* Posts by SonofRojBlake

208 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Oct 2008


Scientists suggest possible solution to space-induced bone loss


Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

"How else do you explain the ruthless efficiency?"

The same way I explain the fear, surprise, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope and the nice red uniforms.


Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

Or ONE habitat and a longer tether, with the much-lower-mass counterweight further out. The counterweight could literally just be the little engine that generates the spin.


Slippery Jim was a regular character in 2000AD in my youth...

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure


Re: Bolted Horses

I can access those things via my Roku box yes... but I can't skip the ads like I can on a recorded version of the show. This is particularly egregious when in an ad break for Taskmaster I get to see the same advert for a Samsung phone SIX TIMES IN A ROW IN THE SAME AD BREAK. Sometimes recorded is just better. Also, once I've got it recorded, I've GOT IT. It won't suddenly evaporate at the whim of the broadcaster if someone who appears in it has some allegations of dodgy behaviour 15 years ago pop up (just to pick a topical example).


Re: Bolted Horses

Well, yes, that's another thing that keeps people using a Sky box - actually wanting the channels that Sky broadcast. Silly me, I thought that went without saying.


Re: Bolted Horses

Sky+ subscribers are paying for access to channels, not the ability to record them.

If you want the ability to record the free channels, but have no interest in the Sky exclusive ones, there's a box for that. Literally just one box, two sizes of hard drive, but that's it. Tis good though - all the features of Sky+ (pause and rewind live TV, record two channels at once, record a whole series automatically and so on) for a single one off payment. "Freesat recorder", get yours at Argos, any time you like.

What keeps people using the Sky+ box is, I think, a combination of ignorance (not realising there's an alternaitve) and apathy (it's "only" £40/month or whatever). As soon as I found out I didn't need a Sky box to do all those things, mine was GONE. The only channel I missed was Sky Atlantic, and that was only worth watching for a fairly short period when they were commissioning original comedy. (If you haven't seen "This Is Jinsy"... give it a go.)

Thumb Up

Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.


I think this is the single best joke I've ever seen in El Reg.

It's up there with "Super Cali Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious".


Authors Guild sues OpenAI for using Game of Thrones and other novels to train ChatGPT


"If AI can write you a story as good as the authors can, why pay the authors?"

The outrage here is that the machines are no longer coming for the jobs of the working class who toil and sweat and use their hands. Now they're coming for the comfortable middle class who've got (to quote Pratchett) an indoor job with no heavy lifting. And I think the aforementioned working class aren't going to be brimming with sympathy for the keyboard jockeys who see their livelihood going the way the coal mines went in the 80s.

They're not coming for the GOOD ones - not yet. So far the only ones they can actually replace are the derivative hacks... but most authors, even the good ones, start out as somewhat derivative until they find their voice. Pratchett's "Strata" was a transparent parody of Niven's "Ringworld", and clearly a sort of practice run at a Discworld. And even the biggest Pratchett fan will admit it's not as good as most of what followed (I happen to love it for what it is.)

But I think if someone were able to synthesise a new Culture novel (not a parody, not a reboot, an actual new Culture novel)... I think I'd want it. I'd dearly like IMB back, but if a LLM (with help, presumably, from someone with the right prompts) could make more work that is aesthetically equal to what already exists... why wouldn't you want it? Just out of principle?

Greater Manchester Police ransomware attack another classic demo of supply chain challenges


"we are not being told the name of the breached supplier."

Sunak Braverman Data Systems.

Or might as well be.

Techie labelled 'disgusting filth merchant' by disgusting hypocrite


"Ogden was the startup's first tech hire and after a few years on the job found himself leading a team comprising eight developers, a pair of sysadmins, an IT manager, and the customer support team"

I feel like this doesn't add up. Mainly because I remember those businesses selling ringtones, wallpapers etc. to people to tech-unsavvy to simply generate them themselves - and that business model seemed only to be a viable thing for about two years at the absolute outside.

Am I just remembering wrong? Were people really PAYING for low-resolution background images for their phones for "a few years"?

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard


More reasons, if I needed them, to stick to petrol for as long as feasible. It's like they're trying to disincentivise going electric.

Dutch consumer groups sue Google over its entire business model


Re: Illness

I assume my TV has been building an ad profile for me... very badly.

I stream content from Channel 4. It's interspersed with adverts I can't skip (although I can mute them...). I have noticed two very specific things about these adverts:

1. their supposed targeting is absolutely baffling. Example: I am bombarded with ads for Coutts, the Top Person's bank, a place I'm given to understand requires customers to have a current account balance over three million quid before they'll even be considered worth having on the books. Why this company is advertising to my broke ass is beyond me. In fact, why this company is advertising AT ALL is beyond me. I don't think I've ever in my life seen a TV ad for Lamborghinis or Patek Phillipe watches - I've always assumed that people in the market for such things will find out about them by other means. So why are bankers to royalty slumming it in the ad breaks in Taskmaster?

2. The ads repeat. I don't mean that I'll see the same ad several times in the same night. I don't even mean I'll see the same ad several times in the same show (three ad breaks in Taskmaster, and I'd not comment or notice, probably, if the same ad was in each break). No, I mean I'll see the same ad repeated several times in the SAME AD BREAK. The record, so far, was an ad shot like a horror movie with a whole bunch of young, pretty people pushing Samsung's latest pholdy phone. When the ad break started, I look down from the TV to my (not-a-Samsung) phone, but didn't bother to mute. I looked back up when, at the end of the ad, the exact same ad started again. "Huh", I thought, and looked back down again, assuming there was some kind of cute "spot the difference" gimmick going on that I had no interest in. Then back up, when the ad started for a third time. And a fourth. And a fifth. There was no gimmick - Ch4 were just showing me the same ad five times in a row.

There were six advertisements in that ad break - and five of them were the same ad, over and over and over and over and over again. I can't imagine that's what the people placing the ad actually want, is it?

Intel NUCs find fresh life in Asus, but rights are 'non-exclusive'


Re: Noisy fans

Yeah, fair enough. I wasn't thinking of applications where the small size was vital, more the sort of hobbyist who's running the thing for pleasure on a desktop with plenty of room.


Re: Noisy fans

You would indeed need to replace it periodically. But I need to replace the water in the water dispenser in my fridge periodically. It's not that onerous.

If I were designing a liquid cooling system for e.g. something that had to be somewhere sensitive, then there would be a number of things I'd do. I'd limit the inventory of cooling fluid to minimise the consequences if it leaked. I might use something like glycol to give me a lower freezing point. I'd run it through tiny labyrinthine pipes and circulate it to maximise transfer, and when the hot side got back to the reservoir, I'd actively cool it with some kind of refrigerant setup, because with limited inventory you'd need to shed the heat to the air quickly before reusing it. I've more or less described a domestic fridge, there.


If I were designing a cooling setup for something I'm just using casually at home, my model would not be the fridge, it would be the sink full of ice water I use to cool beer cans.

For device cooling, step one is make the device heat sink long enough (150mm?) and heat conductive enough that the device and sit on one side of a reservoir lid and dip through it into the cooling medium, which is just tapwater, with optional ice. With an essentially unlimited inventory (a five litre tank wouldn't be terribly inconvenient to have on your desk) there's a HUGE capacity for absorbing heat there. Little tap on it to drain it off when it's hot, funnel at the opposite corner for topping it up from a jug, largish lidded opening for adding ice-cubes. You might top it up once a day? Convection alone would probably be enough but if not a tiny stirrer just to get the water moving would do. Little cheap instrument sitting on top to alert you if the temp gets too high. Can't see the whole setup costing more than £50 retail. That said, can't see many domestic customers for it either - it's slightly more faff than just switching your PC on and going, and slightly more faff = no interest, I suspect.

I lack the expertise to know if anyone cares enough about cooling Pi's and similar to make something like this interesting enough to produce. Anyone?


Re: Noisy fans

I can understand keeping your Pi away from water, but... does nobody cool their PC with liquid? Is it really that hard?

I'm picturing a Pi (or NUC) that's a 4" x 4" square box... but poking out of the top of it is an aluminium rod of a standardised diameter. This is the heat sink. All you need to do is dip it in cold water. A glass would do, a nicely designed tray with a good strong lid with a hole for the heat sink to poke through would be better. Chuck in a few ice cubes and you're getting way better heat transfer than you'd get from ambient air. Is this done?

(as in, is this done simply and cheaply in rigs costing less than thousands? I know top end gaming rigs get liquid cooled, I meant something simpler.)

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically


Mid 90s. Early in my career as a chemical engineer, so my memory of details is hazy. Had a job to do monitoring the organic chemical emissions to air of some plant or other. Had a whizzy bit of kit to log the emissions: a flame ionisation detector, which would output an electrical signal, and a datalogger in the shape of a Psion Organiser 2 - the big chunky calculator one, not the cute microlaptop Organiser 3. There was, IIRC, some kind of interface thingy on the top, and we were supplied some cableage to connect the two devices. Again, IIRC one of the plugs was an old 9 pin D plug like an Atari joystick. And the same connector was used for a power supply...

Long story short, it was physically possibly to connect that up incorrectly. Which of course at some point I did. And at that point the magic blue smoke started coming out of the Organiser. So I didn't do any monitoring that day. The organiser and the cables went back to the supplier, and were returned, free of charge I think, with some of the pins snapped off one of the plugs and some of the holes glued up on the socket... making plugging the wrong thing in there physically impossible. An elegant solution, and just a shame they hadn't foreseen the possibility before handing the thing to a wet-behind-the-ears numpty like myself.

PEBCAK problem transformed young techie into grizzled cynical sysadmin


Re: Obligatory PTerry corollary

There's a million to one chance of this happening to any given user today.

We have 20 million users.

We're going to need a bigger boat helpdesk.

US AGs: We need law to purge the web of AI-drawn child sex abuse material


Politicians and evidence

Politicians are interested in evidence with regard to their policies.

Unfortunately, their interest is not : "Does the evidence show that the policy will work?"

Their interest is : "Does the evidence show that bringing in this policy will mean people will vote for me?"

And in fairness, that's a rational choice for them.

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones


Cloud of subsonic drones designed to get themselves ingested into the engine of oncoming enemy vehicles, that's what you need.


Re: When did they become Drones?

It's been answered already, but I'll chuck in my 2p-worth - years ago I flew paragliders. There were a few guys who'd turn up to the same hill(s) to fly RC gliders. One night after all the wind had dropped and we'd all walked back to the car park, one of them pulled one of these newfangled "drone" thingies out of his boot and wazzed it up and down and around for a bit. It was impressive. He'd built it himself out of 3d printed parts and bits he'd bought off the net. I think an Arduino was involved. I asked him how hard it was to fly. His reply was succinct: "I'm not flying it. I'm just telling it where to go. It flies itself." He demonstrated by putting the controller on the ground. The drone hovered dutifully where he'd left it. We carried on chatting for a few minutes, him ignoring the thing, me giving it more and more frequent nervous glances. After a few more minutes, it flew back over to the car park and landed next to his car. He'd never touched the controller. Apparently he'd programmed it to fly back to its launch point when the battery was getting low. That would have been ten years ago.

They became drones when you could take them out of the box and IMMEDIATELY, with no training, make them hover and fly to anywhere you want with no training or practice. It's like the difference between driving a car and having chauffeur.


"well below"

Understatement alert:

"each one costing around $3 million – well below the price of crewed fighter jets like the F-35 or F-22".

Well, yes, accurate, but in the same way it's accurate to say that the height of my original Kenner Yoda action figure (about 6cm) is "well below" my own height (six foot in my socks). For the price of an F-22 you could buy nearly FIFTY of these things.

TV and film extras fear generative AI will copy their faces and bodies to take their jobs


They spoke to NPR this week about it, but when did the scanning happen? Because if it happened any time recently, these people are scabs, aren't they?

Also, echoing the comment of "why bother?" - surely by definition a background extra doesn't need to have an actual existing person's face, any more than any computer game character has to. Just slap a generic face on a generic body and move on.

Aliens crash landed on Earth – and Uncle Sam is covering it up, this guy tells Congress


Re: Not impossible, just ludicrously unlikely

Iain M Banks, WITH the M, wrote a Culture short story that gave its title to his short story collection. It's about this very thing, and its title is "The State Of The Art".


Re: Not impossible, just ludicrously unlikely

Iain Banks (bafflingly no M in this one) had a good idea in "Transition": tourism. Specifically this: it is ludicrously unlikely that a planet has life. It is more unlikely that it has complex life. It is more unlikely that it has intelligent life. We tick all those boxes. But we tick another box: our planet, possibly uniquely in the entire galaxy, has a sun and moon that, temporarily but right now, subtend precisely the same angle when viewed from the surface. Thus, total solar eclipses are possible. This very well may be the only planet in the entire Milky Way where this is so. Thus: if you want to find visiting aliens, don't look in remote woodlands, don't look in secretive airbases... look on chartered yachts floating in the path of total eclipses, yachts whose charterers's cars have suspiciously darkened windows...

A room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor? Take a closer look



If all the conductors in a desktop/laptop were able to be replaced with SUPERconductors, what would that mean?

Is the current in use low enough that the current density isn't an issue? Would it run stone cold and not need cooling? Would it run faster? Would it run longer on a battery charge? Not an electrical engineer, but want to know...

Funnily enough, AI models must follow privacy law – including right to be forgotten


Re: It won't stand up in court.

"An AI can no more unlearn a component part of its 'education' than a human being can"

The difference is that if a human learns something as part of their education that they're not supposed to know - that it's ILLEGAL for them to know - then there are certain ethical problems inherent in simply deleting that instance of Homo Sapiens and starting again from scratch with a new one. There is absolutely no ethical reason not to simply destroy the offending AI and retrain it on a compliant learning dataset... and to have to do that every time something non-compliant is found in that dataset. Oh, it's time consuming and expensive? Tough shit Mr. LLM operator, perhaps you'd prefer a job in a coffee shop.


It's not really like that though is it? LLM operators could comply with the law in more than one way. Sure, they could simply shut up shop entirely, but the law doesn't require them to do that at all. It does require them to ensure that training data doesn't include [$certain data]. That's far from impossible, it's just time consuming and expensive, to which their response is "we can't possibly do that, it would affect our business", to which the correct response is "tough shit".


""The Right to be Forgotten may very well be a well-intentioned regulatory protection, and many would argue that it is an important right to be protected. However, there is a clear disconnect here between law and technical reality.""

"Technical reality" is a very slanted way of describing a tool someone(s) designed and built.

This is NOT a case of "well the law says the land can't go more than 500 feet above the sea, but look, there's a mountain". It's a case of "the law says a building can't go more than 500 feet above this street, but we, y'know, built one anyway. Deal with it."

The arrogance is staggering.

Almost all classic US video games 'critically endangered'


Not wishing to defend them but...

I can see why they might want to hold on to the rights. Nobody predicted, in e.g. 1982, that within 30 years there'd be (a) widely available emulation (b) widely available reproduction controllers and (c) mobile as a platform for games, which would lend itself to the short, ephemeral experiences common in early 80s arcade games. So games that might have laid fallow for decades are suddenly marketable again. And who's to say when their time will come?

Artificial General Intelligence remains a distant dream despite LLM boom


"there's still no evidence it's actually a good lawyer"

Not yet. There IS evidence that actual lawyers are using its advice in the courtroom, though. It's not gone well, I'll grant you, but again, the machines are not getting worse, and the domains in which they are operating at human-level and above are NOT becoming fewer or simpler.

We are, however, it seems to me, rapidly coming to understand (in a way we didn't 50-60 years ago) which domains are actually hard, and which just used to seem that way. Once, it was just adding up. Then, it was playing chess. When Deep Blue beat Kasparov, I read someone who should have known better saying Go was so much more complicated that a Deep Blue for Go was decades away. Now we have chatbots that seem (to some) human.

What we don't have is a self-driving car, or a robot that can walk round my house and pick up the clothes my kids have left around the place and put them in the washing machine - tasks that seem trivial.


""The idea that correlation is sufficient, that it gives you some kind of meaningful causal structure, is not true.""

It's also not relevant, for two reasons.

First, and most importantly, we don't have any meaningful causal structure that explains how WE are conscious and intelligent (and by that "we" I mean the 0.000001% of humanity I have any reason to consider conscious and intelligent). Nobody, not any of these philosophers or neuroscientists or "experts" can tell me HOW my own brain produces what I perceive as my own consciousness, so "causal structure" is absent for humans. Just saying "brains done it" isn't an answer.

Second, I don't need a causal structure or any understanding of WHY something works to build something that DOES work. The distinction has been pointed out between science and engineering - and AGI doesn't need to be the product of science. Yes, boffins, by all means sit around for the next 200 years discussing why brains do what they do and what it all means. But don't expect the engineers to wait for you to come to some sort of conclusion before they build a machine that behaves to all intents and purposes with human-level intelligence, because they don't need to.

Chess is the perfect example: we still don't really know IN DETAIL the mechanics of how Magnus Carlsen analyses a chess game. Sure you can spout platitudes about pattern recognition and so on, but how does his actual brain do that? We don't have any idea. And nobody NEEDS any idea to build a machine that can beat him. Rinse and repeat for Go, and the bar exam. The machines are getting smarter faster than the world is getting more complicated.

Most importantly, while there's no accepted definition for what NATURAL general intelligence really is, that doesn't matter either. All people care about is "does this tool work?". Right now, the tools don't work in a whole host of applications. But they're only going one way.

Former Twitter employees accuse it of holding up 891 arbitrations


Query: why compel arbitration?

My (very poor) understanding is that companies put these clauses in their contracts to compel employees with grievances to use a private arbitration service rather than taking the company to an actual court. I assume this is because, assuming you only dump a couple of employees a week or so, arbitration is cheaper (and more likely to favour the company paying the bills) than a court.

But if the company that insisted on arbitration is backing away from paying it - why try to force it? Why not say "Oh, you don't want the private arbitration? Court it is then."? Surely any employee walking into court with a grievance is on much stronger ground if their opening statement is along the lines of "I tried to address this issue via the company-contract-mandated arbitration scheme, but they welched on that, so here we are."

Is there ANYONE left at Twitter with any sense, or have I misunderstood something wildly?

California man's business is frustrating telemarketing scammers with chatbots


My favoured response, once they've finished their preamble, is to simply say "What are you wearing?".

The first time I tried this, in a sad indictment of the state of our society, the lady on the other end clearly knew exactly where I was going with that and immediately hung up.

The second time, the lady with the VERY nice voice said "what do you mean?", to which I had to reply, in the creepiest voice I could manage, "what sort of CLOTHES have you got on?". She caught on, and hung up.

The third time, the question came back "Why do you need to know what I'm wearing?", so I replied "How am I supposed to masturbate to the sound of your voice if I can't picture you while I'm doing it?". Well, Register readers, he did NOT like that. He swore at my quite a bit, then hung up.

Not a method that works if you're a lady, I think, but I recommend it to all blokes - scam calls seemed to dry up almost completely after the third one. I must be on a list. Perhaps a register.

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111


That's precisely the problem our paragliding safety cards were intended to address - 999 operators being obtuse when you're somewhere other than directly on a road where they can send a road ambulance.



(Mind you, I've just tested this, and on a Huawei P30 lite it was showing me over 450m away from my actual location. GPS isn't magic...)


What's bloody nonsense?

See, you're assuming the thing you're replying to means one thing ("I wanted to give them my location using W3W") when in fact I'd bet folding money that it means something very different: "THEY wanted ME to give THEM my location using W3W, despite my regarding it as a farce".

I might also point out that the sort of person who's summoning cave rescue is likely to be the sort of person who is perfectly well aware of how to give a grid reference. You're not taking into account the reception you get when you dial 999 and ask for something odd.

Related anecdote: we paragliders regrettably reasonably frequently require air ambulances. A decade back - before W3W existed - flyers in the North West found they were having trouble summoning help, because (a) they weren't necessarily connected to an operator from their region, so saying "the summit of Parlick " was no use, because the person asking for the location might not even know where bloody Preston is, let alone a specific hill and (b) they really, REALLY wanted you to give them a postcode because they REALLY wanted to send you a road ambulance. We had multiple reports of operators insisting on a postcode, apparently oblivious to the fact that in some areas a postcode can be several miles across and in any case no road ambulance can get to where you are.

As a result, on the advice of a local pilot who was also a firefighter and therefore knew some of the issues, and having reached out to the air ambulance service directly, we established that yes, what *they* really want is an OS grid reference. We therefore printed up a few hundred laminated creditcard sized safety cards. On one side, there was a simple five step process in the event of a crash, including a VERY SPECIFIC form of words that we established would get the 999 operator off their script and tasking a heli asap. On the other side were the OS grid refs of the six most commonly used local launch sites.

What 3 Words is a good idea implemented badly and not something you'd want to have to rely on. Which makes it a perfect partner for Land Rovers, into which (I recently learned) it's been integrated. Hilarious.

Hacking a Foosball table scored an own goal for naughty engineers


" (also called table soccer or foosball)" - but only by barbarians.

In Oakland Halls at Salford University in 1987 there was a Rygar machine. It didn't take long for students to realise there was a spot halfway down the right hand side of the cabinet which, if thumped in just the right way (in an Arthur Fonzarelli stylee) would produce a credit. Never found out why that worked. Can't imagine they took many coins out of it.

Mummy and Daddy Musk think Elon's cage fight against Zuck is a terrible idea


Re: You couldn't make this sort of thing up!

I'm still slightly boggled by the fact that that dickhead was Jon Favreau. Director of Iron Man. Happy Hogan. Creator of the Mandalorian. That guy.


I am emphatically NOT a Musk fanboy.

Look at the stats:

Musk is over six feet tall. Zuck is five seven.

Musk weighs pushing ninety kg. Zuck weighs more like seventy.

What this means is Zuck might be able to get his weight down to lightweight from superlightweight if he needed to, while Musk would be trying to get DOWN to super middleweight from light heavyweight.

More clearly, they are AT LEAST FOUR weight divisions apart, possibly more.

Anyone who's done anything like a "real" combat sport knows that height, weight and strength are more important than skill. Combat sports have weight divisions for a reason.

The concept isn't quite as ludicrous as the fight scene in Mission Impossible: Can't Remember Which One It Was where Henry Cavill (1.85m, 95kg) had to act like he was having trouble fighting Tom Cruise (1.7m. 77kg) - but it's close. If someone's six inches taller than you and 17kg heavier, you'd better be Connor McGregor and they'd better be Ricky Gervais.

Forget these apps and AI, where's my flying car? Ah, here's one with an FAA license


Pilot's license needs to not be an issue - fully certified self-flying has to be implemented. That includes being able to VISUALLY see and avoid other air traffic - not detect their transponder, because not all legal air traffic carries one (I didn't carry one when I flew sixty miles out of Derbyshire to south of Grantham, for instance). If they're not self-flying, they're just a cheap, slightly more convenient alternative to a Piper Cub or whatever.

Watchdog calls for automatic braking to be standard in cars


Re: "virtually all light vehicles of 10,000 pounds or under"

I might add - if you accept the outdated weight unit, ten thousand pounds is over four times the kerb weight of a Dacia Sandero. Only in America would this seem "light".


"virtually all light vehicles of 10,000 pounds or under"

The cheapest Dacia Sandero costs over twelve thousand pounds. It would be more sensible to mandate it's use in all cars weighing less than, say, 4,000kg.

US Air Force AI drone 'killed operator, attacked comms towers in simulation'


"the mistakes made by the drone in simulation"

The drone didn't make any mistakes. It killed its biggest obstacle to successfully completing the mission it had been given. That's not a "mistake", that's a win.

Will LLMs take your job? Only if you let them


Re: In The Long Run.......

I think you meant...

"Cardboard box? You were lucky. We lived in a paper bag in a septic tank."


Re: In The Long Run.......

There were undred and fifty of us livin in't shoebox in't middle o't road.

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


Re: Clothing corallary

So much this. I found a good wallet in Asda in Leicester in 1995. I bought, I think, five of them. I'm on the third, and expect to have enough to last me the rest of my life.

Rigorous dev courageously lied about exec's NSFW printouts – and survived long enough to quit with dignity


Re: Bit puzzled for a moment

"I vaguely recall an ascii art poster, I think, of a reclining Raquel Welch."

I remember that! I first saw that no later than 1978, when I was at primary school... cheers for the Proustian rush...

Owner of 'magic spreadsheet' tried to stay in the Lotus position until forced to Excel


Re: Spreadsheets for Dummies /s

I used to work for a Japanese company, and my colleagues from there used Excel all the time. Engineering calculation to do? Excel. Financial calculation to do? Excel.

Letter to write? Excel.

Presentation slide to prepare? Excel.

Gannt chart for a multimillion pound chemical plant installation to prepare? Excel.

Not that they didn't have correct Office tools for all these things - they just all used Excel. Baffling.

UK watchdog blocks Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition


Seven thumbs down for asking what I thought was a reasonable question - harsh.

Thanks for the answer, though - that makes sense.


Like many others here, I'm baffled why Microsoft or Activision should give a monkey's what the CMA says or does.

Can someone explain why, in response to a "you can't merge" order, they don't just say "watch us"?