* Posts by steamrunner

106 posts • joined 2 Jan 2014

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Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

steamrunner

At the point I read this post, the number of upvotes on this comment was 42.

A tip of the hat to my Reg-reading brethren.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

steamrunner

It is an ex-parrot.

I had the {immense, at the time; very annoying, here in the age of eBay} pleasure of throwing a still-working Lisa/Mac-XL into a skip, screen-first onto sometime solid and pointy so that it made a great spectacle, somewhere around 1987-88. Financial hindsight is a wonderful thing... apparently.

SB

The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

steamrunner

Another step towards...

Computers fixing other computer's code? I'm a little down that the word 'Skynet' didn't appear instantly in this thread. Come on people, keep up! ;-)

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

steamrunner

Re: Banking Continuity and Dosh Recovery?

"Sadly, many people in the UK are so hard up that is effectively impossible for many"

Sadly, yes, this is unfortunately very true, and I know my suggestion doesn't help those people at all — and they are the one's who likely need help the most when banks f*ck them over... I mean, when banks fail them. But that is, also unfortunately, another story; one that would take us off into the deep and unfathomable swamps of political and society discourse. Let's not go there today... :-(

SB

steamrunner

Re: 404

Someone in IT or telecoms there has surely made that happen? "Error: your money has not been found."

steamrunner

Banking Continuity and Dosh Recovery?

Anyone in IT should know that the answer to handling failure, particularly on pay/payroll day, is to have a backup: in this case, by having a second, independent bank account and payment card(s). Keep a month's — or more — emergency cash in there and just pray that both institutions don't go TITSUP on the same day... oh, wait.... :-)

Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

steamrunner

Why?

Not to possibly state the obvious but... why bother on kit that old? Surely you're better off chucking it in the bin and getting a Raspberry Pi or a second hand laptop from this decade? There is such a thing as just 'prolonging the inevitable'.

SB

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

steamrunner

Re: Never mind the H&S of attaching fans with cables

If someone can get close enough to plug a serial cable into your switches, you have a more serious problem than unauthorised console port access.

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

steamrunner

I attribute this "hold the phone flat, talk into the bottom, have speakerphone on" thing to The Apprentice. In said TV extravagana, you would typically see all the little proto twa... I mean, developing business people... in their team-taxi zooming around Lahndan moaning at some remote, lost team member via a 'speakerphone' call on their team mobile so that everyone in the taxi and the entire bloody nation could hear what's going on. F*ck that sh*t.

[EDIT: someone beat me to the same post :-) ]

SB

steamrunner

You're talking utter tosh, A/C.

I had a plain iPhone 6 — no S, no plus — for three and a half years (until just a few weeks ago) with no such positional problems. I have a relatively normal sized head, maybe a tad larger than a few (no jokes please!) and I used to put the thing to my ear in the appropriate manner and just talk to the human on the other end of the call... and it basically worked just like a phone should. Every time, every day. Except the few hours it took Apple to replace the old battery because I was too tight to buy a new phone. And the few times when the other person couldn't grok how to use a bloody phone ("Hello? Hello! Hello? Hello? I can't see you hand-waving, you have to talk words.") The design layout really isn't any different from all the other phone slabs out there for the last few years in that regard.

Maybe you just put it in a crap case, or your ear was in the wrong place?

SB.

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

steamrunner

Collective of IT managers?

Collective of IT managers? Surely it's got to be an 'install', or maybe a 'patch' or 'upgrade' of IT Managers? Or would those work better for IT engineers*?

Or, if one IT Manager is an 'instance', what are multiples... a 'cluster' ?

(* avoiding getting into the argument about what 'engineer' really means).

SB

JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

steamrunner

Re: Blakes7 Internet Federation

"Blake's 7 already had its reboot. It was called Firefly. Sadly didn't last"

I want to both upvote this (because Firefly was awesome and I want it back) and also downvote it (because Firefly wasn't really Blake's 7 and I really, really want Blake's 7 back). *sigh*

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

steamrunner

Re: Auto-crash-pilot

"The radar is used to detect other moving objects, not stationary ones. The reason for this is that the radar cannot tell overhead obstacles from those in the road so if it stopped for every stationary object it would be stopping for overhanging trees, overhead street signs etc."

... which is a valid comment at this point but should be load of hogwash.

The car doesn't just rely on radar. It has a ton load of other sensors telling it what is happening. It should be perfectly capable, right now, of working out a) what is a moving object, b) what is a stationary object, and *most importantly* c) calculating if any of these objects is in, or is moving into, it's projected 'flight' path.

A stationary overhead gantry, a lamp-post, or a tree branch hanging over over the road more than 6ft off the ground should be easily detected and *not* be a collision suspect for a Tesla. Nor technically is a car stopped in another lane if your lane is clear and moving, at least until it starts moving again or a human gets out of it at the wrong moment (identify: nearby stationary or slow object in what should be an open lane; reaction: proceed with caution, check speed, etc).

Something detected *directly* in the predicted flight path — or is otherwise calculated likely to be moving into it — *is* a collision suspect... ergo take evasive (whatever it deems that evasive to be at the moment, be it brake, slow down, swerve or whatever). This should not include street furniture.

SB

World's biggest DDoS attack record broken after just five days

steamrunner

Re: ISPs could mitigate this

"My father use to have this approach to driving: assume the other driver is an idiot."

I use the same tactic, and not just for driving. (That's not precluding that, at moments, maybe it's *me* that's being the idiot ;-).

More importantly, I taught the kids essentially the same tactic when crossing the road, even on a proper crossing: i.e. even if the crossing is green, assume the cars are NOT going to stop but watch them to make sure they do before actually stepping out and crossing! As noted in the previous comment, it doesn't help you being in the right when you get hit...

WordPress is now 30 per cent of the web, daylight second

steamrunner

Re: How do they know...

It's pretty easy to tell. If the source code to the main home page is a tangled mush of indecipherable nested code then it's using a CMS. If the mush has at least a tiny bit of structure then it's just using a framework. If you can read and vaguely understand it, it's been hand-coded.

:-)

Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

steamrunner

I'm confused. Where does the pole (on the tail) come from? Now I follow that they programmed the brain of the worm and, I presume, they also thus programmed something to mimic the 'body' (?) motion (to show output from the 'brain?)', but what about this pole?

Did someone leave a 'pole' subroutine lying somewhere in a library and the 'body' coder just accidentally tacked it on the end? Did they then magically notice the pole-code doing something? Or did someone randomly think "I know, I'll stick a pole on it's arse" - and if so, why a pole and not a beeper, or a LED, or a wifi link to a nuclear trigger?! How did they think "this will end up with it balancing a pole" if they didn't know the learning outcome?

(Even reading about this stuff is obviously waaaaay beyond me! Especially on a Monday. And a Friday. And all other days).

SB

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

steamrunner

Re: It's the Stig!

"I have to say - the launch of the Top Gear Reliant Robin was itself very nearly awesome"

Upvoted for the 'very nearly' insertion :)

Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

steamrunner

Interplanetary rail costs

“But this effect increases with the distance from the Sun. Saturn, which is ten-times farther from the Sun than Earth, moves over 14cm per year,” Genova said.

Typical. Any excuse to increase ticket prices to Saturn.

Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

steamrunner

Re: So how does one lock a Mac when stepping away?

"So how does one lock a Mac when stepping away? [...] There's no GUI element for it, so if it is possible there must be some secret keyboard salute known only to the True Faithful."

Yes there is. Top right of screen, select the little menu-bar drop down with your user name (I'm not sure of it's official name) and select "Login Window". You're bounced out to the login screen.

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

steamrunner

PCMCIA Adaptors

"These laptops had combo PCMCIA cards that provided LAN and 56K modem ports, and required a dongle for the LAN portion," Jim explained.

Oh G*d. Flashbacks. *breathes into paper bag*... Keep calm, keep calm...

Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

steamrunner

Intercepting Voyager?

Let's be honest, if Voyager is ever intercepted by another spacecraft then that other craft is likely to contain... us! We know where it is, and the chances of anyone/anything else out there bumping into it must be tiny. Surely the chances are that we'll go and hunt it down for posterity once we've sussed proper interstellar travel?

(Aside from that: the sheer thought that the Voyagers still work, and are so far away, just boggles the mind. I can't comprehend either the distance or the coolness of the humans that made them and keep them going. Outstanding.).

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

steamrunner

Oi, mate!!! ...

.... can you kick back my truncated icosahedron? It's over there by the side of the path! Cheers!

How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

steamrunner

Re: How much for that Belkin cable?

>>>>Bearing in mind that 100% margin is a doubling in cost price, <<

>>No it's not. Doubling of cost price is 50% margin.

Yep, indeed, doubling the cost is a 50% margin. It's 100% markup. The only way to get 100% margin is to sell something for money that cost you zero to purchase or obtain.

The award for worst ISP goes to... it starts with Talk and ends with Talk

steamrunner

Sky

I'm gonna have to be honest (eep!) and give credit where due:

I've been with Sky for several years now and, in the last few years at the very least, they've been very good, including customer service. I know everyone's mileage varies, but mine has been good. Over that period I've had a couple of issues relating to my physical telephone line — I'm a fair way from my green box — and calls to them have been answered pretty promptly and sorted. My parents (bless!) are also with them and a similar story there. Whilst I'm annoyed that my speed is limited because of my location — I only get about 30Mbs on Sky Fibre but it's pretty consistent — I have no reasons to moan about Sky themselves at the moment. Yes, I really did just say that, didn't I. :-)

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

steamrunner

Er....

"It isn't too much of an exaggeration to say that a mature computer platform has just fallen out of a clear blue sky."

Speaking as an enthusiastic iPad Pro owner (with keyboard) who has just updated to iOS 11 and things it's pretty damn good..... no, the above statement still isn't true. Witness One for the prosecution: Files App — nice, an improvement, but still missing out the most essential feature (like, actually opening files...)

S.

FireEye pulls Equifax boasts as it tries to handle hack fallout

steamrunner

Re: registered the domain Equihax.com

Not to be confused with Equinix (data centres) or Equinux (useful VPN software, less-useful other stuff).

Boffins: 68 exoplanets in prime locations to SPY on humanity on Earth

steamrunner

Re: Longer than that

"Case in point: ... Crocodiles".

I can't be the only one now here thinking "slicey slicey, oncey twicey"... ??

So you're already in the cloud but need to come back down to Earth

steamrunner
Stop

Plus...

This article seems to have confused one key item and missed another, both of which are important considerations.

Firstly, whilst a bit pedantic (and even debatable), it confuses "on premise" with "running your own kit in someone else's data centre". Yes, I guess someone else's data centre still counts as "on premise" and this will be the route that many take, but the article completely skips like, y'know, actually running stuff "on premise" and related issues... like where to put your kit if it's in your offices, how to power it and how to secure it, and so forth. Not everyone will want to run it in a data centre (for most people, most of the time, that's what Clouds are for!)

Secondly, if you start "in the cloud" and want to migrate apps "on premise", will it be even possible? It's all about the apps, and this point is completely skipped. Most smaller or startup organisations that use the cloud are using specific applications and services, not plain IaaS. Can those apps even run on-premise? You're going to have a hard time moving Salesforce, Box, Slack or AWS's development stack on-premise. This is only going to work smoothly if you're running conventional apps on IaaS in the cloud (or, arguably, move from Office 365 to a hybrid Microsoft platform).

No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

steamrunner

As a hardened fanbo..... sorry, run-of-the-mill Apple user *cough*... who's currently experimenting with Android (and been pleasantly surprised, read: some pros, some cons), I concur — Apple need to support Android with the Watch. Yes, it might eat iPhone sales. Meh. It doesn't need 4G; the usage case(s) for it are tiny in comparison to everyone wanting better availability, performance and battery life.

On top of that - although this is far more of an edge case - it would be useful to have the Watch failover to an approved second/backup phone or even to a computer/laptop for basic c&c if the phone is unavailable (i.e runs out of battery).

PS: I now hardly wear mine. It's lovely, and having it for discreet notifications is great, but I'm fed up of remembering to charge it and it's bulk on my wrist.

Got that syncing feeling? Cloud's client-side email problem

steamrunner

Can we Selective Sync it? Yes we can!

" There's no way to enforce across an organisation which Cloud file storage folders can be synced locally and which ones can't. ... [cut] ... Ideally, let me set that if user is in group marketing, then marketing folder sync locally equals yes else no."

You've obviously deployed the wrong sync-and-share solution in your 'enterprise' if you can't do this.

Random example: we use Autotask Workplace* (neé Soonr) and yes, it does this, if you want, no problem. As administrator, I can choose to be as facist or as liberal with users (or groups) as I want on a whole host of syncs, policies and settings...

(* Other sync-and-share solutions are of course available and may do this too, but I can't be arsed to check on a Friday when I'm supposed to be busy. This one I happen to use.)

PS: I can't believe I'm saying this - and I'm sprinking holy water as I do just in case - but Google Drive on my Mac works... just fine. In fact, so fine it's boring and I forget about it. And that's with BoxCryptor piled on top as well.

SB.

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

steamrunner

K5?

That's not a K5.

This is a K5: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_K-5

#pedanticpentaxowner

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

steamrunner

Re: Sorry, but ...

Never really understood why people rate Pertwee so highly. I love all the Docs, generally pretty equally, but if measured purely on acting chops he's actually quite a way down my personal list. Quite a way indeed. Others - rather a lot of others - rate higher by actually being better actors.

Of course, TB will always be #1, no matter how good anyone else is.... ;-)

Can open, worms escaping...

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

steamrunner

Shadows of tiny objects billions of miles away cast upon the surface of the Earth by the light of another star... and they managed to a) calculate that and then b) put a 747 in-flight in precisely the right spot at precisely the right moment?

Mind. Officially. Blown.

Humans can be pretty damned amazing at times.

Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

steamrunner

Atari? Iconic, but meh...

Atari? Iconic, but meh...

Being a true Brit child of the 70s/80s, I'm waiting for the ZX Spectrum Next... :-)

S.

Amazon pulls snouts from all-you-can-eat cloud storage buffet

steamrunner

Pigs fly, Snowflake happy in Hell, Trump says something sensible.

So, Amazon Cloud Drive (2TB=$119.98/yr) now technically more expensive than, of all things, Apple iCloud (2TB=$119.88/yr).

WTF? This feels like the Twilight Zone or suddenly arriving in a parallel universe....

Apple, of all people, have doubled their storage for the same price as before, whilst Amazon have realised their mistake with Unlimited and reigned it all in. The world has flipped on its axis...

Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

steamrunner

Re: Confused

Basically it was streamable ("watch online") or downloadable into their crappy player ("BBC Store Downloader", Mac and Windows only).

In short, the actual experience was shite. No sending it to my TV or mobile devices, and thus entirely pointless. I bought one thing and gave up. This may well be a key reason why no-one is using it. If it had been directly plugged into iPlayer and thus accessible via any iPlayer device, Auntie may have had a chance, although yes people are generally up for bulk subscription streaming and not one-off 'purchases' these days it seems...

Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

steamrunner

Episode X?

Hmmm... fifteen more years of Star Wars films?

I'm calling it for Episode X in 2030, with XI in '32 and XII in '34 rounding off the whole shootin' match.

You heard it here first.

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

steamrunner

Foreplaybackgroundopenwindow()

My favourite (!?) pet peeve is when I launch an app on my laptop, then switch to another window/app whilst the first is still starting up (because I'm quicker than the machine and want to stay productive). Then, when the first app finishes loading, it pops to the front, covering the app I've just switched to. "I put you in the background, you drokker! What the £^&$k are you doing popping up over what I am now working on? Fuck the fuck off! I'll get to you when I want you!".

Wearables aren't dead but apps on wearables might be

steamrunner

"Bifurcated" ?!

"Bifurcated" ?!

What was wrong with just using a good old "divided"?

It's Friday, for crying out loud... my brain doesn't do complex unusual words on a Friday!

You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

steamrunner

Not just governments and corporates. Any small business, organisation, group or even household with a half-decent perimeter firewall can do this. It's not some expensive super-rich option.

Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

steamrunner

WTF?

Putting aside the issue of whether The Zuck should have even written this stuff for a moment...

... but is it just me, or is this the crappiest article El Reg has posted in a fair while? I know it's Friday and I may be having a senior moment or three after a long week and missing the point, but WTF is this shite?

I was so happy and content after reading this week's 'On Call' column then 'smack', I ran into this drivel.

Zuck may well get an "F" but this article definitely gets a "U": un(re)markable.

Infosec bods: This is a backdoor in Skype for Macs. Microsoft: No.

steamrunner

Re: Mac Security LOL

Why have a Mac? I am, in short, a networking specialist. I build and support IT networks, of various shapes and sizes, for numerous clients. This means connecting to multiple networks, multiple clients, multiple different types of routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and so forth, pretty constantly. I'm usually remoted in to a whole pile of different things and places at once, pretty constantly. I live and breath both Windows and Linux servers daily, including both on-prem, virtualised and cloud systems. My weapon of choice to get me on to all this stuff: A MacBook pro. In particular for multiple networks: a Mac can handle multiple networks and connections at the *same time* much (much) better than Windows can. Switching networks, adding/removing additional interfaces, running multiple different VPN clients at once, not worrying about driver updates, etc etc so on and so forth: all so much easier and so much more reliable than on Windows. Reliability is key, especially when someone's network or system is up the creek and you're trying to fix it. Whilst I like to 'twiddle' with things as most techies do, it's critical that my system stays working. No muss, no fuss, just works. Plus, of course, I can *also* run Windows for those moments when I need to - and that Windows can sit on top of all the Mac networking, which is even more useful (my virtual Windows can use all my Mac networking and VPN tools for example). It also slaves to my phone for mobile access with zero issues, and the VPN solutions available are... shock, horror... very stable. Using a pure Windows laptop would be a right PITA in my case. We're not all creatives. Some of us do real work :-)

Bluetooth-enabled safe lock popped after attackers win PINs

steamrunner

One would assume that the reasons for opening a safe include putting things in it or taking things out, both of which require physical presence at the safe door. This doesn't make it hard to actually unlock it by hand as you're already right next to it. Being able to do so from a phone handset at a distance of a few feet seems a bit redundant. Then again, I control my hifi via Bluetooth so what do I know...

Chap creates Slack client for Commodore 64

steamrunner

Top Marks!

This guy gets top marks in the "Everest - because it was there" category for efficient use of valuable time and energy. Kudos.

Google declares victory for its Wifi router before it's even shipped

steamrunner

Re: sigh

It's a mesh access point. :-)

Also:

* Router = device for routing network packets between networks

* Router = device for gouging holes in wood things

... see? Totally different. Even the Yanks know the difference (even if it's the alternative difference).

S.

Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

steamrunner

OK, they're making this sh*t up now aren't they? "Trillions of a thing (that we're not sure of) inside a cubic centimetre of a random bit of the universe"? This is surely just scientific people having a giggle after too many late night pints and drugs, right? Or someone is missing some decimal points or exponentials on their old HP Calculator and hasn't realised whilst calculating their Sainsbury shopping bill?!?

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

steamrunner

Re: Die Hard VII: Sysadmin

For those 2000ad fans (both current and lapsed) amongst us, I give you: Judge Maitland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minor_characters_in_Judge_Dredd#Maitland

Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

steamrunner
Holmes

www.sierra.yawn

Macbook Pro here as well, also updated to Sierra.

Fans run just the same as they always have (i.e. on and loud if I'm running VM Fusion at the same time as thrashing something else heavily, otherwise just at odd times briefly). Runs as hot as it always has done (i.e. variably). Nothing new in that regard. Battery life, pretty much the same as before - I can still burn my lap for a few hours with no problem.

Most things 'just' work; not too bad for a point-point-0 update. Yes, I've had a couple of little run-ins with Mail.app, but then again who doesn't. I've also encountered/found a couple of interesting little bug-ettes in Mail, but then again who hasn't. Did I say something about Mail being a little bit fruitcake? I did. Hey ho. Maybe one day Apple will properly fix it, we shall see. Maybe with 10.13. Or 10.14. Or... you get the picture. Rinse and repeat.

All my weird, low-level, networking and VPN tools all work perfectly fine. In fact, they work even better than before because now I can't accidentally use PPTP any more. Phew. Networking on to four different LANs at the same time as a couple of remote VPNs and Wifi works just the same as it did pre-Sierra (i.e. properly).

Am I a fan boy? Not if this sh*t breaks I'm not. But, so far, so yawn (and a brief, 'yeah, because Mail' chat around the coffee machine).

Am I using weird, dangerous brand-new stuff like "optimising my storage"? Am I f*ck. Like 99% of users I'm just doing what I've always done and using what I've always used. Also Siri is cute with the right accent.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'

steamrunner

OK Computer!

I say the word "computer" in a Scottish accent to this day, purely because of Scotty in ST:IV. And I'm from deepest Devon.

(My wife, though, always thinks I'm just taking the p*ss. She's from Edinburgh :-)

S.

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

steamrunner

Re: SD card storage and Android

You're storing important stuff on (single) SD-card storage? Remind me how reliable that is, especially long-term, again??

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