* Posts by Rob Daglish

287 posts • joined 19 Dec 2007

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If it were possible to evade facial-recognition systems using just subtle makeup, it might look something like this

Rob Daglish

Re: I'm not exactly surprised by this

Local AmDram group have been performing "Kinky Boots" last week. Turns out half the cast couldn't get facial recognition to work once they'd put their makeup on. Quite funny watching them trying to unlock their phones to pay in the local supermarket!

Turns out humans are leading AI systems astray because we can't agree on labeling

Rob Daglish

Re: Google Captcha

The one I particularly dislike is "Click on all squares containing traffic lights" - In the UK, these tend to be a pole with a cluster of lights at the top, but most of the google images are of the same light clusters cantilevered across roads or hanging from cables strung over the road... OK, it's easy enough to recognise the light cluster, but which squares do I click - only the ones with the light cluster, or do all of the ones with the cantilever/support poles/wires get counted as part of the traffic light?

Apple debuts iPhone 13 with 1TB option, two iPad models, Series 7 Watch

Rob Daglish

Re: Apple Watch battery life

Or take it off and charge it while you sleep? Unless you only sleep 8 hours out of every 40 I guess?

I put mine on around 6:30AM each day, and take it off around 10:30PM, and it's still got plenty of charge left, but it might as well go on it's charger while I'm asleep as does my phone; I'd image a large percentage of users do something very similar.

It's a conscious decision to have a smartwatch as opposed to a digital or analogue watch - you know before you buy it that it is going to do more than your watch, but you also know it's going to need more battery, and there's only room for so much battery inside a case you can still fit on your wrist. Whether the trade off between features and battery life are worth it is down to an individual.

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

Rob Daglish

An ex-colleague used to do a similar trick -he would ask users to take the cable out, blow the dust off the connector and then reconnect it. He figured if you asked people to unplug it and pop it back, most people would claim to have done it whether they had or not, but most people didn’t have to sense to just make a blowing noise so they actually did get the cable and blow over it then reconnect it. He had quite a high success rate with that trick!

Rob Daglish

Re: me too

Yes… but HP also have a feature where you can double tap on the touchpad to turn it off…

Our help desk were never very good at figuring that one out, and it ended up with loads of call outs to replace machines that should never have been sent to us field engineers.

Rob Daglish

Re: me too

Yes, I remember these things being ridiculously popular for a while… didn’t some of them just disconnect the aerial as opposed to others which disabled the card?

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Rob Daglish

Re: Hopefully...

Ah yes. I know where you're working. Last contract I was on, one of our PMs used to try and get on the plane each week to get to us as it was such a time saver. We didn't laugh much when he used to get "bumped" for more important people and had to get the train back...

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain

Rob Daglish

Re: Why would <company> need <item>

If you have to ask that question, you don't want the milkshake...

A speech recognition app goes into a bar. Speak up if you’ve heard it already

Rob Daglish

Oh how I miss the palm pilot and a separate mobile phone... might have to have a snoop on eBay now. There was nothing like it for taking notes quickly.

On the topic of the siren though - I frequently take calls from people in a nuclear plant, and they have the opposite - a sounder that goes "beep, boop" continuously. If it stops, you have the opportunity of finding out one of two interesting facts:

1) What's gone wrong with the sounder to stop it working.

2) If you can outrun a nuclear apocalypse.

My vote is always for number 1. An englishman should only ever run if he's being chased by a wild animal or last orders at the bar has been called.

NSA: We 'don't know when or even if' a quantum computer will ever be able to break today's public-key encryption

Rob Daglish

You are Tom Clancy, and ICMFP.

This is pretty much what he suggested in one of his Jack Ryan books -the CIA recorded atmospheric interference, recorded it to CD, one copy to sender, one to headquarters, and used that to encrypt comms, with a new CD for each day which was erased as the data was used, and then microwaved each night to destroy any remaining data on them.

How to stop a content filter becoming a career-shortening network component

Rob Daglish

Re: Keyword filtering

Yup. I live in the county of Cumbria... although I understand those in Sussex, Essex and Middlesex may have similar issues.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Rob Daglish

Re: Less poor wiring than poor building

Carlisle Hospital, a PFI-flagship, was built with missing/dodgy firebreaks, and after a relatively small fire that should have been easily contained, it transpired that the fire alarm didn't work properly either. The solution? Well, for quite a while, until the contractors could be brought to heel to fix the issues, they had people in purple hi-vis walking around the hospital as fire-wardens to check all was well.

Mind you, the warning signs should have been there - the fact that they have a hospital where the general public goes into a large central atrium, and to get patients to/from wards/treatment areas, they need to transit through this large central atrium, the corridors off the atrium aren't wide enough to take two beds side by side, and the walls tend to fall apart if a bed rolls into them.

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

Rob Daglish

Re: At workers' expense

Did any Virgin branded company treat their workers badly? Well, the stagecoach/Virgin trains pension spat resulting in VT not being allowedb to bid for any rail franchises certainly suggests that someone thinks so....

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth

Rob Daglish

Other way round, the Pacer was the Leyland National on a freight wagon, the sprinter was a more traditional DMU with actual bogies. I don’t know about the 150s and 155s, but the 156/158s look like they’ll be around a while (the 156s will have to be, nothing else is allowed up the Cumbrian coast past Maryport). The remaining 153s look like ending up as bike carriers for scotrail.

Fancy the ultimate no-Air-outside-bnb? NASA willing to rent out ISS for two weeks

Rob Daglish

Re: Two grand a day for food?

Yeah, two grand for food, then this 1.5k for sleeping bags and the like - I mean, Keswick isn’t the cheapest of towns when it comes to outdoor shops, but I reckon you could get a new sleeping bag for every night of the stay for less than that. Maybe even a trangia if you don’t buy the 4 season sleeping bags…

Zoll Defibrillator Dashboard would execute contents of random Excel files ordinary users could import

Rob Daglish

Quite frankly, I find this shocking…

Ah…

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

Rob Daglish

Re: Alternative theory

I moved recently from an environment that primarily used Teams for VC to one that uses Google Meets. I’m not sure why, but same laptop, wifi, DSL - Teams video was much better. The google one is slow, laggy, freezes randomly for 25-30 seconds. I never though I’d miss Teams…

Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder

Rob Daglish

Re: Happened to me as well!

Yes, I know what you mean. Some particularly resourceful chaps round my way managed to cause chaos with their wiring of a backup generator: utility power failed, UPS kicked in fine. Generator started, system attempted to move to generator, building went completely dead. Somehow, the cut out tried to send the generator power back into the grid, frying a decent sized area, which took most of the weekend to sort out. I think there were probably three or four follow up visits to the site once it had been fixed as it was tested, very thoroughly, afterwards. The owner of this particular building? Well, that would be the local electric supplier.

UK pharma supplier put into special measures after new IT system causes almost 10,000 missed medicine deliveries

Rob Daglish

Re: We deeply regret the difficulties

two things - one, I'm not sure how anyone can downvote the fact that there isn't a bill to send anybody. Secondly, I don't know if they still do it, but the NHS has in the past sent bills out following car accidents - I know this is true because I was on the receiving end of it!

If anyone wants the full story: A car driver ran a red light and crashed into the side of a bus, which looked a bit like one of my family's, so the local rag reported it, on the front page, as ours without bothering to check. We didn't challenge them as it's a bit lit swatting a fly on your nose with a 2x4, the only one you're going to hurt is yourself... Nobody was hurt, but two ambulances were called to take people to hospital. A few weeks later, we got a reasonably substantial bill from the NHS for the callout of the two ambulances. A quick phone call to the hospital turned up the fact that a) they expected us to pass it on to our insurance who would fight it out with the other drivers insurance in the hope that someone would give the NHS a wodge of cash and b) they'd sent it to us as our name was in the paper and they didn't know who the car driver was but assumed we would as he'd ran into one of our vehicles as they'd read about it in the local rag. To be fair, once we explained the situation, they cancelled it pretty soon afterwards, but never quite made it as far as an apology...

The future is now, old man: Let the young guns show how to properly cock things up

Rob Daglish

Re: Regomised

Oh. I was hoping it would be Betty (tips hat to Simon & Garfunkel)

Accidentally wiped an app's directory? Hey, just play the 'unscheduled maintenance' card. Now you're a hero

Rob Daglish

I seem to remember borrowing a PC (possibly a new-fangled 286!) from school one summer holiday when I was about 8 or 9, and doing some "tidying up"... which possibly involved the use of "format c:"

It didn't have any immediately deleterious effect until after I switched the machine off if memory serves, at which point it became completely apparent that I'd buggered it up big style - or that's how it looked to me at the time. I think the head teacher managed to reinstall everything from floppies and saved the day.

I remember that same gut wrenching moment of terror on only one other occasional: I was, for $reasons, merging two NDS trees within a school (one admin and one curriculum). I'd done the merge, and then started updating the ADMIN server from Netware 5 to 5.1 (again, $reasons - it was working fine, I should have left it be...) and somewhere through the install there was an option to either leave the disks as they were or format them. No prizes for guessing what I managed to do! I had backups, so nothing was lost except a bit of extended downtime, and I've learned to read things a bit more carefully since then, which is no bad thing.*

*Unless you ask me to check a document over, in which case I've a tendency to notice all of those little things you'd rather I didn't.

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

Rob Daglish

I remember an NT4 training course where a colleague remotely edited the registry on my server to pop up a login message - saying something like “This machine has crashed and needs rebooted. Please restart now”. After the fifth or sixth time of me swearing, I saw him sliding under the table unable to contain his laughter…

Can't get that printer to work? It's not you. It's that sodding cablin.... oh beautiful job with that cabling, boss

Rob Daglish

Re: Printers are the Devil's work

My father in law once put “this child is a waste of a good skin” in a pupil’s report… it made it past a number of teachers, the head of year and the deputy head before the headteacher intervened. They didn’t necessarily disagree, but didn’t think it maybe needed to be put quite so bluntly to the little darlings parents…

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity

Rob Daglish

Re: Covid 19 and hot desks

One of our major clients pays for floor walkers. During the pandemic, I’ve pointed out in vain that it’s much quicker and easier for whoever is saddled with the task that week to remote on, fix what ever the issue is and move on than what the customer wants us to do, which is turn up at site, fight with reduced capacity buses from car park to perimeter fence, change to 16 seat minibus that’s allowed to carry 3, get to office, wipe down desk, keyboard and mouse, find out what jobs have been logged, go to end users desk, have them wipe out of mouse, keyboard and desk, move 2m away (even though we’re both wearing masks and I have to wear gloves before touching anyone’s PC...), wipe in, check machine, fix, wipe out, trade places, get user to wipe back in... and that’s provided you don’t need them to put any passwords in, and nobody tries to “just a minute” you on your way there and back. Yes, I know we could do it remotely from in the office too, but that’s not what the client wants... then wonders why we aren’t as productive when we’re in the office as we are remotely!

Microsoft revokes MVP status of developer who tweeted complaint about request to promote SQL-on-Azure

Rob Daglish

Re: Influencers

Oh... I thought it was Nikolai Tesla. Seems he invented just about everything else if you listen to some folk!

Bank of England ponders minting 'Britcoin' to sit alongside the Pound

Rob Daglish

Re: Four new bodies

You missed only one thing - the toothbrush company MD will be someone who went to school with some MPs niece/nephew.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user

Rob Daglish

Re: There is always the near-apocryphal story of

I’ve had a client do something similar. Opened the DVDRW drive, not realised there was a disk in, added a second disk. Mashed one of the disks, and the drive was never the same again. The user in question was a shift manager responsible for the safe running of four nuclear reactors...

Rob Daglish

Re: Please remove transit sleeve carefully

Yeah, but not nearly as bad as those toilets you’re only allowed to flush loo paper down. Liquid wastes can, for gents at least, disappear down the sink quite easily, but I’ve never figured out what you’re supposed to do with solid waste!

Rob Daglish

Re: Labels

I’ve certainly had to reinstall windows quite a few times because a certain betting shop manager would stack the magnets they used for pinning papers up on top of her Lenovo tiny pc...

Last chance to grab an iPhone Mini as savvy analyst reckons Apple will scrap it next year

Rob Daglish

I regret I can only upvote you once.

FaceID has been a complete pain during the last umpteen months of mask wearing!

After years of dragging its feet, FCC finally starts tackling America's robocall scourge

Rob Daglish

Re: I fuck with their heads...

I did this one day, and the guy was so hacked off, he hung up, then rang back about 5 minutes later to ask me if I could see a mirror. I said I could, so he said "look into the mirror, you're looking at a monkey".

Now that may be a deadly insult somewhere, but it certainly isn't here... sparkling repartee, guys. Just you keep doing what you're doing and we'll all be OK.

FBI deletes web shells from hundreds of compromised Microsoft Exchange servers before alerting admins

Rob Daglish
Joke

Re: Out with the old, in with the new

Yeah, Status Quo has never been the same since Rick Parfitt died... Oh...

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

Rob Daglish

Ivan Ivanovic...

...is the name of a guy working as a QC inspector at a large defence contractor in the U.K. Caused a few raised eyebrows on the Windows 10 migration team when he came in for his new laptop!

UK's National Rail backs down from greyscale website tribute to Prince Phil after visually impaired users complain

Rob Daglish
Coat

Re: Shame...

There speaks someone who has never sent them self a bunch of Valentines Day card in an attempt to appear more popular. Oh? The one with the pocket full of stamps, please...

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Rob Daglish

Depends on how far you are from a Pizza Express...

Rob Daglish

Re: Not necessarily.

Hmmm... Requiring Boeing to do some calculations based on sensors fitted to a plane... I seem to remember they've had some issues with that sort of thing in the not-too distant past? Maybe best if they don't try anything clever just yet. At least, not until there's a grown-up available to check their work!

IBM creates a COBOL compiler – for Linux on x86

Rob Daglish

Re: [Aside] Storage media

Errr... didn’t the Amstrad PCW512 use 3” disks? I remember an Amstrad PC1512 which had twin 5.25” drives (although for a leg and half and arm, you could have a small HDD fitted in place of the second floppy), and then maybe an Amstrad PC2086 with twin 3.5” drives. If I remember rightly they both had a recess in the case for the monitor stand to sit in, and certainly one of them had a set of AA batteries to store settings...

Fire takes out Japanese chip plant, owner Renesas warns of more silicon shortages

Rob Daglish

Re: Their chips are down

Why not just use a cranking handle again? Follow the keep it simple principle - they worked before without injuring everyone that used one!

Grotesque soundbyte alert: UK government opens wallet to help rural areas get 'gigafit'

Rob Daglish

Re: The Cumbrian connection!

1836-1840? That was around the last time we had new trains here. The latest batch that have been bought won't fit on our lines for $reasons.

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams

Rob Daglish

Re: Gatwick -> Edinburgh ?

One of my early jobs was at the local County Council, and on the day I was suppose to be in the office, I ended up having to go to one of our schools for an urgent technical issue. It was around 9 miles each way, and I got the princely sum of 15p a mile for it. I did think it was a windup when I was being told to put it on my expenses form, but it duly turned up with the rest of the mileage claims for the month!

PSA: If you're still giving users admin rights, maybe try not doing that. Would've helped dampen 100+ Microsoft vulns last year – report

Rob Daglish

Yeah, and don’t even get me started on WTF they were thinking about with that whole sage drive carry on.

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s

Rob Daglish

I’ve recently slots a few touch screens on copiers to hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The tech who swapped them out (I don’t have to do that anymore!) reckoned it was quite common lately.

Rob Daglish

Re: The 80s were generally a happy time...

In the U.K.? First I’ve heard of it. I’ve personally used a number of pumps across the country that latch on. Mind you, usually when I’m filling a bus up on a truck stop...

Rookie's code couldn't have been so terrible that it made a supermarket spontaneously combust... right?

Rob Daglish

I once had it call to a local hospital to replace a smart card printer/encoder. The guy who’s PC it was attached to turned out to be a guy I’d done some work for years ago, and we were having a good chat when we started discussing the new hospital build that was happening. The handover had been delayed due to issues with the new power plant, which wasn’t going to be ready by specified date. Amazingly, the night before it was due to be handed over (with penalties from contractors if it wasn’t), there was a fire in the power plant, which by a handy coincidence seemed to start in the fire alarm, disabling it completely... no one was ever sure if that was an accident or a successful way of avoiding contract penalties.

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor

Rob Daglish

Re: Tar coated CRTs

I worked for a time providing IT and AV services to two well known high street bookmakers. They used to have some really impressive nicotine stains.

I remember one particular shop still had CRT TVs in around 2018, and the company I worked for seemed to be endlessly fixing them with varying degrees of success . One replacement arrived, and it was ridiculously bright compared to its neighbours as the workshop had actually cleaned it before sending it out. It was that different to the others, the shop manage was complaining about it. I had to agree, so set about trying to increase the brightness levels on the other screens, but it was no good. My hand brushed against one of the screens, and a half inch of dust and cigarette residue came away from it. Realising the issue at last, I got a duster from behind the counter and ran a line across all the screens on the bottom row of the gantry, stood back and said “I think your cleaner has missed a few bits”.

Most places I’d have been nicer and cleaned the screens, but this particular shop manager had put a complaint in about one of my previous visits, when my colleague and I had fastened the door back on to the AV cupboard as it was hanging off when we arrived.

Rob Daglish

Re: Don't think there's anything worse than the motherboard of a smoker's laptop...yuk

Parker Quink used to be very conductive. I remember being on work experience and seeing the after effects of an office break in where some scrote had poured in over keyboards and CRT monitors.

Microsoft unveils swappable SSDs for Surface Pro 7+ but 'strongly discourages' users from upping their capacity

Rob Daglish

The buggers are still doing it. They’ve improved though, I had a request to put a 4g card in an 840G1, and it totally threw a hissy fit, big white screen telling me it was an unauthorised card and my computer wouldn’t work to prevent damage. The card I was trying to install? HP 840G1 4g modem, direct from HP... turns out there are a few variants of the card, and not all of them work in all SKUs.

Australia facepalms as Facebook blocks bookstores, sport, health services instead of just news

Rob Daglish

Re: Screw Australia's clumsy attempt....

The entire Scottish people going “deep fried Facebook?

Washed down with buckfast?”

The wastepaper basket is on the other side of the office – that must be why they put all these slots in the computer

Rob Daglish

Re: The human mind is a frightening thing

I once drove a coach full of Leeds United football supporters to a home game. On our way back, when they were suitably lubricated, I watched them coming across the car park of the service area will a CO2 fire extinguisher and an industrial sized bog roll firing lumps of paper at each other. It's probably only a small step away shoving it down the loo.

Rob Daglish

Re: Whoops mind your head if there is a fire, and dont trip

Egremont Crab Fair usually includes a "Climb the Greasy Pole" competition. If anyone makes it to the top they get a crab apple as a prize. Maybe the builders had seen that and felt inspired?

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