* Posts by Tim99

1235 posts • joined 24 Apr 2008

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Whoops, our bad, we just may have 'accidentally' left Google Home devices recording your every word, sound, sorry

Tim99 Silver badge
Big Brother

Really?

"*may have been quietly recording* sounds around your house without your permission or authorization": Doesn’t sound like Google - Surely you meant to write "*has been quietly recording*..."?

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Why you don't use a spreadhseet as a database

SQLite usually works for me...

Tim99 Silver badge
Windows

Excel (now there’s a misnomer)

Treats the year 1900 as a leap year because Microsoft’s main aim when they introduced it, was to kill Lotus 123. Lotus (on the PC) replaced VisiCalc on the Apple II who’s epoch was 1 Jan 1904, so VisiCalc didn’t go back that far. Microsoft’s original spreadsheet Multiplan didn’t cut it, so Excel (originally introduced for the Macintosh) was rapidly promoted to run on Windows... and spreadsheet-jockeys attempt to run major business with it...

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Ever done a good deed, only to have it thrown back at you by an angry user

Only 18 months? Your friends and family probably change computers regularly - The ones I used to deal with KNOW, that for the rest of the lifetime of the equipment, ANYTHING that ever went wrong was my fault.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Workmen

It was the Civil Service? Obviously tea is more important than computers.

Australia sues Google over data collection practices that merged DoubleClick data to create single user profiles

Tim99 Silver badge
Big Brother

Google Ethics

A county to the north-east of London?

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Tim99 Silver badge
Windows

Yes, this... Have an upvote.

Tim99 Silver badge
Windows

Possibly QDOS; Tripod/Ruby; etc.?

It's July 2020, and your PC or Mac can be pwned by a dodgy Photoshop file – Adobe emits critical patch batch

Tim99 Silver badge

Er, no it can’t

I haven’t installed **anything** from Adobe for years...

From 'Queen of the Skies' to Queen of the Scrapheap: British Airways chops 747 fleet as folk stay at home

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Interesting Wing Arrangement (article image)

Er, port...

We just left port, with a cargo of red port wine.

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Once...

When I became an old bloated plutocrat I always tried to travel upstairs. Some aircraft had a bar up there...

UK's Co-operative Group to centralise IT teams across various divisions, warns redundancies 'inevitable'

Tim99 Silver badge
Stop

And...

In less than 10 years they restructure to a decentralized highly federated business structure, rinse, repeat... I’ve watched this happen for 40 years now.

So Darned Kind of you, Facebook: SDK bug sends popular iOS apps crashing earthwards

Tim99 Silver badge
Big Brother

Simples

Find the apps that crash, remove them, and never use them again. >>=====>

The reluctant log trawler: The buck stops with the back-end

Tim99 Silver badge

16bit

A customer used the default short-INT auto-incrementing key on a Microsoft Access table they had created to import a CSV back-up file that our software generated at month end. Obviously it was our fault when it stopped importing after 4 months when we had generated 32k rows. So a quick un-billed site visit fixed that. Were they grateful? Of course not - It was obviously our fault for not making sure that their database, that we did not know about, was "incompatible".

MariaDB inhales $25m. 'People tried to get away with simpler' but now there's a 'relational renaissance,' says open-source biz chief

Tim99 Silver badge

Overkill?

Some of the medium/smaller MySQL/MariaDB backed websites out there would work well/better with SQLite. It is also a good prototyping framework for bigger sites, as it is easy to port to PostgreSQL.

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Tim99 Silver badge
Windows

Re: Sybase

I remember it as a joint venture from Sybase, Ashton-Tate, and Microsoft from 1989. It was possibly also a lesson on why companies should not partner with Microsoft. Although for Ashton-Tate their dreadful dBase IV was what probably finished them off.

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

Tim99 Silver badge

I use SQLite to "tidy" recalcitrant data: Command Line Shell For SQLite

Apparently the maximum database size is 140,000 gigabytes - I wouldn't know, I've only tried it with a few million rows with a hundred or so fields :-)

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

airplanes

OK, Boeing is a US company, but in future please use "aeroplanes" or "aircraft".

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Do you recall the smell of burning UPSes in the morning?

Sod’s law: A previous post...

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Tim99 Silver badge
Gimp

Re: Hackintosh?

This is true. However at the end of 2019 they had ~290,000 Apple devices of which ~200,000 use macOS. At the same time they had 383,800 employees, obviously some employees will use more than one device. I have a relative who is a very senior IBM techie who told me that in his (large) part of IBM far more techies use Linux than Windows - He was also of the opinion that a number of IBMers elected to go to Apple rather than move from Windows 7 to 10.

According to IBM, Mac users cost less to support with about 1/3 of the support personnel and are generally happier and more productive.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-cio-mac-users-perform-better-more-engaged-than-windows-users/

https://www.jamf.com/resources/press-releases/ibm-announces-research-showing-mac-enables-greater-productivity-and-employee-satisfaction-at-ibm/

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/IBM/ibm/number-of-employees

Here's a headline we never thought we'd write 20 years ago: Microsoft readies antivirus for Linux, Android

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

Careful!

It's a trap I tell you.

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

Re: it ain't json

"This is one of the reasons I just don't get this obsession over the last few years to adopt JSON everywhere for config files

So like MS had INI files in DOS-->Windows ME then? (Other than comments).

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: New Normal?

Many Geographically dispersed teams suck balls. (edit: probably after it they reaches about 2 dozen people - for really small groups it's fine) FTFY...

Not so nice, we investigated them twice: EU opens double whammy of inquiries into Apple's biz practices

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: I don’t quite understand this

So, the downvoters think that ripping copyright holders off is OK...

Where I live, penalties of a fine of up to AU$117,000 (~£64,000) and a term of imprisonment of up to five years are possible. For a company the maximum fine is 5 times that.

I kept up with this as I used to write software - Some was Pro-bono and some was FOSS; but as I needed to eat, I charged for about 2/3rds of my stuff including "shrink-wrap". Perhaps, not surprisingly, the worst infringers were often in various levels of government and "not for profits". It was a little embarrassing when I was in a public area of one organization to see the registration details of a different group up on a screen. They would justify this by "lack of funds", or "we were just trying it out" (In spite of the unregistered version allowing 50 items and the FOSS versions 200, they would use another organization's key to input a few thousand). They seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted paying. A couple of them even said things like "we put 50 items in and saw how useful it was, so we 'borrowed' the registration key details from a friend in another organization to put more in" and one classic was: "We wrote our own, but yours was better, so we needed to export our stuff into yours".

OK, I know music publishing companies are not our friends - I must have bought some Rolling Stones tracks on both 7" and 12" vinyl, audio cassette, CD and download, so I could (almost) be sympathetic...

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

Re: I don’t quite understand this

So, depending on where you are in the world, you probably abused Copyright and are possibly subject to criminal prosecution as well as a civil claim?

If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

Tim99 Silver badge
Happy

Re: Numpties, the lot of 'em.

It’s usually described as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering...

Don't like Mondays? Neither does Microsoft 364's Outlook Exchange Online service

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

Or they might just have kept you/IT out of the loop and used “social media”...

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

Tim99 Silver badge

Yes you are right. Mandarins were the bureaucracy, I structured my rule of thumb, because military positions of authority were also Mandarins - Military Mandarin Ranks went from Field Marshalls/Generals down to Corporals/1&2Class Privates. As you know, Party committees are embedded in almost all state bodies, as well as most private and state companies. So, in a similar way to the structures of the Imperial past; when the administrative, bureaucratic and leadership functions for the military were generally controlled by Mandarins; the party permeates nearly everything.

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Advertent FUD

Yes, sorry. I’m a Chartered Chemist - It was a very sloppily constructed sentence. Dry black tea contains about 30mg/g of tannins (often expressed as tannic acid equivalent), of which only a trace amount is free tannic acid. I expect that I hadn’t drunk enough caffeinated beverages before I posted...

Tim99 Silver badge
Big Brother

You might find it difficult to deal with any large Chinese company that is not backed by the military. I have a working theory that China is relatively stable because they just replaced the Emperor, Court, and Mandarins with the General Secretary, The Party, and The Military...

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Advertent FUD

The BRITA type filters also do a pretty good job of removing Pb and Cu which may come from plumbing - Pb is now unusual, but can come from poor quality modern brass fittings. If you are a tea drinker, these filters will remove Fe and tannic acid which form a dark coloured scum on the surface of tea. Iron tannates are the main ingredient of most inks that were used in Europe for about 1500 years.

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Next great idea

Then came modern, stainless steel blades that lasted far longer...

What blades do you use? After about 50 years (on and off) of using safety razors, I use Feather blades. They are the best I have tried, and give an excellent shave without cuts/soreness; but still only last a week (Mon-Wed, one side; Thu-Sat the other; Sunday, no shave or both sides - Cost about £0.30 each).

IBM blames 'external' network provider, incorrect routing, traffic flood for its two-hour cloud outage

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

IBM

Not to do with replacing expensive people who knew stuff with children then?

Frenchman scores €50k compensation for suffering 'bore-out' at work after bosses gave him 'menial' tasks

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Sooo....

When I was in the (Scientific) Civil Service we had "mobile" and non-mobile" grades. A non-mobile grade was usually at a low level; and if your job disappeared, a similar one was found within a reasonable commuting distance. If you were "Established" in a mobile position and you upset someone, an unpleasant job many miles away could be found for you. It was known that some people took the punishment, worked hard and eventually were rehabilitated - Others resigned.

MacOS on Arm talk intensifies: Just weeks from now, Apple to serve up quarantini with Kalamata golive, reportedly

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Kalamata

When I buy the pit-less most of the flavour goes away as well...

As UK Parliament heads back to in-person voting, select committees are told they can continue working via Zoom

Tim99 Silver badge

Not necessarily environmental. I emigrated to Oz 20+ years ago, and am appalled at the UK.Coronavirus deaths - 8 June 2020:-

Country... / ...Deaths... / ... Population... / ... Deaths/million

Australia... / ... 102 ... / ... 25m... / ... 4

New Zealand... / ... 22... / ... 4.9m... / ... 4.5

United Kingdom... / ... 42000+... / ... 68m... / ... 620

Deaths/million to 2 significant figures. Note: Australia is mostly an urban population (~ 2/3rds live in capital cities and >1/2 of the rest live in towns/cities), and Australia also had until our lock-down a lot of immigration and travel between Asia and Europe.

It is almost unbelievable that so few in the press/media seem to be doing their job. Apparently a lot of the Tory/Brexit mind-set still bangs on about WW2 - My late parents both served in the RAF, my father as aircrew, and I know that they would have been very angry about what has happened to the country of my birth. The UK Government has by its policy actions/inactions killed more British civilians than the Luftwaffe. I am truly fearful for you if/when a No Deal Brexit happens, in what is looking like a World-wide recession. I suspect that for most the outcome could, at best, be extremely uncomfortable and could well be a catastrophe.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

Tim99 Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: It's a shame...

Er, governments really don’t want their populations to be capable of critical thinking - Particularly those that rely on populist propaganda to stay in power...

Office supplies biz owned by UK council shrugs off ransomware demand for 102 Bitcoin

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Good!

"Backups" are useless - Its a successful restore that's required.

Amateur astroboffins spot young brown dwarf playing with planet-forming hula hoop just 102 parsecs from Earth

Tim99 Silver badge
Boffin

Confusing units in article

I think Richard meant about 1.05 x 10^31 double-decker buses...

Home Office waves a cool £1bn to outsource handling of British visa, citizenship applications

Tim99 Silver badge
Unhappy

A failed State?

Perhaps a sign of this is when a government outsources the basics like who is a citizen and who can enter the country to an outside group without direct Ministerial or Departmental oversight...

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

Tim99 Silver badge
Flame

Re: Simple Response.

Or, perhaps, chlorine trifluoride (Wikipedia)? >>=====>

Apple promises third, no, fourth, er, fifth time's a charm when it comes to macOS Catalina: 10.15.5 now out

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Bizzarely

I've not had any problems either. I'm an old fart who uses it as a zsh and GUI Desktop system on an iMac. My battery is a nice big UPS. If I need to go away from the desk I use an iPad Pro - I drank the special beverage and bought two expensive toys...

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

Tim99 Silver badge
Boffin

Re: ISO 3103

Yep, one of the most useful things (to show to the uninitiated) I got out of the RSC in 40+ years of membership.

Tim99 Silver badge

Wot, instead of adding milk? Sounds good...

We really doing this again? Rumour has it that Apple is nearly finished developing augmented-reality glasses

Tim99 Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Name?

Thanks for the reminder: Glassholes indeed...

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Tim99 Silver badge

Re: Of course it was going to hit the boat!

Thank you for the memory, although it has reminded me just how damn old I am. I constructed a small balsa-wood/doped-tissue glider in ~1960 which actually worked. I was given a Jetex motor as a birthday present and tried it out. Yes, I noticed that the steel casing was nearly red hot after a static test firing - No, I didn't think that suspending the motor from near the glider's midpoint with wire was a "bad idea". Surprisingly it flew reasonably well for a few yards before landing, the wire bent; and of course, it caught fire. It was quite exciting, and might be one reason why my first "proper" job was with HMG as an explosives/propellants chemist...

Apple's MagicPairing for Bluetooth fails to enchant after mischief-making bugs found hiding in the stack

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

So

The misspellings are because those coders are twenty-somethings who have received the benefits of modern education systems? Some of whom could have English as a second language (although it's quite possible their spelling may be better)? The "checking" might be done by a thirty-something with a similar education who has had longer to develop bad habits?

If it feels like the software world is held together by string and a prayer, we don't blame you: Facebook SDK snafu breaks top iOS apps

Tim99 Silver badge
Facepalm

Oh dear

App makers can add the Facebook SDK to their apps to use Facebook's Login system as a single sign-on provider, to access its analytics service, to get social graph data associated with the app user, to implement deep linking to content within the app, and to utilize Facebook mobile ads

Surely, they could have earnt a more honest living? An update of old saw "I told my mother I play the piano in a brothel, I didn't want her to know that I'm a developer that used Facebook's Login" could apply.

MongoDB and Rockset link arms to figure out SQL-to-NoSQL application integration

Tim99 Silver badge
Trollface

I’ve posted this before

MongoDB gained popularity in the mid-2010s within web applications by helping to provide personalised content without developers worrying too much about database schema

This still applies (NSFW- YouTube): MongoDB is web scale Sigh. Just Learn SQL...

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