* Posts by Kurt 5

62 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Aug 2009


Caffeine makes fuel cells more efficient, cuts cost of energy storage

Kurt 5

Caffeine as dopant

I hope someone is going to try using Caffeine as a dopant for silicon chips.

Americans wake to widespread AT&T cellular outages

Kurt 5

Ring noticed

My Ring alarm system sent me some notifications that it had lost its cell connection and then connected again. (Salt Lake City, Utah).

ELKS and Fuzix: Linux – and Unix – writ very, very small

Kurt 5


Don't forget UCLinux!

California DMV hits brakes on Cruise's SF driverless fleet after series of fender benders

Kurt 5

Re: Failing the easy part

They single out the AV but let's get the stats of how many vehicles with meatsacks behind the wheel manage to hit or get hit by emergency vehicles. Happens a lot!

Astroscale wants to be the world's friendly neighborhood space garbage collector

Kurt 5

Another possible solution: increase the gravity of the Earth -- maybe 1.5G or 2G. Just for a little while.

Or deorbit the moon. Won't need to worry about orbital debris (or anything else) :)

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out

Kurt 5

Get decent NC Headphones

If you use some decent Noise Cancelling Over the Ear headphones I think you'll find they do a pretty good (not perfect) job on longhauls. Finding Bose QC35s (or better) on sale is pretty easy. And some of the newer Sony products are apparently pretty good (I haven't tried those -- only Bose).

This ain't Boeing very well: Starliner's first crewed flight canceled yet again

Kurt 5

Re: Listen up, UP, Congress, and NASA--

This program is accomplishing exactly what Congress intends it to. That being "spend federal money in all the districts." These programs require so many compromises to "spread out the money" that problems like this are inevitable. And NASA has to take the black eye even though their hands are tied.

McDonald's pulls plug on Wi-Fi, starts playing classical music to soothe yobs

Kurt 5

Stolen from Bugs Bunny

The Bugs Bunny Hurdy Gurdy scene is what I thought of first.


BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM

Kurt 5

Plan Of Right Now

Years ago in one of our unending meetings a coworker (EricD) slipped in "Plan Of Right Now." That went well and PORN hit the meeting summary. Bonus points to him for getting that in with a straight face.

BOFH: Would I lie to you, Boss?

Kurt 5


"Freudian Slap" - nice to know there is a proper term to describe it. I've used it effectively before.

When I started reading this I was envisioning BOFH and PFY having a practice detector for the boss, or getting to the actual detector and making some subtle changes to the electrodes. BZZZT.

Minor nit -- bought -> brought

Windows Subsystem for Linux gets bleeding-edge Ubuntu

Kurt 5

How about NTFS fix?

Has the performance issue with the NTFS driver been fixed in WSL2?

BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves

Kurt 5

NIST Bastard Reference

I liked the drum printers. Except when I got the task of replacing the ribbon (we'll use that term lightly -- those who have never worked with these printers -- i.e., the younger generation -- can't truly appreciate that ribbon meant something very different...)

Nice thought of having the NIST define the unit of bastard. https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/reference

Hot not-Spot-bot spot: The code behind Xiaomi's CyberDog? Ubuntu

Kurt 5

Cleaning up after it

Insert obligatory joke about cleaning up the core dumps.

BOFH: Where there is darkness, let there be a light

Kurt 5

Re: Definitely pick which battles you want to fight...

I worked for a similar place. That was "fun".

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

Kurt 5

Project Jabberwocky

Remember Project Jabberwocky from the tv series Better Off Ted?


Cherry on top: Dell shoves MX keyboard into its Alienware m15 R4 ultrabook

Kurt 5

Brown or Blue

Red is nice but linear. The best feel IMHO is brown/blue.

Toxic: Intel ordered to pay chip fab worker almost $1m after he was gassed at its facility in 2016

Kurt 5


Many years ago I worked for a "large government contractor at a large government site." Mandatory safety training (including nuclear materials). Hardhats were required everywhere. Our office was the first floor of a large warehouse. Construction had been going on for a while on the floor above us -- all sorts of stuff happening above our drop ceiling. Coworker got up from his desk to get something and we heard a THUMP followed by "Look out!". 6' piece of metal pipe/rebar had come through the drop ceiling and impaled his chair. That was a LOT of paperwork. One of the first questions was "did he have his hardhat on?" Like that would have helped.

Those were fun times -- mandatory "random" drug testing. Being sent to "team training" as punishment. Overriding the speed governor of the golfcarts used to get around some areas of the site (go fast in reverse then slam into drive).

BOFH: Switch off the building? Great idea, Boss

Kurt 5


Long ago in college the group I worked with had 2 Cyber 170/730 mainframes. The machine room had all the usual stuff including a big monitoring panel for alarms -- fire / environment / power / etc. Lots and lots of lights. And a button on it innocuously labelled LAMP TEST. Invariably someone would ignore warnings and go press it. LAMP TEST lit up all the lights. Also triggered the alarm relays which included the environmental klaxons. Was always great fun!

Japanese eggheads strap AI-powered backpacks to seagulls

Kurt 5

When I first read the title I my brain read "Jetpacks" instead of "backpacks".

Buy Amazon's tiny $99 keyboard so you can make terrible AI music for all your friends

Kurt 5


Does it support MIDI?

VCs to Trump: Don't lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas!

Kurt 5

Buy your visa

The only visas that Trump cares about are the ones that let a (rich) person purchase one for $500,000 -- that his family has been pushing in China. Those are the visas that should be shut down IMHO.

Google nukes ad-blocker AdNauseam, sweeps remains out of Chrome Web Store

Kurt 5

Take responsibility for content

I'd run without an ad blocker if the sites would guarantee that the ads they display didn't have malware and were well behaved. Since that will never happen I have to run with an ad blocker.

US Supreme Court to hear case that may ruin Lone Star patent trolls

Kurt 5


In 1957 the Supremes ruled that a case could only be filed in the defendant's place of incorporation but a 1990 US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided that cases could be bought wherever the parties do business, which in practice means anywhere in America for anything but the smallest of companies.

Interesting typo -- intentional?

Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws

Kurt 5

Tried Kubuntu 15.04 with a GTX 960 and 2 4K monitors connected via Display port. Worked great on the login screen. Logging in always kills one of the monitors (and nvidia-settings shows it gets disabled - enabling it/applying didn't work). Tried a few suggestions but none worked - trying without plasma just crashed, the different nvidia drivers didn't change anything, etc.

15.10 (beta2) which was the first I tried worked great.

Oh, upgrading Kubuntu 14.10 to 15.04 resulted in the cursor only screen. Tried several of the "fixes" listed and none worked. That was the first upgrade that had failed so miserably.

Data AWOL? Thank God for backup. You backed up, right?

Kurt 5

One large company I worked at had an IT department that went through the motions and didn't like to be questioned. In engineering we had a source server with a raid array that was managed and backed up by IT. The drives started going out and IT was a bit slow in replacing the drives. Time to rebuild from backups. Turns out they'd been doing incrementals every couple of weeks for 3+ years. Some of the tapes were missing and some were unreadable. Management's response was "IT did the best they could."

Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

Kurt 5

Like a number of games from that era the cabinet was customized - full artwork (not just some side art), custom metals on the sides of the control panel, and a bar rail on the bottom. A great cabinet!

Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

Kurt 5

Re: There was a lot of originality back then

Q*Bert actually used a 8086 for the game and a 6502 to control the sound. Definitely a big board

Tragedy strikes Vulture News Central but details remain scrambled

Kurt 5

Re: If that's supposed to be funny...

Proof she wasn't up to hard boiled journalism.

One step closer to robot butlers: Dyson flashes vid of vacuum sucker bot

Kurt 5

Re: This will be great @Kurt 5

Roombas don't do well with pet fur. Aforementioned cat and the german shep doomed the roomba. The german shep was convinced not to chomp it after her first reaction to it -- which was to bark, pick it up and shake it.

Kurt 5

Re: This will be great @Kurt 5

Yes -- wonderful cats. They don't think of themselves as cats.

Kurt 5

Re: This will be great

Last attempt with a roomba ended with cat (24lbs / 1.7 stone / 10.9kg) jumping from tall bureau onto defenseless roomba which was stopped waiting for help. Lots of plastic breakage and the end of the roomba. Cat was smug.

Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Kurt 5

IMAP nightmare

Don't try to be an IMAP user on Office365. They have a special home brewed version that doesn't work very well. When Office365 starts throttling your connection (Yes! Frequently!) or just falls down the support folks are clueless.

It should be pointed out that Thunderbird's IMAP implementation for error handling/recovery is pretty abysmal. I started cleaning up the code but don't have enough time to do it justice.

Remember Control Data? The Living Computer Museum wants YOU

Kurt 5

Re: Port That Job!

Don't forget it was ones complement.

Squidge-droids maker updates iRobot for SUCK, SCRUB action

Kurt 5

Any better?

I've tried Roombas a couple of times over the last several years. All hardwood and tile. Unfortunately I have the Roomba Kryptonite. 2 Maine Coon cats (large, long haired) and a german shep. The first roomba I had years ago was carried to me by the previous german shep. Once I convinced her to leave it alone the hair did it in -- it spent more time beeping and waiting for me to clean it than it did cleaning. Fast forward a few years. Given another "new model" Roomba as a gift. It also bogged down in the hair. One of the cats decided to jump on it -- 22lbs of cat launching from 5 foot dresser onto defenseless roomba resulted in a broken roomba (though it was just beeping to be cleaned).

The new roomba design doesn't look like it'll fit into the household any better than the previous ones. *sigh*

Meg Whitman asks HPers to drag their asses into the office

Kurt 5

All full at the inn

They all need to show up at their designated offices. And then management can find out that some locations don't have enough room (desks, room for desks) for these folks. And the workers can wait for a suitable work area to be provided.

Twenty classic arcade games

Kurt 5


No mention of Berzerk? "Intruder alert" "Coins detected in pocket" "Kill the humanoid"

Also votes for Centipede, Marble Madness and Robotron

Smiley for Evil Otto

Twitter translated to LOLCATZ: Strangely this had not been done

Kurt 5

Re: Lolcatz?

LOLCODE is fun to give in programming interviews. Most of the interviewees have never seen it. The language is trivial and makes it good to see how the interviewee picks up on new things.

NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Kurt 5

Important for project completion

I have the end of the world on the 21st factored prominently in my project schedule. Using this I'm actually going to be able to achieve the milestones. Without the world ending on the 21st I'm in big trouble.

Beer since that I'll be needing a lot of it.

Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Kurt 5
Paris Hilton

Casting Casket

I'm sure selection of the models for these shoots was interesting.

Seagate: Our tech will be better than WD's helium-filled hardness

Kurt 5


When a lot of the manufacturing got hit by a wall of water prices skyrocketed. Lots of money was made on the inventory. Manufacturing was restored. Prices are still way up and consumers aren't happy and are willing to look for alternatives.

Motorola outs Jelly Bean friendly phones

Kurt 5

Having dealt with Motorola's "promises" and "intentions" before of "we'll support new android upgrades on your Motorola phone" I wouldn't trust them. Only when it ships on the phone. (My only solution was cyanogenmod)

Chinese man's six-ton balls save lives

Kurt 5

Into orbit

Now they just need a giant cannon.

EA sues Zynga over ripping off Sims Social

Kurt 5

Copying is ok ONLY for Zynga

Don't forget that Zynga doesn't like when other companies base their games on Zynga products. When Vostu used the same strategy as Zynga for game "innovation" Zynga decided it was "a violation of the law."


Olympic athletes compete in RAYGUN SHOOTING for the first time

Kurt 5

Drones and laser designators

The sport would be much better if you had a drone flying overhead and from horseback you used your "laser pistol" as a targetting laser to designate a target. And then the drone would release a missile and blow up whatever you were lasing. Seems perfect for today's warfare.

Sozzled Americans nagged by talking urinal cake

Kurt 5

Must be fun for whoever gets to change the batteries.

The most dangerous job in America: Keeping iPhones connected

Kurt 5

Re: Should be safer than rock climbing

As someone who used to be a tower climber as part of my job in college I have to say that the safety harness is nice for when you're working at the top (or wheverever on the tower the equipment is located) BUT for the ascent and descent being clipped in is difficult. You spend more time clipping/unclipping to get around all the stuff attached -- guy wires, lower level antennas, lights, etc. Some towers run a clip line attachment up the tower that minimizes the amount of reclipping but that is rare (at least when I was doing this 25 years ago).

New pics of giant black sphere hurtling toward Earth

Kurt 5

Now entering orbit

I welcome our new galactic overlords.

Boffins fix dead satellite using 'dirty hack' in space

Kurt 5

Odyssey 5 reference

They just sent the appropriate command - "leviathan"

BOFH: Robot wars

Kurt 5

Roomba factory service

Maybe it would be worth sending my Roomba back for service. I wonder how playful their support staff is.

Underground tunnel complexes FOUND ON MOON

Kurt 5


Probably just one of the outer ports of Dahak. Which would be really cool -- assuming my DNA sequence was correct.