* Posts by CrazyOldCatMan

3691 posts • joined 6 Oct 2015

Pokemon No! Good news: You can now ban the virtual pests, er, pets to stop nerds wandering around your property

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: No problem

2nd Amendment - "....From Our Cold Dead Hands....

(Yes, yes, feeding the trolls and all that..)

So - which 'properly appointed militia' are you part of? Who is your commanding officer?

And why haven't you taken action against the biggest threat to the US Constitution (Trump) yet? After all, he tramples over the 1st Amendment and seems to regard every other amendment other than the 2nd as purely optional..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

why such a visceral reaction to an otherwise fairly harmless

It does amuse me when, out with t'dog in t'local park, to see PokeZombies wandering around. Still, at least it gets them out into the fresh air and into natural surrounding and light (and benefits the on-site cafe) so I'm not that bothered.

You can usually tell a PZ - they are the ones that have external power bricks plugged into their phones to offset the rapid suckage of power..

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Bristol is about eight minutes behind

Only temporarily - it's about 50 years behind culturally..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: I'll Bite.... Yes, I know he was trolling

If the Romans hadn't thought that military strength and slave labour was better than Greek intelligence

Given that the Romans were technically a lot more advanced (and the Greeks also had both military might and slavery) this is a bit disingenuous..

(The ancient Greek philosophers were very much of the 'thought experiment' mould - very uninterested in practical mechanics[1]. Add the fact that most of them were from the 'gentleman' class and, as such, had a huge aversion to manual labour, it's unlikely that their materials science and technology would have increased terribly fast.)

[1] With obvious exceptions like Hero..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Innovative sundials?

Radium was discovered to be radioactive and somewhat harmful when the people painting were licking the stuff

Also to a generation of small children who wore them in bed - especially those who liked to sleep with their shiny watches close to the lower groin area..

(testes/ovaries and radiation don't mix kids - Just Say No)

Head of Apple's insider trading program charged with… you guessed it... insider trading

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Why would you do this?

Given a choice between being very rich, and risking spending time in jail to be ever so slightly more rich

I suspect his wisdom score probably wouldn't enable him to even cast 1st level cleric spells..

(Longwinded way of saying that a lot of criminals think they they are too smart to be caught. Some of them probably are (having not been caught yet) but he clearly wasn't)

No fax given: Blighty's health service bods told to ban snail mail, too

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: About time email was offered as an option

and you subsequently miss the appointment

Which brings up my current pet peeve - my local hospital. So, I have a hospital outpatient appointment at 9am on 5th February. Since that's the day after the Superbowl (and I won't have got to bed until 4am and my blood alcohol level certainly won't permit me to drive by 9am) I tried to reschedule it.

Foolishly, I called the outpatients line for the department, as written in bold on the top of the appointment letter. The phone call bounces between several phones then disconnects. I try 3-4 more times, at different times of the day, over several days - same result.

I discover that the hospital has an automated on-line form for re-doing appointments so I try and use it. I then re-try after diabling Noscript, privacy badger and Ghostery and this time the form seems to work.

I still (4 days before the appointment) get the SMS reminding me of the appointment so, follwing the instruction in the SMS, I reply with CHANGE (which should trigger a reschedule.

I then watch the Superbowl and wake up at around 1pm the follwing day, secure that I won't have missed my appointment.

Two weeks later, I get a scolding letter telling me I'm naught for not attending and setting up another appointment.

So, at that appointment, I plan to (politely) make the point that the hospital procedures and contact methods are woefully inadequate and, if they advertise a number et. al. IT SHOULD DAMN WELL WORK!

(pant, pant).

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: "An email sent to the wrong address could be the difference between life and death"

DESPITE my pains taken to spell it out slowly.

Try having a relatively long and unusual surname. That gets to be even more fun..

(Despite the fact that it's, unusually, spelt exactly how it's pronounced..)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Hancock's half hour

Email can be made secure

But no-one outside of commercial organisations does. Do the most popular email clients do secure email? Most of them claim to, but setting up PGP/SMIME et. al. isn't a task for a novice (and even security professionals say probably isn't worth it).

And a lot of your complaints about smartphones also apply to email - not everyone has it, it's easily compromised and hard to secure and hard to use for elderly or techophobes.

In short, there isn't a solution that works for everybody. And I (for one) won't be giving my local hospital my email details (given that the last time I did so, the address used ended up on all the spam lists in short order).

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

""Paying contractors on self-certifications"

.."results in some of them robbing the states blind," he explained"

He later added "that's our job and we don't want any competition"..

(One wonders if the alleged losses have been quantified and, if so, whether the cost of the certification software is ~ 95% of the alleged losses..)

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Convergent design ?

an original WileyFox Swift

You mean the one with no updated firmware from anyone at all? The one stuck on an old and vulnerable version of Android?

Now I don't particularly care about beels and whistles but I do care about up-to-date firmware (either manufacturer or custom ROM) because of the many and various holes in Android (and, to be fair, in iOS - but at least Apple are somewhat more proactive about OS updates than any of the Android OEMs).

So, enjoy your easily pwnable phone.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

"sadly getting worse for the nagware Huawei is introducing this year"

Interestingly, when my Honor 10 upgraded to Android 9 a month or so back, the usual Huawei Cloud nagware that it had suffered from previously disappeared completely.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Doctor Who

Postal votes, what are they?

Eww.. like, actual paper man? Eww. Just Eww.

Can I vote via twitta?

Ivan to be left alone: Russia preps to turn its internet into an intranet if West opens cyber-fire

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Can anyone bother to explain

It has been invaded many times

To be fair, France (or Italy) has been invaded about as much as Russia has. And Russia has done it's fair share of invading others..

Our own enmity towards it is difficult to explain

Other than the whole capitalist/communist thing for most of the 20th century of course. Other than that, I don't recall us actually being at war with them other than the whole Crimean War thing (and that was part of a larger set of conflicts going on in Europe at the time - and one that allied us with France of all people!)

So no, we don't have a particularly bloody history with Russia - and we have allied with them in the past too (WW2 - once they'd decided they didn't want to cuddle up to Germany any more on account that Germany had invaded them - mind you, Russia was busy occupying Finland and parts of Poland at the time..)

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: "Freud is somewhat discredited these days"

don't do all your research on people in mental hospitals, then extrapolate to the general population

I assume that the same holds for ethics research and Parliament?

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Its not just mothers.....


Bah. Told me I had to disable my ad-blocker.

Tab closed.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Had to happen

Here, get out of the way and I'll show you...

And we thought that droight-de-seigneur was dead..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Get a Shopsmith

How am I going to explain that I need that to SWMBO?

"I had a special offer that meant I had to buy it quickly"

On second thoughts - don't use that one - that got me the cold shoulder for about 6 months when I used that excuse to explain that I'd changed my bike for a 2nd-hand Honda Fireblade.. I'd cleverly managed to do it while my parents were staying with us which limited her capabilities for ripping me a new one at high volume..

And she refused to pillion on that bike - although the fact that the pillion seat was about the size of a postage stamp might have had something to do with it.. (and that it did 0-100 in about 4 seconds - 18K RPM red-line is a wonderful thing!)

Cop films chap on body-worn cam because he 'complains about cops a lot'. Chap complains

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

three officers: One who can read, one who can write, and a heavy to keep an eye on the two dangerous intellectuals

I thought it was 4? "And one to report the case to Moscow"..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Similarities

seems to be a site pretty far to the left, so I assume it's representative of the Remainer position

Not a valid assumption - there are Leavers and Remainers at every part of the political spectrum.

After all, Jezza is most definately a leaver[1] and you don't get much further to the left in the mainstream.

[1] I'm not judging this by his current statement but by his attitude to the EU in previous years

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Let's not forget..

poorly planned office furniture that completely blocks off network jacks and power outlets

We have (on our office anyway) banks of 8 desks (4 to a side) coming out from the wall towards the centre of a (long, rectangular) room. Said banks of desks replaced 4 very much larger, quarter-moon desks placed back to back to create a 4-desk cluster.

All the power and networking goes around the edges of the room and, it being a listed building, the floor cannot be cut into.

The installers were *supposed* to take a spur from the wall to each desk individually and, indeed, did so for the networking.

For the power however, they just plugged in lots of 4-gang sockets in the void under the top of my desk (and the desk opposite to me) and daisy-chained the other desks off those. Which caused all sorts of problems (fuses blowing in the baseband sockets, cables overheating under the desk etc etc). It took our facilities team about a year to fix all the banks of desks.

Said installer was supposed to have all the various certifications in electrical safety but, surprise, surprise, turned out to be using someone elses certification details.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Auld Alliance

Would some Welsh ancestry help, d'you think?

Unlikely - in any context. Especially (at the moment) Rugby..

(My mother was Welsh..)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: "Blue jeans, sweatshirt with a logo on it, plimsolls, that kind of thing."

Nowt wrong with them, those are my best clothes

Indeed. Though some of the logos arefor obscure outfits (Flower Kings/Transatlantic/Spocks's Beard/Pittsburg Steelers/SF49ers et. al.) rather than some trendy clothes-producer-of-the-moment-that-should-really-pay-me-to-wear-their-logo..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Bent coat-hanger and curtain wire

inducing panic in the owner lest the stupid animal snag the string and strangle itself

And this is (one) reason why none of my cats have collars - 3/3 of the previous generation of cats had problems with them:

Male cat would get new collar. 10 minutes later would go out for 5 minutes and then come back in sans collar. Rinse/repeat x 3. At which point we gave up. Said cat wasn't a shining intellect by any means..

His sister would get a collar, go out for 5 mins and then come back in with it partially off but holding her lower jaw fully open. We'd fix the collar, she'd do it again. Very bright cat - we reckon that she just did it to wind us up.. Gave up with her too.

Other female cat would vary between digging large holes in her neck trying to get it off and getting stuck in the mesh fence beween us and next door. Given that the collar had the usual elastic expansion and we made sure that, at full expansion, it would come off that was a pretty good feat.

So they went collarless. And then they introduced the cat ID RFID tags and problem was solved. All the current cats (and the dog) are cyber-pets (I use the term with deliberate irony).

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Bent coat-hanger and curtain wire

I think I've still got my official cable-running kit of bent coat-hanger and curtain

When I first met my wife (circa 1987) she had a Ford Fiesta (Mk 2). She also had a small reel of stiff packing tape in her handbag for the (rare) occasion when she'd locked her keys in the car. Seems that, using said packing tape fed through the rubber door seals, the internal locking knob could be lifted with relative ease..

That was when I knew we were compatible :-)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

"Floor level in an office is a strange, dark realm"

And full of traps - especially ladies wearing skirts shorter than is wise who haven't been warned that a stranger^W techie is going be squirming around under the desks..



OK, Google. Music in 2019 isn't what it was, but Play nice, will ya?

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Thankfully, the bug won't play our (UK) Eurovision entry.

Australia tries to participate/compete in Eurovision

That's becuase it's not about being in Europe (after all, Israel isn't) but being a member of the European Broadcasters conglomerate. Which, oddly, Australia is.

The competition itself has never portrayed itself as as a serious music competition - it's a bit of fun fluff seriously enjoyed by a (mostly gay) audience.

And a few outliers like myself and my wife.. (I've watched it for years - if only to see how badly we do).

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Thankfully, the bug won't play our (UK) Eurovision entry.

ABBA's entire discography is mindless overproduced studio crap for the lowest common denominator

Au contraire - it's definately at the intelligent-musician-end of pop. I understand that pop isn't for everyone (and as a lifelong prog fan I'm certainly not a fan of pop) but decrying the talents of Benny and Bjorn just because they had so many hits that they contributed significantly to the GDP of Sweden is (IMHO) a tad snobbish..

Beside which, which other pop band has a song featuring Cassandra (she of the prophecies that she was cursed that no-one would ever believe)?

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Apple music

higher bitrate (320k MP3)

Bitrate isn't everything - especially as Apple use the demonstrably-superior AAC rather than the shonky old MP3..

(Actually - I'd challenge anyone to notice the difference on a standard phone/laptop+headphones setup - especially anyone over the age of about 25. Bitrate comparisons are in the league of penis-size measurements..)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: All the best music was written before 1988 anyway

artists creativity and quality went to shit as soon as they are signed up by a major label

.. unless they use the Marillion model - ask the fans to crowdsource the new album (ie - buy the album before it's made and use the funds to actually make the album) and then have a distribution-only contract with a major label.

Mind you, it helps to have a fairly major[1] fanbase to start with who don't mind putting down £20 in the hope of getting a new album in 6 months. It also helps to have the reputation of producing said albums..

[1] AKA 'slightly rabid' :-)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: All the best music was written before 1988 anyway

Oh I don't know - there's been some pretty good Prog music created this century. I can't think of any released in 2019 (so far) though..

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Soon never seems soon enough

virtualize an AS/400 (aka iSeries) on VMware/Xen/Hyper-V

Well - many, many years ago I had the (dis)pleasure of testing an S/370 emulator provided by MicroFocus (I think) on the basis that your programmers could bench-check their code before getting the actual mainframe involved.

I presented something that was curiously similar (though actually unalike) and S/370 machine. Sadly, ever attempt to try to run TPF on it crashed the emulator. We did (sort of) later get it to work, but only by making enough changes that the programmers code no longer assembled properly..

Also, I suspect that IBM (our supplier of PCs, networking, printers and mainframes at the time) got wind of the project and Words Were Said to our senior management - at which point the project became a Non-Project and also A Project That Never Had Existed.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: I generate the licenses..

Oh how that salesman cried

Probably worth it just for that result alone. One of the sub-goals of any *proper* IT person is to make Sales and Marketing cry..

(Some say that there is an exemption clause for the S&M people in your own organisation. Purists like me disagree)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Remember Y2K?

Y2K wasn't a disaster because a lot of people worked (and billed) a lot of hours to sort it all out

Including me - did Y2K testing for everything from Windows servers to firewalls (via various flavours of Unix).

Then most of the y2k projects ended and dumped lots of minimally-capable people out into the contract market and rates hit the floor (I was charging £40/hr in the late 90's - when the y2k glut happened I was lucky to find a contract with rates of £15/hr). At which point I went permie again (by blagging a job doing Solaris and networking supprt even though I'd done very little of either before..)

Gripe to UK, Ireland, Poland: Ad tech industry inhales, then 'leaks' sensitive info on our health, politics, religion

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Adverts are evil

They are selling our data so why aren't we getting paid?

Which is my standard response to the (annoying) phone calls asking whether I want to participate in a survey (the few I answer anyway):

"How much are you paying me for participating?"

If they try to flannel about me getting added into a competition to win an iPad (seeming the favourite prize - presumably one of the managers at the marketing company has an old one they want to get shot of) then my standard response is "give me the iPad and I'll give you the info".

The number of marketing survey calls I get has declined dramatically since I started doing that - maybe I'm on a blacklist somewhere.

Whats(goes)App must come down... World in shock as Zuck decides to intertwine Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Signal

just uses Google hangouts

What? All three of you?

Oof, are you sure? Facing $9bn damages, Google asks Supreme Court to hear Java spat

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Wash, rinse, and repeat.

At least the lawyers are making out well. I am sure a few of them are even good people. :)

I find your faith in human^W lawyer nature... touching. Any shreds of goodness, compassion and empathy are slowly tortured out of them at Law School.

After all, it's no coincidence that a lot of lawyers become politicians.

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: But...

"I'll have you know I write about toilets every other week."

Nice and regular.

If that's your version of nice and regular, could I recommend more fibre in your diet?

Outlook Mobile heads to the White House, passes infosec clearance for federal sector

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

because Outlook has never been very good at actual email at all

Especially as it enables 'creative types' to set amusing coloured and patterned backgrounds to their emails..

(Grumble, grumble, email is 7-bit ASCII, grumble, grumble)

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Dark matter/energy question

My interpretation of this is that our understanding of quantum mechanics and/or the universe is incomplete.

In other news, the Pope is a member of the Catholic Church and ursinoids defacate in arboreal areas..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Dark matter/energy question

post may contain elements composed from baryons

I thought that he'd left and been replaced by Derekyons?

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Dark matter/energy question

band doing science based blues songs? I went down to the black hole

Well - there is a prog-metal band (Ayreon - actually just Arjen Anthony Lucassen + various guest musicians) that has an album (Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator) featuring the following songs:

2.4 To the Quasar

2.5 Into the Black Hole

2.6 Through the Wormhole

2.7 Out of the White Hole

2.8 To the Solar System

2.9 The New Migrator

(Not Blues I know - but pretty good - if you like prog-metal)

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: The FCC, eh?

Ethanol and also hops

Except that (in the heyday of small beer) hops wasn't used at all in beer.. (in this country anyway - where hopped beer wasn't available until 1400s when it started being imported from the Netherlands).

Every AleWife had their own recipe and many, many things were used as a flavourant - preservation wasn't that important since small beer was generally drunk within a week or so of being brewed and very rarely travelled very far[1] from the inn or brewery.

[1] In modern terms - generally each village or town had only one or two inns/breweries and any small beer made was drunk only within that village or town.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: The FCC, eh?

The sort of thing you'd drink all day on the fields

Especially as it contained only just enough alcohol to kill all the nasty germs usually in the water.. Essential to survive in the days where sanitation was unknown.

Closest modern analague - US Lite beer..

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Questions like:

questions that physicists are still unable to answer. What is dark matter? Why is there more matter than antimatter?

And, most crucially of all: why don't we get invited to all the good parties?

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge


Then we'd stop...

Says the masochist: "Hit me!"

Says the sadist: "No"

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: The room doll was removed

"She's loving, warm, inflatable and a guarantee of joy"

Or the lyrics of the ELO song "Yours Truely, 2095":

She is the latest in technology

Almost mythology

But she has a heart of stone

She has an i.q. of 1001

She has a jumpsuit on

And she's also a telephone

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

But as soon as it is connected to the mother ship it becomes dumb as a rock, subservient to the whims of its maker

Why does "Dark Star" spring to mind?

(I saw that many, many years ago, well after reading the source story. The film is best appreciated after brain-melting amounts of scrumpy and while puffing on whacky-baccy fags. Allegedly)

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Utter fail

Skin in The Game makes the game a lot easier on all the players!

This most certainly didn't work in earier times - for most of the Armys life, the officer corps was drawn exclusively (almost) from the sons of nobility and the wealthy since comissions had to be purchased (and were quite expensive).

So it wasn't unheard of for chunks of the nobility to lose sons during wartime since SOP at the time was always 'shoot the opposing officers first' (which, in quite a few cases, probably improved the morale and capabilities of the army..).

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Re: Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch

Is it just me or does everyone put an 'L' in front of his surname and then imagine him in a butlers outfit?

Just me?

Ah well.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019