* Posts by Frederic Bloggs

305 posts • joined 17 Aug 2010


Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Get Informed

And don't forget to include the chlamydia bacteria that seems to help everything along...

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

Frederic Bloggs

So which bridge in London is that?

I can't quite place it.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

Frederic Bloggs

Maybe Texan?

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Crossing the Line

IT graduates who maintain their prInciples

Those will be the ones that actually have an IT job. The "vast majority" of IT graduates do something else.

This ain't over, Viasat snarls as tribunal rules in satellite rival's favour

Frederic Bloggs

I'm confused...

How is an aircraft, flying at 30000ft+, going to select a base station on the ground from the several 1000 that have been lit up by its broadcasts? It never used to work. has LTE got some magic that allows this to happen now?

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Frederic Bloggs

Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

Isn't the powerpoint where they plug the trains in?

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

Frederic Bloggs

Re: "the vast and disparate NHS"

Having trudged through all the comments to this piece, can I thank this correspondent for reading what was said and understanding the implications (unlike nearly every other comment in this thread).

If this set of policies gets anywhere near reality, then this is the first time (that I can recall) that Government is seriously contemplating setting out (or nailing their colours to the mast of) a set of data interchange standards - rather than mandating this company or that software.

This is, of course, what they should have done this the first time around. By defining data interchange formats and the data to be transferred, it really could open up competition and innovation. This is what Government should be doing, not picking and choosing software for the clinical users.

Existing players will be dragged (probably kicking and screaming) into compliance and they will have to shape up or go under. Having seen the lack of capabilities and UX design of some of the "market leaders" in this space, I can only hope that some enterprising SMEs will take the incumbents on and show them how it should be done.

P.S. NHS number as a unique key - who'd have thunk it?

Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

Frederic Bloggs


Personally, I think it might be that time again to welcome our new Alien Overlords from their Disc Based Platforms. They may run the government rather better than the shambolic way the fleshy humans are currently managing doing.

Mmm, yes. 11-nines data durability? Mmmm, that sounds good. Except it's virtually meaningless

Frederic Bloggs

Pratchett's Law

We all know (especially when trying to restore from "backup") that that 1 million to 1 chance happens 9 times out 10...

Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

Frederic Bloggs

Guerrilla Marketing?

More like (angry) Gorilla Marketing

Imagine a patent on organizing computer files being used against online shopping sites. Oh, it's still happening

Frederic Bloggs

Re: It goes back further than that

In the 1980s I wrote a rather nifty builders merchant system that worked just like that, complete with "pick lists" generated from the "files" of data (not just a simple price, pages of info about it as well) - meaning that the user did not have "search" by typing out words (although they could, but rarely did). The merchants absolutely *loved* it.

And what about yer standard menu system on the browser you are using to read this? Isn't that a set of "pick lists" bringing up "files" (especially if one considers the history or book mark pages)?

'Toxic' Whitehall power culture fingered for GDS's fall from grace

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Bracken, what an ass

Personally, I would have thought that hiring a few clue full 50 or 60 year olds to give the under 30s helpful advice and erm.. "guidance" would also have helped. Apart from anything else, the CS's power structures are aged based and having some wet behind the ears junior oiks (as the upper reaches of the CS would see it) telling CS mandarins what to do, or how things are about to change rather radically, simply would never have worked.

Trying to do it again with "New GDS" will also fail unless it has a structure and credible people in charge that speaks the senior CS's language and is prepared to engage with them on that basis.

That means hiring technical people of substance, experience and age that are actually worth the sorts of salaries that were being paid out.

First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts

Frederic Bloggs

Re: This underlines one more thing

And, certainly the last time I was able to make a direct comparison (again Emirates), the A380 was faster than the B777 as well as more comfortable.

Microsoft partners to fling out collabo-visual Ginormonitors this year

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Too big for me (but maybe not if it were curved)

I have just started using 43" 4K TV as well. It is cheap (compared to the Dell 30 incher I had before), works well, has better colour than the Dell (once it's set up - it's rubbish out of the box). It only really has one downside - it's a huge flat screen telly (37" x 21") being viewed from 2 feet away. What this means is that it is soooo big that I have to move (albeit it slightly) so that I can focus properly on the sides of the screen - me being a bit myopic and of the older persuasion.

I know ElReg has wondered what a curved screen telly might be for, but using one as monitor would definitely be a genuine use case. So I am waiting for the OLED curved TVs to come down in price, then I can retire this one to the living room for the occasional house guest that actually wants to watch live programming.

Have a look at this example. You can get a £10 cheaper version, with some legs at each end instead of the chunky central stand, from Amazon. You'll also need a modern graphics card that can do HDMI 2 @ 60hz to drive it.

'Moore's Revenge' is upon us and will make the world weird

Frederic Bloggs



* "usually means an explanation"

Slurp up patient data for algos that will detect cancer early, says UK PM

Frederic Bloggs

"Opt Out"?

Do you suppose anyone in the NHS IT department has heard about GDPR ? Specifically about how "Opt outs" are effectively banned?


Why does the world need the new 'Arkraino' network edge stack'?

Frederic Bloggs

Well I might, for one.

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Frederic Bloggs


GDPR isn't just about disposal, it's also about keeping personal data safe and secure. IIRC this applies under the current regulations as well.

It seems to me that HMG has comprehensively failed in its duty of care to do the "safe" part.

Frederic Bloggs

That's exactly what we are saying. That, together with an earlier point about shredding arrival information about EU nationals at the same time.

Astroboffins discover the stink of eggy farts wafting from Uranus

Frederic Bloggs

H2S isn't just a nasty smell

In fact, it is likely the stuff that kills you, rather than the hydrogen and the low temperatures - assuming one would ever want to go there. Hydrogen Sulphide is nasty enough to have official dosage and emission limits in laboratories. And it isn't very much (now 1ppm over an 8 hour shift with a 15ppm max). LD50 is 800ppm and one breath may be enough at that level.

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

Frederic Bloggs

Re: With hindsight

A better solution would have been exim, seeing as this resource exhaustion tale has all the hallmarks of a sendmail shop. In the 1990's a friend of mine was running a forum mailing list for a very well known computer software company and was suffering the same sort of problem caused by sendmail's 1 msg then 1 delivery -> 1 process to deliver it "paradigm". A bit of a problem on a forum with 5000 people on it. He changed to exim and the problem went away.

IBM swings shrink ray from workforce to mainframes

Frederic Bloggs

Mainframe? Are you sure?

To me, probably being of a certain age, the key distinction has always been: how much data and in parallel, can one shove through the computer at a time. "Lots continuously" = "mainframe", "quite a bit, but rather bursty" = "mini computer", "user interaction limited" = "PC".

So the designation "mainframe" has always hinged on the number and bandwidth of connections between the CPU and the storage devices and other streaming peripherals. While processors have got faster, I don't think either the interconnects or the hardware that handles them inside the "mainframe" have kept up to the same extent. Indeed the tendency to land stuff on buses, as opposed to direct connects closer to the CPU(s), will always add contention and slow dataflows down.

A "mainframe", then, is optimised to get the largest number of "streams" of data into, munged a bit, and then out of the unit as possible. Just because CPUs, discs and their interfaces are faster, doesn't alter that basic distinction.

I wonder just how far IBM can go before someone notices that they are just buying a (very) large and expensive mini?

Shhh! Don’t tell KillBots the UN’s about to debate which ones to ban

Frederic Bloggs

locate "sarah conners"

is likely quicker on most machines that have find installed on them as default.

Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Uhm, pushing your own agenda much?

IIRC the "conf.d crap" is actually "Debian conf.d crap" and there is absolutely no need to use it.

Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Is it Friday already?

No, it's just taking a rest before the clocks change (the wrong way) this weekend

Get tooled up before grappling with Google's Spanner database

Frederic Bloggs


How is that cost likely to compare with, say, an Oracle setup that attempts to do the same thing?

Android P will hear no evil, see no evil, support evil notches

Frederic Bloggs


Clearly it's time for some fresh fruit flavo(u)rs!

TigerGraph emerges from undergrowth with 2.0 release in its jaws

Frederic Bloggs

Re: 'Scuse my ignorance of buzzwords

Thank you for clearing that up...

Frederic Bloggs

'Scuse my ignorance

But does a "graph database" bear any resemblance to a "network database" that some of us older more experienced users to curse, before we became used to venting spleens at "relational" ones?

Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

Frederic Bloggs

Re: carbon monoxide as byproduct???

Burn it when the sun doesn't shine?

Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future

Frederic Bloggs

It's sooooo slooooow

It's very slow, isn't it? Ok for an snazzy airport lounge, but virtually useless in an actual bar. Can you imagine the fights that are going to break out in the queue (assuming everyone is still sober enough to understand the queuing concept).

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Frederic Bloggs

Re: It's known in other industries as "Root cause analysis"

Biro? Six months ago I started using my italic fountain pen for the first time since my 20's.

Is this some kind of silent disease that is spreading through our community.

Perhaps this requires some analyis?

Camels disqualified from Saudi beauty contest for Botox-enhanced pouts

Frederic Bloggs


What has the last paragraph got to do with camels? Is this some subtle #metoo comment that I am not getting? Botox making camels too robotic?

Should I be thinking of welcoming our new robotic camel overlords with floppy lips and big erm.. heads soon?

Supermicro crams 36 Samsung 'ruler' SSDs into dense superserver

Frederic Bloggs

Breaking News

Production units may run ~30% slower than designed....

Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

Frederic Bloggs


Does it have any words?

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Sounds more like a funeral march

It's the way you play 'em

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Old tech solved this decades ago

Perhaps you were thinking of ICL CAFS disks. Essentially the drives had 16 heads per arm instead of just the one. The algorithms in the controllers were also designed to aid the searching of content addressable data, but it was the fact that there were 16 channels of streaming data available that made the thing blindingly fast.

Brit banks told to publish details of major incidents that stop punters' payments

Frederic Bloggs

El Reg: as a public service ...

How about maintaining a "financial" (and/or even ISP) TITSUP record page, maybe with bar charts of how many hours / days each of these occurs?

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Frederic Bloggs

What no-one has mentioned yet...

Is the size of (each) of the disks in a pack. Until well into the 1980s the standard physical size of one of the disks (in a stack) was 14" and about 3/16" thick and made of reasonably high grade aluminium. And they were not light. The capacity of disk changed, but the size didn't until sealed "Winchester" disks became a "thing" that would lead to the small drives that we have today.

Imagine one (or even a salami slicing set of them) flying at anything (fleshy or hard). Makes Oddjob and his bowler hat look like a ineffective amateur.

US judge orders Sci-Hub be excised from the internet

Frederic Bloggs

As usual: the US wants extra terrestrial power, but no-one else's applies to them

The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Here we have a judge ordering a complete shutdown of a website all over the world, yet when a Canadian judge orders Google (et al) to remove links to content, it goes to a US court to argue that it doesn't apply outside Canada.

ICANN gives domain souks permission to tell it the answer to Whois privacy law debacle

Frederic Bloggs

I think you will find that it is only "incomprehensible" (or more accurately "unconscionable" ) to large US corporations that want to hoover up all this information because of "money". But it is probably true that parts of the US population also couldn't give a shit - neither, it has to be said, do I.

Only good guys would use an automated GPU-powered password-cracker ... right?

Frederic Bloggs

Which ones? There are so many and none of them are consistent and most of them limit the character set that one can use. Some even limit the length of the password, one I have seen recently allowing a maximum of 10 characters and specifically banning most punctuation.

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Frederic Bloggs


Just don't ask questions about it...

Facebook, Google, Twitter are the shady bouncers of the web. They should be fired

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Some nutter says "We'll cancel student debt"

Either of them.

No chips for you! Toshiba takes flash off the menu for WDC

Frederic Bloggs

Re: Try a new approach

Very delicately put. I would characterise more forcefully. WDC has a forked decision to make: either it buys Toshiba cheap - because it paid too much for SanDisk - thereby becoming a serious full scale player in the flash market, or it is sold to someone else. If that happens, that they scale up instead - and WDC whithers on SanDisk's diminishing niche flash and its own spinning rust businesses.

And Toshiba don't want to sell to "anyone", as this includes Chinese or allied companies and Toshiba (or their government) don't want to transfer technology in that direction. Nobody "suitable" seems to have the money that Toshiba want. And notwithstanding all this, don't under estimate the fact that WDC think that they can get the flash business on the cheap - especially given the current political climate in the US.

I suspect Toshiba would have sold if WDC had made a sensible offer. Now it could be "not WDC at any price".

So who exactly was to blame for Marketo losing its dotcom?

Frederic Bloggs

The other reason may well be that he used his company credit card which got cancelled when he left.

Double Whammy!

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Frederic Bloggs

Re: This is no time for breads


Tired: Java. Desired: Node.js. Retired: The suggestion a JavaScript runtime is bonkers

Frederic Bloggs

I wonder what node.js is written in?

Just askin...

All your bass are belong to us: Soundcloud fans raid site for music amid fears of total collapse

Frederic Bloggs

Don't exaggerate

It's 80 days!

Better mobe coverage needed for connected cars, says firm flogging networking gear

Frederic Bloggs

Re: STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

So you'll not be buying any more cars when the "emergency calling" (gps+mobile) ERPB that the EU are mandating for all new cars comes into force "for your safety" then? We are (not) reassured that it won't have a kill switch in it (either).


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