* Posts by Fred Dibnah

464 posts • joined 29 Oct 2008


Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

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Re: Fingers crossed for Saturday

The old spacesuits went stiff as a board when pressurised in a vacuum, which was one reason early spacewalks were so exhausting. I'm sure Gene Cernan and Alexei Leonov would have appreciated one of the modern ones.

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The Right Stuff

What a bunch of snowflakes, letting a little thunderstorm put them off. 50 years ago they just got on with it.


Wanna force granny to take down that family photo from the internet? No problem. Europe's GDPR to the rescue

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Re: Seven years

She can still keep the photo in her phone, computer, or photo album, and can share it with her friends & family by showing it to them. Leaving the photo online for the whole world to see is a whole different level of 'sharing'. IANAL but IMO she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

UK's Ministry of Defence: We'll harvest and anonymise private COVID-19 apps' tracing data by handing it to 'behavioural science' arm

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Re: Quelle Surprise!

Most small companies don't have dedicated IT staff or a contracter to write or customise software for them, so they use standard email clients. They also *have* to be security-focussed and keep to the GDPR, yet they risk sharing email addresses almost every time they send an email.

You could use mail-merge if you know how to set it up. Most people haven't a clue, and even the IT-savvy sometimes have problems with it.

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Re: Quelle Surprise!

Then obviously you don’t have to be concerned about sharing email addresses. Serco & other companies are (or should be) concerned, but having CC as the default copy line makes it inevitable that someone will make a mistake at some point.

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Re: Quelle Surprise!

Yes they’re numpties, but so are the people who write email software that makes CC the default instead of BCC.

Fancy watching 'Bake Off' together with mates and alone at the same time? The BBC's built a tool to do that

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Re: "together even when they are physically apart"

I'd give a you a downvote for the first para (it's nice to watch stuff with friends & family who can't be in the same location, and to be able to make comments like you would if you were together), and a big upvote for the second. So, overall -->

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Re: By requiring Authenticated login for online viewing ...

I can't find the login page on get-iplayer either

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

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Standard procedure for disposal of stale beer.

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

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Re: Why bother?

If a Brazilian plumber came to do a job for which you'd hired a Brazilian electrician, the effect would be quite different :-)

Sky Broadband is not the UK's cheapest, growls ad watchdog

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Re: Disappointingly

A smartphone is a classic example of 'Jack of all trades, master of none'. It does no one job better than a dedicated device can do, it just happens to do lots of things well enough for most people to tolerate its limitations. Horses for courses.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

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Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

If it's USA flavoured Win10, the coffee is going to be watery piss as well.

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Re: What annoys me intensely ...

I was asked to run through some PC setup instructions.

1. Insert CD into drive

2. Turn on PC.

No paper clips were provided. It went downhill from there.

Now we know what the P really stands for in PwC: X-rated ads plastered over derelict corner of accountants' website

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Re: Really?

"...the company could see its reputation suffer from being associated with these shady pages..."

I agree, if I ran a porn company I wouldn't want to have anything to do with PWC.

Ex-Imagination Technologies boss tells UK Foreign Affairs Committee: Britain needs to stop overseas asset stripping

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Re: The Value of the Company

A company exists to make money for its shareholders. FTFY. Stakeholders also include employees and possibly suppliers & customers, but apart from the occasional honourable exception such as Richer Sounds, they don't get much consideration.

'VPs shouldn't go publicly rogue'... XML co-author Tim Bray quits AWS after Amazon fires COVID-19 whistleblowers

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Re: @Lotaresco

In that particular case, yes, although it's well documented that Ford had infiltrated the union in order to undermine it.

The bigger picture is that if employers treated their employees well there would be no need to organise for better working conditions, and trade unions wouldn't exist.

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TL:DR: Trade unions.

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"Do your political work at home, keep work for work activities." Seems a simple enough system to guarantee that you'll get thoroughly shafted by your employer.


UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

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Re: Anyone want to buy a Windows phone?

I want the app to share data using cassettes. I hope they are writing a version for the BBC Micro.

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Re: "please install the app, and use it"

It gets worse. Hancock on BBC breakfast this morning: “If you download the app you are doing your duty and you’re helping save lives" (My italics)

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging

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Re: Price Gouging: the free market libertarian perspective

That's incorrect. The UK did qualify for Marshall Plan aid, and in fact it was the biggest recipient. The problem was that the UK governments were obsessed with trying to appear strong to the USA and the British Empire countries that they pissed most if it away on military hardware.


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Panic buying

Buying extra is entirely rational, given the lack of reliable and consistent information from the government until very recently. This article shows the real culprits are:


But bog roll? If there's one item you really can do without, it's that.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

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Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

Wrong. In the 18th/19th centuries pink/red was associated with maleness. It’s where ‘hunting pink’ comes from.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

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Re: Florida man...

I thought this 'Florida Man' thing was funny too, until I listened to a Citations Needed podcast on the subject. They explained that Florida has the worst provision for mental health in the USA, and that most of the reports fail to mention that invariably the Man in question has mental / alcohol / controlled drug issues. It seems to me that every society has to have a group of people to laugh at. I suppose it makes people feel better about themselves, knowing that others are worse off than them.

Pass my anorak please, it's the one with Grumpy Old Fart on the back.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

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Re: Another thing...

As you say, the NHS has been underfunded, stripped bare, and forced to cut services, by the government. Therefore it is the government who is ultimately to blame for your friend's sad situation.

Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities? Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more

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Re: In other news

Thanks! I did search in all the usual places but I was getting nowhere before I asked, honest guv.

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Re: In other news

What is the book's title, please?

Fred Dibnah Silver badge

Chicken farmers will get swept up in that net as well.

Mine's the hippy 60's one with feathers round the collar.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

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Re: Wear face protection?

It's a way of weeding out the pro-imperial measure nutters. They won't use any of those filthy foreign French metres, and insist on keeping apart by 2 of our brave victorious Great British yards.

Upstart Americans brandish alligators at the almighty Reg Standards Soviet

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You'll struggle to get an Osman, too. I expect he/it is in high demand, being carried round by plods to measure inter-person spacing up and down the length* and breadth* of the country.

* also measured in Osmans?

Who's essential right now? Medicos, of course. Food producers, natch. And in Singapore social media workers have made the list

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Re: While here in the states

At least some countries have got their priorities right.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

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Re: 'mobiles off at night'

I sleep in the same bed as one of those people. In the end she had a choice: turn the bloody thing off or I'll throw it out of the window. She chose option one.

UK judge gives Google a choice: Either let SEO expert read your ranking algos or withdraw High Court evidence

Fred Dibnah Silver badge

Re: Hobson's choice

"...there must be people who used to work on Google algorithms but don't anymore, and those people would already have the special SEO insight that Google claims that they're worried about."

Almost certainly they also have the special non-disclosure agreement that Google 'asked' them to sign when they left.

Zoom vows to spend next 90 days thinking hard about its security and privacy after rough week, meeting ID war-dialing tool emerges

Fred Dibnah Silver badge

Re: Er, family. Contrary to popular belief I wasn't hewn from rock.

+1 for Molesworth.

Amazon says it fired a guy for breaking pandemic rules. Same guy who organized a staff protest over a lack of coronavirus protection

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Re: not believe unions are in the best interest of our customers or shareholders

"nowhere are "employees" mentioned."

Is 'associate' their word for 'employee'?

But otherwise, yes, agreed.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

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Re: Huge opportunity

I singled out the Tories because, well, it was a Tory (Gove) who said what I quoted. I can't think of another UK government in living memory who said anything along the same lines, but I'd be happy to be corrected.

I'm not old enough to recall what the priests said.

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Re: Huge opportunity

After years of hearing the Tories saying rubbish like "people in this country have had enough of experts", is it any wonder that some of them are doing exactly that?

Fred Dibnah Silver badge

Re: Naomi Klein

For people who prefer the video format over the written word, she also made an excellent documentary:


Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

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Re: Windows Server 2000

And NT4. I worked for a firm that had hundreds of PCs running it, and they were all rebooted every 42 days.

Who's going to pay for Britain's Aunty Beeb to carry on? Broadband users, broadcaster suggests to government

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Re: April Fool

I don't know how you established that 'most folks' feel the same way as you. I don't like the BBC's news operation and the light entertainment isn't of interest to me, but the documentary and children's output is second to none. Plus, where on Netflix can I sign up for multiple local, national, and international radio services with no commercials?

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

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Golf on the moon

Apollo 14.

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Checks calendar.....

....that is all.

But I'd love it to be true!

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

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Re: Delivery drones of the future...

A great idea, and a better alternative than having the noise of angry wasps all around.

Cops charge prankster who 'corona-coughed' on aged officer and had it filmed

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Re: Idiot

Quarantining him in a cell, alone in the closed police station, for a week would have been effective.

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88

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Re: Sad news

To pass the time you could teach them how to use a slide rule...

Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home

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Re: You are *working* from home

"No that does not mean..."

For me it means *all* those things. I get the 'work' done eventually, my employer is happy. I've been doing it for 20 years, and I can get far more done without the distractions of an open plan office. At the start it was laptop on the kitchen table with modem lead trailing across the floor (and having to disconnect the VPN every time my partner wanted to use the phone). Now I'm fortunate to have a separate office with all the comforts, but I wonder how some people will cope long term if they don't have the space to separate themselves from the rest of the house/flat.

I also learned ages ago to set a 20 minute 'get up, walk about, and have a drink of water' timer.

It works for me, YMMV.

BT's Wi-Fi Disc ads banned because there's no evidence the things work

Fred Dibnah Silver badge

Re: What is best for a house on three levels?

Although the speed in Mb/s might appear to be unaffected, inserting a repeater will halve your data throughput because each wireless frame now has to be sent twice (Host --> repeater, then repeater --> AP, and vice versa).

FWIW I have an Edwardian house with three floors and all the walls are brick. Wifi comes from a UniFi ac LR (Long Range) AP, high up on the wall in the kitchen, roughly in the centre of the house. With just that single AP I get very good coverage and speeds on all floors and in the garden. 5G connections only work on the ground floor, but that's reasonable. I went for the extra antenna gain of the LR version because it was only a few pounds more.

YMMV of course.

European electric vehicle sales surged in Q4 2019 but only accounted for wafer-thin slice of total car purchases

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Re: Real low cost electric cars

I am not a number, I’m a free man!

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Re: Vehicle cost is a barrier to entry for the majority

"Currently there's a 'sin tax' on ICE, ie the more fuel you use, the more duty/VAT you pay, but there's no equivalent for EVs."

Although there's no fuel duty on EVs (yet), the more miles you drive the more electricity you buy. The cost includes VAT so there is an equivalence, but at a lower tax rate.



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