* Posts by phuzz

6084 posts • joined 23 Feb 2010

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

phuzz Silver badge

Re: That Meme

That's the sort of question I ask at interviews (although, more politely), after all, I'd like to know what I might be letting myself in for.

Plus, if you keep mentioning things in the vein of "if I worked here", it's gets them into the right mindset of imagining you working there, which is one step loser to them giving you the job.

For a true display of wealth, dab printer ink behind your ears instead of Chanel No. 5

phuzz Silver badge

It's not that inkjet ink has to be expensive either. Ink for commercial sign-making printers are in the region of £60 for a single colour, but that's 220ml of ink. In bigger quantities it's £125 for a one litre cartridge (although you'll need six per machine; cyan, yellow, magenta, black, and also light magenta and light cyan and white for better colour accuracy).

These printers print on all sorts of materials, much of which is destined to be used outside on signs, so it has to be as UV proof as possible, so it's at least as specialised as ink for a desktop printer.

Russia's Pirs ISS module scheduled to fall away, much like Moscow's interest in the space station

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Anyway

The short answer is, a lot. The slightly longer answer is, a full day* of running experiments, and keeping up with maintenance and chores.

So much so that they have dedicated scheduling tools to keep track, as you can see here.

* The ISS runs on UTC/GMT 'days', although they get a sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Forgive me for saying this...

Don't forget all the 'fun' of trying to communicate with someone in a different organisation.

Maybe I can start an audio/video call with them, maybe the button is missing today for no good reason. Maybe they'll show up as a 3rd party contact, or maybe you'll have to click over to their organisation to see the chat, or be notified about it. Who knows?

Still, I suppose it gives a handy excuse for why you didn't respond to someone, "sorry, I didn't see that message until later, must be Teams being weird". Not that I'd do that of course...

phuzz Silver badge

Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

"what Facebook achieved with WhatsApp"

Facebook bought Whatsapp when it already had a pretty big market share, and I can't think of anything they've done to increase that growth that couldn't have happened under other owners.

That's the thing, messaging systems are heavily reliant on the network effect. Microsoft do seem to have captured a big chunk of the business market, but personally I'm not sure that will translate over to the consumer side. Most people seem to use Zoom instead (or Whatsapp on phones), and I'm not sure what MS can do to change that.

Russia's ISS Multipurpose Laboratory Module launches after years sitting on a shelf, immediately runs into issues

phuzz Silver badge

Re: No problem!

Additionally, KSP veterans are used to problems like "whoops I forgot to add RCS to both ends of my vessel, so now it's unbalanced", which wasn't a problem in Elite.

Be careful what you inline: Defunct video-hosting domain used to inject smut flicks into news articles, more

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Re: You think that's bad...

"Orange man f**ks entire country"

BOFH: But soft! What light through yonder filing cabinet breaks?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Hilarious!

"CAT5 only needs 1,2,3 and 6 connected to "work"."

At 10 or 100MB speeds, GB and upwards requires all the wires.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Hilarious!

Great, now I feel old :(

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

phuzz Silver badge

Unless it was a really crappy drill (which is still possible), if it wasn't just arcing between the two cables they drilled, it would have down the drill's power cord rather into the sparky.

Humans don't conduct electricity very well, stray electricity will earth via metal or wires before it tries your arm.

phuzz Silver badge

The only wrinkle with that set up is that it's very difficult to get an accurate UPS run-time in this way. The UPS knows how much power it's supplying, but depending on how the PSUs in the servers are set up, that might only be half the total draw when the external power goes off.

Mind you, unless you have two equally sized UPSs, and manage to perfectly halve the power draw between them, you're probably going to run into the same issue. At work we have one large UPS, and three smaller ones and devices have just been plugged into whatever was closest, so our actual runtime is pretty hypothetical. That said, the longest the power has actually been out for, in the last ten years, is just thirty seconds, and I'm pretty sure our UPSs can last at least ten minutes. Probably.

You're right though. Best practice means nothing without the budget to match.

In a complete non-surprise, Mozilla hammers final nail in FTP's coffin by removing it from Firefox

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Winscp is your friend

Doesn't Powershell have SCP built in already?

I checked, and yup, OpenSSH (including SCP) has been part of PowerShell since the Autumn 2018 update.

No diss to WinSCP though, I use it all the time, it's great.

I was fired for telling ICO of Serco track and trace data breach, claims sacked worker

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Whistleblower protection

As far as I can tell, the argument here is that she exposed wrongdoing by Serco, but she was actually employed by 'Jackpostcomics' and contracted to Serco.

So, when Jackpotcomics failed to renew her contract it was for 'completely unrelated' reasons, and not because she'd embarrassed Serco.

I'm guessing a good lawyer would be able to rip that to shreds, but I doubt she can afford said lawyer.

Mars race: China dreams of nuclear rockets, manned bases, and space elevators

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Here's the plan

"Until the woke mobs infested, it was a success."

I'm guessing your definition of "woke mobs", would include all the people who objected at the time, or are they the wrong part of history?

I also doubt the aborigines considered it much of a success either, but I guess they're just another woke mob right?

Still, I'm sure the "enlightened Georgians" who congratulated themselves on how considerate and humane they were being would be glad to know that someone still believes their propaganda.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Cosmic Dodgeball

And in KSR's trilogy, he names the "shaking the tether", the "Clarke Oscillation", in honour of Clarke.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

phuzz Silver badge

We had a server that belonged to a customer which had a bad fan for years. It was so loud you could hear it from the other side of the room, but this wasn't a small server room. This was a medium size hall in a colo center, filled with other people's kit, and yet, as soon as you opened the door, the loudest noise was the tiny abused HP fan in a rack on the far side of the room, buzzing away at a frequency that ground into your ear drums.

I can only imagine how happy the other customers at that colo centre were when we finally managed to decommission that machine.

China's latest online crackdown targets mean girl online fan clubs that turn toxic

phuzz Silver badge

Well, it was sometimes funny to watch from this side of the Atlantic, when I wasn't terrified that half the US thought that an idiot and conman was the perfect person to be in control of nuclear weapons, but "love" is a putting it a bit strong.

I was just making the point that China's political system is very different to the west, and saying it's draconian is, well, from the point of view of the CCP, that's a feature, not a bug.

phuzz Silver badge

"on the other hand, it looks like the State telling what is good to think and what isn't, the Big Brother way"

No "looks like" about it. This is absolutely the CCP telling it's citizens what it deems acceptable. It's not a democracy, there's no 'bill of rights' or anything similar. In China, the government decides what people can do online (or anywhere else), and the people have to obey that or face the consequences.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

phuzz Silver badge

It's ok, the Load Font dialogue from Win 3.1 (or 95?) is still there.

Baby Space Shuttle biz chases dreams at Spaceport Cornwall

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Bezo v Branson

...and don't necessarily come back.

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Just think and consider for a moment ...

Mostly I agree with the downvotes you're received, however, in TFA:

"Grossman also announced Uncle Sam had indicted 17 suspects on RICO charges relating to the use and marketing of the AN0M handsets. Most of these people are said to be distributors, though the prosecutor said three were administrators who helped run the service."

So they're being charged for distributing/running the handsets that the FBI etc. used to gather intelligence. If they'd not done so then the FBI would have had to find another way to get crims to start using the phones.

That sounds a bit like entrapment, and I'm sure some of their lawyers will be claiming that their clients didn't know that their service was being used for crimes.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Stupid cops

The more cops around the world that became aware of this, the higher the chances that one of them would be bent and would leak, either to a criminal, or the press (or to someone 'in confidence', who then tells someone else, who talks about it in a pub, etc. etc.). Or eventually it would come out in court.

This was always going to be a limited opportunity to get as much evidence as possible before they had to reveal its source.

phuzz Silver badge

I'd guess that criminals follow the same intelligence bell curve as the general population, but that it tends to be the stupid ones that get caught.

After all, just look how many unsolved crimes there are.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Unfortunately, very true

Employers, especially in smaller companies, are also looking for someone they'd like to work with.

I'm pretty sure part of the reason I got my current job was because I share a sense of humour with my boss, and we've not hired people just because they annoyed everyone in the office.

There's not any way to prepare for that sort of selection though.

Microsoft Irish subsidiary makes $314.73bn profit

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Ireland. again.

This wouldn't be possible without Bermuda being a tax haven though. Tax evasion seems to be the main income for British overseas territories.

Former IT manager from Essex pleads guilty to defrauding the NHS of £800k

phuzz Silver badge

But going through finance vetting just to buy (eg) lunch on a business trip is a chore, so in a lot of places, managers are able to spend a certain amount at their discretion. This guy made sure that all of the invoices he submitted from his own company were within his discretionary spending limit.

Another way to play this (that might have been harder to detect), would have been for him to sell via Amazon's 'Marketplace' or similar. That way the invoices would come from Amazon. Of course, then he'd have had to find a way to make sure other people didn't try to buy his, presumably non-existent, products via Amazon.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: VAT non payment

TFA says he was found guilty of "two charges of cheating the public revenue", maybe one was for cheating the NHS, and one for the taxman.

Or possibly he just hasn't been charged with tax offences yet.

Who gave dusty Soviet-era spacecraft that unwanted lick of paint? It was an idiot, with a spraycan, in Baikonur

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Soviet tech..

Sure, but all the kinetic energy it releases when it hits the target come from the kinetic energy used to put it in orbit in the first place.

At the end of the day, if you want to drop things from orbit you need to use a boat-load of energy to get the thing above the atmosphere, then another bunch to extend that into an orbit, and then a similar amount to get it out of orbit and onto your target.

If you just use a sub-orbital trajectory like an ICBM, you only need the original boat-load of energy to get above the atmo, without needing to get into and then out of orbit. (and your weapon doesn't need it's own propulsion, or systems to survive for long in space etc.)

Pretty much the only benefit of a weapons system that can stay in orbit is the element of surprise, ICBM launches will probably be noticed, but a 'rod from god' is probably not going to be detected until it's too late. However, for a country with the resources to build and field such a weapon's system, it could be easier and cheaper to just get some special op's types to smuggle in a bomb.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Soviet tech..

The reason for the Shuttle's big wings was so that the USAF could use to launch southwards into a polar orbit, deploy or retrieve some kind of surveillance payload, and then land back in Vandenberg. They were not there to help it 'turn', more so that it could glide the ~1000 km back to the launch latitude after the Earth had turned underneath it's orbit. NASA incorporated the military requirements in order to get more support in Congress (in the end though, the military barely used the Shuttle).

Spacecraft are no use for 'dropping bombs'. If the shuttle had a bomb in it's payload bay and opened the doors in orbit...nothing much would happen. Depending on where the centre of gravity of the shuttle is, the bomb might slowly drift to the front or back of the bay.

Getting a bomb to drop down from orbit would involve scrubbing off ~7 km/s of velocity, ie, the same amount of energy used to lift it into orbit (although atmospheric drag would do most of the work, to be fair). As others have mentioned, if you want to drop a bomb on a country a long way away, the easiest way is to strap it to the top of a rocket on a sub-orbital trajectory. This would also be a lot harder to detect than launching a Shuttle.

The Soviet rocket scientists had looked at the Shuttle's designs, and couldn't work out why the US were building it that way, when the sensible option would be to build a civilian Shuttle with smaller wings and payload bay, and to use rockets for military payloads. The Soviet leaders saw the US spending loads of money on something which didn't make sense according to public information, and assumed that therefore it must have a secret military purpose! Hence, the USSR must have one too.

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB

phuzz Silver badge

Re: very unfortunate move,

"when your NAS is Debian based, everything is supported"

Except weirdly a cheap 4-Port SATA RAID (maybe 'RocketRAID'?) card I had, which worked fine with OG FreeNAS (back when it was BSD based), but which had no linux support whatsoever.

IIRC I stuck with FreeNAS for a bit longer, then went back to just using DAS for simplicity.

In the old days, coups started by seizing TV and radio stations. Now they crimp the internet at 3am

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Well in US

"they wouldn't know, they'd just know their internet's down."

I'm pretty sure that's exactly why the Myanmar military did it.

The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Still waiting for affordable 10Gb home Ethernet hardware

If it helps, 10Gb cards are down to ~£85 now

phuzz Silver badge

You can't cook you supper with fibre though ;)

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Opps

It's also possible to plug those floppy power connectors* upside down, or off by one pin, with only a small amount of extra force. I've seen a few floppy drives get fried that way.

* Which I have just learned are properly called 'Berg connectors'.

Subnautica and Below Zero: Nurture your inner MacGyver and Kevin Costner on an ocean-planet holiday

phuzz Silver badge

Re: moved up the list in my backlog

It is a remarkably scary game, even if you don't have any phobias of depths/fish/drowning/open spaces/claustrophobia.

When you're diving deep, and you catch a glimpse of something huge, moving in the dark....well, I bolted for the surface more than once.

'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Enjoy?

Well, if you prefer, there's always Windows XP 64-bit ;)

(I wonder how many people actually ran that)

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Selling cars or engines is different from selling seats...

"When exactly was this golden age of F1"

Generally when someone is talking about a "golden age", or "the good old days", they're referring to their childhood. When everything seemed amazing, because they weren't yet old enough to see the flaws.

To quote DNA:

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

phuzz Silver badge

Do you still pass if the probe melts off?

Thou shalt not hack indiscriminately, High Court of England tells Britain's spy agencies

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Does any of this actually matter.........

GCHQ just collect the information, it's up to The Security Service (aka MI5) or the Police to do something with that information. They're the ones you should be aiming your rant at.

Although I presume you have a cast iron method for them to pick out the one idiot who is actually violent, out of the hundreds of others who say the exact same thing but never do anything about it...

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Does any of this actually matter.........

(shhh! no one tell them about html tags!)

Pop quiz: You've got a roomful of electrical equipment. How do you put out a fire?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Sprinkler myth is all wet

Pool on the roof must have sprung a leak ;)

Explained: The thinking behind the 32GB Windows Format limit on FAT32

phuzz Silver badge

Re: "Def-Pro"

Or indeed the Pacer. Intended as a short term (and more importantly, cheap) train, they're still in service today. Despite being intended to last only twenty years in 1980, and scheduled to be removed from service in 2019, there's still some in service today.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Future proofing size constraints

You know how well they built those early computers, they mean it could literally be used beat the crap out of something without getting a scratch.

Everybody's time is precious, pal: Sometimes it isn't only the terminals that are dumb

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Reminds Me Of A Customer One Time...

In my last job, one of my users decided to get clever and added a BIOS password, which they then promptly forgot. After trying pulling the CMOS battery etc., my boss came up with a...different...solution.

He grabbed a 9V battery, and dragged the terminals across the motherboard until it was completely dead. Then he got me to ring up Dell and get them to come swap out the mobo under warranty.

A pub denied: One man's tale of festive frolics postponed by the curse of the On Call phone

phuzz Silver badge

Re: In a Server Room not too far away....

I managed the opposite. I accidentally jiggled the power cable going into one of the PSUs in an HP blade enclosure, only to have all the PSUs trip, taking down every blade.

It turned out that one of the other 'redundant' power supplies was kaput, and failed when it experienced more load.

Expect to work between Christmas and New Year as Brexit uncertainty continues, UK SAP users told

phuzz Silver badge

Re: "whether there is a Brexit deal or not"

There's still a possibility, although not a plausible one, that they might agree a deal before the end of the year, but it won't be much different to 'no deal' because that's what the brexiteers want. No deal means they can rewrite any regulations and make money for them and their chums.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Other casual people

Had GMail created different domains at national level

IIRC in the UK, they started off with addresses @googlemail.com, because of another company already owning the 'gmail' trademark.

Eventually I assume they threw enough money at the trademark holder that they sold up to Google, and everyone went back to their @gmail.com addresses.

(Reminds me of Sony finding out that my boss had trademarked 'PSP' in the UK)

Cops raid home of ousted data scientist who created her own Florida COVID-19 dashboard

This post has been deleted by a moderator

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Pointing guns at kids over a “hacking” case?

That's if they'd even bothered to wait before getting through the door. They might have decided to shoot first and plant 'evidence' later.

Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin fires up BE-7 engine to be used in human lunar mission

phuzz Silver badge

Sadly, we are unlikely to see another 25 years. While the probe continues to perform admirably, and engineers reckon the solar arrays will keep power flowing at least until 2026, other spacecraft carrying more advanced versions of its instruments are due for launch. It therefore looks like 2025 will see SOHO made redundant and the plug pulled.

That's not sad, that's good! It would be sad if it reached the end of it's life and there was nothing to replace it.


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