* Posts by kiwimuso

215 posts • joined 13 Nov 2010


Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election


Re: Respect my authoritay

"I'm in my late 60s and it's the people older than me who often don't get it."

I'm 75 and I'm often being accused of being overly cynical.

I wonder why!

Suffice to say that my extreme cynicism started probably 20 years ago and has strengthened over the years.

Of course I implicitly believe "everything" I read in El Reg - well sometimes, when there are citations and all that jazz.

I have decided that most news seems to be opinions rather than hard facts. The opinions may be based around facts, but they are only opinions of the particular journalist as far as I can make out. No better than my own impeccable opinions!

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Re: Wow, it's almost...

@Alan Brown

"Of course when the NZ population voted overwhelmingly for PR and MMP,"

So of course, New Zealanders voted for the most "undemocratic" system offered.

Oh, it's proportional all right, but no one get to vote for those on the "list".

A party can shove any old hack on their list and if the numbers come out right, they get in as an MP.

Democratic? Hell no!

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary


Re: It'll never happen...


"Wish there was some way to fix it (if anyone knows how, let me know, will be a great help)"

Well if you know the email address of the other person, then why not email them and suggest that they get in touch with their garage or whoever and correct the mistake.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight


Re: You call that a cheat ?

@I ain't Spartacus

I've developed an even easier method for perfectly cooked, separated rice with NO measuring at all.

Put a quantity of rice in saucepan. Cover with cold water for 10 minutes or so, or don;t even bother with this step.

Drain the rice if you have soaked otherwise just ensure water is a good knuckle above the level of rice, about a centimetre or so.

Bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes, max 5. Drain rice, (I use a sieve) place rice back in saucepan, put lid back on, put it on the lowest heat you have for 10 minutes. It might even work just with the residual saucepan heat alone. I haven't tried that as I have induction hobs which enables me to set an extremely low heat).

What you will finish up with is perfectly cooked rice, still slightly al dente, all separate grains, and even better, nothing stuck to the pot. If you don't want it al dente, cook it for 5 minutes.

Depending on your rice, you might even get away with 3 - 4 minutes boiling.


What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs



Well the problem with that is I, and I'm sure many others, have no idea what any of these drugs look like so couldn't possibly know what substances I should not have in my car in case they were mistaken for an illegal substance.

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans


Re: Not being a noisy neighbour


"Arbitrarily throwing explosives off the back of the boat isn't accurate enough for those purposes!"

Maybe, but much more fun!!! Just not for the marine life.

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention


Re: This seems quite irresponsible

@ hoola

As always, just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean that you should!!!

Budget 2018: Landlords could be forced to grant access for full-fibre connections


Re: Market distortion ...

By Jove, you must have missed the bit about not being able to contact, or getting no response from the owner(s) in order to obtain permission - or not!

No response to request? Then permission granted by court order.

At least, that's the way I see it. Perhaps you have better/different comprehension skills than I.

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST


Re: I'll still be driving myself thanks.


I love your optimism. Tradespeople and the like who work from their vehicles, and carry loads of tools, perhaps not so much.

Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket



"How does that work with a debit card and a credit card, both with contactless chip?"

Ha. Ha. You need separate cards for debit & credit? How quaint.

I have a single card used for either. At the time of the transaction I choose which I shall use for payment, bank account or credit card.

Very eco-friendly as well (if we're going down that route) as one bit of plastic less for landfill when it expires.

Remember the Yorkie pizza horror? Here's who won our exclusive Reg merch...

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Re: Northerners... @ I ain't Spartacus

"Chips with gravy is already an abomination "

Personally, I think that smothering chips in vinegar is an equal abomination, and also makes the chips go soggy.

Whatever heathen thought that vinegar (vinegar, for Deity's sake) is an appropriate condiment to drown chips with, needs to be flogged within an inch of his benighted life.

In fact, any sort of liquid addition to chips is an abomination. Although I must admit to a partiality to the continental habit of mayonnaise, and maybe, at a pinch, a smidgen of tomato ketchup. But only to dip said chips into as required, not actually smothering them and ruining the texture. Certainly not the abominable, overly sweet tomato sauce much beloved by other Kiwis!! I lost my taste for over sweet foods a long time ago.

Now awaiting the copious down votes from other heathens.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster


Re: It was funny but she did learn stuff there.

"I knew a bloke once (a lawyer, so entirely thick)"

That should have been, of course, NOT entirely thick, but on reflection maybe my original mis-comment was correct.


Re: It was funny but she did learn stuff there.

@ Ken Hagan

"The computer age for nerds dates from WW2. The computer age for normal people started around about 1990....."

Good God! How old are you! The computer age started to go mainstream at the very least, by the early 60s. I was writing RPG (ugghh!), Assembler, and later PL/I since 1966 for a bank first of all, then later after skiving off to the UK, more Assembler, COBOL, then later again 8086 assembler.

I agree that it started way earlier than that, but that's when it became mainstream - even here in New Zealand. My first job at the (savings) bank was for an online banking system, which incidentally was waaayyy before the Poms, judging by the banking system there in the early 70s.

I might add, that if the oldies didn't get it, I would suggest that was more the fault of the instructor rather than the pupils. If you have never struck a concept before, then saying "click on an icon" is totally meaningless, as is expecting anyone to know instinctively what a mouse was and how to use it. I knew a bloke once (a lawyer, so entirely thick) who was never shown how to use one, but managed to eventually work it out for himself. The only thing was, he held the mouse back to front, with the "tail" trailing over the front of the desk. Consequently any instruction to "right" or "left" click was totally arse about face for him.

Happily retired now and nearly 75, there are some modern concepts that people take for granted that I sometimes have a struggle with. Being used to a Samsung tablet and an Android phone, both with home and back buttons, I recently purchased an iPad which of course only has a single button, and of course these days no user manual to get you going. I am still learning new stuff on it because it operates quite differently to Android. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to switch to another open app (amongst other things). Oh yeah, totally intuitive. I figured it out because I worked out that there had to be an easy way, so tried all sorts of gestures, swipes etc, until stumbling upon it.

Incidentally an "intuitive" interface is all in the eye of the beholder. If you've written the interface then of course it's intuitive. Not so much for other people. I still have problems with a lot of website interfaces which in my humble opinion are a pile of garbage. It is also NOT clever to put yellow writing on a light brown background or vice versa. And there are several other colour combinations that do not work all that well either.

But then what would I know. I've only had over 40 years experience or writing software, designing interfaces, and learning how people handle such things. First rule, do not assume that you know what works for people, just because you understand it.

BTW why is El Reg using an American dictionary in a UK publication? It just flagged up "colour" which everyone knows is the correct spelling despite the efforts of some to "simplify" English.

California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

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Re: All well and good but...

@ JohnFen

"Nationalize the physical infrastructure."

Bingo! Or close to it.

Here in New Zealand, all telecoms were handled by Telecom which devolved from the old Post Office which handled (apart from postal duties) telephones and exchanges.

When they started playing games with external ISPs the government of the day stepped in and essentially told them to hive off the infrastructure as a separate company. So now we have Telecom (renamed to Spark, which I hope isn't an indication of things to come) and Chorus which is responsible only for the network. The government put in place certain controls to limit Chorus' ability to play favourites or whatever and also charged them with installing fibre nationwide (as far as is currently practical, so mainly main centres at present).

Chorus installs and maintains the networks and rents out use of same to the various providers.

Spark now becomes just another ISP vying for customers along with any other ISPs. Currently I have the ability to choose from at least 4 or 5 main providers (all offering deals I might say) over fibre or still VDSL if that is your preference although I can't see that choice lasting long as most fibre offerings are priced around the same as ADSL/VDSL. There are probably more but I can't be arsed looking them up.

So, what we have is a private company (possibly with some government shares in it, I know not) but regulated to a point to prevent any jiggery-pokery. Seems to work very well for us.

I love a free market, but some times it needs a little regulation to keep the sharks at bay.

I may have some of the details not quite right, but in essence, the above is the way it more or less works

OK, who had 'Montana' in the net neutrality state pool? Congratulations


Re: They have no right to do that

Ah, leave the stupid troll alone.

The fact that most, if not all, of the rest of the Western world and a lot of the non Western world manages to operate quite successfully on an open internet without breaking it will never convince idiots like this.

They simply spout bollocks to hear the sound of their own voice and don't even have the wit or intelligence to realise that they ARE talking a load of bollocks.

Destroying the city to save the robocar


Re: Obviously the solution is....

"The Netherlands seems to be rather warm in winter... being a marine climate probably helps."


How come then that when I had a 6 month contract in Amsterdam including the Christmas period, the canals started icing over. Not completely, admittedly, but any ice forming in the main city canals would seem to indicate a temperature below zero.

I can also vouch for the temperature as I cycled from the Jordaan district out to near Schipol/Amstelveen most days.

Icon, because I needed a bit of this after my journeys to and from.....


Re: Obviously the solution is....

"Automated wheelchairs."

Have a look at this as a possible solution to your problem.


All it needs is the automatic routing bit.

Should be a piece of cake to implement.

Social network smacks back: Accusers say it helps recruiters target age-groups in job ads


Re: age discrimination

"And not very bright."

You're making the mistake of conflating "being on Facebook" as actually "using it".

I made the mistake of signing on many years ago, but I rarely use it, but do occasionally get notifications of some of my rellie's doings and current whereabouts. Most of the time I get notified of what they had for breakfast. Delete!!! And they seem happy to post photos of their young children all over the Interwebz via Facebook, and no doubt other "social media", of which, mostly, I have no idea about, and definitely no desire to join.

el Reg is sufficient to keep up with the wider world of tech to which I once belonged. I have even managed to persuade viewers of my LinkedIn account that I am now retired, and have no need to be approached for my "ideal job opportunity".

Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation



re Jon Smit

I think, codswallop yourself. If you cared to peruse his comment reasonably carefully, I doubt you will find any reference to the word "drone".

I think you are reading more into it than was actually stated. OTH it doesn't mean that a drone was NOT involved. He just doesn't state it.

Apologies if I am going blind and missed the reference myself.


Trump's tax tease will be a massive payday for Valley tech giants and their shareholders


Re: I'm its a coincidence the plan includes a huge tax break for Trump

@Bombastic Bob


I'm curious Bob. If one lets the people keep what they earn, as you put it, who do you think is going to pay for the U.S. infrastructure, not to mention the military.

How will the arms industry make a living if all that is cut back.

Interestingly, when I worked in the U.S. I seem to remember that one was expected to declare their world-wide income on which they were(are?) taxed. Has that changed?

Bearing in mind that in the U.S of A, corporations are regarded (apparently) as people, why aren't they being taxed on their world-wide income - whether it is repatriated or not!!!

Just asking.

Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars



"Sometimes I think we would do better if we reduced the automation in cars."

I've thought this for some time.

From personal observation, for what it's worth, every so called "safety" device added to cars seems to have resulted in far worse driving than before, and I see the same thing happening with potential additions.

Take eye level brake lights which were mandated some years ago. I'm sorry, you should not be driving on the car in front's brake lights, and if you couldn't see the regular brake lights, then you were driving too damn close anyway. You should be looking several vehicles in front of you, and if they can't be seen i.e.following a large vehicle, then there should be a good sized gap left in front of you.

Reversing cameras. How about car designers actually designing cars with adequate vision to rearwards. I can remember cars which were a doddle to reverse and see if it was clear or not.

Ditto for blind spot warning. Use your damn mirrors, and throw a glance to the side BEFORE making your manouvre.

The more that these "useful" safety additions are made to cars, the more that people assume that they are safe as "no warning" equals safe. BS of the highest order.

Last year I bought a vehicle with the least electronics and safety gizmos that I could find, specifically in order to not for one moment be tempted that it's OK to do whatever, because nothing warned me.

I use my eyes and brains, anticipate road conditions (as far as is practicable) and turned off all electronic "assistance" as far as possible, and fortunately, my vehicle is not one of those that automatically lock the doors when moving. I will lock the doors as and when I see fit. I do NOT want a car telling me how I should drive or even worse, potentially overriding my actions. I will take responsibility for my own actions and decisions thank-you very much.

And before all you do gooders jump down my throat explaining why I should accept being controlled by some bit of silicon and a designers poor sense, I have not had an accident other than a minor ding from a parking misjudgment (mea culpa) in the last 30 years. And that's after 50 something years and many miles of driving. I am not a slow, over cautious driver either. I have been known to exceed the speed limit in certain circumstances, not to excess, and used judiciously and in some cases I have been known to be well under any speed limit because of road condition, visibility or what ever.

I tend to concentrate on my driving much to the annoyance of my other half when she is talking to me in the car. Obviously, being human, my attention may wander, but I do try to keep my attention on the road when other drivers are around, or the state of the road demands it.

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'


Re: HR Fail @TonyJ

Ditto - for the age.

Many years ago when I started work with a largish company in my neck of the woods, I was interviewed by the head of Personnel which then had a staff of 9, who not only did the formal employment procedures, but were also responsible for Payroll.

When I left several years later, it had now become Human Resources with a staff of over 200. WTF!!!

What do they do!! Admittedly they now have to formulate procedures for Health & Safety, but I would have thought that would have taken a couple of people no more than 6 months to formulate.

Oh, they did an "exit interview" with me as well.

Wow! 200+ people to do that - oh, and they had also outsourced payroll by then as well.

Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'


might: Strong push?


"The end of private personal transport, the start of a new public transport system.."

I can't see it happening. What about farmers and other people who live outside of town and the types of vehicles they use. Are you going to have driver-less tractors? They certainly won't be hiring one as they are needed, I suspect. Too useful NOT to own one. BTW I wonder how good autonomous cars would be on gravel back roads, with random potholes and/or loose gravel lying around.

Not to mention tradesmen who keep their tools in them, might use a driver-less vehicle, but probably not rent them as needed, unless someone comes up with a "pod" system that contains the relevant tools, which can be attached and detached very quickly.

I am currently doing copious landscaping on our land, and that involves going to the timber yard, attaching one of their free trailers to transport 1 or more pieces (depending on what I need at that moment) to home. It would be impractical and expensive to have someone deliver a single length of timber. As the project is being designed as a I go to suit the land form (steep) there isn't much possibility of advance planning and buying all the timber in one go.

Having said that, although I like driving, I would still use a driver-less car for certain journeys. E.g. instead of taxis,, but they would have to be available when I want them, and a hell of a lot cheaper than our current taxi prices.


Re: Strong push?


"Really makes me wonder why government and megacorps are willing to throw so much money, time and effort at something unwanted by the masses, unless there is an ulterior motive they have not told us about, but will benefit them immensely at our expense."

Because, in the current government mantra language, "If it saves one life it will be worth it!"

Soooo, you're prepared to spend sqillions of [insert currency of choice] of OUR money in order to save one life, OK, I'll be generous and give you a few lives, only for the undeserving bastards to dies anyway! Besides, you're saving having to pay them pensions. Some people are so ungrateful!!!

See icon, although I suspect there's more than a grain of truth in there.

Nuh-uh, Google, you WILL hand over emails stored on foreign servers, says US judge


@ soulrideruk

"The lib dems also vowed to make marijuana legal should they ever ascend to parliament. Only they dropped it like a hot potato when the chance to govern alongside the tories came up..."

Oh dear, you seem to have no concept of how a coalition works, do you.

You state your position in advance of the election but when it comes down to creating a coalition, it's down to negotiating a deal with the other party. Some of your policies you drop as not being as important as others. Ditto for the other party. I am sure the Tories also had to compromise a bit - maybe not a lot, but you never know. If they are desperate for power then they may be willing to concede all sorts of 'principles'!

If the Lib-dems had acquired enough votes to govern alone, they may well have instituted a 'legalise marijuana' policy. We will never know, so it's rather useless speculating on it.

Kids these days will never understand the value of money


Re: cash

Interesting technology the rest of the world seems to have.

Here in lil' ol' New Zealand I have a single card which is not only a credit card, but is a debit card if I so choose, as well. Any EFTPOS transactions show up up on my account virtually instantaneously, therefore my phone app ALWAYS shows the correct balance.

Having said that, I get really pissed off with the apparently new current fad of asking if I want my receipt, or getting even more common, not even bothering asking. I just stand there with my hand out, waiting.

Any silly sod who does not take their receipts in order to reconcile their bank accounts are just a scam victim in waiting. I have detected several instances of charges being made to my accounts, credit card or current account which I have not authorised (or forgotten about). At least I have caught up with it fairly quickly.

Makes me wonder whether any of them actually check their accounts at all.

US tech giants take brave immigration stand that has nothing to do with profit whatsoever


Re: That's a long article, let me condense it for you.

"supposed to be talking about near geniuses with world class and very unique skills."

Why, thank you kind sir.

I am glad to know that my services rendered under an H1-B visa were of such esteemed value.

Mind you, that was the late 80's when there wasn't so much sub-continental immigration so I don;t think companies had really started forcing the issue of "cheap" replacement programmers. And I did have fairly specialist expertise at the time.

I did find out that the salary offered was slightly less than I felt I should be on, as I had nothing to compare to when first offered. It was done on a contract-to-hire basis, so after 12 months I negotiated a better salary to become permanent. It probably still wasn't what it should have been or what I could have achieved somewhere else, but I was happy, as I was only intending to stay long enough to see some more of the country.

Having lived in the DFW area I had no desire to lengthen my stay over about 2 - 3 years. An interesting experience all the same and we got to see quite a bit of the U.S. as well, which as far as I was concerned was my main objective.


'Grey technology' should be the new black


Re: Websites that break core URL links for no reason

"Something as brutally simple as www.brandname.com/contact...

One of my pet peeves. Actually a lot more than that.

The one I hate is the contact "form" where before you can even start typing in your complaint/query/feedback you are given a drop down list of Categories, Having selected a category, you get another drop-down list from which to select some other pointless sub-category or something.

Why is it, that whoever designs (and I use that word VERY loosely) these things think that they know better than I do about what I want to say. And yeah, I know why they do it, but even an "other" category would be helpful. Then they can learn what other categories should be added.

The other day I wanted to report to my ISP a rejected email from the ISP that a friend in the U.S. uses, and to which I have been sending, successfully, emails for years. Suddenly mine are being rejected for some spurious reason (in my mind, anyway) such as "could be Spam" or the IP address might be faked. WTF!!!! You have been accepting emails from this range of IP addresses for several years.

When I went to the U.S. website to report it, they wanted all sorts of information, such as IP address range, which of course, I didn't know, so I go to my ISP website to report it to be met by the above load of rubbish, with nary a choice for "report an apparent crap address" or similar.

Even worse, no ability to forward the rejection email, so they can see for themselves.

Why not allow the ability for attachments!! Grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch.

I eventually replied to an email received from someone in India on their helpdesk, reiterating the problem, and attaching the rejection email. Finally got an adequate reply, but doubt if I will be advised that it has been sorted.

I guess I'll just have to keep sending him stuff to both of his addresses until such time that his primary ISP isn't rejecting them.


Re: Thank you for a thoughtful article

@ Doctor Syntax

Oh, come on. Assembly language is the ONLY way to prove your credentials as an early programmer.

Oh, unless you wanna mention RPG. Awful bloody language, but I suppose it worked, sort of, as an early "higher level" language. I could never get my head around RPG.

I have written in PL/I, Cobol as higher level languages, and IBM Assembler as well as 8086 Assembler (I think it was). Plus one or two other one-off hybrid languages.

Mines the one with IBM Principles Of Operation Manual in the pocket.


Re: Thank you for a thoughtful article

Speaking as someone from the 60's IT era with an appropriate age (Ahem) can I remind some of these web designers and people who commission them, that there is a considerable merit in the old KISS principle. Just because you CAN put in flashy web design, or so-called "modern" (whatever that means) colour combinations, doesn't mean you should!

While yellow writing on a gray/grey background (or vice versa) might look stunning from a designer point of view, or as I have struck on a menu, brown on a beige background, they are bloody hard to read, and my eyesight isn't that bad, as I've worn contact lenses for 56 years, and kept them up to date. Some colours should only be put together if trendily decorating a room or some such, if you want to get a message across - with clarity, they just should never be utilised in a "writing on coloured background" situation.

Oracle sues its own star sales rep after she wins back $200k in pay fight


Re: Oracle Corporation

What a cunch of bunts!! That is all!!

Chevy Bolt electric car came alive, reversed into my workbench, says stunned bloke


Re: Odd belief


"since the handbrake engages as soon as the engine is off."

I'm curious. If the handbrake engages as soon as the engine is turned off, how in hell do you move the damn thing if you can't start the engine? As in pushing to a safe place etc. Or simply just manouvreing around a yard.

Do car manufacturers actually think this stuff through?

Ditto for all these automatic e-brakes or whatever. In an emergency, how does one go about bring the car to a halt safely without a manual handbrake?

Not to mention, how on earth is one supposed to do handbrake turns without a manual handbrake?

The mind boggles.

Mine's the one with the Drifting for Dummies in the pocket.

Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank


Re: so..


No mate, by any stretch of the imagination, this is definitely not bullying. It's a one off prank with a bit of tease thrown in.

Have you never teased anybody in your life?

Bullying, yet another word co-opted by the "offended on someone else's behalf" brigade for a different meaning, is repeated picking on someone. In other words harassment.

So, that fact that you didn't like the way the correspondent behaved justifies you in criticizing him does it.

NSW bus Wi-Fi privacy, regulation: 'Move along, nothing to see here'


Wow! Just wow!

I can't believe NSW wanting to even contemplate a wifi "solution" like this.

Last September I took a vacation in Mooloolaba and then Brisbane.

Mooloolaba, free wifi at any tourist information centre. No "security" checks, just connect and use. Great - especially as I found out the price of data roaming in Oz. $100 in a day and a half!!!!!

Brisbane the same. Free wifi provided by the city, no signing on, just connect and use.

That's the problem with outsourcing your services to wankers.

C'mon NSW, wake yer bloody ideas up!!!

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief


Re: Teleporting trucks

@John H Woods

You obviously haven't seen those dash cam Youtube clips of cars/trucks careering suddenly into the driver's lane, maybe having been hit by another truck

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits


Re: Engineer @Shadmeister

"....term Engineer has been used to represent technicians and general workers ....."

You mean like Sanitary Engineer?

Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life


@ Bill Stewart

"which might count as attempted or actual murder,....."

That raises the point of why do we need yet another pointless law? In most jurisdictions, if you made ANY modification to a vehicle which differed from standard, and the result caused death or injury, do you think that the lack of a specific law outlawing said modification would prevent you from being charged with murder/manslaughter etc?

Australian Greens don't believe Silicon Valley can save the world


@ GrumpyKiwi

"crystal therapy"

I hadn't heard about that.

Maybe the crystal to which they refer is actually crystal meth, which seems to also be quite popular around these parts.

Not sure about which icon to use, so I'll resort to this ------------------->

Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus


Re: They could always

"Sounds like you never heard the one about New Zealanders emigrating to Australia lowering the IQ of both countries "

Ha. Ha.

Maybe you never heard of Prime Minister Muldoon making the comment back in the '70s that all the immigrants to Oz, FROM NZ was actually RAISING the IQ of both countries.

It's a bit late to start twisting the truth!!!!

And I don't really think that this is a joke!!! I am just being polite to our Western Island friends.

Ben Nevis embiggened by a metre



Mountain? Nah! At a tad under 4500 feet it's more like a large hill. Or half a mountain!!

When I first went over there and saw what the UKians called a mountain, I laughed myself silly.

German lodges todger in 13 steel rings


Re: Pedant Alert


While we're on the subject of pedantry.

"which we cannot do anything about" > about which we can do nothing.

Just saying!

Competition? No way! AT&T says it will sue to keep Google Fiber out of Louisville, Kentucky


Re: Pole dancing

Why would they need to dig trenches?

Haven't they heard of horizontal drilling? All the fibre laid here in NZ is done with that. They lay the initial ducting first, then pull through the cable at a later date.

Humans – 1 Robots – 0: Mercedes deautomates production lines


@Russell6 Re: What Mercedes were really saying

"what will happen to the people who lose their jobs to robots?????"

Well, they obviously won't be able to afford to buy a Mercedes.

While they will no doubt find new jobs, the question is, what type of jobs, and if the McDonalds type of employment is all they can get, that doesn't augur well for future sales of motor vehicles.

While robots undoubtedly lower production costs, the same as for all manufacturing utilising these devices, just who do they expect to be able to buy their products, if no one is in worthwhile work earning sufficiently to afford all these new toys. Ditto for phones, TVs etc.

The same applies to outsourcing jobs.

There are only so many "service jobs" available, and I hazard a guess that most don't pay all that well. I hope I am wrong.

As far as "flexible" robots, surely it would only take some not particularly sophisticated software that follows a vehicle through production to supply each robot with the parameters for that particular car. Jeez, I have seen programs which do almost that now. It's used as an audit trail for each vehicle. Surely it wouldn't take a genius to had a little functionality of this type to the production line. So all the parts applicable to a given vehicle are already waiting at a station of the robot to receive it's instructions as to what to fit to the vehicle. If they can do it with "just in time ordering" it ain't a huge leap into this.

Am I missing something? (I probably am, so have a little pity)

Software, not wetware, now the cause of lousy Volvo drivers


Re: What about battery life


Now you've got me started on the rest of the crap they are installing in modern cars.

Rain sensing wipers. Automatic headlights for a fucking start.

I am perfectly capable of detecting when it's bloody raining and moving a lever to the turn the damn things on. It must be something to do with the fact that I come equipped with eyes and a fucking brain!!

And so you want me to disturb my neighbours by shining my automatic headlights into their bedroom window as I turn, whereas, I could, you know, actually be considerate and turn my head lights on when I will not disturb them. And what about when I am trying to sneak away form my mistress's house late at night. Actually I lied about that last bit. It's just wishful thinking on my part.

And I don't need a bloody reversing camera. Just give me decent vision out the back as we used to have. I have reversing gizmo in the new car I just bought (see previous post) but when reversing out on my test drive, I didn't use it. Apart form being hard to read in bright sunlight as it's blue graphics, I wouldn't rely totally on it anyway. I probably will use it to 'assist' my own eyes, as I use the reversing sensors on my current car, which just beeps at me.


Re: While they are at it . . . @Steve Davies

"Where are the safety people?"

The safety people are too busy drooling over the latest bit of auto electronic idiocy to be worried about safety.

A touch screen to control the entertainment, aircon, etc? How safe is that I ask. With no physical knobs which can be mostly operated by feel, one will now have to take ones eyes off the road to see where on the screen you are manipulating the icons or whatever.

If this is safe, why do all independent satnavs come with a warning that you should operate them safely, and not while the car is moving? Yeah, like that'll happen as well.

Apart from engine management electronics I have no time for any of the other stuff. OK, I'll accept ABS as a good idea as well.

I have just bought a near new car, a demo model in fact, which has nothing like that. It does have keyless ignition which would rather not have, but it seems we have no choice in these things. Why is pulling a key out of your pocket more onerous than pulling a phone out of your pocket? It also has a reversing aid, not a camera, just some sensors which but a virtual image on a screen. Problem is, the screen (as is the trip computer) graphics are in a very dark blue colour, virtually impossible to see, as I found out on a test drive, in bright sunlight.

It also has the function (I can't remember what it's called) of stopping the engine when the vehicle has come to a stop, and your foot is on the foot brake. Nice you think - and also bloody dangerous. If you take your foot off the brake then starts again, so presumably you hit the car in front.

Fortunately, it is able to be turned off. Ditto stability control.

I am of an age where I was taught to drive properly, not just blindly use the accelerator and brake pedals without thinking, and to ensure that you don't lose stability, you don't drive the car such that you get into that situation. And don't get me wrong, although not a young hoon, I don't muck about either, but I know the limits of the car, and my own abilities, such as they are, and drive accordingly. And ANTICIPATE!!!!

I also use the hand/parking brake when stopping on a hill. I NEVER use just the foot brake unless I know that I am going to move off almost immediately.

To sum up my rant, more electronics is just more things to go wrong. Having been in IT since 1966, fortunately now retired, I have seen too many messes in computer software/hardware to be comfortable with them running my life completely. I would prefer that if something is going to go wrong, that it was my fault, not something over which, I have no control.

Austinites outraged as Google Fiber tears up Texas capital


Re: Trench my yard


I don't understand. I have just had fibre laid in our street in Auckland, NZ and I saw minimal trenching required.

They used horizontal drilling to lay the initial conduit for the main cable to run in, then when it came time to install that cable, they dug a hole every 30 or 40 metres (depending on bends v straight runs) broke open the conduit then pulled the cable through. Once done, the holes were filled in and any surface "decoration" replaced. By surface decoration I mean, grass, replacement flowers in a flower bed, etc.

When they came to run it to individual houses they had 2 separate (possibly more) crews, one who did shared/right-of-way access, and the other did the single houses.

With ours as a single house they put the linking cable through the same conduit as the copper phone lines. Simple.

The only trenching they did in our street was when running the cable down the shared driveways. They dug a small trench immediately adjacent to the driveway and if they were unable to do that in order to route around immovable objects, like trees for example, they would dig a VERY small trench to circumvent the obstruction, then cover everything when they had finished.

In very rare cases when all other access methods had failed, they can also attach to a fence or string it overhead if other services still used that method. Most cities and towns have underground service these days, so that too, is rare. A bit different in the countryside.

So the question is, just what are Google installers doing that requires such disruption and inconvenience?

France joins India in telling Facebook to just Zuck off


@Charles 9

"even this can be too much for some people with really BAD memories."

I do NOT have a bad memory - but I do have an occasional bad recall problem.

Well, actually, a bit more than occasional if I'm honest!

Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database


@X7 Wow!

Wow, Do you have a fucking great chip on your shoulder or what!

I have seen some rants before, including some of mine, but yours has as much logic to it as the Flat Earth Society proponents.

You've somehow managed to take a discussion on disabled parking and in one quick bound, take it to your own personal hatred of, it seems, just about anything you don't personally agree with - and also managed to denigrate every person out there who might aspire to either a car with a bit more room for whatever reason, or something with a little power because you know, they actually enjoy driving.

A large vehicle or more power does NOT equate with irresponsible hooniness (or is that hoonism?)

Most people of my acquaintance, admittedly not a large scientific survey, usually acquire larger or more powerful vehicles simply because they've decided that it gives them a bit more comfort when driving.

Personally, when returning from the UK to NZ I bought a second hand (2001) Audi Quattro 2.8 V6 Tiptronic wagon because I got it a good price, it gave me room in the back to load stuff into for my landscaping projects, not to mention taking the luggage of our overseas visitors, and it was a cut above what I would normally buy, and I enjoy driving it, and being Quattro, it's far safer than your silly little fart boxes. First rule of not having accidents is have a vehicle which allows you to avoid getting in that sort of position in the first place.

Now as age has crept up on me, (how did that happen) it's a bit low to the ground to comfortably get in and out of, so despite disliking SUVs mainly for the reasons you quote, I might very well have to resort to one. Not one of the huuuge monstrosities like a Jeep Cherokee or other 'designed for the U.S. market' type SUV but something that still has the room I am looking for, with a bit of power and comfort but of a more modest size and a damn sight easier to enter and exit.

BTW, for the month or two before having both my hips replaced, and walking was extremely painful and I was still working, I had the NZ equivalent of a disabled parking badge, and I made full use of it, and also the period following the operation, probably about a month, so maybe 3 months in all.

Once I was walking OK again, fairly quickly for a double hip op, it must be said, as the pass was still valid I used it then as well, but feeling 'slightly' guilty I used to limp away from the car, until I was out of sight. I still couldn't walk that far in one go, so I didn't feel too guilty about it.

A niggling pain in the groin left over from that op done in 2004, doesn't make entrance and egress from a smaller car easy, hence the larger car.


Re: Safeguards? Pff, what an old-fashioned notion

@ d3vy

While it pisses me off that people do abuse the system, really, is this the most heinous crime that the police can think of to target, that they need instant access to a 'private' database.

Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb


Re: TCO?

@ DaLo

Sorry, I call bullshit. Or more politely, I fear you are incorrect in your assertion.

We have had the whole house converted from a mixture of R80 and 50W halogen downlights with 9W sealed LED units. Yes they are diffused (why not) but more than adequate light.

They provide more than sufficient light in the room. In fact, they provide so much light that we have had dimmers installed in order to adjust the light intensity in places like the dining room.

If you are interested, you can find them, here http://www.energymad.com/Ecobulbs.

I can't recommend them more highly.


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