* Posts by AbortRetryFail

282 posts • joined 2 Feb 2011


Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


<Error 32: Punchline Missing>

Me too.

I was expecting "And what we found inside was...." and that this would be the payoff / point / punchline of the story.

But, no, instead it was just "we broke something deliberately. Hurr hurr hurrrr".

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...


Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

I had one support guy keep telling me that the change he wanted me to make was "just" and "only" and how simple it was, in the end I just snapped "If you think it's so bloody easy to do, then you do it"

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'


Re: Loyal?

1234? Weird, I have exactly the same combination on my luggage!

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP


Re: Historical accuracy

I was with PIPEX and it was a great service.

Much like Demon, though, each time it was bought out and changed hands, it got a little bit worse until it was pretty much unusable. That was round about the time Tiscali or TalkTalk got their hands on it, I think.

But back in the day, PIPEX was awesome.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids


Obligatory xkcd


You think you're hot bit: Seagate tests 16TB HAMR disk drive



... doo doooo de doo dooooo.

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger


Proactive recuruiter

I had one agent who was a lovely girl but was a bit, um, shall we say "proactive" in looking for new leads.

I'd had a bit of a lull in work earlier in the year, so had filled the gap in my CV with my own company details, saying that the period of time had been spent on internal projects.

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted through the Contact Us page of my company website, with the sender being this agent, saying that I had worked for my company in the past and was interested in doing so again, and did I have any work? I was especially surprised as I had not authorised this agent to contact my previous clients.


Re: Who writes the damn matching algorithms???

Years ago I got approached by an agency wanting me to be the instructor on a Desktop Training course. The agent got quite shirty when I said I didn't do that. "Yes you do! It says so on your CV!" he said hotly, to which I pointed out I'd helped write a Ground Crew Training Simulator for BAe Military, part of which was a Desktop Trainer / Computer-based Training (CBT) package. Yep, you've guessed it, he'd searched for "desktop trainer".

The funniest part was that the recruiter was obviously really desperate, as his final question was "I don't suppose you'd like to have a go, would you?" :)

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved


re: I read this news first from the RSS feed

Same here.

I use "Live Bookmarks" on the Bookmarks Toolbar extensively in Firefox and would really miss the functionality.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: Naming Schemes

One place I worked at had every PC named after a muppet character. Some were pretty obscure.

Another place had their servers named after tennis stars of the 80's - Bjorg, McEnroe, etc. They were great servers (groan).

Then they were bought out by a big corporation, who insisted all servers were renamed to a boring convention of letters and numbers, and also insisted the "Caution: Respiratory Protection Required" warning sticker be removed from the door of the gents' toilets.

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal


Mailing list fail

I had a business meeting with a client many years ago who was in the Direct Marketing game, and had developed a super-fast database that was several orders of magnitude faster than anything else around at the time (according to them). The guy I was taking to told me a couple of fun little anecdotes.

The first was that they had had to anonymise all their test data and discipline a developer, as he had been running database searches as a personal dating service and making unsolicited contact with potential dates. No, really.

But my favourite one was the story of how when the system went live for the first time, a test job still in the system immediately selected the top 10% richest people in the database and sent them a direct marketing letter which started "Dear Rich Bastard..."

Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs


Reasons to use Windows

I use Windows 7 on one of my PCs because

a) I play PC games and

b) some of my clients want me to write Windows applications with Visual Studio

Pretty much everything else I do is on Ubuntu, and a lot of clients are these days wanting me to develop Linux applications so (b) is less important. But (a) isn't going away any time soon despite SteamOS, it seems.

I'm kind of dreading Win7 becoming EOL because I really don't want the OS-as-a-service of Win10 but I guess I will have to bow to the inevitable. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it though.

Es are good, Es are good. Xeon Es are good, says Intel: Entry-level workstation CPUs touted


Re: Love the title

Ahhh ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.

Got any salmon? Sorted.

What do we want? Consensual fun times. How do we get it? Via an app with blockchain...


Rather have a cup of tea

Looks like Boy George was strangely prophetic after all.

How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you


Rob Scoble's lawyer told him to STFU about sex pest claims. He didn't


Re: Some people really are totaly oblivious

His entire defence seems to be "it wasn't sexual assault because..."

I don't know which is worse, the fact that this is his attitude, or that some posters seem to agree with it and are defending him.

Unwelcome attention is unwelcome attention, no matter how you want to dress it up (or mentally undress it).

China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload


Re: Bah

It's a fair point. The word "drone" has traditionally always meant any unmanned aircraft, including fighter jets converted for remote operation for use as target practice (See QF-4 and QF-16).

However, just like the word "hacker" has been reduced to "bad person who breaks into computers" (completely ignoring the original non pejorative meaning) so "drone" as been reduced to mean "quadcopters and other multi-rotor remote controlled aircraft" (seems the mainstream media don't make any distinction there and often call them quadcopters even if they have 6 or even 8 rotors).

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code


Dangerous precedent

So they found a scapegoat then.

This sets a very dangerous precent. Jailing the person who wrote it, rather than the people who instructed them to write it, doesn't seem right to me. Does this mean that every software developer must thoroughly investigate the legality of every piece of work they are asked to undertake by their employer before doing so?

Surely an employer has a duty of care not to coerce its employees into breaking the law and shoulder the legal responsibility should they do so?

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?


Sexual compatibility

Not sure if you need to be fluid-bonded, or fibre-bonded, in order to use teledildonics. Either way it could be a pain in the arse (if that's your thing).

IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced


Re: And yet IBM are hiring contractors

It's an overall government policy as laid out in the Cabinet Office code of practice document 'Recruiting for vacancies requiring National Security Vetting Clearance'.

Trouble is, being merely a code of practice, it can be completely ignored quite legally.


Re: Why contract these days?

It's true that contracting is getting less and less attractive.

I've been freelance for 17 years now, and am starting to wonder why I do it. I just can't bring myself to take the collar and leash of wage slavery though.


And yet IBM are hiring contractors

I wonder if it may be to replace people who have walked, but JobServe is currently awash with agencies advertising for C++ contractors to go into IBM Hursley. All demanding a current SC Clearance, which is in clear contravention of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Defence (not that such things bother IBM of course).

The more I read and hear about IBM, the less I want to have them as a client.

Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017


Re: Paxo, I have a right to a private life and secrets. Sod off!

Or let's say you're swingers, or in an Open Relationship, or Polyamorous, and the liaison was by consent. Why should the government be sniffing around and passing judgement on you? It really isn't any of their business at all.


Dunno, mate

Seriously, who hires a speaker to give a keynote talk at an IT conference where they answer every question with "dunno, mate" and "why are you so concerned?"

It would be like a speaker at a conference on Burglar Alarms, Safes, and Locksmithing saying "I dunno why you're so concerned about burglary - the Police do a great job".

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'


The dog ate my homework

Power supply failure? Seriously?

LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth


Obligatory XKCD (was: Once again: WE NEED A STANDARD !!!!)


(No, not 'Correct Horse Battery Staple', the one about standards)


Re: Better alternatives...

@AegisPrime - yes that's what I do too although currently still on Dropbox but I'll look into sync.com now - thanks!

I agree with comments that KeePass is rather clunky though. But it works well enough for me despite not being as slick and convenient as I hear LastPass is.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns



"I thank God that I wore my corset today, for I fear that my sides have split"

~~ E. Blackadder

"Irony. It's like Goldy and Bronzey, only made of Iron"

~~ S. Baldrick

Huge embarrassment over fisting site data breach


Probably going to be some red faeces in their IT department.

What's wrong with the Daily Mail Group buying Yahoo?


Re: Flickr

I totally agree, Paul.

It's the social media aspect that keeps me on Flickr - I have loads of views and comments on my pics, and that kind of stuff is hard to capture on a self-hosted solution as you don't get the same kind of traction. Obviously I have all my photos backed up, but you can't backup views, comments and social engagement.

We had this debate when The Reg reported that Flickr deleted some chap's account and people were quck to ask why he didn't have backups. He did have backups, of his photos. But that was not what he had lost. It would be like eBay deleting your account and you losing all your seller history and feedback rating - it's not something you can back up, nor something you can self-host necessarily.

As you say, though, you are at the mercy of the provider for stuff like this sadly.



My biggest concern with this is that Yahoo currently own Flickr, and I actively use Flickr (and pay for a Pro membership too).

The thought of giving money to the Daily Mail Group does not fill me with happiness.

Original USS Enterprise model set to boldly go… on display


I agree. The original is a little pants really, but that's a reflection of the budget and the (real world) technology of the time.

It has caused a hell of a headache for things set before ToS though - same issue they had in Prometheus, and also the Star Wars prequels. How to explain away the fact that the technology in something ostensibly older / earlier / less advanced can look so much more advanced.

Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail


Re: I've been around here for ages

Yes, I also briefly had a bronze badge when the system started and then it disappeared again after a while.

Can't say I'm that bothered about the badges though. Although the extra formatting would be nice - maybe El Reg could alter it so that those rights could stay enabled once granted even if the badge goes away again, please?

Microsoft's full-fat E5 Office 365 plan with phone extras goes live


Hosted email

So good, you mentioned it twice. :)

NASA photo gallery: How to blow $200m of rocket in seconds



Big badda-boom.

Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'



Surely the case should have been made from "gairdahhz" rather than perspex?

Photoshop for 40 quid: Affinity Photo pushes pixels further than most


£40 too expensive...

... when compared with GIMP.

Ok, GIMP's interface is a little clunky but it really is a very powerful bit of software.

Suffering a comms blackout in the loo? Now you don't have to


Do you have to, er, log on (as it were) in order to be able to post?

A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush


Re: A 20th century way to solve a 21st century problem

The early Orange phones did exactly this. You could have two numbers (both with Orange, obviously), and the phones would handle it all on a single SIM.

Then as new phones started to come out, only some supported the Line 2 functionality, and as time passed the choice of phones that supported it began to shrink until none did and eventually the service disappeared altogether. Which was a shame.

Facebook SSD failure study pinpoints mid-life burnout rate trough


Damn you, Weibull!

When come back, bring pie.

JetBrains releases CLion - new cross-platform IDE for C/C++ users


Re: Promotional feature?

Thanks for writing this, Tim. I don't really care if it is promotional or not because it has told me about something that I didn't know about and am interested in.

I've been using Visual C++ for years but for the past year have been at a client who uses GCC under Linux and it has been quite a shock for me. Eclipse CDT (ie. Eclipse for C++) seems rather pants by comparison and Code::Blocks doesn't do it for me either. So I'd be quite interested in a decent IDE even if it's one I have to pay for.

Just one thing though - the use of "C/C++" is a pet hate of mine. You correctly say "C and C++" in the body of the piece but the title says "C/C++".

In assault on American values, Lockheed blasts pickup with raygun


Are those African or European sharks?

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California


@Arnaut the less (Re: Is this intended to be a permanent fixture?)

You mean like Tesla, which has paid off its government loans early because it has been so profitable?

Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this


Not such a new concept

People have been saying this for decades. I remember a New Scientist article in the late 1980's postulating that we were entering a new "Dark Ages" for the reason that hundreds of years from now historians would be unable to read most of our digital records.

Also, Iain Banks' book "The Crow Road" centres on trying to read a diskette from an obsolete computer, and it was published in 1992.

Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered


Grim Fandando was one of the few LucasArts adventures I never got round to playing. I think of everything they did, this and Sam & Max were the only two I've never played.

I think I may have to rectify this.

2015: The year of MAD TV science, but who can keep up?


Re: That sound you can hear ...

The best thing about 4K TV is that it will mean that 4K LCD panels become a lot cheaper and computer monitors and laptop screens will hopefully gain a welcome resolution boost (or, rather, decent resolution screens will fall in price).

As you say, a welcome end to "1080p is good enough". Because it isn't.

Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins


Re: Not a new concept

I was just about to post a near-identical post but you beat me to it.

Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker


More thought required

Sounds like they should have considered the implications of their spying more Caerphilly.

(I have already got my coat and am on my way out)

EU VAT law could kill thousands of online businesses


Re: Knick-knacks...

I bought an SIM unlock code from a seller on eBay recently and they made it clear in an email that they would mail out the code by post but they were including the code in the email too, by way of backup. They also said that for the purposes of eBay's rules and regulations, this did not constitute a digital sale due to the fact they were posting the code. Needless to say the paper copy never arrived (which was no problem, of course, because I had the email 'backup').

I doubt that loophole would remain open for long though.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019