* Posts by enormous c word

151 posts • joined 7 Jul 2015

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The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

enormous c word

chilli powder amount depends on the state of the chef / strength of the chilli powder, failing that curry powder, failing that any old spice, pour into can of baked beans* (having first ingested 2 table spoons of the same to make room). A pinch of salt. Stir in the tin until you can't be bothered stirring any more and et voila ready to eat (albeit cold) but only while intoxicated. May be garnished with sprinkling of grated cheese to add colour and interest.

* alphabet spaghetti or spaghetti hoops can be substituted as per availability of ingredients.

Yikes. UK military looking into building 'fully autonomous' killer drone tech – report

enormous c word

Re: Mmmm!

But seriously - these drones are not a threat to humanity themselves, sure there will be mistakes made and *some* innocents will be killed. But hey, shit happens in war, right?

The issue is that (at the risk of sounding painfully melodramatic) this is the point where the beginning of the end began. The thing about having humans kill other humans is that while it is distasteful, it does require that the humans giving the orders have enough human support agreeing with them - and there's a check and balance required there. If the humans giving the orders don't have sufficient support (among their own people, they'll be overthrown / removed from office / not re-elected) - so they are moderated to some degree.

But, an army of drones may work perfectly and without error (and that is even scarier). If that's the case you should be even more worried because the general population will be supportive of those drones (to begin with) and they'll be used to replace conventional (human) forces.

But drones don't have a vote, they don't have an opinion, they just follow the rules they've been given and it means a very few people will have the ability to subjugate very many more with no risk to themselves and absolutely no accountability. And if there's one thing we've learnt is that leaders surrounded by 'yes' men become tyrants, and drones are the ultimate 'yes' men.

enormous c word

Mmmm!

Wow! Fully autonomous drones with the ability to identify targets and destroy without human intervention...

Sounds cool! What could possibly go wrong?

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

enormous c word

Re: Or the fourth option...

The regulators are solving a problem that doesnt exist for people who mostly dont care - as consumers if you dont like what google are doing by an iPhone or non-android phone, if you're a techy user replace with CyanogenMod or LineageOS or some other non google-android, if you're really anti data-slurping - buy a feature phone and enjoy days of battery life. If you're a manufacturer use one of the dozen or so Android forks that are out there.

Seriously - this just the EU regulators trying to show that their unelected government has teeth. Better to stop twatting about and recover the vast sums of TAX that google/amazon/Starbucks etc find ways of not paying.

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

enormous c word

The funny thing in this is that the *ideals and politics* between Remainers and Brexiteers are all mixed up - nobody really comments on the fact the most Remainers are probably a bit younger, a bit left-wing leaning and probably a bit Anti-Globalisation, have fewer assets at risk, and more options for employment looking forward - and yet voting to remain is a pro-Globalisation vote.

Similarly Brexiteers are probably a bit older, have more assets at risk (ie Mortgage/rental properties, shares, investments) from a crash, are probably more right-wing-leaning and fewer employment options (you can still lose everything in the final 5 years of your employable age - with less time to rebuild).

So why did people vote the way they did?

Left-wing Remainers effectively voted pro-Globalisation and the abuse of minimum-wage labour at home and abroad - who would have thought?

Leavers voted for anti-Globalisation and change that is a much higher-risk for their short:medium-term prospects - are they crazy?

enormous c word

Re: eh?

True - Amazon ship vast amounts of individual items all over the world - they will be hit (and they wont like it) but as you say - they avoid TAXes and dont contribute - so are really hurting the UK economy as they have an unfair competitive advantage with High Street retailers (or any organisation that pays its fair share).

enormous c word

Re: eh?

Food and gas become scarce? What about the plague of locusts, followed by the Zombie apocalypse. Perhaps you're concerned that the EU will limit the air that we breathe so we have to become self-sufficient there too.

Honestly, hardline Remoaners will make up any garbage to make a point (and more worryingly - are actually desperate for the worst to happen just so they can be proven right). We were promised immediate economic collapse in the event of a vote to leave by 'well-respected' academic financial analysts. What happened? Almost nothing. Will we get a free-trade-deal that benefits the UK to the detriment of the EU member states? I seriously doubt it. Will your Zombie Apocalypse happen shortly after that? Umm! - nope!

Chinese tech giant ZTE is back in business – plus or minus $1.4bn and its entire board

enormous c word

Re: Don't forget

...or when Britain shared its more advanced rocket and Jet engine technology with the USA, - our enemies may be our enemies, but our friends are also certainly also our competitors.

IBM to GTS: We want you to 'rotate' clients every two years

enormous c word

Re: @Glad and Done ... Making the same mistake the Banks did.

@Ian Michael Gumby,

and how do you measure the value of expert knowledge of a client? I know - it is difficult to do, so the bean-counters tend not to do it - they only measure what is easy to add up and produce models like this.

Yes, of course there has to be relationships at higher levels, but the relationships at the 'worker drone' level is just as important and more numerous, remember the client has 'worker drones' too and they influence the execs (who are equally likely to be in a 'Hit By Truck' scenario or indeed be moved along or out as they fail to deliver some poorly conceived visionary project thy conjured up).

'Worker drones' at the client and the IT supplier come in major 2 categories; Contractors who are around for weeks:months, maybe a couple of years; and FTEs who will be around for years, perhaps many years. I've been both and am currently the latter

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

enormous c word

...the future of autonomous vehicles can only be in aircraft.

Autonomous cars have no real future - semi autonomy has a place for those unable to park competently or for enhanced safety. There will always be too many variables and too many *older* vehicles, cats, dogs, sheep, cyclists ....

Semi Autonomous trucks or trailers with either a human or autonomous driver in the lead vehicle does make more sense, but the real future is in autonomous or semi-autonomous flight.

While it is within the capability of most of us to master driving a car without any assistance, travel in a 3-dimensional space (flying) is something else entirely - it's only safe because there are really very few other vehicles competing for the same space - and lets face it mastering the controls and disciplines to enable safe piloting of an aircraft is beyond the capablity of most of us.

The airways will only get busy when autonomous systems are doing the driving, and once they are busy, the only way to stay in the air safely will be with a good autonomous pilot.

2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

enormous c word

Re: Ah well, back to my PowerPoint slides

Y'know, I love SciFi and I really want to love 2001, I probably love some bits of it but overall...

...I dont

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

enormous c word

SFT wasnt so bad

It was clever stuff - Fault Tolerance all done in SW on old (generic) kit with Intel single CPU speeds measured in the range of maybe 25-70MHz. So it was essential for the 2 machines to be identical if they were to operate in lock-step with each other - there simply weren't enough spare CPU cycles to deal with Hardware Abstractions and translations.

Fault Tolerance (more or less) went away for a loooong time on generic intel kit until vmWare came along and virtualised everything but with the benefit of CPUs running at 50x the clock speed and multiple cores.

Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

enormous c word

Re: There's a PhD in that

If we didnt have English, we would need Esperanto, but English is good enough - I know a few Malaysians and Filipino students - they all speak excellent 'Merkin which is close enough to English to be indistinguishable. I know a German guy who speaks perfect English, but can't follow it unless spoken with an American accent (loved Western movies as a kid), on conf-calls with him we all have to adopt John Wayne accents - hilarious (to begin with anyway).

enormous c word

Re: Nope, it doesn't work

Yep - never a truer word said, the stupid American date format MM-DD-YY (causes me no end of grief no way to tell it from DD-MM-YY or YY-MM-DD (which the rest of the world prefers to use) and invariably there's enough human error to make it difficult to work it out from old date.

The only date format (in my experience) that crosses borders is YYYY-MM-DD

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

enormous c word

Re: Not useful

Radio signals seem like an extremely poor source of evidence for detecting intelligent life. We've been broadcasting for what about 100 years. Radio is ok for communicating within the confines of our planet earth but for inter-planetary distances way too slow to be usable to have a decent chat ...

I'm no scientist much less a physicist, but Quantum Entanglement allows instantaneous communication over any distance (as I understand it) but requires the particles to have been located in the same space initially before being separated - but this is still point-to-point communication so there is no chance of eavesdropping on conversations between little-green-men. Seems to me that 100 years is a very narrow span of time. So Quantum Entanglement (as I understand it) solves both the transmission time problem and the security problem, so how much longer will Radio Transmissions be used for - surely not another 100 years...

Of course the assumption has been that any planet only ever produces 1 technologically advanced civilisation or species - who is to say the dinosaurs didn't evolve and develop technology - a 1000 years is a blip in the fossil record. Maybe after human civilisation dies off hamsters or squid will evolve into a technologically advanced species.

Windows 10 S to become a 'mode', not a discrete product

enormous c word

Re: ... Microsoft Store ...

Its already here - they call it Android - you may have heard of it - its quite popular on those weird keyboardless laptops they tablets and some mobile telephony devices

Symantec ends cheap Norton offer to NRA members

enormous c word

Re: That'll show 'em!

@TheVogon

"Because the NRA is directly funded by gun corporations. And consumers can vote with their feet."

Your comment makes no sense, NRA members _like_ guns, some NRA members may _use_ Symantec products but unfortunately Symantec withdrawing a discount to NRA members is irrelevant. NRA members however may vote with their feet and but antivirus sw elsewhere. How does this affect the firearms industry? Only solution to USA gun problem has to come from the govt and no US president has the power to push it through congress.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

enormous c word
Mushroom

Contactless is the banks solution to fraud and reimbursement to victims of fraud. But not in the way you may think. The banks limit contactless to £30 to encourage you to use your card instead of cash for many-many small payments - each of which they shave off a micro-fee - the number of transactions are far too many for the typical user to be able to identify when they get their statement - so any fraud goes unnoticed or is of too little value to bother pursuing. The bank still gets their micro-fee regardless of whether its legit or fraudulent transaction.

From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work

enormous c word

One in the eye for Bacefook

I wonder if this is more about hurting the competition than protecting users. I suspect the majority of FBs advertising will fail.

Lenovo's craptastic fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password

enormous c word

Re: The apocalypse...

Phew! Thats a relief - now if someone nicks my laptop, they wont need to cut my finger off to access.

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

enormous c word

I did vote Brexit for exactly this reason - the NHS is propped up by poorly paid immigrants working as cleaners, nurses, anaesthetists, doctors etc all at huge cost to their country of birth who probably funded their education and whose general population is now in dire need of their services.

I'm in awe of those who volunteer (Medecine Sans Frontier etc) to provide medical support in countries where the NHS have swept up all the local talent - but this isnt really the answer.

Globalisation just means that the brightest and best in a deprived area leave for a brighter future elsewhere, leaving the rest behind and compounding the problems.

Destroying the city to save the robocar

enormous c word

Do we really want self-driving cars?

I'm curious - if wholly autonomous cars were available today, priced competitively with *manual* cars - would you actually buy one? I know I just don't want one myself.

Obvously there's a place for public transport, freight and maybe the taxi - but your own car?

Thumbs up for "Yes" I want a wholly autonomous car.

Thumbs down for "No" I prefer to drive myself.

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

enormous c word

Re: THAT Price for one View?

These things used to be available as part of the Licence fee. You're right to watch stuff for a reasonable cost has been slowly eroded and the majority of sheople subscribed to Sky - have forgotten that. If you're a sports fan (specifically thinking whingeing footballists) and think that money has spoilt the game - then quit moaning and do something about it and cancel your subscription for a year. If the majority followed suit, then the value of the TV rights would tumble. During your TV-football-free year, you might even find something more interesting to do than sitting infront of the TV playing dress up in your favourite teams costume.

Shopped in Forever 21? There was bank-card-slurping malware in it for, like, forever

enormous c word
Big Brother

Re: Question

Every card transaction is a potential exposure - and the banks want us to go contactless so they can cream off a percentage for every transaction - there'll be so many transactions on your statement nobody will ever be able to identify what is legit from fraud. Join me in the cash revolution and you too can avoid credit card fraud...

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

enormous c word

Re: July and August must Go!

My kids asked me when they were little why Jesus was born in a stable, and I told them that it was because all the hotels were closed for Christmas that day ;-)

enormous c word

Re: Can't we get rid of May?

While we're at it - can we do something about February - It seems there is one too many 'r's in there ...

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks

enormous c word

Re: Just iPhones?

if they're successful with iPhone, then the precedent has been set - broadening to other devices that may have been affected would be simple.

Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

enormous c word
Devil

Re: "I'd hardly say that Tories and Labour are different species"

Tory and Labour did interbreed, their first offspring of their unholy union was the 'Anthony Blair' - labours first ever conservative PM.

Linus Torvalds on security: 'Do no harm, don't break users'

enormous c word

Re: fairly sensible explanation ...

@AC "Fuck developers and users, that's my debit card details!!"

I totally get where you're coming from - BUT - if taking away functionality breaks the system, then the admins won't apply the update and so the bug/exposure lives on (although it may be fixed in an update that no-one uses). Then systems get more and more out of date and difficult to patch, then they just get left, then there's a mess that no-one can sort out, so finally the OutSoucers move in and continue to do nothing for 4 more years. Then finally everything is truly broken.

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

enormous c word

... and for 11 minutes the world was a safer and saner place. @TheLegend, I salute you - whoever you are...

Plants in SPAAAAAAACE are good for you

enormous c word

Re: Photosynthesis

ok so needs to grow anywhere with minimum light - the answer is mushrooms and rhubarb - we have the entree and the desert sorted - how about a main course - anyone?

GE goes with Apple: Not the Transformation you were looking for, Satya?

enormous c word

Re: And why should that surprise us?

@AC "What is permanent, however, is the expressed dislike to return to Windows once staff have worked with macOS. Despite sometimes being faced with new applications, the UI is so consistent that users end up educating themselves"

Skinned Apps broke windows - All you GUI desigers *innovated* the platform into un-usability.

Someone liked dwarf planet Haumea so much they put a ring on it

enormous c word

Shirley or surely

I keep seeing the name "Shirley" where people mean "surely" - is this just a common typo, or am I missing some subtly humorous reference to the old Airplane movies that most people have forgotten about now?

Microsoft is Putin a stop to Russian-sanctions-busting IT resellers

enormous c word

Re: President Putin's nation

It's true - nations tend to pull together an rally around even unpopular leaders when they feel intimidated and/or victimised. Look at all the instances where unpopular leaders used conflict to bolster their positions. Argentina / Falklands / UK, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

enormous c word

Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

@Ian Johnston - yep - me too - and those Rack Save keyboards dont come cheap - I spent hours looking for a Bluetooth kbrd with a nipplemouse - sadly none found.

Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

enormous c word

MS Never wanted to get into Mobile - they were forced

MS have seen the writing on the wall.

Linux is chipping away upwards into the premium Unix space and downward into the commodity Windows space), Cloud based Apps are available across all Desktop and handheld platforms.

Android (which is really Linux in a pretty frock) and iOS (which is really BSD in a pretty frock) dominates the typical users experience of IT - MS is becoming increasingly niche.

Of course it's true that today the vast majority of business users are working from a Windows laptop (as am I) but the next generation of professionals will have grown up with Android or iOS and will continue to use what they are familiar with in business.

MS obviously hoped to retain their place in the server space (which they care about) by retaining a position in the mobile space (which they really don't care about). That hasn't happened, so we will see an increasingly rapid decline of Windows as they have to share the server and desktop space between Windows, MAC, iOS, Linux, Android, Unix, and Mainframe.

I think it was Sun MicroSystems' John Gage who said "The network is the computer" in the 1980's - it was complete nonsense then but after 30 years it finally came true.

Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

enormous c word

Re: That's not even wrong

I don't think even Shirley can help here. This is clearly a job for Mavis.

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

enormous c word

Re: @ Hollerithevo As a UX person as well as web dev

Wrong! There needs to be a clear distinction between content and controls. As more and more apps have been skinned, now the Windows GUI makes content and controls indistinguishable and very web page has its own look'n'feel, the result is that usability conventions have been eroded away completely, and users have to *learn* the vagaries of every app/tool/application/web page. What a mess.

I wish developers would understand I just want to use your f*****g tool, not gaze upon the magnificence of your lovingly crafted individual creative masterpiece.

Windows 3.1 -> 2000 had very clear GUI guidelines and applications were MUCH easier to learn than pre-Windows DOS based apps. Of course MAC/GEM GUIs had their conventions, but the real difference could be perceived when PC users went from pure DOS Text-based applications to Windows with its standards and usability conventions.

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

enormous c word

Re: Screw 16:10

I put a 300GB SSD in my T43P and it transformed it - unfortunately the screen hinge failed abou 3 months ago and that was that. The SSD went in as a daughter card in a panel on the underside. Worked a treat and left my HD or documents only.

enormous c word

Re: Screw 16:10

@ElReg!comments!Pierre

"Not many people want 4:3"

No true - everyone wants 4:3, its just that none are available to buy because the industry has standardised on 16:9 to fall in line with TV production. 16:9 has no use in computing or a work environment. It wouldn't be so bad if all the MS Ribbon crap could be relocated to the side - but it seems to only be positionable at the top making your content/working area almost unusable. 16:9 is a huge step backwards - the iPad and ChromeBook got it right at least.

enormous c word

Re: Screw 16:10

All I really want from a laptop (apart from blistering performance) is a 4:3 screen, a trackpoint (don't want a track pad) a nice matt screen (no shiny, shiny shite, thanks) and removable drive and battery bays.

Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

enormous c word

Re: Jump! Jump! Jump!

"...That being said she was also a minor at the time and provably not at all responsible, yet responsible for his death..."

She knew exactly what she was doing, what she did was systematic - no suggestion of a moment of madness or crime of passion here - the issue is that her moral-compass is so far off she is a danger to anyone vulnerable or impressionable.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

enormous c word

Re: Cost is the smaller concern

Why not Android? I use a KODI box purchased on Amazon for £30 with a standard monitor and USB keyboard/mouse - its totally disposable/replacable, sips power and makes for a great network terminal.

Most NHS employees will be familiar with Android through their phone / tablets.

Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

enormous c word

Re: @ Martin

If you have elderly relatives (with dementia) in social care - you should read this....

The so-called Dementia Tax is a complete fallacy. Previously under many years of Labour, then under Cameron, they could take everything except the last £23,250 for residential care or about half of your last £14,250 - £23,250.

Then under May's Tory govt that was increased from £23,250 to £100,000 - whichever way you spin it, that is a good thing. Average cost for elderly residential care is about £100,000 which would take the average family about 125 years to save for. May's govt has effectively set realistic limits on the costs that can be taken, costs that are reasonable, but also affordable.

What most people don't realise is that it is incumbent upon the government (ie taxpayer) to foot the bill for care for someone who is effectively mentally disabled through dementia. Many, many 1000's of families paid for residential care through savings or the sale of the sufferers family home - and it was completely illegal - hundreds of millions have been repaid to families (but it isn't widely reported - surprise, surprise).

Reclaiming the money is a form-filling formality (really not difficult), the NHS will appoint a professionally qualified Needs Assessor (usually a qualified psychiatric nurse) to reviw the case and present to an assessment panel. You can go to one of the specalist legal firms that offer this form filling service - they'll charge you £1000's for doing absolutely nothing of value (because they only lodge the appeal - the Needs Assessor writes the report. Typical claims have been for £60,000 but successful six-figure claims have been common too.

There was a deadline for lodging the appeal in about 2014 (during Camerons govt) after which no more appeals would be recognised - but the precendent has been set. May's govt has re-set a limit from £23,250 to £100,000 which is much more sensible; fairer sustainable and manageable. Why are people complaining about it?

enormous c word

Buying votes...

The Tory's have bought DUP votes in the commons, Corbyn bought votes from the electorate. It's all just a bunch of false promises and bribes dressed up as politics...

Teen girl who texted boyfriend to kill himself guilty of manslaughter

enormous c word

Re: @bombastic bob - Not my kind of girl "friend".

@Martin, I don't see what this has to do with Feminism - I do kind of get Bombastic Bob's point, though - there is something weird going on in society where people are using their perceived / presented vulnerability as a means of empowerment.

(some) Cyclists (I cycle too) seem hell bent on putting themselves in danger with cars so they can make a point about the nobility of their actions in the face of danger.

Social Media addicts seem to want to share their every ailment and discover some dubious ailment to classify themselves with.

Kids glory in being no good at maths, while Talent Show contestants ("who really, really want it, because it's their dream") spend more time relaying their sob-story than developing an actual skill.

Z-List celebs only seem to have an existence in the public eye while spilling their guts.

Everyone just seems desperate for attention from total strangers.

Uber sued after digging up medical records of woman raped by driver

enormous c word

Toxic?

Could Uber possibly be the most Toxic company ever? I'm expecting to read a story about them crash testing their autonomous vehicles using babies from the 3rd world. Or perhaps decorating the offices with kitten skin rugs...

What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

enormous c word

Do any phone manufacturers supply Cyanogen as an option or even the default?

As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

enormous c word

Re: I realise it's simplistic but....

- they would simply employ more marketing people

Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

enormous c word

The same old story:

[XXXX_Govt_Dept] embarks upon project XXXX to completely re-work the XXXX at a cost of £XXXX [...] XXX years late £XXXX over budget with nothing whatsoever to show for it....

It's a boiler-plate spend-and-waste story, can anyone name 1 massive govt IT innovation that actually spawned a positive result?

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