* Posts by Morrie Wyatt

161 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2008


Your security failure was so bad we have to close the company … NOT!

Morrie Wyatt

And loving it.

I'm surprised that nobody mentioned 86 and the Chief.

Damn, no shoe phone icon.

Forget general AI, apparently zebrafish larvae can count

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Tigers vs Zebra (fish)

It's probably much simpler than that.

Tiger: Hmm Which one will I have for lunch?

(One man wanders off.)

Tiger: Ok then, Boxed lunch. I'll just have the one that's left.

China's 7nm chip surprise reveals more than Beijing might like

Morrie Wyatt
Black Helicopters

Beware how you tread.

Sand stampers and Melange are a dangerous combination. You need to watch out for the Makers.

(Icon? Closest thing to an ornithopter I could find.)

Microsoft resorts to Registry hack to keep Outlook from using Windows 11 search

Morrie Wyatt

Re: What about Windows 10?

Such random merde being ably assisted by the entire SEO industry, pushing the most odoriferous garbage to the top of the pile.

Google calculates Pi to 100 trillion digits

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Calculating Pi on a Pi

Just make sure to give it a really hot cup of tea.

(And thereafter avoid any science award presentations for extreme cleverness.)

Bing! Microsoft tests search box in the middle of Windows 11 desktop

Morrie Wyatt

Microsoft "Developers"

Happens every time somebody lets them have a new box of crayons.

LIDAR in iPhones is not about better photos – it's about the future of low-cost augmented reality

Morrie Wyatt

It's a safety feature.

After all, someone/something needs to keep looking where the user is walking while their attention is glued to the screen.

Your software doesn't work when my PC is in 'O' mode

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Saw that coming

Salmay, Dalmay, Adonay

Microsoft to block downloaded VBA macros in Office – you may be able to run 'em anyway

Morrie Wyatt

There's always one.

Unfortunately I have one specific ODBC driver to access an Informix database that our company's ERP software runs upon.

Excel has no problems with it, nor does Crystal Reports.

LibreOffice lets me set up an ODBC connection to it via "Base", but despite telling me that I have successfully connected to the ODBC source, it doesn't see any of the database tables. No error messages of any sort, just a blank list.

Our overseas supplier requires us to submit purchase orders using their password format locked Excel template, complete with hidden macros.

(Their incoming order processing bot spits out any order that doesn't comply with the exact template layout.)

These circumstances pretty much paint me into a corner, as I can't get to the Informix data using LibreOffice.

(The same supplier is now heavily pushing the use of SharePoint. The misery never ends!)

Italian researchers' silver nano-spaghetti promises to help solve power-hungry neural net problems

Morrie Wyatt

There's the problem

Silver nanowires?

Should be platinum iridium shouldn't it?

Not a problem though, just get Powell and Donovan onto it, they'll sort it right out.

Or Susan Calvin if you would prefer.

Mine's the one with "I Robot" and "The rest of the robots" in the pocket.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Less than one character per week

I thought the correct stock answer was "How long is a piece of string?"

(Half as long as twice its length of course. But many struggle to understand such high precision math.)

International Space Station actually spun one-and-a-half times by errant Russian module's thrusters

Morrie Wyatt


Poor thing was subject to so many delays getting to the ISS that it just wanted to make certain it was screwed in properly. It is just that they forgot to put the spanner on the rest of the ISS to hold it firmly in position.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

Morrie Wyatt

Re: An idea

And not to forget the user that puts the date and time into a filename as something like

**My Important Document 19/10/2021-7:49:32**

And then wonders why the OS does a dummy spit.

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise

Morrie Wyatt

Re: I may have mentioned this one before...

As I recall, Beneton did much the same with an F1 Renault engine.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Examples...

Compared to the floppy disks they replaced as primary storage, yes they were.

You could now lose a lot more data in a fraction of the time.

Colonial Pipeline was looking to hire cybersecurity manager before ransomware attack shut down operations

Morrie Wyatt
Black Helicopters

On the bright side.

Whoever does end up with the job has a better chance of being listened to seriously when they point out security issues.

Doesn't mean that they will follow through on any recommended actions though.

There's always that managerial type person convinced that it will never happen to them. (Until it does of course. Then it is open season on scapegoats.)

On a dusty red planet almost 290 million km away... NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flies

Morrie Wyatt
Black Helicopters

Penguins on the red planet

When he started developing linux, I bet Linus never envisioned seeing a flying penguin on Mars.

Doing well so far. I've seen all to many model helicopters end up doing the dead chicken dance at the slightest excuse.

If I recall the definition correctly: Helicopter: Thousands of parts all trying to kill you.

Partial beer print horror as Microsoft's printer bug fix, er, doesn't

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Sing along!

The bugs are being found faster because Microsoft now has so many more beta testers.

They are known as Windows 10 users.

(Azure outages are just to keep people from looking too closely at the other things Microsoft have managed to foul up.)

Don't attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by Microsoft.

Red Hat returns with another peace offering in the wake of the CentOS Stream affair: More free stuff

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Too late, trust has gone.

"And damn-near impossible to restore."

What, they don't have it backed up on tape somewhere?

Linus Torvalds labels Super Bowl 'violent version of egg-and-spoon race'

Morrie Wyatt

Re: As an American, I can tell you some Super Bowl secrets

"This might be questionable content, however."

Why? What's Pintsize up to now?

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad's over a decade old and we're still not sure what it's for

Morrie Wyatt
Black Helicopters

Re: Pilots

There's also Austin Meyer's Xavion app, which plays continuous "What if?" using plane performance data to provide best alternative airports. (Not necessarily the closest, but the best that fits the glide profile of the aircraft.) It also provides standard instruments, artificial vision, maps jet wake turbulence and many other features. (The wake turbulence feature was added after Austin found out the hard way that hitting it can be a serious pain in the neck.) It does this independently to the aircraft's avionics, so a full power outage of the standard instrumentation, providing a very useful level of redundancy for the pilot.

After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’

Morrie Wyatt
Big Brother

Politicans Logic

"So something that's not true can be true? Politicians apparently live with a different set of logic rules than the rest of humanity."

Of course they do.

They also believe that it is possible to have secure encryption that is breakable by themselves, (or their duly appointed representatives) at any time they feel the urge, but not be breakable by any other party.

Secure encryption is a binary choice. It's either secure, or it's not secure. There is no third option.

(Unless you are a politician, in which case tri-state binary somehow becomes possible, and the laws of mathematics no longer apply whenever they happen to be deemed inconvenient.)

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Oh yes...

Which is why you make sure to get it all down in writing and signed off by the customer before work commences.

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word

Morrie Wyatt


They did it to us first!

Quatermass and the Pit. (1967)

'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

Morrie Wyatt
IT Angle

Re: I'm just rebuilding my desktop ...

<Grey Beard>

Actually, CTRL-S is the XOFF terminal control character for VT100 terminals and the like.

</Grey Beard>

Yes, I remember when such things were new and exciting with instant (nearly) responses to your inputs.

(Usually syntax errors.)

The alternative was punch cards and batch processing.

(And they almost invariably included syntax errors too. It just took a lot longer to find out how badly you had stuffed up.)

Burning down the house! Consumer champ Which? probes smart plugs to find a bunch of insecure fire-risk tat

Morrie Wyatt


Kudos for the Catweazel reference.

Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods

Morrie Wyatt
Thumb Up

Re: FCS is not new.

Sounds like you really know where your towel is.

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

Morrie Wyatt

The other issue with Hydrogen.

Hydrogen is only liquid at extremely low cryogenic temperatures 20.28ºK (-353ºC), or at very high pressures.

So hydrogen in an aircraft will be able to destroy it if the tank ruptures, spray all aboard with cryogenic liquid, or go up in flames given oxygen and an ignition source. Kerosene based fuels by contrast are liquid across the range of temperatures experienced during flight without need for pressurisation, and don't transition from liquid to gaseous state anywhere near as easily as hydrogen.

This PDP-11/70 was due to predict an election outcome – but no one could predict it falling over

Morrie Wyatt

Re: The elevator did it

These types of schoolroom explosion go back beyond my father's youth.

(And I have a 14yo grandson.)

Back then it was the gas tap in the chemistry lab. Two holes pinched into an empty coffee tin. Into one was fed a rubber hose from the gas taps (used for bunsen burners) and the other (upper) hole left open.

Turn on the gas, wait a bit then light the gas coming out of the upper hole. Turn off the gas and remove the rubber tube. Stand back and wait until the stoichiometric ratio was reached, then BOOM, off went the lid to the delighted juvenile cackling of the assembled miscreants.

OH&S would be all over such activities these days of course.

Ex-boss of ICANN shifts from 'advisor' to co-CEO of private equity biz that tried to buy .org for $1bn+

Morrie Wyatt

Re: It stinks...

More like Surströmming in an air conditioning duct.

Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar

Morrie Wyatt

A short sharp shock.

They won't do it again. Dig it?

I mean he get off lightly.

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike

Morrie Wyatt

I wonder.

If 16 degrees warrants an e-bike, what would they prescribe for Fargo Street in LA?

(A padded cell perhaps?)

It has a 33 degree grade and runs an annual challenge to see who can make it to the top on self powered wheeled devices.

One fellow "Terry (Unigeezer) Peterson" has beaten the challenge many times. He was 55 the first time he did so back in 2011.

ON A UNICYCLE. Last I heard he is still holds the title as the only person to do so on a unicycle.

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

Morrie Wyatt

Re: ""We said a small prayer, crossed our fingers, booted the server..."

Not at all.

If the small prayer didn't work, they never stood a prayer in the first place.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Morrie Wyatt

Re: We had the inverse issue

His name wasn't Steve Jobs by any chance was it?

It looks like you want a storage appliance for your data centre. Maybe you'd prefer a smart card reader?

Morrie Wyatt


More of the wonderful results from the SEO industry.

Stuff in sufficient keywords and anything you didn't want, with little or no relevance can be pushed to the top of the garbage pile.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Uh ho ...

This one's old enough that it's hardware rather than software testing.

Vinten Communications used to make the radio equipment used by the Victorian Police and other emergency services.

This was back in the days of valves and dangerously high voltages.

They had one wiresman in particular who was absolutely meticulous in his work. Every wire of a particular colour entering one end of the loom would exit at precisely the same position with respect to all of its neighbors. This greatly simplified fault finding. (Debugging wasn't yet a part of the common vernacular.) As such, he was the go to person for all new prototypes.

On day however, a new product was put on the test bench for it's first power on. Unbeknown to the wiresman, his colleagues had got there first.

The prototype was duly turned on, and they watched the blood drain from the poor wiresman's face, as smoke started wafting out of the case.

One worker was hidden away out of sight, and a string of waxed paper drinking straws had been run to an inconspicuous location on the unit under test.

The hidden worker was blowing cigarette smoke through the straws.

However one of the observers broke up laughing, and the ruse was revealed, much to the relief and annoyance of the poor wiresman. The device itself worked flawlessly.

Patently dogged: Apple unleashes lawyers to slash $454m patent rip-off bill – even after Supreme Court snub

Morrie Wyatt

I wonder.

At what point does Apple get declared as a vexatious litigant?

The icon? It's as good an icon for litigation as any, each party screaming to the judge how badly they have been done by.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

Morrie Wyatt

Obvious really.

If you want to survive a career in IT

Avoid Windows.

Surprised nobody mentioned it earlier.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer

Morrie Wyatt

Re: the ozone smell

Indeed. All that was missing was the accompanying KZERT as the sedation was administered.

Damn. No lightning bolt or LART icon when you need one.

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

Morrie Wyatt


Well they were after all on the "B" ark.

Ancient Ore Crusher or KillBot 2000? NASA gets ready to pick a name for its Mars 2020 Rover

Morrie Wyatt

If the El Reg is anything to go by.

Jeph Jaques seems to have an appropriate character to name it after.


Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay

Morrie Wyatt

With penalties like that

You certainly wouldn't want it happening with any frequency.

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights

Morrie Wyatt

Popup notifications?

Google do that to us all the time. They call it Advertising.

Boffins harnessed the brain power of mice to build AI models that can't be fooled

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Douglas Adams was right all along then...

An unbeatable post?

Maybe not.

Not if you are pondering what I am pondering.

"One is a genius, the other's insane." NARF!

Holy smokes! Ex-IT admin gets two years prison for trashing Army chaplains' servers

Morrie Wyatt

He should have known

That he didn't stand a prayer of getting away with it.

Naming your company 101: Probably best not to have the word 'Oracle' anywhere near branding

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Unopposed

Nah. Nothing like Nike.

"Klaatu... verata... Nik 2"

(I'm the one with the saw arm covered in Ash.)

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

Morrie Wyatt

Re: WHAT? Mythbusters

Radios before transistors were valve radios (thermionic valve radios to be more precise). They used a vibrator (no, not that kind) where a solenoid would open the contacts supplying power to its own coil. (A bit like an automotive turn signal flasher can on crystal meth.) The resulting intermittent power would provide pseudo AC power to step-up transformers to generate the necessary high voltages to run the valves. There were no transistors in those radios. Triodes and Pentodes, not transistors.

(The inverter circuitry sometimes had its own box, hidden in the engine bay to keep noise (electrical and acoustic) well away from the radio itself.)

There were portable (a loosely defined term at best) that ran on valves, powered usually from lantern sized dry cell batteries.

Then came the transistor, allowing a radio that was much smaller and ran on far safer voltages.

"Or what did you think they used before silicon?"

Germanium. (Well you did ask.)

Germanium transistors were what you usually found in early transistor radios. Silicon transistors came along later.

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

Morrie Wyatt
Black Helicopters

And of course

They will need to beware of those steampunk Nazis.

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

Morrie Wyatt

Re: Had to be said.


What makes you think it's restricted to the UK?

As I'm not British either, I felt it best to be carefully non-specific.




And just about anything to do with Donald Trump.

It seems to be endemic to the breed anywhere around the world.

(I'm an equal opportunity cynic.)

Morrie Wyatt

Had to be said.

"A phone's GPS accurate to roughly 15 feet, although military GPS devices can be accurate to centimeters. Then there is the fact that tall buildings will often throw a signal off and signals can be impaired by any large, dense object."

So GPS doesn't work for politicians then.