* Posts by [email protected]

435 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009


Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

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It was *supposed* to turn the aeroplane

It just turned it the wrong way so instead of a left turn it went right, or instead of a right turn it went left.

Not such a problem with low-use single-runway airfields in the middle of flat areas, but potentially embarrassing if there are hills, mountains, tall structures, (air) traffic or additional runways nearby...

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

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This does work

Given the Quantum Uncertainty Principle and Superstring Theory, every possible state of matter exists in a space-time continuum somewhere. Which means, in layman's term, that somewhere (somewhen) there is (was, will be) a universe where this does exactly what it says on the tin. And if it works in one stringstate then it can work in others, so proving it does work - for a given value of "work" ([quantum field/protection from 5g/biosphere] or [money/fool/separation], your choice)

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

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Re: Doesn't mean they are ignoring it

Smooth Newt said "If you receive a letter saying "we have decided not to take forward your job application", it means that the company isn't going to hire you, not that they are going to hire you in a couple of weeks time."

Conveniently overlooking the phrase "UNTIL THE SITUATION IMPROVES". Which puts a completely different spin on things when it's added to a statement...

Personally, I agree with those who think the ICO will simply brush anything and everything they can under the carpet, given how effective they have been so far. But we can always live in hope,

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Re: Highly sophisticated

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Re: Highly sophisticated

"That's funny: when you type your password in this comments section, it is transformed to ******** after submitting. Try yourself!"



did it work?

It's, it's, a red-and-blue striped golfing umbrella... Facebook teaches its online tat bazaar to auto-identify stuff for sale

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Big Brother

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

"Going one step further, it would advance visual search to make your real-world environment shoppable. If you see something you like (clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.), you could snap a photo of it and the system would find that exact item, as well as several similar ones to purchase right then and there.”

Setting aside any issues of potential vendors paying to have their products bumped up the list of "similar ones to purchase right there and then", how long before they decide to create a 'dating' app and add this to Facebook... "Hey! You've photographed the person standing in the doorway to your left! Here are a dozen similar-looking people in your area!" And even if they should somehow resist the temptation to monetise that sort of thing, you can bet other people will take advantage of the possibilities it offers...

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

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Re: We've reached peak fuckwit

You don't need the app to drink the beer - it's so you can rate the beer after you have drunk it and, if you wish, rate the establishment serving it too.

Peak fuckwittery would be using it to rate American laqer in the mistaken belief that that is beer...

If American tech is used to design or make that chip, you better not ship it to Huawei, warns Uncle Sam

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Re: Also Microsoft

Werdsmith said "The average brexiter hasn’t got a clue what Maastricht was about and is more concerned about the other languages spoken in his local B&M Bargains,"

Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what Maastricht was really about then, werdsmith? And where you get the idea most Leave voters are racists - that is what you are alluding at with your comment about "other languages", right? Although I suspect Twitter or Facebook might be better platforms for that sort of one-sided "discussion" (bordering on propaganda)...

Oracle to take IT out of the equation for HR, ship prebuilt metrics, KPIs to analyse carbon-based lifeforms

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We wouldn't be called a 'Human Resource' if we weren't meant to be strip-mined.

The old Personnel departments were (usually) there to help the Personnel in the company.

Human Resources departments are there to help the company get the maximum out of the personnel.

Coronavirus didn't hurt UK broadband speeds in March. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand...

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Just curious.

BT claimed a load of between 35% to 60% then an increase of 90% - so does that mean they went to ~66.5% to ~114% load, or 125% to 150% (rated) load?

HPE loses second key exec in as many weeks

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Re: How Sad

This is more like lowering haystacks from the decks of the Lusitania...

There's a towel in one of these pockets...

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

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Re: Now charities are doomed to never turn a profit.

I think that was kind of the point - Yes Me's post seems to imply that allowing a secretive "organisation" with 2 "employees" and 1 previous ICANN chief as the brains behind it to own the registry would be the only way anyone with a .org address could be trusted, so that post was showing what a crock that idea was...

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

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Re: Difficult choice

And don't forget the Patriot Act. Whilst I don't have any particular reason to fear the US Government snooping on everything I do and everywhere I go, it doesn't mean I want to give the information to American companies who could be "forced" to hand the data over because US.Gov says so, any more than I want to give the information to our own mob.

Nineteen mysterious invaders from another Solar System spotted hanging around the outside edge of ours

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Dammit Wargle, I told you the ships were parked too damn close!

What, you didn't realise 6 small black ones could look like 1 big white one? Or 19 small black one could look like a Scout patrol?

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

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This is 'The Sun' we're talking about here.

Given their sales are going down faster than an Astute on a crash-dive, I wouldn't be surprised to learn the Stun asked the Navy for a comment and got something like "Here's a comment for you, "Foxtrot Oscar and leave our swabbies alone"." And the Stun, with their normal journalistic accuracy and love for the armed forces, somehow misheard this as "senior officers are most displeased" and reported according to their normal standards...

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly

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Does anyone watch the Daily Briefings?

They can't run a simple two-way with three ministers in a big room and one journalist somewhere else without the sound and video links playing up - why should we expect them to be able to manage a mass conference between the Palace of Westminster and all the other locations where the other MPs happen to be at the time?

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Re: The triumph of marketing over common sense

Who said it's sensitive material they're discussing in these sessions? This is for the House of Commons, where everything SHOULD be in the Public Domain. *We* elect *them*, they don't have any particular right or entitlement to be there other than at the sufferance of the Voters and anything that lets us see what they really get up to - as against what is reported - is a good thing.

Kinda hard to claim the media is biased against you if everyone can see you getting up to something that might not quite be in the public's best interest.

Fomalhaut b exoplanet may have been cloud in a trench coat: Massive 'world' formed after 'mid-space super-prang'

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What was it Sir Isaac Newton said?

What if it's not "just a dust cloud" from a pair of colliding asteroids but the drive plume from Our Evil Alien Overlords? If that "dust cloud" is heading *away* from Earth then...

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

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Re: Sales

Who enters a command 56 times? Once is enough!

Pizza (select text) Ctrl-C Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return Ctrl-V Return

Or (for those of us who learned to use a computer, not just Windows)

Pizza Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return Up arrow Return

Other toppings are available, including pineapple.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

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Re: Luxury

1985, a technical college in darkest Surrey, at the end of the lesson. Lecturer says "...and next week I will tell you about punched tape, which nobody has used for years."

A week later, he starts the lesson with "As I said last week, this..." (here he holds up a couple of inches of paper tape, yellowed and crumbling at the edges with age) "...is punched tape, but nobody uses... what the hell is that?"

"That", dear reader, was 18" of punched mylar tape that I'd made the previous week at the site of a well-known (and occasionally lamented) British aerospace company, and was now holding aloft for his inspection... thus diverting him completely from the lesson plan and leading to the one and only time I got any respect from my fellow students :-D.

From Brit telly presenter Eamonn Holmes to burning 5G towers in the Netherlands: Stupid week turns into stupid fortnight for radio standard

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FFS, they're NOT vegans!

Look, Vegans come from a star a short distance way from Earth - and they are a damn sight more advanced than 5G telephony (and accelerate much faster, too - they've got inertial compensators rated for over 250G last the MiBs checked).

Please stop calling a bunch of holier-than-thou fussy eaters 'Vegans' before the Alien Races Relations Board sends a strongly worded protest. (note to any self-styled vegans in the audience - the definition of "alive" is something that breathes, consumes food and reacts to external stimuli, all of which applies to plants as much as animals. So if you are really that set against eating living things, you should stop eating plants too. Just sayin' :-) )

'Come 75,000 workers, join us!' says Amazon. Just don't dare complain about the boss or you're out on your ear

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Been on the cards since they renamed the Personnel Department...

You wouldn't now be known as 'Human Resources' if you weren't meant to be strip-mined.

[sorry, can't link to the relevant strip at freefall.purrisa.com from my work computer - ICT seem to think it's not a work-essential site! :-( ]

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?

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Re: State surveillance

Never forget Hitler was elected - and *he* wasn't guilty of promising one thing and doing something completely different (he was, without question, an evil, horrible little man - but at least he kept his manifesto promises. What does that say about most politicians these days?)

All these apps can do is tell you that you were in the same area as someone who has tested positive for - in this case - Covid 19. It cannot tell you if you are infected, it cannot tell you if you are carrying the virus - if you haven't been tested and are not showing symptoms, it can't tell you if you're the one gave it to the other person in the first place!

What it does do is give the app provider an unprecedented level of tracking data previously impossible outside of something like Orwell's 1984; while many people are happy to carry trackers - sorry, cellphones - all the time and don't care about who is tracking them all the time, some people don't believe any government at any time should be allowed to intrude so far into the private lives of "their" citizens.

You can't put that giant mushroom cloud back into the shiny uranium sphere - let the governments impose this now and there's no going back.

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Curious.... why do you not use cellular data

Because there is nothing I feel the need to do on a piddly little screen when I'm out and about.

If I'm at home then I have wifi and decent-sized screen (tv and monitor), if I am out then I am either at someone else's house who has wifi or I'm somewhere I don't want to be playing with my phone.

I have satnav for the car and 'proper' (OS) maps if I want to get off the beaten track and go for a wander around the countryside (except not while under Lockdown, naturally).

You can wipe those smiley faces off: Unicode technical website is going to be out for 'a couple of weeks'

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Ah, the real reason the release is delayed

Social Distancing!

They have to rework all those emojis showing people closer than 2m to anyone else, or enjoying outdoor activity for longer than 1 hour, in a park or near a beach...

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle

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Re: Where on earth is that handle?

Never seen a "chest-high" ejection trigger - there's the ones on top for negative gee situations (double ring above the head) and the ones between the legs and on the side of the seat but chest-high?

(Trained on Martin Baker seats when working at BAe "just in case" - anyone would think trusting PFYs near multi-million pound combat aircraft might have undesired consequences...)

Europe calls for single app to track coronavirus. Meanwhile America pretends it isn’t trying to build one at all

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Re: So, Musk bought a thousand ventilators

Given how quickly "entrepreneurs" bought up all the PPE and medical equipment they could and started flogging it for obscene profit on eBay etc, maybe that was all the ventilators that were left?

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

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Re: You solved the problem, goodbye

If he refuses to learn about Backups, tell him he needs to have the backup disc up and running all the time and set the laptop to do a full backup every time he starts it up... Not a perfect solution* but it means there should be *something* there next time...

*hopefully it slows the laptop appreciably and he asks you to make it go faster. Then you can tell him if he runs the backup manually like you suggested, it might clear the memory storage dump out a bit quicker... I know there's no "memory storage dump", hopefully you know there's no "memory storage dump", but he is unlikely to - and once you're happy he's doing what you suggested, you can stop the backup-at-startup malarkey!

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

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Cleaning desks? Pah, I can beat that!

Working for a well-known (mostly? almost? not sure now but I think it still was back then!) British company in the 90s and we started getting rather angry calls from our Users complaining that some of their computers wouldn't reboot.

We had a couple of our on-site hardware engineers (the youngest pair, let's call them "Tweedledum" and "Tweedledee") that had been PAT-trained as none of the other (older, more experienced) engineers wanted to do it.

"That's okay," says the Boss, "We have a couple of hardware engineers over there doing PAT testing, we'll get them to pop up and take a look."

Some of you will have noticed I said "reboot" and "PAT testing" and worked out what had gone wrong. Or, rather, who. Sure enough, when the Boss tracked down The Thickie Twins it turned out it hadn't actually occurred to them that they should shut down the computers properly before yanking out the mains leads and connecting up the PAT tester... or even, on some of the desks, to actually plug the things back in before walking off to the next one...

(On a slightly related note, Site Services had done the testing for stuff like kettles, desk lamps etc - Tweedledum and Tweedeledee were "just" doing all the IT kit. Except they forgot that included things like printers, scanners, routers/switches... Strangely, a couple of the other engineers got trained up to do the 'catch-up' stuff. I sometimes wonder if it might have been one of the 'customer' team managers threatening bodily dismemberment for Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and whoever sent them back over that inspired that..?)

Post Office burned £100m in UK taxpayer cash on Horizon IT scandal legal fees, MPs told

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Re: Who is responsible

CliveS, the original material specified was fire-retardant. Some penny-pinching manager decided it would be acceptable to go for a cheaper material because it looked the same and the name was close enough.

If you specify fireproof materials and I fit expanded polystyrene foam tiles instead, who is to blame?

Rocket Lab wants to break free, hopes next mission is more 'A Kind Of Magic' than 'Another One Bites The Dust'

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I don't think it's the employees that are the real problem here... leastways, not the lower-level ones. They normally do good work. It' the money-grabbing [EXPLETIVE DELETED] at the top of the corporate food chain that took the old mantra "Cut all costs, at all costs" too far.

Besides, unless they get things sorted soon, there may not be ANY Boeing employees... (who am I kidding? They've sued so many other companies that hardly anyone else goes up against them in competitions any more - and many of those that might end enter up getting bought up instead, or losing the will to keep fighting the American legal system when they win!)

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Re: Ring any bells?

I honestly believe the best way to make sure Boing management get off their collective backsides and get this sorted properly is to put their loved ones aboard for the last automated test flight of their capsule before the first real crew are sent up.

There's no point sending the Executives themselves because that's no incentive to the next lot who take over... unless you make it clear they too will continue to serve as "crash test dummies" until the system is proven to be adequately safe.*

I wonder how many Boards-worth of Execs it will take to get the message through?

*Any system involving sticking soft squidgy pink bits atop a few (or many) megatons of explosive stuff is going to be a fairly large risk compared to something like crossing the street or jumping into a shark-filled tank wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress...

UK Defence Committee probe into national security threat of Huawei sure to uncover lots of new and original insights

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Score another point for Joss Whedon

Remember who was running everything in Firefly? That's right, The Anglo-Chinese Alliance, led by all those evil English and Chinese corporations... and those brave American three-letter agencies could have stopped it all if it wasn't for those pesky kids^H^H^H un-backdoored network boxes, gorram it!

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

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Need to educate someone on the finer point of life in IT?

Simple - although it might not work for Simon.

Just give them a link to the BOFH Archive!

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

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Ads in spaaaacccceeeeeeee!!

"Just think, you travel 260 million kilometres only to stumble across a bloody advert."

EE 'Doc' Smith got there before you - Virgil Samms asks what the strange opaque mounds are along the side of the road in one of the Lensman novels - possibly 'First Lensman', but it's been a while since I read them...

Galileo got it wrong – official: Jupiter actually wet, not super-dry: 'No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet'

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Re: Dodgy analogy

Maybe they should just scan Scotland - if they aren't too quick, they'll get the entire range of terrestrial weather conditions in just a few minutes!!

Good news: Neural network says 11 asteroids thought to be harmless may hit Earth. Bad news: They are not due to arrive for hundreds of years

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Why assume the computer missed eleven objects the soft pink squidgy things spotted and not that the computer ignored eleven things the SPSTs mistakenly thought were a threat, but aren't really?

Judge Vulcan-nerve pinches JEDI deal after Amazon forks out $42m to pause Microsoft's military machinations

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Re: It was the end of history....

Ensign Chekov, I believe. Playing the show's fourth biggest villain, Bester of PsiCorps.

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Re: It was the end of history....

And it's the wrong side, too. For anything involving Micro$haft, Amazon, the American "justice" system and the DoD, it should be Mr Morden and his compatriots, not the good ambassadors (well, mostly good in Londo's case...)

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese

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Re: Federally protected

Quote: "They are protected as a part of the Migratory Birds Act ... but that doesn't mean you can't shoot them. There is a designated hunting season, but take note of bag limits."

I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow - two game wardens, seven hunters and a cow...

Mine's the camouflage one with "An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer" in the pocket :-)

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy

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I'd go for something a lot more prosaic.

It's either "All these worlds are yours except Quarglefarx. Attempt no landings there." or "Danger Solarcorona virus present - Keep Out!"

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Re: Decoded signal....

Michael, don't you mean your Dressing Gown? (And don't forget your towel...)

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

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Big Brother

marketing speak tranlated

"The changes are such that delivery of the search extension is being delayed for an unspecified time."

Shouldn't that read "Microshaft said 'The changes are such that delivery of the search extension is being delayed until we think everyone will have forgotten'..."?

Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash

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Re: Had a recent train trip myself

What bugs me the most is the increasing number of cyclists who cannot understand that the right place for their two-wheel monstrosities is in the carriage with the fricking BIKE RACK, not blocking the doorways and corridors in all the other carriages. Idiots with loud music, or people discussing the latest episode of Unfaithful Fuckwits On The Beach, pale in comparison with the braindead morons who cannot understand that there often isn't enough room for the passengers who want to get on, and their taking extra 'cabin' space because they cannot be arsed to walk another carriage-length down the platform to the empty space where bikes *should* be shows how ignorant and lazy they really are(*)...

(*)This doesn't apply to those who have tried to get on the right carriage but cannot because there is no more space. It does apply to the fuckwits on the 7.49 to Eastbourne - but on the other hand, if they did do what they should, I wouldn't have half a carriage to myself (except if there's a wheelchair on board as well)!

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch 'submits himself' for arrest in central London

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Re: Again, and again, and again...

Can anyone explain why communist Russia would want a right-wing government in the UK or America? Surely a left-wing government, with their policies of appeasement and disarmament, would be much more popular since they would either welcome a new openly communist regime with open arms or provide a much easier target because they would be too busy whining and coming up with new ways to waste public money to notice the oncoming red horde.

I have heard lots of LOSERS saying "somebody else made you do it" rather than admit they backed the losing side who lost because more people liked the other side than theirs, and lots of shouting about how unfair it is they lost, and how evil the winners (Trump and Boris) are, but no real evidence that this mysterious "somebody else" really exists - the Russians on facebook didn't make Labour politicians stand in front of the camera and say "we don't care the country voted to leave the EU, f*** the voters" - the politicians did that themselves.

If Labour had not chosen to make themselves the anti-Brexit party they might have stood a chance, if they had stayed loyal to their "core demographic" and given even a tiny sign that the common men and women of the country mattered a damn to the elitists in Westminster any more, they might have stood a chance. Instead they chose to make it clear that all they wanted was to protect their seat on the EU gravy train and that what "the little people" wanted no longer counts for anything in their eyes - and they lost.

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today

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Black Helicopters

Re: Recycling

Didn't James Bond stop Blofeld and his minions doing this in 'You Only Live Twice'? (And besides, what do you think the X-37 is for..?).

Oh hold on a minute,, there's someone knocking on the door...

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Cascading collisions?

If two satellites do hit, I assume that debris must go somewhere - and there's a lot more stuff up there to get hit too. What if the first two give off enough shrapnel to result in an ever-expanding cloud of fast-moving bits'n'bobs as satellite after satellite is caught up in a cascading sequence of impacts? Not all those things are old and past their use-by date so how long until something vital gets taken out?

Over the Moon? Not quite: NASA boss has a good whinge about 'counterproductive' Authorization Bill

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Re: SR-71 Blackbird.

"But Concorde could take 100 people in comfort."

Comfort? Really? Have you ever *sat* on a Concorde? Some people think the self-loading cargo is packed tightly in to cattle class on today's airliners, but Concorde really did have you rubbing shoulders with your fellow passengers! And the seats could have been direct ancestors of the back- and butt-killers found on the average "modern" British railway carriage! (If you can ever actually find a free seat - rail companies seem to be following the airlines' habit of 'overbooking'... but that's a gripe for some other article)

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....

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Re: Pedant mode

Actually, SCC has offices in several places within Surrey - many of which should be considered deep and dark - as well as County Hall in Kingston which is, technically speaking , in Surrey - depending on which years' county boundary you use; as you say, That London annexed the land in 1965 because they were running out of green space so decided to steal someone else's. And with the current trend of trying to move everything out from the South, Surrey might get it back again when there's bugger all left in the centre of the Smoke and all the interlopers move back ..

Troll, 'cos there's still a few in the wilder areas of Surrey (rumor has there's a few still working the night shift at Ryka's...;-) )

WindiLeaks: 250 million Microsoft customer support records dating back to 2005 exposed to open internet

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Re: Data Leeks

Not complacent or lazy, merely superseded by yes-men, yes-women and yes-(insert any/all other gender variations here) who don't make the PHB worry about such inconsequential matters as "privacy" or "security", and will happily enable whatever crap is advertised as a "must-have!" or "the next Big Thing!" because the boss asked them to.

In fact, you might say these leeks are caused by all the good staff being put out to pasture... :-D

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

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Re: FAA trusted Boeing to self verify

"I'm sure we in the UK will be protected by our trade deal from any drop in quality..."

The trade deal shouldn't matter - unless you really think safety is something they should be negotiating separately on, and isn't that what seems to have happened with the MCAS and the whole "failure warning as a chargable optional extra" fiasco?

Besides, it doesn't matter how well the UK tries to do if the EU is determined to screw us over - as I've pointed out before in other topics on The Register, *both* sides need to negotiate in good faith; if one side says "this is what you're getting" over and over again and refuse to make any changes at all then that's NOT negotiating. And given that the politicians and bureaucrats in the European Parliament cannot let us be seen to succeed in getting away from them lest others try to follow, the chances of them "negotiating" any more fairly this time around don't look too hopeful...



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