* Posts by GrapeBunch

318 posts • joined 19 Apr 2015

Page:

Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Bic for her

Glad those comments and commentators are all on the same page, so to speak.

1
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Philips Digital Cassette Tape etc

Re: text entry on Apple Newton. I rather miss Giraffe on the Handspring whats-its-name, a Palm-like PDA. I got fairly skilled (at least, by my own standards) using Giraffe for manual text input, then Giraffe went away.

1
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: mein Kampf mit Scheitern

I remember one year a PC magazine with great fanfare announced its annual awards for Technical Excellence. The winner in a software category was MS-DOS, even though it was vastly inferior to a direct competitor, Digital Research DOS, aka DR-DOS or Dr. DOS. I was so miffed I wrote a letter, to which they replied something like that MS-DOS was a better seller. Excellent. Not.

When Windows was a product that worked on top of--and over--DOS, there was reportedly a saying at Microsoft to the effect: "It don't go out the door, until DR-DOS don't work no more." DR ended up at the mercy of MS's production schedules. When Windows released a new version, then DR had to scramble to bypass the DR-unfriendly code that MS had introduced, and only then could they release the next DR-DOS version. Digital Research also had a great product called Concurrent DOS. I believe DR-DOS was mainly a crippled version of Concurrent DOS, with a flag set to "off", the one that would have activated the concurrent processing. Instead, DR-DOS acted as a task-switcher. In 1985-86 I worked for a company that exploited the power of Concurrent DOS in off-the-shelf PCs to create software that is impressive even decades later. None of the brilliance came from me, but I did work for the company.

If Digital Research is allowed only one entry in the FAIL museum, I'm not sure which one it should be.

4
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: mein Kampf mit Scheitern

AVRO Arrow, the greatest jet aeroplane of the 20th century, was built, tested, then junked, destroyed, obliterated. That is Canada's biggest fail. Although the rumour was that Prime Minister Diefenbaker had nightmares about Canada becoming a war-monger or a nuclear power, I've long believed that it must have been USA influence--whether commercial, military, or political--applied in secret. The cancellation was a tremendous boost to the USA aero industry, without loss of a single life. They've done more to get less.

5
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

mein Kampf mit Scheitern

at least that's how Google translated it. I'm not making this up. Has a (mood) ring about it that "My Struggle with Failure" lacks.

My brother had an Apple Newton. I had (have?) a Kodak digital camera (DC215 http://www.digicammuseum.com/en/prototypes-rarities/item/kodak-dc215-metallics ), which as a digital camera for its time was just fine. It took 3,000 pics of up to 1 Megapixel, then I loaned it to a youngster. I also have two Betamaxen in the basement (and, just to be fair, a stereo VHS). The transport mechanisms on these machines tend to use rubber-like bands, which over the decades oxidize. If they don't disintegrate, they do get slack. So the mission, should I choose to accept it, is to get the replacement band, disassemble the damn thing (taking frequent snapshots of the process on my Kodak, oops) ... and hope that disassembly wasn't a one-way process. I doubt that a couple of minutes with a hair dryer would tighten up a slack band, but you never know .... well, if worst comes to worst, the units contain so much metal that they could stop a fairly good-sized bullet: beta-armour?

I also have a tech that succeeded but was discontinued, the butterfly keyboard. It appeared in the Thinkpad 701C and 701CS circa 1994?. Then the idea was deep-sixed by IBM because their craze was ever-thinner machines with ever-larger screens. Silly gits.

The list of failed tech could be much much longer. There's not just failed products, but also failed ideas.

1
0

Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: just throw it over the side?

(and make sure you reboot)

I did as you suggested on an old XP machine. On rebooting, it could not connect with the Internet. After a few minutes of futzing around, I fell back upon an old method that often works, though I never know why. I rebooted a second time. All normal after that. Thanks!

It strikes me that much of one's security should reside in the router. It even runs a different OS ! Don't know how one might go about that, though.

2
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: All these caps....

Or even SCORPION STARE

SCO-R-PION'S TARE

FTFY

Anachronistic wish fulfillment where annoying corp reduced to the sweat-soaked shirt on a farm worker's back. Mud-encrusted trousers optional.

1
0

Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Not the promo for "Romeo and Juliet"

Zeffy. Movie director Franco Zeffirelli gives new twist on old tail.

1
0

Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: French air space

Five reg-tards helped me with my French, there, for which I thank you. Invisible to you all, El Reg itself has joined in the noble effort by serving me ads in French. So make that six, er, six. And all because I noticed that "nob" is "bon" spelled backwards.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

French air space

Repeat after me, children: "Très bon est le nob qui n'a pas aucunement jamais de drone."

Apologies in advance to those who control French air space, or who actually speak French.

3
2

Trump signs exec order signaling foreign H-1B visa techie crackdown

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: First world problem

I upvoted you, AC, though many didn't. Years ago, I read an essay by the astronomer, Fred Hoyle. When asked what should a young astronomer do to keep his game sharp (rather than chat in the coffee room), Hoyle recommended calculating (using pencil and paper) some planetary orbits, using the Laws of Gravity formulated by Isaac Newton (1643-1727). OTOH, it makes sense that they would not want to be doing this all day, every day. Same goes for offshore astronomers.

2
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Needed to compile a video for a friend. First Linux proggy took nearly half an hour and didn't want to burn the DVD. Second Linux proggy took the same amount of time, but did burn the DVD. Nero's proggy running on Win7 took less than a minute of my time because drag 'n' drop.

The same job would have taken only seconds longer on an old Win2K or XP machine (suitably isolated from the Internet) with earlier versions of the same legacy software. A good reason to keep one old computer on the shelf. You might have had to transfer the material on a CF card on a carrier in a PCMCIA slot, rather than a USB stick. And your burn device might have been connected by Firewire.

Since in 2017, few would want DVD authoring software cluttering up their work machine.

I've noticed that whenever I say anything neutral or nice in relation to an old version of Windows, I collect El Reg downvotes. So go ahead, Mike Foxtrotters, downvote me to Hell.

3
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Cheap code

I used to write a column (not about tech) in a Canadian newspaper. For decades, the deadline was Wednesday for a Saturday column, which was fine, especially pre-Internet, but even afterwards because the subject was not particularly time-sensitive. But the newspaper cut costs by offshoring the typesetting of those particular newspaper pages to USA. So the deadline became earlier. And kept on getting earlier until it was 2 weeks before the original deadline. In other words, 17 days in advance. My theory at the time was that the USA company had in turn offshored this work to India. Not that Indian words such as "crore" started creeping into the column. It was a question of low wages combined with fluency in English that led me to that guess. "Indira, you're not working hard enough. Improve your productivity or I will offshore this work to Bangladesh, where they really know the value of their paycheque." Anyway, you can push the envelope in a "news" paper, but not engage in a race to the bottom. Eventually, the Canadian newspaper dropped the column, ostensibly because they were retooling the paper to a new demographic, but probably because fewer people were reading the stale material therein.

4
0

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Weapons of Math Destruction

I've opened but not got too far along with, a book with the above title. It deals with exactly the topic being discussed here.

I think that a regulatory approach would be as pointless as outlawing stupidity. You have to keep redefining stupidity, and as soon as you think you're done, somebody moves the yardsticks. Even a requirement to file flowcharts, founders on the reasonable contention that the algorithm and its flowchart are trade secrets of the company.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Gas & Electricity Companies

adjust your payments over the year depending upon your use.

I misread as:

adjust your payments over the year depending up your arse.

Really I did. And so did the gas company.

0
0

Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Toothless?

It could just be a "throw away line" referencing tooth (and hence data) removal. MS, fb, GCHQ and so on. They're all in the extraction biz. Would you like to join in, NSA? Why yes, old fiend, nothing short of a Pymms could make the oyster go down more smoothly. Shame about your teeth.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: The SWIFT tap is ooooold news, btw

... VISA payment processing centre. As I'm all for reciprocity, I think it's time we get access to theirs. Trump's, for instance, must be fascinating :)

Fascinating? Since Trump's trick is to buy stuff using other people's money (a bit like Royalty, and governments, for that matter), it might tell nothing at all. Yugely.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Damn it NSA,

Yeah, sure, multiple machine translations, "Chinese Whispers" or "Telephone" style with a check at the end to see that the message isn't just too garbled. However, it could be that they want people to think that their native language is not English. That it is, for example, Russian. When comedian Jessica Holmes does a Russian character, it sounds just like those excerpts. Easter, of course, they want you to think they're favouring Orthodox countries which calculate Easter (holidays) on a different basis. Although I looked it up, and in 2017, both Easters fell on the same day. Maybe there's a message in that, too. They probably didn't want to wait until Christmas.

0
0

Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: "Creators Update"

Memory is fallible. I was thinking of Episode 63 (or 67 in another count): The Empath. The Vions (who look like Ballmer in drag) slurp all human data. Kirk (representing the journalists of El Reg) saves the life of the helpless empath, Gem (representing all Windows users), with snappy debating points. But dammit Jim, the Vions don't use the words "The Creators", that must be another episode. Later, Spock almost smiles.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: "Creators Update"

The Creators are the guys (always guys) who speak with a disembodied echo voice in Start Wreck, The Origamal's Eeries. It's their way, or

breathe {void}.

4
1
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge
Windows

Lucky 7even.

I'm one of the lucky ones still on Win 7 (and XP!?. One of the XPs is destined for Mint Mate). AFAICT, MS for a long time did not have a version of 10 suitable for my ThinkPad W520. Then when I wised up about the "upgrade", I was able to prevent it. Curiously, this morning Comodo flashed a message that I would have to upgrade Comodo software before the Creators Update. On the surface, this is just an oversight on Comodo's part, mimicking not being able to tell what OS you are running. Or maybe it's a telegram that a user really might be that gullible after all this time to go from a stable 7 system to the latest whiz-bang. Or, is there a Creators Update for Windows 7 in our future?

2
4

Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Doomsday?

I can't help thinking that with more development effort, this sort of malware will be able to brick every gas or electric smart meter on the planet. Darwin this, Darwin that. On the frostiest night of the year, naturally. Deployed by a kid wearing short trousers, football boots, and a Motörhead T-shirt inherited from his grandpa.

9
0

Snakes and bats cause more blackouts than criminal haxors

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Bat Fink

Why would Russian [Nork, American, Iranian, Chinese, Israeli ...] hackers want to bring down utilities at [random location] ? Surely they're developing their arsenals through research, industrial espionage, reverse espionage (e.g. donating code that they already know how to h4XX.) and collection of zero-day exploits. They have their eye on the long game, the sharp disruption upon request at a crucial moment. The damned Eastern Grey Squirrels haven't figured that out. Or have they?

Maybe a 13-year-old itching to be jailed, but not a natjonal hacker.

0
0

Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: B4 Midday

We might someday have a saying around these parts: "It's always tomorrow somewhere."

0
0

Bloke is paid to scour hashtags for threats, spots civil rights boss's tweets, gets fired, sues

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Don't worry

Don't worry, Morogon spooks; OSS, KGB, SS, CIA, Stasi, and so on all had own toothing probs.

The Erious Johnson reference a Twitter search revealed yesterday was this quote:

"It takes nothing to join the crowd, it takes everything to stand alone."

Erious Johnson, Jr. Civil rights Oregon.

It is confusing. My best guess is that an Erious Johnson was engaged in a false flag / entrapment operation. Williams, a low-level employee, flagged this, the powers that be in his department took it all too seriously, and soon they felt they needed a scapegoat to cover their gaffe, embarrassment, asses. If only they used the Keepass application, this never might have happened. Just a guess, necessarily a wild one because the bald what-happened-in-the-story, does not make sense.

1
0

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: At 90X Jupiter's mass, and fairly pure hydrogen, how did this not ignite into a star?

There are 100 visible stars in the galaxy. And another 100 invisible ones. If instead there were 900 invisible ones, could that solve the gravitational equation? Even a milky Oort cloud of dun objects? B(G)ee-leon, of course.

0
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: "Gigayears"...?

Inquiring minds want to know whether it's pronounced like Gillionham in Kent, or like Gillionham in Dorset.

2
0

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Dope-a-mean

He's flooding our stupidity receptors. Many other measures, such as defunding science, will have more serious and long-term effects.

1
0

Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

a TSA spokesperson referred The Register to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS spokesperson David Lapan did not acknowledge the new rules when asked about them. "We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide an update when appropriate," he said in an email. We'll update this article as soon as we have more information.

I would like to assure observers at TSA, DHS, and El Reg that I will update this comment as soon as ... oops. That wasn't ten minutes! It was never ten minutes.

If USA wants to punish eight or eighty countries, how about this: only women from those countries may travel to USA. Men are banned. And on February 29th, reverse that. Security Theatre of the Absurd.

12
0

An under-appreciated threat to your privacy: Security software

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

When mankind conceptualized wood as a spear, a club, a spar, a stud, a post, a joist, a lintel, a fan, a stylus, a pencil, a shield, fuel, charcoal, spring, foundation, fertilizer, paper, a fork, a toothbrush, a toothpick, a wing strut ..., all sorts of miracles and mischief followed, over tens of thousands of years. I wonder if the concept of Internet-as-boon will survive its rapid weaponization.

We wildebeests may defeat a lion or a crocodile in individual combat, but in the end we can't eat or otherwise profit from the defeated opponent (e.g., a criminal or a government). In the end, we are all prey. So what's the point in engaging in the Internet-battle-of-survival? To use a completely different analogy.

0
0

Lyft drops $27m on the table to make annoying driver lawsuit go away

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Yes. The story doesn't say how much of the 27 mig ones goes to the drivers, and how much to lawyers. In other cases, I've been staggered.

4
0

Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Ideas:

I've long wanted antigravity entrained to antimatter. Never occurred to me that it doesn't have to be one-to-one with gravity. I wonder if the figure 0.02993 is the right side of an equation involving familiar constants, such as my first try e / (pi to the fourth) which google tells me is 0.02790583301. Not bad. Four pies because there's four dimensions and my tummy is empty. Science isn't done this way (at least not the 99.999% of Science that is work). Thank you all for indulging this fancy.

1
0

Germany to Facebook, Twitter: We are *this* close to fining you €50m unless you delete fake news within 24 hours

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

"Suppression of free speech Erich Honecker would be proud of."

I was thinking that facebook will have ample data to compare the efficiency of their 700 agents, in a city that has hosted several agencies in the past century or so. I wonder what the gold standard of efficiency even is? Probably not the Stasi, because when the State becomes a Surveillance State, there's hardly room for much else. No, I'd guess it would be one of the earlier agencies, despite the less-developed technology.

0
0

Marissa! Mayer! out! as! CEO! of! Yahoo! corpse! post-Verizon! gobble!

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Altaba

Altaba. That's the Failed State right next to Alt-Georgia.

3
0

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Both Sides Then

I was on the other side of this fun once. Cast your minds back to the pre-internet days of monochrome displays. I bought an application which was written in 16-colors, but I ran it on a four shades of green monitor. Up to then, and afterwards, every 16-color pay-for or free or shareware app I had encountered, rendered OK on a 4-shade of monochrome monitor. Except this one. He had managed to burn-in (no user color settings) two display colors that mapped to the same shade, meaning that much of the information was illegible, encrypted if you like. I pointed this out to the author. He didn't fix the app, but he did diss one of his customers on a discussion group. This was pre-internet, so it might have been Leisure Linc. Something like: "You think you have stupid customers. I got one who complained about the colors of my app, but it turned out he was trying to run it in monochrome. What an idiot !" Endearing, to the hilt.

1
0

Official: America auto-scanned visitors' social media profiles. Also: It didn't work properly

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Dark mirror

"America's wonderful!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

It really makes it

Cream-cheese"

Frank Zappa: Return of the Son of Monster Magnet, 1966.

3
0
GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: the DHS: it's only a state of mind

For clarity, Marshall Law. Very loud clarity.

0
0

Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Ownership

If I understand correctly, in USA, you don't own your own DNA. So if a company patents your DNA, you have no rights at all. Just saying that this is another potential profit corner for the politicians' corporate friends.

Oh yes, and RyUncare.

3
1

'Nigerian princes' snatch billions from Western biz via fake email – Interpol

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: IT outsourcing

would you trust any of your personal details to a help desk in Nigeria?

Hello, my name is Donald. It's snowing yugely here in Reykjavik. How may I help you?

0
0

That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Shiftily

Just a few years ago, if a reference was made to a laptop open to hacking, a system operator would pipe up that anybody whose machine was hacked, was simply not taking the proper precautions. Then would follow a short list of the precautions to take. Not all of these precautions would be understandable to the layman, but oh well.

Today those might still be useful precautions, but it seems that the likelihood of getting hacked, if a hacker is intent on you, is high. If a government agency can do it, anybody can do it.

Where before, the layman was "stupid" if (s)he did not take the indicated steps to secure the computer, it seems that today, may it be suggested?, the layman is ill-advised to conduct medium or important business over the internet. Is this what they mean by "paradigm shift"?

1
0

Rap for chat app chaps: Snap's shares are a joke – and a crap one at that

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Logic

Since the invention of the telephone, it has been whatever the guy on the other end of the line is able to convince the potential investor. Or whatever picture he is able to paint in their mind, if you want to wax lyrical about it. Also applies to some elections.

1
0

Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Wilderness

Quikcomp II, Fortran 2d, CBASIC, CB80, Icon, Power BASIC, ThinBASIC. Those are my qualifications for not being able to add anything to this discussion. But it was fun reading yours!

0
0

Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

22. Writing things on the backs of envelopes is fairly secure. If you are a physician, it is 99% secure. Only a pharmacist will be able to decrypt it.

15
0

$310m AWS S3-izure: Why everyone put their eggs in one region

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Pyrus vs Citrus trees

If cloud costs .02 / GB, then the home user of the silver standard of storage devices (the external 2.5" USB3 magnetic drive) amortizes his investment in a few (say 3) months. It's a pears and oranges comparison, of course, but it does give a flavour for why (some) cloud storage companies keep losing money just to stay in the game. They have to be competitive both with the big guys, and with on-site storage.

Some tech services are naturals for offshoring: coding, support, telemarketing, manufacturing etc. I wonder to what extent that applies to cloud storage. For example, keep your data in Poughkeepsie, but your redundancy in Poona?

0
0

Google's troll-destroying AI can't cope with typos

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Willie Bee

Google AI: the real reason he's William the Conqueror.

Analbuddy hoo votted gogg.le iz.za wasteof.space

No deprecation intended, just wanted to raise the spectre of insulting terms also being possible to interpret as links, and th.us triggering different automation modules in filter.space

0
0

GoDaddy DNS has gone diddy

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Typo propagation?

Sure TTLs, but wouldn't gonedaddy.com be more elegant, a self-fulfilling prophesy typo?

2
0

Europe's data protection rules set a high bar for consent – and UK ICO welcomes your thoughts

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Virtual nostalgia

freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous

I like that. Apply it retrospectively to sub-prime mortgages, and the global economic collapse of 2008 goes away. Both the people who signed up for the mortgages, and the people who bought the poisoned derivatives, did not give informed consent. And the people who did not inform them, largely got away scot-free with bags of lucre and no negative consequences.

10
0

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Psion Chess

Psion Chess predates the Psion computers mentioned, but, well, Wikipedia puts it this way: "Die Schachengine war in Assembler programmiert. Es gab Versionen für Sinclair QL, Atari ST, Mac, PC und Psion Organiser. Eine Version für den ZX Spectrum aus dem Jahr 1983 ebnete den Weg für die PC-Umsetzung." This may, or may not, explain long-term confusion in my head. Just call me Colonel Dump.

1
0

LG, Huawei unwrap 'Samsung Galaxy-killers'

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: "Wonder why nobody's tried it before"

'view two square windows side by side. Less obvious is why you’d want to.'

Simultaneous chess.

2
0

Brit cops can keep millions of mugshots of innocent folks on file

GrapeBunch
Bronze badge

Re: Nobody Mention Backups

The obvious solution is that backups not be kept forever. Let's say backups are labelled M, T, W, H, F and if the change is made on F1 then in a week the offending photos will be flushed out.

I'd also say that having the photos of innocents on tape, out of sight and therefore out of mind, is a huge advance on meddling (or pressured) cops looking in the criminal records databases for excuses to bust somebody, anybody.

3
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017