* Posts by Major N

151 posts • joined 17 Nov 2008

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Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

when i used to work in a bakery the display units we had in the middle of the aisles were called 'dump bins'. Always felt wrong to stock fresh bread in those!

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Major N
Coat

Re: Charge the chargers

sounds like this guy was asking for a short, sharp shock to bring him back down to earth...

Major N

Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

I don't get the argument that it will cause older chargers to be discarded. Surely that's what happens now anyway, since every new device comes with a new Ultra/Mega/Super/FasterWeSwear-2.0(TM) charge standard that wasn't available to the previous generation...

I have a drawer of the damn things as it is, and whenever i pull out an older piece of technology I spend ten minutes trying to find whatever proprietary mini-USB they decided to use to power it. A common standard won't cause the old chargers to become landfill overnight, but will mean that in the future there will be less waste over each new generations lifecycle. Admittedly the myriad variations-on-a-theme-but-not-interoperable methods of throwing more electrons down the same type of wire will continue to happen, but it will mean less, especially since if you just want an overnight charge you'll be fine with last year's plug.

The bigger impact on consumers will be the inevitability of chargers not being included, the unit price not dropping to compensate, and then Apple, Samsung et al charging you an extra £50 for a shiny new plug that claims to charge your device 50ns faster than the previous one you already own...

Major N

Re: Micro USB

I switched to magnetic tip chargers for my phones, to reduce the mechanical stress on the charge port of repeated entry/disengagement. Used to have to replace MicroUSB sockets every 6 months or so on my phone, and that was before they started gluing the damn things together. USB-C seems to be stronger than Micro-USB (which was seemingly made of spider silk and wishes) but I'm not taking the risk these days... might not be able to do data and as such negotiate the faster speeds from some chargers, but a lot easier than hairdryering a device open every couple of fortmonths....

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

Major N

Re: Smells and not of whisky...

and try not to mince your words

New York City rips out last city-owned public payphones

Major N

Hm, 10k phones across 13k sites.. I think I see the problem here! at least 3k would have to move to cover 2 sites at once. Guess these must be an early 'mobile phone' :P

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

Major N

Whilst I'm sure apply sticking these into their devices probably helped with the economies of scale required, how about all those 'automated' cars pouring R&D dollars into the same field? Pretty sure apple wouldnt have done it if the units cost hundreds of dollars each at the beginning...

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets

Major N

It was certainly implicated in the Tsar Bomba, IIRC

Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

yeah I was so excited for XP and its claims of reliability. I started Uni at the time XP came out, so bought my very own computer for Uni (instead of relying on the family machine). It came with the gold disk prerelease OEM version of XP Home (I took receipt of it with XPH preinstalled 2 weeks before the official release date). It bluescreened three times on the first day! As soon as I moved to Pro, they disappeared. Still not sure if it was the V1.0 (I consider it V0.99 since it was before release, I expect WU had several fixes that day) or just that home was gash...

I also remember owning a disk labelled Windows 96 at some point... think it was a W95 SP ultimately....

In my memory, W95 was amazing compared to DOS and 3.1. Though it was flaky, and as several have said here regular reinstalls were a must. W98 I found much more stable, especially once SP2(?) was out. I'm old enough to have fond memories of the old DOS days and tweaking autoexec and config.sys to make my latest game run, that was the golden age for me, taking my first steps into the world of computers, and even getting games to run was a victory to savour. Kids these days don't know they're born :P

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

Bought a Honda CBF6, first big bike. Went out for a ride over the pennines with a friend on his shiny new CBF6. Got to a roundabout, engine stopped. Wouldnt start again. Distraught I'd bought a faulty bike I wheeled it over 2 lanes of traffic to the side of the road. Friend, who has been riding bikes forever, wanders over, flicks the killswitch and hits the starter. Mortified isnt the word.

In my defence, my previous bike didnt have a killswiotch, so I wasn't used to em, and didnt think to check if i'd accidentally knocked it

Green hydrogen 'transitioning from a shed-based industry' says researcher as the UK hedges its H2 strategy

Major N

Re: Might be worse than burning coal

20xx? Isnt that the year we all get turned into Mega Man and have to fight Dr Wily's robot hordes? sounds about right...

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee

Major N
Coat

Re: Is there some special reason...

In thought the downside in this case was the nose end...

That thing you were utterly sure would never happen? Yeah, well, guess what …

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

Back when I was still learning things, my school had an old Novell/DOS network, that included a messaging program that would send a message to any user or terminal ID, which would dutifully pop up to that user/terminal with the sender's userID and terminal prepended. Of course, it wasn't long before someone had a hacked version of said messaging exe that didnt attach the sender details, and it made the rounds. I of course named the exe the same as the original and set the execution paths so that it would use this version, but look like it was using the original...

One kid was amazed at the messages I was securely sending, and asked how I did it, so I showed him, neglecting to mention that I was using an anonymous one. He promptly sent a message out, and I did not see who to.... until 30 seconds later, when the head of IT marched in, grabbed him literally by the ear, and frogmarched him out of the computer suite. Seems he'd decided to test it by sending a message to the head of it proclaiming he 'smelled like cow pats' or something like that, and the original program had dutifully prepended his actual username and terminal ID. He was banned from the computer suite for the rest of the school year....

Dynamic Data do-over denied: Judge upholds $7m patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Major N

How can a product released in 2007/2008 violate a patent filed in 2011? Surely it should be prior art and invalidate the patent?

Good news: Boffins have finally built room-temperature superconductors. Bad news: You'll need a laser, a diamond anvil, and a lot of pressure

Major N

Re: What a great discovery

"If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out"

- Tim Minchin

Microsoft tells staff work-from-home is now ‘standard’ – with caveats galore

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

I've been thinking about this and two things crossed my mind.

1) You can claim a tax subsidy (in the UK) for your heating/electric etc for enforced WFH, its not a lot but it adds up over the year

2) You save money on commuting costs, as well as the time. For me, the cost of commuting is greater than the additional energy consumption, so I'm in a net gain situation. For those who use human power to commute, less so.

India flies Mach 6 scramjet for 20 whole seconds

Major N

Re: Amazing.

it also goes some way to restitution for the huge amount of money we took out whilst not improving the lives of the citizens during cololonial times.

Putting the B's in bargain basement, Xiaomi staggers into sunlight clutching Poco X3

Major N

Re: Are you sure?

yep. check the official store

Autonomous Logistics Information System gets shoved off the F-35 gravy train in favour of ODIN

Major N

Re: TITSUP?

TITSUP, nose down?

World's richest bloke battles Oz catastro-fire with incredible AU$1m donation (aka load of cheap greenwashing)

Major N

Re: Cheap Cunt

Generous Johnson?

Starliner: Boeing, Boeing... it's back! Borked capsule makes a successful return to Earth

Major N

Anyone else think it looks like a decapitated R2D2?

Major N

Re: Chilton also called out how pristine the capsule looked

How long before the conspiracy theorists use its cleanliness to claim that it didn't go into space at all, that is was all just a hoax, perpetrated by Lizard Queen Liz and her henchreptiles?

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Major N
Mushroom

Re: Oh, the joys

Whilst at Uni, someone discovered Net Send and started sending messages to random machine names (as each of the rooms had a naming theme, it wasn't difficulty, IIRC the room I was in had each machine names as an Element). Anyway, he sent some dumb message to the machine I was on. I politely replied, asking him to kindly refrain from messaging people in general, and my elf in particular. He decided to refuse, and started repeatedly sending my computer messages. After ignoring another request to refrain, I knocked together a quick loop script which sent him 20k messages. Each of which required clicking through, and would steal focus.

He didn't net send again. I guess you could say he got the message(s).

Teardown nerds return to the Fold with word of warning: Samsung kit still 'alarmingly fragile'

Major N
Coat

Re: It sounds like an improvement

About 18k folds from cracking it, it seems...

BT Tower broadcasts error message to the nation as Windows displays admin's shame

Major N

Re: Wot, no TITSUP?

Total Inabililty To Shill Useless Products

Astroboffins may have cracked the mystery of where the photons from weird gamma ray bursts come from

Major N
Pint

I was thinking the same thing re: photons by definition travelling at c, thanks for the clarification :)

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

Major N

Re: Background

The B737-MAX has 2 AOA sensors. one goes into Flight Computer 1, one goes into Flight Computer 2. MCAS uses one FC, alternating each flight (to the best of my knowledge). There is also no display of the AOA data from EITHER sensor, or an AOA-Sensor-Disagree light, UNLESS YOU PAY EXTRA FOR THEM.

Lion Air did not pay extra. Therefore the pilots could not know that the AOA was wrong, even if they had known about the MCAS system and what it did/would do in those circumstances. Which they did not, as they had not been trained, and MCAS is not mentioned in the MAX manuals apparently (well, it wasn't before the incident, probably is now)

I do not know at this stage whether Ethiopian did.

I helped catch Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht: Undercover agent tells all

Major N

Re: More Questions

I'd assume he'd bought either the laptop, or accessories for it that identified it, through his Amazon account.

Office 365 enjoys good old-fashioned Thursday wobble as email teeters over in Europe

Major N

Its still wobbly again today, emails went down again across our business about 40 minutes ago

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

Major N

Re: Patronised a customer?

Hmm, missed the acrostic.. make it half a pint ;)

I once wrote an idiots guide

Designed for my manager's eyes

In subtlety lacking

Occasionally stacking

The column sat on it's left side

Major N

Re: Patronised a customer?

I once wrote an idiots guide

For my dunce level manager's eyes

Though it lacked subtlety,

When read he didn't see

The column sat on it's left side

AT&T (sucks) upgrades folks to 5G (Evolution) that isn't actually 5G

Major N

They'll get away with it too, Pai is a Telco puppet which means the FCC won't do their job and slap this down. Not that they can, thanks to the wall shutdown.

Techie basks in praise for restoring workforce email (by stopping his scripting sh!tshow)

Major N

I used to run a site using Server Side includes to look up template files to keep the look across the site (circa 2002 or so). My host had default 404 etc error pages which were write-locked but for some reason I could save over them in place, so I added SSI Includees to make the error pages match those of the rest of the site.

Later on, I rewrote the site in PHP, and since the SSI error pages wouldn't use PHP, and I had learned more in those days, I used a .htaccess page to point the server at new, PHP error pages, retired the old SSI based templates, and never looked back.

Unfortunately, one day, my host deleted the .htaccess file, so the server failed back on the old error pages, which still had SSI include links to template files that no longer existed. They also had the server set up so that on a 404 page not found during an SSI Include request, it would instead include the 404 page.

So we had a 404 page that would try to include a template file, which because it didn't exist, would instead include the 404 page in line, and so on... 404s all the way down, until the server ran out of resources and fell over. For all paying users on the node.

Qualcomm all ye faithful: 5G's soon triumphant... like 2020 soon. Really

Major N

Exceptional headlining, Sir

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated

Major N

That makes sense, thank you :)

Major N

"with a precision of 0.007 per cent"

Should this not read "with a precision of within 0.007 per cent"?

Happy to be corrected but it reads poorly to me

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

Major N

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_296

Apple heading for Supreme Court showdown over iOS App Store 'monopoly' gripe

Major N

Re: There are alernatives...

Apple may be a minority in the rest of the world, but I believe they hold about half of the smartphone market in the US. Hardly a minority there, and since that is where the case is being held...

The Solar System's oldest minerals reveal the Sun's violent past

Major N

Highly volatile noble gases?

Highly volatile noble gases? I thought the point of noble gases were that they were 'noble' and basically inert.....

Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway

Major N

"I was the world's first combined Analyst and Therapist... The business cards were a mistake..."

Major N

My colleague tells a tale of the time he was working for a company that prepared and sent mailshots for external clients, to a mix of commercial and private entities in a database. As part of the data cleansing for people, one of the tasks was to perform a find and replace for the word 'The' at the start of names of people and businesses, and putting it at the end, so The Reverend Green would become 'Reverend Green, The' and so on. They got a new member of staff in, and gave him this task.

Unfortunately, said new MoS misunderstood his instructions, and instead of finding and moving 'The ' from the start of company and person names, he just removed the three characters 'the' from all names in the database, and sent them off to print, thinking nothing of it.

The first they knew of it was when one of their clients rang up, very angry, as they had just had a call themselves from a very upset customer demanding to know why they'd sent a letter to their animal therapy company addressed to 'Horse Rapist'.....

(Note: This may be apocryphal, as it is a third hand tale. But it's still damn funny.)

Score one for the bats and badgers! Apple bins €850m Irish bit barn bid

Major N

360mW? Guess it is just a single iPhone X sitting on a velvet cushioned plinth under a single spotlingt

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

Major N
Coat

Re: Thumping 'eck or Ecky Thump

if you manage to break the sound barrier on the M40, then you're doing something very wrong :P

OK, deep breath, relax... Let's have a sober look at these 'ere annoying AMD chip security flaws

Major N

Re: Pot and Kettle

Intel et al had been aware of the problem for at least six months at that point, so your attempted snark is both unwarranted and off target.

Text bomb, text bomb, you're my text bomb! Naughty HTML freezes Messages, Safari, etc

Major N

It seems View Source in IE11 (damn corporate restrictions) also hangs pretty hard....

BT boss: Yeah, making a business case for 5G is hard

Major N

Re: Carrier?

I think a little of both - network vendors selling basestation kit and backhaul, consumer OEMs and networks using the jump in G-number as a way of propping up falling numbers of handsets and contracts being sold, as iteration means less and less difference between phones, and people hold onto their devices for longer and switch from expensive subsidized contracts to sim-only....

Coinhive crypto-jacking increasingly pops up in top 3 million websites

Major N

No-one will be topping that, think you've earned your crust with those!

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Major N

Re: Mathematically impossible...

clearly you've never driven around Derby or Swindon....

Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

Major N

Re: Re. storms

The Hurricane Research division of the NOAA has apparently been asked enough times as to why we can't just nuke (?!) hurricanes out of existence that it's one of their FAQs....

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/C5c.html

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