* Posts by Headley_Grange

730 posts • joined 24 Feb 2010


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

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Re: Sinclair pocket calculator

I think it's a bit harsh to call someone a "liar" because they mis-remembered something from over 40 years ago.

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Re: Sinclair pocket calculator

It's a Cambridge Scientific - white. I didn't know there was a different one just called Scientific - sorry for any confusion.

For clarity, I was replying to two different posts.

SQRT(36) = 6

e^(ln(36)/2) = 5.9999

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Re: Sinclair pocket calculator

5.9999 on my Cambridge Scientific

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Re: Sinclair pocket calculator

I just dug out my Cambridge Scientific.



SIN(52 degrees)=0.78801

The trig functions are truncated to 6 digits but others aren't. It takes 2.2 secs to do the trig function, but the square roots are instant.

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Re: I want a C5

Are you sure? Is it hilly where you live?


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I've still got my Cambridge Scientific calculator. The power switch went a bit dodgy after only a couple of months, but it didn't deteriorate any more after that and the calculator is as good as it was in the 70s when I got it. Mine must have been a second version because my mate got one a few months before me and the numbers wore off the keys of his after a year or so, which has never happened to mine. I remember it being a battery hog and having to use alkaline batteries, which were quite expensive on paper-round money!

Replaced with an HP-11C when I got my first job - which is also still going strong and runs for ever on 3 button cells.

We can't believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

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Re: Mixed model

Same here, and my password manager synchs over my local WiFi only. It's a bit mandraulic, but I don't want my important passwords in the cloud. Finance passwords are in my head only.

Israeli authorities investigate NSO Group over Pegasus spyware abuse claims

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Re: How does it work?

Thanks, doublelayer.

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How does it work?

Something I've not been able to work out from the coverage so far - does NSO retain some control over it's product after they have sold it? The seem adamant that many of the phone numbers on the lists which the press have published aren't targets, which implies that they have knowledge of their customers' targets. I sort of find this hard to believe, but also can imagine that they'd want to keep some sort of control of the product, given how dangerous it could be if it got into the wild. Then again, if everything went through their servers that could bring its own dangers!

Anyone know?

I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices

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Re: FREeDomZ

Bollocks. When I was a kid the NHS was barely a decade old. When the doc told my mum it was time for my polio, measles, whooping cough and mumps vaccines she didn't go to the library to find a million reasons not to vaccinate me. She didn't wait until she'd been to the beetle drive that week to canvas the views of her friends. She listened to the doctors and, thank God, got me vaccinated and was grateful that she didn't have to pay. There was no hesitation when it was time for my TB vaccine because she knew people who'd died from it and she thought that a hole in my arm was better then coughing myself to death. There's a good chance that I wouldn't be here today if my mum and all the other mums since then had been as much of a twat as some people are today.

Nothing's changed from a medical or scientific point of view since those days over half a century ago. All that's changed is that in the past ten years or so people have access to much more information and some of them seem to give as much weight to the web equivalent of a bloke down the pub as they do to doctors. If it weren't so fucking serious it would be funny and if it only affected their lives then it wouldn't matter to me. Even ignoring the arguments about herd immunity and responsibility to one's community, a death never affects "just me". It's a devastating impact on a family to lose a parent, child, sibling, spouse - with results ranging from mental health issues to poverty and destitution. When the cause of this potentially-avoidable death is an opinion formed by reading shite on the web instead of listening to doctors then that is abuse.

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Re: Liability

Well, given that they also know that more of their employees might suffer "tremendous injury" - including death - if they don't get vaccinated maybe criminal prosecution should be considered for board members who don't insist on their employees getting vaccinated.


Here's a list of the flaws Russia, China, Iran and pals exploit most often, say Five Eyes infosec agencies

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Re: Causes

Good work - and maybe not surprising. Releasing good code is expensive. I guess that an analogy is safety critical development (SIL, SW01, DO-178, etc). These standards don't just focus on development, coding and testing, but on the company environment and processes that surround and support them from design concepts to in-service support. It makes SW development in these environments expensive, a bit less fun sometimes, and it makes it much harder for a director to shout "just fucking release it or we'll miss this quarter's numbers".

I don't think we'll ever see security equivalents of these safety standards, partly because of the expense but mainly because of today's expected rapid turnover of product and introduction of new features.

Alan Turing Institute to spend UK.gov grants on AI for air traffic control and banking

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"The aim, as far as we can tellNATS is telling air traffic controllers, is not to outright replace human air traffic controllers,

US Surgeon General doubles down on Facebook-bashing amid vaccination information blame game

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It's also important because it reduces the opportunity and risk of the virus mutating into more infection variants which are not controlled by the current vaccines.

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Re: "Needle Nazis"

"Why is that? There's no good reason for it."

They make money from it and they don't care about anything else. They've already got insane amounts of money that's unspendable in a dozen lifetimes but, apparently, that's not enough for them and a few deaths here and there apparently don't matter as long as they continue to make money. The anti-vaxxers are also more profitable than normal people because they are more gullible and therefore susceptible to ads.

Wanted: State-backed bandits planning cyberattacks on US infrastructure. Reward: $10m

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Re: Where's the biggest profit?

@Version 1.0: that might have been the case up until a short while ago, but insurance companies are starting to back away from cyber security. AXA France recently stopped underwriting ransom payments. Other companies are now excluding ransom payments from their cover and the cost of premiums is rising. The security requirements for getting insured are increasing in some sectors, which can only be a good thing.

I think we'll soon see the end of organizations having poor security and relying on the insurance pay the ransom to get their data back.

Microsoft reveals pay-to-Ping plan for advanced Azure availability testing

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Grat Gadsby!

Coming next - the Microsoft Keyboard where you pay per key click. Popular keys, like 'e' will be more expensive and rationed at busy times with special offers on the less popular keys to help with load balancing.

Iffy voltage: The plague of PC builders and Hubble space telescope controllers alike

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Re: Old Power Supplies die eventually

7805 plus loads of silver mica caps ;-) ?

It's power source is solar and batteries, so the PCU shouldn't need any big caps for taking low AC out. Most of the spike and noise caps will be local, rather than at the PCU.

Having said that, if it landed on my bench for repair then checking and replacing the caps would be top of the list if nothing else was obvious.

UK govt draws a blank over vaccine certification app – no really, the report is half-empty

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Re: Here in the EU...

I don't know if the UK is struggling. I had my vaccines and they appeared on the NHS app a few days later. I've got Covid passes on the NHS app on my phone and I've downloaded pdf copies which, like you, I've copied to cloud accounts and also printed out just in case. One thing I don't understand is that the UK passes are only valid for a month, after which they have to be downloaded again. I assume it's in case policy changes or they discover something about vaccine efficacy.

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Reminds me of O-Level Geography homework.

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Re: OPtion?

Given that the NHS app uses QR codes for both the travel and event passes I assumed that there'd be a corresponding reader or app that could validate them, thereby making fakes much more difficult. However, a quick Google around didn't reveal anything that can be used by pubs, clubs, etc., and there's nothing obvious in the Apple app store, so I don't really understand how this is going to work properly. The passes can be downloaded as pdf., for printing out by users without a smart phone, so once you've seen one it's trivial to mock up a fake.

Maybe the validation app/reader is a work in progress?

While some Apple employees aren't happy with hybrid work plans, those on the retail front line are probably delighted

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Re: Lead by example

It's not just low pay, which is why I wrote "labour costs". It's also the fact that the workers don't get holiday pay, sick pay, p/maternity leave, weekends off, fire doors, employment rights, etc. The main savings in offshoring work isn't the salary, it's the fact that the employer has no overhead costs related to worker rights and safety.

Western governments will never address it because the main cause of it is that we, the consumer, choose the cheapest product with the fastest delivery and we don't give a toss if it's made by a 13 year-old girl who should be in education instead of working 70 hours a week in a dangerous sweat-shop for a few dollars. Even if the UK government were able to put massive import duty on goods made by workers who don't have the same workplace standards and protections that UK workers get (or, at least, used to get before zero hours and contracting out) then UK consumers (voters) would be angry because they couldn't buy cheap clothes in Primark and throw them away after a couple of wears.

BTW - I infer from your post that you think that the vision of a shopless society is a good thing. I think it's a very, very bad thing.

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Re: Lead by example

Imagine the alternative scenario where no shops exist at all - just warehouses with staff on crap contracts and zero hours delivery drivers. Your parcel of [food, clothes, laptop, medicine, lunch, .....] arrives and it automatically Facetimes a salesperson located in the country with this year's cheapest labour costs. Same experience, but from the comfort of you own HMO shit-hole that you're about to be evicted from because all the decent jobs have been offshored and your zero hours job delivered exactly zero hours this month so you can't afford the rent.

Leaked Apple memo tells employees that they'll be coming into the office at least 3 days a week from September

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Tough Call

I managed development teams for many years and have been responsible for recruitment, development, appraisals, discipline, pay-rises, promotions, mentoring, etc. Many of these depend on seeing how people work, not just in a project team, but in the company, with customers, with awkward people, with directors (!)....etc. An engineering graduate will be taken on mainly because they got a good, relevant degree. But they might be destined to be a technical leader, a systems engineer, a project manager, a test lead, a function manager, a commercial officer......etc. For many of these roles I'd find it hard to judge their potential if I only ever saw them on zoom and when they came to the office for project-specific meetings. I had a guy who was desperate to move into "management" but delegating most of my work to him while I had a week off disabused both of us of his suitability. Another engineer's potential as a leader only became obvious when he diffused a difficult situation in the canteen one day - nothing to do with work.

Also, shit but true, for the vast majority of engineers, their pay rise will correlate strongly with their personal attendance at work.

I'm an old git, and I assume that with enough time, thought, tools, etc. that things could be made to change. Problem is, as the Apple case shows, most of today's managers are also relatively old gits and I don't know if you can teach an old git new tricks.

Zoll Defibrillator Dashboard would execute contents of random Excel files ordinary users could import

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Re: Excel

Summary of my experiences installing/upgrading ERP/MRP/CRM systems

Director: "And get rid of all that Excel stuff - I want everything on the new system. We can't afford to be shifting stuff back and forth between Excel and if Anna leaves no-one knows how to compile the reports cos she wrote all those macros that no one understands"

Team: "These are the costs of customizing the vanilla product to match our current processes."

Director: "Bugger that. There's nothing special about what we do so we'll change our processes to fit the vanilla product. "

.... vanilla system installed, processes changed, all tested, gone live, things running smoothly......

Director, waving powerpoint full of Excel charts: "I need the report that looks like this for this quarter"

Team: "We can't do that because you wouldn't pay for customization or for the OLAP add-on"

Director: "But I need it tomorrow for the board meeting. Just do it all in Excel"

Team "...anyone got Anna's phone number?"

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

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Re: Just call it ...

Have you ever met any engineers? Or, indeed, any people at all?

US Supreme Court gives LinkedIn another shot at stymieing web scraping

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Better Law

Instead of sending it back to the lower court they should send it back to the government and tell them to write the law properly so it's clear what they meant instead of accepting a poorly written law that means it needs 10 judges and dozens of lawyers just to work out whether or not the intent of the law's being broken.

McDonald's AI drive-thru bot accused of breaking biometrics privacy law

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Re: Wimpy ruled them all

Did you have a Knickerbocker Glory?

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Re: Success Rate

Wendy's was the best*. I remember my first in London about 1983, where you could select all the add-ons. Finally, a burger without mayo. I liked it so much I went back and got another as soon as I'd finished the first.


*Takeaway. Wimpy ruled them all.

Ireland warned it could face 'rolling blackouts' if it doesn't address data centres' demand for electricity

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Lucky Ireland

With all the taxes rolling in from Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft they'll have no trouble funding some new, green power generation. Unless............

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

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The box might have been something that translated print data to plotter data - most likely AGL (A Graphics Language)

I reckon that the destruction of the Amazon rain forest was kicked off by my initial attempts to use HPGL to get decent plots out of test gear in the 1980s. There's a Farside Cartoon with a pic of a boys bedroom and a poster on the wall saying something like "First Trousers, Then Shoes". Mine would have read "First Select Pen Then Pick Up Pen"

Apple, it's OK. Seriously. You don't need to blind your iOS 15 engineers to prevent leaks

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I Look Forward.....

....to a bug-ridden iOS 15 as a result of the left hand not knowing what the right hand has tested.

No change control? Without suitable planning, a change can be as good as an arrest

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Change vs Configuration

Getting an organization to think in terms of configuration management instead of change management is key, in my experience. Change is just one aspect of configuration management and if you can get the whole team - including marketing, support and senior management - to understand the configuration needs of a product it certainly makes change management easier and will reduce change and support costs.

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

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It's obvious to me that collating, organizing, analysing, mining, AI-ing all the NHS patient data is a good thing for health research, society an, potentially, me. I'm all for it.

It's similarly obvious to me that insurance companies, social media sites, news sites and criminals getting access to the same data is a bad thing.

If someone gave me a rock solid guarantee - air gapped data with crown jewel security and with the regs written in criminal law backed up by jail terms for politicians past and present in the case of breaches and real £££money compensation for citizens then I might, just might, consider giving them access*

Until then, they can all fuck off.

*I still probably wouldn't.

Apple's macOS 12 adds improved virtualization though no sign of anything like Boot Camp on M1 silicon

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Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

Thanks - I'll have a look at it.

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Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

I weaned myself off Windows apps until the only thing left was the synch app for a really useful rugged phone that didn't have a Mac app. I kept Parallels running just for this until Parallels wanted £40 quid for an upgrade, at which point I cut my losses.

The phone sits in the car now for emergencies and when I use it once a quarter to keep the PAYG SIM alive I'm always shocked to see how full the battery is.

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

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Re: Opens excuses manual

@YAAC: slight mod.

4. Do exactly the same thing it in another way and invalidate all current opt-outs because it's a new process.

5. Make it even harder to opt out of the new process.

Military infosec SNAFUs: What WhatsApp and bears in the woods can teach us

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"..ubiquitous, frictionless sharing"

At least Bowman erred on the side of caution and made ubiquitous, frictionless sharing almost as difficult for the British army as it was for any spies trying to eavesdrop.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

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@Prst. V.Jeltz; I can't make my mind up about your comment, so I'm going to go to the pub, have some beer and read it again when I come back to see if there really is a hidden meaning or if it's just me.

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Have you ever tried using it to turn the telly off in the pub?

Hybrid working? Buckle in, there's no turning back as survey takers insist: You can't make us go back

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Having it both ways

Make savings by getting rid of office space - happy beancounters. Then notice that productivity doesn't plummet cos of WFH so get rid of the micro managers - happier beancounters.

Now, we just need a plan to get rid of the beancounters.........

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries

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Re: Software Engineers

Another reason might be that Wetherspoons are too tight to spend money on an app that works on two iOS variants. Given how they tried to treat their staff at the start of the pandemic then it wouldn't surprise me if they've taken this approach. They might have changed their minds about pissing on their staff after the public outcry, but I'll never forget what they tried to do and they won't ever get another penny out of me.

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Re: Carbon neutral

There are still a lot of challenges in making hydrogen power practical for everyday, non-commercial use. The efficiencies of producing it aren't great, but if they're done with excess green energy then that shouldn't be a problem. It still has to be transported and in order to do so, and to use it, it needs to be compressed which is expensive in ££ and energy terms. Hydrogen also produces significant amounts of NOx when burnt in air in an ICE, so exhaust gas management is still a problem. At normal pressure and temperature hydrogen has a much higher energy density per litre than petrol or diesel, but when compressed to a car-sized tank this reduces significantly to almost a tenth of that of diesel. Fuell cell EVs would avoid the NOx problem but would still suffer from the drop in energy density due to the compression.

Assuming you could get it, the insurance for keeping your car in your garage might be very expensive unless you've made significant mods to cope with hydrogen leakage from your car. Hydrogen cars would almost certainly be banned from underground car parks and most enclosed parking.

Some of the above are tech challenges that might be overcome and some are laws of physics that might be more of a challenge. Aberdeen has been running a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell EV buses for a while, so there's hope, but I suspect that we're in a VHS vs Betamax situation at the moment.

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How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

None - just code round it.

Proposed amendments to UK Finance Bill target rogue umbrella companies ripping off contractors after IR35

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Re: Wouldn't it be simpler to just get rid of NI

If dividends were company expenses then I could take all this year's profit as dividends and therefore pay no corporation tax at all. Dividends are paid from taxed profit.

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Pennies and Pounds

For an independent contractor avoiding NI (12%) and whose employer is avoiding employee NI (13.8%) then the treasury is losing 25% of the gross salary up to about £60k . That's not pennies.

You could make valid arguments about where that "loss" sits in the system and whether or not the treasury is recouping some or all of it another bit of the tax system, but, as others in this discussion have noted, therein lies the problem - the tax system as it relates to income for individuals and companies is too complicated.



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