* Posts by gryphon

34 posts • joined 2 May 2011

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

gryphon

Almac

I too was within the Almac local dialling area but also ran my own BBS for a good few years, Sputnik Spitfire. There weren't many people using Spitfire in the UK but it was pretty good. Base software fitted on a 1.2MB disk if I recall correctly.

Almac were always great and very friendly although if you visited them you'd have to drag Alastair away from his game of Civilisation or whatever was current at the time. :-)

They were especially good when they started getting the weekly tapes of new software from the US to save the international calls.

Rather than FidoNet I was on RIME. My sister is still in contact with some of the people she met through RIME all those many years ago. :-)

Not cool, man: Dixons spanked over discount on luxury 'smart' fridge with wildly fluctuating price

gryphon

Trade Descriptions Act

Is is still the above that controls this sort of advertising?

i.e. To describe something as a discount the item must have been for sale at original selling price for x days within the last x months

Problem I always saw was that it didn't define the number of stores the original price had been charged at.

To my mind it should be the majority of a retailers stores to count. e.g. If they have 100 stores then it had to have been possible to buy it for original price at 51 stores or they can't call it a discount.

I also loved all the 'half-price' offers on toiletry packs etc. at Christmas. Last time any of those had been properly available was the previous Christmas where surprise, surprise they were also half-price. So when and where did they get offered at full price?

My local Tesco always seems to be one of the stores they use to set the 'was' price. e.g. Price of product X was £3, goes up to £4 for a couple of weeks. Price at Tesco down the road the price never changes but suddenly after 2 weeks the £3 is a 'reduced' price. In both stores.

The rules on this sort of stuff really need to be tightened up and given massive sharks teeth. Make the directors personally responsible for false advertising.

And if company has say 3 ASA complaints upheld in a year then all their new adverts for the next 2 years either have to be pre-vetted or they have to explicitly say they've had complaints upheld in the previous period on every advert they produce. One is a rubber mallet, the other is a sledgehammer. I wonder which one the firms would prefer.

Marriott's Starwood hotels mega-hack: Half a BILLION guests' deets exposed over 4 years

gryphon

Re: Card numbers

Revolut do disposable virtual debit cards with a premium subscription. £7 pm I think.

Probably similar banks do as well.

They've also got a location based security, do / don't allow contactless or internet purchase and freeze card options with their standard service.

I do remember seeing Barclays advertising at least the freeze card option.

So called 'challenger' banks are probably more likely to offer these features than the big boys as a differentiator.

Personally I started using Revolut because it allows me to do commission free foreign transfers at the interbank rate but YMMV.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

gryphon

Old Stuff

Another hoarder.

Somewhere in the house I have a Netware 286 ISA license key card.

Plus the usual PSU's, cables etc. like everybody else.

Oh, and 2 Toshiba Libretto 100CT's WITH the small and large dock AND the 32MB memory upgrade.

I know you'll all be impressed with those. :-)

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

gryphon

Re: Buncefield

If I remember correctly there was the fireworks factory, Grolsch and then Polaroid. A VERY good thing Polaroid didn't go up with the amount of toxic chemicals that were used there.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

gryphon

Saw a couple of HP LaserJet 3SI's with I think 3 million plus copies and still going strong once.

Those things were pretty much bulletproof as long as the feed rollers got changed regularly.

Vodafone customers moan about sluggish data abroad

gryphon

Re: Blame placement

Same in Dubai.

Which caught my wife out when we were passing through. Had left her phone in data roaming mode when leaving Australia and when she turned her phone back in at Dubai all the background apps such as suckbook must have gone wild.

£46 down the drain before she managed to turn the roaming off. :-(

The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

gryphon

Dance marathon as seen in They Shoot Horses Don't They with Jane Fonda

gryphon

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Russia have a missile farm that can launch automatically with no human intervention if it detects certain things like a nuclear detonation over Moscow, seismic activity over a certain level which would denote same etc.

i.e. A guaranteed retaliatory strike. One would hope that the computers making the launch decisions were isolated and unhackable but..

Obviously this could be complete rubbish but somebody in Russia might have been watching Dr Strangelove at some point and had a lightbulb moment. :-D

Social media vetting for US visas go live

gryphon

Re: That "When" is from today

I seem to recall that when the US brought in electronic fingerprinting at the border that Brazil did tit-for-tat but with good old fashioned paper and ink. Slow and messy.

Am I just imagining / mis-remembering this?

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

gryphon
Joke

Re: GCHQ and Patches

"And the toilets may be occupied by beancounters. Or eldritch horrors."

Aren't these the same thing?

BOFH: Don't back up in anger

gryphon

I once annoyed an internal guy trying to get us all up to speed on BS5750.

Him - It's a quality assurance standard

Me - No its not, it's a repeatability and conformity standard

Him - What do you mean?

Me - Well if I write a process that says someone has to take every product we make smash it against the wall and send it to the customer as a broken box of bits it would technically be BS5750 compliant wouldn't it?

Him - Umm, yes. But, but....

Happy days.

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

gryphon

Technical ignorance is fine, willful ignorance and an unwillingness to learn for the next time is not fine.

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

gryphon

Re: How do customers save anything.

Still goes by council tax banding in Scotland.

I looked at getting a meter a good few years ago since I was single but in a high rated house. Would have worked out way more expensive.

Massive standing charge even before paying for the actual water.

AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

gryphon

Re: The last voice command ever

Alexa had her own problems.

Time, weather reports and radio were fine but couldn't actually play music.

She'd read back to show she'd understood but then nothing.

Silly Amazon.

Connected car in the second-hand lot? Don't buy it if you're not hack-savvy

gryphon

Re: Now ask me why ...

Indeed. Was there not a story on here a while ago where a Singaporean bought a Tesla or similar and got a massive unexpected environmental tax bill?

i.e. The govt. had also taken into account the CO2 produced by the power station making the electricity to charge it.

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

gryphon

Psion netBook

Did anyone ever have a Psion netBook? The EPOC one not the WinCE one.

Looked quite interesting at the time.

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

gryphon

Re: What are customers moaning about?

However I seem to remember from a previous reg article that the wholesale price Openreach charge for line rental is only about £8 pm. Average line rental price from all vendors is about £17-20 even paying in advance so they are making a nice mark-up on that, no wonder some of them offer 'free' broadband.

View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

gryphon

Re: Two things about UBI

E-books are already taxed at 20% VAT.

Might have changed recently but safety boots (it we class PPE as part of tools) were VAT free, safety shoes were 20% VAT. Considering the looks of safety shoes I don't think you'd be wearing them as a fashion statement. :-)

McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

gryphon

Re: Am I missing something?

It won't be McDonald's US doing the suing but a local subsidiary or franchisee.

Have a read of Private Eye sometime to see the shenanigans that companies over here get up to with planning applications. Councillors very often override a firm NO from their planning officers for 'reasons'. And that doesn't where councillors are scratching each others backs when one has to declare a conflict of interest and can't vote on a proposal.

On the McDonald's thing I do remember many years ago being surprised to find one in the main square in Toledo, Spain which is another historic town / city but it seemed to blend in well enough.

As for the rubbish being dropped then perhaps part of any planning approval would be that that would be taken care of by McD staff, i.e. they would be responsible under local litter laws for a certain area and would be fined if any litter seen.

But after saying all that if they already have 6 locations in Florence then they probably don't need another one. :-)

Tesla to charge for road trip 'leccy, promises it will cost less than petrol

gryphon

Number of charge points per service station

Travelling down M74, M6 etc. I don't think I've ever seen more than half a dozen supercharger points at once.

If a charge takes half an hour that is fine, but what if everybody has an electric and there are no spaces available? Some form of queuing or valet system? Your 30 minutes charge might then turn into an hour or more, whereas with diesel/petrol you'll never take more than 5 minutes and you are on the road again.

gryphon

Re: Tesla "400 kWh of free 'leccy credits"

The car rental itself is usually pretty cheap, it's the insurance and excesses that make things very expensive.

KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

gryphon

RAID Firmware

Thankfully I never got burned by it but I saw a frightening message in an HP update notification for Smart Array once.

It boiled down to the following if I remember correctly:-

You have a RAID1 mirror pair and a disk fails

You replace the failed disk, the mirror rebuilds and gives a completion message and all appears to be right with the world.

Except it never actually completed properly and is lying to you, you are actually running on one disk and who knows what it is actually mirroring.

I really pity the poor admin that got burned by that one before they released the update. Thanks so much HP.

Brit ISP TalkTalk scraps line rental charges

gryphon

Re: FFS not scrapped

That's always been my main complaint.

It's obviously perfectly possible for them to offer 12 month fibre contracts since BT and I think John Lewis? for instance do so. They all use OpenReach anyway.

They just want to lock you in for as long as possible but won't let you do the same with the pre-paid line rental.

I'd rather not have an 18 month contract but if I could do both BB and line with no price increase, or no more than inflation, then I might take the plunge.

4K-ing-A! Roku bangs out broad range of new streaming boom boxes

gryphon

Latest Con

Is stuff like vueXtreme

Larger screens and supposedly 'immersive surround sound'.

That'll be £1 extra per ticket please.

Uh huh, I'm over 35 I'm probably not going to get the full benefit of the sound anyway since I seem to recall hearing starts to deteriorate at that point if not earlier, and the one experience I had of it was that it was simply too damn loud and spoiled the movie.

HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

gryphon

Page counts

The old 3si's were pretty much bulletproof. Change the feed rollers and separator pads from time to time and they'd go on forever. I'm pretty sure I worked on one once that had done 2.5 million pages but memory may be playing me false. I think the duty cycle was something like 50k pages per month.

4's, 4p's etc were always needing repaired but I think that was because users tended to use them more with labels and overheads and ended up screwing up the fusers and final feed assembly. I spent many a happy hour changing the individual rollers in fuser units since the user always had this "business critical letter" that just had to go out and couldn't wait until the next day for a refurb fuser. My company would let me carry spare rollers but not fusers.

Norway might insist on zero-emission vehicles by 2025

gryphon

Re: Things that make you go ::hmmmmm::

Yup.

I seem to remember a story a few weeks ago where somebody in Singapore got hit with a big tax bill for buying a Tesla. He had thought it would be cost-free since it is a ZEV at point of use but the Singaporean govt. has other ideas and counts all the emissions produced in making the electricity that the Tesla uses.

Was it something like £25k in tax?

Windows' authentication 'flaw' exposed in detail

gryphon

Re: You call yourself a sysadmin?

It's a domain level user account not on your local system.

You need ADUC not your local computer management util

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

gryphon

Re: The affair is far from "largely concluded"

Current info from my SEAT dealer is that 1.2L and 2.0L will simply need a software fix which goes along with your surmise above.

1.6L like mine will apparently need a software fix and a 'flow transformer' which is to improve the accuracy of the air mass sensor. Will take about an hour.

Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V

gryphon

Model

Would love this.

My father had this when I was way younger and also a Sikorsky (I think) helicopter with winch and mini capsule which I ended up with.

Which I seem to have mislaid over the years. :-(

BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

gryphon

Re: Obligations

And it is amazing the number of companies (some very large) that still don't comply with the legislation even though the theoretical penalty is £1000 per instance. I've never actually seen anyone prosecuted for it though that I can find.

And to unfortunately go Daily Fail this is another example of the UK implementing an EU directive when nobody else, apart from Germany who also want directors names listed for some reason, has bothered themselves.

Also a lot of websites don't comply with the ecommerce directives which requires the same information to be accessible. Usually buried way down under T&C's or some esoteric version of Contact Us.

BOFH: SOOO... You want to sell us some antivirus software?

gryphon

Deary Me

Simon seems to be getting rather mellow in his old age.

Certainly not as vitriolic as AV companies actually deserve

Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

gryphon

10,000 Unread Messages

Hmm, I wonder how it will cope witth the >100,000 that one of our users refuses to do anything with. And that is just in the inbox. :-(

Is iPhone data collection legal?

gryphon
FAIL

EULA

Someone really MUST test some of the major EULA's in court with regards to length etc. iTunes for instance is on the order of 50 pages and gets updated every 5 minutes. What 'reasonable' person is ever going to read that, and all the upates? I did, once, my brain almost melted with the tediousness.

I'd say that if you can't fit an EULA / contract for a consumer on a maximum of 2 pages then it isn't fit for its purpose.

I also don't like Paypal where they'll send you an e-mail saying there are updates to their T&C's but require you to login to look at them.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019