* Posts by Jess--

382 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Nov 2009


Broadcom throws VMware customers on perpetual licenses a lifeline


Re: This should incur jail time

They never said who's success.

British railway system is getting another excuse for delays – solar storms


Re: replicate these results using actual equipment?

I suspect that the miles of steel rail make quite a nice antenna.

as I understand it the most basic (and used) block detection relies on train wheels shorting the left rail to the right rail and it's this basic detection that fails, it doesn't matter what you are using to carry the signal from the sensor to somewhere else when it's the sensor that being tricked.

NASA wants to believe ... that you can help it crack UFO mysteries


Re: It's a good thing....

My last few phones (various manufacturers) have all had the option to open the camera (current one is swipe the camera icon up on the lockscreen) and snap away without unlocking the phone, my current one will also let you view the pics you have taken (but only the ones you have just taken) in the photo gallery app but disables anything beyond view / delete options unless you unlock the phone

Orkney islands look to drones to streamline mail deliveries


To be fair the only message being sent by them was "BOOM"

Hacking a Foosball table scored an own goal for naughty engineers


A pub pool table I used to play on was similar, it used to take 2 x 20p coins to release the balls but with only one coin in the right hand slot it would still wobble the rack enough to drop the coins with a few attempts and return the coin, rather than take the p*ss we only cheated every other game so that the table still made enough money to stay.

Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors


Re: the Carbon Fibre & Titanium Hull

I seem to remember from engineering training (too many years ago) that titanium is very strong, very light but had a real weakness for carbon (to the point that a thin sheet would fail along a line drawn by a pencil)

The most bizarre online replacement items in your delivered shopping?


Substitute items have been fairly decent for our orders with most being things like AAA batteries instead of AA.

Our most annoying one was an order shortly before christmas that included several bottles of spirits (presents + own consumption) that were all delivered with the security covers in place, needless to say I now know the exact layout and strength of magnets required to release the catches. I did however pass one on as a present with the cover still in place as a joke with the gift recipient.

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss


Re: Well that was unfortunate.

I would have suggested it meant "Suspected User Error"

Vodafone tests waters with 5G Raspberry Pi base station


Surely anyone trying to set up a private 5g network is going to run into a major problem of not having a license to operate it?

Voda (or any other operator) selling femtocells that interlink with their network would get through because the equipment would be operating under their license but fred bloggs setting up their own network using raspberries and off the shelf radio modules are going to end up operating on frequencies that are already licensed to other people (and those people paid very heavily for those licenses)

Wyoming's would-be ban on sale of electric vehicles veers off road


Re: Pollutor pays

You wear panels out by leaving them exposed to UV light for long periods of time.

like almost everything else UV will eventually destroy the panel (at least electrically)

Telecoms networks could provide next-gen GPS services without the need for satellites


Re: Feasible -- probably Useful -- Who knows

I suspect that the amount of usable signal needed for an accurate time check from multiple sources would be far lower than the amount of signal needed to carry a phone call.

also a minimum of three sources would only be needed for an initial fix, once fixed a system could work on only two (since you are unlikely to move between the two possible positions in the time between readings).

Obviously the more sources of signal the better the fix accuracy will be, but when signals are lost most systems degrade gracefully either using dead reckoning or using inbuilt gyros to work out where they are moving, even the decade old pioneer stereo in my car has gyros and a compass built in, using these combined with a speed pulse from the ECU results in surprisingly accurate tracking when gps reception is blocked. although it did take the system a few 100 miles of driving for it to train itself for the sensors (presumably it needed to work out orientation and how far the vehicle travelled per pulse from the ecu)

Look! Up in the sky! Proof of concept for satellites beaming energy to Earth!


With solar panels of that size in space wouldn't they just act as a solar sail?

If they do then it would make station keeping an interesting problem.

Microsoft mulls cheap PCs supported by ads, subs


I suspect that their "direct to cloud devices" will simply run just enough to connect to a remote virtual machine (hosted somewhere on azure) with anything plugged into usb ports etc automatically passed through to the VM.

of course with the need to run windows (or anything more than a VM client) the architecture of these devices wouldn't need to be x86 based or very powerful since all it's really doing is streaming video & audio.

they will probably end up being something very like the Steam Link boxes (which from memory were Arm7 based)

Consolidation looms for UK broadband providers


Re: I knew it was fscked in 1993 ...

Council houses used to be more basic but better constructed because the council expected to have to maintain them for the next 50+ years, Houses for private ownership only needed to last as long as the guarantee.

Alibaba sued for selling a 3D printer that overheated, caught fire, and killed a man


Re: Utterly tragic, and it's awful someone lost their life without the chance to learn, but..

I have always assumed that if it came from aliexpress it would be be faulty or unsafe in some way.

It made it a pleasant surprise to get something that was actually fit for purpose & safe to use

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


Aaahhh the world of IT, where turning it off and on again really does "fix" everything.

All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find


Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

A company once sent a parcel out to me with only $surname, PE22 as the address.

We all assumed it would never arrive but 2 days later it was handed to me by our usual postman.

Hero to Jezero: Perseverance, NASA's most advanced geologist rover, lands on Mars, beams back first pics


Re: Been there, Done that

I recall speaking with someone involved with early terrain following attempts and being told of a slight error that they ran up against.

A few tests had been performed during the autumn / winter and everything had worked perfectly but on the day in january when it was demonstrated to the bigwigs it took off perfectly and went into a straight level flight as planned and then flew (perfectly straight and level) into the side of a mountain.

The final cause was found to be that the terrain wasn't being recognised any more because it was covered in a couple of inches of snow.

Robot wars! Scandi automation biz AutoStore slings patent sueball, claims it owns Ocado warehouse tech


Re: Patent system broken, anyway

At least that would make all patents that are identical to existing ones apart from adding the words "on a mobile device" worthless.

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village


Re: Another Source of Interference

around here all the fttc connections fall over with the first flash within 5 miles from a thunderstorm.

it then takes 4 minutes with no further strikes to reconnect.

since a decent storm could take us offline for hours at a time we added a 4g dongle to the router as a failover, now we only notice if the fttc connection is down by the increased speed of the 4g connection.

Multiple customers knocked offline as firefighters tackle flames at Telstra's London Hosting Centre bit barn


Re: Did they guy who put in the Telestra UPS also handle Equinix?

You would almost think that these companies have furloughed most of their staff. Of course less people around means less chance of someone walking past a failing UPS and thinking that seems hotter than usual, we should check that it's ok.

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes


"this has only impacted a small number of customers"

In other words this has impacted every single one of our customers with this model of phone

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin


typing this on a 1987 model M, and also have a few 1988 & 1989 spares stashed away in case I ever manage to break this one (which is doubtful).

still on a PS2 interface but there are some usb-ps2 converters around that can handle them.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again


Sod VHF and MW, give me back my Atlantic 252 on LW

Education tech supplier RM smacked by UK schools closure


Memories of the Link 480z (with microvitec cub monitors) and RM Nimbus machines come flooding back

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal


Re: Kind of surprising

DJI will be against it as it will deter people from flying drones due to ongoing costs even when the drone is gathering dust on a shelf.

With the added costs if people buy less drones DJI as (seemingly) the largest well known maker will be the hardest hit.

The cost to DJI to add the capability would be under $10 (probably nearer $5) per new drone, for them it's a one time cost.

for the consumer they have the cost of registration (presumably renewed annually per drone) and the cost of maintaining the data connection.

Samsung cops to data leak after unsolicited '1/1' Find my Mobile push notification


Re: Push

I read it as Samsung will contact the customers whose details were leaked to other users trying to log into their systems (claimed around 150 users) rather than everyone who received the alert

Google exiles 600 apps from Play Store for 'disruptive advertising' amid push to clean up Android souk's image


Re: Disruptive ads

You see ads on youtube?

I haven't for a few years.

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer


Re: So not nwolb.com then?

Glad I'm not the only one using nwolb.com directly rather than following links from natwest.com / .co.uk

I must spend too much time moving money though as pressing "N" in my address bar gives me nwolb.com as the first option and nsandi.com as the second.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer


Ctrl-Esc : Start Menu

Ctrl-Shift-Esc : Task Manager

Ctrl-Esc-R : Nothing

Ctrl-Shift-R : Refresh browser (and have to retype this post)


Running an IBM Model M keyboard (still with manufacturing label 1986 on the back) and it's still solid. A few keys have lost some of their texture (but not the lettering), it gets stripped every year or so and the keycaps take a trip through the washing machine & dryer (tied in an old football sock).

when it finally dies I will have to replace it with one of my 1987 ones.

the only downsides are that it can sound like a machine gun and there are no windows keys for various shortcuts.

It’s not true no one wants .uk domains – just look at all these Bulgarians who signed up to nab expired addresses


Imagine the howls in 6 months time if Nominet decide to mimic what has been done with the EU registry and make it so that all *.UK domains have to be held by a UK resident or entity.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance


Re: Hammering...

I had to manually spin up a 2.5" external hard drive with the top cover removed recently (1Tb).

It had been dropped while running and the power had disconnected at the exact moment it hit the floor meaning that a combination of g-forces and lack of power left the heads on the platters rather than retracted.

when it tried to spin itself up it couldn't retract the heads (because they weren't floating) and it couldn't turn the platters because the heads were stuck.

A well timed spin of the spindle got the platters moving (with a screech) and the drive came back to life with everything apart from a couple of files intact.

once copied the drive was destroyed with a hammer.

Behold the Internet of Turf: IoT sucks waste energy from living plants to speak to satellites


Re: I'm kind a shocked

with a constant 1mA you can quite easily store that power in a large capacitor or battery that can then be used periodically for a burst of much higher current usage

Boffins show the 2017 Nork nuke can move, move, move any mountain (by a meter)


Re: Nice headline

I thought the titles from the Hempton Manor summed up their feelings towards their labels owner

Baffled by bogus charges on your Amazon account? It may be the work of a crook's phantom gadget


Re: Cancel the account challenge

UK here and most purchases through amazon I have to hunt for the small greyed out text "proceed without prime" instead of the big pay now button (that includes prime)

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands


Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

I would love to know how much damage you think can be caused by the drone I have been flying around (for a bit of fun in the wind) this morning, it's a little over 2 inches square and an inch high.

I suspect the only other things in the air that it represents a danger to are insects.

my planes and helicopter on the other hand are seriously dangerous but aren't drones so from your point of view require no license or training

Pro tip: Plug in your Tesla S when clocking off, lest you run out of juice mid hot pursuit


used to be duplexed with the base station operating around 451-453 Mhz and mobiles operating 13.9 Mhz higher (so if you hear the base on 452.8 the mobiles were on 466.7).

then they added a pitch inversion system (low audio frequencies become high and vice versa) which was referred to as Crypton.

then they switched to tetra and I gave up listening

Gearheads get their spudgers into an iPhone 11 Pro Max: Bi-lateral charging, anyone?


I once had a spare nokia that had been deep fried (literally in a chip fryer) for 10 minutes.

after opening it up and mopping up the oil it powered up and worked perfectly, the screen looked a bit odd thanks to the oil between it and the backlight but it was perfectly usable.

never did get rid of the smell though.

Ofcom 'fair deal' action: UK mobile networks agree to slash contract charges when lock-in ends – except Three


Re: 3 aren't entirely dodgy

They call you to try and sign you up for a new shiny & another 2 year lock in.

when it becomes clear that you aren't going to bite they offer to switch you over to sim only with a 12 month lock in.

only if you really insist do they switch you to a sim only monthly rolling contract

It's a fullblown Crysis: Gamers press pause on PC purchases, shipments freeze


Re: Real gamers ...

I think the last time I bought a complete system was somewhere around 1994, everything since then has been bits and pieces.

I tend to replace bits at 4 year intervals so...

year 1 : new motherboard / cpu (ram if required)

year 2 : new hard drives (the old ones are 4 years old and probably fairly full)

year 3 : new video card(s)

year 4 : anything else that needs replacing

current system..

I7 4790k (water cooled)

32Gb ram

nvidia gtx970 driving 3 23" ips screens @1920x1080 (5760x1080)

1tb SSD + 2x4tb spinning rust

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey


Re: Mercury, and Titanium

It seems a lot of places with decent engineering capabilities churned out some variation of the 50P coins when they were first introduced, a "rumour" I heard was of a large facility near Hemel that dedicated almost an entire week of night shifts to mass producing passable copies and that at the end of the week all of the dies and cutters set up for the job were destroyed.

of course the fakes absolutely flooded the local area but were being accepted everywhere (because the fake coins outnumbered the genuine coins the genuine coins were suspected of being fakes).

About a month later the police visited the facility with a message along the lines of "We know it was you, You know it was you, but we can't prove it.... just don't do it again"


A distant relative was stationed overseas after the end of ww2 and ended up where the german subs were being decommissioned.

On his return to the UK a lot of his friends had souvenirs confiscated (guns etc) but all he had on him were a standard kit bag (no extras), 1 packet of cigarettes, 1 lighter and one matchbox.

The matchbox bought a farm outright and paid for livestock.

It was packed solid with platinum contacts that had been removed from switchgear on the german subs

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers


Re: Ain't science wonderful ?

That was my first thought too.

walking past shops could become very annoying.

driving towards an unscrupulous garage could result in unusual noises seeming to come from your car

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?


Re: Re:No Display Detected

Seen in an API

"Error 999 - Something seriously fucked up"

Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail


with grey monotonous skies that go on for a bit if memory serves (not followed link)

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab


Re: Push volume button to mute

Astra (late 90s new shape one)


both had the pull the headlight switch for internal light

Cracking the passwords of some WPA2 Wi-Fi networks just got easier


Re: Nice Model M KB in piccie

I only have four here, all with manufacturing stickers from 1988 on.

one in use and three in case I ever actually manage to wear one out or break it.

since I've been trying to kill this one for 30 years I suspect someone will be gaining 3 boxed model M keyboards in my will.

looking at mine a little more closely it's now due for a decent clean...

this involves popping off all the keys, sticking them in a pair of old football socks and putting them through the washing machine

Super Cali goes ballistic: mugshot site atrocious


as I see it they fell foul of the law because the only way of getting a picture taken down was to pay.

if they had a free option (will be taken down within 6 months of request) and a paid fast-track option they may have got away with it.

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov


some of the examples I have heard about did hold british passports and only ran into problems when they came to renew their existing passport