* Posts by John Brown (no body)

15012 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Chris Hadfield on Soyuz

"Not the ideal place to see a Blue Screen of Death. Soyuz is fairly old, but it has been upgraded in all that time, to some extent. I also wondered if they used a retail or OEM licensed version..."

You missed option c) A pirate copy.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Thumb Up

"There are amazing railway stations from the Victorian and Edwardian eras all over the world."

Not to mention some of the Moscow underground stations.

The Moon certainly ain't made of cheese but it may be made of more metal than previously thought, sensor shows

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Joke

Re: Metal

I wonder what the Iron Chicken shits out?

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "HR" - there's your problem.

"Most any management type will tell you that all assets depreciate, usually on a fixed schedule."

Yeah, but the build quality has slowly gone up over the years and so they've had to recalibrate the depreciation rates from 65 to 70 :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: General concern

Reaction Engines? (Only guessing here.)

Mind you, one company I did some work for some years ago, made replacement hip joints and knees. The boss was a medical doctor.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: General concern

"Where did you study? "

I was once asked that. I said Durham, which seemed to be an ok answer. The questioner made an assumption because I didn't add the context that my primary school was in County Durham before our area was wrenched out to became part of Tyne and Wear. I suspect the level of education he was referring to would mean saying "Sunderland Poly" would not have been a "right" answer.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The great, the good, and the ugly

You may have missed the longer term plan there. Once UKIP got Brexit done, the UK needs to make trade deals. Any trade deals with India, such we likely need to have, will be dependant on Indian people having better access to the UK job market. That couldn't happen while we were in the EU.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Rental sucks.

"But rental ones are NOT going to be useful for commuters/shoppers in general - they'll only be in the city centres (so wont help with the first bit of the supposed last-mile leg from house to tram/train station), and the end bit/city centre bit is usually not a problem for commuters/shoppers on foot."

Yes, arriving in the city centre is often not a problem for many people. Public transport is invariably designed around getting people to and around the city centre. The bit that is missing is the part where many people need to move around the outskirts, get to the local shops, local doctors/dentists etc, or even live on one edge of the city and work on a business/industrial park somewhere else on the edge of the city. Those sorts of trips often require a trip to the city centre, change bus/train, then out of city again, vastly increasing the numbers travelling into the city and so causing the planners to think the route is more popular than it is. Few traffic surveys do any more than measure people/vehicle going from A to B. They rarely check if B is the ultimate destination.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Rental sucks.

"Sorry, but the rental idea sucks for anyone but tourists. If they actually wanted to reduce traffic, then privately owned would be the way to go."

Absolutely! It could even be cost free to the Government. If suppliers want to sell "road legal" scooters, then they pay to have them approved by the DfT, just like other vehicle manufactures have to do. Maybe stamp serial numbers onto various parts of the chassis too. Yeah, that can be abused by some people, but then they already do that with cars etc now.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

The Cycling Proficiency Test, which was well promoted and little short of compulsory, like school swimming lessons and water safety, are no longer pushed or funded as they once were. Hence the recent generations of kids drowning left, right and centre these days because they are poor or non-swimmers with zero risk awareness. Then there's the RNLI who provide paid and trained lifeguards to beaches, paid out of our taxes when we used to have volunteers, also trained and often competed in competitions to prove their abilities. Now you get "official" lifeguards who will make the effort to come over and shout at you if you have the temerity to swim in the sea outside their special flagged area.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Why do you need a driving license to rent an electric scooter but any one can go to Halfords and by a peddle bike and ride down the road (or often the pavement near me even though the council spent money painting cycle lanes on the roads) without even having to have demonstrated they have basic road sense?"

Because it would require a change in the law that defines a "motor vehicle". E-bikes skirt the law because the electric motor is "assistive" and not the primary means of propulsion.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Trials?

"So I expect we'll have their wretched scooters to deal with next."

Yes, and considering all the horror stories we are seeing posted here, from multiple countries, it does make one wonder just who the UK government are listening too when they talk about these sorts of schemes.

Like Facebook and Uber before them, the ideas seem to be coming out of US university/students, where the idea, on campus, seems like a good idea and quite possibly might even work quite well, But they really don't scale up to the real world where laws, licensing and real people are involved. Universitys on private land full of students paying a lot of money to be there are not a reliable analogue of the real world.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Obvious things often don't seem obvious to politicians and their support staff

"Why is many small sats in LEO not able to function as a positioning system?"

Dear downvoter. Can you please answer the question?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Who came up with the £5bn figure?

Don't Surrey Satellite have a lot to do with building the Galileo sats? That's a lot of skills, equipment and manufacturing tools already in place. Not mention that building sats is something that the UK is actually quite good at. Launching them is another matter, but there are multiple launching options either available or coming on stream that are then doable at much cheaper rates than lofting 1.5 tons into high orbit. (that's assuming the modern technology can reduce the required size and weight and that it's possible to run a position constellation in LEO)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Obvious things often don't seem obvious to politicians and their support staff

"it's obvious to anyone who understands the technology that a LEO satellite communications system depending on microsatellites cannot function as a positioning system."

I don't understand the technology. Why is many small sats in LEO not able to function as a positioning system?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "What's wrong with a brass sextant and clockwork chronometer? "

He'd certainly not stand for calling it a SEXtant!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: slapping the Union Jack on the side of OneWeb's birds

"p.s. Dominic told me we can also, real cheap he says, mount lasers on those satellites."

Dominic Dare?

The internet becomes trademarkable, sort of, with near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Booking.com

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"It also allows for trademarks to be removed if consumers have come to think of the term as generic"

As I mentioned in another post a few days ago, I'm hearing more and more people refer to pretty much any tablet computer as an iPad these days. I'm very confused as to what an iPad is now so clearly the name iPad should not be trademarked. Likewise, I've hear people refer to things being "on my iPhone" when clearly it's a Samsung Galaxy in their hand.

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Also an accountant able to use more than 3GB of memory in excel spreadsheet is just plain scary!"

Likewise, accountants given access to a spreadsheet capable of a "database" with millions of rows!!

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: How is this STILL a thing!?

...and no one noticed, no one complained or no complaints reached the relevant people. The action taken depends on which of the preceding happened.

Hopefully someone checked to see just how many site visits occur via the re-direct and how they got to the old .org.uk site in the first place, ie is it people still using the old address or is it links from other sites not yet updated?

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "aggressively investigating and prosecuting these crimes"

And if your government mandates backdoors, assume that other governments are in there too.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Trolled?

True, but from the context in the article it seems more like trawling than trolling.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "cartoons depicting lazy American workers"

Apparently so, to the rabid PC brigade. Racism is any kind of stereotyped insult against anyone who is not "us", where "us" is the groups being offended on behalf of "them".

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "cartoons depicting lazy American workers"

Well, to be fair, it's racism. Just not the sort of racism that makes it into US and western news feeds :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: PSU fun

"The PSU on this server's failed, can you send a replacement?"

The Dell rep did exactly the correct thing based on the information given, Hell desk people have to deal with the full gamut of callers from total numpties to people who actually know what they are talking about. S/he did the right thing in not assuming you were correct without garnering further information from you.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Been there, done that...

"UPS goes bang with smoke, fire and flame (mercifully brief but enough for it not to be as dark as it should have been)."

Oooh, a UPS with built in emergency lighting?

An unfortunate bit of product placement for Microsoft as Liverpool celebrates winning some silverware

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Clarification

Yes, technically it's "Rugby Football" but in common parlance it's just "Rugby", occasion declared as either "League" or "Union" in times of war.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: All that money

About 180 degrees!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Clarification

"Hope this helps."

Here's a scale for you to demonstrate how much use of the foot and hand in a game nominally called "football" by the locals"

Foot.....|.....|.....|.....|.....|.....|.....|.....|.....|.....Hand

Now, "foot"ball in the vast majority of the world is right up against the left edge of the scale because any use of the hand on the ball is against the rules. Now, where on that scale would you like to place US style "foot"ball"?

White elephants in the mist: Google's upcoming Pixel 4A may ship without Soli motion recognition, per FCC filing

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Alien

Re: Why use the phrase "White elephants"

I'll get my mates Dan and Digby to sort you out!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Why use the phrase "White elephants"

And not forgetting that they went green before being replaced with white. The green ones were a nightmare due to the lack of contrast.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Why use the phrase "White elephants"

"Consider a general move away from colour based phrases."

Oh, FFS! Grow up. Not all mentions of "white" or "black" are racist. Try some education instead, It can work wonders! After all, I don't see anyone complaining about you being green with envy over the education the rest of us have. Admit it, you were wrong. Or are you too yellow? Maybe feeling a bit blue now? Or are so angry it's all just a red haze now?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Joke

Re: Battery life

"60GHz waves to sense hand motion does seem a somewhat over the top use of relatively exotic technology."

60G is also 12 TIMES MORE POWERFUL than 5G so it spread COVID-19 12 times FASTER!!!11!!1!One!!11

Here's a headline we'll run this century, mark our words: Alien invaders' AI found on Mars searching for signs of life

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Happy

Re: Rocket-powered declaration

I'm not sure what the typo was, but that was the result of me not looking properly at the spell check suggestions and clicking the wrong one. However, it is, as you say rather fun :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Unprepared

Of course they can, FFS. They are just having to scale up. I mean, everyone remembers Curiosity and the "complicated" landing of burn through atmosphere, use parachutes then a rocket powered skycrane, but how many remember that that was actually just a step change from Spirit and Opportunitys landing methods, ie burn through the atmosphere, deploy parachute, inflate the ball cocoon and then a final rocket powered declaration before dropping them the remainder of the way to bounce!

Parachutes on Mars are a done deal. Trying out new materials and designs to cope with different load patterns and payload masses is what happens here on Earth

Dems take a crack at banning Feds from using facial-recog tech. Congress will put it on todo list after 'learn Klingon'

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"The Keen app actually looks to be potentially useful, though it is undoubtedly just another profiling and slurpage mechanism."

I'm just glad El Reg told us a little of what Keen does. I'd never have figured it out from the promo video.

Brit police's use of facial-recognition tech is lawful, no need to question us, cops' lawyer tells Court of Appeal

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: This is legislation which affects everyone, immediately and continuously

"One can't take the non-votes of people who "don't care", or are "happy to have what those who do vote choose", as votes against. That's no more sound than letting the other side have it the other way."

A non-vote is a vote for the status quo. Simples :-)

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

I've never quite understood the reasons for making vegetarian (or for the tiny minority, vegan) equivalents of meat products. Why would someone choosing not to eat meat still want the taste of meat? Especially those with an axe to grind over "murdering" animals. (We'll leave the argument over whether "meat replacements" actually taste like meat for another day)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
WTF?

Re: There is a third option:

"I like to have apricot jam with bacon and/or sausages."

WTF? See icon for further exclamation of disbelief ------------->

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The one true way...

I'm just an insane Yank with a t-shirt that reads "I am free of the tyranny of pants!"

It's what yous guys call "biscuits". Although considering biscuit comes from the French for "twice baked" it makes we wonder how hard your "biscuits" might be.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It doesn't matter..

I also came here to add that suggestion. Also, jam, cream or cream, jam....really doesn't matter so long as the whole thing is dunked in batter and deep fried before serving with a chilled glass of Buckfast.

Russia returns to space tourism and offers a first citizen spacewalk

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

I can't imagine even the Russians putting an untrained "tourist" is a spacesuit and taking them for a spacewalk. Or maybe I can.... :-)

NASA mulls going all steam-punk with a fleet of jumping robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter's mysterious moons

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: ...

Lakes of crude oil?

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Almost mouse free

Never eat the green wobbly bit!!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Almost mouse free

...and the neighbour with the pond in the back garden is still wondering where fuck all his expensive young koi went!!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Gimp

Re: Alternatives are good.

"Sadly, the mutt liked mustard on his wood..."

See icon ------------>

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: chewed wires

So, as soon as you pulled the old cable and put fresh "food" in its place, he was back like a rat up a drainpipe?

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Well, both students survived. That probably counts as "damn near tame" in Aussie terms."

To be fair, as per the article, the fox isn't a native. The fact it's survived against the native fauna is a tribute to its tenacity.

We're no longer helping UK Post Office persecute postal workers with our shonky system, says Fujitsu

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Vwennells and Harding: aren't you glad UK healthcare is in the hands of such wonderful indiv

"also during which it suffered a spectacular data breach "

FWIW, TWO spectacular data breaches in consecutive years before she ran away from the mess. Lessons clearly NOT learned.

NB, edited title down as "the title is too long" since the Re: got auto added.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Strange

"As for the Post Office ex CEO (what about previous CEOs ?) she says (in essence) we relied on what we were told and it wasn't really our role to oversee this stuff anyway."

Clearly one or more people further down the food chain were "shielding" the board from the bad news and thus were criminally negligent. Someone, somewhere was hiding the bad news and lying by omission at the very least. Or the board DID know but made sure they were only ever told orally, so no paper trail.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020