* Posts by Wandering Reader

41 posts • joined 15 Jun 2016

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Wandering Reader

Re: The Spaghetti Has Escaped

"Once upon a time we programmed computers using a tangle of patch cords."

Don't forget to use colour film in your backup camera.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Wandering Reader

Not really a crash

It's not really a crash. With the tumblr porn filters on the way, it turns out that 4G just isn't needed any more.

BT pension scheme will stay on RPI interest rates for now

Wandering Reader

Re: Reflections on my pension

(You're me, you are)

We're fortunate, but not as fortunate as our partners. Being in 2 schemes the "death in service" payout for partners is 50% of our DB pension from Section C, plus 10*salary lump sum from the defined contributions scheme.

Ever since my wife found out she has been encouraging me to give up gentle exercise and take up extreme sports. The sooner I retire the safer I will be.

Angry Googlers demand bosses pull the wings off 'Dragonfly' censored Chinese search engine

Wandering Reader

Is there an open letter about this sort of censorship?

"Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe."

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Wandering Reader

Re: RE:So many people, so little understanding

"If your woman is called Alex the stupid cylinder tries to join in with sex almost every time."

It could be worse. Our safe-word is Alexa.

Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

Wandering Reader

They get turned into zombies:


Quote from the episode "shut up and take my money"

Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

Wandering Reader

"If being "earthlike" was enough, this planet would continually be spawning life, as it originally formed. Those "respawns" would then start their own path of evolution. "

No, we have a billion years of evolution behind us - voracious, competitive, cooperative - selective. Any new kid on the block will be devoured by our cousins the bacteria before it gets to form its first cell.

Scrapping Brit cap on nurses, doctors means more room for IT folk

Wandering Reader

Re: More job displacement, yay

"And making things exponentially worse, the fuckwits now expect nurses to pay for the education demanded by a near-monopsony employer, leading to a dramatic reduction in nurse education when we weren't training enough to replace those retiring anyway."

Nursing is the one degree course where a graduate is almost guaranteed a graduate salaried job anywhere in the UK.

Therefore, there is no shortage of applicants for nurse training places, just a shortage of places. So the solution is to spend money on training places, not on bursaries and grants.

Wandering Reader

Re: More job displacement, yay

!It has been the policy of successive governments to run down the training of such staff in the UK (no more grants and bursaries for instance). It has simply been cheaper to bring trained staff in from other countries."

Nursing degree courses are 7 times oversubscribed. If there is money available it should be used to create more training places, not more applications.

US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Wandering Reader

Re: Overreach

If you move house, databases must be updated to reflect your new address, and unless there is a very good reason to hold onto your old address, that should be deleted.<br>

Mr. Cynic. Can you prove to the home office that you have been continuously resident in the UK for the last 25 years?

Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

Wandering Reader

Re: Back to discussing Galileo...

"I may be confused, but aren't there already three competing systems? the US GPS, Glonast and Galileo."<br>

No, only GPS and Glonass. Just to be sure, I went on to Amazon to look for receivers - no Galileo - only GPS and Glonass. Or do you mean BEIDOU?<br>

So we have a chancellor who counts "one, two, many" - no wonder the UK budget is stuffed!<br>

It's important to only count what is there.

Wandering Reader

Despite GPS being global, they are designed to provide maximum coverage is certain geographic areas. The original GPS was designed to cover the northern latitudes for missile launches, Glosnas, the Russian subcontinent, Galileo Europe.<br>

Well, orbital mechanics will tell you that non geosynchronous orbits may give slightly better coverage over a particular range of latitudes, but will certainly not give better coverage over specific longitudes (e.g. time zones). And the Northern hemisphere coverage will be just as good as the southern hemisphere coverage for the corresponding latitudes.

So that's the satellites. Are you talking about the ground stations? Easy to sort out.

Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed

Wandering Reader

"Anyone would think the MET/Home Office had an agenda against a certain section of our society."

Well, quite. Instead of all that police effort at the carnival, send the police round to our street, where some dog walkers don't scoop.

As for facial recognition - the Guardian periodically castigates Google because AI facial recognition isn't good at identifying people with dark skin. Whether it is a programming issue or an AI training issue, it's probably better to try the software out in Notting Hill rather than Inverness, isn't it?

Boffins try to grok dogs using AI, a cyber-brain charter, a bot running for mayor, and more

Wandering Reader

Re: Dogs are a bad start

I think we might be able to make some good narrow-band sensors but you'd need a really wide-band sensor to get an idea of what's really motivating a dog.

"Even the smell of roses, is not what they supposes,

And goodness only knowses, the noselessness of man"

Dog poetry. Sorry - that has stuck in my mind for 40 years after reading one of the Dr Dolittle books...

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Wandering Reader

People may assume you are in the US though and all the lack of data protection and poor consumer protection issues that go with it.<br>


Wandering Reader

Re: No surprise

We had 100% control - we could veto pretty much anything we wanted to.

We still are a member - so we can veto this?

BT: We're shuttering final salary pension scheme

Wandering Reader

Re: summarily terminated

Pension schemes to start hiring hit-men soon? I wonder what the pension scheme for a hit-man is ?

"Don't worry about it. Someone will come round to sort you out later"

'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

Wandering Reader

Voter ID cards supplementing existing forms of photo ID have been in use for 18 Westminster constituencies for many years.


A dog DNA database? You must be barking

Wandering Reader

"A dog DNA database would be ruff justice. FTFY (but someone else used it recently in another thread)"

I think the original poster assumed that everyone would get the joke without your help.

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Wandering Reader

Re: Maybe coming back

"Is it just me or does that trajectory look like it’s coming back to earth eventually?"

It should return to about the same place it was when the boost ended, to complete it's orbit. Except: (1) Perturbations from earth's gravity will affect the orbit further in the first days of travel. (2) It's not orbiting in the plane of the ecliptic. (3) the earth will be somewhere else when it gets back.

So we are probably safe enough.

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Wandering Reader

Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

"Because if alien food is half as good as Chinese food then I can’t wait for first contact..."

Alien food tastes a lot like pork, apparently. And the aliens are keen to experience the new ingredients available on Earth.

AI taught to beat Sudoku puzzles. Now how about a time machine to 2005?

Wandering Reader

Not a number puzzle

The article keeps on referring to Sudoku as a number puzzle. It's not really a number puzzle - it would work just as well with letters, or shapes, or colours.

UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

Wandering Reader

Re: "Me thinks the UK bod really was implying that you install spyware on one of the devices "


Well done, you have all the tech you need. If only you had some secrets...

Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

Wandering Reader

Re: rocket powered travel, didn't Arthur C Clark point out that - Half the time the toilet's out of order, the other half it's out of reach.

P≠NP proof fails, Bonn boffin admits

Wandering Reader

Re: Oh well, Every failure is a dress rehersal for success. *

"Could it be that P≠NP is unprovable; and if so, could someone prove this to be the case?"

I can't prove it, but if someone could find a proof, it can be checked.

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Wandering Reader

Re: About as reliable.....

"You need to clap right."

Or maybe it was just a crap light?

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

Wandering Reader

"They'll just set up the rules on how money is distributed and distribute it to themselves. See the renewable heat incentive scandal."<br>

The RHI money went all over the place - the rules weren't discriminatory, just stupid:


DUP site crashes after UK general election

Wandering Reader

Re: Conservatives + DUP = IRA?

"So, how will they stop those horrible Polish plumbers and Lithuanian chefs flying into Dublin, hoping on a train to Belfast (no passport checks) and then onto the boat to Liverpool (no passport checks)."

It doesn't matter whether they fly into Gatwick as tourists or go the long way round via Dublin. If they want jobs, schools, benefits or the NHS they will need paperwork.

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Wandering Reader

Re: Police powers?

"...maybe they need some more resources to make use of the existing powers?"

How *many* more resources? How many police officers does it take to mount round the clock surveillance on a single suspect? Do we need uniformed policemen? Detectives? Secret Policemen? Infiltrators?

And when the bad guys catch on, and start giving duff warnings to increase the pressure on the police, won't the situation break down again?

UK Tory party pledges 'digital' charter, wants Verify to back online gov

Wandering Reader

Re: ID for voting


Wandering Reader

Re: ID for voting

"Bearing in mind there is the poorest people don't have driving licenses and many do not have passports - what is this ID going to be?"

It will be pretty much identical to the Northern Ireland system, I expect - that system has been running smoothly for a couple of decades now. Simply put, people without a Passport or a driving licence can apply for an a electoral identity card. People in that situation would apply for the card when they first register to vote.

'Maker' couple asphyxiated, probably by laser cutter fumes

Wandering Reader

Re: no warning of toxic gases then, just aesthetics and housekeeping issues

Precisely - when the instructions said "It is mandatory that an exhaust unit or filter system..." the implication is that CO wasn't regarded as a hazard - a normal filter won't shift that.

UK Home Office slurps 1,500 schoolkids' records per month

Wandering Reader

I don't think it's the schools that are meant to become a "hostile environment". I think it's meant to apply to the illegal immigrants (i.e. the adults in the family)

UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

Wandering Reader

Re: Shouldn't the new names all start with a "W"?

"Now do you believe me?"

"Better late than never"

"I did it my way"

"Life in the Faslane"

Paint your wagon (with electric circuits) but leave my crotch alone

Wandering Reader

Easy, so long as you use an Albert

Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

Wandering Reader

Re: Glames?

Northern Ireland and Scotland have different health ministers from England. Not sure about Wales.

Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

Wandering Reader

Re: The current plan does not matter

"Those that did want it were Boris (buffoon with no eye on the top job in the Tory party), May (mostly hated), Gove (mostly hated). Farage - UKIPs *only* MP. Hardly a compelling team of winners"

May supported remain, Farage isn't an MP. Are paragraphs 2,3,4,5,6,7 any better?

Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Wandering Reader

Re: Be careful the company you keep

Well yes, because that reply was made by someone who thought that the political and financial elites that supported the Remain campaign are virtuous in all respects.

Wandering Reader

Re: Probably don't care

The SNP didn't give up after losing the Scottish Independence referendum. Why should Farage and UKIP have given up if they had lost the Brexit referendum.

Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Wandering Reader

Re: That doesn't follow...

'...and are fighting very hard against the EU bringing in a (very tiny, percentage-wise) "Tobin Tax".'

Among the many problems of a Tobin Tax, the main one in this context is that an EU wide Tobin tax would raise most of the money in the UK, and spread it around the EU. No UK government would accept those terms.

So if you want a Tobin tax for other reasons, your best chance is to vote Brexit, then hope that the EU does it unilaterally, then hope that the UK govt follows locally.

But if the EU notices that it is no longer a way to pump money from the UK to the rest of the EU they probably won't bother...

Buggy vote-counting software borks Australian election

Wandering Reader

Wrong end of the stick

Computers would be able to count up any number of STV votes very easily. The hard part is getting the paper votes into the database. Hence the temptation to sample instead.

Human verified OCR is the way to go.

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