* Posts by Bill B

287 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jul 2009


80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

Bill B

Re: unpopular opinion: no, WFH and WFO are not the same.

There’s some good points here. The graduate intake we had suffered a bit because a lot of what they would normally learn is incidental … the discussion of colleagues t and over a problem, for example.

However, some of the WFH/WFO can be mitigated by an adjustment to patterns. For example, time set aside specifically to discuss things with the graduate, more structured training.

Our team arranged to all be in the office for one day and that day was spent talking, not coding. We made it a social day.

Of course, this requires organisation and a good manager can help here.

Techie's quick cure for a curious conflict caused a huge headache

Bill B

Re: "Ever done a little thing that made a big mess"

Oh God. DHCP. We were building an industrial controller based on a well known RTOS. We used a DHCP server on the controller to allocate IP addresses to I/O. If the configuration indicated there was only one I/O unit on a connection we auto allocated a single IP address.

IO was connected to ETH2 through to ETH5. ETH1 was used for the supervisory (programming) network. In the early stages of development we had the DHCP server enabled on ETH1 and in error connected the controller not to the private lab network but to the company one.

You can see where this is going. When everyone came in in the morning and switched their computers on our controller gleefully handed out ‘’ to anyone who asked.

The issue was fixed very rapidly and an edict sent out that no unauthorised items were to be connected to the company network.

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard

Bill B

Apple’s argument is weak

Apple’s argument would be so much stronger if they haven’t already moved to USB-c on their latest iPad Pro, which means that anyone upgrading ends up with all their existing Lightning cables obsolete ... unless you buy a lightning to usb-c connector (which let’s face it, is what people will do).

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency

Bill B

Re: 2038 - I'm outta here!

I too am a Y2K veteran. My concern is the pacemaker/mobility scooter/pension payment I’ll be relying on by that point.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Bill B

Re: Comms room vs Pidgeons

I’m a bit worried that I knew what that RFC was without looking it up.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

Bill B

Re: why not take the Blue Peter way out?

It’s not Blue Peter unless there’s double sided tape in the recipe.

Fraudster convicted of online banking thefts using… whatever the hell this thing is

Bill B


For the uninitiated, the device at the bottom left is similar to a Barclays PINSentry. Can be used to get access to your online bank account. Put your card in, type in your PIN and it generates an 8 digit one time code. That, together with your surname and online membership number gets you into your account.

So in terms of security it relies on something you have (the chip on your card), something you know (your PIN) and a couple of other bits of fixed information (your name and membership). I think if you log in from a different device another layer kicks in.

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

Bill B

Er wot?

Eh? What?



Sometimes I think El Reg’s commentards are speaking a foreign language.

Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Bill B

Re: There's an island somewhere...

“Phones will have buttons running parallel on both sides, so that pressing the one on the right means you also press the one on the left”

Yes. This. The plonker who put the volume controls on the opposite side to the off button. You know which phone I’m talking about.

And if anyone tells me I’m holding it wrong I’ll ... I’ll... Let’s put it this way. It may not fit sideways but I’ll have a damn good try.

It's Galileo Groundhog Day! You can keep asking the same question, but it won't change the answer

Bill B

“It will depend on what is in the contracts as to who owns the IP”.

Quite a few commentaries seem to be suggesting the the U.K. holds the intellectual property. As far as I know, it’s rare for a country to own technology. More often than not it is a private company or institution, and they are free to do with it what they like (such as sell the technology to a third party).

The only limitation by country as far as encryption is concerned is export control law (since strong encryption is generally regarded as an export controlled item). However, as we are part of the EU still there’s no limitation on selling the technology within the EU provided the transfer is registered.

One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone

Bill B

Re: Android watch and apples

Werdsmith. I downvoted you for a number of reasons.

1). Your post made sense and was thought provoking. Please remember this is The Register.

2). You made no attempt to diss the opposition. In fact I can’t tell from your post which side if the fense you are on. Please be more partisan in future.

3). No USE OF CAPS, no speling mistakes, no rants. SAD.

4). Your first paragraph failed to take into account those people living on a desert island with only a coconut tree and a crab for company. Please be more inclusive in your examples.

New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

Bill B

Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

@DainB ... we should definitely avoid any energy source that is around 45 MJ/kg .. especially as a full tank could be around 40 kg of the stuff.

Seldom used 'i' mangled by baffling autocorrect bug in Apple's iOS 11

Bill B

Am I holding it wrong?

I’m with werdsmith on this one. I can’t my IOS 11.1 iThingy to misplace or mistype the I.

US spook-sat buzzed the International Space Station

Bill B

Re: No need for the tinfoil hats

"How exactly does one service a racehorse?"

Very carefully? (Or is it bulls I'm thinking of?")

New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Bill B

Re: Sounds rather flawed to me

Hold on a minute. "The old code was not fit for purpose?".

Let's look at this way. The software in your car is updated so that a new feature "window wind half way down" is added. This does not mean that the old code is unfit. I can see a legal minefield here

SpaceX blasts back into the rocket trucking business

Bill B

Re: Credit where credit is due

Yeah I noticed that. Maybe the OP isn't a big fan of SpaceX and doesn't follow EVERY launch

'It will go wrong. There's no question of time... on safety or security side'

Bill B

Re: Heavy industry runs on PLC, not the IofHype

On the other hand, sending an expert to an oil rig when things go wrong also costs a shed load of money, particularly if said oil rig is the other side of the world and the plant is shut down because they can't diagnose what is wrong.

Being able to remotely diagnose what has gone wrong can be useful.

Deadly Tesla smash probe: No recall needed, says Uncle Sam

Bill B

Re: Phew, got away with murder

I appreciate that AC is joking here (because no sane person would think that Tesla was engaged in a deliberate attempt to kill someone) but it does perpetuate the Luddite belief that this technology should not be in use, in spite of the fact that it is reducing accidents in this class of car.

Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief

Bill B

Re: More than just for warming pies

My cat never forgave me for moving from a CRT to LCD screen.

Helping autonomous vehicles and humans share the road

Bill B

Re: The trolley problem isn't real life

OK so let me pose another trolley problem. If the block to autonomous cars is the law and culpability for manslaughter, then change the law to remove the culpability. Our lawmakers now have the trolley problem. Do I bring in legislation to encourage the use of autonomous cars (and from existing evidence therebuy save lives) or do I leave the law as it is to low grieving relatives/friends someone to go after?

Answers on a postcard please.

And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Bill B

Re: "creative output"

Steve; you're thinking about management or marketing meetings. Development meetings are normally more productive

Bill B

Re: Sorry to be dismissve

Whiteboards are wonderful tools for brainstorming and collaboration ... as long as everyone is on the same site. Our problem is that we have distributed teams ranging from US to Europe. We occasionally travel to conferences but a 3 day visit to the States from Europe is around $2.5k per person. Doing that every month or even every quarter for a team of 12 soon adds up. So one of these whiteboards in the telepresence room would probably pay for itself relatively quickly.

We tried to set up a collaborative conference with a pseudo whiteboard earlier this year. I reckon the cost of trying to cobble together a touchscreen TV, WebEx, video cameras etc came to about $1000 worth of man hours easily.

R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

Bill B

Well, at least it wasn't a full stop.

FAA powers up an invisible hand, groping the skies for rule-busting biz drones

Bill B

Re: Drones coming home to roost

I'm all for a lager commercial drone

VMware shipped public key with its Photon OS-for-containers

Bill B

I know I'm displaying my ignorance here and I'm going to get flamed by those more expert than I am, but I thought that the whole point of a public key was that it was ... well ... public, and it's the private key that you don't want to leave lying around.

If you know what's good for you, your health data belongs in the cloud

Bill B

Re: Pillock

Don't need to get rants about this, but the context is that of a diabetic hypo. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a lack of blood sugar caused by an excess of insulin, usually because the diabetic in question hasn't had a dose of sugar (read 'meal') at the appropriate point after an injection, or has engaged in an activity that has used more blood sugar than the insulin was supposed to have balanced.

The commentators may not know that the early symptoms of a hypo is similar to that of a drunk (probably due to the same reason ... brain functions shutting down). This means that the sufferer's judgement is impaired. If the person is in a 'zone' (for example .. In the middle of a job) they may judge that there is enough time to finish the job and then get some sugar ... and that judgement may be wrong.

As someone who had a diabetic in the family that phone conversation was very familiar. The '60' in this conversation is less than 60mg/dL of blood sugar and yeah, at this point the person is still rational but really really needs to get some sugar. Myfamily would often detect that my mother was going hypo well before she knew herself. She would respond to 'mum, take some sugar' (or if she was particularly advanced, "mum, take some sugar NOW") even though she herself didn't feel the need, and I suspect the son in the article hadn't realised the need himself.

I would agree that this remote alarm to family etc shouldn't be the first line of support. However, I can see it being a useful tool to help diabetics manage their condition. As I've pointed out above, families, friends and neighbours can be a great help, but the problem arises when they are not there. I've come back home to find my mother in a coma because she hadn't realised she was going hypo and there was no-one around to help.

So to all those who call this lunacy, shouldn't be implemented etc ... you're entitled to your opinion but as someone who had to deal with a family member with type 1 diabetes ... I think it's a great idea.

Bill B

Re: What?

Hyper is right. My mother sometimes wouldn't detect an insulin reaction and there were occasions when I'd returned home to find her slumped on the floor. If you have a problem with the 'cloud' word then let's just go with "neighbours and friends can be alerted in the event of an attack".

Utah declares 'war on smut'

Bill B

Re: "War on Smut"

Hopefully some politico will soon issue a War On Common Sense. We need more of it and that seems like a surefire way.

I thought that was what that nice Mr Trump was doing?

Microsoft completes its Skype bot invasion with Web, OS X versions

Bill B

They're anticipating the aftermath of a Brexit when Scotland votes to leave the UK and Wales and N Ireland follow suit.

Surface Hub: A Howard Hughes folly, or a cunning Post It Note killer?

Bill B

Re: Utterly Pointless as a Presentation Device

I guess you've never used a whiteboard then

Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Bill B

Re: Let's not pretend its just Microsoft

I suspect the down vote is because you had Windows 10 installed

Clear November in your diary: SpaceX teases first Falcon Heavy liftoff

Bill B

Re: Money for nothing ?

"it makes good sense to run some IPA through the pipes"

This sounds like a complete waste of a good Indian Pale Ale.

Hackers add exploit kit to article asking 'Is cyber crime out of control?'

Bill B

Re: Hmm

There is nothing wrong with the Guardian. You just have to read the Telegraph at the same time.

Bill B

Re: blame

This is the grauniad. Corbyn is unlikely to get the blame here. Cameron, Blair are all likely candidates though.

So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

Bill B

Not enough information

Dear Mr Dabbs.

I Read your Article and Thought that the Rs:Wyp sounds like a Very Good Idea but I couldn't find out Any Information on it Even a search on Google didn't give me Any Link and there was nothing on Kickstarter or on the Apple Store so Could you please Post A Link so I can Invest all my Life Savings because I think that I would make A Lot Of Money investing in such a Brilliant Project.

CISA latest: Law urging tech giants to share your info with the Feds shows no sign of stopping

Bill B

Safe Harbour

@skelband .. You've succinctly summarised why the EU objects to the sharing of personal data with the States. Privacy laws are a lot stricter because of the invasion of privacy by an oppressive government is still fresh in people's minds. I can understand why Microsoft et al don't like this law. It widens the chasm of privacy between the USA and the EU, making it increasingly difficult for these companies to do business here.

Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Bill B

Re: I fail to see the logic

A lot of posters are missing the background to this

"From 1 September 2014, a new EU energy label for vacuum cleaners means manufacturers are not permitted to make or import vacs with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts. "

What Dyson is saying is that these products exceed the emissions ratings and should therefore not be sold. There's still a bit of wiggle room for lawyers though,since the manufacturers may argue that on average their motors operate below 1600 watts.

Radio wave gun zaps drones out of the sky – and it's perfectly legal*

Bill B

Re: eff that

"Except if it plummets to earth over, say, a playground or beer garden or what have you.". Pretty sure that's illegal in UK, so you just keep hold of the unit until plods arrive.

'Unexpected item in baggage area' assigned to rubbish area

Bill B

Would you like a shag?

I'm not sure why this was struck out. If the person making the offer is old enough they are either offering some rough tobacco for her pipe or they're a carpet salesman.

Microsoft replaces Windows 10 patch update, isn't saying why

Bill B

Re: Am I particularly unobservant...?

@bbt (nice name by the way). You have asked a technical question about a well know OS on the El Reg forums. You can't honestly have been expecting a reply that answers the question? What you can expect is one or more of

* an implication that you are a spawn from hell for associating with <insert OS of choice>.

* a suggestion that you move to the true path of <insert OS of choice>

* The implication you are a fanboi (Apple), fandroid (Android) or just brain dead (Windows)

* A pedantic post suggesting you asked the wrong question

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Spanish summer soother salmorejo

Bill B

"This ... is not faggy resturant grub"

I'm absolutely with the poster on this one. Eating stuff made by a guy who drops his cigarette ends in the food is to be avoided at all cost.

Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

Bill B

Re: @BongoJoe

"Perhaps if we had a heatwave it might switch from peers to piers?"

What .. you want a full page spread of a half naked Piers Morgan? You are WEIRD!

Sixty-five THOUSAND Range Rovers recalled over DOOR software glitch

Bill B

Re: "...doors can remain unlatched even when in the 'closed' position..."

The articles (and some commentators) all seem to use the words 'unlatched' and 'unlocked' interchangeably, and they are NOT the same thing. An unlocked door is still safe until it becomes unlatched, at which point it can be opened.

I'm guessing that the fault is that the door can become unlatched and swing open when going round a corner, but I wouldn't put it past some someone to have confused unlatched and unlocked and reported on the more newsworthy fault.

SpaceX gets ready to crash barge-land ANOTHER rocket

Bill B

To make this really perfect it should do this WITHOUT BURNING ANY OF THE DECK CHAIRS.

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Bill B

London Underground next?

I so look forward to Dabbsy reviewing the TFL pay by bonk system.

EXTREME FEEDING: BLUE whales' gluttonous gobbling of fishy fluids

Bill B

Re: Wake up El-Reg!

Wales are noted for their blow jobs.

Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Bill B

Re: Ceterum censeo!

No. Alistair is English. Butt is an American word. Try again. Nearly there but it has three letters, two of which are 'm' and 'u'.

Bill B
Paris Hilton

You've juggled a lap dancer? I thought you weren't allowed to touch?

Sony nabs cloud gamers OnLive, administers swift headshot

Bill B

Re: Sony strikes again...

I'm sorry Mark, but did you actually read the article? Sony has its own equivalent of Onlive, but for its Playstation platform only, so it's not exactly 'patent troll ... Nothing using them'.

Sony could have sweetened the deal for existing Onlive customers,must I suspect that they are a bit oblivious to their 'bad big Corp' reputation.

Atomic keyring's eerie blue glow lights SPB lab

Bill B

Latex gloves

I can't wait for my next visit to the States.

TSA Bod: "So, what does this glowing key ring do?"

Me: "Oh, it's a radioactive source. If you have enough of them you can make a fission bomb".

TSA Bod: "I'll get me gloves".