* Posts by Steve Foster

822 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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MX Linux 21.2: Middleweight Debian-based distro is well worth a look

Steve Foster
FAIL

@Pirate Dave

Except that if you RTFA, it's not "systemd-free", it's "systemd-installed-but-unused".

US EV drivers won't be able to choose vehicle safety alert sounds

Steve Foster
WTF?

And pedestrians don't hear those! (or ignore them)

I've witnessed countless instances where pedestrians have walked through the path of a reversing van or lorry, seemingly completely unaware that the large, heavy vehicle with limited visibility that can easily crush them is even there.

Smart homes are hackable homes if not equipped with updated, supported tech

Steve Foster
Pirate

Re: Alternatives

And then your insurer refuses to pay out because there's no evidence of "forced entry".

Amazon stretches working life of its servers an extra year, for AWS and its own ops

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: AD Revenue

That breaks down as $65m to make the show, and $400m set aside for lawsuits when <insert allegations of your choice/ cancel culture retrospective sin of the month> happens due to the actions of the <male lead/ female lead/ non-binary lead/ director/ producer/ alec baldwin/ all of the above>.

Instant Ump: HP Inc's subscription ink services hiking prices from next month

Steve Foster
FAIL

"Cost for other plans is unchanged"

That's not the case for the "Light" plan, which is reduced to 10ppm from 15ppm. Sure, the monetary amount HPI are collecting remains the same, but the price per page is up by 50%.

Machine needs more Learning: Google Drive dings single-character files for copyright infringement

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Well, that's one for the history books

... 10 for the show...

(binary joke)

Rolls-Royce consortium shopping for factory sites to build mini-nuclear reactors

Steve Foster
Mushroom

Re: Money for old rope

You think we're willing to start WW3 over Ukraine?

And if so, surely they could launch their missiles just as effectively from Faslane as they could from the Black Sea...

(obvious choice of icon!)

Steve Foster

Re: Money for old rope

"shipping container". I believe you've mistyped "submarine"...

Perhaps we should be looking at providing grid connection points at Faslane, so that the existing fleet of nuclear subs could be used to provide electricity to the grid.

New batch of AstroPis relieve Ed and Izzy of duty on board the International Space Station

Steve Foster

What will happen to Ed & Izzy?

I hope they're going to be looked after in their retirement, and not simply chucked away (or added to the next ISS garbage re-entry "burn").

Perhaps donation to TNMOC?

Time to party like it's 2002: Acura and Honda car clocks knocked back 20 years by bug

Steve Foster

Re: GPS week rollover

The only flaw in this otherwise wonderful (and informative) thought is that the GPS week rollover occurred in April 2019. Not at the end of 2021.

So, if Honda had screwed up dealing with the rollover, you'd have expected the reports to have begun back in 2019, not now.

Nationwide Building Society's Faster Payments turn into Slower Payments for 2022

Steve Foster
FAIL

3rd Incident

Note that this is the 3rd time in quick succession (1st just before Xmas, 2nd last week) that Nationwide has had processing delays with "faster" [sic] payments.

EDIT: AC just beat me to it...

India takes Amazon’s biggest local e-tail alliance out of its shopping cart

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Incredible!

"P.S. Why hasn't the vulture got snow on its beak like it had in years gone past|?"

Global warming, obvs!

If you're not sold on the benefits of 5G, Ericsson suggests you keep an eye on gaming, home broadband

Steve Foster
Headmaster

Re: The Pope is a Catholic

Oh no, he isn't.

The guy in the vatican isn't actually "The Pope" (officially); and the guy who is "The Pope" (officially) isn't catholic. cf. Sandi Toksvig on QI:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMf4OtC7SXY

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

Steve Foster

Re: I am offended

"dead fly biscuits"

You do, of course, mean fruit shortcake, rather than the reprocessed cardboard named for the bald geezer.

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Random numbers

Except that they took considerably less time (and therefore probably less electricity) than the previous record holder.

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

Steve Foster

"The figures I've seen show that just for light vehicles, charging would require that all the UK power stations run at full capacity 24/7."

And your cite is...? (he who lives by the "citation please" dies by the "citation please" <g>)

Steve Foster

Re: Some things that would help the situation

The Twizy has such a small battery that they fit it with a standard domestic plug. There are a few public charging points that offer 13A sockets, but they're going the way of the dodo.

There is a Type 2 to 13A socket adaptor available that lets it use a wider range of charge points.

Steve Foster

Re: Overcharging for Leccy

Ionity charge 69p/kWh for open access. It's deliberately priced so that almost no-one does, but lets them claim to be open "unlike Tesla" (though I keep coming across rumours that that may change).

If your car comes from one of the manufacturers in the Ionity consortium (BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, VAG), you'll be able to get a much better rate.

The supermarkets with rapid chargers are about the cheapest - Lidl are at 25p/kWh, Tesco at 27p/kWh - and their slow chargers are usually free (I don't see that being sustainable!).

Steve Foster

That's exactly how I charge my car on long trips using rapid chargers at Rugby services, Toddington, Baldock, and a couple of others I've used.

At work, I just plug in (13A socket).

When shopping, I plug in (7kW charging point). If I do nothing else, it'll only give me a 15 minute charge and then stop, but if I use an App (ugh) or log in online, it'll charge for as long as I'm there.

In some places I shop, there's a rapid charger option which is then back to "plug in, tap to pay, do stuff, unplug" again.

Steve Foster

It's interesting watching the EV charging environment dynamically changing. I imagine it's not that dissimilar to how petrol forecourts developed in the post-war period as car ownership took off.

The crucial difference is that almost anywhere a car can be parked can potentially have some charging capability (even if it's only 3kW).

I suspect that eventually it'll be routine to plug cars in whenever they're parked, and that rapid chargers will be mainly used on long journeys.

Steve Foster

Re: Some things that would help the situation

1. "Type 2" connectors are pretty much universal for AC charging (generally for slow charging, but can support rapid charging at 43kW [for compatible combinations of charger and vehicle]). For rapid DC charging (50kW+), there are two main connectors - CCS (VHS!) and ChaDeMo (BetaMax!). CCS has essentially won this particular war (it helped that CCS is an extension to Type 2, so a single port covers all charging options).

2. The charge networks are rapidly moving towards contactless payment as the main method. It'll be interesting to see if their membership schemes (which usually give lower unit prices) survive.

3. They do (or is that what you were saying?).

Our Friends Electric: A pair of alternative options for getting around town

Steve Foster

Re: The door

"an early electric car (whose name escapes me)"

Assuming you're talking modern era, perhaps Renault's Twizy?

Where's the boss? Ah right, thorough deep-dive audit. On the boardroom table. Gotcha

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Happened to me at my first job

"So I leave with six months pay (which really wasn't a lot)".

Well, you know what they say - every little helps.

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: I remember a SciFi book about this.

What's wrong with good ole-fashioned transparent aluminium?

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Accidental naming coincidence

It's almost certainly not accidental. (cynical, moi? whatever gave you that idea?)

Steve Foster
Holmes

Re: GPDPR?

"We are a suspicious lot, aren't we?"

Suspicion born from experience.

Waymo self-driving robotaxi goes rogue with passenger inside, escapes support staff

Steve Foster
Joke

"A Waymo self-driving car...

...got stuck several times, held up traffic intermittently, and departed unexpectedly when assistance arrived"

Ah, well, at least this demonstrates that they've reached equivalence with a human cab driver!

Their 'next job could be in cyber': UK Cyber Security Council launches itself by pointing world+dog to domain it doesn't own

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Looks like they are retraining

Well, they've got the whole foot in mouth thing down pat...

Missile systems software dev leaker has sentence almost doubled after UK.gov says 4½ years was too soft

Steve Foster
FAIL

Plausible Deniability

I guess he didn't use the hidden volume feature in VeraCrypt to protect against password disclosure.

Delayed, overbudget and broken. Of course Microsoft's finest would be found in NASA's Orion

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Windows for Spaceships ?

I'd be happy to trust Lennart Poettering's life support to systemd...

Chrome release cycle accelerated to four-weekly frenzy

Steve Foster

Re: Desktop OS

The question that remains then is what's the 2nd-most prevalent OS shipped with new PCs...

Windows is assumed to be #1; you state ChromeOS is #3 and macOS #4. While I wish it was possible, I don't believe Linux can be #2, but what else is there? Or did you really mean that ChromeOS is now the 2nd-most [...] ahead of macOS?

Steve Foster

Re: Desktop OS

OSX was rebranded as macOS when they ran out of vaguely sensible 10.xx numbers for the annual updates.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre sidles in to help firm behind hacked NurseryCam product secure itself

Steve Foster
FAIL

"The same practice is also made in platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and GitHub"

Ah, the old "other people are doing it too" excuse.

I want to add "EPIC" to the icon!

UK taxman is supposed to know how IR35 reforms work but still lost appeal against TV presenter Kaye Adams

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Stop going after the small fish.

Not only should they stop aggressively pursuing those least able to defend themselves, but how about actually getting rid of the loopholes by abolishing all the various unnecessary different ways of taxing work, and just make it so that all forms of direct remuneration for work are taxed the same.

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off

Steve Foster

I thought at first (before spotting the problem) that the potato picture was a topical reference to this story:

'Human foot' in Gateshead field turns out to be potato

Beware the ghost of operating systems past: In which our hero is visited by an old friend

Steve Foster

Ah, BG Info

I still have that on some of my servers...

PSA: The 2020 monolith is a dead meme. You can stop putting them up now. Please

Steve Foster

IoW "art" claimed...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-55227034

[Checks meeting agenda...] Where does it say 'Talk cr*p and waste everyone's time'?

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Nad Watch Live!

I rather think that depends on whether the Nads are also going to catch fire...

Cutting the ties: European hosting provider OVHCloud to offer Google Anthos, no Google account needed

Steve Foster
Thumb Up

Re: I see OVH and think...

Indeed, I added yet another IP block to my firewalls today after receiving spam from a previously unseen OVH server.

I did bump into a way to list all the IP blocks registered to an organisation recently, but now can't quite find it again (something ARIN/RIPE/etc whois based, I think).

UK ISP TalkTalk confirms it will MullMull go-private takeover offer valuing it at £1.1bn

Steve Foster
Facepalm

As Toscafund already own almost 1/3 of TalkTalk, they're obviously figuring that they can't really get any dirtier...

Steve Foster

Virgin/O2 Combo

"Back in May, Liberty Global and Telefónica said they would merge their respective UK telecoms businesses, Virgin Media and O2"

The UK's Competition & Markets Authority wants to investigate this, though (it's applied to take it off the EU equivalent, as it's currently under that body's purview), so it might not happen.

A decades-old lesson on not inserting Excel where it doesn't belong

Steve Foster

Pegasus Opera

is built (or used to be) on FoxPro.

Once upon a time, if Pegasus crashed while posting invoices it would leave the accounts db without both halves of the double-entry in place, so accounts would not balance.

We couldn't deliver prisoner rehab plans because Sopra Steria ballsed up our IT, Interserve tells High Court

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Outsourcing

Ah, but in this case, the outsourcer (InterServe) is itself outsourcing work to another party (SS).

You'd think the MoJ contract would forbid such (or that the MoJ would directly outsource to SS). Oh wait, government...

Institute of Directors survey says most bosses expect no mass return to the office if COVID-19 crisis ever ends

Steve Foster
Facepalm

No, absolutely not!

"The IoD called on UK government to provide tax incentives so small businesses have the wherewithal to invest in digital tech"

No, stop it. "tax incentives" add complexity to the tax system, are generally badly defined, rarely achieve the stated goal, and usually introduce new loopholes that can only be exploited by big companies/multinationals. We've enough idiocy in the tax system already - it'd be much more useful to work on getting rid of such.

Corsair's K70 MK.2 does nothing a cheaper keyboard can't, but the steep price gets you top-notch components

Steve Foster

USB passthrough

I've never really understood why full-size wired USB keyboards don't routinely include a basic USB hub (2 or 4 ports) and memory card reader - the cost is negligible, but the value-add is substantial.

Spain's highway agency is monitoring speeding hotspots using bulk phone location data

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Railway Lines?

And what about places where the railway runs alongside the road? Passengers with phones on the train doing 100+ mph may be recorded as "speeding"...

(eg a large chunk of the A2 between Madrid and Guadalajara runs parallel with a railway line)

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

Steve Foster
Happy

Re: What's in a name...

Kermits. Very good. Have an upvote.

Bad news for 'cool dads' trying to bond with their teens: China-owned TikTok and WeChat face US download ban by Sunday

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Tok for Tik (sorry, I mean Tit for Tat)

I wonder what the US would say if China turned around and banned FaceBook, InstaGram, WhatsApp and Twitter (or are some of these already banned by China?).

'My wife tried to order some clothes tonight. When she logged in, she was in someone else's account ... Now someone's charged her card'

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Fabletics?

Because they thought that creating a portmanteau from fabulous and athletics was awesome?

Microsoft sides with Epic over Apple developer ban, supports motion for temporary restraining order

Steve Foster

Self-Defeating?

Arguing that Unreal Engine is "essential" potentially makes Epic a monopoly supplier target in its own right. Which might backfire...

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