* Posts by Adam Trickett

175 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Feb 2008

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BASICally still alive: Classic language celebrates 60 years with new code and old quirks

Adam Trickett

Re: PowerBasic, formerly TurboBasic (formerly TurboBasic)

I started with Commodore BASIC V2 (Microsoft) and then used BASIC Lighting on the 64 and some BBC BASIC, but Turbo BASIC was my favourite BASIC anywhere...

TurboPascal used a similar IDE, and Borland's tools were way ahead of anything for years...

The end of classic Outlook for Windows is coming. Are you ready?

Adam Trickett
Linux

I don't like Outlook but compared with new Outlook its amazing

I've been forced to use Outlook for decades and I have a hate-hate relationship with it. However I have tried new Outlook a couple of times at work but I couldn't get on with it at all, and went back to classic Outlook.

For me the biggest problems were the very-very poor performance, I've got mailboxes with lots of emails in them, and it was utterly terrible when switching from folder to folder.

The second issue was that the GUI change to web behaviour so the click behaviour is wrong. and you need to relearn what left and right click do, which was just painful - after too many times of hitting the wrong button I gave up and switched back.

Outlook isn't great, and has been my least favourite email client for years, but now it has been supplanted by new Outlook which is actually far worse - something I didn't think was possible.

I also have to use corporate Gmail, which isn't exactly that good either, but it's still a lot better than new Outlook.

I will actually miss Outlook, which surprises me...!

Attacks on UK fiber networks mount: Operators beg govt to step in

Adam Trickett
Alert

Re: Yet

There is fibre hanging from a pair of poles nearby that is now sagging so low that in a low breeze it swings and nearly rubs on the top of road sign... I think it slips more over time, it's a lot lower than at first, so I expect in a strong wind it will sag lower and then start to rub on the top of the road sign, if it doesn't snag completely!

Orange subcontracted the work to the lowest cost bidder and the result is pretty sloppy...!

Adam Trickett
Alert

Easy here

Where I live the fibre is all dangling from poles, and comes down to eye level where the junction boxes are. So as I walk the dog I've often thought all it would take is a pair of garden secateurs, or a decent pair of scissors to cause chaos locally. I didn't realise that people were actually doing it!

Seeing as I'm stuck with piss-poor ADSL as the fibre is stubbornly stuck 150 metres away at the bottom of the lane, fibre vandalisms wouldn't impact me much at the moment!

KDE Plasma 6.0 brings the same old charm and confusion

Adam Trickett
Linux

I think it looks good

I watched a long detailed review from a long time KDE user who said was mostly great, and he showed all the places small niggles have been removed and how slicker an more integrated it is. It's clearly not perfect and there are still annoying issues to be fixed.

He also made a point that while many things can still be changed and your defaults will be left in place if you upgrade, on a clean new install KDE6 will follow the behaviour of Windows to better facilitate their inward migration to the Linux fold - these new defaults may annoy long time Linux users and even KDE fans.

If you didn't like KDE5 then you probably won't like KDE6 as the changes are mostly deep and technical and the surface changes are much more modest in this release. If you do like KDE5 then you should find that KDE6 is visually the same and slightly better, but should be even faster and even more stable than before.

The review seems to start from the position of not liking KDE5 and from that point on can only find fault in KDE6. While I do think it's good to have an outside view on something, I'm not convinced that the review is as helpful as it could have been.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be coders, Jensen Huang warns

Adam Trickett
Linux

AI needs to be telepathic first

I program business software for a living and more than half the battle is trying to get the business to explain what they want. The notion that the business leaders can write their instructions down and an AI could write anything useful is a challenge at the moment. We constantly have to ask questions to get them to articulate what they really want, and they constantly ask for the impossible...

Eventually AI may replace most day-to-day coding, but not for a few years, and even then skilled people who know code will still be required to convert requirements into instructions for the AI to generate usable code.

IBM Consulting is done playing around, orders immediate return to office

Adam Trickett
Linux

WFH is good for a lot of IT work.

Been WFH for just over 6 years now 100%, after working strictly from the office before that for more than 20 years, I found the transaction interesting, but now I've done it I couldn't imagine going back. Our firm is basically WFH now, unless the client wants on site. Our office became an albatross during COVID and we're never going back in.

It doesn't work for everyone and every job, but for me writing code, I like being at home, even if I've basically swapped my commute time for unpaid work. My team is scattered around the globe, so it's not as if we're in the same physical office anyway if we were on site!

IBM are idiots if they want everyone back in the office...

KDE 6 hits RC-1 while KDE 5 brings fresh spin on OpenBSD

Adam Trickett
Linux

To each their own

DEs are very personal.

I personally like KDE best, but I'm happy to accept that everyone else has a different opinion

LXQt is nice enough and I've used the Fluxbox/Openbox without problem in the past too.

I can't get on with GNOME desktops at all, and haven't used most of the others enough to pass comment.

40 years of Turbo Pascal, the coding dinosaur that revolutionized IDEs

Adam Trickett
IT Angle

Met my wife because of TurboPascal

As an undergraduate I used a copy of Borland's Turbo BASIC for some of my final year project. No idea where it came from but it was easy to use and worked really well.

When I did my postgraduate degree I switched over to Turbo Pascal and taught myself Pascal from a book in the library, and used it for all sorts of things during my degree. My supervisor was doing something in Turbo Pascal and hit a problem, his program would compile but crashed when you ran it. I said I'd have a look at it for him, after I'd finished for the day. It turned out that the compiler must have had a bug, as one valid line compiled okay, but wouldn't execute. If you broke the line in two or restructured it, the maths was the same, it didn't crash. Anyhow my supervisor made my second author on the paper (I did talk other things through with him and not just fix a bug), and as result of that paper I got a job in the US. When I moved to the US, my new boss said the best person in my lab isn't coming with me (he was changing universities), and that best person is now my wife....!

In the US I used Borland Delphi which was good and Turbo Pascal like but with a Windows GUI, which was useful for somethings, but in many respects overkill for what I was using it for.

Ironically I once helped my now wife debug a program in Turbo BASIC, where there was a fundamental error in the code and all the maths was consistently wrong. She couldn't believe that she had found the bug as the program had been used for years and several papers had been published based on the data it processed. However she was right and all the previous datsets were wrong...!

30 years on, Debian is at the heart of the world's most successful Linux distros

Adam Trickett
Pint

Been a happy user for a while

I started with Red Hat Linux (boxed) version 5.2. I played with it for a while. At work we had some early RHEL systems, which were okay. I wasn't going to pay top dollar for Red Hat at home, so started with Debian Woody. Once Sarge came out, I switched full time on all my desktop/laptop systems at home, and my hosted VM. I've been with Debian ever since. Some work machines have been Debian when we weren't paying money for nothing, but they are usually Red Hat or SUSE (though I don't know why as we never actually used the support - it was just because we had to).

I did Red Hat's formal training which did help me understand RHEL better than my previous hacks at it, but I've always got on better with Debian - but that's probably just familiarity.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD FRIEND!

Not call: Open source gurus urge you to dump Zoom

Adam Trickett
Meh

Not used Zoom in ages

Been through a raft of audio and video providers at work over the years. Most of us never use the video feed aspect of any of them though we often share desktop presentations. Can't comments on how good or bad they really are, they all seem to work and Teams seems to be the most popular at the moment and haven't used Zoom in ages.

It's my employers laptop, and their choice, along with the client, I don't get a say.

I personally never use video though because my laptop is in a dock, and is closed and not even particularly near me - a video feed of my feet under my desk isn't any use...

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries

Adam Trickett
Happy

Re: Mining landfill?

I believe that there are already mines operating in Dutch landfill sites. I'm not 100% sure what they are extracting, but I believe that the process is currently underway.

The return of the classic Flying Toasters screensaver

Adam Trickett
Windows

BSOD

I remember sitting next to someone who had the BSOD screensaver on their laptop, I found it very stressful to watch...

I do remember the original Flying Toasters, but as others have said, CRTs of the day already had sleep and power down modes, and it was already frivolous.

Used to use screensaver and the GL pack, but can't be bothered these days.

To improve security, consider how the aviation world stopped blaming pilots

Adam Trickett
Boffin

Medication errors

I used to work for a medical device manufacturer. Death or injury because a human pressed the wrong button on a device is far too common. In the US it tends to lead to very expensive law-suits, less common in Europe, but in either continent death or life changing injuries isn't something you want to happen.

The business spent a lot of money trying to make the devices idiot proof, and you'd be surprised how ingenious idiots can be. Making software that is safe and not annoying is harder than you'd think. Some drugs are very weight sensitive, so a safe dose for an adult can be radically different for a baby. A device that is configured with an adult's typical weight could be lethal in a neonatal clinic, etc...

I wasn't directly involved in the safety software, but I worked with people who were and saw the papers published in the medical journals. Some of the advice that was given out to medical staff was so bizarre that it's amazing how few accidents there were, but over time, with a holistic approach and moving away from a blame culture, things have improve. Not saying it's perfect, but transparency from all parties is important, and also accepting that even the best people will make errors, so processes need to be robust enough to cope with someone being a factor of 1000 out...

I think we've all seen absurd password policies that don't help security, annoying, but bad polices for medical devices or aeroplanes can kill...

Clumsy ships, one Chinese, sever submarine cables that connect Taiwanese islands

Adam Trickett
Alert

Alert!

One of the first actions of the UK at the start of WWI was cut German undersea cables forcing them to use radio or British cables (by proxy) which made intercepting message easier and controlling the flow of information into and out of Germany.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CS_Alert_(1890)

End of an era as the last 747 rolls off the production line

Adam Trickett
Linux

Crossed the pond a few times on the,

Crossed the pond a few times on various ages of 747. Much prefer a modern Airbus but the 747 was a lot better than the DC-10 I flew on across the US once - that was horrible.

Last time I was on a 747-400, was across the pond with Virgin between Xmas and New Year several years ago. That was like fling in a cutlery drawer, everything rattled and jangled, very unpleasant flight.

Bonne voyage...

Epson says ink pad saturation behind 'end of service life' warning on inkjet printers

Adam Trickett

Laser is the way to go...

Over 20 years ago I got an Epson Stylus Color 740 (I think) Worked fine for years without any problem. I didn't use it often and when I need it, the carts were often dry. Then one day it leaked black and was for ever prone to smearing after that (I suspect it wasn't able to clean itself properly anymore). I used it less and less, than one day it made a lot of noise and stopped printing altogether.

Swapped it for a mono laser (Samsung - now HP) which has been fine ever since. I never really needed colour printing anyway - though when it worked it was very good, but reliability is far more useful than features you can't use...

My mother-in-law has a Brother all-in-one and that's a horribly unreliable ink-jet. I wouldn't touch ink-jet technology again...

Logitech's MX Mechanical keyboard, Master 3S mouse

Adam Trickett
WTF?

Corporate user?

"Then again, this is the sort of keyboard aimed squarely at a corporate user."

Don't know where that is, most firms I've worked for use the cheapest most horrible keyboards that Dell, HP, Lenovo etc supply.

IBM's autonomous Mayflower ship breaks down in second transatlantic attempt

Adam Trickett
Holmes

bananas

A mate did a few crossings of the Atlantic as an engineer on banana boats. Apparenty stuff breaks all the time and they had to fix it at sea in their workshop. They could radio for help if things got really serious but in practice that was only ever going to happen if someone life depended on it, in all other cases they made it up as they went along.

I'm happy to believe a computer can manage the basics of navigation and watching all the critical parts of a ship all on it's own, however without some pretty sophisticated robotics it's going to be hardpressed to fix much...

ZX Spectrum, the 8-bit home computer that turned Europe on to PCs, is 40

Adam Trickett
Go

What fun we had!

I had (and still have a C-64) but plenty of friends had Speccies. I remember typing programs out in both of them from magazines, always fun, to watch your afternoon end in tears...! Sometimes the programs even worked which was interesting...!

The joys of playing games with the strange Spectrum keyboard, or via joystick and some strange contraption to connect it into the Spectrum... I remember Attic Attack and friends - though I was never any good at most games...

Scary to think it's 40 years ago though...!

European silicon output shrinking, metal smelters closing as electricity prices quadruple, trade body warns

Adam Trickett
Mushroom

Follow the money

It doesn't help that Franc's nuclear fleet it getting old and hasn't been replaced. The new plants are eye-wateringly expensive and running years late, and no one wants to pay for them.... At the moment several reactors are also off line with unplanned maintenance because cracks and corrosion has been found - as I said they are getting old and no wants them to go bang even if electricity prices are through the roof here in France too.

Stepping aside from the nuclear debate, the key problem with high capital projects (nuclear or coal or hydro) is that once you've built it you want to run it to death to get your money back and at the same no one ever wants to foot the massive capital start-up costs which can run into billions and your may not earn a penny for a decade until it's built.

The French tax payer built a lot of nuclear plants and gave them to EDF to run at a profit, but hasn't built any in years and now EDF has gone cap in hand to the French tax payer to be given another new plant - and the tax payer isn't so keen to foot the bill anymore...

'IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic

Adam Trickett

Re: Well done Liam...

I've been here three years, and can communicate with my mother-in-law very much as you say, in the present tense and then improvise. I just wish I had more vocabulary, as I'm always missing one or two words in the sentence that's important and I've no idea what they would be...

Adam Trickett
FAIL

Re: Subtitles.

I'm in France and try to watch French TV with the subtitles on, as it helps me along. However the quality of the subtitles is utterly dire, and I now know enough French to notice that the subs aren't the same as what's spoken, sometime alternative words are used so it's not just abbreviations or dropping non-essential words.

The best though are the foreign programs that have been dubbed from foreign to French and have subtitles provided in French. Then the two French versions are not aligned, as if translated by different people, lots of different words are selected, and while the meaning is the same overall, the languages is quite different. In those cases I prefer to listen to it in foreign and read the French subs...

I spend many an hour using Duolingo, and if anyone wants to know if the cat is eating a croissant, then I know that... Local makers club a bit on hold because of COVID which is a real shame as I was just getting into that!

But why that VPN? How WireGuard made it into Linux

Adam Trickett
Linux

Seems to work okay

I've been running it a home between my computers in the house and a tiny hosted virtual server in a data centre for about a year or so. Works perfectly well when I want my machines at home to appear to be in a different geographic location, and for my phone or a mobile system away from the house, when I want to check something at home.

As it stands for a small user it's pretty perfect and no more or less complicated than SSH to set up. Obviously once you have a lot of systems it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of OpenVPN, but then for a lot of small simple use cases it's pretty good. It also appears to be quite a bit more efficient than OpenVPN, which may be an issue if you're stuck with rubbish ADSL connections...

AWS claims 'monumental step forward' with optional IPv6-only networks

Adam Trickett
Linux

Hardly surprising

I was looking for a hosted box earlier this year (as a personal VPN endpoint) and the cheaper offers were all IPv6 only systems, you pay extra if you want IPv4. Thankfully my ISP offers IPv6 at home, so it's not an inconvenience for me.

Hardly surprising that some of the big players would start the push to IPv6, there can't be that much usable IPv4 space left for them...!

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes

Adam Trickett

Cupboard light

A colleague once told me about an ICL mainframe with a fault which confused the engineers all day until they discovered it was the light in the paper cupboard under the printer that wasn't working...

Two non-Gtk Linux desktops have put out new versions

Adam Trickett
Linux

Re: TDE is a Great fork of KDE3

When KDE4 came out people laughed when Debian stuck with KDE3 for one more release cycle. At the time it felt annoying, but it was the right decision in the end, by the time that Debian moved to KDE4, it actually worked, I'm glad I didn't go through the pain that most of the bleeding edge adopters did...

At the moment I mostly use KDE on my systems, but LXQt is pretty good and nice and compatible and I use it instead on my low spec systems. Sharing lots of Qt apps and look and feel is nice.

Learning app Duolingo sets its sights on the language of numbers

Adam Trickett
Linux

I agree that removing the integrated Tinycards was a retrograde step.

I still use Duolingo, but I wouldn't pay for it, it's not that good.

The adverts are laughably absurd, can't imagine how they ever work...! I'm learning French and I get loads of adds to Learn English from French - because their ad server is so lame as it sees a French IP address....! Deux plus deux égale four?

Japan's bullet trains replace smoking rooms with Zooming rooms

Adam Trickett
WTF?

Re: Lagging

Ditto in France. The TGV service is fantastic, fast and reliable, but no WiFI or at seat power in most of the rolling stock. The regional TER trains do mostly have at seat power now but not WifI (at least on the ones I've used), and I think the refurbished TGV and most recent TGVs may now have at seat power and WifI.

We forget that some countries have already started to decommission their first and second generation high speed trains, and are replacing them with third and fourth generations, while the old BR IC125/HST still soldier on and the UK doesn't really have any actual high speed rail at all (other than a HS1).

30 years of Linux: OS was successful because of how it was licensed, says Red Hat

Adam Trickett
Linux

Re: Still have my Red Hat red hat

By chance I was once in someone's house and noted a red fedora on a hat stand. Apparently they had been in marketing a Red Hat in the UK previously. They knew less about computers and IT than my mother-in-law's dog, but they'd kept the hat!

They were please that I recognised the branding - which I suppose was the point of it!

Microsoft's Cloud PCs debut – priced between $20 and $158 a month

Adam Trickett
Big Brother

Re: Windows on Windows

I can see the point for BYOD people who only work in a networked environment anyway.

Work installs their VPN, Office, and corporate software in the cloud instance. That belongs to work, they secure/manage/run it.

You simply connect to it with your own computer of any type. Work doesn't care what you physically have in front of you, but they can control what's there virtually.

If you don't need or can't use isolated access when there is no network, then for some people that's a sane plane. I can't do any work without access to the servers so for me it makes sense, though it's a bit expensive compared to a bulk bough corporate Dell at the moment...

Thinking about upgrading to Debian Bullseye? Watch out for changes in Exim and anything using Python 2.x

Adam Trickett
Linux

So far so good.

I've updated a few non-critical systems from "Buster" 10 to "Bullseye" 11 and installed a few new systems directly as 11 and it's mostly a very dull (in a good sense) process and everything seems to be the same but with incremental improvements across the board. Annoyingly after no changes for several weeks the last minute fixes have been trickling ever day, but it still feels very good and solid.

Buster was very good and worked fine, so far I've not had any issues with migrating to Bullseye, but I've not touched any of my systems with fiddled exim config yet... All the desktops and laptops are vanilla when it comes to exim, so nothing happened, the actual mail server will need to be dealt with carefully. All the other config changes were minor or I rolled back to standard.

The world has a plastics shortage, and PC makers may be responding with a little greenwashing

Adam Trickett
Boffin

Recycling is a bad sign...

I'm not saying we shouldn't recycle but if it's economically viable to recycle that suggests that demand is outstripping supply.

No ones throws gold rings away because everyone knows gold is valuable because we like it and it's rare, so we sell it and make a point of recycling it, gold demand exceeds supply. Most people throw paper or plastic things away because we know they are worthless and there is plenty more where they came from...! Tat supply exceeds demand.

For decades our societies in the west have lived of an infinite growth, based on zero resource constraints, model for fuel and a bunch of core raw materials. When oil gets expensive things get painful and politicians get hot under the collar.

Generally speaking if companies are recycling plastic then it means that it is something they are doing on cost grounds, or availability grounds. Companies mostly aren't charities and don't do something unless it's in their interest. If raw plastic is in short supply or is getting expensive then it's suggests something we've thought of limitless is becoming limited - and that has consequences....!

Given that oil companies are pushing oil and gas into plastic production as we are currently travelling less, if there really is a plastic shortage does that mean we're hitting peak oil and gas? Not suggesting we're in anyway running out at the moment, but that demand is now exceeding supply.

While I'd love to see better efforts at recycling and much better waste management, I fear the short term effect will simply be price inflation, which always annoys most people...

Linux 5.13 hits rc5, isn’t yet calm, Linus Torvalds is only mildly perturbed

Adam Trickett
Linux

Re: Still brickin'...

Agree with your comments here. Mainstream distributions work on most hardware without a problem, most of the time, mostly first time. Some closed source hardware requires you add the non-free drivers but once that's done everything works. I've only had problems on really-really old or really-really new or really-really obscure kit. Most stuff uses commodity parts that are common across a wide ranges of systems and just work.

Adding the non-free bits does require you to engage your brain for 30 seconds, between just pressing yes to the defaults when you do an install, but it's hardly difficult to follow the instructions.

Things were different 20 years ago, and even 10 years ago you could have pain, but most of the time, things just work now, and I believe it doesn't matter much the distro chosen anymore...

Can't comment about a modern Windows install, but I remember reinstalling NT and 2K many, many times and suffering all sorts of grief over missing drivers, or drivers that bluescreened the system until you hacked them out...!

OVH founder says UPS fixed up day before blaze is early suspect as source of data centre destruction

Adam Trickett
Mushroom

Fumming

At previous employer we had the lead acid bath UPS of an antique phone system flood the room with sulphuric acid fumes which cased the fire brigade to attend in haz mat suits and closed the site for a day. The following day the phone engineer came, looked at the UPS and turned it back on with the same result - though this time we turned it off pronto before having to close the whole site...!

We also had one unrelated UPS explode and when someone opened the containment box it was just goo on the inside - not so nice...!

Dangerous things batteries if you aren't careful...!

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse

Adam Trickett
Linux

Great but not long lasting

Had a wired one and the M570. Both great but the cheap switches fail.

Bought replacements and soldered them in, so far they are lasting well. I've WHF for about 4 years now and couldn't use a mouse on a regular basis anymore. Don't really need it to be wireless most of the time, but useful if you're using it away from the screen, eg. TV or presentation - but that's not very common for me.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Adam Trickett

Cats and rocker switches

I've known cats stand on power strips with rocker switches, turning thing off at awkward times. A kitten I knew liked the noise Win 95 used to make when you press the keyboard a random (jungle theme I think) - it would sit by the keyboard and pounce on it, Windows emitted a growl, and the kitten jumped back until it plucked up enough courage to try again...

I know rodents do chew cables, I've found them dead having gnawed on mains cable, but never seem them go for computer cables...!

Did nobody tell them about the lockdown? Logitech releases new 'luggable' mechanical keyboard for LAN parties

Adam Trickett
Linux

Re: No numpad

I thought the same too until I realised that the numeric pad was almost never used in the work I do. Yes it is highly useful when entering a lot of numbers, but I write code for a living and that's mostly in letters, so I've now decided to get a TKL (actually a 17 key fewer keyboard) - but not a blinged up one like this.

Secondly the numeric pad means that my trackball is further away to the right that it needs to be. I don't use the the trackball when writing but when I do need to use it it's further away that it should be.

Finally I clutter up my desk so a smaller footprint is useful on space, as I've never enough space...!

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer

Adam Trickett
Coat

Re: Great

Even when they don't screw up, the train their customers to do unsafe things and then say it's the users fault when they get scammed...!

Makes you wonder if it's cheaper to blame the customer than actually do things properly...?

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

Adam Trickett

Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

While it is true that the British carriers were more resistant to kamikaze attacks than American carriers of the same period, they were also a lot heavier and had fewer aeroplanes per tonne so couldn't put up as large aerial combat force.

Post war analysis did report that they ships were badly damaged by the attacks, so were prematurely scrapped. But in the heat of action the fact they could soldier on was very valuable, even if they were actually a rite-off in the medium term.

As you say everyone learnt the hard way and post war designs did benefit from wartime experience.

Mulesoft set to be first tech IPO of 2017? We'd forgotten they existed...

Adam Trickett
Linux

I've used it, it's okay

I've used it at work, it's okay but didn't solve any problems we had.

I can see the usefulness of it, but like all new tools it's over hyped and that does spoil it to some extent.

Good luck in cashing out for them... No ill feelings in their direction.

The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

Adam Trickett
FAIL

Even Americans can get deported

I use to live in southern California nearly 20 years ago. Just north of San Diego there was a border check point on the interstate. A local from the near by military base went to visit his family in San Diego in uniform but was deported to Mexico while travelling back north back to his base because he didn't have his "passport" on him, he looked Mexican and had a Latino name. On being deported to a foreign country he then had to ring his commanding officer in the US to come and rescue him. It was all over the local news and it did annoy a lot of people, even then, but it's only got worse...

I'm white, have a very English accent and I mostly had no problems then or since, except one time having the third degree from some jumped up no body in Texas. I said I'd never been treated so badly before and made some off-hand comment about a police state and the official backed down and apologised like there was no tomorrow. Ironically we were in a 10-tonne lorry and could have had a hundred Mexicans in the back - but it was cold, late, I didn't really want to open the back up and he was rude. If he had been polite I would have got out of the cab and showed him - we had nothing to hide, but he was so rude and officious I took offence....

Fatal flaw found in PricewaterhouseCoopers SAP security software

Adam Trickett
Holmes

Because it's just software, and within SAP there is BUGGER all to stop a program from doing stuff once it's running. If you are properly configured some system calls (functions and classes) will check authorisation objects, but if your ABAP is running then your already on the inside and all bets are off. It should have been audited, but that is easier said than done and you can bet most companies don't have the will or resources to do it.

Basically SAP assume that the writer of ABAP knows what they are doing, if the code is shite on the security front (which is usually is) then the result is shite on the security front. Having seen what SAP and most third party vendor write I'm not surprised. It is possible to write good ABAP for SAP systems and have a program with decent security and the right functions, but it's a rare thing to see... To be honest most code I've seen is dire on more than just security: crap usability, crap performance, eats memory like it's going out of fashion and impossible to debug or extend fix. Most companies don't see the code that's on their SAP boxes and most never audit a thing.

Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options

Adam Trickett
WTF?

We'll see.....

I think May's plan is to let BoJo and his useless cronies discover that just about everything they promised isn't possible or viable, and eventually the clock will run down and there will be a general election.

The referendum is only advisory to start with and it was a stupid question, no one know what leaving actually means, and by the time there is a new government it may be someone else's problem...

The only fly in the ointment is that Labour is in such chaos that May may be the next PM after the general election, so what she does then is anyone's guess...

As to immigration that's insoluble, industry wants people and industry controls the two big parties. People don't want immigrants (for all sorts of reasons) but people don't really control the government. so the parties will say X to get elected but always do Y.

The bottom line is that the referendum was a stupid idea in the first place, the question was stupid, and the arrogant t*ats in the Tory/Labour Remain teams gave the victory to the lying scum in the Leave campaign... Now we are left with a mess and no sensible way out without either utter ruin or s*it on our face.

I don't like May, but I do wish her well in sorting the mess out, because my livelihood along with a lot of others depends on the outcome.

£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

Adam Trickett

Gaz and Leccy...?

Apparently it will help get "Gaz and Leccy" under control, and give us accurate bills. Given that my bill is already accurate and I don't have cartoon characters causing mayhem at home what value is there in this process for me?

I suppose what they really mean is that they can charge you more at busy times of day and less when no one wants gas or electricity - allowing them to better manage load - but that's not how it's being sold to consumers...

Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

Adam Trickett

Past their best

Flown 747 many times trans Atlantic, never liked them, and always found them cramped, noisy and uncomfortable.

I much prefer newer designs and Airbus in particular.

I don't doubt that when they were new they were revolutionary, but that's before I was born, and that's a long time ago now... I can't disagree that they are iconic, famous and very numerous, but it's probably best to retire them for something better.

Debian farewells Pentium

Adam Trickett

Re: Perhaps opportune

While the Pentium 4 isn't being "farefelled", I know what you mean about older chips that are hot and thirsty.

I've got a AMD dual core X64 based server that I'll probably replace with a modern dual core Pentium, I'll get half the heat, save half on electricity and it should also be faster too...

Robber loses heist case after 'evil twin' defence, gets 60 years

Adam Trickett
Boffin

Not technically identical...

Even identical twins don't have identical DNA. During development there is a lot of random rearrangement that takes place to generate the genetic diversity required for the immune system, so even individuals that start out with identical DNA are born with different DNA.

However for all practical purposes this isn't something that could be used in a legal case as it's a very specialised difference.

Wait, an actual QR code use case? TGI Friday's builds techno-restaurant

Adam Trickett
WTF?

Re: Never mind fast food

Wasn't quite sure what the point of a QR code was on a electronic bill. I've not had a hard copy utility bill for several years so I was most surprised when something designed to interface between physical and electronic appeared on my electronic bill.

It's a good job our 19th century politicians are catching up with the 20th century... One day they may even understand the Internet...

Tesla's top secret gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

Adam Trickett
Meh

SIlly

There is no shortage of a whole range of elements, however lots of them are not economic at the moment to extract and process at the concentration that they currently exist at.

Unless you find an ultra cheap and reliable method of extracting something it will be cheaper to either extract it from something more concentrated or use an alternative.

Saying there is no shortage of lithium is like saying there is no shortage of oil, gas, gold or uranium. No one cares about the total reserves all that matters is the economically extractable reserves...

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