* Posts by RealBigAl

183 posts • joined 29 Jan 2013

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Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

RealBigAl

Y10K

We did have a future looking person on our Y2K project team who wanted to ensure that whatever fix we put in to allow 4 digit years dates would still work when the calender flipped to 5 digit year dates....

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20

RealBigAl

Re: It came in a box?

It somewhat pains me that I know this trivia but AD&D was released at the same time (slightly before IIRC) as the Basic/Expert/Companion set.

AD&D rounded up all the original A5 booklets and expansions (of which there were many) into a couple of hefty books. The B/E/C set was the first attempt at gouging the D&D customer base by re-releasing a set of rules they'd already released twice....

ZX Spectrum reboot scandal: Directors quit, new sack effort started

RealBigAl

Re: Is there...............

Someone should start an Indiegogo crowd funded research project to find out...

Did you know: Lawyers can certify web domain ownership? Well, not no more they ain't

RealBigAl

Re: A "phoencall"?

Buyer beware: Sounds like a Pyramid scheme to me.

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

RealBigAl

I worked for a company that converted it's European office from Cubes to open plan at the same time they changed their US offices from Open Plan to Cubicles.

The rational was apparently some piece of research that said it was the change that increased productivity, not whatever configuration they were moving too.

No doubt they're of swapping both sets of offices back again by now.

Notes/Domino is alive! Second beta of version 10 is imminent

RealBigAl

Always preferred the Notes client to Outlook. It seems to be a personal taste thing, and often in my experience depends on whither the individual experienced Outlook or Notes first.

I still reckon Notes could be relevant, but IBM will need to rip up it's licensing model and start again, one amongst many changes it'll need for Notes to survive if not thrive.

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

RealBigAl

"The Security guard and his boss of course both got fired"

Cutting budget on training is what cost the bank millions, whither it was by the bank itself or a sub-contracted security firm(more than likely).

It's not the Security Guards fault that he sees an electrical problem and goes to kill the power supply. Firing his boss, yes I can see why, but I see no reason for him to be fired unless he'd been warned already. Given a warning yes but it's hardly his fault he wasn't trained properly.

US government weighs in on GDPR-Whois debacle, orders ICANN to go probe GoDaddy

RealBigAl

They don't, they just won't be able to do business in or with EU countries or residents.

Cambridge Analytica's ex-CEO decides not to front UK Parliamentary Committee again

RealBigAl

Re: Can they summons Zuck?

MPs are legally bound to respond to constituents letters, so write to your MP.

They are not so similarly bound to respond to electronic communications.

UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear

RealBigAl

Re: "excellent prices"

It was Zuckerburg in the early days of Facebook when challenged about the platform's lack of privacy. So that went well...

Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

RealBigAl
Joke

Election poster moment

Tough on crime, tough on the source code of crime.

RealBigAl

Re: Lots of our money being spent

Dead easy,

just set up the #necessary

Mark Duckerberg: Second Congressional grilling sees boss dodge questions like a pro

RealBigAl

So if I read this right

Facebook collects personally identifiable information on people, who are not facebook users, without their explicit permission?

GDPR lawyers are already sharpening their quill pens and opening deposit accounts ready for the cash inflow.

Skip-wrecked! Boat full o' rubbish scuppered in Brit residential street

RealBigAl

The legacy of Bullseye continues to blight our streets.

(Not my joke, but it's a good one)

Andromeda road though, is it a Galaxy class vessel?

Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame

RealBigAl

SFTIII was great

It mirrored servers perfectly, down to the smallest of faults. One server developed a fault? You could be sure the other would follow as soon as the mirror caught up.

Apart from that the majority of SFTIII installations I encountered suffered from the hardware being Netware compliant but not SFTIII compliant, so it didn't work correctly.

Facebook suspends account of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

RealBigAl

Re: Shoot the Messenger

The BBC is pro UK establishment. It's specifically run by a board of governors made up of the UK establishment. That shouldn't be confused with UK government, whichever party thinks it's in charge at any given time.

Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

RealBigAl

I thought I read somewhere else that the time a civilisation would/could/should produce signals we could detect didn't mean the civilisation no longer existed, simply that it could have advanced to a point that we would be unable to understand or detect it's transmissions.

RealBigAl

Re: Not useful

too much interbreeding?

Doctor finds physical changes to astronaut's eyes after ISS stint

RealBigAl

Re: Gerry Anderson - UFO

All hail Gerry Anderson, supreme futurist!

UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?

RealBigAl

Long, long before an independent Belgium existed Britain(ne England) had a policy of protecting the Cinque ports. Too many successfully staged invasions based out of the Dutch/Belgian coast to allow them to be controlled by an unfriendly government.

Top tip: Don't bother with Facebook's two-factor SMS auth – unless you love phone spam

RealBigAl

I enabled 2FA yesterday before reading this article. I'm sure there was an option not to receive spam text messages and I haven't (yet) received any.

Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

RealBigAl

Covfefe enterprise edition

It's been 50 years since those damn dirty apes took the planet by storm

RealBigAl

Re: Bridge on the River Kwai

They changed the original film ending of Alec Guinness screaming at the allied forces

"YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!"

FCA 'gold-plates' EU rule, hits BYOD across entire UK finance sector

RealBigAl

Re: Yes, but...

pretty much ever contract of employment I've seen in recent years requires consent to recording employee phone calls or accessing employee emails as a condition of employment.

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

RealBigAl

Re: Well that's novel. Or maybe not.

Have an upvote for Connor Peripherals. I remember them in some old Compaq machines.

Total recog: British AI makes universal speech breakthrough

RealBigAl

Obligatory Burnistoun sketch

https://youtu.be/sAz_UvnUeuU

Dark fibre arts: Ofcom is determined to open up BT's network

RealBigAl

Re: Seems bizarre to me...then I'll try and explain

If government were rubbish at construction and ownership of things we'd never have had a functioning national power grid in the UK.

If broadband access was treated as a utility in the same way as say water or power we'd see massive improvements.

10 years of the Kindle and the curious incident of a dog in the day-time

RealBigAl

Holiday reading

I read Pat Rothfuss' "Name of the Wind" on my kindle. I was mystified when the hero was sent to the Crockery to learn to fly, which was in the description, filled with birds. Took me a while to work it out.

Clearly some automatic spell checker had decided to replace Rookery with Crockery on the e-version and no proof reading had picked it up.

My original kindle with e-ink or whatever it is called still gets a regular holiday every year. Easier to transport than half a dozen books. great for reading in direct sunlight. It rarely gets further outings.

Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

RealBigAl

With Christopher Tolkien announcing he's stepping down from heading up the Tolkien Estate at roughly the same time Amazon announced they'd bought the rights to LotR some people are jumping to conclusions.

As someone further up the thread mentioned. The ownership of the media rights to Tolkien's works are convoluted to say the least. What Amazon appear to have bought are the TV rights to The Hobbit and LotR. Nothing else, not the Silmarillion, nor the Unfinished Tales nor any of the other myriad works produced after JRR's death.

So Amazon are presumably going to make stuff up to fill in the gaps. Look how well that went with Jackson's The Hobbit.

I suspect both the Tolkien Estate and Time-Warner will be watching Amazon's plans very closely. Smaug the Lawyer is going to be sitting on a pile of gold by the end of this.

RealBigAl

Re: Prequel? Oh no

Gandalf the Sepia

RealBigAl

Re: Numenor

Sounds like Moorcock's Runestaff stories from the Eternal Champion series,

and something else I can't quite put my finger on.

Metal 3D printing at 100 times the speed and a twentieth of the cost

RealBigAl

Suddenly the 3d printed plastic gun is no longer the problem....

OVH data centres go TITSUP: Power supply blunders blamed

RealBigAl

155 out of 1000 is a bit a weird boast. 845 of the 1000 largest European companies don't use our services...

Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

RealBigAl

Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

Exec "You expect the majority of our viewers to care about literary allusions? We have a hard enough time keeping them from channel hoping during revenue generating ad breaks. What's hot right now is magic and dragons. Not rapists who spend large parts of the story feeling sorry for themselves. Next you'll be wanting me to cast Harvey Weinstein as Thomas Covenant"

RealBigAl

Altered Carbon the TV series is coming to Netflix next year.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2261227/

RealBigAl

Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

The problem with the Covenant novels would be selling the idea.

Pitch "Let's film the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, it's a fantasy series, like LotR or GoT"

Exec "Sounds good, tell me more"

Pitch "Well, TC is a leper in modern day America, he somehow gets magically transported to The Land, where the white gold wedding ring of his beloved lost wife gives him magic powers"

Exec "Sounds very interesting, tell me more"

Pitch "Well, when he arrives the first thing he does is rape his rescuer"

Exec "Get out"

<Door Slams>

RealBigAl

It starts off reasonably well but falls apart when they get to Umbar

Even more warship cuts floated for the Royal Navy

RealBigAl

The current Defence Minister is a believer that Britain is an Aircraft Carrier

The Conservatives don't believe in the carrier fleet at all. Within days of getting elected Cameron's government tried to cancel one of the vessels, but were so wrapped up in contracts they couldn't save any money. They've then ordered the wrong type of F35 for the carriers ending up with the UK having no useful carrier force until 2020 something, by which time there will be no escort craft left to protect them from subs.

Historically, with the exception of Churchill who took over in the middle of a disastrous war as a unity PM the Tories have an appalling military record which usually involves defunding the military and starting wars the existing military can't cope with. That stretches all the way back to the 18th century.

Holy DUHK! Boffins name bug that could crack crypto wide open

RealBigAl

Top trolling in a research paper

"Are you a government with a desire for large scale decryption capabilities?

Weakening, sabotaging, backdooring, or frontdooring encryption standards may harm both the overall security of your country as well as your reputation!"

'Screaming' man fined $149 for singing 'Everybody Dance Now'

RealBigAl

Re: Spitting Image

In the new Spitting Image the President's Wig is an alien controlling the nuclear trigger

Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang

RealBigAl

The Two Universes theories sounds an awfully lot like the background plot of Lexx.

Please replace the sword, says owner of now-hollow stone

RealBigAl

Re: People may be offended..

I dunno, strange women emerging from lakes to distribute swords to kings might well be a better option that the current choices.

Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars

RealBigAl

I have a glorious marketing brochure from ICT in the 1960s expounding the superiority of it's valve diode ICT1200 tabulating machine over the upstart IBM System/360. Mainframes, they'll never catch on for widespread use. Too susceptible to nuclear attack.

Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

RealBigAl

Not Sunspots

Years ago I worked for an SME that sold accounting systems to legal firms. One particular client in Aberdeen had a Netware server on a co-ax network (I said it was a while ago) that would go offline at "random" times during the year. The only trend that had been identified was that the comms problems roughly followed the sunset. The head of the our particular I.T. support team actually told the client it was sunspots causing the issue.

The customer wasn't particularly happy but asked about shielding options so I was sent to evaluate the office for a shielded cabinet to store the server in.

I arrived about 4pm, found the server was sitting on the floor next to a window. I had a look out of the window just as the pub below switched on their neon advertising sign. Hey presto, the Netware server briefly lost all connectivity as the sign flickered..

30 minutes to down the server and move it to another TAP and the problem was solved. Sales weren't happy...

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

RealBigAl

"I wouldn't have one at all if the school didn't insist that children do assignments on them"

I can't be the only person wondering what sort of school forces children to use a particular consumer product, and forces their parents to buy it.

RealBigAl

Genuinely curious. My wife's iPad2 basically stopped working (well most of the apps did) after one of Apples "force obsolescence" updates. We took it to the Apple store, who suggested we buy a new iPad.*

So I'm curious how you're still managing to use yours?

* Went to Tesco and bought a hudl for no money instead.

Manchester plod still running 1,500 Windows XP machines

RealBigAl

Re: There's a bank in Manchester

Nothing wrong with dot matrix printers for high impact text only B&W printing.

NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

RealBigAl

someone has to be able to make proper tea

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

RealBigAl

Perfect fit for Apple then.

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