* Posts by George of the Jungle

72 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Nov 2009


Today in tortured tech analogies: Mozilla lets Firefox loose in the hen house, and by hen house, we mean the tracking cookie jar, er...

George of the Jungle

I'd been looking to move from Chrome after it became such a memory hog and went back to Firefox. I've been running v68 with enhanced tracking and the Privacy Badger add-in and it stops most everything I need to stop. I use Chrome only to run the Google-related apps I need for work.

Bill Clinton's cyber-attack novel: The airport haxploit-blockbuster you knew it would be

George of the Jungle

Thanks for the time saver

"The prose is as pedestrian as Stephen King might expect, and best compared to the Da Vinci Code."

Since I think Dan Brown's work is a steaming pile, this sums it up quite nicely as a load of bollocks.

Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

George of the Jungle

I have the PDP-8 (PiDP-8) version of this and will probably spring for the -11. I worked mostly with the PDP-8 in university.

My first job out of uni was working for DEC and working on the design of the PDP-11/44, the last of the discrete-logic PDP-11s. The 44 was designed to have the wider address space of the 11/70 but in the price footprint of the 11/34.

I remember we had to change some of the memory management microcode to have the same errors as the 11/70 (mostly certain addressing modes involving the push from user space to K space or S space - it's 40 years ago and don't remember the specifics). Without the changes, some of the operating systems wouldn't run correctly.

It also allowed me to learn something about a Bell Labs OS... something called Unix... they were a huge customer of DEC so it was paramount that things worked properly for them. That little bit of learning helped my career immensely - getting in at the Unix ground floor was a good thing!

VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

George of the Jungle

Deja Vu All Over Again

The first picture of the Pioneer turntables from the '70s looks familiar as I own the model on the left. It's a PL-510 (IIRC) direct drive table and still works perfectly. (They were build like brick outhouses too!)

A few years ago, I had to replace the cartridge when I could no longer get stylii for the Audio-Technica that I had in it, but it's been used to move my vinyl recordings to various media; currently it has a USB interface on it. It also sits on some concrete pavers as the case is a little "boomy" and the pavers seem to provide enough of an acoustic break.

Merger with Sprint is INEVITABLE, suggests T-Mobile chief bean counter

George of the Jungle

Maybe I'm the lucky minority, but I've had Sprint for almost 10 years and they've been fine. I live in an area where CDMA works much better than GSM, so I really only have a choice of Sprint or Verizon.

Sprint has been much more cost effective, and while they've been much slower to roll out 4G in my area than Verizon, they've been doing a lot of build-out recently. I'm now getting 4G connections in most of the backwoods area I live in.

Meg Whitman asks HPers to drag their asses into the office

George of the Jungle

This is very funny -- I worked for HP in marketing then sales in the late 80s to mid 90s. In the 90s, HP was doing all it could to get us out of the offices and at home for them to save money. Everything at work became "hot desks" (remember that one?) and "temporary portals". Work out of your car, work out of the customer's site, anywhere but at a HP shop!

I've worked at home for several jobs and have always been more productive vs the office. You do need a certain discipline for working at home though.

Corel re-animates zombie brand for patent case

George of the Jungle

Re: How strange to see that name again

I remember Picture Publisher; I knew the founders of the original company, Astral, which was later bought by Micrografx later.

Back in the early 80s we all worked for a company that made one of the first CCD-based scanners, and we offered our own hardware and software to manipulate and output the images (to laser typesetters in those days). A few of the guys left and founded Astral to do the image processing, believing that those "new Windows computers" would be a better platform and the value was in the software. Guess who was right?

Zynga deactivates 500+ employees in major layoff

George of the Jungle

Re: What does that even mean?

I laughed at the "Voltaire school of management"!

"Reducing cost structure" is one of those shite phrases they learn when studying for a MBA, which is (IMHO) a shite degree. Now a MBA from Harvard? A golden turd perhaps.

(Pedant pic seems appropriate in this case.)

'Untidy' Shoreditch just CONFUSES American techies - Olympic hub team

George of the Jungle

The CIC incubator here in the States are a quality group; we rented space there at the last startup company about 6-7 years ago (which had nothing to do with clouds or hipsters, thank you.) There were a lot of small companies on the floor around us building all sorts of things, and the atmosphere was such that you could bounce ideas off each other which was helpful. There was plenty of common space for meetings, either for potential customers or for company meetings. The CIC management also had get togethers in the building, both for "meet and greets" as well as seminars. All in all, it was a very well run operation.

Ultimately that startup didn't make it, but without having an incubator to work from initially, to have to rent space and put all the building sorts of infrastructure together, our burn rate would have been so much higher.

Hopefully it will provide more employment opportunities for folks there, wherever they decide to put it!

WTF? Comcast scores MORE sales from fewer vid customers

George of the Jungle

The only game in town

Where I live, Comcast is the only high-speed internet connection; the local phone company's DSL offering pales in comparison. For standard internet and basic digital cable (which is the lowest tier now available), I pay about $115/month with all taxes included. Removing the TV portion raises the cost of the internet connection, so I would not pay very much less for internet-only.

We don't watch much on the telly, preferring to do "on demand" services through Netflix or Amazon's video services. If another high-speed alternative shows up in our area, I'll drop Comcast like a rock!

Speaking in Tech: Ya-boo! Marissa! Mayer! how! COULD! you!?

George of the Jungle

It worked for me

I worked for 3-4 years at home for a startup company and it was very productive. I currently work for a traditional company where I have to work in the office. I find it less productive, mostly due to the meetings and other crap you deal with when you're in proximity to a lot of other people.

No more fun and games for Zynga as Facebook cuts apron strings

George of the Jungle

Re: Shame

I'm sure the former was meant. Search the web about Zynga and you'll see they might not be in the running for best company to work for.

Apple ships 'completely redesigned' iTunes 11

George of the Jungle
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Re: iTunes

"I don't know why this craze exists to make people lose part of their lives listening to an irritatingly upbeat voice telling you things slowly as if you're a moron where you can absorb such data in about 1/20th of the time in print."

Ta, my thoughts exactly. I think people have lost the ability to comprehend the printed word.

Craig, Connery or ... Dalton? Vote now for the ultimate James Bond

George of the Jungle


I had to vote for Connery; the first movie I saw in the theatre was "You Only Live Twice".

I did like Brosnan's portrayal though; he had the suave veneer, with the underlying darkness, although those movies were, as someone else said, pants.

Moore was the best in "Live and Let Die" and "Man with the Golden Gun" (though I really preferred him as Simon Templar). Moore also was hobbled with the 70s, and the fru-fru of the time. He played a much better character later as the tetchy "ffolkes".

I've though Lazenby did as well as could be expected with 1) following Connery and 2) having an awful script.

Dalton's movies were forgettable for me. I'm not sure if it was the time or what, but I don't think I've seen them more than once.

I'm trying to like Craig, with Casino Royale being good, but Quantum of Solace was bollocks. I'm hoping Skyfall will be better.

SpaceX's Falcon places Dragon in desired orbit

George of the Jungle

Re: Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

kilojubs - a measurement we can all get behind... erm... or in front of...

George of the Jungle

Re: Dragon bears over 1,000 pounds of supplies.

The rocket flew from the US, so we'll use pounds, thank you very much.

How are you supposed to become proficient at math, when all you use is that effete multiply and divide by 100 for measuments? Mutiplication and division with numbers like 12, 16, 36, 5280, etc build character!


Deep-sea worm recalls Star Wars favourite

George of the Jungle

Unfortunately this is a true story.

We really need to vote all the idiots out of Congress... which is most of Congress.

Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish

George of the Jungle

If you don't have a car, there are one or two people in town who will pick up rubbish for a fee. It's nothing incredibly organized; they have a pickup truck that they collect the trash with and drop it off at the dump. Other than that, people will run a bag over to the dump for an elderly neighbor that doesn't drive.

George of the Jungle

Rubbish bins - a novel idea

Here in the Colonies, in the small town I live in, we use the time-honoured solution of packing our trash and recyclables into the car, driving to the town dump and dropping it off.

All the rubbish goes off in a tip to the trash to energy plant (where the town pays a tip fee per ton), while the recyclables are carted over to the county jail to be sorted (our town hosts the jail, so it gets done for free). The carrot and stick the town uses is that the more we recycle, the less we pay on our property taxes for the rubbish. This works for frugal Yankees. It also seems to work for the town as we don't have too much trouble with fly tipping.

(Our dogs also look forward to their weekly ride to the dump!)

What a card: Brit boffin Alan Turing stars in Monopoly tribute set

George of the Jungle
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Re: Other board games are available...!

We've had a lot of fun with Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico and Agricola. Also Ravensburger has a couple of clue/deduction games called Mister X and Scotland Yard.

We've introduced many of pre-teens and teens in our extended family to board games through these. Gets them off the phone for a bit. :)

'GNOME people are in total denial about what their problem is'

George of the Jungle

Food of the Gods

Pure maple syrup is the food of the gods. We make our own syrup from our trees, but since we only have two trees, we get a quart or two a year at the most. But, we made it ourselves!

Windows Server 2012: Smarter, stronger, frustrating

George of the Jungle

Windows Home Server anyone?

A lot of this sounds pretty good for the corporation and small business, where admittedly MSFT wants to be.

Pity that those of us with Windows Home Servers will probably be borked on this release. MSFT seems to have given up on that space.

AT&T defends FaceTime price gouge

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AT&T are such cunts, though all the US cellular companies are in some way. AT&T just seems to have perfected it into an artform.

Luckily for me, I don't have to worry about dealing with them as GSM doesn't work at my home. I do own a Nexus One, but it's only used when we are in Europe.

SCO keeps dying, and dying, and dying

George of the Jungle

Re: sco != santa cruz operation

I also worked for the Santa Cruz Operation in the early 90's, and it was a very different place then. We had one of the early SMP x86 Unix architectures available as an option also (I worked with some of the hardware vendors on this stuff).

I'm hoping the SCO/TSG zombie finally gets put down this time.

SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

George of the Jungle

Re: "made a close pass within 1.5 miles of the station"

It's an American spacecraft, so we'll use appropriate units, thank you very much.

TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony

George of the Jungle

Re: Totally Sucks Azz

I've thought of them as the "Theft from Suitcases Agency". Your story makes that hold water.

Spamhaus victorious after 5-year fight with mass mailer

George of the Jungle

This is mostly from memory, and I'm not a lawyer (though I used to do investigations for one...) Remember this is the US, where states have power over the process - this means it depends on where you live. :)

In the US, Federal judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. These are the US district courts, the US Circuit Courts (sometimes known as "court of appeals") and the US Supreme Court.

As I said this is the US, so the states all do things differently (and I had to look this one up because it's confusing.) 27 states appoint justices via the state Governor or a non-partisan commission. Most are appointed for a fixed term (usually 6-10 years), but 3 states (my state included) appoint them for life.

The remaining 23 states have elections for judges. 15 states use a non-partisan ballot (ie - no party affiliation is shown on the ballot), and 8 use a partisan ballot.

Easy, no?

Yahoo! fires! CEO! Carol! Bartz!

George of the Jungle

Yeah, right

"We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders."

Corporate speak for "we're shopping the company around for whatever we can get."

Apple fanbois leak secrets of Mac OS X Lion

George of the Jungle

Living in the PPC world

Guess it's good I still have only PPC Macs. No worries about Rosetta.

Westboro Baptist Church taunts Anonymous over supposed attack plan

George of the Jungle

I think he said

"blessed are the cheesemakers"

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

George of the Jungle

Another former DEC employee

DEC was my first job out of school in the '70's. I had interviewed with IBM (amongst others) but was turned down for my grades being too low. DEC hired me because I had a bunch of real-world design experience while I was in college. I'd also been responsible for the maintenance of the Chem dept's PDP-8/i and was an operator for the engineering department's PDP-8/e.

My first job was working on the memory and memory management for the 11/44. One day I was cussing out the board, looking at timing issues, when I hear this guy behind me say, "What's wrong?" Without looking up, I said, "Oh this damn memory timing is off," while turning around, and there's Ken Olsen and Gordon Bell, doing their walk-around the Mill labs. They were then doing the "oh have you checked XXX?" and "let's hook another scope up to the row lines and see the timing there." I've never worked in another large company where the CEO was grabbing test leads and looking at debugging information!

As I said, I worked primarily on the 44. I also worked a little on the still-born 11/68 (11/60 upgrade) and the 11/74 (multiprocessor 11/70 system, basically 4 cooperative 11/70s). We used to love the 11/60 because you could rewrite the microcode and mess with people's heads! :) We also used to sit down the hall from the RSX guys, and would cadge source code so we could put hacks on our 11/70 development system to annoy our fellow engineers. Good times.

One last story. While on the 11/44 project, the lead came to me and said, "You're the young kid, you know hardware and software. We have these oddballs coming in to test their operating system on the platform. If that goes well, they'll buy these." The "oddballs" were people from Bell Labs, running Unix on the 44. I learned a lot about Unix working with them; I've been parlaying that knowledge into work for the past 30-something years!

I was supposed to go work on what became the VAX 11-730, but I was young and left the company to do other things. I ended up back there 20 or so years later as a consultant but that's a story for another day. I still have all my PDP-11 manuals and some of the software/OS "helper cards".

Mexican woman gets litigious on Top Gear's ass

George of the Jungle


You can watch them without BBC America (with the insults and without commercials), if you use the Internet. I must do this as I refuse to pay Dumbcast, erm, Comcast any more money just to have BBC America. (My pref is finding them in newsgroups, but there are other ways...)

George of the Jungle
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comments here

Top Gear has ragged on Americans for ages, and we haven't sued them once (as far as I know...)

I'm waiting for a Top Gear US vs UK battle next. That should be hilarious.

Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

George of the Jungle

This space for rent

Llewellyn would have been completely apoplectic if Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear had done that kind of trip in the MINI-E, especially with a Jezza comment like, "This whole thing is rubbish!"

It would bracket nicely with their coverage of the Tesla a few seasons ago. Ah well, one can dream.

Bummed-out users give anti-virus bloatware the boot

George of the Jungle
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File name?

I think I've seen the same sort of behaviour on my wife's machine. What was the name of the debug file? (I guess I could figure it out but I hate debugging Windows machines.)

Walmart falls in with Washington's war on terror

George of the Jungle

Oh sure

"The US Department of Homeland Security has joined forces with the most relentless and observant patrol force available in the US - Walmart shoppers."

Right... just check out the "people of walmart" picture site. That will show you the crack Walmart shopper forces (or in many pictures, forces you to see Walmart shopper crack...)


George of the Jungle

Happiest place on Earth

According to my relatives who live there, there are parts of Orlando you do not want to stray into at night. Not all of it is a happy place.


US may disable all in-car mobile phones

George of the Jungle

The Live Free or Die Compendium

"Live Free or Die" is our state's motto. It is a bit of a quirky place.

In New Hampshire, you do not have to wear a seatbelt if you are over 18 (under 18 requires seat belts, booster seats, baby seats, etc.) Motorcycle helmets are not required either. (NB: I personally don't care if there is a seat belt law; however I think you're stupid not to wear one.)

Automobile insurance is not compulsory in NH either, though the State may require you to post a bond (convicted drunk drivers and the like must have insurance, if they still have the right to drive.) We don't have a state income tax or a general state sales tax (if you dine out or rent a hotel room, you are taxed though).

In politics, we're one of the few states that does not have a Lt. Governor; the Executive Council (originally formed by commission of King Charles II in 1679) keeps the Governor on a short leash (goes back to post-Colonial times where the populace still didn't want to put the power in the hands of one person.) The Governor is only elected for 2 years (Vermont is the same; all other states have 4 year terms.) We have the third-largest legislature in the English speaking world. The 25 member Senate and 400-member House of Representatives cover a state with about 1.5m residents. Oh, and legislators are paid $200 for their two-year term.

I've lived here a long time, and there is a libertarian streak. Personal responsibility is more prized, but there have been some attempts to make this more of a nanny state.

Calls for US nudie perv scanner 'opt-out day'

George of the Jungle

Missing the message

The message is that these scanners, pat-downs, etc do fuck all. They are just feel-good security (edit - ha, subconsciously got a pun in there!) that cause the government (meaning us) to spend a lot of time and money for naught.

Apple plugs iTunes Ping into Twitter

George of the Jungle

Ah, I see you have the machine that goes "ping".

This is my favorite. You see we lease it back from the company we sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.

Apple's Ping sounds about as bloody useful too.

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

George of the Jungle

Another former owner

I owned one for a while. As others have said, it was impressively heavy. I have issues with shoulder separation on my left side (old hang glider injury), and I always had to make sure never to carry the beast on my left side. I slogged that thing all over the country. I replaced it with a Powerbook 190 IIRC. It became my desktop Mac for quite a while after, but I did end up selling it at one point. Don't remember how much I got for it.

Old PCs: When it's time to die

George of the Jungle
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More old computers

I had a Digital Equipment Celebris 590 (Pentium 90MHz system), manufactured in 1995, running ipCop as my firewall. I got the box for free in 1999, and it's been working (with the occasional time-out for power failures) ever since. Even though I talk about it in the past tense, it is still running - my ex-wife got it as part of the house.

My current ipCop firewall uses an old Dell Pentium II running at 233MHz - speedy! I may replace it with a mini-ITX system I have laying around, just to cut the amount of electricity it uses.

Bus spotter admits £11k database fees fraud

George of the Jungle


Thanks for the story; got a good laugh out of that one!

I used to work with a guy that was a train spotter. He got picked up by the police more than once for being in the wrong place getting "the perfect shot" of some manky train. He was a single man in his late 50s that lived with his cats - quelle surprise!

Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast

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Tower climbing

I have climbed two different radio towers, both times to change the warning lamps at the top of the tower. These were just baby towers though - 100 feet and 200 feet. Since both were on the tops of major hills in the area, the view was spectacular. Not as good as the one in the video, but still impressive.

French cops take down mobile phone hacking ring

George of the Jungle

non-French cards

I think that they mean once you unlock the phone, you can use any SIM card (provided your phone has the frequencies to work overseas.)

Vacuum-wielding thieves siphon €500,000 from store safes

George of the Jungle


That's the same combination as my luggage!

Schmidt: 'Google doesn't do data mining'

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Best on the TV

Colbert and the "Daily Show" are the only 2 shows I watch regularly any more. If you want to figure out what really goes on inside the US, these are the news shows to watch. (Yes, I know they are satire, but they get right to the point, unlike the network or cable news in the US.)

Playboy centrefold freaks out at 10,000 feet

George of the Jungle

Philly Airport

That is a separate issue. The Philadelphia airport is an avatar of Satan, and many of his minions work there.

(Escape key for obvious reasons.)

What does the Hurd mentality bring to Oracle?

George of the Jungle
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rms head asplode

That would be the most improbable couple of the century! That made me laugh - upvoted!

General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

George of the Jungle

Better Place

Swappable batteries is the goal of companies like Better Place (which IIRC is still in the demo phase in Tokyo). The idea is you lease a battery for your vehicle from the company, and replace it as it needs charging. I assume the cost of the lease has rolled in the cost of replacing terminally flat batteries as well as other damage, etc. It's an interesting idea, but we're so early in the game who knows what delivery method will win.