* Posts by Putters

134 posts • joined 23 Aug 2012

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NHS WannaCrypt postmortem: Outbreak blamed on lack of accountability

Putters

"So you need proper training to install Windows updates."

When a Window update can bork things like ActiveX controls in Excel like it managed to last year (and for that matter, about a year before that), what it could do to mission critical legacy systems is anybodies guess - so in answer to your question, yes, you do !

Quote from my manager to his director :

"We are resilient to the same issue with the buttons happening again…

We’re not resilient to another untested emergency IM release which breaks something else…"

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Robots will enable a sustainable grey economy

Putters

Re: New Cities

Dave 126 : "New cities... Interesting. ”If you want to go there, then I wouldn't start from here" goes the old joke. Can anyone here sketch out a portrait of any recent examples from around the world? "

The only one that springs to mind (and I can't say it's a shining example),

Naypyidaw - the capital of Burma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naypyidaw

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/mar/19/burmas-capital-naypyidaw-post-apocalypse-suburbia-highways-wifi

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Blunder down under: self-driving Aussie cars still being thwarted by kangaroos

Putters

And big enough to take out the grill and the radiator behind on impact.

Though there's something quite amusing watching a creature try to run in three directions at the same time whilst simultaneously trying to get airborne ...

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Putters

I'd expect the software to react at least as well as you did. Ie letting the vehicle it's travelling in be side swiped.

If the software was really bright, it might even slow up a bit and let the dumb beast head off into the night. But then it would be doing better than either of us :0)

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Braking news: AA password reset email cockup crashes servers

Putters

Re: Interesting AA facts?

If I recall correctly (though not from first hand experience - I'm not that old) it was AA practice NOT to salute if there was some copper up the road monitoring driving habits. So stopping and asking why was probably a good idea.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Putters

Intermittent Earths are a bitch to find.

Back in my Central Line days with London Underground in the mid 1990s we had an intermittent earth that screwed up the signalling for about a month. As it was at Marble Arch it caused havoc with the service. Always used to happen in the AM peaks.

The whole area was cleared of any scrap metal etc, engineers on site overnight, nothing found. Points on the crossover given a thorough going over etc.

Eventually the cause was found - there had been a broken chair screw (a screw that holds to the sleeper the thing that holds the rail) in the past that had snapped below the surface of the sleeper. A new screw had been wound in on top of the old one - pushing it out of the bottom of the sleeper. Over time, the track bed had settled a little, thus meaning that the old screw, only under the weight of a fully laden train (hence the AM peak), just made contact with the iron tunnel segment. As the old screw was in contact with the new screw, that in contact with the chair, and the chair in contact with the rail - through which the current controlling the signalling runs, Bingo, a lovely hidden intermittent earth.

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Facebook has a solution to all the toxic dross on its site – wait, it's not AI?

Putters

Worked with a guy who used to work for the British Board of Film Classification setting ratings for porn (back in the VHS days). He could be a little weird at times.

Gods alone know what these poor sods would be like after a year of watching the output of extremists, jihadists and other assorted nut jobs.

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Putters

If Only ...

Now, if only there was a way to, I dunno, Search and Replace all those Tabs with 3 spaces ... I could get paid more ...

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Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

Putters

This is just going to cause new anxieties ...

some poor kid ... sitting there, unable to squeeze one out ... do to anxiety that the heavy plop or postern blast is going to coincide with the silent bit between tracks ...

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Human-free robo-cars on Washington streets after governor said the software is 'foolproof'

Putters

Obligatory ...

... XKCD reference.

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1720:_Horses

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Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Putters

Re: Overcomplicating it, aren't you ?

Re the seal

So? Shunting is Victorian Technology, high speed shunting 1930s. Stopping in ATO under about the max braking you want for non strapped passengers to within 30 cm is 1990s LUL Central Line tech. Inflatable bag seals since gods alone knows when. Think of the carriage end overhanging the wheel arrangement by a couple of feet. Carriage fits within the tunnel to within say 15cm (1890s levels of accuracy for tube trains. Good smooth trackbed surface. The seal doesn't have to do much to hold 1 atmosphere over a 6" gap. Hell it could be carriage mounted.

Stopping takes time anyhow, this leaves the running tunnel empty.

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Putters

Re: Overcomplicating it, aren't you ?

Actually, thinking about it a bit more, you don't even need doors as such - just a seal (think like a grommet) that tightens round the extreme ends of the train once it is stationary.

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Putters

Re: Overcomplicating it, aren't you ?

Well, yes, if you like, its an airlock - a train sized and, importantly, train shaped one. But there's nothing complicated about a decently sealing door at each end of a tube. It doesn't even have to be completely airtight. And you don't need all that pumping up / down to atmospheric / running tunnel pressures associated with normal airlocks.

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Putters

Overcomplicating it, aren't you ?

In the 1840s-1850s atmospheric railways were running successfully with a motive force that was an evacuated pipe between the tracks. Ok not hyperloop sized, or pressure, but pulling partial vacuums down to half / third atmospheric pressure over pipes best part of 2 feet in diameter a couple of miles long. This despite said pipe having a slot with a leather seal in the top. Using a 100hp steam engine for the suction pump. Remember - we're not after a hard vacuum.

And all this fuss about airlocks ? Make the stop a loop line. Train comes in, shut doors to tunnel front and back of it. Open vent in loop tunnel - the space round the train is small if the fit is relatively tight so not much air moves due to small volume. Open passenger doors. Close loop tunnel vent. Once all on board, shut passenger doors, open tunnel doors (marginal change to tunnel partial vacuum as air round train is small volume). Whoosh off.

And why are some of you worrying about the train behind. At those timings having only one train in the inter-city section would be a frequency higher than many mainline routes.

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When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

Putters

Re: The first pic

Lord spare us from those who are offended on our behalf.

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Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

Putters
Coffee/keyboard

SNORK !

"It said controls and mitigation plans have been established to offset the risks of outsourcing everything to IBM's private cloud"

SNORK !

http://dilbert.com/search_results?terms=Snork

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IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music

Putters

Re: er - call holding in *2017*

Tomorrow's World has a lot to answer for ... raising false hope in an entire generation.

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Plutus Payroll clients and staff fell for plausible business model fairy tales

Putters

I think the problem here is that the fraud was very nicely pitched. A good deal that didn't quite look "too good to be true" ...

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Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

Putters

Re: first they came for the co-pilot...

Yes, DLR still has Train Captains. They can drive the trains in emergency / fault conditions. They are first line fault diagnosis and repair. They also provide a degree of security and a visible point of contact for customers.

One of the other requirements for "no crew" trains is that the train is easily accessible in emergency situations - which explains the footway in the tunnel on the DLR when it goes into Bank, and which rules out most of the Tube as being driver free.

Another is Platform Edge doors - which rules out any Lines of the Tube where more than one stock shares a platform as the doors don't line up - so forget the Jubilee, and Met, and District / Met and Piccadilly

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US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

Putters

Re: If Bing was more popular

The only time I use Bing is when I want to bring up a map.

Not only are Bing's aerial shots sometimes more up to date than the Google equivalent, but the BIG bonus is that Bing has proper OS maps in the proper colours - both at Landranger and Explorer level.

And not even the OS site has that.

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Putters

Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ?

Wrong - he could still sue in the European Court of Justice, whether we're still in Europe or not - it decides whether European Law is being broken in Europe, irrespective of who is saying it's been broken.

Eg China Air Travel Association in this case : http://www.reuters.com/article/uk-china-eu-emissions-idUSLNE7BP00A20111226

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Putters

Re: Flying cars? Pft.

The Russians built a big one.

Caspian Sea Monster in full "flight"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8Nu94khHoo

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Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

Putters

And of course is the one that has been graffitied with the inspired "Give Peas a Chance" for the last umpteen years.

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

Putters
Paris Hilton

Re: Meow

What happens in Paris stays in Paris ?

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ESA picks final two ExoMars landing site candidates

Putters

Either way, you can bet those alien organisms will refuse to speak any other language than Welsh should there be any English components in that rover ...

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If you can't beat AI, join it: Boffinry biz baron Elon Musk backs brain-machine interface biz

Putters

Pulp Sci Fi

Nice little co-incidence. Have just waded through one of those Kindle 90p Sci Fi megapacks.

One story of which seemed somewhat relevant.

Fritz Leiber 1962 : The Creature from the Cleveland Depths. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/23164/23164-h/23164-h.htm

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USA can afford golf for Trump. Can't afford .com for FBI infosec service

Putters

Re: just you wait...

Isn't that a Mike Oldfield lyric ?

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Putters

Re: But

Indeed - no road sense at all. Watched one run along the road in panic beside me as I started to pass it. It then managed to run under the wheels.

I was surprised given that I was on a pushbike at the time.

Thump as it went under front wheel, thump (ii) as it went under back - then it ran up a tree. Tough little buggers too ...

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'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

Putters

I may be getting old ...

... but it doesn't seem that long ago that "I don't recall" was a perfectly acceptable answer in the States - especially if you were an ex President being quizzed about sending arms and cash to hostile regimes and right wing guerrillas ...

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Uber: Please don't give our London drivers English tests. You can work out the reason why

Putters

I suspect the conversation went more like this ...

"Brixton please"

"Hokay" - or whatever 1970s-Mind-Your-Language stereotype reply you prefer.

.

.

.

"Hey, you're on the M4!"

"Pliz ?" - or whatever 1970s-Mind-Your-Language stereotype reply you prefer.

"I wanted Brixton"

"Pliz ?" - or whatever 1970s- ... you get the idea.

"Take the next exit please - I want to go to Brixton"

"Pliz ?"

.

.

.

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Doomsday Clock moves to 150 seconds before midnight. Thanks, Trump

Putters

What did they do to do that ? US nuclear testing at Johnston Atoll was the closest I could find, and that was about 1500km WSW of Hawaii.

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Putters

Why wouldn't it stop quite a few of them - most didn't have an ECU back then, but quite a lot had electronic ignition. My 1979 Chrysler Sunbeam had electronic ignition as standard - and that was certainly not a cutting edge vehicle in any respect. [Yes - I've owned a lot of crap cars, in addition to the above I can lay claim to a Fiat 127, a Morris Ital (1.3 Estate to make matters worse) and a Vauxhall Viva HC]

And the vast majority would have stopped pretty soon after with all the diodes in the alternator fried - though, I concede, not immediately. Only stuff with a dynamo and contact box controlled charging would have been unaffected. [Another aside, have seen the results on a Mini alternator of connecting the battery up backwards (the leads will reach on an estate / van) - several of the diodes hadn't just blown, they'd blown to dust leaving just the little metal legs.]

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Putters

Sirius Cybernetics Corporation?

Are they at it again ?

From "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" (as far as I am aware the only Hitchhiker's related short story he wrote. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Zaphod_Plays_It_Safe

"Er, Designer People."

"What?"

"The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation were awarded a huge research grant to design and produce synthetic personalities to order. The results were uniformly disastrous. All the "people" and "personalities" turned out to be amalgams of characteristics which simply could not co-exist in naturally occurring life forms. Most of them were just poor pathetic misfits, but some were deeply, deeply dangerous. Dangerous because they didn't ring alarm bells in other people. They could walk

through situations the way that ghosts walk through walls, because no one spotted the danger.

"The most dangerous of all were three identical ones - they were put in this hold, to be blasted, with this ship, right out of this universe.

They are not evil, in fact they are rather simple and charming. But they are the most dangerous creatures that ever lived because there is nothing they will not do if allowed, and nothing they will not be allowed to do..."

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Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

Putters

Quote

Thought I'd heard that quote before - quite a long time ago. In a cartoon. Nearly right - "Watch that first step, its a lulu." - Jack Wabbit and the Beanstalk - 1943 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BVwtPxOrNE

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Europe mulls treating robots legally as people ... but with kill switches

Putters

Will they be retrofitted to humans ? "I have a little list ..."

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Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Putters

Or, as my stepdaughter put it "For f***s sake, someone go and get David Attenborough and bubble wrap him until the New Year"

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Putters

Re: left handers

Hmmm - I've come to the conclusion I'm ambisinister - incompetent with both hands ...

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Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Putters

Re: Baby... Bathwater?

Mini engine in a race car ?

http://www.classicandsportscar.com/news/csc-features/mini-twini-twin-engined-four-wheel-drive-concept-tested-in-full

OK - two mini engines, totalling 178bhp. In a mini bodyshell.

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Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank

Putters

Re: Can I turn it on? It's under 6 inches of water....

Or in one of our (ex) offices, by the server room being three floors below where the fire broke out.

A lot of water was involved in putting out this : http://www.highrisefirefighting.co.uk/cstelstar.html

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Putters

Very similar effect can be obtained by filling the victim's umbrella with the contents of the hole punch base ...

A fellow lodger in my student days worked in a paper factory. Came out after one night shift to find his car interior entirely filled with the trimmings.

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Putters

Re: Not for my money.

If you want scary - you can get an off the shelf kit that can pop a Suzuki Hayabusa motorbike engine into a classic Mini with no body modification. http://www.vetech.co.uk/hayabusa/

From that website :

Specification

11000 RPM

190bhp (normally aspirated) through to a potential 360bhp (forced induction) at the wheels

6 speed, semi-automatic sequential box including reverse

Limited slip differential

Base engine weight less than 100kg

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Putters

Re: I am astonished

Agreed about the worse over time utterly, but not so sure about the "bad back then".

Citroen made great cars for many many years. The Traction Avant (even when built in Slough). The DS still looks a goddess today. The SM looks even better. For some reason I even have a soft spot for the old XMs.

Peugeot have had some pretty good motors over the years too. West Africa still practically runs on old 504s !

Renault have had ... um ... errr ... actually I can't think of a Renault from the 60's 70's or 80's that I'd really want to own. Some quirky Gordini creations maybe, but only maybe.

And who even remembers Simca and the wonderful three abreast seating Matra-Simca Bagheera https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matra_Bagheera

Edit - actually just remembered an older Renault that I do like - the Avantime ... its those pillarless windows and clever trick doors (OK - I'm a sick puppy ....)

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Putters

Re: I was assuming this would be a look at the mini...

You missed a trick then - the marketing brochure actually made a point that the front seats folded down too to make a bed ... http://www.aronline.co.uk/images/maxi_04.jpg

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Putters

But Smart did do the very fun Roadster version too - pity they left out the profit margin ...

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Putters

Re: I am astonished

Similarly Renault never bringing out a new version of their "Van Ordinaire" the Renault 4 - once described as a loose collection of parts that just happen to be travelling in the same direction.

Also probably the only front wheel drive car to have a longitudinal engine with the gearbox on the front end ... hence the strange linkage under the bonnet ... http://cdn.pinthiscars.com/images/renault-4-engine-wallpaper-4.jpg

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Putters

Re: Uppercase and mixed case names

FIAT should really be all capitals - Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino.

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Putters

Re: I was assuming this would be a look at the mini...

Harsh. Very harsh. Have fond memories of the the dear old Maxis. Tough workhorses that were no worse than their competitors at the time in any area (other than possibly the early cable operated gearboxes) and certainly streets ahead in terms of interior space and versatility.

Oh - and the original Mini certainly had a facelift mid life with the Clubman front end.

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Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media

Putters

Zapped Mouse

Back in the days when Metronet were the PPP contractor for maintaining a large chunk of the London Underground, we suffered a major signal main failure at South Kensington.

On removing a cover from the transformer a very very frazzled and very very deceased mouse (of the four legged variety, not the unitesticular variety that then were attached to the PCs) was revealed.

I remember the incident well, being the bod that worked out the £679k it cost them in contractual penalties ...

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Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

Putters

Re: Extrapolating...

He's freely spending his time hacking his coffee machine so he can order it what to do from the command line and you think he has a girlfriend ?!?

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