* Posts by John Brown (no body)

18176 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Don't touch that dial – the new guy just closed the application that no one is meant to close

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Happened to me at school

Taped to the screen yes. Keyboard disconnected, no. Although that does depend on how long ago it was and what is meant to happen after a power failure. XT and AT keyboards, you could generally get away with hot plugging them. PS/2 keyboards had a habit of not being recognised if plugged into a running system. Either of those XT/AT or PS/2 types could blow the keyboard fuse or, if not fitted, kill a motherboard. Likewise, again depending on how long ago and the BIOS in use, it may or may not have an option to ignore the missing keyboard error on boot, even if it did have an option to power back in after a power outage. (Prehistoric PCs didn't have "soft" power at all. The power switch was directly wired to the mains, and were very likely to report "Keyboard Error - Press F1 to continue" with no BIOS override option to be set in advance)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Assume

Same here! But I then went on to read "uninitiated" as urinated and thought, "well, at least he puts it out afterwards"

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou admits lying about Iran deal, gets to go home

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Concerning

"I do not think the deal with MWZ was mainly aimed to release the 2 Canadians rather than showing ( once again, as if we needed it) that the lefties (or commies, if there is a difference for you) are liars."

Why would the US care about a couple of foreigners? Why have the US not presented enough suitable evidence to Canada to allow the extradition to the US to occur? While defending China in any way, how is what the US did not lying? They claimed to have evidence but seem not to actually have any.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It really wan't [Canada's] fault?

"I certainly hope that someday Xi Jinping will stand trial in the Dominion of Hong Kong, a self-governing Dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations"

Unless you are predicting that the UK is going to take back Hong Kong some time in the future, I think you need to look at the international headlines from back in 1999.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Concerning

Likewise, it's a huge climb-down for the US. After 3 years of trying, they've not managed to convince Canada of the evidence to justify deporting her to the USA. And now, instead of presenting the relevant evidence to one of their closets allies, they've basically said to her, "look, if you pretend you did it, we'll drop the extradition, you can go home and we'll no longer pursue the charges."

No matter how they try to present it, this is hugely embarrassing for the US.

Scientists took cues from helicopter seeds to invent tiny microchips that float on wind

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Bowl of petunias

"and desperately trying to find some use for it."

I think they have. Although the article didn't mention it, in the video the research mention "population surveillance.

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Dobby

But will the free elf be safe with wearing Dabbsies undies?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Wasn't there an actress in Star Trek called Nana Visitor? I expect she has no issues visiting elderly relatives in care homes :-)

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Odd printer issue

Had a customer who was complaining their HP LJ8000 was broken. Every now and then it would just stop with an undetermined error. It'd happened 4 times in the last 5 days. I visited a couple of times, and couldn't find any issues. I asked if they could leave it stopped next time and I'd get there as quickly as possible to have a look. They were unsure as it was the primary office printer and couldn't afford the down time. A week later, after 4 more stoppages, they agreed. Got there, and sure enough, it was stopped. It didn't help me. No reported error. It just stopped. Lots of tests, lots of diags. Phoned HP who were stumped. I eventually elicited from them that it was always the same document being printed when it stopped. Forehead slapping moment. Why had no one mentioned this sooner? The long and the short of it was that HP were aware of an issue printing certain PDF documents created on a certain package that sent some code that the HP PDF interpreter choked on. Opening the file in a different PDF creator and saving it again "fixed" the issue, reported this back to HP and their comment? Oh, yeah, we know about that. It's a "will not fix" issue, those printers are nearly EOL now.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Cars

There is (or was?) one of those ramps in a car park in Sunderland city centre. The walls are scored and stained with various colours from the bumpers of the various cars that have tried to negotiate it. It was built in the 60's when cars tended to be a lot smaller than nowadays.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: £ vs #

Possibly for the same reason people say double you, double you, double you, instead of World Wide Web :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: £ vs #

Which, confusingly in some circles, is the ! character, sometimes called "bang" in both the *nix world and, from many years ago, by BBC Micro users. I've also heard ! called the "pling" character.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Disposal...

Last year, we did an online refresher course on lifting objects and using steps/step ladders. In the example video of lifting a heavy object requiring two people, it was an HP LasterJet, ie the original one :-)

(Not that we would be doing much object lifting or using of steps in the middle of lockdown 1.0 and working from home!)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: HP LaserJet 4

"New and remanufactured toner cartridges for these are likely still available at every office supply place in the world, and usually cheaper than the ones for most modern lasers."

The patents on the cartridges have expired so anyone can make new ones as opposed to re-filling/re-engineering original ones :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Back when I used to w**k helldesk ....

"designed for purpose, not to look like something out of a SF movie."

Because they are one-off concept designs or very low run prototypes. If they ever get into mass production, you can guarantee the bean counters will rip out all that expensively shaped moulding and replace it with a box on wheels. You only have to compare new electric vehicles with the original concept designs first touted to see that in action. Also, production vehicle design is still very conservative, no matter what the coloured pencil department might produce on paper. Cars still look like cars. Look at Tesla. Started from scratch with none of the baggage from decades of tradition, and their cars look just like every other car on the roads. (much of it streamlining, of course, but for short range town cars, that doesn't matter much, but it's still there)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not a Cossie, but...

"I had decent Hertz status basically locked in due to some horrific customer service experiences and it being given as an apology so got some nice upgrades without any points changing hands."

I had similar with a local franchise of one of the big multi-national car hire companies. Due to an incident with a camera I'd forgotten and left in the hire car, there were issue after I collected it the next day than had the film developed. After the complaint, my wife got an unexpected and quite expensive bunch of flowers delivered later that same day and every hire car my company paid for was upgraded for free to whatever they currently had in as "best".

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not a Cossie, but...

Doesn't matter if it's on the hirers insurance :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not a Cossie, but...

One company I worked at provided company cars based on actual need, not (self-)impo[r]tance. Managers who mostly didn't really need a company car got either mid-range Escort sized cars or use of a pool car. Field engineers got something a lot better since they were generally doing many 1000's of miles per year. 300 per day wasn't unusual. Managers and directors rarely did long trips and would usually go by train anyway.

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Headmaster

"Play Tetris and get an expresso for the same price!"

According the BOFH, ESPRESSO!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I sometimes feel

You sound very adamant!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Sshh!

"At a site visit? All that should have been sorted out from the plans at requirements stage before even plans were drawn."

You think the peons get a say at that stage? To the bean counters and C level, sysadmins are little more than janitors who "keep things running". Those below sysadmins barely register on the radar.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

I bet he was red faced afterwards though.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: A little power

"Why do you have your laptop configured to shut down when the lid is closed???"

Because all the cool kids who are really important have to be ready to slam the lid down and run off at a moments notice to the save the world. You can't do that if the battery has gone flat while you raced to the site of the volcano where you are planning on quickly writing a virus to inject in and stop the eruption!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: A little power

Is that passed tense?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: A little power

"Inside next to the keyboard"

Noooooooooo!!! Never put an asset tag where it can't be seen at a glance when there's 20 of them lined up along the desk waiting to be boxed up and deployed. I know this.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Personal heaters

Luxury! When I were a lad, our we couldn't afford the vacuum for the tubes in our oscilloscopes !

Parking is expensive. It can cost an arm, a leg, and a Windows licence

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Buy petrol as normal, says government minister

"Same logic that led people to panic buy bog roll when there was no shortage. People can be amazingly stupid in groups."

Exactly! There was no fuel shortage yesterday, just a very few filling stations running out and deliveries delayed a bit. Enter the Daily Mail and their ilk with headlines of "Britain Running On Empty" this morning and suddenly there's queues at most filling stations and suddenly there really is an actual fuel shortage at the point of sale. Most of the people filling up their tanks probably run half empty most of the time and fill up once a month. The school run and local commuters are probably wasting more by hauling 10 gallons of extra weight around on their 2-3 mile journies with a cold engine running rich and never getting warmed up.

'Nobody in their right mind would build a naval base here today': Navigating in and out of Devonport

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Happy

Only if your the cabin boy.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Depends if you think the French or Spanish are going to attack you

Of course, with modern warfare, a few cruise missiles can overcome all that without batting an eye :-)

California Governor signs bill protecting warehouse workers from unsafe quotas

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Also not to mention "eliminate good-paying jobs". WTF? Define "good". If it's a shit job and you are being worked to death, then no amount of pay makes it "good paying". If anything, reducing productivity per person to manageable levels may well mean hiring more staff. If that results in "higher prices" as per the whingers complaint, then so be it. If people want the convenience of the likes of Amazon and their same day delivery, then don't expect to get it cheaper than elsewhere on the backs of people being overworked. What;s really sad is that people feel they have to work in places like that. Yes, I know some people like that and thrive on "challenges", but you can only do that for so long and not everyone can be promoted upwards.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Conflicted

"You can try to point out he absurdity of their actions but unless you do it on social media they won't even know you exist..."

Pre-Internet, every village had an idiot. Post-Internet, the village idiots have met up online and joined forces. There are a LOT of villages.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Forced speech

"do they have a first amendment right to freedom of the press?"

The social media companies are claiming freedom of speech as corporate "people". There's been no mention of them claiming "freedom of the press".

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Forced speech

"THEN, people get to grow their OWN info filters and become smarter."

Oh, you wish!! The evidence suggests otherwise.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Apple don't like it?

"Almost as a footnote, if Apple switch to a port-less design for their phones (as routinely rumoured), any attempt to hit them is for nothing. "

I think if that was anywhere close to true and about to happen within the next few years, then Apple would simply ignore the EU commitment and have not bothered making a statement, least of all to El Reg :-)

The fact they decided to comment means it will affect them. I'm sure the on-call lobbyists are already being briefed and checking their supplies of brown envelopes :-)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Apple don't like it?

"a decade at a time does somewhat slow down change."

Isn't that the point though? And of course, they can still compete on incompatible wireless charging systems.

If you're Intel, self-driving cars look an awful lot like PCs

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: come with me if you want to live ?

For the vast majority of human drivers, I suspect they would put themselves and their passengers above others, so AI may well do the same. On the other hand, this has been a matter of strong debate for some while now and no proper consensus has been reached, primarily because no matter the consensus, they will be accused of being heartless bastards by the sector of society most likely to be in the "expendable" group.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: To intel,

"While the intel envisioned *server on wheels* might have some merit; how much power will that require?"

That might not be a concern after paying Apple for the wheels,

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Joke

Re: Fuck it. I'm buying a peddle car.

You are Fred Fintsone and ICM£5.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "cheaper self-driving cars getting the bare minimum"

"The bare minimum for current modern cars is ABS, stability control, 87 airbags, automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning - we don't ban all older cars that don't have this."

First of all, that's not the bare minimum at all. Many cars come with some of those listed "features" not included. Secondly, the "bare minimum" is a properly licenced driver in a fit state to drive. THAT is the bare minimum required for autonomous cars too, even if the "driver" is a computer.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nah, it's just Windows suffering from a bit of vertigo

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Rebooting endlessly

I believe /etc/rc.d/screwdriver is in development :-)

Navigating without GPS is one thing – so let's jam it and see what happens to our warship

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Are we there yet?

And your point?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Oh those naughty Russians…

Pointing out that Israel is likely also involved in GPS spoofing isn't being anti-semitic. Considering their known and proven "exploits" in the cyber world, I doubt anyone would be surprised it extends to other areas of tech too. Considering the attitudes both of some in their government and that of many of their neighbours, I'd fully expect them to have and use GPS jamming and spoofing capabilities. No go crawl back under your bridge!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Only in some instances. The Rum ration was abolished in 1970 :-(

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: War with China becoming more likely

"the global GPS system"

Did you mean the global Global Positioning System system? :-)

I suppose they would try. Not forgetting the other three (at least) sat based navigation systems also already up there.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Oh those naughty Russians…

"And yes, it could be the Russians too. Or the Turks. Or the Greeks. Or the French. Or the Yanks."

And radio direction finding has been a thing almost since the invention of radio. I would imagine that there will be people who know exactly when GPS spoofing is happening and the direction (at least) of the source(s)

Even a my Garmin SatNav will give an approximation of where the currently visible sats are if I do a long press on the battery symbol in the top left corner of the screen. (admittedly that's using info from the sat, not directional locating.) So I'm sure military kit is a tad more advanced.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Are we there yet?

That would be an ecumenical matter.

Signed

The Cardinal

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
Coat

Re: I guess I'm too much of a navigation geek...

"Otherwise I prettymuch always know where North is,"

It must be your magnetic personality.

Ofcom swears at the general public for five days during obscenity survey

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Report proves that IT sensibilities are very, very low on the "woke" scale.......

Probably because the report was about swearing in general, not "political correctness".

Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Would've been good to give the settings link

The now well known "dark patterns" method. Are you sure you don't not want to turn the feature off

Google experiments with user-choice-defying Android search box

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

without their knowledge or consent

How long before this becomes a GDPR issue?

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