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125 posts • joined 20 May 2011


Brekkie TV host Lorraine Kelly wins IR35 ruling against HMRC, adds fuel to freelance techies' ire over tax reforms


Re: At Spartacus, re: Scrabble.

When she can spell like that, I can see why you called her "Gramma"

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?


Re: Aliens

My -car- is older than a couple of the guys who work for my company.


Not sure who that paints a poorer picture of, come to think of it.


Re: What is it with hotels?

Ironically, Mariot also supply the prisons. They pick the 2 star menu.

What do sexy selfies, search warrants, tax files have in common? They've all been found on resold USB sticks


Yep, destroying them is definitely the way forward. I manage to destroy most of mine before I'm even finished using them :)

Yelp-for-MAGAs app maker is warned there are holes in its code. Does it A. Just fix the problem, or B. Threaten to call the FBI, too?


Re: All the researcher's fault

Meh, I think I'd side with the researcher. Even if I realised the person I was trying to help would likely reject it, I'd prefer to at least give them the chance. If they accept it, then my estimation of humanity increases and I get my "good deed" badge for the day. If they don't accept it, I shrug and let them reap what they sow content in the knowledge that I at least tried. Which seems to be exactly what this researcher has done.

Just my 2 cents.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?


Re: Missed Option

Came to say the same, but with an attached anecdote.

I used to commute through Reading town centre on a regular basis, and the amount of earbud-wearing zombie pedestrians that stepped out in front of sodding double decker buses without looking beggared belief. And those machines aren't exactly quiet. Tragically, one man did in fact lose his life to this during the time I lived there, but the investigation found that it was his own fault (they put it more tactfully than that). The bus's cctv clearly showed him stepping out without hearing or looking.

I don't think a silent bus was the problem, nor "e-noise" the solution.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

Is it just me, or has amanfromMars been more active since Opportunity stopped reporting back to NASA?

Stormy times ahead for IBM-owned Weather Channel app: LA sues over location data slurp


Re: Yes

There's a world of difference though between "Hi Weather App, I would like to know the weather at postcode SW1 1AB" once or twice a day (whether you're there or not), and the app reporting your exact GPS co-ordinates, available WiFi networks and visible mobile phone towers three times a second, to people or companies you don't even know of.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish


Re: Hospitality sector had it coming

Really? I'm here because my time is currently being paid for by someone else :) My -own- time is an extremely precious commodity to me.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert


Only a couple of times in my career have I been told "just do it!" by a manager in the face of my warnings of dire consequences. Both times, I've answered: "I will do as you ask, but I will need your request in writing as well as an acknowledgement that I warned you about X, Y and Z". I was quite happy to tell them that I needed it to cover my arse when things inevitably fell over. Most of the time, the managers' requests mysteriously went away. For the one that didn't, the manager did at least stop and think through what he was asking before pushing ahead.

'My entire company is without comms': Gamma's Horizon cloud PBX goes DOWN


Our company in Northern Ireland has been down since around 11:00. Still down at 15:20. I can also add that any phone handsets that were reset here lost their config files and apparently have to be sent back to Gamma for a fix.

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box


Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

It's not my fault! I tried to tell them the documentation was important, but they never gave me the time to do it! Well, not until 1 week before I left.

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex


You want to have a baby with a spectral lover? Fine. Who am I to judge. You do you...

Oh lord, did I actually just say that?

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November


Re: how is MS warning users?


I drive a 1997 Toyota Starlet. Most of her parts are a simple unbolt-and-replace deal. She had a new clutch put in her recently, took a little less than 6 hours to do.

My other half drives a newer Nissan X Trail. Great machine, but with all the extra bells and whistles crammed underneath the bonnet the same clutch-replacement job took three and a half week-end days and five evenings during the intervening week. Just stripping the engine down to get at the sodding thing took days! Even replacing a rear seat-belt (prime chewing target for the dogs) involves stripping out every bit of internal trim starting from the boot and working forwards.

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do


Re: Not a good portent.

I was thinking the same. My favoured hobbies usually involve making things and I have a large number of projects queued up for the workshop. Unfortunately, I regularly hit months where I just don't have enough cash to buy tools or materials and progress on my projects grinds to a halt. Thus, my spare time tends to get diverted to YouTube or video games. Money definitely helps people get out and about and spend their time productively.

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat


"I am banning the 'news' site theregister.co.uk from my company's allowed sites policy."

Really? I added it as the default home page for my company :)

Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on


I have only once had my desktop hijacked in my career (they did the old "rotate the monitor" trick). I have successfully avoided any further hijackings by 1) being very diligent about locking my machine when I step away from it and 2) Making it very clear to everyone that the day anyone messes with my machine is the day that they will leave work to go home and find their car with four flat tyres and a bicycle pump on the bonnet.

There is of course a line between a quick laugh and a genuine inconvenience, but my sense of humour tends to evaporate fairly quickly when that line is crossed.

Open-source this, open-source that, and the end of the Windows 10 Creators Update


Re: Too True.....

While I don't doubt for a second that 750ml of vodka would have me matching W10's speed, I don't think any tolerance building would be happening from that point on. You kind of have to be alive for that.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work


Re: Shrapnel...

After attending to computers located in the aluminium-cutting section of a factory, I can second that.

Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it


To quote Mr Manley...

Check Yo Stagin'!

Feel the shame: Email-scammed staffers aren't telling bosses about it


Cause and effect...

One question is: are IT staff more susceptible, or are IT staff more targeted? I imagine it wouldn't be all that effective to call or email a factory line worker or a shop assistant to try and get them to change some details in a portal system that they probably don't even have access to. I can very well imagine a help desk person getting a call from someone saying that they're a supplier complaining of 'an issue on their end', but I can't think of many other places in a company that would be the destination of that kind of call.

Just food for thought.

Bug bounty alert: Musk lets pro hackers torpedo Tesla firmware risk free


Re: Another lawsuit filed against Tesla for autopilot crash

@Big Al 23

The latest incident I heard of that matches what you say is this:


I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that this is the incident you are referring to. The woman broke her ankle, and caused the accident because she was using her phone and back-ended a fire engine. She took no action to prevent this in the apparently mistaken belief that the car would do the braking for her. I believe the police reprimanded her for the US equivalent of driving without due care and attention.

If I've got the wrong incident, can you provide a link to the Reuters article?

Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction


Re: The Ends of the World


Wow. How do you even get up in the morning?

Still, at least we can take something from your post. Another possible hypothesis to explain the Fermi Paradox.

Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'


Re: Confusopoly

Sounds like an extension of the "If you can't dazzle with brilliance, baffle with bullshit" approach. Also used to great effect by large companies to limit bonuses, raises, promotions of their own employees, justify bonuses, raises of management, justify the appointment of manager's mate to high-level role, by governments when enacting new 'security' laws...

That list was supposed to be small, but I can think of so many examples on the spur of the moment that it's depressing.

UK comms revenues reach all-time low of £54.7bn, as internet kills the TV star


Re: superfast as a download speed exceeding 24 mbps


I'm a VB developer :)



In this case, superfast is faster than fast (which is standard), as opposed to the internet connection that I have which is standard (i.e. fecking slow). Hope that clears things up :)

Treating things seriously for a minute, the gov (in the first result I found on Google, so take that with a pinch of salt) defines superfast as a download speed exceeding 24 mbps. Other Google hits centre around the 25 to 30 mbps region. What you and I would call "normal" speed.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn


Re: Timing is everything

Yeah, I remember a similar "used by Google" test question. It went along the lines of:

"You have been shrunk to 3 inches tall and are in a blender. How do you escape?"

I thought for a minute and then answered "pray", which didn't impress. Apparently the correct answer was "jump", on the basis that muscle power scales according to mass, so regardless of how tall you are you should be able to jump the same height if all other factors are the same. When this was explained to me, I pointed out that A: Most people use a blender with the lid -on- and B: If someone has the power to shrink me to 1/24th my size, catch me and then stick me in a blender then I don't think a quick jump is going to solve that particular problem (lid or not).

I have very little patience for trying to find "correct" answers to blatantly contrived scenarios.

Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts


Re: Wild Wacky West or Exotic Erotic East is Best for Private Pirate Cybersecurity Enterprise

Hmm... One example of "ai" not being capitalised, fifteen of "it" not being capitalised, a distinct lack of a baffling number of abstract proper-noun phrases and a concise, cogent argument...

Are you feeling OK? It's like seeing a post from Bob without any random capitalisation. One comes to expect some things around here.

Four US govt agencies poke probe in Facebook following more 'oops, we spilled your data' shocks


Re: 'It is much easier to find a whistleblower in such a company'

I'm of the opinion that GDPR was designed specifically for Facebook. Once it landed, Facebook had two choices. 1: Clean up their act, or 2. Risk a massive fine. I'm betting a number of EU politicians were banking on FB not being able to kick the addiction. Myself, I'm not wondering whether Facebook will be caught by GDPR, I'm wondering how many times it will be caught.

Popcorn at the ready.

BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical


Re: On documentation...

I have a masochistic streak in me. I always interpret that look as "say the absolute worst possible thing to say, because I have a very childish urge to provoke." Yes, it got me into a flaming row the first few times, but by now she's mostly learned to ignore me.

Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft


Re: Nice embedded device there...


On the other hand, if I want to manage the patching regime for my own connected devices rather than rely on a third party's patching process, should I have to pay the third party -not- to interfere with my devices?


Nice embedded device there...

...shame if something were to 'update' it.

Quote: "for a fee users can join the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and avoid feature updates"

Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car aims to wake up Newquay: Rocket work restart in August


Re: Should it happen?

My personal belief is that it should happen.

The reasoning is similar to why big motor companies invest so heavily in Formula 1. The prizes and prestige of winning a race or season cannot outweigh the millions they spend developing and building cars that are only good for a small handful of races at best. The real prize is when they can apply the advancements they make to their everyday cars, making them lighter, more efficient, and crucially better than their competitors' offers.

In these cases, it isn't the destination that matters so much. It's the journey, and what is learned along the way. The destination is just something to focus on :)


Re: mono-propellant...

Ah, fair enough. I was mis-remembering the Falcon Project rocket that they switched away from. Digging a little deeper, it apparently used solid Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) as fuel, with HTP decomposed in the manner you describe to provide a hot oxidiser.

*Opens Pedant's guide to Pedantry at 1st page*

*Reads "Rule one of Pedantry: Be right"*

Um... oops :)



Getting out my Pedant's guide to Pedantry, but does a hybrid rocket count as a mono-propellant rocket? One propellant is solid (the fuel?) and the other, liquid propellant (oxidiser) is pumped through it to allow throttling. Only one liquid propellant, but still two propellants?

Not certain here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'


Do you know why?

Quote: "Over the past 20 years,...the lead time for delivering software has come down significantly. It used to take years. Now it's more like weeks."

Do you know why?

Because many more people are developing software!!

Also, I get the feeling that twenty years ago people put a lot more effort into developing bullet-proof software. These days they seem to be aiming for software that'll hold together just long enough to make it to the next patch release.

Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted


Promoted for failure...

One previous company I worked for had a rather bad habit of promoting people into positions where they couldn't do much damage. One such person, promoted to the position of project manager, was renowned for having -never- brought a single project to a successful conclusion.

They would never have dreamed of promoting someone who was -good- at their job. After all, who else would do that job?

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork


I have to say, my basic Zen package is pretty much the same price as what BT were charging me (after several poorly-communicated price hikes). Speed is limited to about 2mbps where I am, so anything above a basic package is pointless for me. However, where BT regularly throttled the connection to 500kbps and point-blank dropped it about every half an hour, Zen only lost connection twice since I switched. And both of those were power cuts.

I'll stick with Zen, as others here have attested. Mere mention of the letters BT sends me into an incoherent ranting frenzy these days...

It's April 2018 – and Patch Tuesday shows Windows security is still foiled by fiendish fonts


Re: Time to really say goodbye to flash? Too right!

I actually went over this during my dealings with BT a year or so ago. Phoned up to complain about the erratic connection and the shite speed (0.5mbps) and they directed me to their flash-based speed checker. Wouldn't accept any other result to start with, until I said that Google and Mozilla had removed flash from their respective browsers and their speed checker would no longer work on any modern machine. Technically bollocks, as you can get flash to work if you really want, but it was enough to make the support droid cave.

10Mbps for world+dog, hoots UK.gov, and here is how we're doing it


Re: Posturing

Because 10 Mbps is five or six times faster than my current connection? And I'm not the only one who lives in a rural area.

Additionally, as another commenter remarked, laying the fibre is the tricky bit. If the fibre's there, it's not so much of a jump from 10 Mbps to 50 Mbps.

Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon


Ah, thanks for the correction.


Quote: "Jackson said its orbit has the highest eccentricity ever observed for a foreign object passing through our Solar System."

Now I might be wrong about this, but a foreign object passing through our Solar System would not be in orbit around the sun, it would merely be passing it by. It's "orbit" would be hyperbolic, which would thus make it's orbital eccentricity infinite?

Either the object is the first interstellar object we've seen (which is was was largely reported, and would make this extra piece of information redundant), or it's straight-up wrong.

Ok, ok, I'm leaving. Mine's the one with a copy of "Pedant's guide to pedantry" in the pocket.

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!


Re: How stupid is this?

I would be sorely tempted to give them a different password every time they call, and I can get quite inventive with random passwords.

UK.gov: Name a more iconic duo than 'culture' and 'digital'. We'll wait


Re: I know I'm getting old . . .

If I remember my biology correctly, a bacterial culture (I assume that's what is being referred to here) grows exponentially over time. So culture = c ^ t, where c is the initial culture (a constant) and t is time.

Likewise, according to Moore's law, technology gets more powerful over time, doubling every 18 months. So this should produce a similar equation, albeit with a different constant. Call these cC and tC, for cultural constant and technological constant

This gives: 'digital' = (cC ^ t) ^ 2 + 4 * (tC ^ t).

I.e. a constant and very large waste of time.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory


At this moment, at home, my office floor is covered in Lego Technic (and assorted other blocks) in the process of being sorted. My collection consists mostly of long beams, plates, axles, gears and a few other more fiddly pieces. In my youth, with these very bricks, I have built room-high marble runs, working and reasonably accurate clocks, a three foot long, seven feet high automatic rolling crane, elastic band powered guns that quite frankly got far beyond being safe...

My brother got Lego City style sets during those same years. He built... the Lego city sets.

Don't get me wrong, I will likely still buy Lego Technic sets. But I treat the model I buy as something nice to build once, for the interest, then disassemble to fuel my next project. I regard the themed sets as largely a waste of time.

Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers


Re: Well it's obvious

I almost think that this whole article was a set-up just for that joke

Sony Xperia XZ2: High-res audio but no headphone jack


Re: I have experience repairing

I have to agree, the quality of the Xperias is rather lacking. My other half was a staunch fan of Sony phones from the Ericsson days, but since Sony Ericsson split the quality has gone down. The only Xperia I owned had a nasty habit of not noticing when I took the headphones out and continued to pump sound out to the jack until I reset the thing (extremely annoying when you answer a call, don't hear anything and haven't figured out the bug yet). A factory reset cured the issue for a few months, but it then reappeared. Every Xperia phone that has been in the house has had it's screen cracked. My other half's phones began eating through battery life extremely quickly...

I could go on, but the gist is that there were so many little bugs with the Xperias that we decided not to bother. I now have an HTC, and my other half went to Samsung.

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs


Re: How it should have been handled

The recent actions of Microsoft, Google et al have made me (and undoubtedly a great many other people) understandably suspicious of anyone who utters the term "data collection". However, I agree with the approach outlined above (@Eugene Crosser). If the data collection is one-off, opt-in and I can see exactly what data is being sent, then I have no problem. Bonus points if I can tailor exactly what data is sent. The fact that Ubuntu's source code is apparently available to examine means that any extra data sent in an underhanded fashion will be quickly picked up.

The main problem I had with other companies is that the data collection was often either opt-out, repeatedly and continuously opt-out when they sneakily change your settings back, or even just mandatory. There was no transparency at all on what was collected, and an awful lot of apparent deceit.

I will be keeping an eye on Ubuntu, but as long as things stay pretty transparent I don't think this is an automatic black mark against them.

Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required


Salary isn't just a number

Something to consider that might skew the results a bit...

Three years ago I was working for a large company based in Reading, effectively as a junior software developer. My salary was around the £21k mark. A year ago I got a different job in rural Northern Ireland. A .Net / ASP web developer, earning a similar amount.

On the face of it, my standard of living should not have changed. However, in Reading, I could barely afford the rent on the 1 bed flat I shared with my other half. Here in NI, I own a 3 bed house with outbuildings, 2 cars and can afford to kit out my own workshop. But still on the same salary.

Salary, taken as a number, really isn't representative of your standard of living. It changes it's value far too much across the UK.

TalkTalk starts offering punters choice to shift-shift to O2


Re: The beginning of the end .....


Cheaper or as cheap as BT. Reliable connection, even out in a rural part of Northern Ireland on a line that seemed to give BT constant issues. Good customer service too, according to reviews, though a year into the contract I've not yet had cause to ring them.


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