* Posts by Kubla Cant

2534 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Languishing lodash library loophole finally fitted for a fix: It's only taken since October to address security bug

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Most people probably use Lodash to try to reduce the uncertainties of writing JavaScript*.

As pointed out here you can do without Lodash. But in many cases the native ES5/ES6 code is more verbose or less transparent than the Lodash alternative. Your therefore have the choice of inlining the native code everywhere, which lays up technical debt for the inevitable day when a defect is discovered in it, or writing your own library, which is really just dogfooding Lodash.

* Probably because I'm an old fart who learned coding on less high-spirited languages, I find JavaScript a constant source of anxiety, even though I spend a lot of time on it these days. It's bizarre they way it puts Tony Hoare's billion-dollar mistake in the shade by having three kinds of nullity, even though it only has about half a dozen datatypes that are constantly turning into each other.

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

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Still, it did manage to at least complete a physical memory dump

Does anybody ever look at Windows memory dumps?

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

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IF the DALIT guy WINS, they ARE listening, and MAYBE things will change

I THINK there's a fault WITH your KEYBOARD.

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

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Re: Clarification

I think the reasons for the name are historical, rather than a reflection of the way the ball is manipulated.

The English game that was called "football" for many centuries seems to have involved so much hand activity (throwing, catching, punching, gouging, wrenching, twisting etc) that it's puzzling that it was so called. When it was split into various flavours by codification of the rules, most of them retained the ball-handling element and the foot-related name.

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

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a new machine delivered that sucked way more power than our entire building, no idea what the machine did, but the company only made printer ink and laser toner

They doubtless needed a very high-power machine to count their profits.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

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Re: My first modem..

I've even got a few machines with modems built in kicking around

I was astounded to find that a recent-model Canon printer that I bought a few months ago has a fax capability.

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Re: I called the cops

Tone dialler? Way back in the day you used to be able to call free from phone boxes by tapping the receiver rest to simulate pulse dialling. They enforced payment by connecting the dial only after coins had been inserted.

After STD was introduced, there was a way to make cheap long distance calls by stringing together lots of local calls. The long sequences of digits required to do this were keenly circulated around our universities. Unfortunately, the signal was often so attenuated that you'd have done better to go up on the roof and shout. I think phone phreaking was the high-tech successor to this.

It's a bit weird to recall a time when it was worth going to a lot of trouble to avoid the cost of phone calls.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

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Why a kilogram?

Why do they define a kilogram as something other than 1000 grams? I would have expected that a rational system would define the fundamental units and derive the multiples.

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Not at all - carry on twanging.

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

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"The last step," he said, "was to program our new email hub to dial the master in Boston, at 5 in the morning on cheap telephone rates, in order to pick up the day's email."

Master? He'd better watch his language or he'll end up getting thrown in the harbour.

OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey

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...Python developers fancy working in Go, for example, and ... Java programmers. The next most-fancied languages are Kotlin, Python, Rust and TypeScript

In my three decades as a code monkey, this has been an enduring phenomenon. Most people want to learn a new language and try to spot the candidate that will be most interesting or lucrative. Five years ago everyone was desperate to know Scala. I'm embarrassed to recall the hot skills from thirty years ago.

Maybe I'm just lazy, but I find it difficult to learn a language without a job to do in it. It's even harder to convince potential employers that you are professionally competent in something you've mostly used in your spare time.

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Re: This metric doesn't measure "popularity"

It takes 20 hours to code it in Java, but only 10 hours to code it in Javascript

And 10 days to work out why the Javascript version doesn't work quite as specified.

Frenchman scores €50k compensation for suffering 'bore-out' at work after bosses gave him 'menial' tasks

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Why stay?

I'm surprised that there seems to have been no mention of the obvious strategy when you don't like your job. No matter whether it's an obnoxious boss, intense boredom, or unpleasant work, you can solve the problem by finding another job. It's not impossible, people do it all the time, even people who quite like their current work.

I don't want to sound like Norman Tebbit red in tooth and claw. But the stress of doing a job you hate for years must be worse than the effort of job-seeking. You're never going to get those years back.

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Re: Full day for a Frenchman?

A plausible explanation I've heard is that French companies spend more on technology. The higher productivity is achieved at the cost of higher unemployment.

I've no idea if this is true, or even verifiable.

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

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I'm yet to be convinced by the strategy of old only optimising code which is deemed to be too slow

The trouble is that the programmers who currently write bad, inefficient code will produce something even worse if they're encouraged to "optimise" it.

Amazon declined to sell a book so Elon Musk called for it to be broken up

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Re: Amazon is a shady bookstore

I hadn't noticed that. But I have noticed that some publishers charge more for Kindle editions than paper versions. No print or distribution costs, no bookseller's margin, but it costs more. Kerrching!

Not the Wright stuff: Bitcoin 'inventor' loses bid to sue YouTuber who called him a liar

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Re: Judges names

And rather later Beachcomber, who frequently reported events in the court of Mr Justice Cocklecarrot.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

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"We are in possession of a great deal of technical information, with plenty of back-up historical research

They researched the Battle of Hastings, Magna Carta, the Wars of the Roses, the Spanish Inquisition, the Corn Laws... what more could you want?

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Re: What 5G ?

This led me to check a 5G availability map or the UK and I don't see any 5G in the Glastonbury area

Don't people in Glastonbury normally communicate using magic crystals and ley-lines?

Wanna force granny to take down that family photo from the internet? No problem. Europe's GDPR to the rescue

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Georgia, for example, has a law that forbids any photography of a minor by a registered sex offender without consent from the child's parents

"Good afternoon, I'm a registered sex offender, and I'd like to photograph your children. May I have your consent?"

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork

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Re: Jumped up quiche?

Black pudding is a delicious food. Deep pan pizzas are just a way to increase profits by reducing the ratio of (expensive) topping to (cheap) dough.

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

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"an ill-advised redesign"

It's a nice afternoon for a rant, so I'll take the opportunity to sound off about the abomination that Micros~1 have made of the solitaire patience games in Windows 10.

Today it starts with a hideous banner announcing "National Solitaire Day" and encouraging me to play as many games as I can. "Get Double XP EVERYWHERE!", it screams (capitalization sic). I thought Windows XP was obsolete. And why would I want it doubled? "Visit Facebook to see how close we are to beating the record!!" - an invitation I find easy to resist.

I always elect for random deals, because that's how card games are supposed to work, Micros~1. But it insists on progressing me through "levels". So the random deals at Level 31 are harder than those at Level 1, are they? How do you know, if they're random?

Worst of all, of course, are the ads. Micros~1 seem to have worked out my age by spying on me, or maybe they just conclude that a taste for solitaire patience is a symptom of senility. So I'm sent ads for funeral services and teasers about things for "seniors". They think I'm susceptible to local enthusiasms: "People in St Ives are going mad for this smartwatch | funeral service | life insurance". I assume this is a lie. And there's a bizarre category that shows a picture of some long-forgotten celebrity with a link that says "You'll never guess what X looks like now!". True enough, but why should I care?

It would be bad enough if they just showed the kind of ads you see on TV or in print, but the solitaire patience ads have a distinctive intimate wheedling tone that I find especially obnoxious. I'll certainly never buy any of the stuff they're promoting, and as for the funeral services, I'd sooner be dead.

Windows Terminal hits the big 1.0: Fit for production?

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Re: A terminal program?

Intrigued, I searched for kitty. All I got was endless cat pictures. I suppose I should be glad it wasn't called pussy.

Berlin's renowned nightclub scene is showing signs of life. Just one problem: No dancing

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Guests and staff will be required to wear the now-ubiquitous face mask.

At the same time as eating pizza and drinking beer? This I have to see.

We're going underground, and this time it's not an inebriated banker crapping themselves, but Transport for London

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The default browser on the corporate Windows build is IE11 - seven years old and doubly superseded. Every time it starts up it displays that stupid message about removing add-ons to speed up browsing. Other browsers just get on with it, but IE has to waste time putting the blame for its crapness on somebody else.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

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Re: Windows that won't resize :(

Not an error message, but I can't miss a chance to complain about the box used to edit Windows environment symbols. The one that mostly needs editing is the path, which on many systems is about half the length of War and Peace , but you're given a titchy little box to work in.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

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Re: Nicely balanced article

The Stack Overflow survey results are more than a little weird.

No insult intended, but vim isn't really a development environment that is comparable with IntelliJ (both on 25.4%). Notepad++, which is more popular than either, is a handy tool that I use quite often, but I've never thought of it as a development environment.

And there's something odd about the dominance of Microsoft tools. I'm sure Java is more widely used than C#, but Visual Studio is more popular than the three main Java IDEs.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

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Re: 'Deny Friday' ?

Maybe you should take some time to reflect on why you can be triggered so easily, eh?

Maybe you should take some time to learn about irony?

Lords: New IR35 off-payroll tax rules 'riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences'

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just as you consider holiday pay and sick pay as benefits then a permie might consider being able to work only half the year and saii in the southern hemisphere during winter as a massive benefit

An employee benefit is something that you get in addition to your normal remuneration. I've never seen a contract that offers sailing (in either hemisphere) in addition to a daily rate, and I don't suppose you have, either. A contractor who chooses to work only half the year is sacrificing half a year's pay. Any holiday taken is paid for out of taxed income.

It's a sad fact that some people's work is more highly paid than others'. Tax regimes that aimed to do more than slightly moderate this disparity haven't generally worked out well.

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

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Re: It didn't affect us

Back in the 60s, a friend who occupied a cottage on a twisty lane was woken early one morning by the sound of a commuter rolling his Mini on to its side in the front garden. The driver got out, called "Sorry, can't stop - see you later", pushed the car back on to its wheels and drove off. He returned to offer compensation for the damage that evening.

Around the same time, I knew someone who swore that the easiest way to underseal* a Mini was to put something soft on the ground and turn it on its side.

* Cars of the day were apparently made of Weetabix compressed to look like steel. If they got even slightly wet they disintegrated.

Singapore's corona-crushing superhero squad grounded by football fans

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Re: You'll never walk alone...

Don't care who wrote it or which football clubs espouse it, that song is maudlin trash.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

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Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

The mantra with many operating systems is "If it completes silently, it worked"

In the long-ago world of 24-line terminals, the last thing you want is to scroll valuable history off the top of the screen to accommodate the output from some chatty utility.

$ cd ~

We are now in your home directory.

Have a nice day!


Remember the hatred for the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation doors with Real People Personalities.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

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For a good look try the Apple computer fitted with the Campagnolo wheels.

Reg fashion special: Top designer says 'video chat accessories' are in for spring!

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Re: A quick descent

I expect "Business mullet" will be what I end up with after being stuck at home for three months without a haircut.

Salesforce publishes self-themed activity book to keep your kids ‘Appy

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Crossword clue

Some crossword clues are quite fun, such as “Leonard McCoy’s nickname”

I'm struggling with this. "Leonard McCoy" is an anagram for "demonocracy", but there's an unused L, and no whole-meaning component.

Apostrophe S is often used to introduce ambiguity between "is" and the possessive, so this may be meant to be read as "Leonard McCoy is nickname". Perhaps there's an anagram that means nickname?

"McCoy" could mean "real"?

"nickname" anagrams to "mink acne", but how does that fit?

No. No idea.

What's the difference between Windows 7 and a bin lorry? One is full of garbage, and the other… oh dear

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we're not entirely clear what rem StartCOM10Check.bat is intended to do

I'd guess the batch file has its name in a comment at the top so you can tell what's running. But the path under which the batch is invoked in the previous line seems to start with an underscore, so that isn't actually its name.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

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Re: Bad Blood

Agreed, Bad Blood is a terrific book. I'm surprised you found the picture of Holmes attractive. The best that might be said of her is that she's a tragic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. But she seems to have been an obnoxious employer and a thoroughly deceitful business person.

UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis

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Re: So they know it’s damaging...

I think the disease is COVID-19. "Corvid-19" is some kind of crow.

Deliveroo UK adds 'Don't interact with the help' option for when ordering a burger

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@anon - You've missed the point. Unless you're an unusually offensive person, it's possible to wish someone would leave you alone without actually telling them so.

Control is only an illusion, no matter what you shove on the Netware share

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I thought the same, but I think the story describes an attempt to run all the workstations from a single network folder.

The first PC network I set up consisted mostly of diskless workstations booting off the network. The server mapped the MAC ID to a 1.2Mb read-only network resource - you could just about fit a Windows 3.1 on a disk that size. The main problems were instability resulting from the need to shoehorn the network stack into extended memory, and the excruciatingly slow performance caused by keeping the paging file on a network drive.

Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

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Weren't they called blood oranges because they were smuggled to fund civil wars? Or am I thinking of something else?

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

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A few days ago everyone in the office where I work received an email asking them to clear their desks because the cleaners would be using a special anti-coronavirus spray on them. The odds and ends at the back of my desk had been there for some time, so removing them exposed a thick layer of dust.

I can report that the cleaners have apparently managed to apply the magic prophylactic spray every day this week without disturbing the dust.

So it's not always the cleaners that do it.

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Re: Not just cleaners

is the Vax the server or the vacuum cleaner?

When I first saw a Vax vacuum cleaner I commented on the hubris of a manufacturer apparently naming a humble domestic appliance after the VAX. Twenty-five years on, and not only is the VAX no more (superseded by the Alpha, and who knows what since), but DEC has followed it into oblivion. Meanwhile, the Vax keeps sucking.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

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Re: Barclays are rubbish

PCI DSS compliance

Nice to know that the Department of Social Security is monitoring Peripheral Component Interconnect bus standards.

The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP

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But are they networked?

If they aren't, then the "cost of providing secure Virtual Private Network to 2,000 Windows XP laptop users" is money down the drain.

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Re: "...simply due to a lack of funds..."

Some do, maybe. But I believe many barristers in criminal practice are miserably paid these days.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

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Maida Vale Studios

I used to live round the corner from these, and I'm pretty sure it's a converted roller-skating rink, not ice rink (unless the BBC occupies more than one converted rink in W9). Actually, I suppose a thawed-out ice rink is pretty much a roller-skating rink anyway.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!

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You can't get there from here

I seem to recall some computer* that only had a single floppy drive from which it booted. When running, the system would control the floppy, allowing programs to eject disks when they needed to. If you wanted to do so yourself, you clicked a desktop icon or something. The drive would eject as part of an orderly shutdown.

The problem, of course, is what happens when the thing is unexpectedly powered off with a non-boot floppy in the drive. No doubt there was a simple way to get it out that was well-known to experienced users of these computers, but when you have no manuals, and it will be several years before the Internet is generally available, it's a bit of a challenge.

*Early Apple Mac? The decision to have a drive with no eject button because it looked cool seems consistent with the bonkers single-button mouse.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

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There are lockers at many co-working spaces but these have been baggsied long ago; by whom is a mystery to all who work there.

The baggsers have doubtless moved on to proper jobs, perhaps on other continents. When I retire I plan to tour the City to see how many of my bike locks are still in place outside offices where I once worked.

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Re: Power Blocks

You may have six sockets in your 13A block, but the manufacturers of wall-wart power supplies have cleverly designed their products so that you can only use three of them.


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