* Posts by Paul Shirley

2291 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Institute of Directors survey says most bosses expect no mass return to the office if COVID-19 crisis ever ends

Paul Shirley

Re: Caption Oblivious

Team building happens at the pub, preferably on the company credit card, during company hours.

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!

Paul Shirley

Re: HP

My Dell c1765nfw has appallingly slow scanning performance over WiFi or wired Ethernet, compared to usb. Don't know if it's because it's a cheapish, older device but worth checking before buying. Printing works identically fast on all connections.

It's too big a beast to fit in my office, good thing I rarely need to scan things.

Paul Shirley

Re: HP

"I'll pop to Tesco and print photos there"

And save money doing it!

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Paul Shirley


There are no other very commonly used 'backwards' humanly readable date formats, multiple forward formats. yyyymmdd being the 'most backward' format make it ideal to replace them all, it's logically simple with no room for ambiguity and little risk of confusion with rare alternatives.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon

Paul Shirley

Re: The frisson of Y2K

I struggle to believe they couldn't hear a floppy drive failing to boot...

Paul Shirley

Re: Power!

Cat5e cable turns out to be just right for snaking out limescale deposits in the water channel in the rim of my toilet bowl. With the useful side effect from association with toilets that I no longer feel any temptation to try resurrecting the other 19m from the unreliable cable I butchered!

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Paul Shirley

Re: Perhaps

Yet I still manage to not even notice anything but the phone ringing. I wait for my wife to answer that.

The joy of living in an age where 'dealing with the mail' means bulk deleting it with as little effort as possible once a month or so.

You're stuck inside, gaming's getting you through, and you've $1,500 to burn. Check out Nvidia's latest GPUs

Paul Shirley

Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

The Nvidia teaser suggests 'decoding' means decompressing resources on the GPU. SSD relevant only by being fast enough to be bottlenecked by CPU decompression and write bandwidth to the card.

In a world where AMD power both gaming consoles and AMD aren't dead on the PC I wonder how many games will adopt this Nvidia solution?

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Paul Shirley

Re: "it's the new version of Firefox for Android"

...sometimes (always?) the entire browser closes, instead of switching to another tab!

Really loving having to drag down to get the menu, click 3dots the click reload. NOT! Idiot UI designers looking for jobs at Microsoft?

Ever wonder how a pentest turns into felony charges? Coalfire duo explain Iowa courthouse arrest debacle

Paul Shirley

Re: "the team said the plod were actually rather cordial"

....because us ordinary folk steal their words and do whatever we want with them.

If it annoys grammar or spelling pedants we score bonus points ;)

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit

Paul Shirley

Re: Adding a comment sometimes caused compile failure

You reminded me of the brain dead Pascal compiler on the university mainframe that reacted to missing or wrong punctuation by throwing multiple errors for each line of the rest of the file... on the printed job report. 1 mistyped char in 100 lines could cause 1000's of lines of error and a quick dash between the shared printer and console to kill compiles to unblock the queue.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

Paul Shirley

my sort of distancing guide

this fits pub use better

Though I'll need to calculate what 24 cans is in bottles or cider boxes

Linus Torvalds pines for header file fix but releases Linux 5.8 anyway

Paul Shirley

Re: Google Sharing

I'd be impressed if Google found a way for the source to share your stuff with them... Showing epic metaprogramming skills

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

Paul Shirley

Re: ARM will rule them all

You haven't used a mass market consumer grade laptop recently have you? It's a very low hurdle.

Android 11 will let users stop device-makers from killing background apps, says Google

Paul Shirley

Re: So...

Gmail is a required part of the Google apps bundle. Want any of them, they have to install all of them. On recent versions of Android Gmail is also trivially easy to disable, at worst you might need to show system processes. Google don't prevent it and I'm surprised a vendor would. You can't uninstall without root though.

The only catch is it's also trivially easy to reenable.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

Paul Shirley

Re: DAB+? Where's the +?

Probably worth looking at dirt cheap RTL2832U usb dongles and software defined radio. My dvb-t2 versions came with dab support in the useless bundled software. Seems to be plenty of SDR support for them including DAB+ and customised versions with different antenna connectors and tweaked hardware. Wouldn't be hard to build a Pi based DAB recorder.

Paul Shirley

Re: dabshite

Not quite clear on how squeezing bitrate allows more advertising in a linear audio format? Do they magic up extra seconds in each minute?

Paul Shirley

Every Freeview device we've owned let's you enter the channel number and wait for it to tune. Even works on our Kodi boxes. A single jab at 1,2,3,4 or 5 gets you to the 'main channels'. My wife actually remembers the dozen or so 2 or 3 digit channel numbers she watches, I *choose* to complicate it by reordering them and working by channel name on the guide screens.

Roughly the same on satellite or cable TV.

Paul Shirley

Once they started concentrating on selling DAB into noisy car environments, after it was DOA in the home, sound quality stopped being relevant. Not helped by excessive licencing costs on a format that allows trading quality against cost.

It was doomed from the start by launching before the technology was affordable anyway.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Paul Shirley

Re: It normally the Caps lock

My favoured wireless keyboard has all the status LEDs on the receiver pod. Which is usually sitting out of sight behind piles of paper on the desk. Still having regular WTF! moments after gaming sessions & frantic kbd mashing, before remembering it might be capslock.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Paul Shirley

Re: There's a rat in mi kitchen...

When my wife went to throw stuff into one of the compost bins she disturbed a rat, which started running at high speed... circling partway up the wall of the cylindrical bin like a motorbike on a wall of death. She just left it to its exercise!

Paul Shirley

Re: There's a rat in mi kitchen...

My wife discovered the homing instinct the hard way, after failing to fully read the extremely short instructions for the humane mouse trap. 2nd time we caught it we hiked to the local nature reserve and released it near enough cover for a fighting chance of surviving more than seconds. Cute little beast as long as not in our living room!

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

Paul Shirley

The antenna design guide I just skimmed tells me BT signals (2.4-2.4835 GHz) are strongly absorbed by human bodies. If your phone is in a pocket you'll get severely reduced coverage for up to half the area around you, + some variation from omnidirectional antenna never quite being fully spherical.

It's also a noisy band, shared with too many other services.

BT is inherently unpredictable in real life. Any distance calculation little more than a bad guess. No amount of political wish making beats physics.

Paul Shirley

...but a loss of income stream from dead ex-customers if they don't do it.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

Paul Shirley

Re: At Tip PC, re: 2Gb RAM.

If fails because they dump installer files into TEMP before rebooting into a pre-logged in state that hasn't loaded the rd. Just point the TEMP (and probably TMP) environment variables to a real drive or comment out to revert to defaults before installing, point back to ramdisk after and reboot again.

This may have been fixed, the last update just worked before I remembered to apply the fix. Or it might just be leftovers from the previous install and I got lucky.

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

Paul Shirley

Re: Efficacy of warning messages

"IIRC each cluster entry (in the allocation table) would point to the next cluster. So chkdsk could've checked "is the next cluster in use by a different file by now..?"

CHKDSK does detect cross-linked files. Can't fix them for obvious reasons.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Paul Shirley

Re: When HP engineers were actually engineers!

I remember the fear first time I hotplugged a pcie graphics card, long ago enough that it working was more an aspiration than expectation. Spending extra on a high end mboard paid off that day.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

Paul Shirley

does filter out friend&family support calls

The click 'more info' stage is going to stop most normal users, even if it wasn't deliberately low contrast and easy to completely miss it doesn't really hint it will bypass the block.

So many less friends & family demanding free computer servicing. I'll put up with the annoyance and Firefox skips the 1st half of the obstacle course anyway.

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

Paul Shirley

Re: Bluetooth? Really?

You read the signal strength and make very bad guesses about how that maps to proximity. If Bluetooth was in any way predictable or reliable that might work. Might even be able to self calibrate by tracking beacons move in and out of range. If it was predictable.

My experience of Bluetooth between phones is serial, random failure. Radio reception usually defies understanding in the busy environments this needs to work in. Seems designed to fail, theatre not solution. The UK version is so inept probably best to have it die quickly before wasting more human resources.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Paul Shirley

Re: Pointless letter.

Ignoring questions from a parliamentary committee is unwise but doable, lying to them much worse. Fujitsu have been given a choice between looking guilty or very guilty. Innocent is long gone.

Unfortunately the current gov will ignore the whole affair whatever happens but creating doubt might help get justice for the victims.

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

Paul Shirley

Re: So...

...if life is long another Balmer scale asshole will inevitably end up in control again

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Paul Shirley

I take that as confirmation it doesn't work well and covering your face doesn't make it much worse because it simply can't be much worse!

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Paul Shirley

Re: Clowns in a Blue Rosette

For far too many politicians having a real job before joining the gravy train just provides the enabling contacts for corruption. Work experience is not the problem, politics enabling corruption and protecting the corrupt from punishment is. And corruption hangs around politicians like flies around shit.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Paul Shirley

Re: It asks for your location?

If everyone entered SWA1 the trackers will have a headstart working out where the diseases attacking the UK are spread from.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...

Paul Shirley

Re: Hours???

You've apparently never tried to kill Cortana in Win10...

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Paul Shirley

Re: Difficult choice

There's no comparison between the damage a profit driven private company will be prepared to do by abusing surveillance and the ability, willingness and mild consequences (and the ability to exempt themselves from them) a government or political movement has to abuse surveillance.

The current malign, incompetent UK gov and majority of politicians infesting all parts of our supposed democracy are infinitely less trustworthy than the worst anyone believes of Google/Apple/Amazon etc.

If tracking is needed, I'll go with the provider with less motive&ability to shit on my life through doing it.

Got room for another probe up there, Google? Jobs sites ask EU antitrust tsar to look at how search giant ranks them

Paul Shirley

Re: 'by restructuring its websites to follow Google's rules'

Sounds more like opt in to me and usable unlike the sledgehammer of robots.txt the clueless suggest for every Google problem.

Having been on both sides of the job agency process, I'm firmly on the “they're parasites“ side of the debate though. Anything that lets direct job adverts compete will be a valuable service.

Australia to make Google and Facebook disclose ranking algorithms and pay for local content

Paul Shirley

too few Australian eyes

A company that profits from the number of eyes seeing it's product, that was prepared to cut off 47mil Spanish, won't think long before cutting off 28mil Australians.

Until small minded politicians worldwide stop looking for headline grabbing, easy but badly targetted actions that support only their own backers, the Googles & Facebook's of the world will face no pressure to change where they actually are wrong.

Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you

Paul Shirley

Re: Just wait

Paranoia is imaging to a NAS closer to the emergency exit and another copy on USB stick in my wallet.

Guess what's heading to trial? IBM and its tactic of yoinking promised commissions after sales reps seal the deal

Paul Shirley

Re: I've Been Mangled

Maybe their quantum computer research finally paid off and their sales team is in a quantum superposition of contract/no contract?

French monopoly watchdog orders Google to talk payment terms with French publishers

Paul Shirley

Re: Moneygrab?

With the important point that the experiment has been done and shown it actually drives more visits to the underlying news sites than it removes. In real life punters have little reason to go to the sites at all, have overwhelming choice of sources and prefer watching cat videos instead of news.

Should we just shut Google news down and watch the news sites drown 10% faster?

Paul Shirley

Re: Dear Google

The Spain precedent suggests Google wouldn't miss dealing with the notoriously difficult French :)

Or listen if they beg to come back...

Consumer reviewer Which? finds CAN bus ports on Ford and VW, starts yelling 'Security! We have a problem...'

Paul Shirley

The not well enough flagged (apparently) issue is you can possibly connect to CAN from it and do it without breaking into the car.

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions

Paul Shirley

Strangely matches other observations

The range of Hubble values in that map is similar to the range of values different groups using different measurement methods are still coming up with for the constant.

Maybe a clue that there really isn't a single correct value and our patch isn't quite as flat as believed.

Please, just stop downloading apps from unofficial stores: Android users hit with 'unkillable malware'

Paul Shirley

Re: nice to see a breakdown of how it persists

Flashing simply means overwriting the systems flash memory. Overwrite the partitions the OS runs from, zero the data partitions and nothing survives of any infection (unless it can run from external storage - which nowadays would require a hacked firmware).

Stock recovery mode is how you flash signed stock firmware images, often to recover a bricked or corrupt phone, or force an OS upgrade. For tinkering we flash the stock recovery partition with something more hacker friendly.

Paul Shirley

Re: "and assume root privilege"

Trusted rooting implementations require apps to be whitelisted or one time authorised before they can successfully call su.

Malware on a user rooted device will need to trick the user into authorising it or find an exploit to replace the existing su. Rooting a device is pretty safe unless you're easily tricked.

Paul Shirley

nice to see a breakdown of how it persists

Earlier reports seem to have not known how factory reset works and how little it actually does. If you're not into flashing 3rd party OS images I guess you just wouldn't think about recovery mode and reflashing - nuking the partitions from orbit.

Paul Shirley

Re: "and assume root privilege"

...and user rooted devices will block unknown apps by default.


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