* Posts by Vometia Munro

17 posts • joined 23 Mar 2016

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Vometia Munro

Re: Fricken Laser

I was just about to suggest a Sharknado will take care of them, but you've beaten me to it. I'm thinking that flying, nuclear-powered sharks with lasers for eyes and chainsaw fins are the ideal solution and I'm surprised they haven't simply taken the obvious option.

I was once one of you, F1 star Lewis Hamilton tells delighted IT bods

Vometia Munro

Re: Hamilton is a twunt of the highest order

There used to be plenty of women in IT. Seems that what changed was the incredibly toxic management culture of the '90s onward, something that guys don't like either but are more prepared to tolerate. If we're looking at standards being compromised, there's your target right there.

As for Hamilton, I seem to recall he has some pretty unsavoury opinions on the matter of gender so maybe he's not the most appropriate spokesentity.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

Vometia Munro

Re: Smart meters do not save energy

"In theory someone with medical equipment etc can be put on the vulnerable person register. While this may affect decisions by the DNO about maintenance and exclude the property from rolling power cuts, I can't see it dealing with corporate billing cockups."

Indeed. When I pointed out the matter of vulnerability to an energy supplier (something I'm generally loath to do but I'd experienced a lot of ongoing problems) they blithely replied that they had no idea: though I'm not sure which protocols would inform them, *I* had certainly informed them. Repeatedly. Anyway okay, they claim to be entirely ignorant, well that makes everything magically alright then since we all know ignorance is a defence as enshrined in English law, or something. By the time they replied I was an ex-customer anyway but I suspect it would've never been worth pursuing.

Facebook: Up to 90 million addicts' accounts slurped by hackers, no thanks to crappy code

Vometia Munro

Re: They've had so many cockups, this is not news.

> "Ooooh, I almost forgot. You stated publicly that any software engineer over 30 is just dumb."

That was quite... special. It has some real gems regarding his wisdom about software development. Like hiring coders in every department so they can just change random stuff on the fly: no need for any sort of planning, design, impact assessment, peer review, testing, quality control, security review, or any of that other boring crap that makes the oldies dumb, we're all such geniuses that we can change random shit on a whim with no consequences! *cough*

PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Vometia Munro

> "Calls from "withheld" can be the doctors' surgery or the local council. Both of which cite "personal privacy" as the reason to avoid a lasting record of who called."

This one's becoming a bit of a gnarly problem. IME an increasing number of hospital departments have a departmental mobile due to an increasing number of patients not accepting callers who withhold their numbers; though we have had the occasional comment along the lines of "hurr, so that's why we couldn't get through, that happens all the time!"

Maybe it would help if they simply asked patients if it was okay to call them and if not to, oh I dunno, do something revolutionary like email or text. Which they manage to do when it comes to the inevitable "how did we do?" but not when it comes to conveying useful information.

Vometia Munro

Swap Shop

I still have the number 01 811 8055 burned into my brain, and its various successors. Though of course Swap Shop's various successors weren't as good, nor as multi-coloured.

Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

Vometia Munro

Re: Open source works

I'm somewhat reminded of overhearing a gaggle of managers wandering aimlessly around an office at DEC bragging about how they didn't need to know anything about the industry because their leet management skills were so awesome. This was in the mid '90s, IOW around the time DEC was really struggling because of... well, people like them.

London's top cop isn't expecting facial recog tech to result in 'lots of arrests'

Vometia Munro

Yeah, I'm thinking its most likely purpose is to help secure dodgy convictions using the "behaving in a suspicious manner as according to Daily Mail readers" rationale now seemingly being equivalent to proven beyond reasonable doubt. I mean considering there's been high-profile convictions where using an online pseudonym has been declared before the court (and IIRC indeed stated by the judge) as evidence of guilty conduct and has resulted in people being told they are only allowed to use their real name. So data provided by this arse-headed scheme couldn't possibly have a risk of being similarly misused and misinterpreted. It's what The Public™ (as defined by the aforementioned DM readers) wants, and the public must always get what it wants when it's convenient.

Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

Vometia Munro

Re: Made do with a C64, really wanted a BBC micro

£400 for a model B: ISTR the price never came down but instead they bundled more stuff in with it. I assume this is because the "more stuff" was of more intangible value compared to the physical electronical bits that went into it rather than the "reassuringly expensive" style Stella ads that were popular at the time! Many competing home micros were £200 or less: as with Wayland, I ended up with a Dragon 32, and still regret not having the means to get a nice FDD-based system running OS/9 or Flex, but it was still interesting.

And a few years later, I also acquired an Electron, which I liked a lot but it did come with a whole bunch of compromises: much of what made the BBC interesting was pruned away, even when the Plus-whatevs expansions were bolted on (though they were interesting in themselves in that they really learnt from the "wobbly RamPak" problem and were about as firmly attached as could be) but the ULA had *so* many compromises, the most notable being the 4-bit memory bus. The Electron was a bit of a mixed bag; some bits were worse, some better, but mostly it was too late for that price point. I liked its keyboard, though: I thought it was better than the BBC's, though I also couldn't tell any difference between the Dragon's "terrible" keyboard (according to the computer press at the time) and the BBC's, by which I mean the main production version whose number and keyswitches I forget offhand. My daily keyboard is a Model M by way of comparison so I guess delicate keystrokes aren't for me. :D From what I understand, the main criticism of the Electron's was its potential lack of longevity though it's hard to know if this actually translated into real world problems; it felt nicer to me, though. Even if it was more beige.

Vometia Munro

Re: Made do with a C64, really wanted a BBC micro

The cost thing was a real problem. They were justifiably expensive, and all the stuff that went into them to make up that expense is what made them interesting, but their comparatively high price put them way out of reach of many people.

UK comms firm Gradwell quits cloud land after 'strategic review'

Vometia Munro

Re: And the moral of this story is...

Same here: they forgot to collect the DD and then deleted my entire DNS records on the basis of "non payment" having not actually bothered to tell me there was a problem. A website being down is one thing, your entire domain ceasing to exist is quite another. Fortunately it was fixed fairly quickly but it seemed to be the wrong solution even if it wasn't a problem of their making.

Time will tell if the new company is any better.

England's top judge lashes out at 'Science Museum' grade court IT

Vometia Munro

Fair point. Some judges are more switched on than others, such as another recent case where a judge appeared to imply that using an online alt is evidence of wrongdoing, because of course everybody uses their real name online at all times (quickly skimming over the minor point that I did for a time consider this moniker as a viable option).

I should really reserve any ire for those who deserve it, not the ones who are demonstrating an appropriate grasp of clue.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Vometia Munro

"That just leaves Win7 gamers who need high performance graphics and Windows screwed over..."

Yeah, I'm slightly peeved about that since my gaming PC could do with an upgrade but I'm in no hurry to move to Windows 10. My preference would be to not use Windows of any sort: it's only there for games anyway, but I think seeing the end of it as a requirement is still rather optimistic.

Smelly toilets, smokers and the Kardashians. Virgin Media staff grill top brass

Vometia Munro

Re: Plus ca change

"Wight telecom and smallworld cable too. Smallworld cable was exceptional before VM bought them out. Support staff actually supported AND knew their technical stuff (24/7 call centre too, usually the techies late at night )"

Much the same with Cambridge Cable. I always found them to be a really nice company to deal with and never really appreciated the dark mutterings about how awful NTL were... until they bought them out. :(

IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page

Vometia Munro

Re: Seems like a good idea

Dunno how that compares to the silver Caran d'Ache pen I got for my 10 years at DEC, which is kinda nice except needing the occasional polish (not that I can complain especially convincingly as most of my jewellery is also of the high-maintenance silver variety) although by that time I was probably lucky to get anything as it seems most people were on their way out, whether or not by choice. And 20 years later it seems that things at IBM are much the same. :(

Lester Haines: RIP

Vometia Munro

Re: :'(

"The man who introduced me to the concept of haggis Pakora - since adapted to black pudding pakora.

The world is short another great man. So sad for his family, friends and colleagues."

This is the exactly the sort of thing that made The Register so great. RIP, old chap. :(

BT: We're killing the dabs brand. Oh and can customers re-register to buy on our site?

Vometia Munro

Re: Can it be true!...

Oh God. I'd long since forgotten about the Buzby ads. And now I've remembered. My day is ruined. D:

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