* Posts by Tom 38

4123 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

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Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

Chinese steel is made with Australian iron.

More than half of companies rethinking back-to-office plans amid variant uncertainty and vaccine mandates – survey

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Re: Office half full or office half empty?

The so-called flexi fares on National Rail that were announced are an absolute joke - you only save a few pounds over buying singles. It should be radically different.

Eg, Chelmsford -> Liverpool Street, carnet of 8 days = £220, 8 daily returns = £250, monthly season ticket = £414

Having trouble getting your mitts on that Raspberry Pi? You aren't alone

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..assuming new Astro Pis are indeed on the way

I would have thought it happens multiple times a day?

Git 2.33 released with new optional merge process likely to become the default: It's 'over 9,000' times faster

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Branching and merging is an edge case

Tell me you're not a software engineer without telling me you're not a software engineer.

COVID-19 cases surge as do sales of fake vaccination cards – around $100 for something you could get free

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Re: Hmm

Many countries and test centres were running tests at 40+ cycles, and thus giving positive tests to people whose exposure to covid-19 was so tiny that they could not possibly be infected or contagious, or who had pervioulsy had covid-19 and were now healed (again with 0 chance of contagion) but still had stray bits of busted covid RNA in their bloodstream etc.

Or are at the start of their infection, which is why its actually done like that, since they are the most important cases to catch.

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Knows all about the quality of a test but not how to spell it. Colour me quizzical. People's Republic of China? Prudential Regulation Committee?

I'd recommend not doing your "research" on Facebook

SpaceX Starship struts its stack to show it has the right stuff

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It does slightly irritate me how Branson's stuff gets depicted as rich playboy going on jaunts to space. Yes, that's one of the benefits, but mainly he's trying to build a cheap way of slinging small satellites into orbit.

Amazon delays return to office work until 2022 at the earliest

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Re: Really?

Title of article is "Amazon delays return to office work until 2022 at the earliest".

Google hits undo on Chrome browser alert change that broke websites, web apps

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Re: So what of...

There's no problem with embedded iframes, just with an iframe using alert, prompt and confirm as though they are the main website.

Don't do those things, and you're golden. HSBC don't, Paypal don't.

The way Google rolled it out is bad, but using alert/prompt/confirm is bad UI in 2021 anyway. This change isn't going to break things significantly , because the vast majority of iframe users don't use these modal prompts anyway, and will force the ones that do to correct their bad UI, whilst preventing bad actors from abusing it.

What they should have done, instead of forbidding it and instantly breaking these apps with bad UI, is present the message in a way that is ugly and would make users complain, whilst still allowing the app to work.

Eg, before displaying the alert, chrome could have displayed a message "This app is attempting to display an alert which does not come from the original website" and force the user to click OK before displaying the actual message. This would have not broken the apps that are still using it, but they would want to fix their app so that users no longer see such a message.

UK chancellor: Getting back to the altar of corporate dreams (the office) will boost young folks' careers

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Re: The Office

I wanted to apply to read PPE, but then I found out it wasn't studying the code of seminal 80s BBC Micro game Purple People Eaters.

Happy 60th, Sinclair Radionics: We'll remember you for your revolutionary calculators and crap watches

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Thumb Up

Rubber keyed ZX spectrum was probably the first computer I ever used, and definitely was the first computer I wrote a program on. To me (and probably many others in the UK), calling it "life changing" is a massive understatement.

Ecuador shreds Julian Assange's citizenship

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Re: Journalist prosecution

I thought the UK prosecuted him because he skipped bail?

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

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Re: Interesting previous interviews

The opposite for me - I interviewed a guy last month, he had been working for 12 years as a Java consultant after graduating with a CS degree, and was interviewing for a senior programming role.

We started the interview with discussing some of his projects, how he'd managed them, how he'd designed solutions etc. No problems. We then moved on to a really simple programming exercise; read some JSON data, and tell us various things about it. We had 5 questions that ramped up in difficulty; get to #3 and you're being considered, get to #5 and you're a double thumbs up (plus other metrics; its not just code golf, so if they're starting off by writing tests etc, another big thumbs up).

This guy couldn't parse the JSON - longest hour of my liife.

Tech support scams subside somewhat, but Millennials and Gen Z think they're bulletproof and suffer

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I kept pestering them with "cmon - seriously? Do people fall for this?", he persisted with "sir, no sir, we are legitimate microsoft agents" for a couple of minutes. I then asked him if they actually made any money and he finally cracked and said "yeah, we get loads of people - you should work with us"!

Ably blog claims company doesn't need Kubernetes to scale, surge in traffic takes down entire website

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Re: Nothing to see here

Docker solves a lot of problems to do with environments. There's never just a JAR file, there's everything that goes around it, all the libraries it uses, and the interpreter running the whole thing*. Docker allows you to easily manage all those things. Docker is well worth the effort in my opinion.

k8s is more meh. It's great, we use it for all our deployments, but it is so complex we have a team of 6 managing it and assisting making changes to the clusters. There is a lot of new shiny around the tooling on it, since no-one wants to write manifests by hand, and there's always a new thing coming up - for instance we switched from helm to tanka/ksonnet - not trivial.

Plus, k8s sucks as a developer. Yes, you can use minikube or k3s or a bunch of different solutions and apply manifests on your local machine, but its vastly more complex than just docker-compose. The very best solution for live editing a project in a docker container involves rsyncing files to a running container. So. Dumb. Or you start adding more and more services like Ambassador, Telepresence, Skaffold or Tilt into the mix. So. Complex.

Developers want to run their code in some local setup that's simple to setup and use. Docker containers do that, docker-compose is simple for orchestrating that in development, so we develop in one system and deploy in another. Not so great.

If I interviewed somewhere and they didn't deploy their code using containers, or do local development using containers in some way, I also probably would not take the job (unless of course, the job is helping them move to such a setup and they wanted to pay me lots of money)

* I might be getting some things wrong here, been a while since I did things in Java

Hundreds of irate UK Parliamentary staffers sue IPSA over 2017 salary spreadsheet publication snafu

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I wouldn't want my neighbours to know my address!

Dedicated (Local) Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service to grow almost 1000 per cent in five years

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Re: New but the same old

Beancounters love this one weird trick to reduce CapEx

New mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional

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I use InfiniDosh as Dosh-as-a-Service. With DaaS, I can scale my dosh limitlessly to meet my demands, and only pay for the dosh that I use. Granted, this costs $5 for every dollar I actually use, but its all OpEx and no CapEx!

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes

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Re: Depressing

I can understand that but can't a crash report be a one-off that you choose to send in the event of a crash.

When it is set up like that, you still require the language in the user agreement that caused the gnashing and wailing. You can't in this day and age collect data, even optionally, and not have these things listed out.

As I understand it, telemetry is disabled, you can opt in to it if you are having problems and want them to investigate.

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

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Re: Nothing better than the Texan cure of...

The gravy is white though, isn't it? It just seems wrong. Gravy should be dark and glossy, not white with bits in it.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

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Re: US prison system

Most people convicted of tax evasion in the UK don't go to jail, they pay a huge fine. The absolute maximum custodial sentence would be 7 years - and you'd be out in 3.5 years on license.

30 years for not paying the government, that's a bit excessive.

Tolerating failure: From happy accidents to serious screwups … Time to look at getting it wrong, er, correctly

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Re: "we should not be ashamed of things not going right"

Although, I am slightly peeved at the developmental capabilities of the human infant. Ever seen a new born foal, lamb or calf? Trotting around quite happily within minutes of entering this world. A 12 week old puppy can be trained to not shit in the house. Babies spend far too much time being irascible poop machines that are require constant support and supervision.

FYI: There's a human-less, AI robot Mayflower ship sailing from the UK to US right now

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They set off from Plymouth and they landed in Plymouth

How lucky is that?

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges

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Re: I'm going to go out on a limb...

Exactly! 450 a day (~100k a year), no one outside of the executive gets paid that much, certainly no employed r&d engineer!

Er. I would disagree. £100k is a good senior engineers salary in London for a permie.

PS: I'm not a contractor. IR35 forces contractors to pay more taxes, whilst receiving none of the benefits of permanent employment. Contractors are a useful tool for companies to manage projects efficiently.

Contractors are not tax dodgers. They are employed and paid differently to permies, but they aren't cheating the system or ripping off permies.

Deluded medics fail to show Ohio lawmakers that COVID vaccines magnetise patients

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The magnets in spinning disk hard drives are wicked strong. If you ever have an old HDD that you want destroyed, take it apart and retrieve the magnet, they're handy and fun.

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I started off writing

Most cutlery is stainless steel, which is definitely ferromagnetic.

and then I looked it up. Apparently there are 5 classes of stainless steel, one of which, austenitic stainless steel, is not magnetic. The most common grade of austenitic stainless steel is Type 304, which is used for "cookware, cutlery and kitchen equipment".

Now I'm slightly perturbed, as my spoons are highly magnetic when tested with one of my hard drive magnets, and I'm wondering wtf they are made from!

To confuse things further, the wiki page for 304 stainless steel says that It is less electrically and thermally conductive than carbon steel and is essentially-magnetic but less magnetic than steel, so who the fuck knows :)

Want to keep working in shorts and flipflops way after this is all over? It could be time to rethink your career moves

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: So that you're looking them in the eye...

If you put the second screen above/below the first screen, its almost impossible to tell that you're looking at a different screen.

Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched

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As much as Lennart would like them to be, systemd and polkit are not "Linux kernel"

Photographer seeks $12m in copyright damages over claims Capcom ripped off her snaps in Resident Evil 4 art

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Re: Breached whose copyright

@MiguelC, think your punning went over their heads (or maybe they didn't like the joke?)

Just when everyone thought things might be looking up, Dido Harding admits interest in top job at NHS England

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In October 1995, she married John Penrose, who was elected MP for Weston-super-Mare in 2005 and went on to hold junior minister posts from 2010 to 2019 .... Penrose sits on the advisory board of a think tank called 1828, which calls for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system and for Public Health England to be scrapped.

Dido, Queen of Carnage, should not be allowed anywhere near the NHS. Not only has she proven incompetent at every task she has undertaken since joining TalkTalk, but she is married to someone who wants to destroy the NHS. It takes a special kind of fuckwit to look at US healthcare and say "That looks good, let's have some of that over here".

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

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Re: Examples...

SSD vs spinning disk is easy - spinning disk is your file cabinet, you can easily get things that are next to each other, but hunting around for different things is difficult, you have to open and close different drawers. SSD is like an enormous poster board, you can get anything from anywhere really quickly.

Why Python's pip search isn't working: We speak to infrastructure director about ongoing traffic overload

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Re: Devops, Web3.0, Agile, CI/CD

I'm a hip agile devops engineer; we just stick a caching http proxy in front of our CI pipelines.

As in TFA, the problem with pip search is that it can't easily be cached like that.

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

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...to access their browser-based HR [..] forms

Never fear, ADP's "MyFreedom" website, which I have to use to get payslips and P60s, will refuse to work with anything other than IE - lock in forever!

Uptime funk: Microsoft has lifted availability of Azure Key Vault to 99.99%

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This, even if you did a rolling restart of your cluster during a 5 minute downtime period, the first new pod wouldn't startup properly, and everything will just wait until it is ready.

Linux laptop biz System76 makes its first foray into the mechanical keyboard world with dinky, hackable Launch

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Re: That is not TKL

They found space for DEL, but not INS (so that's a hard no from me as a vim user), PRTSCR, SCRLK and BREAK.

Even my ultrabook laptop keyboard has room for INS.

Activist millionaires protest outside Jeff Bezos' homes to support tax rises for the rich

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Re: $1M a year — is that a lot?

He doesn't have $200bn, he has a lot of shares in the company he started. Its a tricky one; I'm not in favour of anything that would say force him to sell shares to pay a wealth tax - that just seems like forcing someone to sell their company.

On the other hand, he does occasionally sell chunks of those shares to fund his other endeavours, buying big ass yachts, newspapers or building space rockets. I'm well in favour of taxing those sales quite highly - at that point, its not the government forcing him to sell shares, he's deciding to cash out.

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: too many times

On the "flip side", the vast majority of installers don't install monitors on movable, rotatable arms properly. There needs to be enough slack on the power and signal cables where they come out of the trunking to allow the monitor to be rotated, tilted and moved with the full range of the arm, otherwise connectors and cables pop out, get frayed etc. Virtually every desk in our office, the installer ran the cables so snug that they only reached in one position, so you always wanted to "hot desk" in a seat that you'd already fixed.

China claims it has stolen a march on 6G with colossal patent portfolio

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Re: Just ignore

Not sure why you consider this a joke. It's actually true. The rest of the world should play the game China the US has been playing for years, and just ignore their patents, or just use them without payment.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Debian devs decide best response to Richard Stallman controversy is … nothing

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Not a comment on the specifics of this case, which I don't know well enough - the commenter above says that she was actually older than 17 - just on the reporting here:

whether the term “sexual assault” was applicable in the case of a woman who, aged 17, was coerced to have sex

The correct term here would be "child", not "woman".

Seeing a robot dog tagging along with NYPD officers after an arrest stuns New Yorkers

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Re: murderbot

They remind me too much of Black Mirror's 'Metalhead', which is not by accident I guess.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

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Re: Russians, alcohol, making toasts

At a Georgian feast (a supra), you have an appointed toast master (tamada) who leads everyone through the toasts. After each toast, you must completely drink the glass of wine (if you're lucky) or chacha (moonshine). There can be 100+ toasts in your typical 6+ hour supra, expect to drink 3L or more wine..

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

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Re: It doesn't add up

Every other tech has more than 5 years to sweat the capital. These literally fall out of the sky.

How do we stamp out the ransomware business model? Ban insurance payouts for one, says ex-GCHQ director

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I'm surprised the insurance companies pay out anyway - all they would have to do is show some security negligence. No different from getting burglarised if you leave your front door open, no security, no claim.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'

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Denise Coates from Bet365 doesn't manage to pay herself £400m in dividends or so every year

She actually pays it as salary, not dividends. £421m in salary, plus around £45m in dividends (out of a total dividend of £95m). I think its partly a way for her to say "I'm definitely paying my share in taxes, I pay it PAYE like everyone else", and her father (who owns the majority of the rest of the shareholding) to "properly" reward her for actually running the company.

Imagine your data center backup generator kicks in during power outage ... and catches fire. Well, it happened

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: This would never have happened at a certain broadcaster I used to work for.

When we get heating oil delivered, the chap just unrolls a very long flexible pipe and pumps it in. Surely any problem is fixable with enough flexipipe and pumps?

The JavaScript ecosystem is 'hopelessly fragmented'... so here is another runtime: Deno is now a company

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Re: Mozilla clueless


The latest release in here seems to be 68.9.0 and the latest daily snapshot is from 2020-01-20. It seems that the latest release should be 86.0?

I've got the power! Or have I? Uninterruptible Phone-disposal Stuffup

Tom 38 Silver badge

Re: "Doing an OVH"

What's my vector Victor?

Workday bets big on staff coming back to the office by splurging $172.5m on HQ and five more Bay Area buildings

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Re: Nope

You clearly don't have network connectivity issues.

This is true; synchronous gigabit FTTP at home. However, I did get locked down at my parents when we visited at Christmas* for a 3 week visit that turned into 3 months, and manged fine on a very long line FTTC connection too - 20Mbps down, 1MBps up.

* We got Covid tests** and then isolated for 2 weeks before travelling by car, and left before London was locked down

** Offered to us by the local council

Tom 38 Silver badge


No problems here with collaboration, onboarding, ideas exchange when WFH. I'm struggling to think of any activity that we used do in person that can't be replaced with some combination of miro, chat and video conferencing. Even pre-lockdown, "in person brainstorming" was a bunch of people working on Miro on their own laptop in one small poorly ventilated room.

Trail of Bits security peeps emit tool to weaponize Python's insecure pickle files to hopefully now get everyone's attention

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Re: "they'll think about adding additional warnings"

The maintainers of python don't need to do anything; pickling is a great way of persisting private blobs of data. The maintainers of pytorch definitely need to do something because they are using it as the primary method of data interchange between users. That's the messed up part.


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