* Posts by Martin-R

42 posts • joined 21 Jun 2010

When you're On Call, only you can hear the silence of the clicks


Re: Well Worded Oncall Agreement

Forget beer consumption, if it's late at night and you're already tired, you probably shouldn't be driving yourself into the office anyway, let alone home again a few hours later! I've done enough first flight out/full day on site/last flight home trips to know there's no way I'm safe to drive home, so the company can pay for the cab both ways or I'm not going.

Consultant leading Surrey County Council's £30m jump to new ERP system will bag £177,000 as £83m cuts bite local citizens


Re: Is that a lot?

£380 a day sounds very cheap. OK so we don't know what hours they're expected to work for this but presumably quite a lot - can't see it being a half time job

One button to mute them all: PowerToys brings forth kill button for the conferencing generation


Can we have...?

... something to stop ******* Teams et al deciding to turn down the mic gain half way through a call? Zoom seems to have picked up this habit too.

And of course what Office really needs is yet another way of tracking to do lists and tasks that doesn’t integrate with all the others it already has :-(

Here's a sprite idea: PC pokers push pixels to LED displays with Microsoft's new platform for non-verbal comms


The Common User Access Guidelines were a wonderful thing... and from IBM rather than MS, though MS followed them for a long time. I was working on OS/2 and Windows applications in the first half of 90s and everything working consistently across apps and OSes was great, unlike today where half the time you're not sure if that's a button or a link or just a bit of text :-(

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Common_User_Access for a bit of history

Yes, true, fusion reactors don't work quite yet, but, er, maybe AI can help us stop our experiments from imploding


Re: Kaboom!

The issue is more about damage to the reactor vessel - ion beams suddenly going in a straight line instead of in circles, and forces from collapsing magnetic fields

Beware, Tesla might take away your car's autopilot if you buy its vehicles from third party dealerships – plus more news


Re: Speed Limts ?

I noticed the speed limits had appeared for the UK (well Oxfordshire at least) on Saturday, but no current speed - and the limits were hopeless, showing 50 or even 30 for long stretches of the A34 with a 70 limit. I've never noticed Waze being far off - given the common owner I'd have expected better.

It's always DNS, especially when you're on holiday with nothing but a phone on GPRS


Re: No Service

Glad it's not just me... EE always claims to have phone signal and solid 4G in Oxford but the internet crawls if it works at all. Soon as I'm on the bus out of town it all works again

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room


Please leave the kitchen as you'd like to find it

I'll need a skip, and a budget...

The purple SIM of fail: Virgin Mobile punters left in the dark with batch of borked cards


Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

Broadband is usually very good, but daughter's phone and data signal has been getting worse and worse lately. Suspected SIM so requested a new one, you can guess how that worked out :-( She needs a reliable phone, now with EE!

Gov flings £10m to help businesses get Brexit-ready with, um... information packs


Re: Govt. Leaflets...

They keep telling me to register for an EORI number despite the fact that these appear to relate only to goods and we only sell services. Now we’re to get one automatically as so few businesses have registered for one - I wonder how many of those that have not registered are in the same boat as me?

As best I can tell, remote IT services won’t be too badly affected but $deity help us if we need to go on site (visas?) or if you’re doing something that requires recognition of qualifications

Quick question, what the Hull? City khazi is a top UK tourist destination


Re: Pedant's corner

Pendle Hill and Bredon Hill are both 'hill hill hill', don't know of any that manage more than that but wouldn't be surprised!

People do get picky about it being just 'Windermere' though - I blame QI...

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am


Not sure about working under the influence (well not anything critical!) but while hungover can definitely be good! Forces you to concentrate and actually read the code properly rather than skimming over it thinking "I know the problem's not in there..."

To members of Pizza Hut's loyalty scheme: You really knead to stop reusing your passwords


Re: Yes, but...

Glad it wasn't just me that could find the change password option! I finally worked out that you could log out, then at the login screen use 'forgot password' to reset it.

However I already *do* use unique passwords for each site so I'm not entirely buying their third party websites argument...

Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE


This seems to have rolled out last week - the iPad suddenly announced it could make wifi calls on Thursday, and the Macbook on Friday. This the first I'd heard that it was something EE specific though!

People like convenience more than privacy – so no, blockchain will not 'decentralise the web'


Re: Spot on

The phone service provider is probably not a good analogy as they have interoperability; VHS vs Betamax might be closer. One might be technically better, but if all your mates are using the other, you can't swap tapes... The great benefit to me of Facebook Messenger over all the others to run the (non work) stuff I need to do is that there's a critical mass of the people I need to talk to on there, and there's a very low barrier to entry for anyone else joining the fun. If I have to start sending stuff out in WhatsApp, Instagram, Signal, Twitter... as well it just becomes too much to manage.

Amazon warns you have 30 days before Music Storage files bloodbath


Check out Domesday Reloaded... The BBC created a huge modern Domesday Book on laserdisc, a format which promptly failed to take off, and within 20 years the national archive was running a project to reverse engineer the files to get the data off. While I do have multiple local backups of everything, the advantage of the cloud is that the storage medium is transparent - I don’t need to know if it’s on spinning rust or SSDs as long as it works, and actually services like iCloud help with the multiple local backups - stuff just syncs across the phone, laptop, iPad. The same can’t be said for all the backups I have on Zip Drives :-(

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor


I've worked with a pair of 27" 1920x1080 screens for about 3 years now and love having all that extra screen estate - but I think a pair works better than one big one as apps can easily go full screen on a single monitor. Using Remote Desktop across both screens, the host sees it as one big monitor and you realise how awkward it would be. While you can work around it with the various tile options (I dual boot MacOS and Windows 10) it's still quicker to just maximise a window - and you also void the 3 foot wide menu and task bar problem!

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that


"Why do you want feature X?" is always a really good start. All to often it's because they actually find it easier to do something by printing or exporting to CSV than doing it in the application where they're supposed to. Sometimes this is because it really is hard in the software, but often as not it's because no one ever showed them how to do it properly. Recent case in point: someone wanted a couple of extra columns in a report. They were in fact already available but no one had explained to this person how to change the displayed columns (and they hadn't thought to try right click on the column headings, perhaps because it's not the obvious design paradigm people used to the idea think it is...)

Apple whispers how its face-fingering AI works


Re: Works for me

A week in and it's failed only once, and that was with strong lighting directly behind me. I've tried adding hats and sunglasses, even a scarf, and it seems to still let me in. Of course that could just mean it's not very secure too but plenty of other people have been interested in it this week and failed to get in! I guess the test will be to get my brother to try the hats and sunglasses too when I next see him!

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham


Re: Happy memories

Alan Sykes was here a couple of summers ago - my daughter had a couple of very happy weeks making plasmas there on work experience :-)



Re: So still 20 years in the future...?

I'm reliably assured it's 50... and has been pretty much since the site opened, just over 50 years ago!

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't


An all day battery would be nice... why on earth they saw fit to have the camera lens stick out of the case instead of making it flush and giving us an extra millimetre of battery I really don't understand!

Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile


Re: iOS

AdBlock Plus installed as a Safari Content Blocker seems to just work for me - no root, no hassle, no ads!

Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize


Re: I can has google

Obligatory XKCD reference...


Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain


Re: A few suggestions from me

More sound mirrors on the White Cliffs, just east of the main NT visitor centre:


Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer


Re: brewed coffee from the command line

Error, wrong Cambridge...

At last: Ordnance Survey's map wizardry goes live


Re: Best of British

Find the 1:50k of the Isle of Wight (Bing Maps will do), look for Blackgang Chine and Whale Chine (southernmost tip of the island) and look carefully at those cliffs. I wonder if Bill and Mike post-date Slartibartfast or are perhaps the inspiration?

Lights, power, action! Smartplugs with a twist


Re: @Kieren McCarthy

I've just replaced a prehistoric heating clock with a Hive unit and smart plugs are on their list of add-ons, but I still can't see much use case. For me the biggest missing piece with all of these is a (secure!) API so people can start to extend things. For example, Hive lets me set what time the heating comes on and the target temperature, it knows the (forecast) outside temperature and it logs the inside temperature. Why not join up the dots and model the "thermal inertia" of the house so I can have what I really what, which is a toasty bathroom at 7am by firing up the heating at the appropriate time according to the actual temperatures. Similarly I want an easy way of telling it that I have to get up an hour earlier than normal tomorrow, rather than having to change the schedule then change it back...

Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms


The link provided wants $35 for 48 hours access - not very open :-(

Has the UK Uber crackdown begun? TfL opens consultation on private car biz


Isn't this just another example of disruptive technology going up against the incumbents? Surely the sat nav has long since done away with the need for The Knowledge, and yet it persists as a barrier to entry.

I support the idea of reviewing the regulations, but many of the proposals seem to be deliberately aimed at clobbering Uber rather than providing an improved service to the public. Yes to ensuring minimum levels of insurance, vehicle safety, criminal records checks.. but how does the requirement for a confirmation five minutes in advance actually make the service better, or allowing drivers to only work for one operator?

Things you should know about the hard work of home working


I've worked mostly from home for much of the last 12 years, as has my wife (she actually started doing a couple of days a week at home to ease the child care when I was working away all week, and 'forgot' to go back to the office when finished that gig!) We got the kids used to the idea of when they can and can't disturb us (for non-urgent stuff!) very early on, and it's worked very well for both of us. We're both good at going to see seeing colleagues when we need to and Skype etc mean people can get hold of us easily when they need to. The family benefits are huge - we actually see each other for lunch most days, we both see the kids in the morning and after school, we get to parents evening on time and relaxed rather than after the two hour dash home... The only major downside is it's too easy to end up working long hours or checking emails late at night - but I'd still rather be working at home till late than in the office till late then having to travel home

Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords


VM does have a call centre password which the staff obviously have some access to; this is separate to the password you use to login to their website.

CERN: Build terabit networks or the Higgs gets it!


Fibre has its own problems in high radiation environments - basically it goes cloudy

See eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_on_optical_fibers

Apple fanbois make it 'official', hook up with Internet of Fridges Things


Modern cars already have all this info floating around on the internal network so you'd think it wouldn't be hard; the problem is that beyond the basic emissions related stuff available through the OBD-II port it's all highly specfic to each vehicle and encrypted to boot. I've seen a lot of work done on the Discovery 3 that had to be completely redone for the not-obviously-radically different D4; a cynic might suggest the manufacturers do this deliberately so each garage has to buy that manufacturer's own diagnostics kit for each model :-(

At #guardiancoffee, we can now taste the future through a PRISM!


Surely someone at the Grauniad hit publish too early (late?!) on an April Fool article? This can't be for real, can it...?!

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan


Re: Define "crash"

I *think* the existing BMW version defines crash as "airbags deployed", which seems like a pretty good starting point. Even if the car is still drive-able, I imagine the shock of being inside when they go off probably means you're not in a fit state to do so for a little while!

IBM insider: How I caught my wife while bug-hunting on OS/2

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Oh what memories this brought back - especially that random crash when exiting a subroutine. I was working on Person to Person for OS/2 as IBM were working on a point release (1.3 I think?). Fortnightly drops of the OS had to be installed from floppies - what fun! The desktop video conferencing element was probably a bit ahead of its time - 4Mbit token ring in the office was bearable, but ISDN down to Hursley was a tad painful Mind you, if you know where to look, you can still see some of that code running in today's descendants of P2P, so it can't have been too bad :-)

Army to deploy jumping robots in Afghanistan

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Watch the whole vid! It does snow, ice, being kicked, mud, piles of blocks... very impressive bit of kit. If you poke around their site, it's one of a number of designs; this one's obviously intended to be a modern take on the mule, to carry extra kit for a squad - though it'll need to be a bit quieter before it goes on any special ops missions

Mac Lion's breath causes Celerra NAS storage to die


Not a bug

but a deliberate upgrade with no obvious back compatibility options. Time Machine backups to most NASs and WHS shares now fail, which is, to be blunt, bl**dy annoying!

Virgin and Spotify: A step forward for digital music

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Well done VM (for twice)

What with this, and the rebate on the Tivo box for early adopters, I'm really starting to wonder what's going on at VM - they're in danger of becoming positively customer friendly!

But what's still missing is the ability to play back content recorded on the tivo elsewhere in the house. On one of the two V+ boxes in the house would be a good start, but on any device in the house (PC, mac, iPad, Android phone...) would be even better!

Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service


Actually getting 20Mb would be nice first...

4Mb was about tops over the weekend, apart from when it was down altogether :-( When it's good, it can be very good (18.5 on speedtest.net) but it'll have days at a time where it's up and down - is upgrading to 30MB going to help that?

iPhone mag-stripe reader stalled


But why?

About all you could do is hook up a PED that does all the encryption on the device and then just use the iPhone as a modem back to the authorising software - but by then you're lugging around half a brick, plus its power supply, which rather cuts down on the portability aspect! I rather feel this falls into the solution looking for a problem category...


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