* Posts by Roger Varley

248 publicly visible posts • joined 17 May 2007


CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

Roger Varley

Re: Wombats?

Warning: Old Joke Alert

Q: What do you play with a Wombat?

A: Wom

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Roger Varley

Even now, when I periodically return to read HHGTTG for the nth time, it's still PeterJones voice I can hear in my head.

Reddit gets downvoted as site takes a Wednesday tumble

Roger Varley

Re: Wait a second...

You had to pay for beer?

Looooxshury .... etc etc etc

I'll just clear down the database before break. What's the worst that could happen? It's a trial

Roger Varley


Running commands whilst connected to the wrong system/database is a rite of passage for anyone in the IT industry. We've all done it at some point in our careers and anyone who says they haven't is either lying or is a PFY who has yet to experience that bowel liquifying moment that strikes almost immediately after pressing the ENTER key.

What is more interesting is how you recover from the situation and did anyone actually notice?

Not quite the Bake Off they were expecting: Canadian seniors served weed-infused brownies

Roger Varley

Re: As a Canadian

Interesting point.

JAXA probe's lucky MASCOT plonks down on space rock Ryugu without a hitch

Roger Varley

Wow! Just .... wow!

The title says it all.

UK Home Office's £885m crim records digi effort: A 'masterclass in incompetence'

Roger Varley

Re: No Clue

I might just be able to accept that TCS might have been out of their depth, but the fscking Home Office should certainly have known what they wanted and needed from the new digitised system. It was their fscking system in the first place.

Javid's in, Rudd's out: UK Home Sec quits over immigration targets scandal

Roger Varley

Re: Either a liar or incompent

I am a liar,

You are mendacious,

Amber Rudd inadvertantly misleads.

They must think we're all fsking stupid

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

Roger Varley

Re: Acronym needed

Surely, if we are resurrecting the SPB to design a beer transporter, it has to be called "LESTER"? I just can't work out the bacronym. I get as far as "Lager" and come over all depressed and give up.

No chance of flying too close to this: Icarus, the most distant star seen, is 9bn light years away

Roger Varley

Re: I take it this star has lovely plumage?

Or it could have turned into a bowl of petunias and a surprised whale by now. Who knows?

FYI: AI tools can unmask anonymous coders from their binary executables

Roger Varley

Re: I'm surprised

I would agree with you if we were talking about source code. But after passing through a compiler?

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

Roger Varley

Re: Look on the bright side ...

What on earth leads you to believe that these laws will apply to our lords and masters?

Terror law expert to UK.gov: Why backdoors when there's so much other data to slurp?

Roger Varley

Re: Location Data from the networks

That won't help either. If I were to decide to commit a crime, as a person with clue I would leave my mobile at home and "borrow" yours

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Roger Varley

Re: Old age + Experience != transferable skills

"an old dear in mid 60s"

I have this overpowering urge to meet you, in order to explain a few things with a clue bat

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Roger Varley

Re: I did wonder about cause and effect

"Why would the first fire bird pick up a burning twig?"

You can do the same amount of wondering about why anything happened for the first time. Given the number of edible plants vs inedible plants, is it just lucky we discovered agriculture before everyone gave up on the plant thing as being a waste of time?

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Roger Varley

"And all of it total crap."

If you think that the output from the BBC is total crap, you really need to spend sometime watching the output from other countries, and then you would be aware of what crap broadcasting really looks like. In my neck of the woods, the output from the local state broadcaster would make re-runs of the Teletubbies look like Oscar winning material.

BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Roger Varley

We are talking about a BOFH here. Adam Payne is probably the name of the annoying little twonk he is forced to work with (or for)

Look! Over there! Intel's cooked a 17-qubit chip quantum package

Roger Varley

Re: Zen

If you have to ask, you can't afford it

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

Roger Varley

I would add to that list;

The Tea Ladies

The Canteen Staff

(back in the days when they existed)

SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

Roger Varley

Derek Lowe has written a whole series of similair articles over the years. Try googling for "Things I Wont Work With" for others.

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Roger Varley


I'd bet that if they put one of those on permanent station above the home of the Thales CEO, the reliability issues would be resolved fairly quickly.

Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Roger Varley

Re: Bah!

Aaarrgggh! Thank you very much for the assorted earworms. Thank $DEITY it's almost pub o'clock here.

(+1 for the Lindisfarne reference though ... happier times at the City Hall)

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Roger Varley

"Reminds me of the time I sat in a meeting with the biggest dickhead in the world from sales"

Sorry, you couldn't have. He works here.

US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

Roger Varley

Re: @corestore

So morale of the storey is that if you are out and about for some nefarious purpose (like armed robbery), don't take your mobile phone with you. Or, better still, take someone elses.

FYI: Web ad fraud looks really bad. Like, really, really bad. Bigly bad

Roger Varley

Re: Other side of the coin.

"In most cases the advertisers had no idea that their ads were being served on sites that they, or their customers, found offensive.

On-line advertising looks like house of cards, and I suspect the whole thing will just collapse one day."

As Nectar are in the process of discovering.

Ads regulator raps PC repair biz for massaging malware infection rates

Roger Varley

Re: I checked Google Maps

Not neccessarily. Here in Cyprus it is not uncommon to find offices, doctors surgeries, dentists etc etc in what look like residential houses or blocks of flats. However, it's the number of different references to that address that make it look dodgy

Roger Varley

Google is your friend here ...

Googling on the Cyprus address Athinodorou 3; Dasoupoli - it's quite interesting the number of times and different places that address turns up in.

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Roger Varley

Re: To taste

Breakfast off a slate? There's worse. Much worse. (Cite: http://wewantplates.com/)

Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Roger Varley

Re: Nut Bush City Limits.

"Honda, the makers of soulless machinery, are trying to: http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/news/a32162/honda-just-invented-a-self-balancing-motorcycle-that-never-falls-over/"

While, initially, that may seem to reduce by 1 the number of the numerous ways you can die on a motorcycle, I suspect that in fact, it may increase the number of ways to die. If it never falls over, presumably, you can't drop it on purpose when you need to?

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Roger Varley

"AS400 in there (which fortunately stayed up .... "

You needed something a damn sight more dramatic than a hot server room to bring down one of those babies ....

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Roger Varley

Re: 29" barrel

"one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place"

A very long run-up?

'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered

Roger Varley

Re: Probably got their own staff to install the back up generators

"Not taking any bets, but regular testing of diesel generators need to be done."

But they did. They sub-contracted the testing to Atos who declared them "fit to work" ......

Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

Roger Varley

There is one helleuva difference between "the public interest" and what "the public are interested in". Media organisations consistantly cite the former while providing the latter.

Man nicked trying to 'save' beer from burning building

Roger Varley

Is it allowed ....

... to use the phrase "Bud Ice Premium" in the same sentence as "beer"/

Facebook, Google, etc: Yeah, yeah, we'll work on the nasty stuff about bombs – but we ain't doing no backdoors

Roger Varley

Re: "The issue is complicated by the fact

Maybe we could actually use the ad-networks for something useful here. Instead of trying to break encryption to find the bad guys, instead look for who is being served ads for Semtex alternatives

Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

Roger Varley

Re: 2 years?

>some relatively small further fraction comes back in the form of EU spending in the UK. But we have >almost no control over how this will increase in future or what the EU chooses to spend it on.

Apart from disputing the use of the phrase "small fraction", I am not so sure that the fact that the EU decides what it is spent on is such a bad idea. A Tory government is going to favour spending it in the Tory heartlands, that's where the votes are, similairly, a Labour government would favour the Labour heartlands. At least the EU decides on economic and social grounds rather than political ones.

Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

Roger Varley

Re: But I thought we "took back control"

>> I wonder what people who voted leave think of the snooper's charter anyway?

that it's a piece of paper owned by a dancing beagle?

Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Roger Varley

Re: So why not create a new v2 compression scheme?

and not to forget the eye watering cost of hard drives in those days as well

British trio win Nobel prize for physics

Roger Varley

Re: So it's like the . . . .

I would also start running if I were you ...

One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Roger Varley

Throw them both out?

Roger Varley

Not fair on the rest.

If I were on that trip, anyone on the poll list would be out of the airlock before we passed Moon orbit!

Italian scientists use fluorescent box to arouse sexually indifferent men

Roger Varley

"that can lead to its own problems, with older blokes putting themselves at risk of heart problems the more sex they have – particularly if they enjoy it in old age"

There are worse ways to go.

Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Roger Varley

Re: Scapegoats

"If that doesn't make your blood boil from either a moral or an ethical standpoint, then you've totally lost me."

Sorry, but it is a simple binary choice.

Apple et al are either breaking the law (tax evasion) or they are not (tax avoidance). If they are breaking the law then the relevant authorities should be prosecuting and someone should be going to prison.

If they are not breaking the law, then the relevant authorities should either change the law or if not, should say why they are not changing the law and then shut up about it.

No court is going to convict if the law is not being broken. The current furore over moral or ethical implications is simply a smoke and mirror exercise to distract attention from the fact that governments have no intention of adjusting the current tax laws. The reasons for this are left as an exercise for the reader.

Dwarf planet Ceres has a watery secret: An 11 mile wide ice volcano

Roger Varley

Re: Salty Ice

I can't help feeling I chose the wrong career. Beating hardware into submission does pall after a while

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Roger Varley

A Proposal

You aren't going to defeat this by arguing technical impossibility. If the last month has taught us anything then it's that politicians and facts are mutually incompatible, and that the British Public has "had enough of experts".

We need a Daily Wail style campaign based on nothing more than vague hints and hand waving to suggest that not having encryption will cause really, really bad things to happen. The more outrageous the claim, the better. And then, we all need to spread the message amongst the witless and gullible as often and as loudly as we can.

What could possibly go wrong?

'I am not a lizard' Zuckerberg proclaims in public Q&A

Roger Varley

He's not a lizard,

he's just a very naughty ..... oh, never mind.

Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill

Roger Varley

"Be honest, in how many wars have the US won on their own, NONE !"

Oh come on, be fair. They did manage an away win in Grenada.

'Massive great big' vulture goes AWOL in Somerset

Roger Varley

Re: Optimism required

+1 for the Viv Stanshall reference, I haven't listened to Sir Henry at Rawlinsons End in absolute yonks.

Roger Varley

Optimism required

"The white-headed vulture - Trigonoceps occipitalis - is native to sub-Saharan Africa and under threat of extinction in the wild."

We'll just have to hope that the local swivel-eyed loons are more intelligent than the swivel-eyed loons around here, otherwise the damn thing will be going extinct in the West Country too.

Electric Babel Fish swims into crowdfunding

Roger Varley

Re: Have to

Is it just me, but every time, I read anything from HHGTTG, I hear Peter Jones voice in my head?