* Posts by Thoguht

316 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the life of Slack for Windows Phone

Thoguht
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Re: Impact?

They'll work something out, they sit in adjacent cubes anyway.

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Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

Thoguht
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Re: Banks too big to fail ...

I think it's pretty clear that the TSB isn't "too big to fail".

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Thoguht
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We need a backup system

I think we need to have some sort of alternative backup system in case of major failure. Maybe some type of metal token or small slips of plastic or paper that you could use in lieu of a debit or credit card if all else failed. Look, we're all super-patriotic these days, so you could even put a picture of the queen on them.

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Microsoft reveals which Windows bugs it might decide not to fix

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If you think all this is bad, you should try getting them to fix a bug in Windows Mobile 6.5.

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First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts

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A380 leasing as an investment

Food for thought here for people investing in A380 leasing via the Doric Nimrod trusts or similar. The spiel once was that by the time the current leases are up, there will probably be a thriving marked in used A380's and so the residual value can be easily realised, but that is looking less and less likely as time goes on.

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Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

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Re: Windows 10

Like all garbage-collecting languages, C# will prevent memory leaks caused by failing to release memory referenced by objects that have gone out of scope. However, it's still perfectly possible to write C# code that leaks memory. Not to mention leaks in the .Net runtime itself.

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Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

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Re: Shite

I had the Microsoft C compiler v4.0 and CodeView in the mid 80s and it was genuinely good.

That's because it was originally written by Lattice, not Microsoft.

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Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

Thoguht
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Old mechanical switches are unlikely to fail as such, but the contacts can get very worn and that can lead to arcing which could cause premature lightbulb failure.

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Thoguht
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We can't really think of any good reasons why remote control of Hue lights would be useful.

Annoying your cat while you are out?

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

Thoguht
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Cash?

This cash stuff is all very well but governments don't like it because they can't track it (or impose negative interest rates on it either). I mean, look what happened in India. So basically don't expect cash to last much longer.

You can quote me on this when the current £50 note is withdrawn with no polymer replacement.

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Thoguht
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Re: There's an old saying.....

Except now the HUD has moved into the pilot's helmet, although using the ejector seat still improves your chances of survival should you need to use it, it can apparently cause some pretty nasty injuries to smaller pilots.

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Re: Israel F35

"Stealthy" doesn't mean "cloaked". Maybe the reflectors would change the radar signature so that the Russian-supplied air defence systems can't get all calibrated and ready for it in its natural state. You know, a bit like when a newly-designed car goes out for road-test and they paint it with patterns to disguise the shape. Or perhaps it deploys the reflectors when it's in friendly airspace to stop commercial aircraft bumping into it all the time.

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American Electric Lightning?

The squadron has 30 jets on charge...

Must be that new F35-E, then.

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You should find out what's going on in that neural network. Y'know they're cheating now?

Thoguht
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I remember one (though probably apocryphal) story told about the early days of neural nets. The military of some country or other wanted to find out if a neural net could help detect camouflaged objects such as tanks that were hidden behind, say, vegetation. So the AI bods took a bunch of pictures at the edge of a forest both with and without a tank hiding out behind the trees and then fed them into the neural net, and fairly soon, the system was able to detect the presence or absence of a tank with pretty much 100% accuracy.

A demonstration was duly arranged for the top brass showing what had been accomplished, so the system was set up in the same location and totally failed to detect the presence of the tank. On actually looking at the net that had been constructed, it became obvious that all it was doing was seeing how dark or light the picture was in order to flag the presence or absence of a tank. Mystified, they looked at the training photographs and realised that it had been cloudy when they took the pictures with no tank, but by the time the tank had been positioned, the sun had come out.

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The glorious uncertainty: Backup world is having a GDPR moment

Thoguht
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I think it means beyond use in the sense that someone inspecting the raw backup data couldn't extract any meaningful information from it.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

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Re: Two things

Analogies time again...

If Yale sold you a lock that had a manufacturing fault in it then they would clearly be obligated to replace it if you reported the fault within the warranty period. However, design deficiencies are much trickier because you cannot expect any given lock to be resistant to all possible methods of entry anyway.

Your average one-star rated cylinder lock can be opened in a few seconds with a bump key, and as a purchaser you should be expected to know that. If you want a lock that is resistant to today's most common picking methods then get a three star lock, but who knows what techniques might be invented tomorrow by some miscreant.

@ mark l 2, as I've pointed out, locks are not and cannot be expected to be resistant to all unauthorised attempts to open them. When you buy a lock, the various standards that it conforms to (if any) should guide your purchasing decision with respect to the security it can offer. So for example a TS007:2014 one star lock should not be expected to be bump-resistant, and therefore its fitness for purpose is not negated by someone being able to bump it open in two seconds flat.

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'Autopilot' Tesla crashed into our parked patrol car, say SoCal cops

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Re: Hmm

I'm not sure I'd want a computer in my car that had a self-preservation instinct, I'd rather it had a people-preservation instinct.

And by the way, my car has lane-following, adaptive cruise control and emergency braking controlled by front-facing Lidar, but Ford had the good sense not to give the impression that these things make the car self-driving.

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Russia to Apple: Kill Telegram crypto-chat – or the App Store gets it

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Re: What about iMessage?

The problem of distributing keys over an unsecured connection was solved years ago - see Diffie–Hellman key exchange.

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Meet the real spin doctors: Scientists tell H2O to chill out so they can separate isomers

Thoguht
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Re: only holds true at the very low temperatures ...

Apparently the spin is transferred relatively easily between molecules, and at any particular temperature there will be an equilibrium state between the different types of water. To keep a water molecule in a particular ortho or para state, you need to stop it interacting with other water molecules, which is what they did in this experiment.

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Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

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Re: How will it be used?

If I'm going to have a telescreen in my house then the advertisers and the government can pay for it.

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Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

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All this talk about BASIC and not one mention of FOCAL. Back in my PDP-8 days at university, BASIC was a pain because it was too big to fit into the 4k word memory and so it was split into two parts, I'm assuming the parser and the runtime, that had to be loaded separately from paper tape. FOCAL, on the other hand, was half the size and so you could easily load it in one go and get some coursework done in your allocated 1 hour slot.

But about this PDP-11 emulator, unless it comes with Adventure then I'm not interested.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

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Re: Colour me surprised.

A judge's job is not to defend freedom, but to interpret the law. Defending freedom is the job of the jury, who can ignore the law and the judge's directions with impunity if they see fit.

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Let's kick the tyres on Google's Android P... It's not an overheating wreck, but UX is tappy

Thoguht
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So is the whitespace compulsory or does it come in black as well? The reason for using black is not aesthetic, it's simply to save power on OLED displays.

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Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

Thoguht
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In the pink?

Well, after all the DT trademark kerfuffle, I do hope Dr. Drai's vagina book doesn't have lots of pink things in it.

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Qualcomm, Microsoft drag apps for Win-10-on-Arm into 64-bit world

Thoguht
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You can already have .Net Core apps running under Windows 10 IoT on the Raspberry Pi.

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Fork it! Microsoft adds .NET Core 3.0 including Windows Desktop apps

Thoguht
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Re: What a mess

Dying? You could have made that comment any time in the past 30 years and it would still have been just as true.

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We just wanna torque: Spinning transfer boffins say torque memory near

Thoguht
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Re: Intriguing....

A single, unified, freely-rewritable storage space might not be such a good idea. For instance, what would happen when something went wrong with data in the OS working memory? At the moment, you can just reboot because it's the RAM contents that's wrong, not the disk. With a unified storage space, you'd have to reinstall the OS. Either that, or you'd need twice as much memory so that you can always have a "last known good" image.

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Thoguht
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Re: Supersonic flight

Windows were certainly broken during supersonic test flights over Bristol (presumably by RAF jets) conducted to see whether Concorde's sonic booms would be a problem or not. Perhaps that story eventually morphed into Concorde itself breaking windows.

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Thoguht
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Pressure?

The airframe got longer due to the high temperatures caused by air friction, not pressure. Given that it was being pushed by the engines from the back, presumably pressure would have shortened it rather than lengthened it.

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Newsworthy Brit bank TSB is looking for a head of infrastructure

Thoguht
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Re: A TSB QA engineer tweets...

I don't normally look at Twitter, but when I followed that link I got:

Loading seems to be taking a while.

Twitter may be over capacity or experiencing a momentary hiccup. Try again or visit Twitter Status for more information.

I didn't realise it was also run by the TSB IT team.

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Thoguht
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Re: Dear TSB

So does this Coco have a clown computer that looks small, but is actually capable of holding 1.3 billion customer records?

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Eurocrats double down on .eu Brexit boot-out

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So it's not adi.eu but thank.eu then.

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Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

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Re: Drowning Man

More likely, the customers are going to pay for the bank being fined. OK, so this is not quite as insane as fining NHS trusts who screw up because are chronically short of money, but when a company has a single shareholder, they really aren't going to let themselves suffer.

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Re: Half and half?

From reading various comments over the past few days, though, it looked like people were saying the whole thing was in the Amazon cloud. So if that's really the case, surely then it would be trivially easy (albeit not cheap) to throw more hardware at the problem. Which suggests a deeper systemic issue.

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Thoguht
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Apparently it's Linux, not Windows, so doing that won't help. I'm sure they must have tried it a few times just in case, though.

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Re: not a customer

I'm a TSB customer and as far as I can see, my direct debits and standing orders have worked just fine since Monday morning.

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Noise from blast of gas destroys Digiplex data depot disk drives

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Re: Safe for personnel?

I don't disagree about abolishing the death penalty (if only because once you've offed someone it's too late to say sorry if you then find they were innocent after all), but if you're going to do it then at least do it without additional suffering.

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Safe for personnel?

It doesn't matter what mix of inert gasses you have in your fire suppression system, anyone left in there will die if the oxygen level gets too low.

They really ought to use inert gas mixtures in US gas chambers, they're quick, totally painless and kill without any sense of suffocation or fighting for breath.

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TSB boss: We know everything's working, you just can't see that

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In the balance?

If half of TSB's customers have been affected and they all move their accounts, at least that will solve the load-balancing problems at a stroke.

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TSB outage, day 5: What do you mean you can't log in? Our systems are up and running. Up and running, we say!

Thoguht
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It's 2018 and people are still using arrays...

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UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'

Thoguht
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Re: For the curious

I'm too old to have done much cloudy stuff, but isn't the whole point of using a scalable cloud like Amazon's that you can just sling as much resource as you need at the task in hand? Though if the whole thing really is based on mainframe-era back end software, maybe that's what is bottlenecking the whole thing.

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Re: TSB complaints

That's simple to fix - just stop using Chrome.

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19:00, day 4, still broke

The login button now just takes you to the service status rather than even letting you attempt to log in. Even the TSB home page is throwing the occasional internal server error now, but that's probably down to it getting swamped.

A point of no return? I guess in the worst case there has to be one sometime, where they just say sorry we have no realistic hope of getting things up to date again, here's the address of the FSCS.

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Brit bank TSB TITSUP* after long-planned transfer of customer records from Lloyds

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Re: Easter egg

I would have thought that you needed to avoid do anything drastic near the 15th or the end of the month because you would have a lot of incoming and outgoing payments around then. So on that basis, Easter weekend this year would have been a no-no.

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Not completely, it will let a limited number of users log in at one time. Until the 386 gets overheated and they have to load shed.

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"We're sorry. We're currently unable to process any requests to close and move accounts."

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Re: 18:00 on Monday, still not working

Even if you have no direct debits listed, and I seem to be in the same boat there, it looks like they are still being taken correctly from the account because I had one taken yesterday.

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Re: We're not in Kansas anymore, Tony.

That Horizon was interesting, but back then I didn't really care because I'd already got my CompSci degree and was waiting to join the elite whilst expecting the rest of society to crumble around me.

As it was, I was the one who crumbled.

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Re: We're not in Kansas anymore, Tony.

But why bother to fix it by amending many tens of thousands of lines of COBOL when you can just write a shim to do the conversion on all the inputs and outputs? There's an exact conversion between LSD and decimal currency so even those financial institutions which calculated interest to 10 or more decimal places would still be happy.

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Re: TSB, it's the 404 me.

Doesn't seem too bad now, except that the debit card transactions I made over the weekend are still missing. Most annoying though is they've changed the date format in the .csv export from dd/mm/yyyy to dd-mm-yyyy, so I had to add an extra line of code to the import on my budgeting spreadsheet. I think I'll send the TSB a bill for my time.

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