* Posts by Andy the ex-Brit

40 posts • joined 3 Feb 2012

BOFH: Trying to go after IT's budget again?

Andy the ex-Brit

Reminds me of cost saving projects I was on that were totally fake. Assume that we would choose the most expensive solution, then compare all solutions and choose a perfectly normal middle-range one. Instant, huge savings to be claimed by management.

One time I said in a meeting for such a project, "I saved $2000 today by cycling to work!"

"You mean per year?"

"No, I got a quote on chartering a helicopter ride, then cycled here instead. Savings!"

Imagine if Facebook could read your mind: Er, I have some bad news for you...

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Gyms

Going to the gym will allow you to eat more bacon!

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Well The Big Problem with Helping With Your Windows, OSX Problem Is ...

Just press F11 quickly.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner

Andy the ex-Brit

Bacon makes everything better

I grew up loathing Brussels sprouts. I was forced to eat one every time they were served. I didn't plan on eating them as an adult.

Then I discovered that they can be cooked in bacon. This is a game changer. Now I am the guy who makes them, and they go over pretty well.

Some Things just aren't meant to be (on Internet of Things networks). But we can work around that

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: No...

"... thanks to radios that could well be accepting connections from anything that wants to throw electrons at them."

It would be shocking if radios worked that way!

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Observing for your self

That only works if you start from the assumption that Polaris is essentially infinitely far away. If instead you assume it's a bright dot a mere few thousand or million kilometers directly over the north pole, of course its angle relative to you will change as you travel away from the pole.

Note: not a flat-earther. This is just an example of how you can wrestle with evidence until it matches your assumptions.

You mean Google updated its smartwatch OS and nobody noticed?

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

"At least you've spotted the trend."

Yes. I suspect it's somewhat inherent in packing so much tech into a watch-sized package. I've had other sub-$200 tech work well and be at least nominally supported for a decade or more:

Garmin GPS (since stolen)

Coby MP3 player

DVD player

Canon, Sony P&S cameras

DSLR lenses

Andy the ex-Brit

Just have contact number 4 text you: it must be 4:20, time to go home!

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

Thanks. Unfortunately, Strava stopped support, so one of my two use cases is no longer there. I used to be able to start, stop, pause, and perhaps most importantly monitor that it was still recording (sometimes the phone app crashes,) all from my wrist. Then this:


So dumb. Like the manufacturer closing its doors means everyone stopped using their watches. Note, they didn't just stop developing the Pebble support--they removed the feature from the app.

Andy the ex-Brit

Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

I like having one for when I'm cycling, both to see who's calling/texting me, so I can decide whether to stop or not, and to start/stop Strava.

In three years, I've been through:

Pebble - screen died

Another Pebble - stopped using when Strava stopped supporting it

Moto 360 2nd gen - screen died

I have no desire to keep spending $80-$150 every year to have a working one.

Give 1,000 monkeys typewriters, they'll write Shakespeare. Give them robot arms, and wait – they actually did that?

Andy the ex-Brit


I've read this twice, and it seems like "same side" and "opposite side" are backwards here. I'm assuming that monkeys are sufficiently similar to humans that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right arm, and vice versa.

Hells door-bells! Ring pieces paralyzed in horror during Halloween trick-or-treat rush

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Hmm ...

Ok, but where is the electomagnetic hold mechanism to prevent it from being operated if it can't connect to the server?

Is this cough cancer, doc? No: it's a case of Playmobil on the lung

Andy the ex-Brit

I'm the same age as this patient, and I know I inhaled a small piece of Lego around the same year. Hopefully I don't become the topic of a similar paper one day.

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

I'd just about be able to make it under that flying with my 16-year-old son. I don't think I would do it, though. My elder son is currently studying to be a commercial pilot, so I think I'll wait to fly with him.

Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Double vacuum

"2 atmospheres in the suit, zero outside, or more easily, 4 inside and one outside."

Or three inside, and one outside.

To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

Andy the ex-Brit

Interesting demonstration

"As can be seen from the example above, last year's transformation of stands out as odd.

The researchers' revised approach reads better. This particular sample may only feature only minor variations on the original text, but if it can defy stylometric analysis, it has accomplished its job."

Was the article run through the tool it describes?

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Who still uses farenheight for things like this ?

The Fahrenheit conversions are ridiculous. He wisely dropped the 0.33 degrees at the end, but better to just put 90,000,000 and 27,000,000. No way was the temperature measured with seven or eight digits of precision, and then reported as 50,000,000 K.

Event horizons around black holes do exist, say astroboffins

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Clever Chap, Einstein

"I know there's a few ideas for that floating around, but whoever nails it will be owed something more grand than the Nobel physics prize..."

A Nobel prize, plus a pint?

London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

Andy the ex-Brit

Please, come and reinvent it here

Living in the Midwest USA, I have enjoyed using almost every bus, subway, or train service I've used outside of where I live. London is one of my favorites. Paris is probably better. Dublin is okay, but hard for visitors to use. Washington DC was a bit of a pain to figure out, but useable. I'm warming up to Chicago.

Where I live, they recently improved some of our bus stops with actual shelters from the elements, where before there was just a Bus Stop sign nailed to a telephone pole. Things that most bus stops here don't have:

Rubbish bins (and therefore are surrounded by a sea of scattered litter)


Indication of what bus routes they are on

Indication of when the next bus is coming

Indication of when the last bus of the day runs

Information about connections and destinations

Printed timetables of any kind

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: It would be nice...

"...there are people for whom being able to get a bus to go 200 yards down the road is the difference between making that journal or not, i.e the elderly and disabled."

So give those who genuinely need it a pass that gives them nearly door-to-door service. Something electronic that lets them flag a passing bus for pickup at a non-standard location, or stop a bus they're on to be let off where they need to be. Place the normal stops at least a half mile apart.

Fraud detection system with 93% failure rate gets IT companies sued

Andy the ex-Brit

...get five times their losses...

Well, their attorneys might. That's something.

Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

Andy the ex-Brit


Strava is down due to this! How can I check how many miles I've ridden so far this month?

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Andy the ex-Brit

My Google-fu may be weak.

From the article:

"Recently, I wrote about Vim and the value of software that doesn't update unless it really needs to."

Where? Not on the author's Register article list, and not anywhere that Google sees his name.

Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

Andy the ex-Brit

A title is optional

I've visited Austin for NI Week (National Instruments.) I could get a job there fairly easily. Great town bikeable, decent craft beer scene, but so. fsking. hot. Looking at Chicago now...

Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

Andy the ex-Brit

Password by email

I recently registered for a special interest jobs site, and minutes later got a Thanks for Registering email with my username and password in plaintext.

Boggles the mind. I should have guessed when the password entry fields weren't even obfuscated.

They got a pretty stern response back from me.

Ohio bloke accused of torching own home after his pacemaker rats him out to cops

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Metadata captures the criminal

This already happens. One example:


Silence is golden: How Google hunts Android malware in the wild

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Gender-neutral singular pronouns [sic]



Acceptable since the 14th century, despite the efforts of 19th century grammarians to turn English into Latin.

Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: As for that time...

Go to the linked BBC video. It is the actual time to solve the cube, including calculations and physical movements. Makes the cube look like it just magically changes color when played at full speed.

Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender

Andy the ex-Brit


I do use Facebook, and get some value out of it (or I wouldn't use it.) But Zuckerberg hopefully realizes that Facebook can become the next Myspace in less than a year if its annoyance factor gets higher than its usefulness factor.

Almost everything that I use Facebook for can be done in other ways, but Facebook has put a lot of it in one place.

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: What will all these computers be computing?

"...what will all these computers be computing?


Facebook conjures up a trap for the unwary: scanning your camera for your friends

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Simple solution

... and save like 400 MB on the phone, too.

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Andy the ex-Brit

Theft? Really?

"But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business."

Yes, in the same sense that it was theft when I used to pull all the ad supplements out of my Sunday paper and recycle them without looking at them.

Or, if I were pay one of my sons to put stickers over all the advertisements in my magazines before I started reading them. Yup, theft.

Daredevil Brit lifts off in 54-prop quinquaquadcopter

Andy the ex-Brit

I like the silver car at 3:07 that drives past, then reverses to check out W.T.F. was that?

Neat but narky at times: Pebble Time colour e-paper watch

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: I see the usefulness, but not at full price

Why the downvotes?

Andy the ex-Brit

I see the usefulness, but not at full price

I bought an original Pebble (used, $60 on Amazon.) My main use was so I could quickly see who was calling or texting me whilst I bicycled, then I could stop and respond if needed. The phone stays put away in a bag. This worked really well for me.

Just this week, the screen died after about four months of my use. Even at $60 that's an expensive "rental" for what it was. Hopefully they've got the quality issues worked out. Unfortunately I have no warranty.

At $200, the new one is not something I'll look at. I paid less for my phone. I'm considering instead a used Pebble Steel for ~$100. If that doesn't last a couple of years, I'm done with them.

Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Eventually bought a Kindle Paperwhite..

I wish. We currently have three in our house (all previous generation Kindle Paperwhites,) but we've paid for five. We cracked the screens on two of them.

I would pay more for one that was a lot more durable. As it is, they're quite vulnerable unless you put them in a case that triples their weight and volume. And even then, they're not particularly water resistant.

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Why colour?

Should be a simple task for someone with the programming skills to convert an obsolete tablet to that purpose.

Use the camera to read the lighting level and color temperature in the room. Adjust the display brightness and color temperature to match. This would automatically make it dark at night.

You could potentially save more power by having it use a combination of camera and microphone to determine if anyone is around to look at it.

TOTAL DARKNESS lasted 550 MILLION years until the first STARS LIT UP

Andy the ex-Brit


So, are additional clues about our cosmic history encoded in the light's polarisation, or in its "polarisation", which must be something subtly different and more technical?

Antarctic discovery: ALIEN LIFE may be FOUND ON MOON of Jupiter

Andy the ex-Brit

Will no one read Lovecraft's warnings?

Oh great. Someone is releasing the Shoggoths.

French court lays le smackdown on Google Maps

Andy the ex-Brit


Bastiat has been rolling over in his grave for a very long time, but his angular velocity just increased by 3%. See "A PETITION From the Manufacturers of Candles, Tapers, Lanterns, sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, and Extinguishers, and from Producers of Tallow, Oil, Resin, Alcohol, and Generally of Everything Connected with Lighting."


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