* Posts by Oliver Mayes

572 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2008


Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

Oliver Mayes

I once had to debug a broken button on one of our internal systems, user helpfully sent a screenshot of the page in question so I'd know which button she meant.

I checked, and sure enough someone had broken it a few days earlier with a minor update. Took me maybe 90 seconds to apply the fix and deploy it, asked the user to try it now... still not working.

I asked her to close and restart her browser and try again, still not working. I dragged myself out of my chair and crossed the building to where she was seated to watch the continuing issue in person, she demonstrated clicking the button and noted that nothing was continuing to happen.

I pointed out that she was clicking on the screenshot she'd taken earlier and the actual button was behind it. Ticket resolved.

55-inch Jamboard and app ecosystem tossed into the Google graveyard

Oliver Mayes

We played around with one of these a few years ago. They set it up in the middle of the office and encouraged everyone to explore it and see if it would be useful to put one in each of our meeting rooms.

After a few days there was a presentation about it in the all-hands meeting, where a manager gushed about the functionality and demonstrated how it even had a 'History' feature, so if you erased something by accident you could rewind it and get your notes back. He clicked the revert button rapidly and a wide variety of crude drawings, that had previously been erased, returned to life in front of a few hundred staff.

Florida man insists he didn't violate the law by keeping Top Secret docs

Oliver Mayes

Re: as did his aide Walt Nauta

would that be the legal team that quit on Friday and had to be replaced hastily over the weekend?

I guess they didn't have enough time to read through the details of the case.

ESA's Juice blasts off to squeeze secrets from Jupiter's moons

Oliver Mayes

I can't believe how complicated the transit to Jupiter is going to be. Going from Earth to Venus, back to Earth, then to Mars, back to Earth again, before finally slingshotting on to Jupiter. The mechanics of it are amazing.

Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months

Oliver Mayes

Re: Track record..

We once fired a salesperson who then demanded access to personal items left in their locked desk. The company didnt trust him to take only his own items out and he didnt trust the company with the key. Ended up with us having to carry the entire desk down three flights of stairs so that it could be opened in reception under the gaze of lawyers.

Hot, sweaty builders hosed a server – literally – leaving support with an all-night RAID repair job

Oliver Mayes

We had a new data center constructed a few years ago, as it neared completion some of our engineers went out for a final inspection before we began the process of moving all our on-site servers into it. They found it a little warm inside, eventually discovered that the builders had somehow connected the shiny new aircon system up backwards. It was cooling the outside air and dumping the exhaust heat into the building. Great for the planet I'm sure but not a happy place for 30 racks of servers to live.

Fixing an upside-down USB plug: A case of supporting the insupportable

Oliver Mayes

Any machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrongly enough.

Tech professionals pour cold water on UK crypto hub plans

Oliver Mayes

Re: Oh, and talk about a slapdown

"Project Here"

Large Hadron Collider experiment reveals three exotic particles

Oliver Mayes

Re: Ever get the sense...

Imagine the game of Conkers you could play in that thing!

You only need pen and paper to fool this OpenAI computer vision code. Just write down what you want it to see

Oliver Mayes

It already seems to think there's a 0.4% probability that the apple is an iPod before the sign is added, so does this only work to nudge it from one thing to another it already suspects?

Police drone plunged 70ft into pond after operator mashed pop-up that was actually the emergency cut-out button

Oliver Mayes

Re: Great UI

It's a simple point and click.

Senators, net neutrality advocates rail against looming lame-duck confirmation of new FCC commissioner

Oliver Mayes

That's "no" rules for republicans, lots of them for everyone else.

So bye-bye, Mr Ajit Pai. You drove our policy into the levee and we still wonder why

Oliver Mayes

Re: Taciturn president

Lame Duck a l'orange

Researchers made an OpenAI GPT-3 medical chatbot as an experiment. It told a mock patient to kill themselves

Oliver Mayes

"GPT-3 forgot the specific times a patient said they were unavailable, and it instead suggested those times as appointment slots."

Sounds pretty realistic to me, all it needs now is to book an appointment three weeks in advance and then call the patient the day before to cancel it because it just remembered the doctor isn't actually in the clinic on that day, and it'll have perfectly emulated my GPs receptionist.

It really is your last chance to see anything at Cineworld for quite some time, and this big-screen bork speaks volumes

Oliver Mayes

Re: Cinemas in their current form are an artefact of the limited availability of reels of film

My local Cineworld has been doing this all along. A couple of times a week they show classic films alongside the headliners. But that doesn't seem to be enough to keep such a huge business afloat.

Alphabet promises to no longer bung tens of millions of dollars to alleged sex pest execs who quit mid-probe

Oliver Mayes

Re: A few years after Blakely gave birth to their son

It's Google, the fetus was probably in beta until they decided to end support and the pregnancy had to finish up quickly.

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report

Oliver Mayes

Re: I'll flip burgers

I worked at McDonalds when I was 16, we got a free meal with every shift. No nuggets though (They were worried that we'd try to squeeze 7 into the 6 box), and no milkshakes or ice cream because those were too expensive for us mere employees.

Epic Games gets itself epically banned, launches epic Fortnite death match with Apple over App Store's epic 30% cut

Oliver Mayes

Ironic that the company that has made a reputation for buying up exclusive PC rights to popular games, forcing people to buy them from the Epic store or go without, are now whining about another company having a monopoly on their own platform.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch

Oliver Mayes

"Because surely THIS one will not crash and burn like every other crypto scheme, then I'll be rich!"

You're testing them wrong: Whiteboard coding interviews are 'anti-women psychological stress examinations'

Oliver Mayes

I had one interview about... 8 years ago? 3 managers sat around a conference table while I stood at the front with a paper flipchart and a chunky board pen. They read out programming scenarios and I had to write the code to solve them.

Paper was definitely not an ideal medium, being impossible to erase or change anything I'd written when I realised I needed to insert a line between two I'd already written.

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world

Oliver Mayes

Re: Remind me

The bank balances of his own companies, and the pockets of countless CEO's who swore to obey him without question in return for lucrative government positions.

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

Oliver Mayes

Re: Male and female connectors..

I once attended a talk titled "Zombie Orphans, and how best to kill them". People in the hotel gave some very strange looks at that on the board outside.

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'

Oliver Mayes

The human driver didn't brake the car in time either, time to take all those unreliable humans out of the cars to.

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

Oliver Mayes

Re: Perfect

Pfft, you still believe in the Earth?

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

Oliver Mayes

Orbit is a very tricky thing. If you dont launch at the right time, and with the right speed you don't go into orbit, you just go up, around, and back down. If you're lucky.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

Oliver Mayes

Re: Come on Twitter

Free speech doesn't apply to a third party platform, they can deny access to anyone for any reason they choose. Hence their terms and conditions (that they ignore for the orange one alone)

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

Oliver Mayes

Re: Cue the lawsuits in 3, 2, 1...

Pretty sure that any terms that state that they can change them at any time without your consent are unenforceable.

India makes contact-tracing app compulsory in viral hot zones despite most local phones not being smart

Oliver Mayes

There's no chance I'm going to install any of these apps. Rushed through with no oversight, they'll just be a collection of security holes held together with snippets from stack overflow. I also don't put it past any of them to start harvesting and selling off my data the first chance they get.

International space station connects 100Mbps symmetric space laser ethernet using Sony optical disc tech

Oliver Mayes

Can't wait for the inevitable "Sexy women in LOW EARTH ORBIT are waiting to talk to you!"

Things that go crump in the night: Watch Musk's mighty missile go foom

Oliver Mayes

Re: Why are they doing these tests in the darK?

Obviiusly to simulate being in space.

Facebook does the right thing for once: Joins Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube to clean out dodgy COVID-19 info

Oliver Mayes

Re: Twitter

Youtube is just as bad, I stumbled across someone advertising a botnet for sale and tried to report it to youtube. You have to select the category of report and there isn't one that fits "generally illegal content".

Australian privacy watchdog sues Facebook for *checks notes* up to £266bn

Oliver Mayes

Re: That could hurt

There isn't a hope in hell of this working, Facebook would rather pay £2 billion to its army of lawyers than admit it's at fault.

Jeff Bezos bungs $10bn at climate change after chump change for Oz bush fires

Oliver Mayes

Re: Amazon is our creation

It wasn't exactly a choice for some of us. Unless you want womens designer clothes or naff jewellery my local town center has no shops of any interest. We now boast about 15 coffee shops and 3 separate branches of Greggs but if you want to buy anything else it's about a 20 mile drive to another town.

Don't Flip out or anything, but the 'flexible glass display' on Samsung's latest pholdable doesn't behave like glass

Oliver Mayes

Then maybe Samsung shouldn't advertise it as having those properties then?

Sketchy behavior? Wacom tablet drivers phone home with names, times of every app opened on your computer

Oliver Mayes

Re: Another one...

Pretty sure Google tag you with a unique ID when recording the data from your machine.

Amazing peer-reviewed AI bots that predict premature births were too good to be true: Flawed testing bumped accuracy from 50% to 90%+

Oliver Mayes

50% success rate?

So it's as accurate as flipping a coin, or am I misunderstanding the numbers?

LastPass stores passwords so securely, not even its users can access them

Oliver Mayes

This is why I keep all of my passwords on post-it notes stuck to my monitor. My handwriting is all the encryption I need.

China tells America, with a straight face, it will absolutely crack down on hacking and copyright, tech blueprint theft

Oliver Mayes

Re: Dealmaster

There's no point in him stealing any, they wouldn't fit his tiny hands anyway.

FCC proudly wastes $90m getting data-capped, pricey satellite internet to tiny percentage of US population

Oliver Mayes

Re: $80 per month?

A lot of residential satellite links use a low bandwidth modem on a phone line for the upstream half of the connection, you don't need much bandwidth to request a webpage after all. It's only the downstream that arrives from space.

That code that could never run? Well, guess what. Now Windows thinks it's Batman

Oliver Mayes

One of our old websites could theoretically have displayed a "Divide by cucumber error" message, but only if a specific variable was neither > 0 or <= 0.

Email! HUH! Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

Oliver Mayes

I've got no sympathy for companies who don't pay attention to this kind of thing. People make mistakes, it's happened to everyone. The company should be taking steps to make sure things like this are caught and fixed. This mailing list was so important to them that no-one at all ever checked how many people had subscribed to it?

237 UK police force staff punished for misusing IT systems in last 2 years

Oliver Mayes

Re: Take yer lazy americanisms and get ter feck!

All police are civilians.

Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government

Oliver Mayes

Ah, the Apple model I see. Import chinese components to a "factory" in Texas where minimum wage workers plug part A into slot B and apply the Made In Merka stamp.

40 million emoji-addicted keyboard app users left with $18m bill – after malware sneaks into Play Store yet again

Oliver Mayes

Re: Upside down

He's communing directly with the chip, orientation is irrelevant.

Dammit Insight! You just had two big jobs to do on Mars and you're failing at one of those

Oliver Mayes

Are we sure that Bugs Bunny isn't underneath knocking it back out every time?

Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers

Oliver Mayes

Re: Surely...

You need to throw a few quantum and crypto-somethings in there first if you want the tender.

Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame

Oliver Mayes

If this calculation was so important to the company, why was it written by one guy with no oversight?

Virtual inanity: Solution to Irish border requires data and tech not yet available, MPs told

Oliver Mayes

Re: Lying in the Chamber

"The British Institution", is that what he named it?

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

Oliver Mayes

I once accidentally started an email with "Dear Cuntomer"

£99,999, what's your emergency? Paramedics rush to OAP's aid after shock meter reading

Oliver Mayes

My mother died last January, gas company served the estate a bill for £40,000. This was in spite of there being no functioning gas appliances in the house for 3 years. Seems their agent had misread one of the digits on the meter 4 years back and when I provided the final reading it was lower than that previous one. They deduced that the meter must have hit 999999 and looped back around to reach the "lower" number. Took 2 months to get them to correct that.