* Posts by rpjs

122 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2009


Å nei! Norway's Stortinget struck by Microsoft Exchange malware


“-et” means “the”

so write either “Stortinget” or “the Storting”. “The Stortinget” means “the the Storting”.

I am not Norwegian.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running


Sounds like local government to me

Back in the 90s I once deleted three years of financial records for the county purchasing dept from a production Oracle DB thinking I was logged on to dev. The relevant manager didn’t really care because they were the oldest records and only kept for audit purposes which was highly unlikely to happen.

Nevertheless we all agreed the Right Thing To Do would be to restore from the backup tapes. But the most recent backup wouldn’t restore, and investigations showed that no backups had been verified for some months. The problem was found and fixed and in the end I was not in trouble as I had inadvertently prevented potentially much more serious data loss if something important had been fubarred.

I don’t think we ever got the deleted data restored cos the manager was happy that there were some older verified backup tapes which could be mounted if audit ever needed them (they never did).

OpenStreetMap declared ready for paid use after satnav app debut


According to OSM

My house does not exist: OSM says there's a street crossing mine at this point. There is no such cross-street. I have flagged it but it's still there.

Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS



Why don't the Home Office just have the honesty to rename themselves the Public Control Department and give the shade of Wilfred Greatorex the credit he deserves?

Yes, Prime Minister to return after 24 years


Casting will be key

I saw the stage play a couple of years back, the writing was excellent, but some of the acting just didn't do it justice. It showed that the success of the original programme was that they combined great scripts with great actors. So finding a new set of great actors will be key to the new series' success. I am not holding my breath.

Pirate Bay plans sky-high flying proxy servers


Have TPB

Hired Michael O'Leary as a PR consultant?

Tourists follow GPS, drive into sea


Think of it

as evolution in action.

£30m gov ID scheme to be steered by dole office

Big Brother

"Identity revocation"

Orwell got there first, as always:

"Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist: he had never existed."

Elonex to set up tech fab in Coleshill, create 400 jobs



... that's not something you see every day.

Space: 1999 returning to TV?


Moving it to 2099...

...will at least give a bit more of time for there to actually /be/ a moonbase. Although to be truly plausible it'd have to be filmed in Chinese.

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone



Instead of "tiles", they should have called then "panes"

Winamp mends trio of old-school security holes



How quaint.

ICO smacks Welsh council with record £130k fine



That's a whole percent of Powys's childrens' services budget for 2011-12. That'll show 'em!

Penguin pulls its e-books off library shelves


Especially as

Penguin is owned by Pearson, which is a British company - part of the FTSE 100 in fact.

Why your tech CV sucks


Some of the new phones

Have caller ID.

You may want to upgrade.

UK.gov moves to close VAT loophole on etailers


Isn't it about time

That we ended the medieval hangover which is the Crown Dependencies and just annex them to the UK as county councils?

Canada founded on 'relentless pursuit of beaver'


And in related news,

Finnbar Saunders announces he is emigrating.

Argentina stakes online claim on Falklands


Dunno why they don't just invade again

I mean, it's not like we have much of a navy anymore...

Feds nab granny in moon rock sting


When moon rock is banned...

...only criminals will have moon rock.

El Reg in email address blunder


To err is to be human

But so is to have a touch of schadenfreude, seeing as El Reg hauled the company I used to work for[1] over the coals when we did exactly the same thing a few years back.

[1] The fact I don't work for them any more has absolutely nothing to do with said incident.

'iPhone 4 to be free' when new iPhones ship


Hmm, what's the point of dual mode?

In the US, AIUI, the mobilecos here are *either* CDMA or GSM, so what's the point of building both in? Or will Apple be offering them unlocked?

Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab


Ialmost feel a bit sorry for MSFT

because I have a feeling Windows 8 will have the potential to be one of those truly exciting new products, but I doubt it'll be enough to tip the point back from inexorable decline, not unless they fire Ballmer.

Prototype iPhone 5 lost in bar, right on schedule


I do hope that...

...if anyone gets their collar felt for this, that they claim entrapment.

Keep calm and carry on networking, says UK.gov


Joined up government?

I suspect that PC Plod has pointed out to the government that social networking helps to alert them where likely trouble is going to happen and help catch the scrotes afterwards.

10-year old hacker finds flaw in mobile games


Tch, kids these days

Spending all their time indoors glued to a screen. Doesn't she know she should be out looting an Argos?

Antimatter close to home


South Atlantic eh?

Wonder if we have an explanation for the Vela incident now? - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident

NotW accused of hacking Milly Dowler's voicemail


Dennis Potter was right.

That is all.

Pissed-off elves bombard Icelandic town with rocks


If you've ever been to Iceland

And I mean more than a stag do in Reykjavik, you might see where the belief in huldufolk comes from. The landscape of the place runs from slightly to very unreal. You sometimes think you're on the gigantic set of a science fiction movie. I don't believe in elves myself, and to be fair, neither do most Icelanders, but you can sort of see where it comes from.

London Olympics shop in Union Jack outrage


The weird thing is

They got the proportions of the various crosses right. Although it is upside down as well.

WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'


WW1 Shurely?

Invented by the artist Norman Wilkinson in 1917 if the wiki-fiddlers are to be believed.

Remastered 4K, 3D Titanic steams towards cinemas


I thought...

...that Dances With Smurfs *was* Aliens in 3D

Apple proposes even tinier SIMs for future iPhones, iPads



<i>it is almost impossible to get hold of prepaid microSIMs in the various countries I regularly visit.</i>

So get a SIM cutter.

Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made



Did a rather good radio adaptation a couple of years back.

Cell site data sinks into black hole of local bureaucracy



Having worked in local government IT I do not believe for one moment that the shiny GIS systems that no self-respecting planning department would be seen dead without cannot convert from National Grid References to latitude and longitude or indeed the compass bearing and number of miles and chains from Charing Cross and back again.

I do find it easy to believe that no-one in said planning departments can be arsed to import the data though.

South West Trains puts squeeze on commuters


Won't fit

Unfortunately the British loading gauge (clearance of structures from the track) is too small for double-deckers to be practical here. Bulleid tied it back in the 40s but it was not a success (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/4DD).

The loading gauge on the European mainland and in North America is larger, and so double-deckers will fit. The new high-speed lines have been / will be built to the European standard so we could see double-deck high-speed trains in years to come. The cost of enlarging the loading gauge on the legacy network is almost certainly going to be prohibitive.

The tight loading gauge is also why the 3 + 2 "high density" seating is such a squeeze. We have 3+2 seating on the Metro-North commuter rail here in the American colonies but the seats are large enough to fit comfortably in (well people here still complain about them but they really have no idea how bad it could be!).

High density seating is not at all new - much of the old slam-door commuter stock had it, but people have got larger on average over the years and modern trains have thicker exterior walls (for better crash-worthiness) than the old slam-doors so it definitely feels more cramped.

I'll get me anorak.

Vince Cable to cut training and flexible work rules


You have a year*...

...from first employing someone in which you can fire them without cause. If line managers and/or HR can't figure out in that time if someone's competent to do their job or not, then maybe its them that needs to be fired instead.

*soon to be increased to two, personally I think it should be no more than six months

Watchdog disses City of Medway



See previous post. Rochester lost its city status in 1998 due to adminstrative neglect. I think possibly this is a unique occurrence in English history.

Doctor Who co-star Nicholas Courtney dies at 81


Shouldn't it be

*Major-General* SIR Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart ? IIRC officers over the rank of Major or Colonel or some such get a courtesy promotion when they retire.

Elon Musk's rocket booked by Google X-Prize moon robot


I'm more worried

That the Googlerover will come down *on* Tranquility Base and destroy it. Can we have the lunar equiv of a listed building please?

Bradley Manning 'is British' – campaigners urge UK.gov to act


Good luck with that

It's a basic rule of dual citizenship (and that's assuming that Bradley Manning is a dual citizen - he may well be entitled to British citizenship but he may not have taken any action required to claim it), that no country can protect its citizen from any legal action taken by another country that he/she is also a citizen of when that person is in that other country's jurisdiction.

Ryanair disses booking system security fears


Uh, BA

British Airways only require the booking ref and passenger's surname to access a booking. OK, I don't think you can add any paid-for items without having to pay for them there and then but still, seems a bit double standards to me, even though like all sane people I too detest Ryanair.

FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals



...Galileo doesn't look like a waste of money after all!

Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org


I think it was Churchill...

...on the Americans.

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?



The SF writer Charlie Stross has a series of posts on his blog (<http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/04/common-misconceptions-about-pu-1.html>) about the the costs of e-books and the publishing industry in general. He points out that the vast majority of the costs of publishing a book go to humans: author, the copy editor, the typesetter etc, and only a small proportion on yer actual dead tree and the costs of shifting such around.

Yahoo! to! ax! 10%! of! product! staff! says! report!




Nominet forgets what the first .uk domain name was


Uh not quite

The island has "always" been Britain for values of "always" back to at least pre-Roman times, hence Latin "Britannia" and modern Welsh "Prydain" from older Celtic variants.

When the Romans withdrew from Britain in the early fifth century and the Anglo-Saxons started to invade, some Romano-British Celts moved from south western Britain to the Armorica peninsula in the north-west of what was then still-Roman Gaul. That area became known as Brittany/Bretagne, as it was now inhabited by Britons/Bretons. Until Cornish died out iin the late 18th century it was at least partially mutually intelligible with Breton.

As you say, the French then started to call the island Grande Bretagne to distinguish it from their Bretagne, but the island had the name first.

Brussels blocks UK from biometric superdatabase


Simple solution

Join Schengen.

PARIS nursing mother of all hangovers



We've all seen the movies. What quarantine protections have you taken with your passenger sent to the edge of space?

Keeping an eye on the media for reports of zombie Playmobil outbreaks in Spain.

Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed


Life imitates Pratchett and Gaiman

Although they had it in _Good Omens_ that the *whole* M25 was cursed: specifically that the demon Crowley and arranged for it to form the exact shape of the dread sigil odegra, which in the language of the Black Priesthood of Mu means "all hail the great beast, devourer of worlds".

Makes sense to me.

Visa looks at NYC wave-pay trial, says 'I wanna be a part of it'


Correct me if I'm wrong

Bu the NYC subway has a flat fare of $2 for any distance travelled, so all you need to do is guard entry into the system. The Tube has fares tiered by zones travelled, which is why you need to touch out on exit to ensure the correct fare has been levied. When you enter you are automatically charged the maximum-possible £5 fare and are refunded the difference between that and the fare you actually travelled when you touch out.

So it's a lot easier to implement the tech described in the NYC system than it would be in London.

Of course, it does beg the question wouldn't it have been cheaper in the long run for London to have gone flat fare and save having to have all the kit for exit checks and, as you point out, Oyster cards at all.