* Posts by muddysteve

115 posts • joined 1 Aug 2013


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


Them wardrobe lights

Once slept at a friends flat which had one of those motion-sensor lights in the wardrobe. I like to sleep with the window open, and every time there was a gust of wind, the wardrobe doors moved, which turned the light on. As it was a friends place, I didn't want to dismantle the light.

Eggheads want YOU to name Jupiter's five newly found moons ‒ and yeah, not so fast with Moony McMoonface


Zeusy McZeusface


Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Two words

Eight track.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: Perhaps

"A small addition of Kodiak DNA would make them more 'interesting'."

If it was Kodak dna, they could take their own selfies.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s


Re: felt pad

Am I the only weirdo who used to enjoy cleaning out the old mechanical mice (only mine, mind, I don't want someone else's "felt pad" under my finger nails).

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary


Right on. Power to the Steves.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs


I'm not a sysadm, but surely if you find an unknown piece of kit in your server room and the management don't know about it, then the first thing to do is unplug it, and see who shouts, rather than get on the internet and wait for replies.

Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?


It was a Friday

First alarm bell!

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


Re: As far as te BBC uis concerned...

"I am a 36 year old single Afro Caribbean woman living in Milton Keynes.

Needless to say I am nothing of the kind."

You mean you are really 42?

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!


3rd party

They may well be using a 3rd party letter printing service which is supposed to check the letter, print it, put it in an envelope and post it. Doesn't excuse the badly written letter in the first place, mind.

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions


So long, and thanks for all the columns

Good luck with your new job, Simon.

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom


Toilet Signs

A recent one seen:-

"Please no not flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet."

You wouldn't want to take that too literally.

Mobileye's autonomous cars are heading to California. But they're not going to kill anyone. At least not on purpose


"At its heart he's denying the value of predicting the actions of others. I know I predict while driving - constantly and unconsciously, using judgements of their position speed and acceleration, but also the make and condition of the car, the age and sex of the driver, where we are."

Of course you are. The central premise of driving is that you only drive into a space that will be empty when you get there, which involves the prediction of what everything around you is going to do. If you just drive by reacting to others, then you are an accident waiting to happen. In fact, I am not even sure that is possible.

Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you


I have always said...

The main problem with computers is that they do what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do.

BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?


Re: Magic Bean Technology

"They are here in Australia. I'll meet you there. What are you having?"

A pint of something cold, please. I may not make it in time, so you had better drink it for me.

Translating Facebook's latest 'Hard Questions' PR spin – The Reg edit


I don't particularly mind targeted ads, if they are targeted by FB (I did sign up to that bit). If an advertiser gives FB an advert for 40-50 year olds who like eating out, and FB puts it on appropriate time lines, then that is ok with me. What I really don't like is other companies being given data about me to effectively do what they like with (I didn't realise that I had signed up to that bit). That is the main reason I am trying to wean myself off FB.

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient


Re: Lock makers that you can trust?

Do you really want to open a door outward into your visitor's face?

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick


Saracen and Roland

Wow - that is an obscure reference. Mme D must be well-educated.

Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it


People don't care

The basic problem with the surveillance society is that people don't care that they are being watched. "If you are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about" is the quote I usually hear when discussing it. "Who is going to be interested in what we say?" was the reply when I discussed Alexa with someone. When all that most people see is a few targeted adverts, they will live with that if it means they can share photos, news and memes. I am seriously considering coming off Facebook, but I will then lose touch with many people that I do not communicate with in other ways.

What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa


Not as bad as it sounds

It won't do things automatically.

“a visitor can sit on a piece of Nattuzi furniture and tell it to turn on the TV. It will then activate the LG Signature OLED TV while the sofa and light are adjusted for the best viewing experience.”

So you have to tell it what to do. I'd still rather use a remote, though.

You must be yolking: English pub to launch eggstravagent Yorkshire pudding


Watford Gap, not Watford. They are different places. Watford is inside the M25, which would make me a Northerner, living in Hertfordshire. I can't be a Northerner - I wear a coat.

I couldn't give a Greek clock about your IoT fertility tracker


Re: In my day

"In my day with camped on mountains without tents or sleeping bags and dug latrine holes in the rock with our fingernails. etc."

Camping without tents or sleeping bags - isn't that just called "stopping".



If you are taking a riverside holiday in a narrow boat, then the people on the boats in the actual river would be gloating (as well as floating - and boating).

Your mouse can't reach that Excel cell? Buy a 'desk extender' said help desk bluffer


Re: Porkies

Office maybe, but Excel was released for the Mac in 1985 and for the PC in 1987.

Good luck saying 'Sorry I'm late, I had to update my car's firmware'


Re: new does not mean better

That would be nice. Unfortunately, vehicles without all the computer gubbins will not meet current legislation, especially around emissions.


I can see the problem with cars being the insurance companies. "You drove your car without accepting an important update? Sorry, we cannot cover you in those circumstances."

Star Paws: Attack of the clones


Re: Why clone any pet?

An upvote for the message, and I would like to give another for having English Springer Spaniels.

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit


Re: Back in the day

In the 80s, the company I worked for set up a multi-user data prep system It ran on an IBM AT PC (with a 286 processor), had a 20 (yes, twenty) MB hard disk, and supported 6 users. If you told the kids today that they wouldn't know what you were talking about, let alone believe it.


Re: Starting on the Museum exhibits, ending on them.

"When I started learning IT at school, a lot of attention was paid to punch cards, kimball tags and other almost obsolete tech which I saw hide nor hair of when I reached work a year or two later."

When I started work, my first COBOL programs were on punched card. I even produced one with a hand punch, because the data prep department was busy.

You got one compilation run a day in those times.

Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'


Re: It's too Black and White

I can see two problems with that. The first is that most people would want a truly driverless car (not the kind where you have to pay attention to take over) so that they can drink, which they couldn't if they had to drive at both ends of the journey. The other is that the most stressful parts of a journey tend to be the town bits at the end - the motorways are relatively stress-free.


They will never work in an urban environment.

How is an automated car ever going to get through a housing estate, with kids jumping out in front of them, playing chicken and just being annoying?

If you ever bought a BMW driverless car, you would be lucky to get off your own drive.

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious


Many years ago we polled sales data from stores overnight using Kermit over a modem - I said it was years ago. We had one store that would always fail, and then work on the retry, some hours later. Eventually we put someone in to watch what was happening, and, at the time we should have been polling, the cleaner was in, and unplugged the modem to plug the vacuum cleaner in. When finished, the modem was plugged back in, hence it worked on the retry.

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?


I realised my mistake and withdrew the comment.

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


I really like my Kindle

It hasn't replaced books for me - I still read real books in bed, but the Kindle is great for holidays. Long battery life, plus the screen is much less tiring to read than a phone or tablet.

I can also have the Kindle app on the phone for journeys, and it stays synced with my actual Kindle.

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs


Another vote for APL

It was unmaintainable. If you needed to make a change you modified the requirements spec and wrote the program again from scratch.

Needed a special keyboard, as well.

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


Re: Llangorse Lake, the largest in Wales

-> No it's not. Bala Lake is a natural lake and 3 times the area of Llangorse. I am sure there are other reservoirs larger too.

Absolutely right - it doesn't even make the top 10. However, it is the second largest natural lake in Wales (after Bala) and is the largest in South Wales.

UK lotto players quids in: Website knocked offline by DDoS attack


Buying the dream

To me, playing the lottery is not really about winning - it is buying the dream. I can't fantasise about what I would do with the money if I don't buy a ticket.

Angst in her pants: Alleged US govt leaker Reality Winner stashed docs in her pantyhose


Re: Made Up Name Surely - Is Her Name Considered Serious (& Don't Call Me Shirley)!

Reality TV has been going since the 40s, with things like "Queen for a Day". Didn't really kick off until the late 90s, though with Big Brother.

Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!


Re: Just another attempt

I agree, as well. I thought the main point of password-protecting wifi was to prevent unauthorised people jumping on your bandwidth. I am willing to be enlightened.

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


OK - here we go

Quantities up to the individual.

Bacon - unsmoked - crispy - preferably streaky

Sausage(s) - ideally Lincolnshire or Cumberland.

Fried bread - white.

Egg(s) - fried with runny yolk

Black pudding - ideally the Scottish stuff with oats in that goes really crunchy

Baked beans - Branston - not Heinz


Bubble and squeak - ideally made with leftover sprouts - cooked so that you get crispy bits in

Tea - mug of

Bread and butter to mop up the bean juice and egg yolk.

NASA tells Curiosity: Quit showing off, no 'wheelies' please


Old proverb

It occurred to me how ironic it would be if Curiosity did find life on Mars, and it was in the form of a cat...

Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels


Manna from Heaven

My dog is going to love new chew toys dropping from the sky for her.

Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane


"The most impressive thing for me was in that hangar picture - look at the distance those roof trusses are supporting over a single span. Amazing!"

That's why the two fuselages are not joined. So they can have a central pillar holding the roof up.

Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control


Tenacious D

Very good.

FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?


Re: Thank goodness.

"How do you send an e-mail to someone that ONLY has a landline phone, though? It could be the spouse with a sudden medical condition you're worried about (thus why you're on the flight rushing home)."

You can text to a landline. There is an automated system that reads it to you.

Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time


Re: So a 5 meter increase in lengths delivers 38 more passenger slots?

I flew on a 3-3-3 787 last month. Leg room was great - headroom was great, but the seats are only 17" wide. I sat next to a slightly larger gentleman (but not a porker by any stretch of the imagination), and we rubbed arms and shoulders for most of the flight. It was not ideal. 2-4-2 is much more suitable for couples (and pairs of couples).

Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins


Re: Lift

"It was suggested the other day that the only job that has been completely automated out of existence in the USA is the elevator (sic) operator.

Are there any others (septic or otherwise) that spring to mind?"

Lighthouse keepers are pretty well gone.

People may have been wrongly sent back to prison over faulty tags


Re: Who Else?

"Could a tag be replaced with a ruggedised, non-removable Apple Watch? This, at least, should already have most of the call-home technology required to keep track of the wearer 24/7. Add a requirement to keep it charged and they should hardly ever be able to leave their homes."

Can you recharge an Apple watch without taking it off?


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