* Posts by Big_Boomer

932 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Shut off 3G by 2033? How about 2023, asks Vodafone UK

Big_Boomer Silver badge

They don't want you

If you have a 2G/3G only phone then you are quite simply not spending enough money for Vodafone to consider you in their plans. You almost certainly are not paying a monthly fee for your phone, you probably have an airtime contract that includes very little or no data and you monthly bill rarely exceeds £10. Voda would rather that you went elsewhere so they can concentrate their earning potential on the Vlogger that has an iPhone 13 with a 400GB data contract for £50 per month, and regularly exceeds that 400GB. Kerching!! It seems that they also don't want people who roam in the EU as that now costs you £1 or £2 per day as opposed to included with O2 or Virgin. I ditched Voda years ago after they expected me to pay them for a microcell to compensate for their awful coverage.

The robots are coming! 12 million jobs lost to automation in Europe by 2040 – analyst

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Same old same old

Automation of jobs is nothing new. It's been happening since forever and the world economy hasn't collapsed yet. It gets rid of rote jobs and replaces them with jobs managing/maintaining the automation at a higher skill level and goes hand in hand with an increase in productivity. If people want jobs that they don't have to think about, those are going to get rarer and rarer much the same as there is very little demand these days for people skilled in the use of a scythe for harvesting wheat.

COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Choices

No company with a modicum of intelligence at the wheel is going to try to force all staff to WFH or all staff to come into the office. Some roles require being in the office, some might not have an appropriate home office to work from, some might prefer to work in an office. Equally, some roles can be done from anywhere with a decent internet connection, do not require being in the office, and those filling that role might not want to waste hours and spend a small fortune each day just to get to the office. Those companies that are flexible and whose management can adapt to the new work order will thrive. Those who are inflexible and whose management cannot adapt to the new work order will fail or change.

No defence for outdated defenders as consumer AV nears RIP

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Medical Images

I work with DICOM Medical Images and most AV systems don't know how to handle them. Most AV systems detect a suspect string in the file (DICOM files are Images with embedded metadata, so structured data mixed with pseudo-random characters) and mark the file for a deep scan. Unfortunately the deep scan takes a few seconds and by then the app that was trying to open the file has errored or timed-out. After speaking to several of the AV companies, there is no will there to resolve the problem. This wouldn't be a problem except for the blanket approach used by most incompetent IT departments who push their crappy AV system to every single PC without any consideration of the effect it may have on the end user systems. Most high-end medical imaging systems are firewalled up the wazoo and have other protection, but the IT dept. insists it MUST have AV installed.

Logitech Signature M650: A mouse that will barely emit a squeak or a clickety-click

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Size-ist Meese, what next?

Their M650 L (L for Large) is 118mm long. I have an ancient MxX-518 mouse that is longer than that and that one is too small for my hands. Does anyone know of a mouse sized for Bear paws or hands that take 5XL gloves (21cm wrist to fingertip)? Not that it matters much as I mostly use a vertical mouse due to Carpal issues.

The Posturite Penguin Large is perfectly shaped for me, but it is unreliable, goes to sleep after a few minutes (yes, even the wired version) and the buttons are crap. Just ordered an Evoluent VMD (Large) so we will see how that works out. So far I am very unimpressed with all meeses since my ancient PS2 Microsoft Mouse. They all seem to be built down to a price.

Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Toxic Waste

I can't see a downside. The gullibles are happy with their magic amulet, the con artists are happy with their ill gotten gains, and industry is happy with finally having somewhere to get rid of toxic waste. Everybody is happy. Oh, am I supposed to feel sorry for the poor misguided fools and try to protect them from themselves? <rotflmao>

More than half of UK workers would consider jumping ship if a hybrid work option were withdrawn by their company

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Flexibility

Some want to work in an office, others want hybrid working, others want to WFH full time. All of these are possible in many modern working environments but depend on the nature of the job, the individual, the commute, their home environment, and many other variables. The sensible companies are flexible as to the working environment and will in the longer term be those that attract the best people.

The old way of having absolutely everyone in the office full time is over for many. Many people seem to be incapable of comprehending this and are still saying that we have to force everyone back to the old way of working because they personally want everyone else around them. Yes, legally companies can force their staff back to work, but if they do they will pretty soon start to haemorrhage staff as the staff manage to find work with companies that are willing to be more flexible.

I know I would start looking immediately if my company decided that I had to be in the office 5 days per week. I was contracted to WFH 2 days per week before Covid and thankfully my company is very flexible so I will probably be in the office 1-2 days per month even after Covid finally fades away. We do have new starters and getting them up to speed whilst working remotely is occasionally difficult, but mostly just different. One benefit of recruiting people who WFH all the time, is that there is no need for relocation and that opens up the pool of potential recruits substantially.

As to cost of WFH, personally the financial savings made by not commuting are substantially more than the cost of electricity/heating/furniture/equipment. In terms of personal time gained by no longer commuting, that is also substantial. Since wages are rising due to high numbers of unfilled vacancies I would imagine even new starters are better off financially.

Due to Covid we have seen an acceleration of the changes in how we work. These changes were coming anyway but have now happened quite quickly. These changes are not going to go away, no matter how much some people want them to.

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA

Big_Boomer Silver badge

The Last of the Boomers

Motorcycles - Charlie, Betsy (the B*tch when she broke down), Sanji, Otto, Ethel, and Vivian/Vyvyan.

Cars - Carlie, Neelix, Christine (W220 with a mind of it's own), Scabby (lacquer was peeling on the bonnet), and Wafty.

Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world's most expensive

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Choices

I see a lot of commentary from people on here who pretty obviously have no idea about how power generation works. One compared the damage caused by an exploding nuclear power station to the damage caused by ONE falling wind turbine!<LOL> In what universe are these even remotely comparable? Each nuclear power station generates a constant 1GW of power but the biggest wind turbine outputs a MAXIMUM of 7.5MW so you need to compare at least 133 turbines falling simultaneously, and if we take the average power output for the wind turbine (2MW) then that becomes 500 wind turbines falling. Wind turbines are also unreliable since they are dependant on the vagaries of the weather (as we found out this last summer) and nobody wants them anywhere near their house.

How's about this. If you use electricity then you have a choice. Live right next to a wind turbine, live 500m from a gas fired power station, live 2 miles downwind of a coal fired power station, or 10 miles from a nuclear power station. I know I'd choose the nuke every time.

We NEED a mixture of power generation types because all methods of power generation have costs and risks and only an idiot puts all their eggs in one basket. Nuclear fission is going to be part of that until nuclear fusion becomes workable just because of the sheer amount of power generated. Burning fossil fuels is also going to remain part of that because they can be switched on and off to balance generation vs demand which nuclear fission can't. Wind/solar will also be part of that but these can't be relied on as their output very much depends on the weather.

The dark equation of harm versus good means blockchain’s had its day

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Heat Death

At the moment we are facing global warming mostly due to our emissions of greenhouse gases, but there is another form of global warming. Rather than preventing heat from being dissipated into space, at some point that we will reach the stage of actually producing more heat than actually can be dissipated into space. If you want to experience what happens, then disconnect your PCs fans and tape up all the holes in the case.

Sooner or later we, as a species, will have to start reducing our reliance on energy or find a way to get rid of all that heat. Either that or else get off the planet, but even there we will need to learn to manage our energy use. Getting rid of heat is HARD in a vacuum and we are surrounded by vacuum.

As for the CryptoCurrencies, if you made money from them, then good for you. If you lost money on them, then boohoo. Either way their days are numbered at least in as much as them being untraceable. Our societies will not permit them to continue as they are for much longer.

BOFH: What if International Bad Actors designed the vaccine to make us watch more Steven Seagal movies?

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Big Brother

Thought

People often accuse conspiracy theorists of not thinking, but the opposite is true. They think too much and read too much and seem to be unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. They are prime cannon fodder for the unscrupulous out there who use them for their own personal gains. They spout about us all being controlled by "the man" when if fact they are the ones being manipulated and controlled by others. It'd be funny if it wasn't just plain sad.

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email

Big_Boomer Silver badge

You are all assuming that Amazon are paying the "headline" rate to Visa, MasterCard and AmEx. Trust me, they aren't. They are big enough and have enough clout to negotiate a substantially lower rate from all 3 of them. Visa are trying to buck that trend post-Brexit because they can in the UK, now that the idiots gave the Tories free reign to rip everyone off whilst lining their own and their owners pockets. I'm no fan of Amazon or their practices, but in this instance they are obviously not interested in paying Visa more than they are paying MasterCard or AmEx as that would complicate their purchase process. Would you prefer that Amazon change their checkout so that if you pay by Visa Credit card they add an extra 1% to the purchase to cover the higher costs?

I only have Visa Credit cards and I am glad that Amazon are doing this. I will be contacting my bank to ask if they offer a MasterCard Credit card, and if not, I'll get one from somewhere else.

Northrop Grumman throws hat in the ring to design NASA's next-gen Lunar Terrain Vehicle

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: don't they have a good one

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/big-reads/top-gear-drives-nasas-lunar-electric-rover

But I am sure that won't stop them spending $$$$ to develop a new one. After all, there are all those Senators and CongressPeople to persuade to approve the NASA budget.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Metastasize

"To spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells metastasize and form secondary tumours, the cells in the metastatic tumour are like those in the original (primary) tumour." And so the cancer spreads. <sigh>

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Niche?

I considered getting a DAB radio due to the poor selection of music styles on FM and there were a few stations that interested me that were on DAB. I listened to several DAB receivers at local electronics emporiums and thought that the sound quality was atrocious. I am no SuperDooperHiFi buff, but the DAB stations sounded flat with terrible dynamic range, so I simply didn't bother buying one. Once I found out that DAB streams are mono and highly compressed I understood why they sounded like crap.

These days I can listen to any one of several Internet Radio stations that broadcast new and old music in my favourite music styles, and many of them don't even have advertising. For listening in the car, I can either stream Internet Radio via my phone if I have 4G coverage, or else play music from the phones SD card. I used to find FM radio useful for traffic reports, but they are so far behind events now, that I can find out more about the cause of the jam using my phone (whilst parked in the traffic jam with the handbrake on).

DAB is dead, it just hasn't realised it yet.

Hitting underground pipes and cables costs the UK £2.4bn a year. We need a data platform for that, says government

Big_Boomer Silver badge

About bloody time!

A few years ago I accidentally put a fence post spike through the gas feed pipe to my house. It was buried about 50cm underneath my front garden. Beforehand I had asked Cadent, the local council, and the house builders and not one of them had a clue where the gas/electric feeds went. So, I put the spikes in and one of them hit the yellow plastic gas pipe. Luckily I smelt the gas before it blew up my house and I managed to claim the cost of the fix (£1000) on my house insurance. The Cadent guys who came out to fix the leak told me that the feed was too shallow (should be over 60cm deep) and that I was lucky as the main electric feed for the house was next to it and I had missed that by millimetres. It turns out that cheap builders only dig one trench and lay the gas and electric feed in the same one. Sounds dangerous as **** to me!!

Every Little Helps: Former Tesco boss Dave Lewis to advise UK govt on supply chains

Big_Boomer Silver badge

6 P's

For those who don't know what the 6 P's are "Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance". Something that those who promoted Brexit seem to have completely ignored/forgotten. Yes, there are driver shortages worldwide caused by everyone always wanting everything cheaper than everything else. That puts pressure on companies to keep wages low which means that people got out of the crappy low paid jobs and found better ones. People will do crappy jobs, but ONLY if they pay well.

In Britain we had a substantial part of our economy reliant on cheap labour from the EU, primarily from Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, to do those crappy low paid jobs. Due to the rampant xenophobia following the Leave vote they pretty much all went home with the last of them leaving because of the final straw of the Covid lockdowns. I don't blame them for going given the way we as a nation treated them, but I do blame our incompetent government for not seeing the problem coming and doing something about before it reached the stage of shortages. It's the same every time with this shower and it's never their fault.

As for the media being at fault, are you referring to the same media that made a mountain out of a molehill over EU membership? You swallowed their bullshit then but now all of a sudden you find it distasteful when it starts to affect you directly?

Windows 11 in detail: Incremental upgrade spoilt by onerous system requirements and usability mis-steps

Big_Boomer Silver badge

My 6 year old i7-4790 is not supported for use with Win11. If MS think I'm going to buy a new PC so I can get Win11 then they are delusional. I'm sure that over time they will try (again) to force their customers onto Win11 by no longer providing security upgrades for Win10 and by then I may consider buying a new PC, but I may just abandon Windows completely if the current system hardware is still adequate for my needs.

Most issues with Win10 are fixable apart from the schizophrenic system settings pages (I still struggle to find what I want) but MS seem to be dead set on pissing off their existing users with endless poorly thought out interface changes so I don't have much hope that Win11 will fix any of that.

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Trek vs Wars

So you have a JEDI referencing article with a pic of Kirk & Spock and an article about Will Shatner going to space with a pic of Chewbacca? Either yer taking da weewee, or somebody screwed up <LOL>

No return of the JEDI: Supreme Court declines to hear Oracle's challenge to now-dead cloud deal

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Wars vs Trek

So you have a JEDI referencing article with a pic of Kirk & Spock and an article about Will Shatner going to space with a pic of Chewbacca? Either yer taking da weewee, or somebody screwed up <LOL>

Court of Appeal says AI software cannot be listed as patent inventor

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Too soon

The law changes based on changes in circumstances. When an alien sentience or a self-aware machine intelligence manifests itself, then, and only then, will the law be changed to give them status as a person. He might as well be campaigning for a Banana or a ZX81 to be granted a patent. Once again these people keep repeating the phrase "Artificial Intelligence" to themselves over and over until they believe it. All they have are unintelligent Learning Machines. AI is still a long way off, and Artificial Sentience, even if it is downloaded from Biological Sentience is even further away.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and we should feel fine

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Machine Learning

Thank you for using the term Machine Learning and not the term AI that the marketeers are still incorrectly spouting.

For the obsolescence problem, that always came from the crazy upgrade cycle. Now that a level of sanity has returned to the phone markets I would expect a "quality" phone to be good for at least 5 years, but don't expect too much if you buy a budget phone. The same holds for PCs and other electronics goods. I currently have a 4 year old Honor 9 phone that does everything I need, my desktop PC is a 6 year old i7 Haswell with 16GB, GTX960 4GB, and a 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD so is quite capable for my needs. My TV is a 10 year old 32" Samsung from before the SmartTV era and works perfectly. All of this will get replaced when I feel the need, not when some manufacturer tells me to. For the phone & TV it will probably be when they die. For the PC I could be persuaded if the specs for GTA6 or Fallout5 are above what the current PC is capable of, but even then, I might just upgrade components.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Back in the day, my Dad bought me a Cambridge Scientific calculator for school, a Sinclair Black Watch, and a ZX81. Having also recently lost my Dad to cancer, I would like to pass my sympathies and condolences to Sir Clive's family and friends.

Sir Clive wasn't the best businessman and made some poor decisions, but cheating people or fraud were never his aim. He just wanted to fund his ideas and see if they worked, as all inventors do. Several of them didn't, including the C5 that everyone bangs on about, but the calculators, ZX81, and Spectrum were great successes and made him his fortune.

As an inventor he inspired a great many people and many (myself included) used his creations to learn, develop, and grow. Those of us who used his creations extensively, learned to work around or fix the defects. My ZX81 ended up with a decent keyboard, 64kB Ram soldered to the motherboard, and a decent quality cassette recorder made saving and loading programs much less fraught. My Dads QL ended up with disk drives and was used for several years. I have now carved out a career fixing things (software support in the Cancer treatment field) and I owe much of that to Sir Clive and to my Dad encouraging me in the fields of electronics, radio, and computing.

Would there have been more programmers if Sir Clives creations had been perfect? Maybe, but the ZX80/ZX81/Spectrum were so cheap that that alone exposed more people to computing than any other computers did. I also used Apple 2e, early IBM PCs, Commodore PETs and 64s at school and various friends houses but as a family we could not afford any of those. The BBC model B came along after I'd finished school and even that was 5 times the price of the kit form ZX81.

RIP Sir Clive, and thanks for all the inventions.

G7 countries outgun UK in worldwide broadband speed test

Big_Boomer Silver badge

1st Rural World problems

I keep hearing about these poor people who are forced to live in remote rural communities not having access to high speed broadband. You also don't have to suffer the stress caused by the noise generated by the 30+ neighbours who are within earshot in an urban housing estate, nor the traffic noise from the 3 dual carriageways within 2 miles, nor the pollution, traffic jams, crime, etc. Just rejoice that you don't have to live in the urban environment and your only negatives are living a long way from the nearest supermarket and slow internet access. If you really need fast internet then you can either pay for fibre to be laid to your premises (it's only £1000 per metre <LOL>) or move somewhere that has decent broadband. Personally, I'd be moving the other way and enjoying the peace and quiet, but then I can't afford to live in the country due to my job and due to the price of property in the wilds of rural Britain.

I live in one of the above crowded noisy housing estates but one of the few advantages it has is fast broadband. I have Virgin and get 356Mb/s download and 36Mb/s upload. Do I need that fast a connection 99% of the time? No. It is really useful when I am downloading huge installs and videos for work and personal use? Yes. Does it cost a fair bit? Yes, £106 including every TV channel except Sky Sports and including landline phone with 1000 international call minutes. During the last 18 months it has been a godsend as my better half has also been WFH and the broadband has coped admirably with 2 people WFH and both also streaming different internet radios. Yes, I have the Virgin supplied router, no it has not had any problems in over 2 years of use. YEMV. :-)

Off yer bike: Apple warns motorcycles could shake iPhone cameras out of focus forever

Big_Boomer Silver badge

My Honor 9 mounted to the handlebars of my 4 cylinder Kawasakis seems fine after many thousands of miles of use. It does sit in a rubber case and the handlebar mount is also damped, but my hands also hold those handlebars and I can't feel any vibrations. Perhaps this is mostly aimed at the big V-twin riding community who will be wanting to use their iPhones to get selfies of themselves looking tough in their Pirate uniform?

Buyout of British defence supplier Ultra Electronics paused by UK.gov over competition concerns

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Greasy Money

Sounds to me more like the greasing of certain palms was not forthcoming, so the punishment is a delay that will continue until an enhanced stack of spondulix finds it's way to the appropriate hands. Yes, I'm a cynic. I trust this lot about as far as I can spit a Rhino.

Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?

Big_Boomer Silver badge

I am mostly browser agnostic. So long as it works and doesn't require me to manually maintain it I'll use it. Every time I have tried FF in recent years it was a ball-ache of manual management, crashes, website rendering issues and generally poor performance. No, I haven't tried it for a couple of years, nor have I tried Brave, or any of the other niche browsers recently as every time I test one I spend more time fiddling with the browser than I do browsing the websites.

Chrome has market share because it mostly just works. Yes, it undoubtedly tracks everything I do, but I really don't give a crap about any of that as I never buy anything from their ads. Their "targeted" ads are a joke mostly containing ads for stuff I have already bought, or ads for companies I already rejected when searching for what I want.

Before Chrome I used FF in the early to mid noughties, IE in the late nineties, and Netscape before that. At work I use Chrome and IE (yes, we still have some internal systems that require IE <sigh>). If FF want to take market share away from Google, then they need to produce a browser that is better than Chrome, easier to use than Chrome, more reliable than Chrome, and then they need to keep it that way for long enough for people to switch to it.

AI algorithms uncannily good at spotting your race from medical scans, boffins warn

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Targeted Advertising?

If only they could get it right, but they ain't even close. All I get in FB (and elsewhere) are adverts for stuff I have already bought, and normally for the supplier I bought it from. I often see adverts for suppliers that I have looked at when researching buying something, but they are equally useless as if that supplier had what I wanted, I would have bought it already. In short, I have yet to see one single "targeted" advert for anything at all where I have thought that I might buy that.

I do get the impression from most adverts that they seem to be aimed at the more "suggestible" members of society. So many adverts tell people to buy it *NOW* that I assume that the tactic must work with some people. I know it turns me off of that product immediately.

Please, no Moore: 'Law' that defined how chips have been made for decades has run itself into a cul-de-sac

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Moores "Law" was NEVER a Law, merely an observation.

Over the last 10 years I have been involved in 2 road traffic accidents. Therefore, over the next 10 years I will be involved in 2 more RTAs? There are so many variables at play that at best that is a wild guess and more likely is just plain bovine excreta.

Moore made a prediction that just happened to come to pass, so everyone decided it must be a "Law", and then extended it way beyond what he originally stated, both in subject and timespan. The shrinking of transistors was always going to hit boundaries of physical size due to atomic physics, which is why his prediction had a limited timespan.

There has been and will be no motivation to develop alternative means of computing until we have exhausted the capabilities of semi-conductor based switching. Once that comes to it's inevitable limit, then sufficient investment will finally materialise and we will get the next great leap, or it may be 50 years before a big breakthrough in Physics leads to better switches. Most likely it'll be something we just haven't considered before.

Happy 60th, Sinclair Radionics: We'll remember you for your revolutionary calculators and crap watches

Big_Boomer Silver badge

I had a Cambridge Scientific, a Black Watch, a ZX81, and a QL. I learned to do complex maths on the Cambridge, to not rely on the Black Watch <LOL>, to code in BASIC, Assembler and eventually Z80 Machine Code on the ZX81, and did some 68000 assembler coding on the QL.

Everything Sinclair made (with the possible exception of the Cambridge calculators) needed modification and upgrading. The ZX81 benefitted massively from a bigger heatsink and bolted down memory extensions. The QL benefitted from 3½" disk drives, more RAM, and a better keyboard. I never owned a Speccy but those friends that had them hated the keyboard and the constant crashing.

Dog eats UK government's Hydrogen Strategy homework just as summer recess arrives

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Diversity is GOOD

In the world of power generation, as well as in the automotive world, and even the human species, diversity is good. Putting all your eggs in one basket is inevitably a disaster in waiting, so we will continue to need backbone energy generation (nuclear fission, fusion), green generation (wind, solar, tidal, wave, etc.), and switchable generation (gas, oil, coal, hydrogen, etc). New technologies will come along and change what that mix is but the fact that it's a mix will always remain, and that's good. Nuclear is not, and probably never will be dead because we cannot rely on Wind/Solar due to something called Weather. Yes, it will hopefully someday soon switch to cleaner Fusion rather than dirty Fission but it will always be needed. As for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and similar issues, the problem remains and always will be too many people. Less people = less emissions, but we seem to be trapped in an economy where growth = more people.

Happy 'Freedom Day': Stats suggest many in England don't want it or think it's a terrible idea

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SNAFU

If you don't know the military acronym, look it up. With "Freedom Day" our venereal leaders are once again trying to force "Herd Immunity". It may even work, but if they've opened up too early, then in 2-3 weeks time the NHS will be swamped. I hope not, but I fear that it's too soon. They seem to listen to the scientific advice when they feel like it, and ignore it when they don't. Well, from what I am seeing on Farcebook they do seem to represent their electoral demographic with their selfish greed and inability to empathise with any other human being. And for the downvoters,... bring it on. <LOL>

Xiaomi parties like a winner after coming second on world smartphone sales charts

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Congrats Xiaomi, but beware...

The last time a phone company from China beat Apple for market share, they got kneecapped by the US government.

G20 finance ministers agree plan to make multinationals pay their 'fair share' of tax

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: Surely they knew?

No, I'm talking about the Irish war of independence, or the "Black and Tan War", when British troops under government orders retaliated against civilians and destroyed the centre of Cork as retaliation for an ambush, amongst other atrocities.

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: Surely they knew?

EirExit would solve nothing in Eire/NI and would probably make things worse. Unlike the UK, Eire committed fully to the EU and has benefitted mightily from it, so they are very unlikely to leave. You also seem to have forgotten what Britain did to the Irish not that long ago. Trust me, they haven't forgotten.

As for these new tax rules, lets wait and see what happens. It can't get much worse than it currently is, and stands a small chance of actually working. Then all we need to do is find a way get fair taxes from the other serial tax avoiders. If they all paid their fair share, we would all pay less taxes.

BOFH: Where there is darkness, let there be a light

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Big Brother

Count 1, 2, 3,... ha-ha-ha

I use to work as a manager at a certain "arched" fast food franchise, and they are big on stock management and stock taking. The coffee stirrers came in pack of 1000 and if there was an open pack, we just used to estimate how many were in there during stocktake. We then had an audit and were told by the auditor that someone had to give an exact number for the open pack. One of my colleagues went off to individually count several hundred plastic stirrers and I followed him. We both looked at the pack and agreed it was exactly 658 stirrers which we (in due time) reported to the auditor. He asked if we were sure, and I invited him to check for himself. Needless to say, he declined. It seems he wasn't interested in checking the opened packs of 1000 burger wrappers either. <LOL> Beancounters live to count and can't understand why most of the rest of us don't.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Home office

Even before the pandemic I worked from home 2-3 days per week so I already had a home office setup. During the pandemic I did re-arrange it with a height adjustable desk and some nice big 32" monitors, as well as changing the layout so I could look out of the window. This had the effect of rotating my background from "door and wall" to "bookshelves, fan, and printer". I had several people comment on my new background looking particularly realistic and thoroughly enjoyed telling them that it was realistic because it was real and that the improved quality was due to a new 4k Webcam. I don't think I've ever used an artificial background but I assume that they are useful for those who are working from their bedrooms/kitchens or those who suffer from "house-barrassment" as touted by advertisers.

BOFH: Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can listen to you ... It keeps me stable for days

Big_Boomer Silver badge

First Born

I often mutter (and sometimes shout) "Yes you can have my First Born child"* when agreeing to the utterly useless terms & conditions boxes on software installs. Almost nobody read or cares about that drivel, probably not even those who write them. Very few of them are enforceable in law so are a complete waste of time and money until someone finds a way to make them legally binding contracts, at which point chances are nobody would install their software and they would go out of business. Contracts are an entirely different kettle of fish. Read it all before you sign and if you find parts that you don't understand, either demand a clearer contract or get a lawyer. If you don't, be prepared to be the BOFHs personal foot-stool. <LOL>

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Burnout

I work in a highly pressured Support environment (medical equipment) so there is even more pressure than usual to be available. However, because of the pressure I always counsel my colleagues to switch off when their shift is over and avoid the temptation to work those extra hours to "impress" somebody. Several have ignored my counsel over the years and a few of those have burned out before the company recognised what was happening. In the end the company gained a few extra hours work for free, but all the time and effort invested in training and developing that person, not to mention their experience, is now lost because they left. Some companies/managers recognise this and try to prevent it, but many still have the braindead culture where everyone walks around bragging how late they worked last night. I now laugh at such people when they tell me that they worked 60 hours last week. I say, "Wow, perhaps you should learn to be more efficient. I did the same work as you but mine got done in normal working hours."

I have a work mobile but I never check emails/messages outside of my working hours. If I'm needed, they can phone me. If I don't answer, they can call someone else. If it's super urgent, a small number of people also have my personal mobile number but I live my life as if nobody is going to call.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 EOL

3.11 for Workgroups was good, for it's time.

95 was good.

NT 3.51 was flaky but luckily wasn't around for long.

NT 4 was OK.

98 was good.

ME was facking awful.

Server 2000 was good.

Server 2003 was good.

XP was excellent.

Vista was facking awful.

Server 2008 was good.

7 was excellent.

Server 2012 was facking awful.

8 was facking awful

8.1 was facking awful.

10 is good apart from the constant updates breaking stuff.

Server 2016 is OK.

Server 2019 is OK.

God I'm old! <LOL>

I have only ever "missed" WinXP & Win7, mostly since their successors (Vista & 8) were so facking awful but also because they just let you get on with your job and didn't need constant handholding/maintenance. Looking at that list, most of the Windows releases have been OK or better. I guess we just have to hope that Win11 is at least an OK.

Nominet is back to 'the same old sh*t' says Public Benefit campaign chief as EGM actions grind to halt

Big_Boomer Silver badge
Mushroom

Ripley Time!

I'm surprised they waited this long. The simple act of refusing to appoint the 2 suggested reformers made it obvious to me that those remaining thought that they could keep on as they had before. It also points to some dodgy dealings by one or more of the remaining board members. It stinks of corruption!

Spacey McSpaceface: Artemis takes shape ahead of '2021' launch – but first you need to name the crash-test dummy

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Traditional names like,...

Loonie or Moonjuice? :-)

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Oooohhh look, another pro-Brexit comment from an Anomalous Cretin. Why do none of you dare to display an account name? Are you afraid?

Your grasp of the English language is appalling, your racism is obvious, and you also seem unable to count. You probably should have stayed at school a bit longer.

Intrepid Change.org user launches petition to make Jeff Bezos' space trip one-way

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Waste of oxygen

No, I'm not referring to Bezos but to this conspiracy theory Neanderthal who wants him dead and thinks a petition is the way to do it. Sounds like all the other conspiracy morons who blame their own inadequacies and failures on some conspiracy, rather than admitting that they are too stupid/lazy to succeed.

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

Big_Boomer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Member obsessed

Why do we never hear of companies called Poussi or Minjj or Biivur? It's always nob names. Sexist I tell ya! ;-)

Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Range

800 km range with a recharge time of 10 mins. Now THAT would make me consider an Electric car. Whether I could afford one remains to be seen as I am not a new car buyer. Maybe if I win the lottery.

Blue passports, French service provider: Atos bags £21m UK Passport Office deal

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: Allez Les (Passeports) Bleus !!!

Est-ce-que les Passeports Bleues des Rosbifs vont avoir marqué a l’intérieur "Fabriqué en France"? <MDR>

FTC approves $61.7m settlement with Amazon for pocketing driver tips

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Wage theft

Tipping should be to reward exceptional service, not part of their pay package. Why are the people responsible for this theft from their staff not being prosecuted for theft. This isn't accidental, it is deliberate, pre-meditated, criminal theft. If someone walked into Amazon and helped themselves to $60 million, then Amazon would be screaming for maximum penalties, but because it's a corporate decision, nobody gets prosecuted? One law for them, another for the rest of us.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Re: Might be missing something here..

The weighing of the plane (via strain gauges in the undercarriage) would be done after the stairs/bridge were detached from the plane, but before pushback. This would give an accurate take off weight unless the wind speed was substantial. It would include the plane, fuel, passengers, luggage, etc. in fact everything except the bits of the undercarriage below the strain gauges, and those bits don't vary in weight much so can be added as a fixed value.

This weight would then be used to calculate the take-off thrust needed rather than using software to "take it's best guess" on what that weight might be. I say guess because it is based on average passenger weights and estimated carry on luggage weight which are going to vary massively.

I'm a big bloke (6'4" and very heavy) and would quite happily pay more for my flight if the airline would provide me with a seat I can f***ing fit in. At the moment my choice is economy at say £200 where the seat is too short for my height and too narrow for my wide shoulders and fat belly/backside, or Business class at £1000 where the seat is just barely big enough. I'd quite happily pay even £400 if I got twice the space of an economy seat, but that seems to not be an option. I am also not allowed to book the seat beside me as an empty seat, not that that helps much as my legs are still being mangled by the a***hole in front insisting that he just HAS to recline his seat. The upshot is, I avoid flying like the plague as it's a s**t experience all around.

US slaps tariffs on countries that hit Big Tech with digital services taxes ... then pauses them immediately

Big_Boomer Silver badge

Backdoor protectionism

If the US companies generating profit in country X pay their taxes in country X, then Uncle Sam cannot tax them again in the US. This is reducing the taxes the US Government is getting from US companies operating elsewhere. Threatening us with tariffs is Protection Racket tactics but they have to realise that the gravy train days are over.

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