* Posts by defiler

990 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

Mailshot meltdown as Wessex Water gets sweary about a poor chap called Tom

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That's one for those of us of a certain age... Upvoted.

UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

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Re: Carriers??

So in rough numbers, each F35B will be available just over half of the time.

Do we get to choose which half? I choose "landing".

Dual-screen laptops debut at Asus' Computex chat

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I could honestly see a two-screen laptop work well for a FPS, with an overhead map on the lower screen.

Ah - like the VMU on the Dreamcast? I don't think they ever did a map on that, but rather stuff like ammo counts instead. Higher resolution would fix that though.

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Re: It's sooo shiny and super lit!

Weren't the last round of "super lit" laptops diagnosed as faulty batteries from Sony?

And then there were the "super lit" Galaxy Note 7s.

I once opened a server to find a DLink NIC in the process of becoming "super lit" inside, too, but that was nothing compared to when the electricity meter in the office became "super lit". Good times...

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The only reasonable use I can think of for it is as a toolbox window for graphical applications. Your Photoshops, Gimps, AutoCADs etc. That'll give you a separate display where you can select tools and effects without having them obscure the main display.

It's not something that I really want, but I daresay others could be swayed if there were software support for it. The question, of course, is are there enough people (more imaginative than me) who can see the potential, coupled with enough people with deep pockets to buy into it?

Intel claims it’s halved laptop display power slurpage

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Re: all-day battery life

contributing to WHAT?!


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

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Re: A chip in everything...

5 years is nothing like the acceptable lifetime of a TV or fridge, imho.

It may not be the "acceptable" lifetime, but my telly is away for a warranty repair at 4 years old and it seems that they're unable to find a replacement screen panel for it.

I like the telly and I don't want to replace it, but that may be the way it's going here...

(My old Panny plasma screen lasted >11 years before it went kaput. The replacement LG went for 14 months and wound up as landfill when it croaked - cheaper to replace.)

Russian battery ambitions see a 10x increase in power from smaller, denser nukes

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Re: As predicted (again)

verifying ID and age

Presumably you'd use the half-life of the fissile source to verify the age of the neck in question?

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Re: Other pacemaker solution...

I'd not want it running out if I was bedridden!

Sleep in a watch winder - easy.

Bloody hell - I have to solve everything...

Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

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Deep fried curly-wurly

I can see that working. Last I spoke at length on the subject it was deep fried Maltesers, which sound surprisingly amazing!

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in a small town in Scotland

Was it deep fried? If not, it was probably an Englishman in the kitchen. I once watched somebody deep fry and eat a lettuce. Us Scots deep fry everything - even ice cream.

... Suddenly I want to watch Comfort and Joy...

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rustlers microwave burgers

The disappointment of the drop in performance (0-tasty time went from 60 to 70 seconds) is only exceeded by the disappointment of the flavour...

If you have cash to burn, racks to fill, problems to brute-force, Nvidia has an HGX-2 for you

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Pick two

cash to burn, racks to fill, problems to brute-force

Is this a "pick two" scenario? 'Cos I don't have money to burn... :(

Police block roads to stop tech support chap 'robbing a bank'

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Re: Also watch out for hidden alarms


I saw your name there and thought "I don't remember writing / doing that"... I'm glad it's the end of the week today. I think I need a break.

Senator Kennedy: Why I cast my Senate-busting vote for net neutrality

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Re: Cable is for television....

Now that's using your noodle. That's bold, dynamic and forward-thinking. The sort of thing that the French, for example, wouldn't come up with over their backwards comms. And that's because they don't have a word for entrepreneur.

FBI's flawed phone tally blamed on programming error. 7,800 unbreakable mobes? Er, um...

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Re: Is it significant ...

"What you're asking is plain impossible."

If you tell them it's impossible, you don't get funds to try to make it work. And if you tell them that it's really, really hard then you get even more funds.

These people have mortgages to pay and empires to build too, you know?

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Left some numpty with Excel

Used * instead of + somewhere...

(No, not sum() - that's too clever.)

Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

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The Dump

To be fair, we call it The Tip around here. It's actually a site with big containers for sorting different types of waste into, including small electrical items, TVs, batteries, glass, wood, metal etc etc. Only a couple of the containers are actually for landfill, which is a separate location.

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Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Still used in refrigeration, yes. Not, however, used in domestic refrigerators.

Well, I can't say for certain that it was ammonia. As I say, it smelled like ammonia (having tinkered with such at high school), but I didn't keep my pocket gas chromatograph handy! :)

Fire brigade didn't say what it was other than throwing the fridge out the door and pointing angrily at it as if it was us who'd chosen to waste everyone's time...

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Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Yes, if that is the same Charlotte Sq.

Yep. Same one.

It's EH2. If they get a report of even a small fire then it's a 4-5 engine job because fire spreads so quickly in these old buildings with wooden floors.

Aye, Wee Eck was about 1/4 of the way round the square. Maybe it was running up to budget meeting time...

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Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Ammonia in a mini fridge? How old was it?

Dunno, to be honest. I started there in 2001, and that office didn't change prior to... Well, the company closing I think. I'd previously been involved in quoting to move that company into that office in 2000, so I imaging the fridge was at least that old.

But looking around, it looks like ammonia-charged fridges were still being sold new during that time.

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We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Strange smell coming from the Chairman's office, and since IT covers everything that's not the core business I was asked if I knew what it was. Popped in, had a sniff. Smelled like ammonia, so we phoned the fire brigade. Not a 999 call or anything like that, and I was in the room when the call was made, so I know that our end of the call sounded like:

"Hi, we're looking for some advice on who to call about this. We have a strange chemical smell in one of our offices - smells a bit like ammonia. No, nobody in there just now. Okay - we'll see you when you get here." They said they'd send someone over to take a look.

That someone was 4 fire engines, a fire control unit, two police cars, four police bikes, a police serious incident unit, two ambulances and an ambulance control unit. Shut down Charlotte Square for over an hour and made the papers. I was one of two "treated at the scene", which meant I got a seat in the back of the ambulance while everyone else had to stand outside.

The firemen were absolutely fuming that we hadn't evacuated. We'd just expected someone to come round in a car... Turns out the chariman's mini-fridge in his office had leaked.

Undocumented alien caught stealing orbits in our Solar System

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We were all thinking it.

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones

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Re: Forward thinking?

Vodafone intercept and actively prohibit SIP VoIP over their data network, whether under their own brand, or under the brand of a MVNO such as Talkmobile.

We had that for a long time. SIP worked just fine on O2 but not on Vodafone. Had a wee word with our phone reseller (small company) and they fixed it right up. So it can be done. I doubt you'll get anywhere speaking to Vodafone directly, though. I know I didn't..

Anyway, our own SIP PBX is now usable on our Vodafone SIMs.

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

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Re: Yes

Which? tested the speed of WiFi in the house, their result (26% of 200Mbps) is the slowest link in the chain

I'd laugh it they'd used 802.11g...

Sorry, world, but WiFi is just no good for speed testing. Sure, it's convenient. Sure, I use it constantly. But when you need speed and stability you can't beat shoving a bit of copper in there, unless you're shoving glass in instead.

US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

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Re: The current scheme is not too bad.

Seems pretty same to me.

Sane. Stupid posting on stupid phone...

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Re: The current scheme is not too bad.

People seem to be attacking MachDiamond for copyright terms here, but he/she did include this gem:

The life of the creator plus 70 years covers the author and their children even if they die at a young age. Life plus 40 years could be even better.

That's not an absurdly long term for copyright. This is somebody who makes a living from their copyrighted works actually arguing for a reduction in their own protections.

Seems pretty same to me.

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

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But why does the first chip of a new generation need to be top of the range?

This is what I'm thinking. It's a very middling chip, so if they have problems they can pull it without making massive waves. I think this is eminently sensible. If it hits the ground running and shows positive qualities, expect the i5 and i7 range to come in quickly behind it. If there are issues, expect this to be quietly sidelined until they are fixed.

It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos

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@damien c

starters, not starter's

PSEs, not PSE's

standards, not standard's

gets, not get's

brakes, not breaks

weeks, not week's

That said, VM do a moderate job of running a very high speed consumer network. It's not perfect (of course). I wouldn't regard them as "very good" either. Right now we have customers getting notifications that VM will be cutting their services during core hours to perform maintenance. Well that's no use for businesses (and yes, they're on business contracts). They are notoriously bad for the quality of SIP/RTP connections, and they seem to have a fetish for mangling SMTP sessions heading out of their network (even if you start playing musical port numbers). But you know what? They're cheap for the bandwidth you get.

But yes, they are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their contractors. Just like McDonalds is ultimately responsible for the quality of their burgers. Just like my boss is ultimately responsible if I bin an email server by mistake. The buck stops at the top. That's how it works. That's how it needs to work.

If VM have appointed a contractor that does a piss poor job, they have to get that contractor in line. If the contractor can't do a good job for the price then that's the contractor's problem, but it's ultimately VM's responsibility.

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@damien c

I have no issue's with my VM connection, and the one time I did it was sorted inside of a couple of week's

Damien, I'm not going to downvote you, or criticise your view of the contractor relationship with VM. What I will say, though, is get a grip on your apostrophes, man. It's an infestation!

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

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In this instance users were able to fall back on the manual methods of unlocking doors

But what of those 'pioneers' who have eschewed their keys in favour of their phones? Stuck on the doorstep for half an hour? Sounds a bit shit.

Also, adding the everyday spice of watching your phone's battery run down on the bus home, wondering whether you'll make it through the door in time. Or do you keep a USB cable hanging out of the letter flap? :-/

Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

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Re: limit vaping to 20 watts

Firstly - how the hell did you have time to roll and smoke 60 a day?

Who says he was rolling them himself? You gotta have *something* for the kids to do...

"Roll faster, you little bastards, or it'll be the strap!"

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

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You're lookin' at him!

Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

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Re: So, can somebody clarify for me?

If they design their hub correctly

If they put an ATA in it, you mean. And for those of us with our own routers? Those without broadband?

I'm alright, Jack - I'll find a couple of SIP handsets kicking about, but you seem to be assuming a certain level of competence on the part of BT and the consumer that may be absent here.

I'm just wondering if we are all going to be required to have broadband to have a phone (ironically), or if they'll be an option to push IP back to the exchange.

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And that, my boy, is why you'll never have a career in management!

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So, can somebody clarify for me?

I'm presuming that this means "simply" switching off the analogue signal on the last-mile copper and shifting the call termination to an IPPBX in elsewhere-land, and then having everyone use an IP handset? Did they fix the automagical inbound-SIP-to-the-first-listening-device "feature" of the Homehubs? They used to get scanned by everything going... And is anybody pushing for IPv6 now, since we'll have to have IP active on more endpoints that currently only have a PSTN device? I mean, Plusnet are still on IPv4 and didn't have any plans to change when I last changed them.

Or do they mean basically having an ATA for each line at the exchange, and propagating an analogue signal from there into the home? (Because that doesn't seem awfully far removed from the way it is just now.)

Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

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Re: Dark Web...

Only if your friend kept the receipt. And then you can only get store credit.

Boffins build a 2D 'quantum walk' that's not a computer, but could still blow them away

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Re: Are you serious? ....

Have I just cracked the code?

I posit that amanfromMars1 jots down his/her post, and then substitutes each word with the last synonym listed in the thesaurus, burying the meaning.

Do I get a prize?

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

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Re: Hero ?

sharks with lasers on their heads

Nah - just laser pointers. Fishy bastards were shining them through the open cockpit window...

Cheap-ish. Not Intel. Nice graphics. Pick, er, 3: AMD touts Ryzen Pro processors for business

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half the time you were stuck with choices of low memory and / or spinning disks

This. I've lost track of the number of times I've seen a decently-specced AMD machine neutered by putting in a peculiarly shit hard disc. I replaced one with an SSD (in an HP laptop), and it became a flying machine!

Citrix snuffs Xen and NetScaler brands

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XenServer always felt like one of their weaker products

At the same time, XenServer pushed VMware pretty hard for a free hypervisor, back in the day. They chucked in live migration between hosts, which everyone else wanted you to pay for, and you could remove snapshots without powering down the VM, which also kept it well clear of the bottom-end of the market.

The problem I had with it is that it nevery actually removed those snapshots. The disk image ended up as some ugly Logical Volume chain, and once you hit 255 snapshots the whole damn thing stopped. The VM would still run (slowly), but it wouldn't snapshot again.

And there are those who'd say "don't use snapshots for backups", but I had a very good system running based around Bacula, which did both file-level and VM-level backups. Wasn't the nicest for restoring, but it was cheap!

Bombshell discovery: When it comes to passwords, the smarter students have it figured

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I'd create a password creation system that doesnt allow proper words from a dictionary at all.

Which dictionary? And how short do the words have to be to be excluded?

"A"? "I"? How about "is", "at", "to", "on" and "or"?

Not trying to pick holes...

Ah shit, it's Friday. Of course I'm trying to pick holes. But all facetiousness aside, my point about "which dictionary" is still valid.

Also, the more rules you put on a system, the more you reduce the search space for brute-force attacks.

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

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Emulated peripherals

I have to say that this stuff does please me greatly. The Pi has a lot to answer for here.

I was reading about the various 6502 Second Processor modules for BBC micros that are still being run off. Initially using faster 6502 variants, then FPGAs, and some fella blew them all out the water by hooking a Raspberry Pi to the Tube...

Sheds all round!

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

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@Wilseus Re: I'm impressed

You're right. There were (from memory - it's been a _long_ time) 16 basic operations, and each one could be run conditionally based on the status register (allowing you to inline a few instructions that you'd normally have to JMP over), and there was a flag to have the instruction _set_ the status registers too. It wasn't mandatory. So, whilst there were many permutations of these options, it all came down to 16 simple instructions (which was ideal for learning assembly).

Yep, all commercial ARMs had MUL, but I'm pretty sure I recall there being a debate whether they would at the time. The thinking was that it might be too CISC-y, and you could multiply in software. Compared to other instructions on the chip it took a long time too.

I miss my Archimedes.

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Re: "Can anyone offer a reason for using this segmented crap "

There's a misconception about segments, because Intel used them for two separate tasks. One was to map physical memory to virtual one, and this can be handled better by pagination.

A-ha. I'd assumed that the segmentation was for the nasty old 16-bit-style memory paging, which (in my opinion) should be dead and gone by now. If it's actually still used for memory protection then I can't really complain.

Told you I wasn't a programmer!

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Re: Most importantly...

...and a dramatic theme tune?

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Re: I'm impressed

Could we please go back to IBM/370 ARM2 Assembler

There - FTFY. 16 instructions, and a debate over whether to include Multiply...

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Re: So....

it should hardly ever come up, No?

Firstly, I am not a programmer. Secondly, it strikes me that you're correct in normal use.

However, somebody intent on causing trouble can pop this into a malicious program to cause havoc. It's like saying the bullet will be safe so long as it's kept in the box.

Can anyone offer a reason for using this segmented crap in any 32-bit system? If we're needing backwards compatibility for shitty old 16-bit applications, surely that can be isolated in an emulator or something these days?

Intel to preserve Moore's Law with startup land's fresh young blood

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Re: According to this presentation Lycean has already built one.

"Inverse Compton scattering."

So, if it's not scattered, does that mean it's Straight Outta Compton?

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

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Re: C'mon, Dr. S, this kind of trolling is beneath you.

Macs are tingley.

Same with the Surface Pro 3 I'm using just now. It's a figure-8 mains cable, so it doesn't have an earth.

A mate of mine had a Philips DVD player. Metal shell, but marked as "double-insulated". He kept getting shocks off that, and when tested it came out above 100V...

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