* Posts by teacake

174 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Mar 2007


Vote machine biz Smartmatic sues Fox News and Trump chums for $2.7bn over bogus claims of rigged 2020 election


Re: “We are proud of our 2020 election coverage ..."

With the news that Paul Dacre is being lined up to head OFCOM, I wouldn't be relying on enforcement of impartiality or accuracy rules in future.

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan


Re: we'll have all we want and if you don't like it...

Both sides usually go into a negotiation with a clear set of objectives, and then *tell them to the other side*. The UK has spent most of its time arguing with itself about what it wants, and very little time setting out in clear terms to the EU what it proposes, while pretending it is some sort of poker game where the smart player doesn't reveal their hand.

When the UK has put forward proposals, they amount to asking for a privileged relationship without any of the responsibilities such a position would require. Effectively, they are asking the EU to undermine its foundational principles, and the EU cannot agree without seriously - perhaps fatally - damaging the European project.

Therefore, from the EU's point of view, the damage caused by agreeing to what the UK wants is greater than the damage of a no-deal departure, so it's clear where they will end up falling.

Even a minimal deal will require the UK to agree to methods of rule-setting and dispute arbitration, and the more the UK makes itself look untrustworthy (by reneging on treaties, for example) the tighter those rule-setting constraints will be.

The whole problem is compounded by the fact that - perhaps for the first time in history - the UK is going in attempting to negotiate a worse deal than it had before. Every time an offer comes up they realise how bad it is in comparison to the status quo ante and - instead of realising the reality of the situation they have deliberately placed themselves in - they attempt to defy that reality, blame everyone else, pretend there is a better deal to be had, pretend that compromises are not going to be necessary, until they paint themselves so far into a corner that the only way out is by breaking the law.


Really? I always assumed the acronym PoE stood for Purity of Essence, got very confused why it was relevant to powering access points and phones.

Cisco to sell everything-as-a-service – even core networking hardware – and cut costs by a billion bucks


"I'd say that it's clear that many of our customers do want to consume the technology as a service"...

I doubt that. There's a difference between wanting something and being railroaded towards it because your vendor makes all other paths increasingly difficult to follow. Cisco are doing the classic move of just making everything hinge around the way they want their customers to "consume the technology" i.e.put them on the conveyor belt of endless contracted payments and replacement cycles as Cisco want to define them, and compulsory software and licences alongside the hardware, even if the customer doesn't use it. They just hope that enough customers will go along as the path of least resistance, rather than endlessly swim against the tide of an increasingly prescriptive licensing model. If we don't even own the kit at the end of it, that would be the icing on a pretty unpalatable cake.

The thing is... other vendors exist, and if they are more accommodating of how customers actually want to work, it will reach a stage where we will just say it's better long-term to bite the bullet and change vendors. Cisco are just trying to keep the annoyance factor slightly below the threshold where those thoughts start to kick in.

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer


Re: Beer...

This, totally and completely.

And having got your team working that way, it cuts both ways. You can't in good conscience hang them out to dry when things go wrong. Mistakes are shared and collective.

I did have a somewhat similar situation to the one in the article. In my case, the identity of the team member in question was known to the senior management, and they wanted to dismiss him for something they knew he had done. In that situation, and knowing *why* he had taken the action they were unhappy with, I felt it better to tell them that I took full responsibility, and that if they pressed the issue I would claim the action had been taken under my direct instruction alone. That was enough to stop them. In this instance, though, it wouldn't have helped the team member to know how close they'd come to being dismissed, so I never told him, just quietly changed procedure.

RuneScape bloke was wrongly sacked after reading veep's salary details on office printer


Re: Not surprising

"And they had an armoured personnel carrier parked outside."

Perhaps they were trying to install uninterruptible power supplies and somebody misinterpreted the instruction to go for APC.

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'


Re: The more complex the plumbing...

"I certainly have not heard any difference in speakers since the 1970s."

Me either, but in my case that might be down to all those Thin Lizzy gigs.

Ex-Capita accountant who claimed £10k bung to leave was blackmail has appeal thrown out


"If someone offered you £10k (plus notice period) to leave Capita would you take it? I'd be tempted."

Yeah, me too. Particularly since I already don't work for them, so leaving would be quite a straightforward transition.

In case they're reading, I'd also take £10k to not work for Amazon, and might even be prepared to negotiate down to £5k to not work for BT.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter


Re: I'm going to need some long-term studies before I eat cultured meat.

"I would guess that sterile protein slurry growing in sterile vats is going to get a lot less antibiotics than a factory farmed chicken."

And when you describe it that way it sounds utterly delicious too. Can't wait.


"We've evolved to eat natural products, not vat-grown synthetic product."

It might be more accurate to say "we've evolved eating natural products, not vat-grown synthetic product" and that reveals the truism at the heart of your original sentence. As a phrase, it doesn't really tell us anything. Vat-grown synthetic products haven't previously existed, so of course we've no prior exposure to them, but that tells us nothing about whether "natural" is superior to "synthetic."

What we can say with some confidence is that there is no inherent difference between proteins created one way (grown inside a cow) and chemically identical proteins grown in the lab. The digestive system has no way of differentiating between them and there's no inherent good or bad health impact from one as opposed to the other. So the journey to be taken in learning their long-term effects on us rests primarily on how accurately and with what purity we can recreate them, what compromises are made to make the process cost-effective.

Personally, I accept that the "synthetic" bottle of aspirin in my kitchen cupboard is probably safer than trying to get the same effect "naturally" with willow tree bark, because the process is well-established and precise, but the processes in artificial meat production are clearly more complex and still to be established as a long-term proposition.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train


Re: Sometimes it's fun, though....

It's worth checking how much it costs to upgrade to first class. Sometimes it can cost as little as a tanner.

Shock! US border cops need 'reasonable suspicion' of a crime before searching your phone, laptop


Re: A CITIZEN'S rights

"Giving those Rights to NON citizens only cheapens their value to those born with them or those who work to legally obtain them."

The value of a right should not exist only by dint of its denial to others. If it does, you don't have a system based on rights, but on discrimination.

When the IT department speaks, users listen. Or face the consequences


Re: User ignore email

Only useful for short announcements, though. No more than, oh, about seven minutes.

AT&T: We did nothing wrong in promising unlimited data that wasn't. We're just giving the FTC $60m for fun


Re: CEO in Jail

It helps to put everything in its proper context to think of the fine as the government taking its cut of the proceeds of the scam.

Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)


Re: Potentially been falling over for a while

Yeah, I'm paying BT something like a tenner a month for the privilege of them farming a crap service out to an even worse one on Yahoo. Yes I know I should get rid, but I've had it more than two decades and it would take forever to tell all my contacts.

Snoop! stooge! Yahoo! handed! all! your! email! to! Uncle! Sam! – and! any! passing! hacker!


Re: What about BT?

Well done. Are you complaining to BT, the Information Commissioner, or both?


What about BT?

Since BT farmed out responsibility for their e-mail service to Yahoo some years ago, could this mean UK BT Internet customers also had their mail slurped?

Snafu! BT funnels all customers' sent email into one poor sod's inbox



Thanks for that advice, Seajay. I'll put it on my to-do list. ;-)



I've had a BT POP3 box since forever. I know I should set up my own elsewhere but I've got the best part of 20 years' interactions via that address. This latest problem comes on top of the fact that BT seem to go through phases of just silently dropping about 25% of incoming mail. And they have the cheek this month to tell me they are more than tripling the monthly fee for this POP3 box.

I think it may be long past time for a change...

This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor


"And these days, one ought to be able to find discrete transistors cheaply in old junk people are throwing away."

He's already mentioned that reliability is likely to be an issue, and that's without using old components of uncertain provenance and condition.

Raising a stink in court: Innocent poo banditry warehousers win $2.2m


I read that as...

...Atlas Logistics Group Rectal Services.

NHS patient data storm: Govt lords SLAP DOWN privacy protections


Re: It might be illuminating ...

"...but we won't let them know the length of your dick, honest.."

Well, not for 50% of you, at any rate.

Texas man charged in multimillion-dollar Bitcoin Ponzi scheme


Re: yep

"I will immediately be opening up an American branch to enable investment in the Altairian Dollar, Flanian Pobble Bead, and Triganic Pu...."

You're going to need a big warehouse to store the ningis, then.

MYSTERY of 19th-century DEAD WALRUS found in London graveyard


Love this

"We did some research ... but we drew a blank. There was a reference to Prince Albert riding on the back of a giant tortoise, but unfortunately it wasn’t relevant."

Love that statement, I'm going to use it from now on when referring to the results of any research in any field.

Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for 'tricking' artists with petition


Re: Wish they were here ..

@Nicho "Yeah they could've picked a better example. Talk to the growers and you'll hear consistent stories about how supermarkets are forever putting downward pressure on prices."

But at least the price arrived at is as a result of the grower and the grocer negotiating a price at which they are prepared to exchange the goods. The supermarkets aren't going off trying to get the law changed to force the price down, which is what is happening here.

First eyes EVER SEEN (by definition) appeared 700 million years ago


@Network 67 Re: This Study Is Biased

"Given how much more visible a creature in sunshine is likely to be than a creature in the shadow, it would make sense that those creatures who were less effective at distinguishing between the two WOULD GET EATEN AND NOT REPRODUCE."

"That presupposes that a predatory creature had already evolved sight for hunting. However it would be an evolutionary pressure on the predated species. "

It would be entirely possible to evolve sight in order to avoid a predator which hunts you by other means, for example scent.

There would of course be any number of uses for primitive sight/light/heat sensitivity prior to its refinement to a level where it would be useful in predation. To help a creature orient itself, to navigate, to avoid getting damaged in direct sunlight, to find a suitable location to reproduce, for example.

Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!



I can sort of see both sides of the argument here.

On the one hand, organisations and sites which track the user's browser behaviour are utter scum. On the other hand, organisations and sites which track the user's browser behaviour are utter scum.

Jaws restored Blu-ray disc set review


@AC 07:08

"Is there anyone who will rush out and buy it, just to see the rubber shark at the end of the film?"

Dunno. If your appreciation of a film is based solely on the quality of the effects, I've got this copy of Transformers over here you can have.

Titans of tech: Why I'll never trust 'em


Re: Apple doesnt effect the landscape?

I think there's a certain amount of talking at cross-purposes here, Trevor. What you're describing is in effect the influence that Apple devices SHOULD currently have on business computing. What the others are describing is the effect they actually have, which is to skew the provision and support of IT in a manner out of all proportion to their actual use or importance.

I suspect there's any number of of people here who know only too well how unimportant their day-to-day work of providing and supporting systems is regarded as being the moment one of their senior management goes (paraphrasing) "Yes, yes, disaster recovery and security are all very well, but what about my shiny new iPhone?"

Lawyers: We'll pillory porn pirates who don't pay up


Re: Arkell v Pressdram 1971

"You want to start a lawyering fight with a law firm? I think they might have a slight advantage there. Even if your arguments are infinitely better, they can still make the case drag on for a decade and cost you several times your lifetime earnings."

But that's the whole point, isn't it? The last thing they want is to end up actually having to argue one of these cases in court. Their whole business model is predicated on the threat of legal action, if they have to follow through and end up losing a case or (worse) end up with a ruling against certain of their practices, it could blow them out of the water.


Arkell v Pressdram 1971

It would be very tempting to respond to one of these letters by saying, "Thank you for your letter. May I direct you to the response given in the case of Arkell v Pressdram 1971? I am sure your clients will be able to explain the first word of that response to you if you are having difficulty with it."

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote Control review


Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

"I'm not sad enough to remember what the story was called."

The Visitation, as I'm sure about 20 oher people who are sad enough will have pointed out by the time this comment is posted.

Star Trek's Scotty boldly goes where he always wanted to


Re: An there was me thinking that...

"He was just an actor, playing a role. I'm sure it's just what he wanted as well.

Even in death he can't help but be a parody."

So, 50 down-votes so far. Allow me to be number 51.

Phone-hack saga: Murdoch 'not fit' to run News Corp, blast MPs


Re: And if that wasn't bad enough...

"Fox cancelled Firefly."

It still hurts. It still hurts.

Happy 30th Birthday, Sinclair ZX Spectrum


Re: You know,

"For anyone interested, if you get irritated with Mary coming along and punching you if you swear, you can find her in the curiously Spanish-named El Vinos, and kill her. It doesn't help anything, of course, since she comes back a minute or two later, but it still gives a certain thrill to those as nerdy as I."

> Fuck Mary.

> Mary is not amused. (Punch)

Ah, Valhalla, happy days.

ALL Visa cards blab punters' names - not just Barclaycards


Re: This technology is absolute bollocks

When Barclays tried to foist one of these cards on me last year, replacing my debit card with a contactless one, it was quite difficult to reject. Nobody seemed to understand my concern, and the half dozen people I had to go through all said "Well, you don't have to use it if you don't want to..."

In the end the only alternative they could offer was the Debit card they give to customers they don't quite trust, which has to have every transaction verified by the bank before it will authorise. I suppose there's a sort of symmetry there - I don't trust them, so they don't trust me. Thanks a lot, Barclays.

Apple slams hard-up Proview for conning the courts


Oh, Apple, you kidders

"...we would never knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks."

Apart from when selling music, of course...


American search team fails to find women's G-spot


Misread that...

"You are obviously a gynaecologist abusing your position of trust"

At first glance, I read that as "position of thrust."

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold 50in ultra widescreen TV


Re: Ambient + Letter Box...

"The Ambient light feature is appealing; but when the picture does not match the screen's aspect ratio, the usual blank bands would disassociate the effect."

I'd have expected that problem too, but from experience it really isn't a problem. There's a bezel round the edge as well, which doesn't cause a problem either. It would seem that the Ambilight effect is not dependent on being so close to the image as all that.


Well, anyway

I've got one of the first edition LCD 56" 21:9 Philips TVs, which I got cheap when they released the current model. All I can say is, before you spark off about how pointless Ambilight is, or useless 21:9 is, or how the upscaling will ruin the picture, just try viewing one.

I thought all the same things, and then I gave one a viewing, and they are simply amazing. The upscaling is really, really, good. I simply can't tell from the image quality whether it's native resolution or upscaled. The Ambilight is brilliant. After a while you stop noticing it and it just helps draw you in to the screen. Turn it off, and the picture suddenly seems too large, imposing and eye-straining. If you don't like these features, that's fine, but they're hardly pointless and they do work well.

Yes, you do get black bars either side on 4:3 content. Yes, low quality SD content doesn't look great, but do you really expect it to on a 56" TV? On decent DVD or BluRay content, these TVs are epic.

Beeb rescues old Who episodes


Two down, 100ish to go

@Paul L. Daniels

"Good News... the episodes are coming back to us anyhow..."

One has to assume, since you're not providing this link on April 1st yourself, that you didn't notice the publishing date on that article.

@Zack Mollusc

It was the start of the colour era. They assumed nobody would be interested in them there old-fashioned black and white programmes any more.

Ken Russell dies aged 84


Lovely guy

I had the honour of meeting him last year. An absolute gent, totally dotty but really charming and interesting. I'll miss him.

Overland struggles to keep its head above water


Aren't they dead yet?

The writing's on the wall if all they've got to fall back on is patent trolling.

Unlike Mondo's experience above, my own experience of Overland's products is that they were the worst-built, most unreliable, worst-supported tape loaders I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. When your tape library won't detect tape changes, and Overland's own technical support tell you that's normal and that you should reboot server and library every time you change tapes, you know something's up. (That was a fault, by the way, and after we finally convinced Overland it was a fault, they gave us a replacement unit which would happily identify changed tapes, and then simply mark them all as unreadable.)

Panasonic DMR-PWT500 3D BD Freeview HD DVR



If it's anything like the DMR-BW780 BluRay recorder we've got here, it'll have decent recording quality let down by the most half-baked, frustrating, inconsistent and poorly thought through interface. 20 key presses to finalise a disc when you've just finished burning it? Failure to recognise a disc you've just formatted unless you remove it, and cycle the power? When editing the title of a recording, pressing Delete inserts a space, and pressing Pause deletes? That's Panasonic, that is.

Innovatio targets Wi-Fi users with patent suits


@AC 08:41

"But "Irrumatio" would be even more appropriate, it seems."

I do wish I hadn't Googled that term at work.


Shades of Bromcom?

This reminds me of Bromcom who, because they had a patented product using hand-held devices for electronic pupil registration, started threatening any school that was doing any form of wireless registration, even if they were just using an Excel spreadsheet on a laptop.


Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray disc set


@AC 15/9/11 09:24GMT

"I still have a VHS copy of episode IV recorded from the telly. It has half an episode of 'blockbusters' at the start and adverts for that carpet you could throw ketchup on and just scrape it off with a butter knife."

Would that be Flotex 21?

Daleks given a well-earned break


@We want Zarbies

"Yay! +1 for someone else who remembers those. Mind you, you're giving your age away a bit, but I suppose only to those who are old enough to remember the Zarbis!"

If you really were old enough to remember, you'd remember that the plural of Zarbi is Zarbi.


BT cheerfully admits snooping on customer LANs


@Don't they, by George?

I think the specific point would be that they don't have public IP addresses and have no presence on the internet, so could only be addressed via asking the BT router to do it.

AutoTrader crashes off the road in DDoS congestion


How can they tell?

How could they tell it was running slow? The Autotrader site is one of the slowest, buggiest and most unreliable sites I've ever visited. Really really nasty, and that's before I get on to the advert pop-unders and bloody survey questionnaires every time you visit.