* Posts by Fogcat

187 posts • joined 1 Oct 2007


Every Little Helps: Former Tesco boss Dave Lewis to advise UK govt on supply chains


Re: The main thing I observed about the (previous) CEO of Tesco...

Just because someone is the head of an organisation with a large supply chain does that really mean they are an *expert* in supply chains? I would have thought the person you really wanted was not a "suit" but someone like the national warehouse manager. But they they probably don't go to the right cocktail parties to get invited to apply.

Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches


Re: the text editor for granddads

I won't down vote you, because hey, personal preference; but I use Visual Studio and Notepad++

Visual Studio for the IDE, code hinting etc. Notepad++ for log files (some very big), XML and everything else (with a few plugins added). NP++ is fast, has a "classic" interface and does it's job very well.

Also NP++ is free Sublime isn't. When I trialled Sublime (a while ago I admit) it seemed more about "style" than usefulness.

Google's diversity strat lead who said Jews have 'insatiable appetite for war' is no longer diversity strat lead


Re: Out of context

Sorry if it came over that way, I had no intention of implying a "secret cabal" with all the associated historical and social baggage. All nations indulge in influence, public relations and propaganda to various degrees, some are better than others, and again in this instance I'm referring to nation states, not peoples, faiths etc.

And as for criticising on the "same issue" - some issues are very strongly geographically specific, I'm not sure how I could criticise Thailand for it's use of air strikes in the occupied territories. Or for that matter criticise the Israeli government for the treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar. The criticism needs to be applied to the agency carrying out the actions.


Re: Out of context

One of the things that seems to me to be prevalent today is the idea that any criticism of Israeli government policies is automatically anti-Semitic. Some is, because some people don't seem to be aware that Jewish ethnicity is not the same as the Judaism the faith and neither are equivalent to an enthusiastic support of the government. But valid criticism is often shouted down.

This conflation has, I personally think, been very carefully crafted and cynically encouraged over a length of time by a highly effective PR campaign.

Even typing this I'm trying to be very careful about what I say!

Harassers and bullies succeed in tech because silence is encouraged


Re: Tales from the Crypt

This will no doubt attract a number of down votes, but ... these sorts of things are an example of where the backing of a union can be very helpful, they have their own legal resources, unfortunately lots of experience in similar cases and more time and money than an individual can dedicate to fighting back. They're a bit like insurance, you hope you never need them, but they're damn helpful when you do.

Vote to turf out remainder of Nominet board looks inevitable after .uk registry ignores reform demands


I've only got one uk domain with an undecided registrar (easily) - any recommendations on who to switch to?

And it really really does seem like there's something to hide that they're clinging on so desperately.

How to ensure your tech predictions catch on in a flash? Do the mash


Re: Future Gazing

Votive offerings

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem


Re: Where’s The Effing Ignition Lock!?

When I had a Saab the salesman told me that the ignition key was down by the gear stick because they'd analysed injuries from a lot of crashes and discovered that even in relatively low speed impacts there were an awful lot of damage caused by legs impacting the bunch of keys dangling from the dash.

No idea if that's true but it sure sounds good.

Backblaze on the back foot after 'inadvertently' beaming customer data to Facebook


Re: No customer dashboard should ever fire off a connection to Facebook, Google, or any 3rd party

I have had dealings and meetings with ONS about census data in the past (admittedly a long time ago now) and they always impressed me with their focus on not revealing any individually identifiable information. I'd trust them infinitely more that Facebook!

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there


Re: MicroVAX II Mayflower

Mapping Orientated Graphics Giving an Improved Edgeless System (I think). I had a layered approach with greater detail as you zoomed in to avoid overflowing integer co-ordinates as everything before had been based on paper sheets for engineering drawings.

Was actually marketed as DOGS Mapping though.


Re: Ahh Pafec

Written in FORTAN and overlayed to heck and beyond to get it to fit. I was there when they announced internally they were going to port to PC and most of us did a mechanic style sucking in of breath over our teeth.


Re: MicroVAX II Mayflower

I used to work for PAFEC, coming up with new names for packages was always fun. SWANS was a a bit of a effort.

We had PIGS (Pafec Interactive Graphics System), DOGS (Drawing Office Graphics System) MOGGIES (Mapping Orientated Graphics ...something something)

I seem to remember that the lubrication module for the finite element software was SLUGS

Apple to halve commission for developers turning over up to $1m in sales via App Store


I can understand the commission on selling an app through the app store. It's the commission on all future purchases related to the app that raises my eyebrows. Lets say for example you sell an app that lets you select pictures and request a hard copy is mailed to you at home. And let's say the initial price includes printing 10 pictures. If you want to print more pictures you have to buy more credit. As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong) Apples says that you can only buy that credit in the app (with 30% commission), if you have a website and let people buy credit there your app will be banned from the app store. That's what seems outrageous to me.

Iran's RampantKitten spy crew were snooping on expats and dissidents for six years


"extracting passwords from management software KeePass"

Is there a vulnerability in KeePass then?

Dido 'Queen of Carnage' Harding to lead UK's Institute for Health Protection because Test and Trace went so well


Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

"children are unaffected and have been proven to NOT transmit the virus to members of the same household."

I can't find any PROOF of that, the most generous statements I can find are that there's just not enough evidence yet.

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging


Re: Price Gouging: the free market libertarian perspective

And all the companies that bleat about regulatory interference are now suddenly very interested in government loans and grants.

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines


This brings back several memories from the early 80s as a new graduate.

I worked as a programmer for some typesetting software, written in assembler on a Data General Nova. It was mostly for local newspaper small ads but also for a company that produced annual financial reports for other businesses. I occasionally had the job of visiting to install new versions which meant I had to travel with one of those disc packs in it's plastic cover. I was allowed to get taxis rather than use the underground as the wisdom in those days was that the electric rail could corrupt the disc!

The users of the system we re-trained from the old hot-lead typesetting systems (The London Science museum has one, amazing mechanical technology) and peeved at what they saw as a de-skilling of their job. So it wasn't too surprising that the company had regular system crashes on a Friday afternoon, late enough that by the time the system had been rebooted and initialised there would be no point in continuing leading to the workers being sent home early. Took us ages to find the bug as any enquires like "what were you doing just before it crashed?" only ever got very vague answers!

I also have memories of the photo-typesetter, driven by paper-tape. It contained an opaque glass disc with transparent cutouts for the letters and numbers. The disc was spun to select the correct symbol and light shone through the "letter" onto photosensitive paper, the paper was moved and the next letter spun into place. To change font size lenses were moved back and forward to change the size of the image on the paper. To change font you inserted a different disc! It made a hell of a racket when in operation..

Oi, drag this creaking, 217-year-old UK census into the data-driven age


I can't speak for other government departments, but in the past I've worked with people from the ONS and their "paranoid" approach to any one being able to individually identify any person or household from data they release is impressive.

If other data holders were like them our data would be a lot safer.

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped


Re: Quality of vinyl

Aahhhh Selectadisc ... have an upvote for memories of a "real" record shop. (They actually had a branch in Soho for a short while as well)

3D printers set for lift off? Yes, yes, yes... at some point in the future


I don't own a 3D printer but a work colleague did and I used SketchUp to design a skeleton frame for an aquarium hood which he printed for me for the cost of materials. It did require breaking my design into "kit parts" because of the size limitation and then doing an "Airfix" assembly after. There was some, sanding, filing and cleaning up and spray painting required but I was very pleased with the result. far neater that my limited carpentry skills would have allowed.

Having said that I haven't since had the "need" to 3D print anything else.

NHS to go paperless by 2020. No, really, it will, says gros fromage


I'm not a reactionary but after having spent a few hours in the waiting area of a day surgery unit last week (where patients did have a wrist band with a QR style code) and watching the activity I wonder if the managers have any idea about the non-obvious uses of paper files?

These include:

* Attaching a patient's locker key to her file to keep it safe during the op.

* Provision of files to different theatre teams based on where they were on the central circular desk.

* At a glance checking of a patients position in the queue by where there file was in the array.

* Ad-hoc note scribbling (and diagram drawing) in the files.

* The good old fashioned thumb flicking browsing of old notes in a very thick file by an anaesthetist (presumably visually scanning for related info rather than doing a keyword search)

* Detaching forms/pieces of paper to take away to another location (colour coded forms by what I observed)

And then there's the signing of patient consent forms; and the showing them to the patient in theatre and asking "is this your signature". They'll need something better than the things I sign for parcel delivery!

All these things *can* be supported with technology but I suspect it's not as simple as people think.

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union


Re: From the article....

"so please could some of those who are big on the huggy feely stuff like sympathy and empathy educate me on why you want or need such things at work?"

I'm going to assume that it was an honest question

Just for example... spouse/child/favourite pet falls sick, you're up all night waiting in ER. You go into work in the morning, you're tired, you don't perform your job well that day. Some sympathy and empathy means that people understand why you're having a bad day and you don't end up with loss of pay, "performance management" or notes on your HR file.

Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again


There's a good detailed report here:


Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!


"and you will get a seat."

Not just a seat, but a seat that is comfortable for me (a 6ft 2in guy) and that I can stand up and walk away from without even folding away the seat tray.

BITE that APPLE if you want to escape the Android garden, Microsoft


I was going to try it out but the play store says it's incompatible with my Nexus 10 running Lollipop.

The requirements (for Word) say...

• Android tablet with screen size larger than or equal to 7 inches

• OS version: KitKat (4.4.X)

So I was thinking it didn't support Lollipop,... but from the AC above that doesn't seem to be the case

OS X search tool Spotlight runs roughshod over Mail privacy settings


Re: Search for Windows


Seems pretty fast for what it does (have only used the lite version)

Microsoft flings Office apps for Android slabs at world+dog


Re: Work and excel installing on my Nexus 7 now...

Oddly the play store it tells me it's not compatible with my Nexus 10

South Londoner wins Reddit MILLIONAIRE not-a-lottery lottery


I think you'll find that in the UK the recipient of a "gift" of money is not liable to pay tax on it.

The giver might need to be careful as there are rules to avoid people "giving away" all their estate before they die to avoid inheritance tax, but as we're taxing about 1USD a time here I don't think that's a problem.

So if the "10p" isn't worth the effort for you I'll take it off your hands.

El Reg Christmas Lectures to span space, big data and GCHQ


Re: Done and done

All in London I see, no one venturing into the real world?

Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U


It's not surprising that they had these classifications, the only slightly unusual thing about them is the less than flattering titles. What really counts is the data used to build them. The one I'm familiar with is Mosaic


Which in a past life I was involved in creating, we did have to tactfully suggest alternative names for some of the classification titles that the MD came up with.

Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer


Re: Now where do we go for a cheap contract?

Unlimited minutes a quite common - but what they don't tell you is the cost for 0845 numbers. As far as I remember when they were introduced they were supposed to be "local call equivalent" but the networks treat them as premium rate numbers. And when virtually every business uses them and you need to contact them in working hours you can suddenly be caught with a huge bill. (yes I know about the "say no to 0845 app. I just don't see why the networks charge what they do.)

Then there are :

Charges for 0800 free phone numbers.

Charges for picture messages (MMS) hidden away in the small print separate from SMS messages.

Charges for calling to pick up your voice mail.

Let's have open display of ALL the prices so we can compare properly


Re: Just goes to show

I've not been in Phones 4 U since I went in looking for a new contract, told them anyone except Vodafone and the first thing they tried to sell me was a Vodafone contract.

their kick back for a new contract was obviously more important than what the customer wanted.

Misery for Virgin Media mobe customers over mysterious 'EE data centre gaffe'


Re: I also get extremely poor 3G data speeds near Nottingham city centre.

Same here (Nottingham). I've only been with them about 6 weeks, so thought it was normal and had started looking around for another deal.

Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0


Not played for a long time now, but I remember getting early copies of the "Dungeon Master Guide" imported by someone who holidayed in the USA. As my group played the rules moved more and more to our own customised versions and ZX81 wobbly RAM pack combat resolution before finally emerging into completely rule free sessions; essentially moderated story telling.

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then


Midi Maze! My first ever networked game, we had fun with that one

Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices


Re: Prior Art?

This is true, my phone does this already via Locale (the other main app is Tasker).

My phone goes to vibrate only at work, stays with the screen on when plugging in and playing music in the car and switches off the screen lock when I'm connected to my home wifi.

So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...


Re: A plea: bring back real boffins on TV!

Ahh.. I remember watching this when I was a youngster, Jacob Bronowski even sounds like a boffiny name. (I have the book as well, presented at school prize day, for being a swot)


That was when documentaries weren't afraid to have someone TALK to you and show the person doing the talking and didn't feel the need to have actors dressed up to do a historical re-enactment.

ICO raps UK Student Loans Co for leaking MEDICAL files and more


Re: Fines are no use

As someone who has had to deal with with these numpties (two children who have been through degrees and one now working overseas) I'm not in the slightest surprised that they they can't keep confidential data under control. They can't even find information you've already given them.

Plus the fact they are very keen to send out letters from what appears to be the Smith Lawson & Company debt collection company but is actually part of SLC.

They're a monopoly why isn't there a choice?

Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point


Re: Dual track is nothing new

It was "matching tie and handkerchief", it completely foxed me as well, thought I had a faulty record.

Actually, there is an Arapaho word for 'pliers'


Re: Is there an Arapaho word for this?

"It's true because C3P0 said so. Or was it Marvin?"

I think it was Hugo Rune.

Rise of the (tiny) machines: US boffins make nanomotor breakthrough


HeLa Cells

There's an interesting podcast about the HeLa cells mentioned in the article here


Well at least it was completely new information and interesting to me.

A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told


Re: Follow what money?

"Ministers benefit from the current system because they get to hold the BBC's leash and ensure the right propaganda reaches the masses."

These would be the same ministers (of whatever government right or left) that complain about the BBC?


Re: Oh?

"If as Elstein posits, 20 per cent gave up paying altogether, 40 per cent paid double and 10 per cent paid treble, then it would have over £5.1bn a year."

Do they really believe that if 30% were to pay the same as the current licence fee (simple arithmetic on the above) that 50% of people would voluntarily and happily pay more3?

I really can't see that happening.

UK.gov recruiting 400 crack CompSci experts to go into teaching


But given the disdain with which Mr Gove regards teachers ("bunch of lefty whining do-gooder with too long holidays who think their experience means they know more than me") what sensible IT professional will be lured?

4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?


Re: But will there ever be anything worth watching?

Running up to Christmas that was a perfume ad, black and white, male with a chiselled jaw driving and open topped sports care and so on. It was so utterly full of cliches I was waiting for the end of the ad for the punchline seriously believing it to be one of those spoof ads that appears glamorous but is actually for soap powder.

The those sneaky ad men fooled me - it was actually an ad for perfume!

US military's RAY-GUN truck BLASTS DRONES, mortars OUT OF THE SKY


Re: Not quite the first thing to take out...

If wasn't (only) the viability of the technology that opponents of the "Star Wares project" objected to. It was to a greater extent about what it would do to the stability of the global political climate.

The Russians saw the project a a means whereby the USA could stage a first strike without having to worry about the retaliation and resulting "Mutual Assured Destruction" (Don't forget Regan had already called them an evil empire. If the "shield" even *looked* as if it was getting close to being viable it would have put the pressure on the Soviet hawks to lobby for their own first while that was still a possibility. It would have made the world a much less stable place, Perestroika would probably never got off the ground.

Of course in these days of asymmetric warfare you don't need ICBMs to totally change a countries culture.

Boffins devise world's HARDEST tongue-twister


Re: Not Difficult and

I heard her interviewed on the Today program on Radio 4 and as usual it seems a nice headline opportunity has obscured what she's actually doing. It is all related to combinations sounds, what type follows what and so on and it's aimed at look how ideas get vocalised, what can interfere with it and has applications for rehabilitation of stroke suffers and other speech problems.


Re: I never saw the point of this concept.

"Hell, most people if you play their won speech back at the with a few milliseconds delay will find it near impossible to talk."

This is true, sometimes when Skype-ing if the user at the other end is using speakers rather a headset you hear your own voice coming back delayed. When that happens I can only get half way through sentences..

RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'


"So, based on anyone's real knowledge of the systems in place, which bank(s) are least likely to have serious IT problems? Serious question, because I want to change and this is one of my important criteria."

From a purely customer service point of view I'd recommend First Direct. Always been very helpful and have sorted out things for me that weren't actually their problem. The phone even gets answered really quickly.

I can't answer about their IT systems, but they're a part of HSBC so there is probably some reliance on that".

No, I don't work for them or have any connection, just been with them since soon after they opened and found their service good.



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