK.gov tips £400m into digital investment pot

Joe Harrison

Nag them

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport had a target "to provide access to basic broadband (2Mbps) for all from December 2015" which they failed to reach and had to revise. Until last month I was only getting 1.0Mbps which is totally not acceptable in 2017 UK.

https://basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk/

"A subsidised broadband installation is now available if you cannot access an affordable broadband service with a speed of at least 2 Mb per second." They really don't want to give you a subsidy; I found that after lots of loud complaining the magical Openreach unicorn fairy did a surprise upgrade of my local cabinet instead.

If you are looking for evidence of your slow speed I can recommend going through an EE broadband online application then screenshotting, as EE seem to be the most conservative in promising what your speed would be.

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