* Posts by Martin

1293 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: HR departments are the problem

Come on - that's hardly a reasonable comparison.

Martin Silver badge

Re: When I was ten...

Should I be fired from my job because of the actions of my 10 year old self?

No of course not.

But have you written a huge essay, admitting your actions, discussing them in detail, admitting you were so obviously wrong, but hey, it was the way I was brought up, and talking about how wonderful black people really are, take Stevie Wonder and Marcus Rashford, aren't they great, and...

And suddenly, people are asking the question - why are you feel you need to say all this? What are you trying to prove?

And I think that's what happened here. It's not that he used to hate Jews and doesn't now. It's that he's made such a huge self-congratulatory thing about it.

Martin Silver badge

Re: HR departments are the problem

This was a two hour video and a ten thousand page essay.

The main theme may well be "Hey, I was indoctrinated to hate Jews but now I'm don't." - but you have to suspect that there is loads more in the 10K essage and two hour video which doesn't bear analysis.

And you have to ask the question - isn't it a bit self-congratulatory to post a two hour video and to write a 10K essay all about how bad he used to be but how wonderful he is now?

Like someone said - judge me by my actions, not by what I say.

As you say - we don't know all of it. I for one have better things to do than to read the whole thing. But I can't help thinking that this is going to be something that the anti-woke brigade are going to grab and run with.

How many Brits have deleted life-saving track and trace app from their phones? No idea, junior minister tells MPs

Martin Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "We have always been at War with ...

Blimey, you're right ! Not exactly obvious where to find it, is it? Why not just ping that information up on the pop-up where it tells you to self isolate?

Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for the information.

Martin Silver badge
WTF?

Re: The greatest hoax ever

@finlaythethinker

I've just had a quick glance back through your posts. As far as I can see, you are a climate change denier, a moon hoax believer, a 9/11 skeptic, and a 5G-will-fry-our-brains advocate,

I don't think I'll waste my time arguing with you.

Martin Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: "We have always been at War with ...

Within the app, you can find out which day the contact took place and made some sort of informed decision based on that ...

How? My wife was pinged to self-isolate for five days. But that was ALL it said. It didn't say when the contact might have happened, it didn't say where. So what's she got to base the "informed decision" on?

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: "We have always been at War with ...

At which point you also order home test kits and potentially cut short self-isolation. ...

So my wife was pinged and told to self isolate. So she went and got a drive-through test. Came back negative. Great ! She put the result into the test-and-trace app - and it said "Fine! You've tested negative. You've still got to continue isolating..."

So much for cutting short self-isolation. As she's feeling fine, I don't see what the point of doing the test actually was, if you've still got to self-isolate even if you test negative.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

Martin Silver badge

Re: Bit hard to comment without more details

Indeed. There is a book written by a black woman (can't remember what it's called, sorry) where the author told the story of when she won a scholarship to a very good all-girls high school, where she was one of the very few black girls there. (She'd previously been at a school which was mainly black kids.) She had no problems about the girls at her new school - they couldn't have been nicer and more welcoming. But she literally couldn't tell them apart - their faces all looked the same to her. She had to use unreliable visual cues like clothes and hair colour.

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Your headline reminds me...

I heard Dave Allen tell that story. He said he was in an art shop and asked for a rubber, and said he wanted one of the soft ones that come to bits when you use it.

The coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

That headline...

I'm going to make some random statement. Here's why.

I thought that sort of headline was only found on those dodgy links at the bottom of the websites for the local papers (and the Independent). Bit disappointing to find one here on El Reg.

Ah, I see you found my PowerShell script called 'SiteReview' – that does not mean what you think it means

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Perfect job?

And Scott Adams thought this Dilbert strip was a joke...!

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Keeping a stash is one thing...

...emailing porn...that reminds me...

I was quite quick off the mark when gmail came around, and I got my name as my gmail address. However, my name is not that uncommon, so I have received quite a few emails which were intended for another one of me (so to speak).

One day, about ten years ago, I received an email addressed to about forty or fifty people, including me, none of which I recognised. Clearly, someone had added me to an email mailing list and mistyped another person's email as mine. The email contained a fair number of images of the unclothed female form.

I sent the sender a quick email and pointed out what he'd done. Within about ten minutes, I got a grovelling apology...!

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

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Ethics, I've heard of them. They sound expensive.

Or as George Bernard Shaw had it in Pygmalion:-

PICKERING: Have you no morals, man?

DOOLITTLE: Can't afford them, Governor.

One good deed leads to a storm in an Exchange Server

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

The only email cock-up I made was actually at home. In the early days of dial-up and Windows for Workgroups, I'd managed to get hold of five cheap PCs. So me, my wife, and all our three daughters had our own PC each on a thin ethernet network. I realized that I could set up a mail server, so that we could all send emails to each other without going out to the outside world - which everyone thought was great. It was set up to dial out when a message for the outside world was waiting and then dropped the connection when there were no more to be sent.

Then the heady days of ADSL arrived, with 256K downloads, and always-on - incredible, it seemed at the time. So I was an early adopter for my ISP and this was even more exciting. Until the second day, when my ADSL was switched off by the ISP end and I got a frantic phone call from them, saying "You're running a mail server and you've misconfigured it as an open relay..."

When I looked at the mail server, there were several thousand spam messages advertising Viagra and various other dubious offerings...

Oops. Taught me a salutary lesson.

IT manager who swindled Essex hospital trust out of £800k gets 5 years in prison

Martin Silver badge

The judge can't just decide on a longer sentence, no matter how upset he (or we) are about him stealing from a hospital.

There are sentencing guidelines in place in the UK, which you can look up yourself to try to ensure some consistency.

So, as the judge said, he was given eight years, which is the maximum he could get for this offence. And he was given the standard one-third reduction for a guilty plea.

So five years and four months is the most he could give. You might not think it's enough, and I might be tempted to agree in this case, but the judge actually did throw the book at him.

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

Martin Silver badge
Facepalm

It used to be...

....the case that in many finance jobs, you had to take two weeks consecutive leave from your job every year. This was not out of altruism - this was to ensure that any fraudulent scam you might have running would probably come unravelled during the two weeks you were off, and they could sack you (and possibly prosecute you). Certainly, when I retired five years ago from a US bank, the requirement still existed.

However, there was NOTHING to stop you from logging in from home during this two week break to (potentially) keep the scam running. We used to try to insist that when you went on holiday, your login was temporarily disabled until you returned. But we could never get this agreed by senior management....because they wanted people to login while they were on holiday and keep an eye on their mail, and potentially fix any issues...

Oh well...

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Please, Dr. Syntax

Exactly. At uni, I did a course in statistics and we referred to it as "stats" - therefore proving that "maths" is correct and "math" is wrong. Q E fucking D.

Bezos v Branson: Battle of the wannabe Space Barons as Virgin Galactic cleared by FAA to start flying customers

Martin Silver badge
Happy

If Jeff Bezos wants to go to space...

...then let him.

Can't he stay there?

Stop. Look... Install Linux? The Reg solves Microsoft's latest Windows teaser

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: wishes...

You choose to use Windows.

At home, possibly. But at work, if I had said to my boss "Sorry, I choose not to use Windows", he'd have said "Fine. I choose not to employ you."

Fortunately, I'm now retired, so I can now, finally, choose not to use Windows.

Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

Martin Silver badge

Re: $10 million

95% of lottery winners end up riddled with debt

This sort of statistic is trotted out over and over. There is no evidence for this whatsoever. Not everyone is Viv Nicholson.

Last time something like this was mentioned, I did a bit of research. In 2017, something like 82% of the UK lottery winners were better off or the same as they were before they won. That means 18% were worse off. Not exactly 95% riddled with debt.

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Sometimes, I just can't believe the gullibility of some people.

I've got some money to invest.

I'm approached by a company called Africrypt, run by a 21 year old kid and his seventeen year old brother, who promise me up to 10% PER DAY returns, because cryptocurrency.

Why wouldn't I invest with them? Sounds pretty good to me.

Talk about a fool and his money...

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

Martin Silver badge

Re: Seriously, people...

Indeed. He's not a "character* - he sounds a revolting guy. Can't understand why everyone is so nice about him in these comments.

I wouldn't have wished him dead, but now he's gone I don't think the world is a worse place.

Stob treks back across the decades to review the greatest TV sci-fi in the light of recent experience

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: "always bearing hard left"

...there is no sun behind it as THERE should be...

If you're going to be picky about science, you've got to expect someone else to be picky about grammar.

Not that I disapprove of you being picky about science - on the contrary...

Mensa data spillage was due to 'unauthorised internal download'

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: “I can reassure members that our systems are secure..."

And if someone can download something to an external environment, I'd argue that the systems are NOT secure.

BT promises firmware update for Mini Whole Home Wi-Fi discs to prevent obsessive Big Tech DNS lookups

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

It's not just custom DNS setups.

a spokesman told us the flaw only affected those users with custom DNS setups on their personal networks

No, it affects EVERYONE. And if, like me, you're using a non BT router, you're using a non BT DNS server, and so they get zillions of hits, not BT.

The flaw only APPEARS to affect users who have got custom DNS setups, because we're the only people who notice our DNS being hit by multiple requests to Microsoft.

That's what really pissed me off about this issue. It was the suggestion that because the software didn't cause most people to complain (because they weren't aware of it), then it doesn't matter that you're making over half a million DNS requests a day to someone else's name server.

The question I've never managed to get answered is - why do they need to do this? These discs are basically clever access points. They are not routers, and they shouldn't care two hoots whether the internet is working or not. That's the job of the router.

Oh - and according to BT, the reason they do this is so that they can put a little red light on to alert the user that something has gone wrong if the internet goes down. As if the router doesn't already do this.

Anyway, we're promised a new firmware on June 21st, which is going to reduce the impact to once a minute, not once a second. Still more than is necessary though.

Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page

Martin Silver badge

Re: How to tell if you're stupid.

Fair enough. You're probably right, thinking about it. Though that in itself is pretty damn creepy - not only posting the pictures, but posting them to make it look like she'd done it herself.

I imagine the FB account was open on the phone, and they justified what they did to themselves by saying "That'll teach her to be more secure with her account details...!"

The more I think about it, the more I'm disgusted with these lowlife creatures. In what universe is that reasonable or funny? I imagine they've been sacked, but I'd like to think they were prosecuted for it. Presumably the reason Apple paid out so much money is to avoid the embarrassment of their oh-so-secure store repair technicians being prosecuted.

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: How to tell if you're stupid.

Read what the article said.

...two technicians published a series of photographs showing the complainant unclothed to her Facebook account, as well as a "sex video". The complaint said the post was made in a way that impersonated the victim, and was only removed after friends informed her of its existence.

Which makes me wonder if this was actually someone who deepfaked her? We may never know, as they've settled with a non-disclosure agreement.

But in any case, saying that leaving nude photos on a phone means it's your fault they got spread around the internet is the same argument that wearing a short skirt means it's your fault you got raped.

Downvote duly administered.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

Martin Silver badge
Joke

Re: The joys of Bluetooth as well

Look, far be it from me to criticise the way you watch TV, but on a motorbike? Really?

Martin Silver badge

Re: I have one remote for everything

And they've discontinued it...ain't life grand?

Martin Silver badge
Pint

Which is genius - it is also much less likely to get stuck down the back of the sofa.

Have an upvote and one of these --------->

Martin Silver badge

Re: You have my sympathies...

If your Harmony breaks, you may not find another one (or be able to program it, if Harmony also closes their programming support. They say they won't, but who trusts what a company says anymore?)

I'm not optimistic myself. But I would observe that Logitech discontinued the Squeezebox system in 2012, and yet www.squeezebox.com still works. The server software is now open sourced, and it's up to version 8.1.1 (it was version 6 something, I think, when it was discontinued).

So I'm sort of hoping that they open source the Harmony software and the huge database of remote controls, and some enthusiasts will keep it running for a few years yet.

Because the Logitech Harmony, when it is set up properly, is truly amazing. Certainly better than six remote controls.

UK Special Forces soldiers' personal data was floating around WhatsApp in a leaked Army spreadsheet

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Several thoughts

<appalled voice>

A handbag?

</appalled voice>

Who gave dusty Soviet-era spacecraft that unwanted lick of paint? It was an idiot, with a spraycan, in Baikonur

Martin Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Soviet tech..

...so that the actual noise level experienced by people living and working around the airport was no worse...

Yeah, right. In the mid-eighties, I went out for a while with a young lady who lived in Richmond, and aeroplanes to and from Heathrow flew over her place every day. After the tenth time I heard a particularly loud plane go over, and I looked outside to see Concorde yet again, I decided the case that Concorde actually WAS louder was fairly convincingly proven.

But my goodness - what a beautiful aeroplane, and how I wish I'd flown in it.

Arm freezes hiring until Nvidia takeover, cancels everyone's 'wellbeing' allowance

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Morale boost

Those who have small numbers of shares will still get yacht loads of money. They'll just be very small yachts, that's all.

(Am I the only one that thinks "yacht" looks misspelled even when you spell it right?)

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: So you can pretend to take over a company that is really a competitor

Besides, they have also had other things to deal with - perhaps you've not heard of COVID? - like any government.

Come on - even THIS government can't blame the decision to allow the Softbank deal to go through on COVID - or Brexit, come to that.

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Martin Silver badge
Coat

Re: Microfiche

I thought microfiche was another name for whitebait...

Apple announces lossless HD audio at no extra cost, then Amazon Music does too. The ball is now in Spotify's court

Martin Silver badge

Fair enough. Though they can't get the payment method as it's blocked even from me.

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Really?

If someone gets into my bank account or my Paypal account, they can nick my money.

If someone gets into my Wordpress account, they could damage or destroy my website.

If someone gets into my Spotify account, they can play my music...

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Or even the singers...

Activist millionaires protest outside Jeff Bezos' homes to support tax rises for the rich

Martin Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Absolute DREAMING

Again, just two items.

"yet the health workers want a pay rise?"

Yes, they DO fucking want a pay rise. They have worked their bloody socks off - and for what? A round of applause every Thursday a year ago? And your diatribe about the NHS and PHE is utterly irrelevant to the point that they have worked their socks off nevertheless for a pathetic pay rise, while anyone who knows a cabinet minister can get a nice little PPE contract (with a nice little cut for themselves) with none of this tedious tendering.

"Just send your cheque to HMRC"

No, no, no, no.

If I think the roads should be better looked after, should I go out and fill the potholes myself?

If I think the NHS is underfunded, should I send them some money?

If I think that a decent government of a civilised country should be ashamed if their citizens need to use food banks, should I cook meals for them? (I do actually give money to the Trussel Trust, but I shouldn't need to.)

My individual cheque will do nothing. The taxation system needs to be made more fair. And in particular, we should tax people who can afford it, and not tax those who can't.

See, the basic difference between you and me is that you seem to think it's acceptable for a government to screw over the poor to improve the lot of the rich. I think that it's not just unacceptable - it's evil.

Martin Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Absolute DREAMING

There are dozens of things I could take from your comment - but I'll stick to just two.

"I believe in the Laffer curve."

You do? Well, let's look at this. According to Wikipedia

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics reports that estimates of revenue-maximizing tax rates have varied widely, with a mid-range of around 70%

So, you'll be wanting taxes increased. then?

"I am in the UK"

Then, as the guy said, you are the PROBLEM with the UK also. There is something appalling about a government who have asked our health service professionals to slave their guts out during a global pandemic, and then say "Sorry, we can't afford to pay you more than a 1% pay rise." While at the same time, their mates are getting rich off PPE contracts.

We could EASILY afford it. We'd have to increase tax on the wealthy (and I include myself in that). We can afford it to pay a bit more tax. God knows the average nurse can't.

10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media

Martin Silver badge

Gigabit? Pah - old news!

Here in York, I've had Gigabit fibre to my house for just over eighteen months, from - wait for it - TalkTalk. It was meant to be some sort of joint venture between TalkTalk and Sky but it ended up being just TalkTalk. I know their customer service is not normally great, but for this they have a dedicated help line in case of issues (which have been few and far between, it must be said.)

Of course, they don't seem to be expanding it, and I'm wondering if they are going to quietly drop it, or sell it to Virgin Media or something.

But at the moment, it's working fine, and it's great.

You can listen right here to the whir of a robot helicopter flying on an alien world

Martin Silver badge
Happy

OK, I was being a bit sentimental, I agree. But to be downvoted for that? Really?

I hope you were just in a bad mood at that moment, and you're not normally such a grumpus!

Martin Silver badge
Happy

The idea of a little helicopter flying around on Mars is just so utterly charming. I can't help but smile every time I see the videos.

It's lovely to see it take off, then move horizontally, bravely disappearing out of camera range, then waiting patiently - and there it is, back again, to where it started. You almost feel that it's proud of its achievement !

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

Martin Silver badge
Happy

In a machine room...

A prank that happened to me. I've told this one before, but it bears repeating.

I was in a machine room. No-one else there, dead quiet, and I'm deep in concentration. All the computers had flat-screen terminals attached to them for convenience. (It was a bank - they just liked spending money.) Anyway, one of the sysadmins saw me on a security camera, and decided to have a bit of fun. So he made the machine behind me beep a few times until I turned round, then he popped up an xterminal and typed "Hello, Martin...."

I will admit to a slight HAL shiver...

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Black magic

A Pyramid? Well, that explains how the Ancient Egyptians were able to do all those incredible astronomical calculations.

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: Novel interference

I've had the more common variant. Down the pub for a couple of pints, then back in the office in the afternoon - and suddenly, I realize how to solve that tricky problem that's been puzzling me for the last couple of weeks. Spend the afternoon bashing out the code and getting a clean compilation. OK - great. Good afternoon's work, ready to test on Monday.

Monday. Spend the morning undoing the utter rubbish that seemed so good on Friday afternoon.

More than 1,000 humans fail to beat AI contender in top crossword battle

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Re: How does a computer solve crosswords?

OK - the light has gone on for both of them! Thanks.

The first one is clever. Though I don't feel too upset I didn't get it - I think that an anagram on "Johnny rents" (or "a flat in Paris) could easily be indicated by the "out", and the fact that both "Johnny rents" and "a flat in paris" have twelve letters led me seriously astray.

The second one I really should have got. I admit I cheated - I typed the clue into Google and found "Train, or part of one (5)" - and that's basically the same clue.

Thanks very much for your help. Just confirms to me that I'm not really a crossword person. I'll stick to Sudoku - I'm good at those!

Martin Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: How does a computer solve crosswords?

OK - I'm not an expert by any means - I can normally get about half of the Observer Everyman crossword.

But you called them entry-level, double definition clues. So I thought I'd have a chance. But I've stared at those clues and I can't make any headway.

Johnny rents out a flat in Paris! (6, 6)

I can see that's an anagram on "Johnny Rents" and the clue is "a flat in Paris" - or just possibly the other way round - but I can't get it.

Trains, whether in whole or in part (7)

Trains as in teaches, or possibly as in engines, but the other bit? Don't know.

Could you please give us a clue to the clues?

I agree - I suspect something like the Times Crossword is going to be one of the last holdouts for computer solutions.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!

Martin Silver badge
Happy

Meetings...

One of the best bosses I ever had used to go to meetings instead of me, to leave me to get on with actual work. I could trust him to report back accurately on any actions that I might need to know about and fight my corner to avoid actions that were not relevant to what I was doing. Also, I suspect that the meetings didn't meander all over the place when he was there instead of me.

Unfortunately, he left, and was replaced by a normal boss. But it was great while it lasted.

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