* Posts by Manolo

208 posts • joined 18 Jan 2010


Fancy some fishy-chips? Just order one of these sensors: Research shines light on suspect component sources


Re: "mainly from Chinese websites"

So if I just want a simple sensor for a home weather station, I should buy an Adafruit BME280 for $20 + $15 shipping, instead of getting one from Banggood for $5.23 + $2.50 shipping? For that price difference, I'll take my chances.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it


Unnecessary hack

As mentioned in the comments on Hackaday, the whole hack is unnecessary.

The fridge will keep dispensing water after the expiration date on the filter and will just display a negative number of days on the display.


"The author of this article even states that he later discovered (after destroying his fridge) that this isn’t a real lockout, it’s just an annoying warning. We all hate DRM, this isn’t DRM. It’s a just someone who went HAM on their fridge without looking too closely at it first.

From the first paragraph of the article: (UPDATE:After this article has made it around a couple people let me know that the fridge would, in fact, continue to work just would roll over to a days-past mode. That said I can now buy 15$ filters on Amazon vs 50$ DRM filters. Oh and no more triangle of doom on my fridge HMI)"

eBay users spot the online auction house port-scanning their PCs. Um... is that OK?



If you get an answer that starts with "committed to creating an experience", you know that:

A) it's written by an marketing droid, not a technical person

B) it's going to be useless.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


People still use cheques in the 21st century?

Cops charge prankster who 'corona-coughed' on aged officer and had it filmed


Eight weeks jail

A similar moron got eight weeks (plus two conditional) plus 700 euros damages plus a driving ban for ten months for a similar stunt, though not intended as a prank, but as a way to dodge an alcohol test.

Pretty stiff sentence by Dutch standards.


(Sorry, no Google Translate link, it trips on the cookie wall)

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!


Re: Not just computer equipment

I caught it within a few hours, so no harm done (except for the bollocking I had to give her).


Not just computer equipment

I once had a pharmacy tech who, in my temporary absence, decided that protecting the medications in store from the tropical heat was less important than her urgent need to wear a tight sleeveless top at work and therefore decided to turn of the airconditioning.

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers


Former Dutch Prime-Minister Wim Kok (stop sniggering) in 1994:


Artful prankster creates Google Maps traffic jams by walking a cartful of old phones around Berlin


Re: Performance? Art?

Like the floor made of peanut butter:


Will Asimov fix my doorbell? There should be a law about this


Re: You are confusing EU with Europe

I really, really do not understand the mental gymnastics that lead from "Here is someone who wants an EU with more transparency and democracy (even proponents of the EU acknowledge the EU has a democratic deficit) and oh, I don't know, a budget that gets approved by the Auditing Committee for a change" to "Therefore, clearly, this person must be a racist who hates foreigners."

(I must have been so afraid at my wedding, with twelve nationalities present)

And you know what, I even think it is this attitude that caused Brexit to happen.


Re: You are confusing EU with Europe

As far as I know, equal rights are guaranteed in national constitutions. No EU needed for that.

" because "other countries should not meddle in our internal affairs" leads *directly* to Kristallnacht, ghettos and gas chambers. "

Yes, I remember all the gas chambers I saw on my holidays in Iceland and Switzerland, and I hear Norway is terrible too.


You are confusing EU with Europe

"After tonight, I will no longer be a European citizen"

Actually, you will. You will no longer be an EU citizen.

It's the same confusion that causes the pro-EU camp to call the critics of the EU "europhobes".

I am not afraid of Europe, I deeply love Europe (including the UK).

And because I love Europe so much, I want a better EU.

And it is concerning that even the departure of the UK does not cause alarm in Brussels and makes them consider listening and changing.

How do you ascertain user acceptability if you keep killing off the users?


Sprouts for trick or treat

My creatively naughty junior brother wraps Brussels sprouts in Ferrero Rocher wrappers and hands them out to unsuspecting children for St Martin.

(The local equivalent of trick or treat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Martin%27s_Day#Netherlands )

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'


On my machine, the three finger salute invokes the command 'play pissoff.wav'.

The time PC Tools spared an aerospace techie the blushes

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Never heard of TRADACOMS, but round these parts Edifact is widely used to get prescriptions from doctors offices to pharmacies and lab results from clinical chemistry labs to doctors offices.

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room


Re: Coathangers are handy.

You also reposted this last year :-)

I remembered the story, but could not imagine that I remembered it from ten years ago!

Still, worth retelling.

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent


Re: About the same time that ...

"A dam is not a dyke, which holds back the sea and not a river."

Errrrr, no, actually.

A levee (/ˈlɛvi/), dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain or along low-lying coastlines.

Don't look too closely at what is seeping out of the big Dutch pipe


"If he'd filled that up I'd never have found it...."

It was probably already full...

BOFH: The company survived the disaster recovery test. Just. The Director's car, however...

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Sheer brilliance!

See title.

Huygens if true: Dutch police break up bulletproof hosting outfit and kill Mirai botnet


Well sorry if I could not immediately find an artiicle from The Grauniad.

If there are any factual errors in the article I'll be happy to hear it.

Are all the downvotes just because I link to the wrong newspaper, or do you just downvote because you refuse to believe the situation is that bad?

I can provide more politically correct links, but they are all in Dutch.


"countries that were not interested in proper law enforcement"

So, The Netherlands it is.

Citizens in The Netherlands hardly bother to report crime anymore, as they know it's useless. The police actively discourages people from reporting crime. Most reports do no lead to investigations. Most investigations do not lead to arrests. A lot of arrests do not lead to convictions. If convicted, sentences are low. Standard sentencing for murder is eighteen years, but everyone gets a free one third deduction, so in twelve years a murderer is free again.

And if sentenced, not showing up for incarceration is a viable option: at present there are more people convicted to jail sentences out and about than actually locked up.


GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name



English will become a very easy language to learn, once all the words that might offend someone, somewehere, at some time in some situation have been removed from it.

Pig: insulting to Muslims and policemen.

Copper: insulting to policemen.

Dog: insulting to Muslims.

Bird: insulting to women.

Crack: dirty word.

Dick: you shall henceforth be known as Richard.

Belgium: the most unspeakably rude word there is.

I have to agree with the FAQ: "we feel that in the long run, sterilization of language will do more harm than good."

The Dutch author Harry Mulish once wrote: "some people read like hoovers, they manage to get dirt out of everything".

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


Re: We once...

I have exactly that as an error sound on my KDE desktop :-)

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene


Re: Ahhh passwords...

Hah! I don't need no steenkin Windows 10 update for that! The Windows boxen at work do that spontaneously by themselves without an update.

Humans may be able to live on Mars within halls of aerogel – a wonder material that can trap heat and block radiation

Paris Hilton

Why isn't it used (more) on Earth yet?

I once read that if you used this stuff to insulate your house, a candle would suffice to heat it.

(Probably a theoretical house with no doors or windows, but still, a significant improvement in thermal insulation should be possible in real life situations)

So, why are we not yet using it? Is it cost, is it availability? Practicality of applying it to cavity walls of existing buildings?

Imagine how much you could save in cost and CO2 if all houses were insulated with it.

Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?


Re: Error Messages

Reminds me of:


There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication


Free movement

"However, how can the border controls know whether you are an EU citizen or not unless they stop you to ask for your EU identification? So it's only by presenting your passport or ID card that you can exercise your right not to have to present your passport or ID card."

You are wrong there. The idea is that checks are performed at the EU's exterior borders.

Once you're in, you're free to go.

And as with most things EU, the idea is great, the execution horrible.

If servers go down but no one hears them, did they really fail? Think about it over lunch


Watt are you saying? This isn't current practice yet?

A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi

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Why bother?

Why would I bother with public WiFi? I have a a data allowance of 20 GB, valid everywhere in the EU. And for some reason, Iceland. So maybe after Brexit in the UK as well. Costs only 23 euros per month with unlimited calls and texts. I usually only use about 2 GB/month though.

Buying a second-hand hard drive on eBay? You've got a 'one in two' chance of finding personal info still on it


Re: I read that the UK MoD has the following policy...

Or a "Beware of the leopard" sign?

Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh


Re: Why it's important to specify units.

Fahrenheit remains the official scale for the following countries: the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau and the United States and associated territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Trend Micro antivirus fails to stop measles carrier rubbing against firm's Ottawa offices


Re: My Parents were unsure...

"Is Rubella as big a problem as measles - you don't hear much about it ?"

That's because we vaccinate against it.... ;-)

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

Geiger counters are so last summer. Lasers can detect radioactive material too, y'know


Re: Wait, what?

Two sodium atoms are walking along the street.

* Ohoh, I'm losing an electron!

- Are you sure?

* Yes, I'm positive.

Black Helicopters

Wait, what?

"An infrared laser can ionise those seed electrons "

How can you ionise an electron?

An ion is a charged atom or molecule. An electron is already charged and you can't increase its charge.

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer


Re: What?

You met my wife?

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true


It's proverbial.

What the saying really means is that is it easier to start life off poor (the poor drank beer) and then to become rich (and be able to afford wine), than the other way round.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week


Re: Cloud = held to ransom

You describe the setup I have at home. A Raspberry Pi running Domoticz. It is connected to my smart meter by USB. It receives my weather station over 868 MHz and switches some lights over 433 MHz. It has a Z-wave USB stick that can connect to sensors for movement, light, vibration, temperature etc. It switches Philips Hue lights. It has a WiFi connection to an Opentherm gateway to make my thermostat smart. It receives temperature and humidity data over WiFi from a few ESP2866's spread over the house. Nothing of this requires the cloud or third parties. Everything keeps running if the Internet goes down. As long as the Internet works, I can connect safely to it all over VPN. I think everything together costs less than €500, but I did have to spend some time learning about it and setting it all up.

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s


1998, prime minister of The Netherlands tries to use a mouse


(At least he was not called Dik Kok, but Wim Kok)

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?


Re: Look out

"WRONG. get your facts right. some of your points are 'ok' and the biscuit analogy wasn't bad, but then you went off the rails making claims about nicotine that just are NOT true.

Nicotine exists in some foods. "

You may be right, but your point is completely moot. If he had said "your brain would never have been exposed to in natural life" he would have been a hundred percent correct.

There may be nicotine in vegetables, but there exists a thing called the first-pass effect. Blood-flow from your intestines does not enter the general circulation right away (as blood flow from the lungs does), but goes through the portal vein system through the liver first, where a lot of potentially harmful substances are metabolised first. So any nicotine ingested will be mostly metabolised to cotinine and trans-3'-hydroxycotinine and no nicotine will reach the brain. The levels of nicotine in vegetables are in the orders of nano-grams per gram. So to get as much nicotine in the intestine as a cigarette delivers, one would need to eat a hundred kilos of aubergine. Take in account the oral bio-availability of nicotine and in order to get the same blood levels as from a cigarette, you would need to eat 500 kg of aubergine. I would not call that "being exposed to".

And before someone mentions it: chewing tobacco works mainly through absorption of nicotine through the oral mucosa, which is not plumbed into the portal vein system.

Also not plumbed into the portal vein system is the rectum. Nicotine suppositories, anyone?

Icon: because face-palm becomes fail.

Suunto settles scary scuba screwup for $50m: 'Faulty' dive computer hardware and software put explorers in peril


Then you didn't pay attention. It's definitely in the PADI curriculum.


"Also, what I am saying is that relying on wireless kit underwater (which all Suunto integrated computers use)"

Definitely not true. Maybe the newer models. Mine is an almost ten year old Cobra 2 which reads tank pressure through a hose connected to my first stage.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger



"We were also in touch on a precautionary basis with the relevant regulatory authorities.""

Bollocks to precautionary basis. The GDPR requires you to alert the relevant regulatory authorities of any data breach.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence


What's the Russion connection?

"Giant Rubik Cube at Huawei mate 20 launch in London

What were they thinking? That much is obvious: they were thinking about something else. Perhaps the consultant who came up with the idea was pitching to a Russian client while working on the Huawei account and got distracted."

Shurely you mean a Hungarian client?

Oh Smeg! Hacked white goods maker resurfaces after system shutdown


Re: triple decker

I actually make them occasionally. Surprisingly good.

<fire ball icon because of the liberal amounts of hot sauce applied >

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again


Buncefield boom

"I was doing a Windows migration in hemel hempstead at the time Buncefield oil depot went up."

Sunday morning 5 AM?

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything


Re: Made it here first!

We had something like that here. A gentleman who during the month of ramadan left his insulin pump running, despite not eating. Ran down some tourists(*) in front of Amsterdam Central Station.

Was deemed to be due to hypoglycaemia, but no prosecution.

* The tourists were Israeli's, which led to a lot of speculation whether this was an accident or an attack.

Lack of communication by police and the strange fact that the dozens of CCTV cameras in front of the station were all switched off or pointing elsewhere only fuelled the conspiracy theories.

Fail icon for Dutch justice.

Exposed: Lazy Android mobe makers couldn't care less about security


Well, most Nexus kit doesn't survive that long anyway.

Currently on my third 5X, replaced under warranty.

First one just bricked itself, second one the infamous bootloop.

Nexus 5, microphone stopped working.

Galaxy Nexus, USB port broke, not charging.

Both Nexus One's broken power button.

Only my Nexus 10 is still working, however that has been having WiFi connection problems since day one.

And don't think you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with it while on 2,4GHz WiFi.

I like the Nexus philosophy of running plain Android and having regular updates, but the build quality

of all my Nexi has been less than stellar.

Hansa down, this is cool: How Dutch cops snatched the wheel of dark web charabanc


Meanwhile in The Netherlands...

Four out of five crimes are not reported, because people know nothing will happen with it and police routinely dis-encourages people from reporting.

(So politics boasts crime rates are going down)

Four out of five reported crimes never get investigated.

Of the investigated crimes, a significant fraction never gets prosecuted.

The ones that get prosecuted and lead to a conviction, lead to very low sentences.

Think twelve years for murder, or community service for assault and battery leading to permanent disability. If your crime was relatively light, you are allowed to await trial in freedom. If convicted to prison, just don't show up. There are actually more people who are convicted to a jail sentence out on the street (around 15.000), than there are people in jail (around 10.000). The Netherlands is a paradise for criminals.

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo


Re: Mains powered clock

When I lived in the Caribbean, the time on my weather station would mysteriously go back six hours overnight occasionally. I then remembered it has a DCF receiver and apparently picked up the signal from over 7.000 kilometres away. Officially the range of the DCF transmitter (it's in Frankfurt I think?) is stated as around 2.500 km. This happened after I moved to the Atlantic side of the island, on the Caribbean side a volcano blocked the signal :-)

First Allied submarine lost in World War One, found near New Guinea


Re: MH370

Well, the Fugro Equator who found the sub was also involved in the search for MH370, so who knows...



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