* Posts by My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

82 posts • joined 12 Mar 2018


Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Birthday

Me too! How about Reg also gets us a BOFH on Friday?

Dev's telnet tinkering lands him on out-of-hour conference call with CEO, CTO, MD

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Some former co-workers may remember when we got a reminder to update our timecards every day at 2:00 via NET SEND if you hadn't updated it before then (policy was to put in the morning's time when leaving for lunch).

But the BOFH(s) on the first floor didn't secure that option from being used by anyone.

After some small tests to see if it worked between individual users, I put together a text list of department usernames and wrote a QBasic script (being a non-dev) that called the command line to send custom messages to everyone in the department, one at a time down the list. I believe I tried it once and I failed, but others may recall the trials.

It wasn't long after, especially after the rollout of Win7 (it was XP originally), that SEND was no longer functional. Both playtime and daily all-hands reminders ceased.

I hope to be remembered for the good things, like the custom powertrain module testing kits I had built, or the graphical "dashboards" that are highly useful in the chassis dynamometer control room to see live telemetry. Now I'm designing wire harnesses instead of playing with powerpacks.

Bloodhound SSC reaches the end of the road for want of £25m

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

The photo caption

"Not coming to a desert near you soon, or ever."


FCC slammed for 'arbitrary and reckless' plan to change how text messages are regulated

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: To use a favourite Wikipedia phrase

@CatMan: Thanks for the story. -------->

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Moarrrr Powwah!

Go home, Jeremy Clarkson. You can't ride the LHC's tubes like the bomb on "Dr. Strangelove".

Gigabit? More like, you can gigabet the US will fall behind on super-fast broadband access

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Gigabit access?

Make mine 1.21 gigabits.

[dons shades and cranks Huey Lewis]

Azure MFA falls over, Windows 10 struggles with Intel drivers, and Microsoft gives us... more Sticky Notes?

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Massive kudos...

I'm groaning that I recognized it in the RSS feed. I then wondered if there was a Bootnote to explain it to the others and only clicked the article to find out. Glad I'm not the only one to notice.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: what the people want

Plenty of TV reboots on Disney / Disney Junior.

I wish I let my kids watch better stuff, but it's all too crude and/or violent.

Merry Christmas, you filthy directors: ICO granted powers to fine bosses for spam calls

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

@AC: Be sure to reference the film "Fargo" when you mention the woodchipper out back.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
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Re: Phonetic spelling

Thumbs up for correct NATO syntax.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Thanks for the earworm, Reg

My brain cued up the tune as soon as I saw "Starship" and hit play two words into the subhead.

My suggestion: If he wanted that word he could have made it "Starship Falcon". Less pop-rock and more gritty-sci-fi. It's in good company with the Romulans (Warbird) and Klingons (Bird-of-Prey); both monikers would fit a real Terran falcon well.

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Are they suitable for the barby?

Probably usable as charcoal -- they look dry enough -- if you can tolerate the smell; I wouldn't cook food with it!

Side note: Had the first flames in the fireplace for this "wintery season". It's amazing how the wood basically burns/converts into charcoal then burns the charcoal (but smells up the house appropriately). I'm getting quite efficient lighting and stoking it without a lot of unburnt fuel, a full loss of flame, or using liquid accelerants, especially since I had only one fire total last year after a long hiatus due to the safety of the babies (now all age 4 and up). But in my defense, I do a fair bit of charcoal cooking outside in a classic 22" Weber kettle and we've been having more small "campfires" for s'mores in a separate metal patio firebowl (not a full stationary pit made from brick).

Oz lad 'fell in love with' baby meerkat, nicked it from zoo, took it out for a romantic Big Mac

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Meerkat PR budget

It IS astronomical, thanks to Disney's Timon from "The Lion King". They exploited the heck out of that character (along with his confidant Pumbaa).

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
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Re: like that scene in original Jurassic Park

My favorite Sammy J. quote.

(Yes, I know he's a badass with lots of good quotes from so many badass roles, and he rightfully earns his dough. I'm not hating on the guy, and I'm not even trying to play hipster / "before he was cool"; I just like that one line best.)

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Clean signal but stale programming

I think your range is off; missing a zero, perhaps (2550)?

I fired up my tone generator app for some empirical data. 85 Hz is just beyond my singing range. I can easily do an octave up (170) and even two (340). My daughters could take the next two (680, 1360) no sweat, and maybe even squeak out 2720 non-sustained. (And that's not counting natural harmonics/overtones!)

iPhone XR guts reveal sizzle of the XS without the excessive price tag

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Always behind on purpose

When the 7 came out (Sep 2015), missus and I got the 6, our first iPhone. (She liked the size more than the 5S but didn't want the 6 Plus.)

When the 8 (and X) came out (Sep 2017), we upgraded to the 7.

Next year (Sep 2019), I'm thinking the 8, since I like the fingerprint home button. I might even go for an 8 Plus. We've saved a fair bit of money going with year-old hardware; hopefully they'll still sell us two-year-old hardware come then.

XR seems really nice, but that FaceID / notch is a hard sell.

BepiColombo launches, Russia ponders next lift-off, and 50 years since Apollo 7 got its feet wet

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: exploring Mercury

@Ogi: "I just realised that anyone who controls the technology to put random lumps of metal in earths orbit and have it land somewhere on the surface has all the basics of a powerful weapon..."

Howard Taylor: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a (really) big gun."

He foreshadowed that very point (first link) with the quote appearing the next day, to be actualized weeks later (second link): https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-06-15 --> https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-12-08

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Mistakes Happen

Whew, I'm one of the lucky ones! Had my roof replaced 1.5 years ago while on vacation. They did a great job and it's holding WAY better than the cheap job from 8 years prior. They also fixed flashing issues the "other guy" didn't. Much better clean up, too. (Didn't find entire nail-rolls in my gutters or clogged downspouts.)

Insurance paid for it all owing to a wind storm; we were among hundreds, if not thousands, in the area to suffer. Before the job, roofer made his estimate and I had to tell him, "Look, the insurance is willing to pay THIS much AND my $xxxx deductible on top. You don't have to low-ball this one!" I don't know what he charged them in the end but I got a free pass. (Having their guy come out to do the estimate AND padding their bottom line makes sure they do the right house! Plus, we're the only one in the neighborhood with purple shutters; hard to miss.)

From dank memes to Krispy Kremes: British uni eggheads claim viral lol pics make kids fat

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

@jake: Is that a parody of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll"? If so, cheers for the laugh. If not, I've already put the opening piano riff in your head; you're welcome!

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Bravo...

I see what you did there. Here, have this ----->

China's going to make a mobile OS and everyone will love it, predict ball-gazing analysts

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: @ Shadow Systems

Um, knowing YOU, WHAT pants?

Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker


Just for the sake of argument: What if I argue that someone else's very presence constitutes "damage"?

Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Vonage and 911 (US-specific, sorry)

Yeah, you're right; I succumbed to emotional cloudiness instead of checking my facts. I deserve that downvote.

Facts aside, I still prefer having a land line as our "family" primary for many purposes.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Vonage and 911 (US-specific, sorry)

Forgot the power outage scenarios. If there is an emergency -- especially with Mommy now on blood thinners forever (thanks a lot, d*** PEs!)* -- I need to make sure the kids (or visiting family, friends, etc.) can call 911 and it be traceable to the house itself.

(* Or accidental drowning in the pool. While the (poorly-)lifeguarding adult starts rescue breathing, someone else makes the call.)

My wife and I keep our mobiles passcode-locked most of the time. Thus, the only option is our pseudo-landline, and I prefer it that way. If this deregulation includes no longer paying 911 fees, then will they take the call? Would Vonage even pass the call along if they weren't forced to?

I used to love our Vonage plan since my wife has a sister in Scotland and we can call there for free. Now with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, it's all text/voice over IP all the time on the handbrains, and the Vonage only serves to receive mostly scam calls. Since I don't want to ditch it entirely, there may be ways I can cut the cost down, especially as our data needs -- mobile and home -- and the associated costs grow.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Passing notes to make a comeback?

Privacy in the mail? Misdelivery and miscreants: mail either delivered wrong or intercepted by bad actors. Yes, as a regulated utility/monopoly, it's a federal offense (USA), but that does not ensure enforcement or prevention.

In the former case, I've had to re-deliver lots of mail for a house on a different street in our neighborhood that share our house number (this is USA so it's a 5-digit number and duplicates are rare). No telling how much of our stuff they've thrown away over 12 years I've owned this one.

(Also, my next door neighbor *currently* has a package of ours -- the delivery report proves it was delivered to the wrong address. We've redelivered stuff to her, so why won't she just drop it in our box?)

As for the latter, I'm scared of someone stealing outgoing mail straight out of my box -- the raised flag to alert the carrier for pickup works for crims also -- and taking finance info from bill payments. This happened to my brother-in-law (and wife) and they lost thousands, not to mention the hassle with the bank. Online bill payments is usually easy, but in some cases writing out the paper form is easier; I just make sure to use a trusted (and preferably locked) drop-off spot (just like using "trusted" sites online, I guess).

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

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Imagine...


Brand-new high school building opened in January.

Brand-new windows (that didn't open) and exterior doors with good seals.

Brand-new HVAC systems pumping out plenty of heat, even in the largest areas.

Then April hit and no one knew how to switch the bloody thing over to air conditioning.

Two weeks of sweat and not one apology from the school board to the students and/or staff.

As for IT...

Fall 1997, same building.

Up to this point, the new network was doing just fine.

Then the school board and administrators rolled out a new computer-based attendance system for all classes (4 per day).

The new software was supposed to load students' photographs from last year's picture day (same as the student ID cards).

But no one thought to test the software before Day One to help get the photos pre-cached on their PCs.

It took a whole week before it stopped acting like a building-wide DoS attack when each class started.

Just how rigged is America's broadband world? A deep dive into one US city reveals all

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: need for speed

"[R]emoving monopolies has been regarded as a no-fix idea."

And yet it was repeated in the 1980s with the Bell / AT&T breakup and creation/spinoff of the "Baby Bells" -- right at the explosion of cellular and internet.

To your point, they've spent 30+ years reconsolidating; now AT&T (SBC) and Verizon are now the two biggest players in US cellular and certain wired links.

My question is: If AT&T/Bell had been taken semi-public (like the US Postal Service) and turned into a "public good" nationwide, how would that have affected cellular and internet proliferation? And where would we be now with regards to access to bandwidth and pricing? I know, there is no way to answer, and even if you could, it wouldn't help things now.

I have a feeling between utilities/telecoms and retail (Walmart & Amazon), we're headed for a "WALL-E" future under Buy&Large. Or the novel "Jennifer Government".

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Ambitious

I totally agree; cost limits actual usefulness.

That's why I won't upgrade past 6 Mbps down, 1.5 up. (My own testing shows I get more like 7 and 1.2). I've made many a post whinging that uploading a bunch of photos takes all day and/or all night and don't even try video.

The worst part is when I signed up for THIS tier (from 1.5 down / ??? up) they said it was 6 both ways. Flat out lie. Wish I had a recording of that phone call; I would have had my state's attorney general on them quick to give me this tier for free or a higher tier for the same price.

But sorry to whinge again.

Muslim American woman sues US border cops: Gimme back my seized iPhone's data!

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

"[O]penly paranoid about visitors"?

Paranoid of their OWN citizens, also.

At a bridge border entry from Canada, my family (me driving) got told to pull over where directed, get out of the car, go in a building, and wait. The agents looked in the back of our SUV, saw it was chock FULL of luggage and personal stuff, but luckily also found my vacation planning binder, and decided all was okay and we could move on.

I wasn't watching -- lest I appear even MORE suspicious -- so how do I know? First, they left the rear liftgate ajar (when it's full you have to SLAM it closed); second, the binder was between the front seat and center console, but they left it on the seat. Nothing else was moved, and at no point did they ask for our phones (or cameras, or the kids' tablets, or my wife's laptop -- most of these being put away together in a hard-sided case for protection and out of sight of potential burglars at rest stops).

My wife may never joke about my planning, logistical, and documentation skills ever again. It's more than a good idea; it saved our butts!

(We had a great vacation after that and didn't have any similar trouble at any subsequent crossings. This was only about six weeks ago, so I haven't made any crossings since getting home.)

IBM slaps patent on coffee-delivering drones that can read your MIND

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Cold carbonated caffeine

Not to mention the flavor preferences: some for the "dark" variety, some for the "citrus".

I prefer the latter, despite the BVO risk. (I do stay away from the strikingly orange ones.)

Same argument goes for coffee: sugar? creamer? non-dairy creamer? flavor shots? Will this only deliver strong and black? This is why our office has a Keurig instead of a communal pot: no two people can agree.

Cisco smells a RAT in Breaking Security's Remcos PC wrangler

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Every Tool is a Weapon -- Revocation Lists

If I ever made a tool that could be misused, I'd put in its own backdoor that it wouldn't report to the user. A tool used for malware could also BE malware to the naughty, and I would spell out in the EULA that if you are suspected of doing naughty things, I will f--- your machine up(!), irreversibly.

Of course, any good criminal would then just kill and restore their virtual machine, so I guess that's not going to work.

It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Last time I saw XP in the wild (i.e. not reported by El Reg), it was also a self-checkout at US hypermarket chain Meijer. I know the local Ace Hardware locations also use a Windows-based POS, but I don't know which Winver.

I don't understand why NCR and the lot their peers bother to use anything so bloated when an R-pi properly configured could do the job. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong, please.)

Apple web design violates law, claims blind person

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: To put it mildly.

Shadow Systems:

I fully expected you to comment, and not surprised you were the first. However, I am disappointed that you were not the subject of the article itself! What better press to cover you than El Reg?

I raise my glass to you anyway; it's a beer icon if your SRE doesn't catch those. Cheers.

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Not just phones

I had an old Garmin that HAD to have the Garmin special cable or it thought it was connected to a computer -- even when it was just a "cigarette lighter" USB-A charger -- and would go into "sync" mode and be basically unusable.

By the time I got a replacement cable, I also got a smartphone (and traded in my old car and its perfect mounting location) and rarely used the Garmin since.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Just add wireless charging

@Dave K, @Smirnov

Funny... I never have issue with the Apple-provided cables, but in context those are the ones that stay home for overnight charging.

For the kitchen and the cars, I get what I pay for: cheap cables from discount stores ($1 to $5) lose contact and/or break quickly, but ~$8 ones from my favorite online source are much more robust. I don't need to shell out any more than that for decent performance as long as I can trust the charger.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
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Re: Just add wireless charging

@dajames: I have a 10-port USB-A (female) charging station that I love. Unlike many multi-USB hubs, this one can actually maintain full output on each port simultaneously. If it overheats, it self-derates rather than shutting off ports. And the AC cable is robust and removable for travel.

I don't utilize it to full potential at home, but on a recent extended-family trip, 4 households (8 adults, 8 kids from ages 3 to 18) sharing 1 rental "cottage" (large lake house) used the hub quite well: I had up to 6 Apple Lightening and 4 micro-USBs at once (of the 10, I also provided 6 of the cables). I strategically placed it in the kitchen on a side counter out of the way of cooking. Everyone KNEW where their devices were; no one had a charging issue or lost/left a charger in a bedroom or bathroom.

(I'm tempted to joke that *I* forgot to take it home instead, but that's not true. Of course I wouldn't give up this precious.)

Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

"Cats and dogs living together...


Sorry; my mind insists seeing that movie quote (Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghostbusters") finished.

You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Conspicuously Missing...

I've had U-verse for TEN years now and still consider it better than any deal the only competition will offer me.

My only lingering beef with them is that uploads are only one-quarter (claimed / at best! more like 1/5 or 1/6 with actual data) of the speed of downloads. I understand there are (probably) good technical reasons to architect the distribution network for downloads, but given my loyalty I am sure they could flip a bit and give me full-speed both ways, especially since I'm paying for more than bare-bottom-tier.

But I've whinged about this before and I'll spare any more details.

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

More than just spelling.

The punctuation in that letter is also horrible.

Comma misuse is usually the number one culprit; this example is prime proof.

There are also some word choices I find suspect, but those might be due to Blighty-versus-Yankee preferences.

Unrelated to the grammar: You Brits are allowed to post cash? Americans are told never to mail actual cash for anything! (And most don't, aside from kid's birthday cards from relatives, with checks/cheques covering larger gifts.)

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
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Re: And I always thought

Mmmm... fried breakfasts....

Pass the hash browns and streaky bacon, please.

Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Yay for Sonic

If I could get alternatives like that, I'd ditch AT&T U-verse in a snap, buy a new Wi-Fi/Ethernet router for the house at Costco (assuming the modem doesn't do that), sign up some streaming services and still save money in the long run.

Until then, it's all just a tease. Good for you, you lucky bastard, but also shame for showing me the future I want but can't have.

Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Wild phone claims --

-- especially that tagline -- only serve to remind me of xkcd:


Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Pumping Hack Flash

jake: "The stoichiometric ratio for proper explosions rarely occurs in the wild."

As demonstrated by "Mythbusters" -- trying to get a gas tank to explode was hard work. Like you also said, it ended with more flame and less boom.

The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

El Reg: "Apple could not be reached for immediate comment."

You guys do know the popular definition for "insanity", right? Maybe you ought to just give up and have LESTER bring you a lager instead.

Google leaps on the platform formerly known as Firefox with $22m splurge for KaiOS

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: "... fastest-growing phone platform..."

I am thinking a similar thing: fastest-growing by being JUST ahead of whomever is #2, no matter how small that margin is.

Which is like the adage everyone knows: Don't outrun the bear, just outrun your competition.

Koh YEAH! Apple, Samsung finally settle iPhone patent crusade

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
Paris Hilton

Re: But, but.....

Should have used this --->

To answer your question, the lawyers can F*** OFF because NO ONE CARES (except for other high-falutin' types).

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Not bad in the long run

My first experience with 98 was the CD-ROM catalog computer at my uncle's hardware store, and I thought it was shit, to put it bluntly. (Although having the catalog on CD-ROM instead of a dozen volumes of paper was nice. I remember having to update the paper ones...)

It was over a year (2, 3, 5?) later that the CD-ROMs were deprecated and all catalog work was to be done through the corporate web-based extranet. (He also moved from dial-up to DSL.) At that time, he finally let me clean up the machine because the web browsing was so much slower than the CD. Turns out that Windows was okay, and the specs were fine (nothing else on the machine, really) -- it was MacAfee being a total pain since day one. Once I figured out how to remove it without nuking the whole thing, things got a whole lot better. (Yes, riskier, but not my problem.)

Around that time, corporate was also starting to force the franchises to change their POS (point of sale, you gits!) from older systems to a Windows-based full-internet one, making a separate extranet terminal redundant. Not sure if he changed before selling the whole store outright to a rival chain.

US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: It's still really hard to complain

You perhaps forgot wear and tear on the car?

If it really means something to me, I opt for the GSA rates (55-some cents a mile, covering gas, car maintenance and depreciation, etc.). Take an upcoming vacation of 1500 miles round trip. If rental + gas < $750 (my own car) then I'd rent. There are other variables at play for this particular trip, but you get the point.

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

PDF Forms

Drop the submit functions. Just allowing Acrobat Reader to fill out the form, save it and print/email it helps a lot of folks. With email or web-based upload*, there is ZERO need to send the form contents from within a PDF reader.

* Yes, us readers of El Reg know that FTP not only exists but still has some uses. Most lusers never knew about FTP (thinking email was the only pre-web internet app that mattered; they don't know/care about telnet either except in movies) and many of the others think FTP is essentially dead.

JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

Re: Hand Off My Internet

You mean it is the corporations' who provide the hardware and software for content and distribution/routing, from the databases & scripts down to the fibers? Yes, it is theirs, and they will restrict, monitor, and manipulate to the full extent of the law (and possibly more until penalized enough to dial it back).

Government regulations are very handy when they keep corporate greed in check. So don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.


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