* Posts by Fred Dibnah

651 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Oct 2008


UK civil servants – hopefully including those spending billions on tech – to skill up in STEM

Fred Dibnah

Don’t you know what the S in STEM stands for?

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster

Fred Dibnah

Keep drinking the covfefe.

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

Fred Dibnah

Re: The Russians?


Fred Dibnah

Re: Blame the Frogs

You wrote ‘rouge’ instead of rogue, so we can safely assume you are a French infiltrator to this glorious island of Great Brexit.

NASA still serious about astronauts living it up on Moon space station in 2028

Fred Dibnah

For UK readers

Gateway, soon to be renamed to Somerfield.

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim

Fred Dibnah

Re: Risk tolerance

My car has 'smart' cruise control which works well on motorways etc., but it behaves like a learner driver when coming up behind a slower vehicle. It brakes smoothly but far, far later than I would, so I usually hit the brakes long before the car has reacted.

A friend has a similar system in his car and he uses it on all types of roads, which is terrifying.

Cumbrian Police accidentally publish all officers' details online

Fred Dibnah

Keeping salaries private between the company and each employee gives all the power to the employer. It allows them to underpay people who are not strong negotiators and/or not friends with their boss, and unless those people are willing (and able) to up sticks and move employer, they may never know they are underpaid.

I think it's a generational thing - in my (boomer) generation hardly anyone is prepared to say what they earn, whereas my kids' generation are quite open about it.

Fred Dibnah

OK I'll rephrase it:

If someone ‘deservedly gets paid more’ the onus would be on the employer to demonstrate to everyone else why they were more deserving.

Fred Dibnah

If someone ‘deservedly gets paid more’ the onus would be on the employer to demonstrate why they were more deserving. As I said earlier, without transparency the employer can reward people based on criteria which have nothing to do with ability or performance.

I suggested that salaries are visible only within the company, not because I see a problem with transparency but because that’s where direct comparison is most relevant. Pay across companies and sectors could also be compared with anonymised data.

Fred Dibnah

I’ve always thought all the salaries of a company’s employees should by law be visible to everyone within that company (and nowhere else). At the moment only the employer has the full picture.

As you discovered, it would highlight discrepancies and would discourage the employer from treating one person better than another based on sex, race, old school, or whether they are/are not golf buddies.

Cruise self-driving taxi gets wheels stuck in wet cement

Fred Dibnah

Re: "We apologize to those who were impacted"

Stop running them down.

Orkney islands look to drones to streamline mail deliveries

Fred Dibnah

I call greenwashing on this.

"Using a fully electric drone supports Royal Mail's continued drive to reduce emissions associated with our operations, whilst connecting the island communities we deliver to."

"By leveraging drone technology, we are revolutionising mail services in remote communities, providing more efficient and timely delivery, and helping to reduce the requirement for emissions-producing vehicles."

So instead of piggybacking onto the existing ferry services which will continue to run, they are setting up a completely separate means of transporting letters and parcels. This isn't about "reducing emissions", it's about money.

Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable

Fred Dibnah

Re: Poor design in my opinion

I’m not sure I’d want to brag that I’d spent £10k on an interconnect! It brings this to mind:


It’s interesting to note that studios use good quality cables, but eschew the magic earthing boxes & other nonsense so beloved in the hi-fi world.

Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?

Fred Dibnah

Four Yorkshiremen

W500? Pah. Mine’s a T400 running Mint 21 XFCE, plus a T60 as a backup :-)

Dyson moans about state of UK science and tech, forgets to suck up his own mess

Fred Dibnah

Re: With two-faced "friends" like Dyson, Britain doesn't need enemies

Alice Roberts would get my vote.

Fred Dibnah

Re: With two-faced "friends" like Dyson, Britain doesn't need enemies

There would also be other, better, candidates. Whoever stood, one major advantage of any of them them over Charlie 3 would be that we, the people, would get to pick the winner every few years.

Boffins think they've decoded mysterious 819-day Mayan calendar

Fred Dibnah

Re: "and have yet to return to a sense of normalcy"

I prefer normality to normalcy, one of the few times where English English uses a shorter word than American English.

SpaceX's second attempt at orbital Starship launch ends in fireball

Fred Dibnah

Re: Today's SpaceX Success

All the points you make are true.

However, the obvious comparison to this is Saturn V, and a search for 'Saturn V failure' only brings up results of 'The Day the Saturn V Almost Failed: 50 Years Since Apollo 6' and similar.

The Saturn engineers were surely no smarter than SpaceX's, so what is the reason for the difference in results?

I'm in my 60s so I admit a bias towards the old stuff that, you know, went to the moon and all that.

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records

Fred Dibnah

Re: Sshhhhh!!!!!

Life expectancy from birth has fallen slightly in recent years for men, and is static for women. Another source:


“Life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2018 to 2020 was 79.0 years for males and 82.9 years for females; this represents a fall of 7.0 weeks for males and almost no change for females (a slight increase of 0.5 weeks) from the latest non-overlapping period of 2015 to 2017.”

Fred Dibnah

Re: Sshhhhh!!!!!

So the neoliberal paradises of the USA & UK have static or falling life expectancy, whilst in the socialist paradises of Western Europe (ex UK) it continues to rise. I wonder why that is?

Microsoft promises it's made Teams less confusing and resource hungry

Fred Dibnah

Re: Teams fucks computers

Aquascutum, Thatcher's outfit of choice.

Random pub quiz fact.

Fred Dibnah

You could run two different browsers, or one tab in a private window. On FF you could run separate container tabs.

These are just my suggestions and YMMV. My main suggestion would be to avoid Teams wherever possible.

The most bizarre online replacement items in your delivered shopping?

Fred Dibnah

This is just the online version of going to Aldi to buy some milk, and returning with a socket set and a wetsuit (and no milk).

Acer pedals into e-cycle market with AI and big data in its basket

Fred Dibnah

Re: Is it road legal...

250W is legal in the UK, although you can have higher power if it's not used on the road.

Bromley is what :-)

UK watchdog still not ruled on Openreach wholesale fiber discounts

Fred Dibnah

Walmart had (has?) a policy of bringing prices down in towns across the USA, then once all the smaller opposition had gone bust it raised its prices again. Is that what you want from Openreach?

Reg fashion: Here's what the well-dressed astronaut will wear on the Moon in 2025

Fred Dibnah

Re: Why?

Shirley they are space suits with moon boots? After all, the boots are the only bit that touches the moon (hopefully).

Hubble images photobombed by space hardware on the up

Fred Dibnah

Re: Doubling of sat streaks

Damn you, 007.

Ubuntu Advantage is being wired deeper into the distro

Fred Dibnah

If Mint doesn't strip it out, there's always Mint Debian Edition.

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

Fred Dibnah

Re: The amount of times...

Although I was brought up on Fahrenheit, I’m happier with Celsius:

-10 = bloody freezing

0 = freezing

10 = cool

20 = warm

30 = hot

40 = bloody hot

50 = aargh

Tesla driver blames full-self-driving software for eight-car Thanksgiving Day pile up

Fred Dibnah

I find that 'accidentally' switching on my rear fog lights makes them drop back, especially at night :-)

Google datacenters use 'a quarter of all water' in one US city

Fred Dibnah


“In the UK, Thames Water, which serves parts of London and the Thames Valley, announced earlier this year that it has begun efforts to try and quantify how much water is being used by datacenters within its area of coverage, and said it wanted to work with operators to reduce their overall water usage.”

Water meters.

You’re welcome.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

Fred Dibnah

Re: For UK residents

If she was tried in the UK she probably wouldn't go to prison at all.

UK facing electricity supply woes after nuclear power stations shut, MPs told

Fred Dibnah

Re: Funny

….then melt it into magma and spit it out of a volcano some time later.

Children should have separate sections in social media sites, says UK coroner

Fred Dibnah

Re: “nudge them towards different content”

Although libraries usually have a children’s section, there’s nothing to stop children browsing the rest of the library (and a good thing too).

USB-C iPhone, anyone? EU finalizes charging standard rule

Fred Dibnah

Re: I look forward to the "UK only" versions

In hotel rooms the 13A socket at the desk is often barely above the desk height, so that a power plug with the cable exit on the bottom can’t be used.

Don't want to get run over by a Ford car? There's a Bluetooth app for that

Fred Dibnah

Re: Ford's solution to their unsafe drivers/vehicles is for potential victims to run an app

A couple of years back Trek announced that they were working with Ford to fit beacons to their bikes, and this sounds like a development of that. At that point I crossed Trek off my list of companies I will buy a bike from.

Seems like Ford don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘autonomous’.

Musk seeks yet another excuse to get out of Twitter buyout: This time it's Mudge's severance check

Fred Dibnah


That is all.

Man wins competition with AI-generated artwork – and some people aren't happy

Fred Dibnah

Re: Read this elsewhere and said

Yeah, but your submission would never make it into Pseud’s Corner ;-)

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

Fred Dibnah

Just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, those flood signs will be true again some time in the future :-)

Fred Dibnah

When the line painting crews go out to do their thing, I wish they had a line at the end of their job list which said ‘Take away No Road Markings signs’.

Fred Dibnah

You are supposed to look out for, and read, all road signs, not just the ones outside your local area.

Fred Dibnah

Re: Another great victory for Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive

Like church bells, then. There’s nothing new under the sun.

UK immigration systems delayed by extra Ukraine visa work

Fred Dibnah

Re: A hack


You can continue to reply in your patronising tone ("hard of reading" etc) if you like, but as I already said, this discussion is about people migrating of their own free will. I'm not going further down your rabbit hole.

In most respects el Reg is a much more civilised forum than Twitter, but now and again I dearly wish it had a block button.

Fred Dibnah

Re: A hack

It's an article about people-trafficking and not refugees or other migrants coming here of their own free will, so it's irrelevant to this discussion.

Fred Dibnah

Re: A hack

There is no 'illegal' way to travel to the UK, no matter what the mode of transport. Anyone travelling here has the right under international law to claim asylum, and only if that claim is rejected do they become an 'illegal' as you so eloquently describe them.

To pre-empt you telling us that they could claim asylum in France: under international law, someone can claim asylum in the country of their choice.

Fred Dibnah

Re: A hack

Or maybe they want to live in France instead of Kent. I know I would.

Fred Dibnah

Re: began in 2013 and was expected to be completed in 2017

Another excuse will be 'the previous government', despite both candidates for Tory leader --> PM having been cabinet ministers in that government.

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems

Fred Dibnah

"The headline talks about electrical engineers, then the article goes on to talk about electronic engineers. They are not the same thing."

Indeed, although the IET muddies the waters - I am an electronics graduate and work in electronic engineering, yet according to the IET I am a Chartered Electrical Engineer.

BT strikes to start this month, 40,000 workers to down tools

Fred Dibnah

Re: Exploitation

You support everyone going on strike, or you support everyone who is going on strike?

I'm for the former!

Fred Dibnah

Re: Go for it

When I sit in my office there's very little risk of someone jumping off a bridge onto my desk.

This driverless trains nonsense comes up again and again. There's a reason why they have only happened in (mostly) light rail, and that's because it's really hard to do safely in tunnels and/or at high speed. If it was easy, train companies would have done it years ago.