* Posts by Spanners

1377 posts • joined 10 Sep 2009


Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape

Spanners Silver badge

Re: "David JC MacKay", "Sustainable Energy"

but why do bills keep going up?

What % of our electricity production is from renewables and what is fossil?

A handy app on my phone tells me that, right now, it is 31% for natural gas, and 1.5% for coal. Conversely, it is 13.3% for nuclear, 9.7% solar, 6.7% wind and 8.4% biomass (whatever that is).

There are various others including 5.1% France so that's mostly nuclear as well.

Sometimes it is a lot more natural gas and I have no idea why we are using any coal nowadays!

At times, more than half of our generation is fossil-based. That is the one where prices go up. If we tripled our wind generation, we could sometimes be like the Northern isles that generate more KWh from wind than they actually use and the prices would be less prone to going up based on the craziness of some old KGB guy!

Spanners Silver badge

Re: "Of all the non-carbon energy options we have, this is the only one which can keep...

the colosseum etc. All rather nice.

Not nice! If you read up on what went on there, it was absolutely f*****g awful!

In 2 thousand years the power stations will have had a lot less blood splashed on their walls than any of the amazing architecture from the Romans, Aztecs or whatever bunch of bloodthirsty people you want.

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Bang On - except the death stats

The amount of poisonous stuff spat out by coal and oil users has never been paid attention to by the people that make the rules.

I have seen pictures from the area around Chernobyl and, before the Russian invasion, one of my colleagues went there. The only dangers outside the immediate area around the reactor were the wild animals and the remains of Pripyat falling down on you! We have made a large and beautiful nature reserve. If people are kept out of it for a while, this is good.

I never had asthma until I came south to live in the "midlands". Children in Orkney are spared from the crud down here. I know that this area isn't as bad as many other places but the pollution hazards far exceed Chernobyl and any other nuclear area!

Our software is perfect. If something has gone wrong, it must be YOUR fault

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Testers

are still in business?

I believe so. I think they have taken steps to keep it that way by successfully lobbying to have something similar to PAYE banned. You can either submit your income tax return through their software or through an expensive accountant.

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Quite contrary!

It'll be your P(r)oxy Server maybe ;)

He'll never find that. It's invisible. ;-p

Spanners Silver badge

Re: UX Designer?

I can do better. Various friends and family are in Orkney. They have a Wick postcode. 2 of the 4 hours travel are by boat!

We think it is because a lot of maps in London show Orkney and Shetland in little boxes just to the right of..... Wick!

Google fined $42.5m over misleading Android location settings in Australia

Spanners Silver badge

Unwanted Adverts

If I get stuff I don't want shoved at me, there is a good chance that I will specifically avoid doing business with it.

It's not very precise and depends on how memorable it is. An item in the middle of other junk will probably be forgotten, but if I keep getting adverts for the same brand, I will not want to buy from it.

An example is Toyota. I see repeated adverts for their fake "hybrids".I have blocked them but they will be back. I did note that someone has reported them to the ASA for misrepresenting their petrol-only powered vehicles. Good luck to that reporter. I'm just not putting them on my mental list of possible future cars.

BOFH: Who us? Sysadmins? Spend time with other departments?

Spanners Silver badge

Re: No fenestration?

Not even any defenestration...

Businesses should dump Windows for the Linux desktop

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Munich reported > 90% success.

Is Ernie Ball the company that was "set up", inspected and "fined" for transgressing the licencing rules?

If they are, the owner said his primary incentive for the upgrade was to remove all M$ stuff from the premises so they could never get inside again!

Spanners Silver badge

Teams is available for Linux

Working fine on this Chromebook right now. Also works fine on my Android as I declined an iPhone and put the SIM in my own phone as a 2nd one. In fact, as it works from a browser as well, you would be hard pushed to find anything you can't use it from.

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

Spanners Silver badge

I made a hard to dismiss message.

In large white letters in a big red box I put, "This application has been updated" and "Please restart this computer". I put no boxes to click and removed the minimise, expand and close boxes.

They stayed on people's screens for months! They just alt-tabbed what they wanted to the top and never restarted.

These were the people who called us and had conversations like...

I had an error message.

What did it say?

E.R.R.O.R.! Are you deaf or stupid?

Neither. I have a certificate of sanity too.*

So what are you going to do about it?

Ask you to restart your PC and please let us know if it says more than that next time

*CF The good Soldier Sveck by Jaroslav Haçek.

Nancy Pelosi ties Chinese cyber-attacks to need for Taiwan visit

Spanners Silver badge

The only acceptable form of government is a democratic one!

There is plenty of room for discussion as to "how democratic is democratic" and I think it is a journey.

In comparison, all those countries that are not even trying to pretend are not legitimate and nobody should pretend they are anything other than de-facto dictatorships.

Calling yourselves the "democratic peoples republic of ..." does not make you any of those things and generally seems to specifically state that you are not.

Certainly, some/much of the EU has better democratic processes than the UK and (more so) the USA but at least even we and the US are more or less democratic. Countries that do not even pretend to be democracies are not legitimate. We can hold our noses and deal with them but we should never pretend that any of them, like China, North Korea, Russia etc are legitimate governments. For the sake of keeping the peace for the moment, we can deal with them, have commercial relationships or even go on holiday there but we should not pretend that they have the leaderships they should.

Psst … Want to buy a used IBM Selectric? No questions asked

Spanners Silver badge

Me too!

I once got a hot laptop. I was getting something for my daughter for her GCSEs so I turned to eBay. This would have been 2004 or so

Got it delivered to work. At lunchtime, I opened it up with a couple of curious colleagues looking in. Laptop, OK, size OK, starts up OK and even the correct size HDD. Then, a problem. There was a lot less space available than there should be.

I found a profile that was taking up that space and had a folder on its desktop. In there, I found a University dissertation. The author had put their name, address and phone number!

Called them. They seemed grateful and we agreed to contact our local police. A word of advice to crims. Don't sell to IT. I did some digging and gave a lot of information to the boys in blue. Bank stuff, possibly their real name and all his previous eBay sales. I suspect if what I got was stolen, so were they.

My smartphone has wiped my microSD card again: Is it a conspiracy?

Spanners Silver badge

Re: We've identified your problem

You bought a Huawei device.

Which particular (?US?) branch of the spook community do you represent?

The best conspiracy theory I heard as to why Trumped got Huawei and other Chinese companies blocked is because they were not cooperative enough about giving secret access to what the public was up to. Apparently, they kept asking for court orders etc.

What is happening is failed attempts by criminal organisations, such as RIA, MAFIAA and the NSA to see what is on the card, and the security system wipes it as a precaution.

Russia fines Google $374 million for letting the truth about Ukraine be told

Spanners Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: El Reg

I have heard it referred to as the New USSR.

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

Spanners Silver badge

Suddenly IT were deluged with irate staff wanting to know what had happened to features they used in Office.

"Sorry, not an IT decision. You'll need to speak to $GuiltyParty."

Just look for expensively dressed people who don't actually know what you do.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Copies!!?

I remember discussing this with someone. They were printing off all their email "in case I am audited or in court".

I remember asking them what they thought a printout of their email would prove to a court or investigation board.

"Are you saying that these will prove nothing then?"

"No. It will prove you have a printer..."

Apple's guy in charge of stopping insider trading guilty of … insider trading

Spanners Silver badge

Re: small payday really

What's amazing is that a senior legal executive at such a huge company could ever convince himself that there was nothing wrong in doing this.

You may consider that amazing. I do not.

Apple has got itself into its position by astoundingly unethical behaviour. They may have so many lawyers that it was never found to be illegal but it seems to have set a fine example for its staff. He just didn't have enough of a legal time behind him!

Start using Modern Auth now for Exchange Online

Spanners Silver badge

Re: The whole thing is a worsening nightmare

I do know that my Barclays app used to shit itself on dual-SIM phones so I can well believe MS Authenticator IS tied into the SIM now.

No problem for me. I have a work SIM and my own, in my Huawei phone. Barclays does not care and never has a problem. Is it that my phone is less accessible to US spooks?

Cookie consent crumbles under fresh UK data law proposals

Spanners Silver badge

This is not reforming

reforming local data protection law

In case I was mis-remembering what "reform" means. I looked it up.

Dictionary.com puts it simply at https://www.dictionary.com/browse/reform

Reform means the precise opposite of what the government does every time it talks about "reforms".

As normal, this is specifically intended to make the system less effective.

That time a techie accidentally improved an airline's productivity

Spanners Silver badge

Is this how

A certain national airline got into the sessions belonging to a private airline owned by a bearded bloke?

Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says

Spanners Silver badge

How would it be affected if...

...they got if the US got rid of their bizarre law that treats corporations as people?

Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Russian politics aside

The biggest difference I can see is money.

China has long had a huge income and has been investing it. It wasn't hard for them to target what was embargoed and spend money on it.

Russia, and its earlier incantation, has only had 2 main exports - conflict and (more recently) its oil industry. Conflict may have been successful until the 70s but that doesn't seem to be doing them much good now.

The world had already decided to cut down on oil and this has sped up the process!

They will no more be able to build up a microprocessor industry to make what they can't buy any more than we, in the UK, can return to our imaginary past as an economic superpower!

Russia is going broke and the only way they are going to get back into the global community is to reform and put people like Vlad and his pals on trial

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Please - somebody start a rumour

I've felt for years that anything from the USA is pretty much guaranteed to have spyware in it. Whether it is from Uncle Sam or from some of the very rich people who are in control there is unclear though.

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Spanners Silver badge


Sounds like a flu variant!

Spanners Silver badge


They are women or ladies.

My mother told me to assume they are ladies until they prove otherwise!

Apple to replace future iPhone Lightning port with USB-C next year, this guy claims

Spanners Silver badge


I also suspect that they may "invent" a new Wireless charging system that is completely different from anything else that is in use and does not work on normal smartphones.

Possibly, to save themselves from lawsuits, they may allow their devices to use normal charger, just VERY slowly.

False-flag cyberattacks a red line for nation-states, says Mandiant boss

Spanners Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: What's he smoking?

Some of the criminal gangs are actually part of governments. A lot of the worst around here have 3 capital letters as their names.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Full names please.......

Like a very large number of people, I am not known by my first name. I am known by my second name.

I have lived in the south of the UK for a long time now so I am wondering if it is a regional thing. I occasionally come across someone who cannot comprehend this and insists on trying to call me by the first one and then gets confused when I never even look round.

I was named after my father. He used the first name and I was always known by the second one. He is dead so that person whose name you are yelling across the road can't hear you as he has been dead for more than 30 years!

Google's FLoC flopped, boffins claim, because it failed to provide promised privacy

Spanners Silver badge

Re: The snag.

Nobody actually wants targetted ads chucked at them...

I totally agree. So why do I get the occasional winge that, without being able to build a profile on me, they will not be able to send me relevant ads?

TurboTax to pay $141m to settle claims it scammed millions of people

Spanners Silver badge

This should be a lesson to them.

My understanding is that, unlike in developed countries, the reason everyone in the USA has to submit their own tax returns is because a cabal of tax accountants and software makers like Inuit lobbied for it.

Now there is further proof that the lobbiers were going against the public interest.

But will this cause a change? No. It doesn't when anything else shows up as a bad idea whether it is health insurance, armed civilians on the street or the huge subsidies given to the US oil industries. They can't "because rich people and corporations" override the people's needs every time!

I will check my P60 when it arrives but my month 12 payslip had my correct PAYE on it. I suspect that I am sad/geeky because I even check it.

People in the USA have the nerve to try and claim that they are free and I am not?

BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office

Spanners Silver badge

A possible solution

Reroute all those "vital" beancounter" device supplies to a special mains supply. Just don't tell them that it is no longer a sine wave, a steady 50Hz or even between 220-240v anymore.

Study: How Amazon uses Echo smart speaker conversations to target ads

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Get a grip

Advertising? I've heard of it but don't see it.

Am I missing something?

If you advertise too much to me, I make note of what you are pushing and NEVER buy it from you or whoever you are annoying me on behalf of.

If I pay for your services, such as Netflix, the appearance of adverts is going to bring an end to me dealing with you. For example, I use Gmail for free so they can advertise, just not get annoying!

There is probably more advertising around than I notice. My brain does filtering.

Google Docs' AI-powered inclusive writing auto-correct now under fire

Spanners Silver badge

I found that I am in a "protected" group.

As a 62-year-old, middle class, white male I was surprised to find people want to protect me too! I have had epilepsy since I was 16.

A few years ago, I was in a training session. At one point we were about to split into little groups and start "brainstorming" until someone said that the term was offensive to people who had certain neurological conditions. I spoke up and said that the phrase was not offensive to me but treating me like a moody toddler was. We then agreed to do some brainstorming...

It was the look of horror I got on someone's face when I stated that I was the only person in the IT department who could do a BSOD without a computer that really made me laugh though!

Spanners Silver badge

Re: unfix the unfixable

Google is not alone in its infantile primness. It is a US Corporate fetish.

I remember in a "Not Always Right" story how a US call centre of a multinational company had to tell its staff not to worry about conversational swear words when dealing with customers in the UK!

Putin reaches for nuclear option: Zuckerberg banned

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Well, damn

I understand that Notre Dame is looking for some ideas for replacement gargoyles. Perhaps this could be a trend all over Europe!

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options

Spanners Silver badge

"Advertising tolerant"?

That rules me out then.

There are some very interesting creators on YouTube. The 30-40 minutes I use it per day is bumps right on the border of how much advertising I will tolerate.

If Netflix starts down this, there are plenty of alternatives. I get my news, without adverts, and some other decent stuff from the BBC, Yes, I am OK with paying for a TV licence. If I pay for a service, I do not expect to pay for adverts. That is why I am OK with Google stuff. If I ever find unskippable adverts on a service I pay for, I will note what is being advertised and never buy that item!

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

Spanners Silver badge


...easy in Linux as it is in any other system

The average fraudster seems to work as if Windows is the only operating system. They don't even seem to know about Macs. They seem to be able to find out your Windows by asking questions like "what shape is the picture at the bottom left corner of your screen?" or trying to get them to a command prompt.

When people are on a Mac, Linux or even Chromebook, it goes wrong for them. This is not me saying that we should all drop windows. I just think it would be better if it was less of a monoculture.

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless

Spanners Silver badge

Remember the old story?

"$1 for hitting it with a hammer and $999 for knowing where to hit it."

We are not generally just paid for actual hands-on time. We are paid to know stuff. The younger ones in this line will have student loans to pay!

The march of Macs into the enterprise: Demand is on the increase

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Apple has been Enterprise ready for a while...

It's the same licence whether I make the computer last 3 years or 7.

We get rid of our old kit, we don't need licences for it any more. Don't you?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine tears open political rift between cybercriminals

Spanners Silver badge

'enemies of Russia'

The biggest enemy of Russia is the enemy of the rest of the planet as well - Vladimir Putin.

Yes we have other enemies but only one is sending tanks at us at present so he qualifies as the biggest problem at present.

Putin is the one who is sending young people to their deaths attacking another country. Putin is the person whose friends have made huge fortunes off the Russian people. He is their enemy. At the moment, only small numbers of very brave people are protesting about it. In the future???

Dell opts out of Microsoft's Pluton security for Windows

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Thank god, someone's got some sense

"an option for users to turn the feature on and off."

Also an option of criminal organisations, including the CIA, FBI and the NSA to turn it on perhaps without you even knowing.

Sophos: Log4Shell would have been a catastrophe without the Y2K-esque mobilisation of engineers

Spanners Silver badge

Not all the world said

"The absence of a total IT meltdown left the rest of the world wondering, "well, was it as bad as all that?""

I have heard statements like that from both muggles and the aggressively uninformable.

People completely outside the IT world have an excuse but when I hear senior management making comments like that, I get quietly cross!

UK govt signs IT contracts 'without understanding' the needs

Spanners Silver badge

Re: No shit, Sherlock?!

You seem to be describing the Seagull Management System.

Fly in through the window, flap around and cause problems.

After a short while, head back through the window leaving a mess, sh1t and other problems behind you.

I am wondering if the events in Ukraine are Vlad the Invader seeking to leave such a legacy.

Russia mulls making software piracy legal and patent licensing compulsory

Spanners Silver badge

"arbitration, often in Stockholm or London"

So, ruling out irrelevant nowheres, that will just be Stockholm then. Or will they have to start doing it in the EU now?

The capital of a wannabe historical theme park is probably not much use now.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

Spanners Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: The joy...

I remember saying that to a hospital consultant and then wondering about the giggling. Turns out he was teaching medical students and had his phone on handsfree.

(It was them giggling, not him.)

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Imperrfect

A couple of decades ago, I was in an office full of secretaries fixing something or other. I ended up typing something out to test things.

A younger secretary commented that I was putting a lot of force upon that keyboard.

An older one just said, "he learned to type on a manual typewriter like me".

Construction starts on another Asia-Europe undersea cable

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Diverse routes are also needed

Whether they are or not, this generalisation is, sadly, too believable.

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

Spanners Silver badge

Re: Simples...

I never feel the need to save the GIMP format file.

Similarly, I don't think I have saved an audacity "project" file. I think this is a feature of FOSS software. I did, however, save Open Office files until I got WTF messages from people!

Indonesia bars financial institutions from offering crypto services

Spanners Silver badge

This makes me think of the US states that try and "ban abortions"

All they do is ban safe abortions. The back streets are going to remain full of people who can "help". (Young) women will die but frankly, they DGAFF.

If people cannot get good advice about crypto-currencies, they will have a go by themselves. They may need to work their way through government firewalls and VPNs but some will. They will be in greater danger of having it stolen. Those who come out the other end, will loose even more faith in their banking system and how it owns their government.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022