* Posts by RockBurner

100 posts • joined 26 Aug 2010


Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...


Re: ... and the other extreme

Nice to see another biker still about.

I once passed an interview with flying colours, including the tale of how I was still perfectly on time despite the throttle cable on my bike unexpectedly snapping en route, whilst in the fast lane on the M40. Good knowledge of the machine and the ability to work fast to resolve unexpected issues got me the job.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins


First encountered Doom at uni where 2 mates had serial connected their 386s through the windows of their hall. (they happened to be aligned vertically which was handy). In each room there'd be ten students watching the action and taking turns. Obviously the lights would be off and everone was tuned into the paranoia, so the entire room would dodge left or right in complete synchronisation as the rockets arrived!

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'


Re: I know it's unlikely @Intractable Potsherd

You make a very good point, however, the line between good-natured banter/antics that build team rapport, and ill-natured, position maintaining bullying can be pretty fine, a moveable feast, and in a different place for different people. That's the real issue. I've worked in a couple of environments that really were toxic if you couldn't grow a thick skin and fight back.

There's no need for it most of the time.

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die



That's if the DAB signal can be found at all.

I've got a couple of DAB devices, and neither of them can be relied on to maintain a decent signal reception, even though they don't move about.

It could be that I need better aerials, if so, then we're talking roof mounted, five feet in length TV-type aerials like you used to see on taller buildings, because that's what DAB seems to need.

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time


Saving the incompetent from themselves

I know it's wrong to gloat, and no-one likes a showoff; but sometimes you just can't help it....

First 6 months into a web-dev position within an agency I was given the task of building up a CMS back end for a new website whereas my colleague had been building the front for quite some time. For some reason best known to themselves the client had insisted that the website be AJAX driven in it's entirety (this was around 2007/8 iirc when asynchronous loading of content was still relatively new for small companies in the UK).

After many, many weeks of trying to build the AJAX front end my colleague was "spoken to" and resigned his position. I was handed the task and despite having had 0 experience of AJAX at that time*, the front end was completed in 2 weeks (including registering each 'page change' with the browser history, one of the main stumbling blocks).

In addition my colleague had decided to build the website's database in such a way that each 'page' had a row in a table, and each page's visible contents were contained within 1 cell per row. The content formatting wasn't encoded using HTML in the cell, oh no..... each content "element" (title, sub-title, paragraph, block etc) was divided by special characters " | " and the meta information (html tag, classes, etc) contained elsewhere (IIRC in a different cell, also sub-divided by pipes), the two bits had to be tied together in the code before display, and each string of content/data concatenated by the code within the CMS before entry into the DB. Talk about a headfuck. (I think he'd heard of JSON and was trying to be clever)

The biggest joke though was that the client went bust about a week before the site was due to go live.

* Well - apart from the entire CMS system which had also been built to operate via AJAX. The Front End became a stripped down version of the CMS.

Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till


But email will still work?

When you've just told the boss that the company modem/router has fried itself (again).


Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested


Re: Back in my day - SAK owners

Just a quick public service announcement for Victorinox SAK lovers (Champion, Hunter etc): if it's getting tired and worn, send it back for a geniunely free refurb from the factory. I did the same with my Swiss Champ a few years ago and it came back like new. Just arrange the repair with the UK distributors: https://www.burton-mccall.co.uk/brand/victorinox-sak/.

Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither


Re: The Dabbs Luck

Too late (IIRC)

HMRC dev support team cc blurtfest: Over 1,400 email addresses blabbed


Re: Irregular verbs

"Is this an import from the U.S.? Like "train station"?"

Is that not just a self-generated differentiator because the US uses terms like 'gas station', rather than 'garage'?

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire


Re: Leading by example?

'The' people don't want answers, they just want their blue(?) passports back and don't care or understand about anything else.

(blue passports?? my old one (circa 1974) is more black than anything else)

How's this for a stocking filler next year? El Reg catches up with Gemini


Re: Linux

I too would rather it was a full-on Dual-boot, rather than Linux-on-Android.

That said - I can see WHY they'd go for LoA. It means the device will still function (easily) as a phone - I can imagine anyone buying the 4G version will expect it to replace their phone as well as their netbook.

Personally I'd prefer a phone that does it's job as a phone, alongside a mini-laptop that functions fully as a mini-laptop.

that Agenda software does look nice I have to say - I like the way it mimics an old-style paper diary in it's layout, some older fogeys like myself will appreciate it.




'Just Another F***ing Operator'


'Parent In Trouble Again', slightly nicer version of the usual, but still usually a PITA.

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious


Re: Server (Not) Hacked!

Get that often with wireless mice, most recently with my Logitech M570 trackball, and my wife's identical product on two desks next to each other.

I was not happy tbh, you'd think Logitech would have sorted that sort of issue out by now.


I used to be called anal at my last place because I was forever attempting to clean up the cables from just lying on the floor under my colleagues desks - yes we did have the occasional issue with monitors or iMacs just 'not working' for no reason - until you pushed the cord back in properly.

Saved the best for myself though: located onto a new set of desks, my feet were exactly inline with the double socket powering my own PC/monitor combo.... yes I did manage to tap the switches with my toe.

Special delivery: Pizza, parcel-slinging drones inch closer to reality


I'd imagine each drone would be parachute equipped to minimise damage anyway (for cost reasons if nothing else).

I'm waiting for someone to produce a 'Skyhook' Drone-stealing-drone, it'll happen. (I estimate within 3 months of this service going live)

Ey-up, mardy Rochdale council has dropped plans for ban on swearing. Thank f$ck!


anyone else instantly think of another northern town who would love to do this?

Sunny Scunny. :D

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


isn't the logical conclusion to this for each individual disk to have 2 independant arms (one read, one write).

Obviously you'd have 2 pivot posts (not impossible), with each arm operating independantly on the post (I suppose it depends exactly where the electric motor actuating the arm movement is located).

the main challenge would be packaging it all up, rather than anything else.

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'


Only 'explosive' event I can remember from school (public, expensive), involved a certain teacher and his revenge on the class prankster.

One morning we all trooped in for a lesson about something unrelated, and there was a trolley at the side setup with a box, wires, and a switch. Normally we'd all ignore it, but said prankster couldn't resist sitting next to said trolley, and at an idle moment, flipping the switch.

Nothing happened for about 5 minutes, and he forgot about it, then the entire class was elevated 2 foot into the air when the rather large electrolytic capacitor hidden in the box exploded. Right next to the prankster. :D

Teach just chuckled and got on with the lesson, prankster had to sit in his wet trousers for the rest of the lesson. :)

Incidentally I ended up doing a project on exploding electrolytic caps and measuring their electrical signatures as they went - you can tell when they're just about to go if you're monitoring the right signals.

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion


Re: But until then...

I'd agree - but in practise it's a pain in the &rs3.

I've disabled mine again, after I lost count of the number of times I pressed the power button to turn the screen OFF as I placed it in my pocket, and the bloody sensor activated and turned the screen back ON, AND unlocked it! {Deity} knows what I've randomly deleted from the phone due to this.

It's very engineeringly clever to mix the power/screen and unlock interfaces into one location, but it's not been thought through. :(

(otherwise the Xperia 5C is a superb phone. :) )

EE Business Broadband digital transformation: Portal offline until July


Well - it's one way to update an online service without DNS issues...

Auto auto fleets to dodge British potholes in future


So, now autonomous cars are going to have built in random swerving? JUST like regular cars!

FREE zero-day for every reader: AT&T's DirecTV kit has a root hole – and no one wants to patch it


Is there ANY digital kit available these days that doesn't have a built-in zero-day vulnerability?

Makes me quite happy to still have my old tube amp and CRT TV.

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?


Shirley we don't need to move as much?

Isn't all this just treating the symptom, not the disease? (in a manner of speaking).

I remember over 20 years ago everyone was talking about 'tele-commuting' and being able to work from home. That must be far easier now than it ever was, and yet we still trudge to and from offices run by petty-minded middle managers who don't believe that people will do useful work unless watched like a hawk.

Obviously 'some' travel is necessary (goods etc), but there's a huge amount of travel that can be cut out completely, and it's high time this was incentivised properly if only to reduce the travel headaches for those mandatory journeys.

(and don't call you Surely, I know)

Watch how Google's AI catches shoulder surfers spying on your phone


Re: Wonder how long your battery would last?

Never mind the battery - your mobile bandwidth would be eaten up in no time at all assuming the work isn't being done in it's entirety on the phone itself (in which case the battery would indeed be the first thing to collapse in a sullen heap).

Yet another example of googlers living in their paradise world of constantly available high speed wifi and then wondering why their software gets criticised on launch in the real world.

Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy


Voter apathy is the main issue

Until it actually makes a physical difference to a person, they don't really care who's in power (It seems).

The main issue with any democracy is the non-voters, especially when they are the majority of the electorate and so unaffected by the outcome of voting that it's not worth the hassle. How many can say that the result of a major election has actually physically affected them? Not many these days, where the general flow of society doesn't really change.

An analogy would be a river - when it's a small stream a big rock heaved into it makes a huge difference in it's direction of flow, as a large river, that same rock is virtually irrelevant, there might be a splash, but pretty soon it's sunk to the bottom and no longer has any effect on the river.

So - the upshot is that we get politics driven by the very vocal minority viewpoints (which are often almost totally irrelevant to actual societal cares) and a flow of morons in power, which in turn creates even more voter apathy, until you get some complete muppet in charge who actually makes such overwhelmingly stupid decisions that society suddenly goes 'wtf??'.

Lets just hope it's not too late when that happens.

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


Re: Meh....

Yep - newbuild owner - foil lined insulation all-round. It's like being in a Faraday cage. Mind you - at least I don't need to worry about war-drivers....

DJI Aeroscope won't stop drone-diddlers flying round airports


Re: Or what?

Came to post the same question, thanks. :)

literary standards at the Reg have been slipping for some time tbh....

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it


Storing stuff in the server room (because it's the only room in the office which is regularly locked) is so commonplace in SMBs that I'd be surprised if it wasn't a 'Recommended Cost Saving Security Solution' in some PHB management book by some business management entrepreneur.

Samsung to let proper Linux distros run on Galaxy smartmobes


Hmm - be interesting to see just how much the hardware can take... Nested VM's on a nested VM anyone?

Is there going to be any way that the phone can stop you? (apart from simply not being able to do it).

Watch out for Microsoft Word DDE nasties: Now Freddie Mac menaced


Re: Bye

I can think of several roles within an office that would legitimately be opening emails advertising special offers for trips to entertainment venues: anyone who does 'team moral' for starters. The vast majority of them (ime) are utterly clueless technologically speaking, so I'd expect this attack vector to be pretty successful.

Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse



AV in this context being?

Anti-Virus? Aviva? Audio Visual? (presumably), see wiki for more choices (some slightly worrying in context): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV

Xperia XZ1: Sony spies with its MotionEye something beginning...


Re: Real world usage @Brangdon

I currently have a Xperia Z5 Compact and it's an extremely good phone.


Real world usage

Are they still IP67/8 ? the environmental protection on Sonys is always one of the bigger selling points for me.

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus – even though watchdogs say they're something quite atrocious


Re: Who wants this?

I think you'll find that we're* in the minority.

Most people couldn't give a shit as long as they get where they want to go, in as short a time as possible, with minimal amounts of other cars getting in the way. Just look at the way most people drive now, it's a hassle. If they could be using the time for other things (FB, emails, calls, eating etc) they would.

As long as the autonomous cars can look like status symbols as well as doing the job of getting from A-B most people will be happy.

* petrolheads

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 Second Li, er, Mixed Reality


Re: Nah

I'm still waiting for my AR-enabled contact lenses.

Physicists win Nobel Prize for spotting ripples in fabric of space-time


@WibbleMe - you a Paycheck fan?

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?


If I'm reading this right.....

"acts of terrorism" means acts of persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom or any other government de jure or de facto.

Terrorism Act 2000 - Wikipedia

Then driving your car into a herd of people isn't terrorism. Shooting a copper isn't terrorism, etc etc, UNTIL some muppet claims that it was supposedly contrary to the UK Government's influence.

Doesn't this actually mean that invoking the Terrorism Act is illegal, until that communique comes through, because no act is terrorism until it's proven to be "... directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty's government...".

Maybe I'm just being picky...


I daresay she can't operate a ratchet spanner either. May as well ban them too, it's the same concept.

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System


First thought was that the Sleeper Service was starting it's run...

¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to hush Catalonian independence vote sites


Point of order

But since when have the Basque Country and Catalonia been neighbours?


Microsoft reveals details of flagship London store within spitting distance from Apple's


Is this where you go to get support for o365 outages?

Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco


no surprises here

"It's a known issue with unauthenticated networks. If you've previously logged onto a Wi-Fi network that needs a browser login (common with public networks like those found in hotels) via your iPhone, then this is sought out by the Watch. But the Watch has no browser, so you can't get in. "

Not a surprise at all. It's a typical mistake by Silicon Valley developers who are all automatically fully networked on a permanent basis, they automatically seem to assume that all other users of their gear are also automatically fully networked to the gills 24/7/366.

Very similar to Google's assumptions with Pixel and Chromebooks that ALL data can be cloud-stored and by 100% accessible by the device at all times.

I wonder when any hi-tech dev in California last had to open their wi-fi settings to login to a new network? The rest of us are having to deal with network black spots or shifting from 3G to 4G to wifi or nothing all the time.

Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller


I disagree with those who aren't recommending the first 2 "Colour of Magic" & "Light Fantastic". As 'world-setters' they create the whole stage for the Discworld brilliantly, and quite frankly, as a fan of Robert E Howard, Cohen is my favourite character.

Here's how the missile-free Royal Navy can sink enemy ships after 2018


Re: lack of stealth ?!

RE the Prop - I'm not radar expert, but the prop on a Stringbag is wood.... does that make a difference?

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook


Mini PC

I'm no sys admin, but I'd love to have something like this as a true 'Pocket PC'.

I'm not interested in having it act as a phone - I generally find I that if I'm making a call I need to do 'stuff' on the screen that I can't do when I'm holding the thing to my head. Phone and PC as separate items makes more sense (BT headsets suck).

But as a tiny laptop.... now you're talking. FAR easier to carry around than any tablet with keyboard combo, or iMacAir/Netbook - if they stick a 'TouchPoint' (other names are far better known... ) cursor control onboard as well then I think I'd be throwing cash at them now.

When Pornhub meets the Internet of Fridges


"Home Depot white goods audition for part in 9 and a Half Weeks remake"

Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!


Flash Gordon?

Quote: Star Wars is basically Flash Gordon - captiv

Quote: Star Trek is basically Flash Gordon – except a bit more "intellectual"

Your cake, sir?

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery


go from stand-by to 1.32 gigawatts in 12 seconds eh...

so - all we need to do now is get it up to 88 miles per hour?

HERE: We're still, er... HERE


Re: No re-routing?

You've obviously never tried to memorise 400 miles of French backroads that you've never been on and only looked at on a map....


No re-routing?

I need this app. I am fed up beyond description with every sodding navigation system having re-routing functionality that can NOT be turned off.

Fine if you don't know where you're going nor how to get there, but when I DO know where I'm going, and I HAVE planned an 'interesting' journey, I don't want to be guided back to busy motorways every sodding junction!

Mine's the one hanging under the motorcycle helmet.....


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