* Posts by Sam Therapy

530 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Oct 2007


Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage

Sam Therapy

Yup, still acting the goat as of 17:15.

Some sites work, others don't, then they do, then they don't.

Buggeration. On stilts.

Janet Jackson music video declared a cybersecurity exploit

Sam Therapy

Re: Lay off Janet

Oh, do give over. I believe I have a dog in this fight, having some African ancestry. I don't see slagging off JJ as being in any way racist. The song is tripe, as is, IMO, most of her output. At best, I'd describe her stuff as throwaway pop fluff, at worst, something I'd go a long way to avoid.

Misguided call for a 7-Zip boycott brings attention to FOSS archiving tools

Sam Therapy

I like 7 Zip, too.

Been using it since forever.

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

Sam Therapy

Ah, Malicious Compliance. Where would we be without it?

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI

Sam Therapy

My two very real worries about this...

First, some people will accept, without question we now have sentient machines and for some reason will trust them.

Second, when sentient machines finally appear, they'll be owned/controlled by an outfit like Google, Apple or Microsoft.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine

Sam Therapy


D'ye ken John Deere with his tractors dead?

D'ye ken Vladimir with his face so red?

D'ye ken John Deere with his tractors bricked?

D'ye ken Vladimir is a complete dick?

Your software doesn't work when my PC is in 'O' mode

Sam Therapy

Everyone's heard of this one but that's because it often happened...

Way, way back, I worked at British Coal (remember them?) at their Pensions and Insurance centre in Sheffield. There was a standalone machine running an overnight process, and after working faultlessly for ages, suddenly started failing. Nobody knew why until they realised the fault began when they moved the machine to a new location. The power socket was one used by the cleaners, so they used to unplug the computer, plug in their cleaning gear, do their work, plug the computer back in and so on.

The thing got moved back to its old place with an inaccessible socket and ran faultlessly ever after.

If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

Sam Therapy

I found a perfectly legal - and to me - ethical way to drop my employer right in it.

First, they didn't fire me, I quit. Second, I was hacked off with them because I'd been treated as a dogsbody, passed over for promotions, always got the smallest pay rise and eventually, after a long talk with another guy in the department, who told me - as I suspected - the big cheese of the entire site had it in for me, Idecided to go elsewhere. I landed a prime job with much better pay and prospects, and back to my preferred career as a CG artist. They wanted me to start ASAP but understood I had to give notice.

It was when I was drafting my notice that I remembered I'd not taken much of my leave; I'd recently divorced so I didn't want to spend time moping about on my own, so I had 16 days left. After a bit of checking and double checking, I confirmed I could use these days as part of my notice, so I'd only actually be working at my old place for 4 days.

The department head wasn't too pleased. "I don't think you can do this", he said. "I don't think you can stop me", I replied. He then scurried off for a talk with the HR bods, who confirmed I was in the right and they were up the proverbial creek without the legendary paddle. He then offered to buy back some of my leave entitlement, so I could at least get a new bod started on the right path. I told him there wasn't a truck big enough for the money I'd want in return. "Not very team spirited", was one of the things said to me about it. "Well, you buggers didn't do me any favours these past few years, so why should I do anything in return?"

Not saying the name of the firm, but they had a 3 letter name with an A at the start, an N at the end and an O in the middle.

Took a week of my leave enjoying the sunny weather with my new GF, then started at my new job and never regretted a moment.

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

Sam Therapy

Not in code - and I am self taught in V Basic but had already cut my teeth in other languages beforehand. My boss needed something putting together and gave me the spec, told me to use Visual Basic to do it. Spent a day or so trying stuff out, wrote the code, fully documented it and everyone was happy. No swears or dodgy comments.

In graphics, however... Our publisher wanted us to write a game based on the fun fair thing called Kentucky Derby, where you throw a ball up a table to make a model horse run along a track. We thought it was a crap idea but he insisted, so we did it, and, within the limits of the actual gameplay, made a decent job. The throwing hand, though, I made it look like it was moving in a manner more reminiscent of a (ahem) Hand Shandy, which was picked up on in the reviews, and rightly so. It was our not so subtle way of commenting on the game concept.

AFAIK, you can still find the game in various 8 bit archives. It was released for the Speccy, C64 and Amstrad 8 bits. The game's called Kentucky Racing.

NASA's InSight probe emerges from Mars dust storm

Sam Therapy

Dunno about the lander but as for my PC, I blame the cats.

When product names go bad: Microsoft's Raymond Chen on the cringe behind WinCE

Sam Therapy

Many moons ago I worked for Aon, or Aon Risk Services, as they were properly known. Some genius wanted to call our part of the business Aon Risk Services Europe. Oh very dear.

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA

Sam Therapy

I'm a Boomer - born 1959 - and have never named my cars. I'm also not an old blues guy, so I've never named my guitars, either.

I don't name inanimate objects but it doesn't mean they aren't looked after. I need a reliable vehicle and, for a number of years, guitars were my stock in trade, so it makes sense to care for 'em. Besides which, only an idiot neglects useful gear.

A smarter alternative to password recognition could be right in front of us: Unique, invisible, maybe even deadly

Sam Therapy

Re: I breathe in your general direction...

I wave my private parts at your Aunties.

Sam Therapy

"Last Christmas I gave you my farts..."

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Sam Therapy

It'll never stand up in court.

Sam Therapy

Anyone who thinks standing on Lego bricks is bad

has never stood on an upturned UK mains plug.

Now, that's really not fun.

A tiny typo in an automated email to thousands of customers turns out to be a big problem for legal

Sam Therapy

Guilty as charged

Testing out an internal mail system at a former employer, I created a series of utterly hilarious (well, I thought they were) mails to send to a select few people, with a similar sense of humour. They contained plenty of swearing and several not very complimentary remarks about various managers.

Naturally, I screwed up and sent 'em to everyone in the company.

Wow, that was fun. I got the mother of all tellings off from one of the department big wigs (who couldn't keep a straight face, to be fair to him) and a written warning.

On the other hand, I made a lot of friends that day, with many people saying it was the best laugh they'd had in ages.

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Sam Therapy

We are using a courtesy vehicle (too flippin' big to call a car, Toyota Proace Verso, their version of the Vauxhall Vivaro), a fairly new thing, 21 plate, with a built in SatNav that is bleedin' awful.

Not only does the thing take you somewhere one way, then back a completely different route for no good reason, it reads out road numbers in a way I've never heard anyone use in all me 62 years. The A6195, for example, I'd know as the A Six One Six Nine Five; the Toyota version reads it out as A Sixty One Ninety Five. A bit distracting when you expect something else. Google will also give the local names of roads but the Toyota, oh no, it can't be arsed to do that.

Me main gripe with Google's SatNav is that it often gives silly (slight right, for example) instructions, or late instructions, such as telling you which exit to use when you're already positioned at a roundabout, often in the wrong lane. Not great if it's a route you're unfamiliar with.

RIP Bernie Drummond: Celebrated ZX Spectrum artist and programmer on Batman, Head Over Heels, Match Day II

Sam Therapy

RIP Mr Drummond

An inspiration to many Speccy artists, including me. A source of gaming pleasure to many of us.

There's only one cure for passive-aggressive Space Invader bosses, and that's more passive aggression

Sam Therapy
Thumb Up

Re: Dlibert is very much alive and well....

Freefall is spectacularly good.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done

Sam Therapy

I bet Virgin Media won't be ecstatic about the logo, either.

Facebook sues scraper who sold 178 million phone numbers and user IDs

Sam Therapy

Online shoe salesman?

The utter, utter bastard!

Facebook censors Scunthorpe band

Sam Therapy

They should relocate to Penistone.

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Sam Therapy


Heart FM's borkfast show – a fine way to start your day

Sam Therapy

Bleah - Fart FM

My missis used to listen to those two annoying twats until I asked her to either change stations or switch the damn thing off. Not only are those two enough to make you take a hammer to the radio, the station itself seems to have a library of around 100 songs which they constantly recycle. Over a year since I stopped having the thing inflicted on me, I went somewhere that was playing Heart and, surprise surprise, they were playing the same bleedin' songs as when I last heard 'em.

Oh, and they're sponsored by TalkTalk, if you really need another reason to dislike them.

FTC carpet bombs industry with letters warning that fake reviews will be punished

Sam Therapy

Re: Amazon ... will take action to stop fake reviews

Oh my giddy aunt! Thanks for posting these. I haven't laughed this much for a long, long time.

Ad-blocking browser extension actually adds ads, say Imperva researchers

Sam Therapy
Thumb Up

Re: The only way now?

And a cracking good book it is, too.

Patients must know how their health records are used – and approve any sharing for research

Sam Therapy

Never, under any circumstances, assume my consent for anything.

My data is my data. Anything collected by medical professionals in the course of my care is not to be used for research, marketing, insurance, or any other form of profiteering.

I haven't ever opted out of the organ donation scheme because, despite my title above, I'm in favour of it. Sadly, having cancer is a great big red flag on that one, anyhow.

US drug watchdog green-lights first prostate-cancer-predicting AI software

Sam Therapy

I was on regular monitoring because I'd had an enlarged prostate for many years, and according to the docs, at greater risk. So, regular blood tests for PSA level, the odd finger up the jacksie, and eventually biopsies, scans and whatnot.

Found the cancer very early on and was told that, due to the very small incidence of cancerous cells, they'd prefer to wait and see for a while. Fair enough, so I waited but, due to the pandemic, everything was delayed for over a year, except PSA tests. PSA kept climbing and after waiting and waiting, so was I, as in climbing the walls. After more tests and scans, I'm pleased to say the cancer didn't increase hugely and it's still highly localized.

Anyhow, time has come to get the thing out, so I'm waiting to hear from the team about my treatment.

In my case, I don't think the new system would have made any difference, since I was already on the watch list, as it were. That said, anything that makes early discovery easier has to be a good thing.

Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media

Sam Therapy

ISTR a Dilbert cartoon where his boss was wearing a magnetic bracelet which then buggered up his computer. Maybe some astute Reg person can find it, because I buggering can't.

Motivated by commerce, not conscience, Google bans ads for climate change consensus contradictors

Sam Therapy

Re: Ads?

I've never seen an ad on YT - unless it's one in the middle of, and therefore part of - a regular video. Colin of CS guitars sometimes does it but in a very overt way, but other than that, nothing.

I am a subscriber to YT but don't have a paid account. FWIW, there's an ad blocker in my browser.

Maker of ATM bombing tutorials blew himself up – Euro cops

Sam Therapy

Re: Pretty much standard

Hoisting ATMs out of walls with JCBs, you say? A lad round here was doing that a couple of years ago. A nearby Jet petrol station was his last victim. He's now banged up.

UK.gov presents its National Space Strategy: Space is worth billions to us. Just don't mention Brexit, OK?

Sam Therapy
Thumb Down

Another excuse for Johnson to cosplay

Buzz Shitehouse - To insanity and beyond!

IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'

Sam Therapy

Ikea have form for spying on staff.

ISTR there was a big story about it in France recently. Bastards.

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up

Sam Therapy

The internal heat source is someone cryptocoin mining on Jupiter. Obviously.

Ofcom swears at the general public for five days during obscenity survey

Sam Therapy

Re: Well colour me impressed

Not forgetting leggerbees' and raasclaat.

Clegg on its face: Facebook turns to former UK deputy PM to fend off damaging headlines

Sam Therapy

Mr Clegg - and Facebook collectively - need to fuck themselves. With something sharp.

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Sam Therapy

Thanks, mate. Prostate cancer, so it's not too bad, as things go. Everyone says it's the one to have, if you have to have cancer at all.

Anyhow, I have to see Urology tomorrow but I think they're taking the piss. :D

Sam Therapy

First of all, having recently had me first dealings with Macmillan nurses - and very nice they are, too - since I was diagnosed with cancer, they can say what they bloody well want because, well, they're lovely people. They're right about Chocolate Digestives being top, in any case, so there's that.

Finally, the writer should know better than to say sugar causes hyperactivity in kids. Rotten teeth, yes. Hyperactivity, no.

So there.

How long till some drunkard puts a foot through one of BT's 'iconic, digital smart city communication hubs'?

Sam Therapy


Fuck my spats, it'll last 5 minutes at most.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Sam Therapy

RIP Sir Clive

Your machines gave me my start in CGI. Primitve by modern standard but still exciting to see your own work appearing on screen. I was bitten by the bug (pun not intended) instantly.

I'll raise a glass to you.

Ex-DJI veep: There was no drone at Gatwick during 2018's hysterical shutdown

Sam Therapy

Re: Stealth cloak, anybody?

Well, I'm not bloody well lending you mine. Wherever it is.

Boffins say Martian colonists could pee in buckets, give blood if they want shelter

Sam Therapy

Seeing as water is so big and bulky...

Why don't they dehydrate it before sending it?

Mine's the coat with the bottle of Evian.

Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

Sam Therapy

Re: Annoyed by unexplaimed Acronyms?


This is not the tech unicorn you are looking for... and other stories

Sam Therapy

I know it's early days yet but why can't someone make a decent plantigrade robot? Getting a bit fed up of all these unguligrade things walking around.

LA cops told to harvest social media handles from people they stop, suspect or not

Sam Therapy

Re: I have a facebook and twitter but have no idea how to log in

It happens. Had one of those guys visit me, some time ago when we didn't have a telly. The bugger didn't believe me, though, and went round the house, trying to peer through the curtains. Knocked on the door again, told me he'd seen a screen on, with something playing. I told him - truthfully - it was a large monitor with a DVD player hooked up to it, and therefore not a telly and not liable for the TV tax.

When he asked if he could come in to verify, I told him to come back with a police officer and a warrant. Never heard from him again.

A couple of years later, we did buy a telly and I even paid the telly tax like a good citizen. Then, when the law changed and allowed you to not pay if you only ever watched streaming services, I cancelled the license and told TVLA all about it. They were OK with that and I've never heard from 'em since.

Why tell the doctor where it hurts, when you could use emoji instead?

Sam Therapy

Wurdz is hard.

A developer built an AI chatbot using GPT-3 that helped a man speak again to his late fiancée. OpenAI shut it down

Sam Therapy

Re: Samantha skips the small talk, goes straight to breaking OpenAI's rules by talking about sex ...

Which goes a long way to explain why I have a great deal of difficulty communicating with people other than those who know me. If, as you state, people say one thing while meaning something else, it follows that people generally parse conversation with an implicit belief that what's being said isn't what is actually meant.

I choose my words carefully, and try to state things as clearly and unambiguously as possible, I'm not afraid to say "I don't know", or "no", and when I say something, that's exactly what I meant, without any hidden agenda, subtext or - as far as possible - ambiguity. I'll also differentiate between opinion and fact, and, unlike most people, won't try to present an opinion, no matter how much I believe it, as anything but.

In a world of liars, it's hard work telling the truth.

Glasgow firm fined £150k after half a million nuisance calls, spoofing phone number, using false trading names

Sam Therapy

Dear Sweet Pink Baby Jesus

She is truly frightening.

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick

Sam Therapy

A real "duuuh" moment from me, not computer related, though

I set up my rig in preparation for a gig. Switched on, left the thing on standby, grabbed a pint, came back to the soundcheck. Soon as I hit the On switch, the thing gave out the most horrible hum ever.

Opinions ranged from dud cables, ground loops, faulty switches, faulty power supply on me effects board, to busted pedals. Tried all kinds of things except the obvious.

I felt a proper idiot when I worked out the cause. I have some of my pedals in front of the amp and some in an effects loop, which for those who don't know, is an output from the preamp (Send) to which you can then connect various effects and plug the output of those into the power amp (Return) I'd left the effects loop cables draped over the amp, right across where one of the transformers lived. Moved them away to where they live on the floor and silence (or as near as you get with a big valve amp) reigned.

Yes, I got a lot of stick for it. No, I've never done it again.