* Posts by englishr

33 posts • joined 15 Jun 2014

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz



Can't help thinking that Zimos from Saints Row III should be their spokesman; now that's a big purple hat!

Police block roads to stop tech support chap 'robbing a bank'


Unintentionally silent alarm

While working for a software startup in the mid-90s, about a month after the company moved to new offices in a refurbished brick and poured concrete industrial building, I was hacking away at some code at about 9:00pm when the (locked) main office door burst open with an enormous crash.

Four burly firemen charged in, axes, oxygen tanks, full-face breathing masks - the works. They rapidly went office to office, checking for anyone still there - seeing me, one yells "You! Get out now! Can't you hear the alarm?" Now that the main door was open into the central stairwell / lift area, I could hear a very faint "ding, ding, ding...". I shakily beat a retreat (not enough blood in my adrenaline stream) out of the building, to find multiple police cars and fire engines in the parking lot.

Turned out to be a false alarm.

Astronaut took camera on spacewalk, but forgot SD memory card


@regbadgerer "a spacewalk is a very high-pressure environment"

Surely it's the very definition of a low-pressure environment?

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere


Re: It's not rocket science...

> Late 90s USB sticks?

> Did they even exist?

Indeed they did; I am the proud owner of an 8MB (yes, MB) IBM branded USB stick, that wouldn't be recognised by Windows until you installed the device driver off the provided floppy...

Drone 'swarm' buzzed off FBI surveillance bods, says tech bloke

Black Helicopters

@Ivan 4: "let the drone wars begin"

Oh, come on - it's Star Wars Day...

The drone wars - begun, they have!

The new Black: Western Dig doubles capacity on slimmed-down flasher


Re: Controller?

It’s a WD home grown controller.

Boffins stalk house-hunting bees, find colony behaves kind of like a human brain


Frank Herbert's "The Green Brain"

Reminds me of Frank Herbert's "The Green Brain" from the the mid 60's

I'm going to have to dig it out and re-read it now!

Intel: Our next chips won't have data leak flaws we told you totally not to worry about


Re: So...a whole new computer?

"Keyboards last about a year max."

Dang, you're hard on your keyboards; I'm typing this on an IBM buckling-spring keyboard manufactured in 1996, and used 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I have the same thing at home, used for extensive gaming, and still going strong.

Maybe you should try one (I've no affiliation with UniComp)?


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


Re: OTA Updates for Cars

"Exactly. What if you get a "Windows X" type update (you can't control it) that borks your car?"

Presumably function can be restored by careful editing of /etc/X11/xorg.conf ?

Revealed: How Libratus bot felted poker pros – and now it has cyber-security in its sights


Re: What would be the result

> if two instances of Libratus were to play each other?




Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

Thumb Up

Re: Old fashioned?

> by which time I had added an additional finger.

Doesn't that make it hard to buy gloves?

Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'


Re: How about some balance?

> Facebook Active Users: 2 Billion

> Number if people in this study: 2,300

> % people that are shown as Anti-Semitic: 0.00000115%

Your arithmetic is off by two orders of magnitude.

Stack Clash flaws blow local root holes in loads of top Linux programs


Re: sudont


My most common sudo use case is to allow users to become another non-root user in a logged shell, e.g.

%dba ALL=/usr/bin/rootsh -i -u oracle

So, the DBAs can become the oracle user, but the session is logged. If you have a better way to achieve this, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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


Re: My code won't run but the spaces are great

"Those who give any kind of meaning to white-space in source code other than to separate one word from another is a heretic and has to be cleansed!"

But...but...what about the awesome programming language 'whitespace' ??


Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home


Re: Not sure what they used...

"which may have used things like the TI 7400"

A quad two-input nand chip?

IBM marketeers rub out chopper after visit from CEO Ginni


Re: Just something to think about...

"You forgot the cost for the accountant to figure out all of that, the auditor to make sure it's right, the executive review to change it, the accountant's time to revise..."

...and the printing costs of the 1000-page report, with 10% of pages marked "This page intentionally left blank".

Effort to fire Euro Patent Office president beaten back – again


Re: Not taken for granted

'If "rejected = filled - granted", then rejected patents count grew by 12% in 6 years.'

Since we're looking for a measure of efficiency, you need to include "waiting to be processed"

rejected = filled - (granted + waiting)


Re: Not taken for granted

"In 6 years, numbers of fillings grew by 25%, granted patents grew by 65%. If EPO is such a mess, why does it work better in term of results?"

Granting patents is easy - it's rejecting patents that's hard.

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill


Re: Two Rules Apply

"And yes, I did once take an axe to a particularly recalcitrant PC many years ago :)"

I have 20+ years of accumulated hard disk drives in my basement (MFM, RLL, narrow SCSI, wide SCSI - you get the picture), which I'm always going to take to the electronics recycling once (paraphrasing Zaphod Beeblebrox) "I've found a very large pickaxe to reprogramme them with". Never seem to get around to it though...

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

IT Angle

"Why not Richard Ayoade"

Too tnetennbulous?

Cassini sends back best ring-shots yet en route to self-destruct dive


Happier xkcd about machines with souls...


This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!


Re: What's the source?

@Zippy's Sausage Factory

"£11 million was our entire IT budget, including staff, Oracle licences,..."

Ah, so the Oracle 11-user license then. Nice.

Apple's Faulty Powers moment: iPad Pro slabs 'temporarily bricked' during recharge


Re: "temporarily bricked"?

"And, bringing up the rear, we have Busticated."

No - that would be bring up the front.

Bringing up the rear would be arseticated.

Robot vacuum cleaner EATS WOMAN


It's a roboflowbee!


Lenovo system update flaws plugged, security world not impressed


"I'd bet they have people working 24/7/365, "

Gadzooks - working 365 weeks a year! No wonder they're so productive.

GitHub jammed by injected JavaScript, servers whacked by DDoS


@ Michael H

"The injected script looks like this, once unscrambled:"

I suspect you overlooked the "once unscrambled:"

Windows 10 heralds the Minecraft-isation of Microsoft


Re: Dungeons and Dragons

"But... I thought that's what 3d printers were for...!"

Frame rate is too low :-(

Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide


Re: Looks like it has differential GPS...

"So it'll know where it's going (accurate heading when stationary) as well as where it is."

Heisenberg may disagree.

What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?


Re: It's not complicated at all

"If you desire someone's artistic works, you pay for it or go to jail like any other crim."

Thought crime? I'm doomed!

REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff


Re: Hold the presses...

"He said he found academia, not middle-management!"

Uh oh. I'm middle management in academia :-(

Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws


"Why do coders fail to code for input validation

First rule - assume users are idiots and expect them to do stupid things (even by accident)."

That's a good start, but doesn't go nearly far enough.

Assume that users are evil geniuses with access to the source code and have embarked on a personal vendetta against you, and code to handle input of that nature!

Hacker claims PayPal loophole generates FREE MONEY


Re: Virtual credit cards

They do still exist, and I use them for almost all on-line purchases.

Mine is through Bank of America, and the product name is 'ShopSafe' (acquired when they purchased MBNA)

The cute things they say


Me calling Gateway 2000 technical support after taking delivery of a ludicrously expensive 17" Trinitron monitor (mid 90s): I just plugged in the new monitor, it made a loud pop and some smoke came out the back.

Gateway support: Uhhh - I don't know much about monitors. I'm going to transfer you to my manager.

Me: Hello - I just plugged in this new monitor, it made a loud pop and some smoke came out the back.

Manager: I don't know why you're talking to me! I'll ship a new one out today, and you should have it tomorrow.

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