* Posts by james_smith

91 posts • joined 29 Aug 2017


Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror


Re: Ironing... racking up enormous numbers of steps.

I actually find ironing really relaxing. I think I need help.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?


Re: AI or ML

Ah, you've worked with Quants as well.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...


Re: Ads on the web

I subscribe to two websites, since I value their content, but I leave Unlock Origin enabled. They're major newspapers, one in the US and one in the UK, for which I pay about $7 a month in subscription fees. Both sites allow access to non-subscribers, albeit with prominent notices at the top of articles suggesting you subscribe. It would be interesting to know how much revenue this brings in for them.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


Re: Remember DAT?

DAT found a niche for mastering in the music industry and also in A/V suites. I still have some masters of music I recorded in the late 1990s, but no drive to play them on.


Re: If you're interested in retro audio gear...

His puppet takedowns of YouTube trolls are great as well.


Re: Iomega

I guess it was kind of a relief to find it was the drive that was knackered and not the disks themselves. In my case, I borrowed another drive, backed up my disks to CDR and never touched an Iomega product again.

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware


Re: Year of the Linux desktop?

I've been running Linux as my sole desktop operating system at work since switching from Solaris in 1997.

After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself


If I was Bezos I'd be doing the same. Not that bothered about pics of my c*ck being out on the web, seeing as how wealthy I'd be[1] and having a beautiful partner.

[1] Actually, I'd be wealthier than Bezos as I'd do a bit of window cleaning on the side.


One of them has two eyes, the other only has one.

The D in SystemD stands for Danger, Will Robinson! Defanged exploit code for security holes now out in the wild


Highly unlikely Waseem. The SystemD folks are totally opposed to portability, while FreeBSD has a good alternative to SysV init already. As for glibc, it's written in a gibberish that relies on the C pre-processor and is a possibility poor implementation compared to the elegance of the BSD libcs.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD


Re: Ah, but ...

I do have a rather nice dry sparkling white wine made with the méthode champenoise from grapes grown here in Sonoma Valley, California.

I took a bicycle trip around Napa valley while working in San Francisco back in 2000, and stopped off at various vineyards on the way. One was the Mumm vineyard, where they were calling their sparkling wine "champagne" at the time. I was quite surprised at the naming, since the "Champagne" name is strictly controlled. Turns out the reasons that US made sparkling wines could still be called Champagne is quite a fascinating one (well, at least I found it fascinating).

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one


Re: Sometimes you dont need a test

PIgmentation in new born babies can be very variable. My brother was blonde haired and blue eyed at birth, but slowly changed to brown hair and eyes. I was dark skinned at birth, which was initially put down to the Romani ancestry on my father's side, but I became very pale skinned within a few months.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit


I misread the headline as "Security holes found in much-adored Linux rootkit".

Corel – yeah, as in CorelDraw – looks in its Xmas stocking and discovers... Parallels


Re: Coreldraw on Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Well, there is a lot of speculation that Apple may move all their hardware to be Arm based which has some sense to it. If so, then Corelmay be hoping to steal a march on Adobe by getting their apps onto Arm natively first. That would be naive though considering how wedded to Photoshop its users are.

IBM: Co-Op Insurance talking direct to coding subcontractor helped collapse of £55m IT revamp project


Re: "Blame the customer" is not new

Has the same thing with their cloud offering. The two salesmen came in, basically said "we're the best, our system can fo anything". We eventually managed to get a trial account out of them, and it was the worst of the bunch (Amazon, Google, Rackspace). My "favourite" feature was our European hosted system migrating to the United States without warning as they'd run out of resources - with a consequent impact on page load times.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers


Re: Maybe the network needs a friend

"Travel on the trains and when One carrier is having issues it's tickets are valid on the others for a short duration."

Not valid on other carriers from Paddington station, and I suspect that's true of most commuter terminals.

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands


We have a neighbour who does that (the circling thing, not laying dog eggs) but at least it's done with chalk.


Re: ye gods.

Wellyboot - the vote was a referendum, which has as much legal significance as an opinion poll. Parliament is sovereign in this country, partly to save the unwashed masses from populist stupidity. the current governments attempt to avoid a "meaningful" vote on any Brexit plan is unlikely to stand up in court since there's several centuries of precedent ...

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid


Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

We're celebrating getting shot of a bunch of religious nutters. Sadly they've been breeding though.

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?


Re: Proppa language bruv

A markup language used to describe a piss poor document transformation language?

RIP Bill Godbout: Cali wildfire claims the life of master maverick of microcomputers


It saddens me that the first I hear of such a pioneer is when something tragic happens to him.

Bloke jailed for trying to blow up UK crypto-cash biz after it failed to reset his account password


Re: A note to USAian authors

Didn't episodes of Dangermouse start with the words "London, England"?

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day


Any interest in the following?

- Sun "Happy Meal" ethernet card

- Atari ST Basic (boxed with manual, but the floppy disk is blank for some reason)

- Ethernet hub that only has BNC connectors

- Camera for an SGI Indy (uncased)

- Motorola 88000 (not 68000) instruction set guide

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity


Re: Electricity

Singer Andy is also an alumni of the chaotically brilliant Creaming Jesus and a nice bloke as well.


Re: Don't blame the Serbs

Yup, but the assinassation was the final straw, and Princip's group was funded and directed by the Serbian intelligence services. They also helped kick off the series of wars in the Balkans leading up to the big one ...

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette


Re: Not the story I was expecting

There's a whole vintage and retro thing that's making cassettes desirable among people in the late teens / early 20s. Recently played a gig where the millenials in the support band were very proud of their four track cassete deck (some ancient Portastudio thingy). Chatted to them about it, and found out that reel to reel machines are even more desirable. Time to dust off my trusty Revox B77...


Re: Before Steve Perry

"Prior to Steve Perry and the conversion to sappy junk pop, Journey were a very good rock band"

'Er indoors loves a bit of rock pop era Journey, particularly Separate Ways.

5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles


"It look likes you've taken a hard fall".

"Yes, I fell over when I realised I'd just spent £2,000 on an iPad".

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym


I had an idea for a dating / hookup website for ladies who enjoy love of the sapphic kind. Something akin to Tinder or Grindr. I was going to call it Growlr, but the .com domain name is taken and the owner wants a six figure sum for it :-(

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


Re: Had to think then

"barkers nest" was, I thought, the British term?"

A "barker's egg" is the correct term for a bum cigar deposited by a shit machine on four legs.


Clearly No Love Lost between him and his neighbours, that garden sounds like an Atrocity Exhibition that could cause the Transmission of diseases and encourage a Colony of rats. Although if the diabetes is down to Decades of bad diet then it's not The Only Mistake he's made.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others


Re: Do his material contributions...?

The Lisa was a failure, and the Macintosh was pushed over the much more capable Apple IIGS. Jobs had Wozniak's IIGS deliberately crippled to make sure the Macintosh was more appealing in a bit of corporate dick swinging. The Mac wasn't even Jobs' idea - he happened upon it when it was a low key experiment and then used it to try and shore up his already shaky position in the company.

NeXT was a failure as well. Jobs' insistence on a perfect cube for the case of the original model went against engineering reality - a perfect cube has a very high failure rate when molded since it's difficult to get it out of the mold without cracking, so the NeXT factory was littered with broken cases. The software was too ambitious, and exceeded the capacity of available hard drives so they went with an unproven technology that ended up being unreliable.

Linux kernel's 'seat warmer' drops 4.19-rc5 with – wow – little drama


... open-source luminary Eric S Raymond ...

That's not how you spell "lunatic".

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds


He paid for the yacht by selling his original company to the competitors, then starting up a new company - allegedly using source code from the old one despite the IP not belonging to him any more.


Re: Sympathy for any employee, anywhere, since time began ...

Experienced that one. Some appalling "Enterprise Service Bus" thing that comes with zero documentation - the vendor makes a stack of money from training courses. You don't even really program the thing, it's some process diagram driven thing with cryptic icons representing processes that you pass around typeless collections of key value pairs to.


Worked for a POS (Point Of Sale, but the other meaning was also appropriate) software developer back in 2015. The owner had only installed two phones in the whole building that we worked in - one on his desk and the other for the first line support team to share. Sales and anyone at a customer site were expected to use their personal mobile phones.

The development machines were a bunch of clapped out machines cobbled together from off the shelf parts. The worst thing was that going on site meant lugging a battered tower case, LCD screen, keyboard and mouse along. Great impression to give the customers - although they were pretty clueless or else they wouldn't have bought the crap POS system in the first place.

The owner was also a control freak and would only pay things by cheques that only he was authorised to sign. That included our pay. On one occasion he went to sail his yacht around the Caribbean leaving us unpaid for several weeks after the date we were supposed to be.

All that and the regular bawling outs that the boss gave people were enough to convince me to change job.

Google's 'other' phone platform turns up in post-apocalyptic mobe


Re: Phone reviews

Storage is expandable with a micro SD card according the specs.

'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist


at least he can blame mind altering substances for most of his tweets.

Quite possibly Trump could as well. One of his doctors prescribed him a medication that's basically an amphetamine back in 1982, and he took until "no later than 1990". It would explain a lot if he's still taking them, although even if he isn't, long term ampetamine use causes lasting damage to the body.


Span hits F#, LinkedIn gets mumbly, and UWP (yes, it's still clinging on) furnished with new toys


Re: Yes. dear God.

I've never had a LinkedIn account, and I still received emails from them - "invites" from people I've never heard of. Now I just block all emails from LinkedIn domains.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn


Only been made redundant once thankfully, but it did come with a nice slice of schadenfreude.

The CEO decided, against the advice of the CTO, that all future development of applications could be done by the off shored developers. Only one UK based developer would be retained to work on the framework that underpinned these applications. The rest of us UK based developers - who had been complaining about the poor quality of the off shored work since day one - were let go.

Two months later an article appeared in El Reg about a certain ecommerce website and automated phone ordering system that was billing customers for the wrong orders and losing other orders. This was what I had anticipated, since the off shored developers had kept on putting state into stateless framework components. They'd only test with a single transaction rather than many concurrent ones, and were then clueless when that inadvertently shared state (including payment card details) fskced everything up in production.

Oracle puts release of new freebie mini-database on ice to work out kinks


Re: A free database

@DCFusor - "MySQL doesn't have any of the stated limits... and meets standards"

MySQL? It's probably the least standards compliant RDBMS I can think of, and despite my dislike of Oracle DB's licensing it's actually pretty standards compliant.

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto


I've seen lots of Soviet era banknotes, as they still used them up until at least the mid 1990s. The one ruble note never seemed to have a serial number greater than seven digits, so they might not have been unique.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no


Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

@martinusher "Read some history, pal. You'll find that the Russians spent a lot of time and effort trying to build up an alliance against Nazi Germany but were thwarted at every turn."

No, you read some history - I did a history degree on inter war period. The Soviet Union was happily working with both Weimar and Nazi era Germany on military technology both before and after the remilitarisation of the Rhineland openly broke the terms of the Versailles treaty. It was this cooperation along with the Molotov Ribbentrop pact that convinced Stalin he had a long breathing space before any Nazi aggression was going to come his way, and was why he was paralysed by disbelief in the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa.

Litvinov - Motolov's predecessor as foreign minister - didn't resign. He was essentially shunted sideways into another job since his Jewish ethnicity was a barrier to Stalin's hope for further accomodations with Nazi Germany.


Re: Don't get sheep herded by the fake news media

Up to 1990, the Russians did nothing that was in breach of the Yalta agreement

Seems your username of "naive" is quite apt. The USSR imposed "communism" on almost the whole of Eastern Europe, blockaded Berlin, suppressed popular uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, tried to undermine Tito when he proved a bit more free willed, f*cked about in Scandinavian politics and more. All in breach of the Yalta agreements.



Re: iron

I think you missed the joke - Trump doesn't likely know where Helsinki is, and he's been very reticent about his visit to Russia even being caught out for lying about the night he spent there (he claimed he didn't, but lots of evidence such as the flight logs prove otherwise).


Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

I genuinely fear for Putin's health. His sides must be splitting and his face ache from grinning.

I don't think he's capable of laughing. He's basically a psychopath as a result of his upbringing and his KGB training. He harbours grudges against "the West" for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the experience of his family during WWII - brothers and uncles killed fighting, father - an NKVD liquidator tasked with killing and destroying as the Red Army retreated - badly wounded and maternal grandmother probably executed. Seen in that light, his proxy war in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea and constant f*cking about in other countries makes a lot more sense.

Techie sues ex-bosses, claims their AI avatar tech was faked – and he was allegedly beaten up after crying foul


Re: Clearly a serious business

Excactly! This is such an obvious multi-billion dollar generating idea, no wonder the fools smart folk at Softbank invested in it.

Bill Clinton's cyber-attack novel: The airport haxploit-blockbuster you knew it would be


Re: Spitting Image got there first?

For those not familiar with it: The President's Brain Is Missing.

RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89


I am read that if you wrote to the BBC back when the Clangers first aired, they'd send you a Xerox of the knitting pattern Peter Firmin's wife used to create the real ones. My Mum actually knitted me a Clanger earlierthus year from a hardback book based on the original patterns. I am 46 years old and not ashamed :-D

SD cards add PCIe and NVMe, hit 985 MB/sec and 128TB


Re: No Wear Levelling hmmmmmm

Alistair - I seem to recall that Kingston have had serious issues with quality control as their suppliers have been known to slip them seconds on occasion. (They don't have factories of their own, they just get stuff made by various Chinese suppliers).


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