* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

4067 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

My smartphone has wiped my microSD card again: Is it a conspiracy?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: About a billion web pages have been authored to help

About 3 years ago. Honestly. Between looking at the phone at 10am,abd looking at it again at about 11am, the SIM turned into a price of plastic with a boring gold-coloured pattern on it. The help desk at whoever I was with at the time were a bit surprised!

US EV drivers won't be able to choose vehicle safety alert sounds

Intractable Potsherd

Re: So no selection at all?

Quadruple Merlins (or Pegasus)!

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Based upon personal experience....

"Place at the top of every page the following:..."

I have a strange sort of word-blindness - anything like a title or a header very rarely registers with my consciousness, especially if it is in a different font or colour without underlining. Underlining says to my brain "this is important", but boxes not so much.

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI

This post has been deleted by a moderator

NASA to commission independent UFO study

Intractable Potsherd

I'm glad to hear this...

... I just wonder why it took so long to do this very sensible thing.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Ok hands up

Not since my age went into double digits.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: nice story

You argument is unassailable, and you have completely changed my mind....

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Isn't there a law ....

What is wrong with you?? Amazon drivers are amongst the safest on the roads.

Intractable Potsherd


That's a very bad joke. How did it get any upvotes?

Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Job creation

What, you mean Pantheistic Multiple-ego Solipsism or "World-As-Myth"?? ;-)

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Intractable Potsherd

If i was that uninformed about something, and unable to understand the answer but unwilling to admit it, I'd appreciate a simple response like that. It's a reset - the context becomes clear immediately. The owner was clearly an arsehole who didn't appreciate either being talked to as an a) adult, or b) child. There was no way he could have been addressed that would have suited him, as evidenced by "Do you know who I am?" - always the response of idiots with more status than substance.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Full names please.......

One of the popular science magazines (?New Scientist?) used to have a section with the best examples of nominative determinism.

Microsoft exposes glue-free guts of the Surface Laptop Studio

Intractable Potsherd

I'm sure they did it to teach people to RTFM *before* starting the job. It certainly encouraged me!

NASA will award contract for second lunar lander to a biz that's not SpaceX

Intractable Potsherd

Re: A second lunar lander? About #3

And they'll be met - just like Microsoft Office formats meet open standards.

UK Supreme Court snubs Assange anti-extradition bid

Intractable Potsherd

I have difficulty with this situation. I definitely don't think that there was any "espionage" - Assange and Wikileaks were acting as journalists uncovering acts that were in the public interest. The rape accusations (innocent unless proved guilty) appear coincidentally beneficial to the USA, and there are some apparently strange aspects to it. However, JA's actions regarding those accusations do not make any objective sense at all. He placed himself in harm's way by remaining in the UK, clearly broke the law by skipping bail, and pissed everybody off by staying in the Ecuadorian embassy, losing a lot of sympathy he might otherwise have had. I really don't think he should be extradited to the US "justice" system - there is as much chance of getting a fair trial as there is of gravity reversing - but he is the architect of his own downfall.

BBC points Russians to the Tor version of itself

Intractable Potsherd

Re: not part you NATO

They're just following the playbook set in previous times. The Central and Eastern European countries have always been disposable to the west.

Food for thought on the return to the office

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Working from home is great...

at the previous house, it was seagulls in diving boots! Worse, though, we're the crows using the roof tiles to break snail shells - nothing like the sound of knocking at 4am...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Working from home is great...

At the previous house it was seagulls in diving boots, though the most disturbing was the crows using the roof tiles to break snail-shells - nothing like hearing knocking at 4am...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Union?

Unions are very variable in their performance. I've been a member of Unison (through one of its predecessors), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), and the University and Colleges Union (UCU). Of those, only Unison was sufficiently responsive to both local and national issues (this back in the 1980s). I can't remember why I left them to join the RCN, but they were hopeless at both local and national level, as are the UCU. The last branch of UCU I was involved with were, and still are, actively avoiding getting involved in supporting members in a culture of harassment and unlawful discrimination on multiple counts. Once I thought about it, I realised that the union subs would buy a really good legal expenses insurance package (essentially all I need from the union), and cancelled my union membership.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

Intractable Potsherd

Re: On foot, on crutches, in wheelchairs

Mrs IP, originally from a mainland European country, still can't get used to the British habit of walking wherever we want on pavements, regardless of direction. She regards it as very messy. When we visit her home country, I regularly get grumbled at because I don't observe whatever arcane rule applies at any given time.

Have you tried restarting? Reinstalling? Upgrading? Moving house and changing your identity?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Grumpy Ol' Dude

Just a shame Lester isn't still here with his special brand of weekend madness. Damn, I still miss them (and him, of course).

Tesla to disable 'self-driving' feature that allowed vehicles to roll past stop signs at junctions

Intractable Potsherd

Re: California roll

Yep, there are plenty.

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

Intractable Potsherd

I had one person (who may or may not be my wife) pressing a combination of the "F" and "N" keys...

Do you know what TikTok is? Then you might make a good magistrate, says Ministry of Justice

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Missing Link

What's a "gist rate" and how does one beam it? Enquiring minds...

Google splurging cash on UK offices to lure staffers back from the kitchen table

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Draconian?

It's not the same thing at all. Clothes are temporary external adornments with thousands of years of evidence of no ill-effect (though I did read a hypothesis years ago that syphilis went from being a common skin disease to a venereal disease because of clothing). Vaccines are internal and permanent (or at least long-lasting). Compulsory vaccination is a serious interference with the bodily integrity of people, and should only be enforced by governments. It is not for private business to insist on what goes into people's bodies.

'IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Well done Liam...

In the introduction to one of my Czech language textbooks, the authors claimed that the Czech language was the ultimate secret weapon and the reason that the country had never truly been conquered. They cited the (not quite accurate) example of most textbooks for foreigners not including the verb "to say". Nonetheless, it is a very difficult language to learn, and contains many shibboleth (in the original sense)!

Apple wins Epic court ruling: Devs will pay up for now as legal case churns on

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "... irreparable harm..."


Intractable Potsherd

"... irreparable harm..."

Whilst I don't usually like impugning the professionalism of judges, based on the paucity of Apple's legal and technical arguments so far, I find it difficult to find an explanation for this other than unpurchased benefits accruing to the gentleman on the bench.

Perseverance on the rocks: Pebbles clog up the rover's Martian sample collection

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hmmm...

That was my first thought, too!

Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours

Intractable Potsherd

Yep! Until recently, we lived in a fairly rural part of Scotland. Many well-used roads were (just) two modern cars wide on average. My terror was always seeing a Range Rover/Discovery/soft roader coming towards me - always 18" to 2' from the unkerbed edge of the road, and no deviation to the left in case the tyres got dirty.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: To be fair on BMW...

I'm in the market for a replacement car, and both BMW and Audi do models that might fit my requirements. However, I'm not even considering them because I want people to make their own minds up about how much of a twat I am, not tell them immediately.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: To be fair on BMW

Pah! I raise you a Mk 1 Range Rover, Perkins 4203*, wide wheels, 14" steering wheel and no power steering... The bastard was hard to steer at its top speed (around 50mph).

*I think - long time ago, now.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Pronouncing...

Just like "YPeJ", then.

Spar shops across northern England shut after cyber attack hits payment processing abilities

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Cash Is King

That is indeed the current situation, but the question is whether it ought to be. There are very good reasons for having cash retained as at least a back up - it maximises resilience, as demonstrated in this case. Cards/electronic payments are a significant point of failure in a number of different ways. Cash doesn't fail in anything like as many ways.

American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

Intractable Potsherd

Re: All I want for xmas

Which "their HQ". There are so many deserving cases in the article, you need to be more specific!

(Joke icon for the humour-deficient.)

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Ah, Lego

I didn't downvote, but yes - it's either "Lego" (singular and plural) or "Lego bricks or (at a push) pieces". "Legos" means nothing in an offensive way.

Co-Operative Bank today 'terminated' Capita's outsourcing contract years before it was due to expire

Intractable Potsherd

I had a friend (RIP) who was a professor of accountancy. His opinion of accountants was that every single one of them has forgotten what accountancy is for, and that the lot of them should be fired... from a large howitzer. He was very big on business ethics, something that and I agreed was an oxymoron, but something to strive for. Business is about much more than making money.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Ex Mutual?

"What else could be the definition of success?"

I think posting AC meant you couldn't use the joke icon.

Intractable Potsherd

"... take advantage of not having to pay for the engineers to sit around for large periods of time."

And there lies the problem. So few companies (or anything else) build in a bit of extra capacity for the times that things go wrong. If three companies employ one outsourcer, then there will be fewer than three solutions available when, say, a storm knocks out large chunks of capacity. If all three companies had the staff "sitting around" (which is a lie of monumental proportions anyway), then they'd be up and running much quicker than waiting for the outsourcer to provide the relevant work based on whatever priorities they have.

My belief is that outsourcing is fine for short-term things that are widely outside the competence of the organisation - this might include electric work, vehicle maintenance, setting up servers etc - but, beyond a certain point it is a false economy. There is often a perverse incentive for an outsourcer to do a bad job so that more work comes in, for example. Companies need to keep their core functions in-house if they are to run effectively.

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes

Intractable Potsherd

I've recently seen the range of responses to emergency situation summarised as "fight, flight, freeze, facilitate", which I quite like.

There's only one cure for passive-aggressive Space Invader bosses, and that's more passive aggression

Intractable Potsherd

My brain is alternating between correcting the w to v and correcting the b to s, because both work in this context :-)

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Workplace Bullying

Is there anywhere that these Bobs write their memoirs? It would be good to see how they justify their behaviour, just for a little while.

Ofcom announces plan to protect endangered species – the Great British phone box

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Life line for the homeless

Public phones are a public good, and should be retained at as many locations as possible. As you've mentioned, Danny, claiming that "most people" have mobile phones doesn't cover all the situations. Leaving aside the coverage/battery/credit issues, mobile use can be monitored. I'm not particularly talking about tracking, even though we know it can be done relatively trivially, but simply by looking at call logs and Internet history. I know women whose male partners went through their phones every day to see who they'd been calling. These women desperately wanted to be out of the relationship, but couldn't use their phones to call support organisations or the police. Easily accessible public phones would have saved them anxiety and beatings. Children have similar problems, but they may not have a mobile at all.

Public phones should be much more accessible than they are now. As someone down-thread mentions, they don't necessarily need to be in ornate boxes. Shops and fuel stations would provide some protection from vandalism, for example, and would probably see regular usage because if the number of people passing through. This isn't an insurmountable problem, and we can roll back the post-Thatcher assault on civil resilience.

Satellite of love: Space broadband outfit Viasat acquires rival Inmarsat

Intractable Potsherd

Lies, damned lies...

... and merger promises. Don't be surprised when those UK jobs are moved elsewhere. The only uncertainty is when in the next five years it will happen.

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I *need* multiple calendars

Maybe I'm missing something (my life isn't quite as complicated as yours!), but Google Calendar suits me well for the different groups I inhabit. One general one shared with Mrs IP so we know where each other is due to be at any given time, then one for work purposes, one for my motorsport activities, and one for wider family, with access on a need-to-know basis. For those that use other calendars, there is a handy export function. Many's the time people have tried to convert me (or insist on me using) the abomination known as Outlook, but none have yet succeeded.

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call

Intractable Potsherd

Re: It does beg the question...

Photocopying one's bits is one thing, X-raying then something very different!

Intractable Potsherd

Re: What's The Password?

Don't complain too much - at least she had read the message, realised she was out of her depth, and asked for help. It's the ones who don't do this and click through whatever that cause the problems.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution

Intractable Potsherd

My recollection is that it was instructions on a toothpick packet that sent Wonko the Sane out of the asylum...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: It could have been worse!

"They did find something blocking the hose on the plumber's gas pressure meter though."

Of all the laughs from Dabbsy's article, for some reason that caused the biggest! :D

Facebook's greatest misses: The five nastiest bits from recent leaks

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "to paint a false picture of our company"

I think the key part of that sentence was at the end : "We have industry leading programs to study the effects of our products and provide transparency into our progress because we care about getting this right ". "Right" for whom? Well him and his shareholders, obviously - he doesn't care about the users one jot.


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