* Posts by Chronos

1177 posts • joined 21 Oct 2007


VirtuaVerse: Cyberpunk point-and-click throwback with ace chiptune soundtrack put out by... a metal record label?

Chronos Silver badge

Re: In fact, I found it straight-up annoying to read

The quote is from the part following Case' neural regen treatment as the author points out. Gibson's Sprawl trilogy takes a while to absorb and that quote sets the scene for the later Peter and the holo-Molly lightshow on Freeside that so enrages Molly and catalyses the encounter with the Turing Police as Case tries to locate her. Gibson's "purple prose" paints a picture in the mind's eye, not that there's anything wrong with disliking it. It's a Marmite thing.

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps

Chronos Silver badge

Oh what a tangled web we weave!

A fine change of tune from Labour after clamouring for years for every scrap of information on the general populace they could possibly get their grubby little hands on. Admittedly, Harperson wasn't in the forefront of the data fetishists but she rarely spoke up against the likes of Smith and Burnham.

Trust == 0; You burnt all those bridges during the NuLabour years and we're now all too well aware of the dangers of letting even a trusted government amass information as the regime could change in a heartbeat. In short, too little, too late and your pious bleating in favour of libertarianism now rings hollow.

Can you imagine the fall-out of Wurzel Corbyn with the power of GCHQ at his disposal? Cripes!

As for the contact tracing app, it's doomed to failure anyway. Remember those ticky-box forms about why spam control measures were utterly useless from days of yore? That.

"Your solution relies on a) everyone acting in the same way at the same time b) why should we trust you anyway?"

"Furthermore, this is what I think of you:" I dare not tick any of these given the woke thought police climate.

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban

Chronos Silver badge

It's funny...

...because it's plausible. And not one single mention of intravenous Domestos to get there, either.

Is the SATIRE sauce open? Slather my dinner with it immediately.

As coronavirus catches tech CEOs with their pants down, IBM's Ginni Rometty warns of IT's new role post-pandemic

Chronos Silver badge


If you think anything will change long-term because of this virus, think again. The system we have now is one of human nature which has evolved from innate greed and the desire to get as much of the pie for as little of the effort as possible. Ms Rometty may be spouting a few sound-bites but sod all of any substance. The only thing this virus will affect is the imbalance: The gulf will widen between those who actually do productive tasks and those who sit on their arses skimming off the cream. The only place middle manglers are going is up, promoted out of harm's way.

Before you go off thinking I'm some sort of militant socialist, I'm actually a libertarian¹ and I include the bloody unions in this formula.

¹ i.e. that one should be able to forge one's own path without let or hindrance within reason, which includes not having the vast majority of your productivity syphoned away by lazy arseholes.

BT suspends shareholder payments as folk forgo pricey sports TV deals for matches that won't happen anyway

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Oh blimey!

...as Rangi Ram would say. This Covid thingummy is tentacling its way into all manner of lucrative bollocks, isn't it? Oh dear, how sad, never mind, as BSM Williams would have replied.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Chronos Silver badge


They're a order of magnitude or three bigger since they pinched DR-DOS but you still need a magnifying glass to see their contribution to general purpose computing, unless it's the interminable wait for "Windows Updates" (Evergreen needs to die in a fire) and then the downtime in man-hours can probably be seen from space. Most of their "innovations," including that of the current business model of "data data everywhere" have been begged, borrowed or outright stolen from other innovators. There's a thought: The Borg. Your stuff will be assimilated.

It is often quipped that should Microsoft ever make a vacuum cleaner it would be the only thing that didn't suck. This is probably a bit unfair; their hardware is generally, excluding the RROD X Boxen, quite good quality, especially their input peripherals. Not a patch on a decent Cherry brown or Model M, of course...

Sun shines on ServiceNow amid pandemic storm after belated spree of $1m+ deals

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I have to use this morass of awfulness. Slow queries, page refresh on auto-assign, lookups like wading through treacle and its documentation is akin to the statement issued, i.e. full of marketweasel-speak.

Believe me, this is not good news.

Samsung says it has the future of DRAM sorted after success with new EUV process

Chronos Silver badge

Oh goody!

Another new standard which means it'll be motherboard, CPU and RAM replaced and the old stuff just binned. Whoopty-doo!

Taiwan collars coronavirus quarantine scofflaws with smartphone geo-fences. So, which nation will be next?

Chronos Silver badge

What about...

Those of us who aren't slavishly attached to our 'phones? You know, the few people who can go out and not be bothered at all by not being in immediate, incessant and aggravating contact with the rest of humanity? There are those of us who don't feel the need to FaceGram our lunch or check the messaging app every three seconds in case our latest faddy "influencer" farted another rainbow.

Please, won't somebody think of the Luddites? :-)

European electric vehicle sales surged in Q4 2019 but only accounted for wafer-thin slice of total car purchases

Chronos Silver badge

The point

Everyone is fixated on range (which changes as the car ages) and initial purchase cost.

The real point of this cynical exercise in Being Seen To Be Doing Somthing™ Gretaism is ongoing cost, that of replacing the cell pack when it fills with rocks and stopping your goolies catching fire when the battery does. Ecological it ain't (the batteries die just about the time you break even on ecological cost of manufacture) and it's an awful lot of faff.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Still not convinced

So no stupid stop-start nonsense, then? Where do I sign up?

Hey, friends. We know it's a crazy time for the economy, but don't forget to enable 2FA for payments by Saturday

Chronos Silver badge

Government quango Action Fraud is the UK's central referral point for online crime. But it ref is about as much use as a condom vending machine in St Paul's Basilica.

If it's Goodenough for me, it's Goodenough for you: Canuck utility biz goes all in on solid-state glass battery boffinry

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If this is true, it will destroy completely my aversion for electric vehicles. One thing: What's the projected energy density? Is it comparable to Li-ion?

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

Chronos Silver badge

Re: This won't be

Sausage and eggs, I believe. Or was that hiding the sausage in Eggwina? My recollection is vague...

Chronos Silver badge

Never mind the tea towel or the fibre

It's those hand "dryers" that need to die a death. Bloody things. We have them in our bogs and they're akin to being coughed at by a moth with cystic fibrosis - when the damned things deign to turn on at all. All in the name of hygiene, which is to say your immune system never gets any bloody target practice.

Then they wonder why we keep getting diseases. Tossers and beigists, the lot of them.

That said, who remembers the old Initial towel machines? Guaranteed to need three pulls to get the bugger to move and the loop was just big enough for one fingernail...

Yo, Imma let you finish, but for the 6,000 people still using that app on a daily basis ... we have a question: why?

Chronos Silver badge

It cod be, or it could be total pollocks.

Instagram influencer fools followers into thinking Ikea photoshoot was Bali holiday

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Re: Stole my idea

I fear Ikea. Sadly, it's all true.

Chronos Silver badge

Good grief!

I usually ignore these types of story because the word "influencer" is a euphemism for self appointed marketer. I thought I'd have a glance at this one, though, as the idea seemed to have a bit of cerebrum behind it. Perhaps, for once, one of these new media types has a good wheeze at the expense of their mindless followers.

As soon as the video started, I regretted it. Anyone lasting past the first minute of this, erm, person's outpourings and uncoordinated gesticulation is clearly missing a few cards from their deck. In short, nobody cares where they go as long as it's not near us.

After just one phone, Essential Products ascends to the great venture capitalist in the sky

Chronos Silver badge

Re: I have an Essential Phone

I can see lots of great possibilities for a hardware extension system

So did Motorola. Moto Mods appeared on exactly 2 handsets and what did punters connect to the bus? An extra battery, more often than not, hence the G7 power and the new G8.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device

Chronos Silver badge

Re: those scanners are a good idea but...

I somehow missed the in-your-face flashing banner on every single supermarket web site for the last ten years. Incredible, I know...

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Pardon?

I find the staff in most retail outlets perfectly pleasant despite the crap they have to put up with. It's some of the customers who need a damned good, erm, education.

Chronos Silver badge

Not to mention the impromptu meetings various people seem to have right in front of the milk/butter/eggs section which are so important you must wait for the one item you really need until all angles of Doris' latest foray into extra-marital sensuality have been examined in minuscule detail or that one kid who absolutely must have a Kinder Surprise (the surprise is how they manage to sell half an ounce of chocolate and some plastic tot for that price) or it'll scream until it goes blue and every other rational human being within range becomes permanently murderously intolerant or anything under 5 years of age.

Seriously, people, there are more appropriate places. Anywhere else, in fact.

Those scanners are a blessing: They mean you can skip the queue and the aforementioned murderous intolerance of someone else's crotch goblin having a eppie and be out of that hellhole much faster.

Arrays in a mangler, need new storage bed: Huawei and the US tech block

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Cutting off nose to spite face

Humble pie time!

Re: the footnote, looks like I was dead wrong about Mr Johnson. Loose cannon he may be but having heard him speak on issues he cares about, I suspect he's a genius in motley; perhaps not even in motley, since "scatterbrain" has always been an outward indicator of a rapid, agile and astute thought process. I'm now mildly optimistic about Bozza's premiership.

Perhaps I should re-think my opinion of Trump, although I find my distaste for egomaniacal, bigoted braggarts is still intact and still "trumps" anything he may be getting right. A weakness of mine allowing emotion to overrule thought? Perhaps...

Top tip: Using AI to detect alien civilizations is dangerous because if it spots anything, even just a blurry blob, people are going to go nuts

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Re: AI could easily spot things we miss

AI doesn't exist [...] What's called AI is only a computer program and a database created by humans selecting data and labelling it.

I wish I could up-vote you more than once for this. This really is cheapening the definition of intelligence and, by way of an aside, blurring the lines for when someone does eventually create an intelligent system. It's a bit dangerous, that, as it'll be received with a shrug and a "just another database backed decision engine" attitude and, left to evolve, a true AI could be the best thing that ever happens to humanity or the most terrifying thing in the Universe.

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that

Chronos Silver badge

Never mind all this tot...

Is that Seven of Nine in the background? It would explain a few things.

One wonders what all the exported USian kit with NSA installed firmware mods will do in such a case of Arsenoise actually finding a small enough keyboard for his hands and shutting down Unimatrix Zero.

Huawei? Pah. Amateurs. You will be assimilated. Your technological and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

One also wonders if Boris knows more about IT and resilient networks than his mad, half toff half bloke all clown facade would suggest. He certainly seems to have the heterogeneous vendor mix right.

Remember the Clipper chip? NSA's botched backdoor-for-Feds from 1993 still influences today's encryption debates

Chronos Silver badge

The point

The argument boils down to simply this: They (collectively) have an abysmal record with keeping anything secret and any backdoor would compromise a static system to the level of the vigilance of the lowliest .gov spook with an IQ in double figures, an appointment with Ms Whiplash and a pen drive left in a taxi.

It. Won't. Work. You either have total (to the extent the current technology allows) encryption or you have none.

We also don't trust 'em but that's not a technical reason. Remind me again how many rozzers/CSOs have been found misusing the PNC and then try to tell me that this proposal would not be used on anyone whose face doesn't fit - before it falls over, leaks and ruins everything anyway.

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Gold plated cables

Lightening cable? Your wallet, maybe... :)

BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?

Chronos Silver badge

Ugh, surveys. (sweary)

If they were honest, there would be a 98% rating for "For fuck's sake, I can't be bloody arsed with this bollocks right now! How did you do? You buggered off afterwards and I hoped never to have to call again which, to my mind, was the most positive outcome."

It's like those puggers (poll muggers) in the street. The most popular answer would be "Fuck off. I work all hours $DEITY sends just to eke out a living and I'm shopping during a rare moment when I actually allocate my own time. This is already a low point in my miserable, mediocre life without you bastards boring me closer to death with leading questions."

Oh, and how do I like my car part I had no choice but to buy? It didn't fall apart immediately, which probably means I was astute enough not to buy Quinton Hazell. Will that do?

US hands UK 'dossier' on Huawei: Really! Still using their kit? That's just... one... step... beyond

Chronos Silver badge

Re: It's cute

I don't get this clamouring for a trade deal with the US. All we'd be doing is borrowing a world of hurt when Arsenoise gets it into his tiny mind, waves his tiny hands and opens his tiny mouth orangutanesque that we need to honour their way of doing things, which will immediately "sour the milk" for any other potential trade partners with whom we may wish to do business. This Huawei debacle is a case in point. To borrow a pith headline, "No, no mitigations, it's our way or the Huawei!"

We’ve had enough of your beach-blocking shenanigans, California tells stubborn Sun co-founder: Kiss our lawsuit

Chronos Silver badge

Re: He sounds like...

Do left cunts actually exist? Not come across one of those; they're usually unbiased. Unless you mean Corbyn? :-)

Joking aside, he seems to have manipulated his control over a piece of land to deny the public access to and become the dog-in-a-manger of something utterly priceless: An area of the coastline. I'd say he fits your pithy description quite well.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?

Chronos Silver badge

Re: fake DOB

This is exactly what I do. Add to that a unique <email>@my-domain for every vendor/business and it becomes almost too easy to see who is flogging off your data.

Chronos Silver badge


A little box that goes "bzzt!" (as Kryten would say) as it cattle-prods ad hosts and data fetishists. You just plonk it on your network and make it the default gateway and DNS. A Raspberry Pi III model B+ with the switching regulator will barely read on your electricity bill (you have refused a "smart" meter, I assume? One more gateway to let them know when you're home and when you put the kettle on) and it's pretty much self-maintaining.

You'll still want the uMatrix, uBlock and HTTPS everywhere extensions and you'll also want to think about your browsing habits and how much of that form you truthfully answer, i.e. do they really need my real DoB? A PiHole will take much of the grunt out of sticking a finger or two up to the data thieves, though.

Also, please remember that your e-mail client and many other applications probably also use The Web. Make sure that these doesn't spaff your willy size to the web at large...

Under construction: CAT lobs bargain-basement rugged mobile that will take a kicking and keep on clicking

Chronos Silver badge

Bloody Mediatek

Take a Moto G7, stick it in a ruggedised housing and I'll buy one. Make anything with Mediatek appearing anywhere in its specs and you can bloody well keep it as it's destined for landfill in about as long as it takes for you to launch a GPS app...

Lenovo intros choose-your-own-adventure Yoga Slim 7: Ryzen spend $360 less on shiny or take a dip in Intel's Ice Lake?

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Windows on ARM?

Nor is ARM[64] based general purpose computing 99.99% of the market. Those of us who do use the architecture tend to go straight for something which works, has useful applications and doesn't depend on The Cloud™ which rules out Google and Microsoft right from the get-go.

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative amid row over new data-sharing crypto license: 'We've gone the wrong way with licensing'

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If we're going to be pedantic, the WTFPL is much more permissive. Apache does not replace the BSD licence and, for that matter, why the hell everything has to be "modernised" when there's sod-all wrong with it evades my ken.

Chronos Silver badge


I note with interest than Mr Perens conveniently ignores the three and four clause BSD licences which predate both the OSI and GPL. You really can't get much simpler if you want a lawyer-free experience, although they admittedly don't conform to the idealists' view that a licence should enforce openness of the resulting derivatives.

Icon, because Beastie, whose position was usurped by a politically correct sex toy/space hopper a few years ago, roughly around the same time pet projects and idealism screwed up the ports system.

Greetings from the future where it's all pole-dancing robots and Pokemon passports

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Any chance of the lottery numbers for next week?

There's always a smartarse, isn't there? The fact that Dabbsy has already observed the outcome in his thread collapses the potential for me using the information in any successful manner and means there's still some surprises for him, too. He may even find that cache of Scottish Euros useless...

Don't say the P word. That opens up a whole new debate on cause, effect and free will.

Chronos Silver badge

Any chance of the lottery numbers for next week?

Then I will have bought, from your perspective, two boats. PM, natch. I don't like sharing.

How do you ascertain user acceptability if you keep killing off the users?

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Drone delivery - again?

Who among you had ever heard about the "Research Institute of Sweden" before? :-p

I thought it was something like the Daily Mash' "Institute of Studies" organisation.

Chronos Silver badge

Life is someone's beta test

Dabbsy, you should know this already. Nobody has reached the state of happy contentment of the final release - and won't for a good long while, especially while we still have warring tribes who think their way is The One True Way for whatever reason, be that god bothering, pointless patriotism or political bent.

Just enjoy the bugs and hope they get exposed by someone else's edge-case.

Icon: Expected outcome of this round of testing. It would be so much better if we were to settle it with a sprout-lobbing competition...

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

Chronos Silver badge

Mr Carlin's list (mucho sweary)

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, turd, twat, geek, nerd, boffin and egghead. It's getting a little cumbersome now. I suggest we return to the original seven and sodomise anyone who tries to expand them (or points out that motherfucker is a repetition, technically, of the word "fuck") with a big rubber thingy and then beat them with it until they recant.

Seriously, has this person nothing better to do? Words, as Humpty Dumpty was rumoured to have said, mean exactly what people intend them to mean. Intent is all. In this sense, nerd, geek, boffin and egghead all point toward intellectual attainment which I would have thought was high praise. Perhaps someone's feeling a little insecure and needs a "time out and blankie" session, as our leftpondian colleagues would say?

Someone get Greenpeace on the line. Boffins clock carbon 'pollution' cloud 30,000 light-years wide choking galaxies

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The attack of the space yetis...

That's quite a big carbon footprint right there.

Advertisers want exemption from web privacy rules that, you know, enforce privacy

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Re: We all have dreams

Very diplomatically put and right on the nail.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: We all have dreams

There's something funny about old supercars that people think were good but were actually shockingly awful. The Countach is becoming the generally accepted benchmark of the breed, especially if you put that silly spoiler on it.

It's a bit like advertising. They try to make you buy something you don't need with money you haven't got that won't do what they want you to think it will do. In that respect, the Testarossa is a very good example.

Chronos Silver badge

"These intermediaries, such as browser and operating systems, can impede consumers' ability to exercise choices via the internet that may block digital technologies (e.g. cookies, JavaScripts, and device identifiers) that consumers can rely on to communicate their opt out preferences,"

Icon. These "intermediaries" are communicating a preference on behalf of the consumers who opt to use them. The message is clear: Begone, foul creatures.

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Twitter

No, twat is the past participle of tweet. Comes in very handy when discussing the platform.

"You twat?"

Which, serendipitously, happens to be my default response to many tweets accidentally seen (I never deliberately read that drivel), although with a slightly different inflection and no question mark.

UK parcel firm Yodel plugs tracking app's random yaps about where on map to snap up strangers' tat

Chronos Silver badge

Sounds awful. Let me know which depot serves you and I'll look into it. I will readily admit that mis-sorts do happen and things regularly turn up at our depot which shouldn't, given the automated routing by the lobster in the Coventry hub. We manually re-label these and ensure that the tracking is flawless for the next hop by noon.

The drivers are employed for the most part which, coupled with the route being covered by a regular driver, is what should separate us from the competition. There's no piecework per attempted delivery and they have to take anything failed out the next day. We deliberately use hand-written customer absent cards because it takes longer to write them out correctly than to wait a minute for the householder to answer the door. They're also supposed to write them out on the doorstep which often results in a successful delivery with the slower resident or a neighbour offering to take the parcel in, something that should be attempted anyway where the tracking label doesn't forbid it. The behaviour you describe is actionable and you would be quite within your rights to message the depot via parcelforce.com to have management correct it.

In short, if we communicate properly we can make things work correctly to the satisfaction of all parties. We need to know about this sort of thing so we can correct it. Being just another one of the rotten apples isn't what we want to accomplish.

Disclaimer: I'm just a lowly CSP in a local depot. I have no "clout" but I can and will escalate any issues I'm made aware of via any media to make PF better for our customers.

Chronos Silver badge

Yes, PF are trying to address this with PO lists by postcode for the drivers. You can request, via parcelforce.com, to have the package up-lifted to redeliver, hold at depot or hand off to the correct PO free of charge once because of exactly this problem. The advantage of using the on-line system is that it ties in directly with PF's redelivery messaging system, which an administrator in the correct depot will see. Theoretically, the telephone staff should be able to transcribe a call into a redelivery message for you but often these come through without tracking numbers which makes the job ten times more difficult. Use the web site and always include the tracking number.

Chronos Silver badge

I sympathise. However, Parcelforce always try to deliver twice rather than taking the first failure as an excuse to mark it "awaiting collection" and you can book a third conveniently timed attempt (i.e. day of your choice) on line free of charge. Even better, PF will deliver to your local Post Office if the parcel isn't too big (will go through the PO's parcel hatch) if requested or if you're not in and the driver has to go to the PO anyway.

PF are under Royal Mail rules, i.e. they must get a signature unless the parcel shows driver option to leave safe or a no signature required contract number so, no matter how many times you leave a note on your door saying stick it in the shed, the driver won't do it. The also cannot alter the first attempt address, even if it's patently wrong, as it compromises mail integrity.

A lot of PF's reputation is because people expect them to act like Yodel, Hermes and such. They won't, and long may that be the case. The only company who beats PF for service and security is DPD and they do this by treating their workers like machines.

UK political parties fall over themselves to win tech contractor vote by pledging to review IR35

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Re: Election?

Puerile digs at the establishment are our tour de force here simply because it seems to be the only sort of dig they understand. Anything else just flies straight over the top with only a slight breeze in their wigs.



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