* Posts by Zimmer

217 posts • joined 3 Feb 2009


Captain, the computer has identified 250 alien stars that infiltrated our galaxy – actual science, not science-fiction


Upvote for E.E. 'Doc' Smith

It's not Friday, but.....>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

(Heads off to the bookcase, only to find No. 1 son has made off with the whole collection..)

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike


Upvote for E-bikes


As someone who cycled to work ( and everywhere else ) for over 25 years and played 5-a-side footy until I was over 60 I am delighted with my E-bike.

I had to stop the footy and the cycling due to heart problems, the e-bike means I won't kill myself attempting to cycle uphill but still provides me enough exercise pedalling.

Sadly, no chance of footy (unless walking footy- not quite the same..) .....e-cycle polo anyone...?

(I once was encouraged to pilot a tandem down Broomgrove Road, Sheffield with the blind owner as the stoker; once was definitely enough, the return trip was uphill and extremely wobbly)

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release


Upgrade ? No..

I've never upgraded a Linux distro in 16 years of using Linux as my main OS.

I've always created a new partition and installed the new version (which has usually taken about 20 minutes) . I keep my personal files on a separate partition.

This also gives me a chance to check out the new one and de-clutter, re-installing applications as and when they are needed.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


Not' solidified', heated , then cooled slowly

Scalded indirectly by steam or by a water bath so the clots form at the top (a bit like a Turkish Bath near the House of Commons...?)

I remember, as a child we used to get clotted cream sent via post from my uncle when he visited the couple in Devon that looked after him as an evacuee during the war... what a treat.

And, as someone has already mentioned, it's now a weekly treat thanks to it being available in the supermarkets.


It doesn't matter..

'cos when it's scone, it's scone...

..it's the black hoodie, and you never saw me here..

Uber turns SaaS vendor with deal that bakes public transport authority into its app


How deep are the pockets ?

From a perspective only gained from reading articles such as this it would appear to me that Uber are not charging enough to turn a profit.

So, by the use of clever software and cheap fares (and dubious employee status etc*) it would appear that their aim might be to undercut any competitor until the competitor goes away.

If the competition manages to obtain its own clever software then Uber may need very deep pockets indeed to survive.

*(Never happy when 'employees' are taken for a ride.) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> It's the one with the hood...

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means


Re: What does 'six feet' mean?

One 'Osman'

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram


Football pitches- not the same size.

When marking out pitches for the local council in the 1960's (summer holiday job) the groundsperson *

would ensure there was enough space for the penalty areas . The rest was mostly down to how much space was left and maximum dimensions allowed by the F.A.

I remember one pitch had less than 3 feet from the penalty area to the touchline.

(* I also remember him using the 3-4-5 rule with his string and stakes to ensure a right angle in the corners )

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh


Re: So...No Then To Disability Scooters, Not


Would that be Trigger, the star of TV Westerns? Or Trigger with his broom (helping sweep up the mess left by the former Trigger )?

I suppose the comment works despite the ambiguity...

*The coat? Like the earlier commentard at the Little Chef, Telegraph Hill, it's a Belstaff . In my case it used to be The Wimpey kiosk on Cannock Chase: better burgers!

AWS won't sell facial-recog tool to police for a year – other law enforcement agencies are in the clear

Big Brother

We won't sell it.. v. 1.01

...because it's not working properly and, with everyone being encouraged to wear face masks in public for the foreseeable future, a year should give us enough time for purchasers to forget how bad it was and be convinced by marketing that a year of (non) development has perfected the system... hence the price rise..etc.

UK spending watchdog blasts £792m STEM school scheme over low student numbers, deficits, education quality


Quasi Private Education

When one looks at the structure of Academies and these UTC's it does appear to be more a method of providing somebody with the ability to 'cream off' funding for education to put in their back pocket than to empower schools to decide their own budget.

I'm hoping that most schools that have decided to go down that route to escape Local Authority controls do not fall into that category, but there is scope in the system for that sort of chicanery and where there's a sniff of profit there will be those who would take advantage.

Some of these institutions seem to be part of a larger enterprise encompassing several schools and there has been reported instances of such enterprises closing schools in their group at short notice or diverting funds from one to another ...

Seeing this paragraph in the Reg:

Lastly, the PAC questioned the unusual setup of UTC, with the brand owned by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which licenses it to other colleges. The trust increased the fee from £5,500 to £10,000 in 2019.

..makes me wonder 'What next?' Re-branding Primary and Secondary Education and charging schools for the privilege ?

>>>Icon... well, I would have liked to put FAIL, too. But Whacko! seems far more appropriate.

Dude, where's my laser?


Re: Not unbelievable

The testing of new weaponry in MOD circles and the effects of unlikely sources of electromagnetic disturbances can be easily spotted in the admirable BBC 'documentary'* "Round and Round Went the Great Big Wheel" ....

*(Dad's Army)

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC


Re: $$$

The moths in the wallet quake at the thought of spending over £400 for a new rig (tightfisted? Moi?)

But the first PC I purchased for my son in 1995 was a Gateway Pentium P75

at @£ 1595.00

(still have the CPU in a box in the garage..upgraded later to a P120)

COVID-19 sparks new wearables to push the pandemic away


Re: Lightsabers.

... and mount the lightsabre on a rotating frame on your fedora.. Bob's your whatsit.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?


Re: Mice

... I flipped over the mouse, removed the piece of packing tape over the ball, and all was fine.

Similar issue with Mother's new potato peeler.

"Why aren't you using the new peeler?"

"I bought the same type you have, but it doesn't work..."

..peeled clear plastic strip from blade and.....

I often wonder if the same issue exists for some people who purchase battery powered equipment (particularly remote controls) where the batteries are pre-installed but isolated with a clear plastic strip (and they don't read the instructions).

The bane of Spain comes mainly on the plane. Good luck Barcelona: You've bagged the MWC contract again


Re: Gotta picka pocketa two

Oh , come now. As a regular at El Reg you surely know the thieves guild is located in Ankh Morpork.

Upstart Americans brandish alligators at the almighty Reg Standards Soviet


Re: Of course! Cricket!

Wolf of Kabul ? Victor (or Hotspur? ) old memories fading fast... have an upvote ..

(dad always bought the Wizard for me... I didn't start reading it until it was too late and the comic folded - pun not intended).

Europe's digital identity system needs patching after can_we_trust_this function call ignored


Re: Naming no names ...

Jason Bourne....??

===> it's the one with the multi sim burner phone in the hidden inside pocket...

Ditch Chef, Puppet, Splunk and snyk for GitLab? That's the pitch from your new wannabe one-stop DevOps shop


In an 18th century brewery ..

I hope everything was organised properly.....

Hinkley Point nuclear power station will be late and £2bn over budget


Re: Deal of the century

Don't worry.

I'm sure the extra 'fuel' duty on all those Electric cars we'll have will more than cover it .. (oh, sorry, weren't we supposed to know about that yet ???)

*Not sure that's the right icon ================>

Fix LibreOffice now to thwart silent macro viruses – and here's how to pwn those who haven't


Not in Version 5 , it would seem.

I have both versions 5 and 6 is the version supplied by the repositories for Linux Mint... 18.2

I see that the Beta for 19.2 is out , and that supplies a version 6.0.7

I installed 6 alongside 5 some time ago from the website...

Version 6 has a toolbar for Logo, Version 5 does not.

So, will the LibreLogo macro run in version 5 at all ?

Facebook, Microsoft, Google among tender, caring tech giants on UK internet safety board


Re: Maybe not.

If it comes with a salary or fee, I expect she'll still be there.... think of the children !

UK digital network Openreach takes 15 electric vans for a spin

Big Brother

Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

Yes, how does the government of the day replace the millions (possibly billions) of fuel duty and VAT it collects every day from our ICE vehicles when it's only getting 5% in VAT from the leccy ??

Road Pricing, anyone??

This will probably mean tracking every vehicle somehow (yes, there are probably plenty of technological options ) probably leading to a whole new wave of tax avoidance.... and loss of freedom of movement...

'We've done it, we've wasted further time!' Judge raps HP over Mike Lynch court scrutiny


Re: Time Wasted = Billable Hours ----

Yes, my time wasted !! El Reg Lego clickbait picture and NO LEGO... !!

(Disappointed of Tunbridge Wells ....)

Apple iPrunes iTunes: Moldering platform's death expected to be announced at WWDC


Obligatory XKCD reference

Steal This Comic


'nuff said...

Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray


Re: airport security- dangerous things, cake slices

My daughter had a git-wrapped cake slice confiscated at Manchester...

I must remember to remove the Leatherman from my key ring when I next take a flight...

Oracle's long-running pension plan class action case: C'mon, judge, reject a jury trial – Big Red


Re: seems reasonable ... But I think you are wrong..

What happened to weaken the funds was mainly a change in the method of valuing assets at 3 year actuarial valuation time; from value at time of purchase to value at the current market rate at time of 3yr valuation.

This method produced sudden surpluses from long-term held stocks and shares that were now at a peak market. These surpluses (upper and lower limits now dictated by HMRC) were then used a s an excuse for further company pension contribution holidays and the sops to the employees of 'future' increased benefits (as yet 'unfunded') When the markets then slumped the funds began to slip into deficit and the companies became unwilling to pay the increased funding. (By not paying contributions the companies were saving in the region of 10% of their payroll. )

So, in the main, companies decided not to continue contributing (particularly as their 'future ' increases in benefits for employees would require additional contributions) and to offer poorer schemes contributing say, only 5% of payroll...

In effect, .. a pay cut all round... and a worse future pension scenario for one and all....

** Oh, and as for taxpayers' money being spent on a bail out - I seem to recall the government of the day proposing a levy on all the other schemes to pay for bail-outs... another nail in the pension coffin if it came to pass, and, less obviously to some, a significant burden on a future government when these particular pigeons come home to roost in the future**

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Re: That's the REAL function of ABS !

....which the ABS also tried to do... I just steered around the spinning car in front, but it was nerve wracking....

The ABS is there to give you control of the car in these circumstances, allowing you to brake AND steer with less chance of you locking the wheels and sliding out of control... so it seems it worked very well for you...

In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons


Re: re: worst parasites

...Their good friends in power (usually Lawyers who became Politicians) .. reminded me of this Tom Paxton song.

... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrHno5Xx5Kw

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers


Re: Oh great, laser headphones...

"Think of how many ignorant audiophiles they'll be able to fleece with those...until they find out they only work if you sit in exactly the right chair and keep your head perfectly still....."

You're in my spot.....

..it's the T-shirt with 73 on it..

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO


Fines? Pah!

If you fine a company it will only recover the costs through its customers, that's you and me, via increased prices.

Jail for accountable senior executives is possibly the only answer to them taking our data (anybody's data) seriously.

Blast from the past: Boffins find the fastest exploding non-supernova star


Astronomical Events in UK

When it does explode I forecast cloudy skies for the UK for the duration of the supernova...

(as per all Astronomical events here, we rarely get to see them first hand).

WannaCry is back! (Psych. It's just phisher folk doing what they do)


Re: New Email List?

Cheshire one of those authorities by any chance?

German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way


Lancashire Hotpots ...


My favourite....

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick


Re: DAIM Bar and crisps!

...Salt and Shake (Salt your Own) were just Smith's Crisps...and the salt came in a twisted piece of blue paper... and that was the ONLY flavour available.. and kids were not allowed in the pub....(gosh, I feel old today..) RIOT!....

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic


Doomwatch... The Plastic Eaters...


Zucker for history: What I learnt about Facebook 600 years ago


Probably on it's way back to the nest..!!

Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls


Re: As a practicing[0] guitarist ...

..from the dim distant past..the acoustic sound was always sounding better after 4 pints of Newcastle Brown Ale..... the distortion ?... always better heard through earplugs....

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers


Re: Oh my...

Showing your age ?? Showing your age !?!? Harumph!!

When I were a lad the first record player had needles you had to sharpen on a stone.... recording ? You listened to it over and over until you memorised* the thing and were able to sing it as you walked down the street (probably a copyright offence today !!)

It is Friday, isn't it? Nurse, tell me it's Friday ......

Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates


Re: Pension contribution holidays

"It's funny to remember that many pension funds in the 1980's were forced to take pension contribution holidays by law"

Add to that the change in how the funds' actuaries were forced to value the assets at 3yr valuation time

(ie market value at time of valuation, instead of purchase price) and we have reaped the perfect whirlwind.

Suddenly, a fund has millions in surplus to be spent on contribution holidays as the stock market peaks [and is deemed 'overfunded by HMRC] and as the market sinks suddenly has deficits below HMRC guidelines... add to that the promises of 'future' benefits for members, in order to soften the blow of the employer taking contribution holidays..well, those benefits needed to be properly funded by increased employer contributions going forward..not paid for out of a potential permanent surplus going forward.. no wonder the funds are 'too expensive' for the poor employer; he's just failed to pay the deferred wages and saved a fortune at the expense of the pension fund members...

Who will gain from all this? The employer got a free ride while the market was high and, when low, closed funds saving perhaps between 15-20% of payroll (depending on how generous they factored the inducements for contribution holidays) . Now they offer to pay maybe 5% towards your replacement insurance company run scheme?

What a lovely hidden pay cut we all got.....if you were the 'conspiracy' type you might think someone wanted to ease the wage burden for British industry and, at the same time, break the influence of the big pension funds on the market.....

I know, I know...never attribute ... when it's probably just incompetence (I forget the full quote and I'm tired of typing..)

Destroying the city to save the robocar


Re: Wake me up

There are going to be a lot of disappointed people/supporters of the autonomous vehicle when they wake up and realise the regulations surrounding them will require those non-drivers to pass a driving test in order to be driven around in one...

As far as I can tell the only people clamouring for the autonomous car are those who cannot drive. They already have the solution to their problem, it's called a taxi and, yes, it's expensive... don't expect the driverless one to come any cheaper..

Could we not spend the development money on building some more power stations and infrastructure for all those millions of electric cars the government wants us to drive in the near future?

(What do you mean ,'Not until they've worked out how to replace the @£1/litre in tax revenue' ?)

(D'oh and Epic Fail, too IMHO)

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Big Brother

..on that note.

Tom Paxton fans will be remembering this offering:


Frustrated Britons struggle to locate their packages: Royal Mail tracker smacked


Re: Reasons

It's an update to the system so that the PDA's are now tracking where the postmen are in the hope that eventually the Royal Mail can offer estimated delivery time for customers.

Mattel's Internet-of-kiddies'-Things Aristotle canned before release


Re: Teddy Bears

Ahh, thank you.

My favourite Harrison was 'In our hands, the Stars' (also known as 'The Daleth Effect'...)


Teddy Bears

I seem to recall an old* SF story regarding AI teddy bear companions that were used to provide kids with moral guidance....... that did not end well, either...

* old = I read it in the 1960's

Google's $8.5m class-action privacy payout goes to: Lawyers' alma maters, web giant's pals


How to..

..make tax-free donations...?

Call me cynical, it's my middle name...

To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine


Re: I see a market here

E.g: "if you shoot T. Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam I will deposit 3 BTC in your wallet".

....they will get the wrong man... Mr A. Hancock lives there...

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren



...and what about the sneaky, pre watershed Heineken adverts disguised as Drink Driving awareness? Clever brand placement and awareness if ever I saw it..

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn


Re: "when you're shook up and struggling to recall things"

'Engaging' Cruise Control on the automatics I have driven sets your speed to the 'current' speed of the vehicle. 'Resuming' Cruise control would result in a slight delay (about a second) before the system attempts to adjust the car to the previously set speed.

Whilst in Cruise mode pressing the accelerator will 'override' the set speed and propel you faster until you release the accelerator and the vehicle will begin to drop back to the previously set speed.

If you press the brake at any time in Cruise mode the Mode will be cancelled and the vehicle will decelerate unless the accelerator is depressed (speed now under driver's control) or unless the 'Resume' button is then pressed (to allow the vehicle to automatically Resume at previous set speed).

....quote 'On the other hand, that tells me that Tesla's autopilot disengages when you touch any pedal, which is not what other brand autopilots generally do - they disengage when you touch the brakes./unquote.

It doesn't tell you anything about Tesla's 'Autopilot'. It's just the driver looking for alternative answers when he cannot believe that somehow he was at fault , because he can't remember what he did.

One way or another the guy went too quick and lost control..

Good News... everyone walked away...

Kerberos bypass, login theft bug slain by Microsoft, Linux slingers


Re: Open Source is necessary, but not sufficient

........Maybe we need more funded (government funded?) bounty programmes?....

...they're already employed by GCHQ and the NSA.....



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