* Posts by fredj

62 posts • joined 19 Feb 2017

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Want to see through walls? Electroboffins build tiny chip in the lab that vibrates at just the right frequency to do it

fredj

Be careful with this kit. I worked on a contract quite some years ago using terra waves for a product inspection control function. I sat in a room with two instruments putting out high power terra waves. After two months my brain was wrecked. It took almost six months to get back to normal function. It wasn't fun at all but at the time I did not notice the effect because my mental acuity became so low.

In general I do have problems with EM and have learned how to avoid or reduce their intensity to my personal tolerance levels. Unfortunately these waves, at least on the system that I worked on, needed a lot of power for useful penetration and that was for medical pill's physical QC.

Please do not delete this post. It is real information.

Beset by lawsuits over poor security protections, Ring rolls out 'privacy dashboard' for its creepy surveillance cams, immediately takes heat

fredj

In my now, long life one thing I have learned is that Ring products are shoddy crap. I won't buy them and if any one in my family brings them into the house I check them very thoroughly and PAT test them as well. I know their owner will loose interest in them after a few weeks or they will break. Either way they will them vanish into our waste bins. Sorry to be so harsh.

Iran kills the internet for its people's own good as riots grip the Middle Eastern nation

fredj

Re: "80 per cent calmer"

I was there. Wonderful Labour. Had to take my passport to a bank and get it stamped to have foreign country for overseas work. Wife and I used to use credit cards to buy ahead for household items we could not afford. With the constant pay rises buy now pay later saved a lot of cash even with the high interest. The 18% was only for a few weeks until the banks got hold of the politicians and made it clear they were going to screw their heads off. That is not an exaggeration, it was that serious. I didn't vote for Corbyn et al and this memory was why. I won't rant on.

Revealed: NHS England bosses meet with tech and pharmaceutical giants to discuss price list of millions of Brits' medical data

fredj

I wouldn't trust an NHS data set to prove anything except a chaos theory.

Elon Musk gets thumbs up from jury for use of 'pedo guy' in cave diver defamation lawsuit

fredj

Now call the jurors the same, even the judge and let's see what happens then. I am not going to do it but someone ought to.

Open wide, very wide: Xerox considers buying HP. Yes, the HP that is more than three times its market cap

fredj

Re: How are they going to fund it?

Yes, we all know that but it happens so often that is a standard business practice. Debt must have a positive value for some purpose. Maybe it is for tax avoidance? One thing for sure, it is not for the benefit of Jo Public.

Bad news from science land: Fast-charging li-ion batteries may be quick to top up, but they're also quick to die

fredj

Re: Duh!

Any one remember that was in the day's before alternators? Dynamos were awful devices that rarely worked properly after a year or so.

fredj

Re: Duh!

You havn't lived! Chip of the old block? = a child who looks like their father.

I bet the Greeks Romans were talking about wood chips back then when they built boats.

Potatoe chips are relatively modern things. Spuds only came to the UK after South America was discovered

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election

fredj

Re: economic catastrophy

Has anyone told Jeremy this yet? Trust his lot to want to nationalise a system which is going to be superseded.

To avoid that Titanic feeling, boffins create an unsinkable hydrophobic metal with laser power

fredj

Surely the trapped air will dissolve in the surrounding water and water will replace it? Is there more to this observation than I know? I have spent countless hours watching air bubbles in micro analytical systems.

Will someone think of the taxpayer? UK.gov needs to stop burning billions on shoddy procurement, says Reform

fredj

You can never specify a technical project these days. Science and engineering is evolving too fast.

What you can do is specify what you want to achieve and when. There may be an rider such as made in UK only.

By doing this the whole procurement is on the shoulders of the supplier. BUT what it does mean is that the functionality required has to be right and remain unchanged. This is always a problem for an admin civil servant because they are way out of their depth with technology. In the halcyon days of yore our civil service did have scientific groups of an extremely high technical standard. Instead of paying these people properly they were outsourced as companies and sold to private concerns who failed to maintain these centres of excellence.

Go To the top of my comment and start again you are in a never ending loop.

If you have pressed the escape key I can say that I have had to sort out some scientific instrument and contracts and concentrating on functionality really does sharpen up the supplier very quickly in a way that is beyond your own staff.

Stalker attacks Japanese pop singer – after tracking her down using reflection in her eyes

fredj

rely that last line is incomplete?........... "and sell the information so that it can be used by Google, credit agencies, Facebook and all the usual crowd".

Train maker's coder goes loco, choo-choo-chooses to flee to China with top-secret code – allegedly

fredj

Re: "Which hasn't struck me as particularly advanced either"

Presumably this is because we are too tight fisted to build a flyover/tunnel or it is a green MP's patch.

fredj

Re: "Which hasn't struck me as particularly advanced either"

I read that too. It is possible because China has developed rail construction methods for building and running on frozen tundra. They are doing that now into Mongolia. The report also said that the Bearing Straight tunnel is nothing special for a railway tunnel.

fredj

Re: "US train makers have a long experience in such kind of transport"

truism; Every rail freight journey generates two truck journeys.

Here in the UK we gave up on rail freight for that very reason. OK distances in the US are far greater but I suspect even there saving one of the two truck journeys has a break even point.

Openreach's cunning plan to 'turbocharge' the post-Brexit economy: Getting everyone on full-fibre broadband by 2025

fredj

WTFF!

Business may be. For my house, 1 TV a lot of the time and a couple of PCs; copper is very fine indeed. We get everything we want and at a good speed. (We are near an exchange and ARM's HQ so that may help.) Absoletly no need whatsoever for it.

As an aside, some end user devices which don't continually update would be great. Yes I know why they do it but it is never ending and a huge time waster.

£99,999, what's your emergency? Paramedics rush to OAP's aid after shock meter reading

fredj

A Baker friend, many years ago had a three phase supply. Two meters duly record electricity use and the third ran backwards and generated a refund. The supplier was told many times. "Don't be daft sir!". We could see the meter was clearly marked substandard. Again, "Don't be daft sir. The inevitable happened and the meter recorded past zero to however many nines. Even then it took them a while to understand what they could clearly see but they did admit such a bill was impossible.

Diplomat warns that tech industry has become a pawn as politicos fight dirty

fredj

Re: National Champions

I am seriously beginning to think the current panjandrum in government is entirely designed to do just as you suggest. There has to be some reason for the stupidity and lying to the people. Wrecking our businesses would be a wonderful 'in' for asset strippers and bankers.

Gartner: Governments want to be digital, but just can't scale it up

fredj

Most workers don't want to be IT techs. It is not what they get paid for and importantly, judged on at review time. If the boss is not an IT geek looking for IT skill your performance grade can head southwards at speed for time wasting or being a slow worker. Workers also get very fed up with constant upgrades and system changes. I know most of that is for security etc. but? Civil services the world over are an out of world experience when compared to normal business. When I started working in R&D the techs there were only allowed to have computers with less power than a manager had for his email.

Glad I am retired. I had more than enough of being used as an IT support guy when I had a massive amount of work to do with large image files. The concept was beyond the company managers.

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

fredj

Re: OTT

OK, add sugar levels, viscosity, coefficient of thermal expansion, room temperature, liquid temperature, flow rate, nozzle shape, thixotropic nature, corrosion, flow velocity, materials used to make the tap' .... struggling now.

Sorry, I was an instrument lab tech for thirty years.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

fredj

I am an old techie. Do you know that means working on electronic things and writing computer code? I hope you do because I had forgotten until I read the article. Nobody has trusted me to work for them for twenty years now and who can blame them? I saw this coming and put my cash where it could earn a profit for me without a lot of work. I doubt that I could even do that now but I don't care. I covered my posterior before it was too late. At my age it is downright inhuman to expect cutting edge productivity. Only a politician or a prat, same thing I suppose, could expect an older person to be as sharp as a younger person. I do know some exceptions but they were professors in their halcyon days and even they have slowed down a bit.

The UK government expects people to work skilfully until they are over sixty. What was it I said about politicians in the previous paragraph? I have forgotten already.

Get real people. Plan your life for your own future realistically. By the time you reach thirty you will know your natural level in the world and by the time you are forty you will be sure you know hoe fat your mental abilities are declining. Unless you are an NHS manager you will need to adapt.

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

fredj

I don't know how but I placed an order with some, "device". Just go straight to your account and delete it. You will be OK - at least I was. Obviously don't sign off your session without checking your order list!

Disgusting practice.

Y'know how you might look at someone and can't help but wonder if they have a genetic disorder? We've taught AI to do the same

fredj

In general I believe we all do this already. It starts at school when you are surrounded by pears who are being marked and tested every day and you are living close together for many hours at a time. You become "trained" by constant reference to the data set performance in which you live and where you exist within it. When I was among young people I could quickly estimate their intelligence. Where I fall down is with levels of intelligence vastly more so than mine. That is outside my data set . Old people give me the same problem but that is probably because I am heading for my four score years and live in a village with a fair number of professors down to dole scroungers.

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

fredj

From my distant memories when I used to work: I saw a lot of new computer and science technology coming in and easily understood it. I saw old technology managers deliberately plan to stop young, pain in the rear, types like me. I would be discredited, behind my back, at every opportunity such that I would never be promoted and as such senior managers would never get to hear of what I was doing. This tactic prevented middle managers loosing their jobs or having to learn new things to keep up to date.Of course. It all collapsed soon enough but a fine company is now just a memory. Latterly I worked with a company who knew they had to have A1 security for many real, real security reasons. Their techies got on with it and did it well.

(I have heard it said that I have a persecution complex!! It is difficult to disagree.)

Naked women cleaning biz smashes patriarchy by introducing naked bloke gardening service

fredj

Re: Let the comments begin...

So safe sex then?

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

fredj

I would like to see a cost centre app which times and rports every users non productive windows time. I have been around since dos 2 and i have probably used a year of my life fighting their ++++++ OS. I am no ludddite. I worked mainly with scientific instruments and windows has been a fantastic resource BUT the time wasted is ublelievable.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

fredj

Re: Presumably

I suspect they needed counseling for their nasal discomfort.

fredj

Re: Had to think then

Mind the kids don't take you literally.........

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

fredj

Many years ago I worked with a laboratory integrator for analysing HPLC traces.

Too frequently for financial comfort we used to get a failure of the main PCB. This never happened in the factory, only with customers.

One day one of the engineers noted that customers were very often ladies. There were no ladies in our instrument production facility. He looked at the matter more closely and eventually deduced the cause was ladies wearing nylon knickers. In practice and with some very discrete questioning we found this to be reliably true. After this discovery we warned new customers about the static problem with nylon clothes and never had the problem again.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

fredj

Re: 64bit AMD x2 in full use - before this MS patch

This is far more serious than a few old pcs being knackered. There are big financial costs, time costs and all the rest of it.

Old AMD machines have a habit of working very well and the are not constantly obsoleted by new wintel software. Mine were running Linux with a windows 10 disc in them for the hell of it and because it was licensed after being brutally updated from XP or W7. Now those old computers are completely useless for anything because I ran W10 to find out something about this problem. Too late, I now understand.

I can not back update the processors because they will not run. I have seen comprehensive diatribes on how to remove those windows patches. That is as much use as a chocolate tea pot if you can not run windows 10 on your bricked computer.

This is a disaster. What I need now is a list of old AMD cpus which will replace my bricked ones and are Wintel proof. Hopefully I can buy these second hand for almost nothing and get some work done.

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

fredj

How about about some friendly hacking if IOT devices to send emails to the s.b's. promoting simplistic smart meters in the UK. A couple of million emails a day might do some good. ( "might")

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

fredj

Re: It's almost like...

Please don't forget the great British customer. They really know how to find a bargain even if they are clueless about what they are buying.

I once worked for a company that bought a dedicated word processor for the price of half a dozen houses just as the first versions of MS office were hitting our desks. It was switched on once after the initialisation and very expensive training. (I did say told you so but was promptly told to shut up)

Sorry, off subject but that is what you have to cope with when it comes to computer use.

Apple removes VPN apps in China as Russia's Putin puts in the boot with VPN banlaw

fredj

You can only start a war if you can persuade the people in two countries to fight the good fight. If they are always internetting each other and decide the respective leaders are the problem you will never get the good war started from either side.

fredj

Re: The future is almost here

Ok I agree mostly but most hate speech in the UK is coming from dimwits with ba's in worldly and financial acumen accusing people who do know and understand what is going on.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

fredj

Re: They Live....

Be careful with plastic glasses of any sort. There is a good chance they do not block UV light and you will end up with wrecked eyes. Not usually much of a problem in the UK of course but in the tropics the effect is well known.

That Brexit in action: UK signs pact to let Euro court judge its patents

fredj

When you have a patent it doesn't mean that you always have the basis for something technically wonderful. Often it means that you can block someone else's new ideas and protect your old business. If you are lucky enough to get a key patent then you can effectively own a whole new business without doing little more than collecting royalties. Patent trolls love these.

Patents are a wonderful area for people to search for new ideas and avoid recent ones which they would have to license to use even if their own thoughts were independent. This of course raises the question as to whether the original patent should have been allowed in the first place.

Patents vary in quality. American patents are often blindingly obvious. Apple's rounded corners is a modern notable case. I was taught to form rounded corners in technical drawing classes c. 1964 yet Apple got a patent! I think I remember someone patenting a wheel barrow.?

Poor patents are a liability for everyone concerned because of the cost of overturning them. On the other hand that cost can be weaponised - Apple Again. This basically rules out innovative start up companies. Note: To British politicians continually eulogising start up companies as the way forward. Most UK start ups sell out immediately they get a good patent and take the cash while the value is there.

There is far more to patents than just, "The Patent!"

UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year

fredj

Re: Wait...

I worked in high tech science and visited all sorts of odd parts of the world working with advanced scientific equipment.

There are Qualifications, qualifications and fake qualifications. Some countries are not even able to teach to the standard of a US/European/Japanese and similar universities. Countries like China and Russia could theoretically train some fabulous scientists but they had little technical experience (1970s). When somebody turns up at the border you just do not know. You don't even know if the company making the job offer is suitably qualified to ask for skilled foreign people or they are just a front for getting friends and family into the UK. It is often of little use asking UK government border staff to make a sound judgment because their scientific nous is abysmal. Science is not their job after all.

Blocking a high proportion of applicants is a good thing. Only really good people and good UK companies asking for them will persevere.

fredj

I worked in high tech long enough to know that there is a huge variability in educational exam qualifications - even in the UK let alone who knows where. It would be crass to just believe what is written on a visa application form. The NHS have gone some way with this problem by re-examining medical doctors before supporting them. I have come across many personnel staff who try to employ people for tech roles when their own qualifications are totally lacking in the required field. That even goes for managers who have created the vacancy. In many fields key workers know each other and communicate. They know which jobs are not worth having!

Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

fredj

Re: Yet Another Satellite Navigation System

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/europe-gives-up-on-eloran#gs.F8ExE1M

this is interesting and I don't think it is good news.

fredj

Re: "our politicians actually followed our instructions"

Yes, I have one like that as well. It is so old its positional accuray is about 3 meters out so somtimes it can not tell you how to navigate road junctions. To really help the manufacturers have stopped supporting the thing which was very good.

If I was not so tight with money......................

fredj

Key patents anyone? Is this why the EU want / are going to handle our patents cases in law?

Cutting custody snaps too costly for cash-strapped cops – UK.gov

fredj

So, Google manages to photograph everything that has ever been printed of any use and OCR'd and indexed all of it along with photo recognition in just a few years and our plod can not do whatever for asmall number of photos for a small country.

I have heard from a reliable source that just turning on a windows computer at plod base can take over an hour. This makes report filing and so on a very time intensive task and economically not worth the bother. 'ugger the public.

I am sure things are getting better, yes that must be true of course?

Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database

fredj

Re: Problems

New York is a hamlet in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, in the parish of Wildmore in the Lincolnshire Fens on the B1192 road near Coningsby, 11 1⁄2 miles (18.5 km) north from Boston. At the 2001 Census, its population was less than 150.

Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

fredj

Re: It's what Britain is good at ...

Not quite. The game is asset stripping. The asset strippers get the cash and Britain gets sweet f.a.

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

fredj

Interesting but as always these analyses count wages as spendable income. That is just not true. All sorts of taxes are taken from income to feed the gaping maw of, "THE STATE". What is left is barely pocket money for most workers and the companies that employ them.

President Trump has put into place a very good idea. It is to cut tax on companies so that they can function properly . This has had an immediate effect on the USA. Employment is falling and people are able to work for real incomes as opposed to pocket money. Of course the EU thinks trump has opened the doors of hell. Maybe but what he has done is pushed all sorts of ideas for the state to spend other peoples money into hell where the perpetrators and their ideas must surely have escaped from.

( I am just moralising using flowery language)

NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

fredj

Re: Shameful

I had dealings with Macs in labs years ago. They got their 'in' by virtually giving computers to education people. This was especially so in the USA and Japan. As I was working with projects that used Macs in industry we were 'screwed' blind by their prices and totally indifferent support in the UK. We did have people using Spark stations but that was far too complex for general use. Sadly, Windows worked well enough back in those days. (Linux or OS2 were jokes sorry to say.)

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

fredj

Re: Innovative, effective and affordable solutions

Before my time but I was told the trick was to jump out of a truck and accidentally hit the but on the ground. This would knock out the safety pin and prime the mechanism to fire a bullet upwards though your chin.

The secret of these guns was that they could be made by village blacksmiths. Now there is a tip for our defense procurement costings! OOps, village blacksmiths are long gone.

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

fredj

Re: There's absolutely no excuse for this.

Anything done in a health care situation may have to be FDA approved even outside the USA if the application has a wide usage. Now add that cost to your computer budget.

Very few IT staff can write end user code and you can bet it is not part of their job description.

fredj

With working life of experience of computers from when a gui was two red leds and a teletype..........

Most people work at a pay grade as high up as they can get by leveraging their whole brain to support a job and acquire enough skill to keep the job and have a life as well. That is fact. They do not include becoming a Microsoft jockey in their life statement.

I worked with scientific instruments in laboratories so I have forced myself to know about computers as control devices and later on as data storage and information handling enablement. At the same time I have done my utmost to avoid becoming a microsoft jockey. Doing that is a total waste of my real skills as a scientist. In fact, if I have worried about computers, it is to make them work and I can write software for that purpose. Microsoft has been a drag on everything I have ever done but. It was like a deal with the Devil to get my pay checks. They have been a major cost centre in every project I have ever worked on.

Imagine a doctor/nurse/policeman/armed services soldier and so on. What possible interest have they got in Microsoft when they can do what they need to do with a pen and paper? Their bosses may well be very interested in big data collection and analysis but again none of them want to become microsoft jockeys either. They are not being paid for that.

As for linux! It is only in the last five years that I would ever have considered using it seriously in a general work place environment.

Interestingly mobile phones may be the salvation of networked computing. Users can just use them with a web interface. The phone and the server support can then be managed by microsoft or linux jockeys and the mobile phones can be junked every three years or be fully software updated remotely. Non jockeys will be free of the microsoft curse for the first time in half a century. Their relief will be much the same as having WCs installed in their houses.

1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

fredj

"Normal person has a problem with a normal manager"

That just isn't a news story! You have got to have sex/discrimination/exploitation/ or something to make the news.

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