* Posts by El Zed

42 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Oct 2009

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

El Zed

@time of this posting, Watchings Lemmy's Memorial Service..

destroying a bottle of Rum and one Single malt.

Fuck the government and their guidelines...

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

El Zed

a couple of weeks on and..

sorry, but it's still annoying.

This is my third stab at putting in a comment, I scrubbed the first two as I thought, well, I'm just repeating all the same gripes as everyone else, let's see if they fix them. But no, things like the stupidly large images are still there.

I've frigged around with various extensions, css hacks etc, but the results are less than satisfactory.

I'm off as a regular visitor (i.e. browser tab/window usually left open on site), I'll still pop in from time to time (with scripts disabled, automatic load of images blocked etc.).

Happy Christmas etc, I'm off to make friends with a rather nice bottle of single malt..

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

El Zed

Re: An even better solution

'..payment in kind was a bottle of wine....result was 12 bottles of wine.'

Hmm, interesting

now, my last payment in kind for a similar service was a bottle of 30 year old Bowmore...if the going rate is 12 bottles for a reinstall of the old crap back, then this is probably the first time I hope and pray they'll want Windowswhatever reinstalled...

Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

El Zed

Re: Genuine Question

I forgot to add one thing, some of the software we run on the XP boxes is hardware dongled, mostly/all the old parallel port sort (with one serial dongle lurking somewhere), no updates available. I've yet to get one of these things to work properly under Win 7, in a VM or as a portable app.

..the OS they was written for..

Ugh!, 'they was'...I blame the painkillers for that one.

El Zed

Re: Genuine Question


Regarding VMs, I've tried running a lot of XP software we use in virtual machines running under Win7, Linux and MacOS X. Whilst it works, and we use some packages already in VMs, there are still issues (e.g. DirectX weirdies, OpenGL support not quite 100%, direct access to hardware devices on host system still a bit flakey as far as some software is concerned)

As to portable versions, I've had a play with Spoon studio, whilst it works as well (and it's a strange experience watching one of our CAD packages run off a USB stick, it was a nice trick to show the boss..) I found that the portable versions still didn't like running on anything higher than XP (the OS they was written for).

This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

El Zed

Re: What the promotion should be

'To others commenting od older OS's, I have seen DOS 6.22 in the fireld controlling machines, try finding hardware to support that. '

In the past three months, I've thrown out several working AMD-K6, PI and PII systems that we no longer had any space to store (I've several PII/PIII IBMs we're keeping for spares). It's actually very easy to find DOS boxes..and I've had a HP thin client running both FreeDOS and Win98 just for the hell of it..

'(It's possible, I had to do it, but was not easy. Finding NE2000 cards are more expensive than new kit.)'

That is good to know (sayeth the man with 8 of the beasties safely squirreled away).

(My internet facing interface is still a ne2k, and an ISA one to boot, so this message has passed through it (along with 2.6TB of other stuff over the past couple of years)

'It is disappointing that the government secretly did this stuff'

El Zed

Re: @Titus Technophobe

..That's probably because in the Internet you don't feel the surveillance, it happens in the ether and you have no way of even knowing you are being watched.

Like you (usually) have any chance of knowing that you're being watched in the 'real world'.

I've been under surveillance twice (to my knowledge).

First time, peripherally, as my father was being watched by the spooks during Cold War I (you had a better class of spook back in those days, they left not-so-subtle hints - like Cheltenham postmarks on redirected mail, coffee cup rings in the middle of publications from behind the Iron curtain, one of the secret squirrels informed my father to his face that the phone was tapped..). This crap went on for decades.

Second Time, I was caught up in an ongoing fraud investigation (technically collateral damage as I knew one of the prime targets of the investigation), and was followed on a regular basis for over a fortnight (quite pathetically, by one of the 'operatives'), I know that approx 15 years later there was still a flag up in some database somewhere about that one.

Oh, there was also the incident of the local CID asking my sister if I was 'still working with computers down in Camford', as they were having some issues with their systems....to this day, I've no idea what that one was about.

For the sheer hell of it as we've initiated Cold War II, I've just opened up an email account in Russia, so I'm expecting appropriate snoopiness to follow..

Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

El Zed

Re: First "banned" calculator...

Repeat as much as you like. The de facto standard was no calculators either in scotland or england and in some exams scottish or otherwise calculators of any description are still not allowed.

weird that,

from Google, the fx-7000G came out in '85.

At that point, I'd been an escapee from the drudge that was the Scottish secondary education system for a couple of years, but during the fun time I had, I'd used various Ti. HP and Casios (including programmables)* in exams from around '78 onwards, though they insisted that any programmable had it's batteries taken out and reinserted before the start of the exam...old school thinking at it's best.

My last school Casio, a fx-3600P purchased in '82 a couple of days before my CSYS exams as a replacement for the sadly unremembered model HP programmable calculator which inconveniently attained the blessed state of fubar. The Casio survived almost daily use up till the late 90's, in fact, it may still be working somewhere out there, but as some fscker 'borrowed' it from my workbench circa '98, I'll never know.

I've currently got a couple of el-cheapo Olympia scientific calculators from Lidl lying around at work for those occasions when I need one, I really must invest in a decent calculator again for home use.

*I'm not including either the Texets (I spit at the memories) or National Semiconductor Novus calculators I had, the Novus calculators were great fun (my first one was a Mathbox 650 back in '74-75) but you had to be careful, as they weren't that stable (some of the factory rejects made for great practical joke items, with all sorts of fun faults like multiplying any number by a decimal setting the calculator into a countdown from a large random number, 2+2=7 etc.)

BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

El Zed

Re: BAH! newbies

You had it lucky! Our printers used slabs of stone..

Funny you should say that..

our next purchase is a 'desktop' CO₂ laser engraver with handy USB interface, first job for the beastie is going to be engraving on slates.

El Zed

I remember once at college, we decided to race a Epson FX80 dot matrix printer and an IBM golf ball printer...

Oh ye Gods, the IBM Golfball printers..how the hell did I ever forget about those buggers.

There used to be one sited right next to the Tektronix 4010 I used to hog (don't ask, 'twas the early '80s, it involved FORTRAN..and ALGOL)

You'd be sitting there, things all nice and quiet, coding away merrily with nary a care (other than some other fscker crashing the mainframe) then this thing (on a supposedly sturdy stand) would suddenly explode into life (usually printing out stuff that really should have gone to either the line or drum printers), stand swaying away merrily..occasionally lifting slightly off the floor..

The only printer I currently have in the house is one of those Brother inkjet all-in-one things, I find it to be a most useful and invaluable device as it's currently sitting on its side, base end out, blocking a gap beside the KVM switch, routers and firewall, thereby keeping the cats out of what they regard as a nice warm sleeping spot with benefits (i.e. cables to play with, ergo chaos to cause.. )

other than than, yes, Inkjets, I never want to see the insides of another one for repair, so a pox on them!

Reg hack prepares to live off wondergloop Soylent

El Zed

Re: If you can't fry it, it's not food

It's still new, give it time. It probably hasn't made its way to Scotland yet.

Ach, this isn't even a challenge, you can obviously use it as a batter so we'd probably use it to coat something else a bit more exotic (Mint Poppets anyone?) before the obligatory inadvisable deep frying...

Mind you, for the record, Google deep fried Oreos, deep fried twinkies, deep fried snickers.. The US also has a history of slapping batter on some foodstuffs not normally associated with the antient and noble art of deep frying and just going for it.

Police 'stumped' by car thefts using electronic skeleton key

El Zed

Re: About a billion years ago ...

"equipped for stealing"? How fucking daft...."

Yes, isn't it? but welcome to the wonderful world that is the legal system.

I regularly carry a (reasonably) full toolkit in my rucksack to-fro work, and I use public transport (not being a car person). If I was ever searched, and the Police chose to be bastards that day, they could arrest me and charge me with the old 'going equipped' malarkey based on the contents of my rucksack, and the onus would then be on me to prove my innocence in front of a Judge/Sheriff/whatever.(meanwhile, as I've been arrested, they'll have taken my DNA and fingerprints, and as I've been charged, my employers will have had to been informed with all/any repercussions that may entail..etc. etc. etc.). As it stands, thanks to the hysteria regarding knives, as a paranoid move in case I'm ever stopped by the Police and searched, I'd removed anything with a blade from my travelling toolkit several years ago now, but I've no doubt that if they so chose, they'd regard some of the hex/allen keys in my kit as looking suspiciously like picks..and as for the two sets of hex security bits, well, you get the picture.

"..As a side-note, having a set of picks & knowing how to use them kinda automagically makes you a locksmith, no?.."

No, you may have the technical skills to be a locksmith, but if you're not operating as a locksmith in a business capacity, wandering around with a set of picks in a public place puts you in the frame for 'going equipped'.

"..I can open most house-hold doors with no more than a safety-pin & a bobby-pin. Thus, yer old mum is "equipped for stealing"..."

Yes, it's silly, but if you (or yer old mum) had form, then possession of a safety pin & bobby pin might get you done on 'going equipped', depending on the circumstances and whims of the Police.

Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

El Zed

Re: gimp? really?

'gimp - what a joke, truly awful software trying to compete with the king.'

Ok, I suspect you're trolling, but feck it, I'll bite.

At work, we have CS4 Installed on all the Win7 boxes (the Mac has CS5, I think - which should give you an indication of how often it gets used).

So guess what pixel editor gets used most?, yup, Gimp.

Oh sure, Photoshop still gets used for those jobs that Gimp just cant quite seem to manage (usually manipulation of photos for things like transfer printing), everything else, Gimp is the first port of call.

This wasn't deliberate, there was no edict along the lines of 'for task X thou shalt use Gimp forsaking all other graphics software..' it's the way things have developed over the past couple of years.

'the king'?

'.. You do not mean so much to me, Nor that crown upon your head ..'

Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

El Zed

Re: David, you missed the point

'..No they couldn't. I certainly don't have the ability to do this and I was trained to use lathes, mills, drills etc (decades ago). There is a fair degree of skill and dexterity needed to make complex parts to exact specifications ..'

Whilst I agree with you regarding accurate use of lathes etc., you're missing the point slightly. A 'zip-gun' class weapon has no complex parts, nor exact specifications and doesn't require machining skills other than fairly basic ones to knock one together (Google zip gun for examples)

Hell, with very basic drilling, gluing and soldering skills, you can go to Homebase and buy plumbing fixings and knock together a barrelled weapon capable of killing someone.

It isn't really a question of 'having the ability' to do something, it's a question of 'having the need'. Humans can be pretty inventive when they need to be, especially, it seems, when it comes to weapons manufacture.

Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know

El Zed

Re: But

ah, the cats were to be found skulking around ftp servers and Gopher at this point.

German ransomware threatens with sick kiddie smut

El Zed

Re: Is the scary part just a page in a browser?

'.. SRP and non-admin accounts'

Ah, non-admin accounts.

Having a relative's machine with, from the description, a UK version of this beastie to disinfect sometime this morning(looks out window, sees it's rather a nice day, so maybe I'll postpone this till late Sunday), here's a story regarding the potential ineffectiveness of non-admin accounts. I set up this machine the last time it got infested several months ago with the standard user account being non-admin, and another account called 'install' with admin rights for the express purpose of installing/updating software only.

Fast forward to the conversation a couple of days ago when the relative first mentioned the current problem, where eventually I got out of them the fact that basically they'd been using the 'install' account rather than the standard user account to run everything..something to do with they hated having to remember and type in the password 'every time something said it required an an account with administrator permissions'. I asked WTF where they running which kept saying that?, response was the somewhat vague, 'stuff off the internet' , aaargh!.

So, non-admin accounts, nice idea in theory, so long as either

a. people can be relied on to act sensibly with the admin account you need to create for them to do software installs etc.

b. you want to take control of administering their machine on a daily basis. (I should add at this point that the relatives whose machine I'm talking about here live 25 miles from me.)

Ah well, 'tis the curse of being family IT support, I suppose. It's not as if I've better things to do on a sunny weekend (he says, as he switches off phone, grabs camera gear and runs..)

Researcher sets up illegal 420,000 node botnet for IPv4 internet map

El Zed

Re: Prosecution would be proof of idiocy..

- Linux devices are as secure as their admins. Come on... standard passwords?'

Admins?, A quote from the article

'The vast majority of infected systems were consumer routers or set-top boxes'

So, these devices really have no 'admins', per se, and their users probably haven't a clue they run any sort of OS at all. The manufacturers need their arses collectively kicked regarding things like default security of these devices, knowing full well that the average target user of a piece of consumer electronics is just going to plug the bugger in and get on with it without RTFM about security.

What should be more of a worry (though it isn't that surprising) were the

'..Cisco and Juniper hardware, x86 equipment with crypto accelerator cards, industrial control systems, and physical door security systems.'

that they managed to compromise.

From this, I take it, amateur hour isn't quite over yet out there.

Twenty classic arcade games

El Zed

Re: Xevious ...

Ah Xevious,

I used to hog the high score table of both the Xevious machines in Dundee back in the early 80's, and the one in the arcade in Glasgow (one of the ones on Argyle Street), several years after I'd stopped playing them regularly, I found myself back in the arcade in Glasgow one drunken Friday night, early 90's, found the Xevious machine still there and that no-one had ever beaten my highscores.

Only one person in Dundee ever beat me, he worked in a bank (I think) on Reform Street.

Xevious and Mad Planets..way too many boozy hours in the Arcades as a student spent on them both..I've tried playing them on MAME, but it ain't the same..

Microsoft says Google trying to undermine Windows Phone

El Zed

Re: I'd be happy to lobby Google for a youtube app for ms phones

'Just as soon as MS provide their complete office suit for Linux for the same price as they do for windows.'

I know you jest, but please! some of us remember the unholy abomination that was their Internet Explorer for Solaris, the many hours of fun and joy installing and supporting that POS ...oh shit, now I've triggered the flashbacks...the horrors of watching it kill all those poor defenceless innocent Sparc Classics if the users had the temerity to dare run it...considering my 'Desktop' machine at the time was an IPX fitted with a Wietek Power μP, It stood no chance.


you don't know man, you weren't there...


Somewhere deep under Redmond, there exists a vault. It requires two keys to open, one held by Ballmer, the other by his Holiness Gates himself. Inside this vault is the fabled Microsoft Doomsday device, the Office suite for Linux, only to be deployed in the eventuality that Linux overtakes Windows as the predominant computer OS. Rumour has that it is a most terrible, accursed weapon, designed to both cripple the best machines it runs on and drive the users insane. Crafted in secret by the worst C++ coders that Microsoft could safely free up from their other projects, rumour also has it that it is not written in C++, but allegedly written in Perl by C++ programmers, using the GTK toolkit, then run through their own infernal fork of perlcc..

The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

El Zed

Re: ...and they last for XXX years...

Ah, despite going for the 'quality' end, you still fell for the marketing.

Just because the LEDs themselves may last, yea unto the very end of time itself (or 50,000 hours or so - whatever comes first), doesn't mean that any device built using them will last till beyond the warranty/guarantee/week/first real power surge after you purchase them.

A bulb that lasts for years?, FSM what fools these mortals be! (besides, what lamp manufacturers in their right minds would so willingly cut their own throats?)

Remember, the same people used to say that CFLs would last for years too...(admittedly, I've one which is now over 15 months old, still, I think I'm averaging 7-9 months out of them - this may be a local electricity supply 'quality' issue though).

The Open Rights Group gets rights wrong again

El Zed

Re: On one hand

'...but still, he paid out money to have the sign made, it was made by the company and then he was told to take it down. Now on the one hand I can kind of understand, but it just seems unfair y'know?'

then, he has a very good case against the company that made him the sign, as the status of the olympic rings is well known to the trade, besides, the IOC have been spending quite a bit of time hammering the point home about their ownership of the trademark for a while now.

I had to look this up, as I'd been approached to design and make something 'Olympics rings related' recently.

Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995

3 Infringement.

(1)A person infringes the Olympics association right if in the course of trade he uses

(a) a representation of the Olympic symbol, the Olympic motto or a protected word, or

(b) a representation of something so similar to the Olympic symbol or the Olympic motto as to be likely to create in the public mind an association with it.

Note 3(1)b, even if he had a sign with only five sausages (appropriately coloured or otherwise) placed in the position of the centres of the Olympic rings, he'd still probably have been done. They've basically got an act of Parliament which states that any trapezoidal image made up of five elements which invokes a pavlovian response of suitable olympian proportions in a member of the public is an infringement of their rights.

In my case, the item I was asked to design would normally fall into what I'd call 'parody' (humour being subjective, others might have disagreed)...I saw no provision in any of the legislation for that, so had to decline the work.

I agree, in the case of this Butcher's sign, that this is unfair (ok for MacShitburgers to make mulah++ out of the event, but not a small local trader who may make an extra couple of quid over the period of the events thanks to this sign). The apparatchik responsible for reporting this sign and pursuing the case really needs to remove the broom handle from his arse...

Mission of the IOC (from the Olympic Charter)

Section 2

10. to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes;

If allowing the purveyors of fast/junk food and sugar-laden drinks to emblazon the Olympic logo on their produce doesn't constitute a 'commercial abuse of sport and athletes', what does?

No need to comply with data laws if it's too difficult - EU ministers

El Zed

Re: "Are we being ruled by headless chickens?"

Chickens, Vultures, Jackals and Hyenas?

no, not even Hyenas deserve their characters darkened by association with this lot

if you're looking for a more apposite zoomorphism, try Hagfish, or Leech, or Tapeworm..

Great HR mistakes of our time - Aviva fires 1300 by email

El Zed

Re: What's with the shunting around? HR made you do it?

'...Plus telling people that pride themselves in ability to do hard things other people plain cannot, that they're not good enough, is of course a bit lacking in tact.'

A HR wonk for a certain large online book retailer sent me a rather sarcastic job application rejection email along those lines once. Around 8 months later, same job was advertised again, was told by my advisor at ye olde jobbe centre to apply for it (was unemployed at the time - was also in the process of jumping ship from IT work anyway), pull out printed copy of this rejection email from my file, show it to her, and calmly explain that there was no fecking way I was going to apply *ever* to that company so long as little shits like this guy handle the recruitment. Advisor actually went and photocopied the email printout.

Music fans not welcome in RIAA-backed .music

El Zed

Arrrr, that brings back memories me hearty!

For about five years, back in the early/mid '90s I was the owner/opirator/main culprit behind an alternative DNS system, the TLD pirate was the first new one to go in, so the whole scheme was christened one boozy Friday night 'The PNS'.

All my machines were in the domain pugwash.pirate (At that time, 270 or so split across three sites in three countries), some other domains had one host, others hundreds. It couldn't last forever, we were running this mainly on company/Uni networks.

Sometime around late 96 - early 97, a bunch of humourless greybeards found out about my little experiment, blocked inbound port 53 to the machine I was using as one of the 'root' servers at the place I was currently employed. I was duly keel hauled, they then proceeded to inform the places the other 'root' servers were being 'hosted' about our little scheme, and that was the end of it.

Number of people directly involved at the end: 7-8 at various locations around the globe running the servers and maintaining the zone files, indirectly, well, let's just say a fair number of systems were using our DNS servers (a lot, without knowing it), and it was a large spike in traffic to my server and an analysis of the traffic to the 'official' server which showed several departmental subnets hadn't made any sort of DNS lookup for several months (it was years, actually) that one of the greybeards spotted which lead to the downfall of the whole thing.

Was fun while it lasted though..I probably still have the QIC-120 backup of all the last zone files etc in a box in the loft along with what little remains of that period of my life (it may have escaped the cull of tapes I had about a decade ago, I turned a number of them into 'bird scarers'), pity I gave away the last operational drive I had which could read these tapes six years ago.

Some days, I miss all this sort of crap..alas my Cutlass is now rusty, and I've given up C.

How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

El Zed

Transparently redirect all requests

to the DNS server on your firewall box.

Then, it doesn't matter what tricks the little darlings learn from their friends at school...

Seriously, anyone with children should expect to engage them eventually in a battle of 'cyber' wits when they reach a certain age, just worry when they stop asking you questions about the firewall (usually means they've found a way to bypass it, at which point, congratulate them - especially if your firewall is of the BOFH level-of-deviousness persuasion - and let them get on with it).

Facebook disses Effin Irishwoman

El Zed

Wait, what?

'..Scunthorpe fell foul of AOL's moral police.'

AOL had morals?

Feh!, who knew?


El Zed

Please, ask around..

We need to see a copy of this letter, suitably redacted if needs be.

Something this classic, if true, deserves to be preserved online somewhere.

someone must have kept a copy..

Then again, thinking about the sort of crap I used to get up to back then, trolling wasn't born with this face..

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray disc set

El Zed

Buy it, you will?

No, no I frigging wont...Your Jedi mind tricks will not work on me, Lucas...

Godson: China shuns US silicon with faux x86 superchip

El Zed

Any Chance ..

That you good people at El Reg can chase this one up?,

I'd have thought that something like this which makes the design of custom ICs so easy and the supply costs so cheap would make for both an interesting hardware & software story.

El Zed

Can I second this?

As it is still surprisingly (to me, at least) relevant to my interests.

Maybe its time to brush the dust off some of those old backup tapes

German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP

El Zed

Oh Rly?

'OpenOffice is *still* not as good as Office'

Which parts?, which version?. define a meaningful set of parameters/tests to measure this 'goodness'..

I've no time for the current version of Office, though I hardly use it at the best of times I think I'm still using Office XP on one of my machines. Yes OO can be braindead at times, so what?, so can Office (especially the current incarnation). learn its vagaries, no different than what you have to do with Office.

I should add here, for the record, I tend to use LyX for general wordprocessing/document preparation rather than OO/Office, even on Windows machines.

I can remember the big global changeover from Wordperfect to Word as the de facto 'standard' (sic) WP package causing major problems all over the place (incidentally, can also remember the fact that most secretaries hated it, and the change was forced by 'the management' as they'd got it installed on their shiny new computers at home)

'..The Linux desktop is more confusing than the Windows one..'

aaand on that point alone, you fail, sir.

Which desktop?, one of my Linux machines gets used regularly by a couple of children who normally use a windows box, they've never had any problems. One of them actually prefers using Xfce to Kde. If a 9 year old kiddie can use a Linux 'desktop' without any prompting, where exactly is the confusion?

Seriously, I know Linux users who *were* XP users who installed Kubuntu on their own, and have used it since as their only OS. We're talking about a couple of non-IT people here doing this at home using a magazine coverdisk, not bloody Übergeeks..

Stephen Fry security whoopsie leads to prank fart book order

El Zed

Too True

I had/have one too,

bear in mind Oxford is rather funny as to what it defines as a 'member' of the University...I was just a mere employee and managed to get it, only had to recite the oath twice (first time wasn't loud enough).

Assange lawyers fume over leaked rape case docs

El Zed

and the point is..

That it doesn't matter.

The whole intent is to smear the character of Assange, not to give him a 'fair' trial, I seriously doubt that these allegations would have ever led to Mr. Assange ever seeing the inside of a courtroom in Sweden, that wasn't their intention.

The point is, putting this rather crudely, shit sticks.

Even if he went to trial in Sweden on whatever charges, even if the charges are dropped or he's found not guilty, the association of his name with wikileaks and sexual assault will stick in people's minds, constant repetition in the media of the same BS over the past couple of weeks has taken care of that...I refer you to the good Dr. Goebbels quote about lies and repetition.

I'm neutral on this one, though I find it amusing that the media whore that is Assange has been hoist with his own petard. He knows the rules of the media game, considering some of the material wikileaks handles he should know the rules of the games various spook squads round the world play by, really, he should have been just a wee bit more careful where he dipped his wikki..

Jobcentre turns to the iPhone

El Zed

So why don't they..

1. Put a bloody text search on their (POS) Jobcentre kiosk (and maybe whilst they're at it, fix the damn search thingie on their braindead web service. last time I tried a text search for Linux jobs, I got a number of Chef jobs returned first.. go figure..

Btw, when I did mention this to someone at the local JC, I was told the safest way of getting accurate results on the web interface from their database is to use the code numbers they use to categorize vacancies, e.g. 3131 (IT Ops Technician), 3132 (IT User Technician), pity I can't find a a complete list anywhere.

2. Give us (temporarily, hopefully) unemployed bods a Jesus Phone so we can use this service that my taxes (up to last month) no doubt handsomely payed some twonks to develop (though, probably this amount was only a teeny fraction compared to the monies wasted on the usual Civil Service BS meetings,procedures etc which led to this thing being developed in the first instance.)

so not so much a 'Gissa job', more a 'Gissa Job's..'

Oscars can Sacha Baron Cohen Avatar skit

El Zed

SBC != Funny

Argh, WTF?

Look, this momser (SBC) isn't funny. Never was, never will be.

Maybe, just maybe, the Yanks have finally woken up and smell'd the cawfee regarding this twat, and this was the *real* the reason this 'hilarious' skit was dropped, as opposed to any perceived potentiality of it inducing a (somewhat potentially more amusing) flouncy-wouncy-I'm-leaving-type-hissy fit in Mr Cameron..

From the description of the skit given, it was a pretty bloody inane attempt at humour at best (assuming a rather broad definition of what one would classify as humour), but admittedly, from this description, about par for the course wrt SBC's previous canon.

Sorry, but I just don't find SBC funny, I've tried hard to see the humour in what he peddles and have tried to figure out why other people find him funny, but no joy there, it must be a brain wiring thing..(and there's no fscking way I'm having a lobotomy just so that I can laugh at his wonderful comic creations, y'see the problem there is I might *then* start finding things like Gervais and Pegg funny as well, and I'm not bloody having that..).

Sellafield gull cull mulled

El Zed

I see nothing changes much

Back in the early '80s, one of my fellow students got a placement at Winds^h^h^h^hT^hSellafield, came back after six months with all sorts of tales about the place. (And, the obligatory healthy glow)

The most relevant one here was that they had regular culls of the wildlife and feral animals (mention was made of it being mostly feral cats) within the site, this, he was told, was done to cover up the incidences of mutations and contaminated beasties..


Government Inspector: "Now what's all this we hear about problems with the local wildlife ?, we've heard talk about radioactive feral cats.."

Sellafield: "radioactive feral kitties?, what radioctive two headed feral kitties?"

Government Inspector: "Two headed?..."

Sellafield: "Ah shit, 'tis a fair cop, but at least they keep the carnivorous rabbits in check.."

Government Inspector: "Carnivorous Rabbits?.."

Sellafield: "Ah, shit again, did I say anything about the 40ft tall glowing telepathic seagull we call Barry that we keep hidden in the Reactor golfball?"

Government Inspector: "Err, Ok, so no problems with the local wildlife then."

(Government Inspector runs away *really fast*)

Sellafield: "Thank god for that, at least he didn't find out anything about the fieldmice.."

What's on the mind of the Freetard eBookworm?

El Zed

Maybe its not quite the Photoshop Secrets you're looking for

Big problem with these sort of list things based on what BT sites etc say are their most downloaded/active files/torrents, but when is a pdf file not a pdf file?

Have been, *ahem*, bitten on more than one occasion by downloading something of a technical nature from a p2p network only to discover it to be pr0n (albeit technically interesting, but not the CAM stuff I was looking for).

Face it, any pdf file, especially anything technical, being seeded by well over a couple of hundred people usually ain't a pdf file...(especially this Photoshop thingie, had a look at it once, istr it wasn't that special)

Should add, this goes for a lot more than just pdf files. I've seen a rather amusing Orcad iso file on one of the p2p networks which mplayer then reveals to be, ach, you get the picture..

Google betas Chrome for Mac, Linux

El Zed

Mostly Works...

Am posting this from the Linux beta running on my Debian test/general purpose box.

Hate to say this, but apart from the startup time being a bit longer than Iceweasel or Opera, it performs better generally than either of them on this box (which has limited memory etc.)

Even though it (Chrome) was installed for my niece (her browser of choice on the Windows box) I may consider switching to it myself, I'll hammer some of the usual 'problem' sites for Iceweasel to see if I can get it to fall over.

Only annoying niggle with it so far, Installed the translate extension/whatever to have a quick play, and now the damn thing keeps translating pages into Afrikaans at the drop of a hat (more precisely, the rolling of the scroll button on my optical mouse), as its a Beta, I'll forgive it..

Besides, some things look better in Afrikaans.

(Or, as it said when I tried to preview the message 'Naas, 'n paar dinge lyk beter in Afrikaans.')

Is this the world's dirtiest PC?

El Zed

Sorry, but this is pretty tame

Unfortunately no pictures (pre digital camera and cameraphone, didn't normally carry my SLR to work), but back in the day if I'd opened up an Alpha (or any other DEC box) or an Indy and found it in this state I'd have regarded it as a pretty clean example.

The DEC boxes were notoriously filthy buggers..eventually got into the habit of popping on a disposable paper mask before opening their cases.

Funniest one I've ever had to deal with though, was a machine that someone had stupidly used in a chemical prep lab. Machine was failing, opened it up, inside was covered completely with various sorts and colours of crystalline 'fur' as various acid/chemical vapours had reacted with all/any exposed internal metal (fume cupboards you say?, aye they'd heard of such beasties..).

Only case I've been involved in of a PC (Pentium Pro, ISTR, which sort of dates this story) that had to eventually be disposed of by chemical waste specialists, and the only one I wish I had pictures of (some of the crystal growths were quite interesting, probably deadly, but interesting), I'll ask around and see if anyone else involved with that one took any photos..now, if only they'd forked out the money initially for that extra long serial cable in the first instance..

On a slight tangent away from PCs, how about a 'faulty' Xbox where the insides and outsides were completely covered in a the dried remains of a large number of what turned out to be brambles/blackberries - it had been stored in a shed where, apparently, the owner's father usually makes bramble wine..he must have bloody steeped the Xbox in the 'must' then...

Scots slam Germans for 'tight-arsed' slur

El Zed

Ye may tak' oor freedom, but ye'll no tak the piss...

Ah, must be great,

All Scotland's internal problems have all been solved, so now the SNP can go tackle the most important external problem facing the Scots in the 21st century, that of the comedy stereotype of the 'canny' Scot being used by the German advertising industry.

(Forget the skagheids, forget the EEC fucking up oor fishin, forget the fucked up economy, forget the corrupt councils etc, forget yon sassenach scunners urr aboot to fob anither Tory government oan us, forget yon sassenachs stealin' oor oil (GDARFC :) ) yon Gerrie scunners are takin' the piss oot 'o us, an' its naw fair...)

True, this gross and unfair stereotyping of our whole nation by those square-headed-sauerkraut -munching-lederhosen-wearing Teutons has to stop, as any Scot will tell you it's really only people from 'Furry Boot' city who're the tight-fisted barstuarts...

Serious sense of humour failure here on the part of this SNP tumshie.. or is he just being a bit of a media whore.. So, what's next on this ba'bags agenda eh, demanding maybe a rewrite of 'Kidnapped' to remove Ebenezer Balfour?, and, as a previous poster did mention Scrooge McDuck, how about him tackling Disney on that one then? (good luck with that, and, what's that, Glasgow council have got Mr. McDuck down as one of their listed 'Famous weegies'?, aw bugger...)

Maybe he should also hae a go at Pterry for the feegles as well, eh?

For the record, if it's not that obvious, I am a Scot. I have a number of German friends, hell, I have friends from all over this bloody dirtball, and the comedic 'tight-fisted Scot' is a global stereotype, I'll stress these two words again *global* and *comedic*..we use stereotypes to take the piss out of them (cf. Germans and lederhosen, French and surrender-minkys etc. etc.) they, in turn, take the piss out of us in a similar fashion.

This guy being such an arse about something this trivial doesn't actually do anything to positively improve the image of Scots abroad, it just makes us look just that wee bit mair dour, and, just maybe, helps to reinforce the stereotype that he's complaining about, so could someone please go apply the cluestick to this eejit?

Ach no, on second thoughts, just let him run wi' it. If he's happy faffing around with something this inane, its one less idiot pratting about with the economy..

GCHQ outsources net snooping... to EDS

El Zed


Has the fortune of knowing a couple of, err, 'programmers' who went to EDS waaay back (15+ years),

one guy couldn't program. *period*. Things like BASIC and Pascal were well beyond him - he spent three months or so on a couple of hundred lines of Pascal code (including comments) for a BR related project which didn't fscking work..ISTR he went to them (EDS) as a C programmer..

(sorry, I'm being a bit unfair here, his code did actually work after a fashion, but so very slowly and as only such a partial implementation of the original spec as to be totally useless for the required purpose. I *used* to wonder how the hell he ever got a job as a programmer with them, then I started to see/hear about the various EDS fubars etc I wonder'd no more...and please, don't ask what the BR related code was in Pascal..there was a tedious explanation that I can't/don't want to remember..).

T'other guy, well, he had some programming nous, but not much. Still, he was a fast talker.(read: bullshitter) went in as a code-monkey and got himself into project management within a couple of years. Blind leading the blind..still, he was bright enough to jump ship when the technical aspects of the projects got too much for him (read: he hadn't a fscking clue what the hell it any of it was about).

Please don't get me wrong here, they're both nice guys, clever in other fields, but useless programmers/software engineers/whatever. (It was a royal PITA trying to fix their broken code)

Assuming EDS hasn't changed much, and, as the various cock-ups they've been involved in since seem to indicate that is a fairly safe assumption, the bolshie part of me says the more spooksquad stuff they get, the merrier, as it'll be an almighty cock-up and a major spanner in the Orwellian nightmare these fsckers are dreaming up for us all, the more sensible (and tax paying) part of me screams at the insanity of allowing these jokers anywhere near any form of critical defence/security computing project knowing their track record..