* Posts by Kernel

532 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011


Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock


Re: So predictable !

"Some even knew that Churchill himself believed that a 'United States of Europe' was the future ideal to prevent future catastrophic wars on this continent."

Never mind Churchill - I've read that Henry VIII had a few thoughts in a similar vein.

I have to say that, from an outsider's point of view, it does look as though a lot of UK citizens don't want to have anything at all to do with the EU - except for those parts that are to their advantage.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing


Re: Ahh...

"Yes. As an example, we have two days supply of toilet paper in the UK. Any sort of blockage at Dover would mean that supply dries up very quickly."

Yes, I would imagine that after a couple of days you'd definitely be hoping that it dries very quickly.

Sprint subscribers: What do your updated iPhone and Tonga have in common? Both are cut off from the world


Re: Break?

There are many possibilities - the obvious ones are ship's anchors in shallower waters, earthquakes, currents dragging the cable around, curious whales or sharks nibbling on them (yes, it does happen) and some deep sea shrimp that apparently take a fancy to the outer covering (some type of plastic) of the deep sea sections, thus letting in water which trips the power feeding to the amplifiers.

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong


Re: Dirty Scammers

"The longest I have kept them on the phone was just under 1 hour,"

Well done!

I managed 35~40 minutes once - we were 10 minutes into the conversation before he asked if my PC was turned on, to which I replied something along the lines of "No, does it need to be?". The rest of the time was spent figuring out that I was running Linux on that particular PC, plus a small allowance for personal abuse and a graphic description of what he was going to do to my wife - she said to tell to make sure he washed the smell of the goat he last f***ed off first, so I did.

I thought this generous offer on my wife's part might have helped cement an international friendship, but he's never called back so I guess I got that wrong.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins


Re: Dark matter/energy question

"Is there a reason there can't be multiple experimental facilities at multiple locations?"

Provided the money can be found, none what so ever - on the other hand, finding enough suitably qualified people to staff them all and run them in a productive manner might be a different story.

I suspect that having all the people of different nationalities working with this sort of technology in one place also puts a brake on any thoughts regarding the potential of weaponizing it - such thoughts come easier to individual governments when the facilities and staff are all in-country and under their control.

Huawei’s elusive Mr Ren: We’re just a 'sesame seed' in a superpower spat


Nothing like the smell of ethics first thing in the morning.

"He reverse-engineered a piece of industrial equipment required for synthetic fibre production, and won national fame "

“My little invention was exaggerated into something really big and it was promoted in various media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, movies, etc. And because of such massive publicity, luckily I was chosen to be a member of the National Science Conference.”

No, you didn't invent anything - you copied what someone else's technology and then proceeded to profit from the act, completely ignoring any IP rights the original developer may have had.

Maybe the Chinese words for 'rip-off' and 'invent' are the same.

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler


Re: 'Murica never ceases...

"There may be some place that hunting at night is allowed, but I don't know of any."

In New Zealand 'spotlighting" for the brush-tailed possum seems to be a common hunting activity, the more so since there's no seasonal restrictions and no daily bag limit - the more the merrier, in fact.

I'm not a hunter myself, but it's a common activity so I would guess that it's probably legal.

A Christmas classic: Cloudera founder asks staff to stay another day


Re: It depends on the company whether it's worth it or not.

"I decided to leave a workplace. I was contracted with a one-month notice period, and they couldn't find/train anyone in that time, so I stayed for three months and recruited my replacement. "

Yes, that can be a good move if it suits your plans - but there's a big difference between staying on for a couple of extra months to help out a company operating in 'business as usual' mode, as opposed to turning down a viable job offer so you can stay to the bitter end at a company that's not only up for sale but has already indicated that there will be redundancies should the sale go ahead.

One is a good idea, the other is generally a very bad idea.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers


Re: Ban a system that works and is malware free*...

"Fax machines goes back to the 60's . Just most folks could not afford them"

Actually, the first commercial fax service started between Paris and Lyon in 1865, with the network being extended to Marseille in 1867 - Bell received his telephone patent in 1876, 9 years later.

The first experimental fax system successfully developed was by Alexander Bain, working on it between 1843 and 1846 - the quality wasn't too great, but by 1867 it had improved and wasn't too much different from the early thermal printing types that we are familiar with.

In other words, fax was over 100 years old before most of us had even heard of it.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner


Re: Xmas dinner?

"That's not xmas dinner! Where's the cranberry sauce, stuffing, bread sauce, bacon, prunes and roasties? "

That's not Xmas dinner either - green salad, cold potato salad, cold ham, maybe a BBQ'd sausage or steak for those who want something hot, cold beers under the shade of a nice tree in the back yard - that's Xmas dinner.

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law


Re: Other Good Consequences

"Even if Moore's Law coming to an end doesn't lead to ingenious new architectural ideas, it will have the result that computers won't become obsolete every few years. "

Aah no - the hardware vendors will just need to have a talk with their software vending mates and all will be good (in their world, at least) again.

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades


"Scale it up and everything in the entire universe works on the same basis at a massive scale;"

I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that the problem is not the physics of scaling up from sub-atomic particles - the problem is that what happens when you scale down from there is not consistent with what happens when you scale up.

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die


"@Korev I got an unlocked S9 for less than sim free price on a 24 month contract. I was effectively getting the minutes and data for free. Contracts are not always bad value."

Agreed! - I would've saved a whole NZ$10.00 by purchasing contract-free upfront instead of on a 24 month contract.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing


Re: How about scrapping them?

"Do we really need "notifications to manage food imports"?"

So, that'll be horse-burgers for everyone again, will it?

I understand that the Chinese (or at least some of the dodgier Chinese sources) can do you a good line in imitation rice or eggs.

Of course you need to be able to track and manage food imports - the days of writing off a few dead people to 'shit happens' are over in most of the world.

Cisco swings the axe on permanent staff – hundreds laid off worldwide this week


"If you don't have a house cleaning, you fill up with bottom raters."

Depends where you are - in NZ (and many other countries I suspect) you don't make people redundant, you must make their position redundant.

Making a person redundant and then employing someone else in the same or similar role gets real expensive once the newly unemployed have got you in front of an employment tribunal - so much so that I've know even a big company to settle privately with individuals, rather than go the tribunal route.

I've also been involved in downsizing exercises in the past - I personally found having to decide who goes and who stays, especially when it's people you've known and worked with for a number of years, to be very stressful and having significant impact on my outside-of-work life and relationships. This is the major reason I stopped chasing management roles quite a few years ago.

Android fans get fat November security patch bundle – if the networks or mobe makers are kind enough to let 'em have it


"I must check my Nokia 5. Last time I looked, the security update applied to it OTA was May this year."

And I must check my Nokia 8 and two Nokia 6s - last time I looked the security update applied to them OTA was October and September this year, respectively.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons


Re: Perhaps

"They were dumped in a field one town over, and the people that found them didn't want to end up paying for disposal in their taxes so they re-dumped them in your town?"

I believe there is precedent for this , dating back to the 11th century.

The Norman invaders of England, in an attempt to reduce the numbers of dead Normans blotting the landscape, apparently passed a law that, in theory at least, would result in a significant fine for the Saxon village nearest to said dead Norman.

I have read that what was actually achieved was a lot of late night re-dumping of dead Normans on some other villages patch in an attempt to mitigate the cost to the local taxpayers.

Bird, Lime, and Xiaomi face scooter sueball


Meanwhile, in NZ

We've had the Lime scooters deployed in two cities for about three weeks - already the taxpayer has had to fork out for 30 injury claims due to them - I can see them getting regulated here in the very near future.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian


Re: Downvoted ..

"we don't want the feckless git back thanks very much"

Why not? Australia is very keen to deport convicted criminals to their country of origin, so it seems only fair you get this character back.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz


"So now it becomes Blue Hat."

More some sort of purply colour, I'd have thought.

Hubble 'scope gyro drama: Hey, NASA, have you tried turning it off and on again? Oh, you did. And it worked? Cool


Re: might I suggest...

"rotating the 'spare' units into service every few months, to keep something like this from happening again"

My experience with ringing generators suggests that this is an excellent way of ensuring all units fail due to the same mechanical wear within a few days of each other. We stopped swapping 'spares' into service after that, instead just doing a changeover to ensure the spare worked and then changing back again to the normally working unit.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax


Re: Or the fourth option...

"Most user of Android phone are lucky to get one update, if any, even from new."

Things are slowly starting to change - all three Nokias in our house have had 10 updates so far this year and I anticipate at least another one, if not two before the end of the year (the December update will probably arrive mid-Janurary).

Google Cloud chief joins Saudi shindig exodus over journalist's worrying disappearance


Re: Lets face facts

"If you mention the Sykes-Picot agreement, it's WW1, not WW2."

You're correct, that was the agreement I was thinking off - I probably confused reading about Lawrence's WW1 role with another book about his slightly different role in the RAF during WW2, cunningly disguised as Aircraftsman Ross.


Re: Lets face facts

"So there was Ibn Saud, who created the House of Saud in '32 with a bit of help from a certain Empire (not the Ottoman). "

Yes, I was sort of surprised, when reading T E Lawrence's biography, to learn that the current structure of the Middle East came about not because of ancient tribal boundaries and traditional leadership roles (as any normal person might assume), but as a result of a meeting between a couple of businessmen (British and French, IIRC) during WW2, who decided to split up the area and assign political leadership based on how the most money could be made by their respective countries after the war. Apparently all advice from people such as Lawrence, who actually knew the tribes and the region, was pretty much ignored as not tending to maximize future profits.

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange


"Seriously? He's there by choice. It's their "house" and their rules. You need more downvotes."

Actually it's a significantly more than their "house" - legally it's their country, their rules - I do agree with you regarding down votes.

His visitors need to remember they are not visiting him in someone's office, they are effectively traveling to another country to make the visit and that country can pretty much impose whatever rules they like at their border crossing (front door).

EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas


"The critical bit would then be takeoff / landing, which could be mandated to be exactly vertical only over the designated landing area."

That'll be a definite success - there's good reason why helicopters normally aim to get as much forward speed as they can as soon as their feet are off the ground and it's not because the pilot wants to show how clever they are.

There's a thing called, I believe, the 'deadman's curve' in regard to helicopters which plots the relationship between height and the required forward speed to successfully initiate auto-rotation at that height - protracted vertical ascents/descents with zero forward speed mean you spend far too long on the less desirable side of this graph.

Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell


Re: Can't imagine this will last long

From the dim, dark, memories of my past which involved many happy hours fixing faults on manual telephone exchanges, the one thing that I don't recall giving any trouble were the wiring looms connecting the relays behind each individual switchboard position,

The relays were mounted on hinged gates, which had to be opened every time a cord needed to be replaced ie., far too bloody often for my taste! The wiring loom for these was about 50mm in diameter and was much older than I was, even back then, but wires in the loom never broke, regardless of how often the gate was opened.

The secret to making this sort of thing work correctly is to run the wires along the length of the hinge and clamp each end to one of the hinged pieces. This way you end up with a firmly held straight loom, with the only motion being a twisting along the length of the hinge, rather than a bending motion which will rapidly work-harden the conductors and cause them to snap.

All of the admittedly few laptops I have stuck my nose into seem to use a similar arrangement.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid


Re: Calls and Email

Not even as just a dumb tether, with VPN thrown in for good measure? How do you use your work device abroad otherwise?"

Well, if JohnFen is anything like me when it comes to separating work and personal connectivity, and I suspect he is, work devices connect via work provided cellphones, not via my own kit, VPN or not.

Manchester nuisance-call biz fined £150k after ignoring opt-out list


Re: 0161 = block

"In London you don't dial the 020. You do dial the rest of that. So putting up a notice, or a leaflet or a sign, or the side of a van with 0207 123 4567 is just plain wrong. ."

It's only a problem because your telcos haven't set up their translation tables properly - the correct way to do it is to look at the originating number (the real one, not the one presented to the callee) and the dialed number and then insert or delete leading digits as required. This was standard practice over 30 years ago when I was involved in writing translation tables - in fact, it even goes back earlier in a limited form to electro-mechanical exchanges (eg., the BPO's director controlled step-by-step systems), so it certainly pre-dates rocket science

Holy smokes! US watchdog sues Elon Musk after he makes hash of $420 Tesla tweet


Re: 5 minute recharge time

"It's also impossible to charge duty on electricity used to drive a car without charging duty on other electricity. "

May I introduce you to New Zealand's Road User Charges scheme?

Here fuels such as diesel and LPG are not taxed at the pump like petrol is, instead you have to buy "mileage" at a rate which varies according to the weight of the vehicle, number of axles, etc., trucks, private cars, a diesel motorbike should you happen to own one.

At the moment electric vehicles are exempt, but that was only ever going to be the case for a limited time.

You don't want to get caught without a current road user charges certificate either - it's a tax revenue rather than traffic offense, so apart from the fact that it can attract some pretty severe penalties there is the undesirable side-effect of bringing your name to Inland Revenue's attention. It's also virtually impossible to sell a vehicle if the road user charges aren't paid up to date as well - the current registered owner is responsible regardless of who actually failed to pay, so nobody in their right mind will go near anything that hasn't been paid up to date.

New theory: The space alien origins of vital bio-blueprints for dinosaurs. And cats. And humans. And everything else


"There's plenty of phosphorus in the Earth's crust so no need to look for extra-terrestrial origins. Oh, silly me. There is. Publications."

My reading of the article is that it is known that elemental phosphorus is created in massive stars, so any phosphorus present on earth must have an extra-terrestrial origin, presumably by way of earth being made from material scattered by the explosion of one or more suitably massive stars.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls


I haven't had much of a problem with it in NZ, nor have I heard anyone complaining about robocalls to cellphones - I suspect the simple preventative that works so well for us is that here it's the caller who pays for a cell call, not the callee.

NSA dev in the clink for 5.5 years after letting Kaspersky, allegedly Russia slurp US exploits


"Pho's NSA's intentional, reckless, and illegal retention immoral suppression of highly classified information software vulnerabilities over the course of almost five many years has placed at risk our intelligence personal and business community’s computing capabilities and methods, rendering some of them unusable and causing billions of dollars in consequent damages and clean up costs in all parts of the world's economy,"

There, FTFY.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank


My small cock-up

Many years ago, back when I worked for a telco, I was given the job of replacing a noisy fan tray in the processor module of a NEAX61E-VS (very small) digital exchange, the purpose of which was to provide the 0800 service for a smallish country.

Unlike its big brother, the NEAX 61E, the VS version had both of the hot-standby processors in a single module, rather than two separate modules.

What wasn't made very clear in the procedural documentation was that the 50v power feed to processor modules was via relays which were held operated by a signal from the module's fan tray - obviously to shut the processor down should the fans ever fail. As it turned out, this was a fine concept for the 61E, but not so clever for the VS version.

So, having undone the retaining screws I carefully removed the fan tray, only to be greeted by a distinct lack of blinky lights on the processor consoles and the cards which filled the processor module.

By the time I worked through the convoluted boot process (by modern standards) and then loaded the core software followed by the latest data backup (all from tape cartridge) people had most certainly become aware of my activities.

No point in posting as an AC for this, it was all documented and acknowledged at the time.

2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit


Re: Designed for women

Based on a couple of women I've worked with over the years, I have to wonder where the braless brigade keep their swipe access cards and cellphones.

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards


Re: In Estonia you can find out who has looked at your data

"avoided any dictatorships since that nasty Cromwell business "

I believe Cromwell was actually asked to accept the crown and become king (as a replacement for Charlie 1) , but he refused.

Let's also not forget that a bit further down the track you also over-threw your anointed king (James ?) and invited a young Dutch couple over to fill the vacancy left thereby.

I've always thought more should be made of the annual GuyFawkes celebrations - they should serve as a timely annual reminder to politicians of exactly who they work for and whose interests they should hold paramount.


Re: In Estonia you can find out who has looked at your data

"avoided any dictatorships since that nasty Cromwell business "

I believe Cromwell was actually asked to accept the crown and become king (as a replacement for Charlie 1) , but he refused.

Let's also not forget that a bit further down the track you also over-threw your anointed king (James ?) and invited a young Dutch couple over to fill the vacancy left thereby.

I've always thought more should be made of the annual GuyFawkes celebrations - it should serve as a timely annual reminder to politicians of exactly who they work for and whose interests they should hold paramount.


Re: Not wishing to trust Big Gov, but--

"Not true. Canada does not have a national identity card."

Neither does NZ nor, as far as I'm aware, Australia - I suspect many countries with a history of overwhelmingly English settlement over the past two or three centuries don't have a national ID card.

I wonder why that might be?

Of course, the good thing from a poliltician's point of view is that basing an ID system on an NHS number means it only has to apply to the insignificant people who can't afford private healthcare - win (plus gin & tonics) all 'round.

SpaceX dodges lightning while storms keep Japan earthbound


Re: drone ship

"I also think that if Musk wants to be taken seriously in the manned space flight business, all his vehicles should be infra-black."

But should such a vehicle crash and burn it would be very hard to find the wreckage in the disaster area.


Re: drone ship

"@I ain't Spartacus, exactly how close were you following that rescue in Malaysia (sic)?!"

About as closely as you've been following the twat's tweets would be my guess - you appear to be unaware of last week's outpourings on the same subject.

I've yet to see any news of apologies and remorse for his latest allegations.

Lawyers sued for impersonating rival firm online to steal clients


Re: Not Just Lawyers

Yep, it's an older trick than you'd think.

Apparently some undertaker in the US (name of Strowager) had some suspicions about the ethics of a competitor's wife who happened to work on the local telephone switchboard - but he managed to solve that problem.

Australia blocks Huawei, ZTE from 5G rollout


Re: Five Eyes

"... so we can ban kit from "dodgy" regimes[1], but now it becomes clear why Nokia had to die."

Nokia is dead??? - bugger!, does that mean I'm not getting paid this month?

Somerset boozer prepares to declare its inn-dependence from UK


Re: The Republic of Whangamomana

"Are you sure the wild boar wasn't just a scapegoat?"

It's possible - given that the permanent population of Whangamomana is most accurately expressed by the well recognised mathematical term "bugger all", a cover-up would not be too difficult to arrange.

This is the sort of place it is - at the Republic Day celebrations I attended one of the major attractions was a bloke with a ute full of dead possums, with which he entertained the crowd by giving demonstrations on how to skin said possums - for $5 he would teach you or your kids how to do the skinning. I'm guessing he needed to skin them anyway and though he may as well try and make a few bucks extra along the way.

Note for the rest of the world: In NZ possums are a pest species and once you have caught one your only legal options are to kill it or have someone else kill it for you - the case is slightly different in Australia, where they seem to be keen on protecting and encouraging the smelly things.


The Republic of Whangamomana

For many years a (extremely) small settlement in NZ has had an annual election of President - IIRC the Republic of Whangamomana came into to being when the residents of said settlement and surrounding area objected to the government's imposition of summer time on the country.

I was present at the election of one president who was tragically killed during his term of office while participating in a wild pig hunt - just why a toy poodle (the president) wanted to go pig hunting is one of those mysteries that may never be solved.

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV


"Shoot me now. Please, someone. Just end it before it gets any worse."

I see you suffer from a common internet problem - the assumption that because you have no use case for such a device nobody else can possibly have a valid reason for wanting one.

Most of the use cases I've heard of for these involve controlling stuff from a little further away that the other side of the room - although personally I'd only ever connect one at home behind the VPN server.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity


Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

"Ok, room temperature superconducting, off to the sulking corner with your pals cold and hot fusion."

I always thought that hot fusion worked well - or at least it appeared to be doing ok this morning before it clouded over.

Microsoft's Chinese chatbot inspired by images to write poetry


Re: Waste of time

"I would say the time spent by language teachers to force upon you their version of a poem's interpretation is a waste of time."

Aah yes, good old English lit' lesson one: When they ask for your opinion of a particular poem, "It's a load of shit!" is not the answer they are looking for, especially if it was written by characters with weird names like "Shakespeare", "Doone", "Browning" etc.

UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!


Re: Cash on the barrel head

"Try paying by cash on a London bus and let me know how you get on."

I also know a bar where you're going to be very thirsty - although I have heard that they may, if you're lucky and they're in the right mood, accept cash - but don't expect any change from whatever size note you hand over for that beer.

It's all made clear on the sign as you enter the bar that it is 'cashless'.

Boffins get fish drunk to prove what any bouncer already knows


Re: Hey!

An upvote for the Dune reference.

Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete


Re: So I lay the cable

The way it works in New Zealand is that whoever lays the cable, fibre or copper, has to let any provider who asks use it at the same cost as they charge against their own retail arm to use it. About the only preferential pricing allowed is for the end customer, where you normally get a small discount in the monthly cost if you take your phone service and internet from the same provider - not that you have to have a phone service to get internet if you don't want one.

So far I've had three different ISPs offering to run fibre from the street into my house and provide me with service, although the fibre infrastructure in this area was laid by a fourth company who as far as I'm aware don't actually sell internet services at all.


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