* Posts by Kubla Cant

2698 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Microsoft does and doesn't require VMs to meet hardware requirements for Windows 11

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Re: This may sound crazy, but

Why not just launch when it's ready?

Because they'd never launch it.

Ex-DJI veep: There was no drone at Gatwick during 2018's hysterical shutdown

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Re: One word: DUH!

Occam's, or possibly Hanlon's.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...

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Re: Screw-up?


I expected that the file would grow for ever, or at least until the available storage was exhausted. If the original code created a new file every time, then that was presumably the only file creation. Replace that with code that always appends...

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

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Re: Ah, a first time user

Nearly everybody knows not to use hard carriage returns, but it's surprising how often you see evidence of hard hyphens (unnecess-arily hyphen-ated words in the middle of a line - presumably the word was broken over two lines in the original). Other fossils of typewriter use that you see occasionally are lower-case L for numeral 1 and numeral zero for upper-case O.

Spot the dog? No, we couldn't either because Spot is a robot employed by United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

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Re: RotM

The Boston Dynamics videos include several sequnces where ther demonstrate the recovery capability of robots by trying to push them over.

When a two-legged, anthropoid machine staggers but stays standing, my reaction is "That's impressive engineering". When it's the four-legged version, I can't help thinking "Don't be cruel to the doggy".

Why tell the doctor where it hurts, when you could use emoji instead?

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In my experience, Windows does not render them very well

That's OK. As long as they display correctly in the operating system most people use.

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

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It's absurd that American university societies should trademark their names. I think they're taking themselves too seriously.

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Indeed. As far as I'm concerned Spring is a dependency injection framework, and I was bemused to learn they were in the T-shirt printing business.

Beige Against the Machine: The IBM PC turns 40

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Re: Edlin

And here's the source for edlin. 1845 lines of nicely-formatted assembler.

v2.00 has lots of files for the command-line programs. v1.25 just has seven files, including the source for the assembler used to build it. Cute!

Elevating bork to a new level (if the touchscreen worked)

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messages you don't want to see in an elevator a lift

I remember boarding a lift and being somewhat concerned to see on a plaque inside that it was serviced by the Economical Lift Maintenance Company.

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Re: No need for any fancy tech

I don't think I'd fancy a paternoster lift that serviced 34 floors. Either it would take half an hour to reach the top floor*, or it would move fast enough to amputate limbs from passengers who aren't agile enough.

* and that's where the bar is

Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop

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Re: Laudable ambition

"we're trying to make an operating system that is simple to manage, set and forget, and also really stable"

And Windows seems like a good example to follow?

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Moving to Bloatware or Fruit is a fairly simple process of handing over some money and saying "give me a copy of that operating system please my good man".

I agree with your general point, but I suspect that the scenario above is vanishingly rare. Most people just buy a computer. They have no real idea that the O/S is a separate thing.

It's similar to the way that the browser is "the internet", and the broadband connection is "the wifi" (as in the commonly-heard "I wouldn't want to live in an area that has poor wifi").

Q: Post-lockdown, where would I like to go? A: As far away from my own head as possible

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Inaudible Mode

playback at the lowest level of volume to diffuse the bio active sonic vibrations without hearing the music

This seems to be a thing with German cars, of which I have two. If you switch off the car audio, it will come back on next time you start the car. But it does so at an almost inaudible volume, so you spend the next hour driving around while searching for the source of the annoying whispering sound, and maybe concluding that you're hearing voices in your head.

It's almost as bad if you turn the car off while the audio is playing. When you restart it comes on at about half the volume you left it at, so you spend the first five minutes fiddling with the controls to get it back the way you like it. I remember old-fashioned, pre-digital audio where you could set the volume once and it would be right for the life of the car.

And why is Bluetooth streamed audio always at a small fraction of the volume of other audio sources, including BT phone calls? It's just a digital transmission, so it has no intrinsic volume. Somebody just decided to play BT music in inaudible mode.

Great reset? More like Fake Reset: Leaders need a reality check if they think their best staff will give up hybrid work

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Re: Have I landed on a different planet?

I don't know what the actual traffic is like now, but the roads certainly don't look empty in 2021. It seems at least possible that some commuters might avoid public transport because of infection risk.

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

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Take it to the dump, er, recycling centre?

Chance would be a fine thing. Cambridgeshire CC has instituted an appointments system at the recycling centre tip. Because Covid.

The tip is open-air, and it's not exactly a venue for intense socialisation - you get out of the car, dump your stuff, get back in the car and drive away. From 19 July people are allowed into all kinds of indoor social situations. We've been shopping together in supermarkets for the past few months.

But the tip booking system remains in force and only allows one car every 15 minutes.

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

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Re: Your headline reminds me...

And yet a rubber (eraser) is so-called because it's used to rub things out. The stuff that oozes out of trees gets its name from the the eraser.

Rubbers are used in all sorts of other activities, for example French polishing (though that comes with its own burden of innuendo).

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Re: Your headline reminds me...

how is a vaxen...

A Vax, plural (jocose) Vaxen.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Sub-$600 midranger makes premium phones feel frivolous

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Genuine question: is it better to buy a superseded top-of-the-range Samsung phone that's now modestly priced, or a new mid-range model like this?

Western Approaches Museum: WRENs, wargames, and victory in the Atlantic

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Re: Alas, here we go again...

I'm afraid I've no idea who Matthias Matussek is, or why we should be interested in his opinion of British history teachers.

Maybe it's a generational thing, but I find "not a German problem, but a British one" unreasonable. Germany started not one, but two, world wars in the space of 50 years, and we're expected to believe that it was all the fault of somebody else. Nobody belonged to the Nazi party, the concentration camps were staffed by a few bad apples, the SS were really not that bad, and army were all just ordinary guys doing a difficult job.

It reminds me of "You shag one sheep...".

Where's the boss? Ah right, thorough deep-dive audit. On the boardroom table. Gotcha

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It may have been bad, but it wasn't the worst job they ever had. No lobsters.

Jackie 'You have no authority here' Weaver: We need more 50-somethings in UK tech

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Totally unsurprising

when the BCS looked at the ages of the 1.6 million UK-based IT specialists, it found that just 22 per cent of them were over 50 years old

Actually, it's surprising that the figure is as high as 22%. Assuming a retirement age of 60, a working life of 40 years, and a flat distribution, there should be 25% for each life decade. But the distribution won't be flat because:

(a) The population of working IT specialists has increased massively over the past four decades as a consequence of the growth in IT. You can't just recruit equally from the older age cohorts because they simply don't exist.

(b) A proportion of older IT specialists will have moved to senior managerial jobs. Not many young employees are qualified to make this move.

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Re: Black, Indigenous, People of Colour

The indigenous people of Britain are the British. So I suppose BIPOC means "nearly everybody".

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A dinosur writes...

I've worked in IT for about 39 years, and it wasn't my first career, so I'm confident I qualify as a dinosaur. As a contractor, I've had 18 jobs over this period, which I think gives me pretty wide experience of the IT employment environment.

It goes without saying that everybody's always much younger than me. Whether that makes them more flexible or in touch with the latest technologies* is less certain. They're bright and quick, and perhaps they learn faster, but there's no doubt that some are spreading their existing corpus of knowledge very thin. It's depressing and frustrating to see the same mistakes made in one place after another.

I suppose I have my own prejudices. Software engineering offers few opportunities for career advancement apart from promotion out of engineering into some managerial function. A "senior software engineer" is basically just a better-paid code monkey. I tend to view anyone who has been doing much the same job in the same company for many years - the sort of people IBM gets rid of - as lacking enterprise. But that's a typical contractor attitude.

* The latest technologies - popular with suicidally adventurous companies.

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication

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Re: Ah Captcha!

whatever pedestrian crossings are in French

Based on my experience of French drivers, it's cibles légitimes.

To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA? Gartner analyst says OK — but don’t be robotic about it

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Re: Street signs

Similar to silly walks, but madder.

BOFH: Oh for Pete’s sake. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself

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Light reading

If you're going to "heave" a book at someone, I can think of better choices than K&R. At 288 pages, it will scarcely make an impact.

On first looking into K&R, I was equally impressed by its technical value and its monetary cost of about 10p per page. I see the cover price is now £49.49, more than 17p per page.

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

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Re: No gravestone for me

Multistorey graves used to be fairly common, though I think it was mostly done by piling the interments on top of each other, rather than raising the ground level. John Donne's poem The Relic begins "When my grave is broke up again / Some second guest to entertain".

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Re: Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph

At least it's stone-faced, but it has a bit of a New Bodleian look to it. The architects of that horror evidently felt that what the Sheldonian and the Clarendon Building needed was something reminiscent of the Atlantikwall opposite.

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise

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a climbing wall with a fire exit in the middle of it

I know what you mean, but I can't get rid of a mental picture of a bright red fire door ten feet off the ground. In case of fire, you have 60 seconds to teach yourself rock-climbing.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

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Re: Examples...

That sounds more like a cache to me.

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Re: Laptop + Monitor = two computers?

always, always referred to as the "hard drive" by these people

Except when it's the "memory".

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

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CD Drawer

What was ever the point about a CD drawer operated from the remote control? I've lost count of the number of CDs I've ruined by trying to throw them across the room into the drawer. And even people who are deft enough to be able to do this will have to get up and take the old disk out.

And while I'm ranting, what are "special characters"? They may be special to you mate, but they're just non-alphanumerics to me. My special characters, for which I have an undying regard, are "s", "p", "e", "c", "i", "a" and "l".

It's the UK contractor tax factor: IR35 outsiders gaining leverage in skills market, survey finds

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Re: Seems that the market functions like the Internet

My impression over the past few months is that rates are increasing for contracts inside IR35. But I doubt that they've increased enough to cover the additional costs for most contractors.

Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows

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Re: "unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators"

If your gaming included Microsoft Solitaire Collection then you'd see plenty of adverts.

Hard cheese: Stilton snap shared via EncroChat leads to drug dealer's downfall

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Re: What a Friend We Have in Cheeses ...


Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

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Not just sheds, and not just birds

I have a persistent problem with birds falling down the chimney. It mostly happens in the older part of the house where the flues are straight and quite wide (you can see the sky if you look up them), but it's not unknown in the more conventonal chimneys. When this happens you have a bird that's not only panic-stricken and shitting everywhere, but also covered in soot. Persuading them to leave by an open window, rather than trying to batter through the glass can be trying.

One night I found a bat in my bedroom. Much more flighty and agile than a bird, and commensurately harder to evict. I've also found a hedgehog in the kitchen and a duck in a room where I'd left the French window open.

Gone in 60 electrons: Digital art swaggers down the cul-de-sac of obsolescence

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I convince myself that buying a digital edition ... will ensure longevity.

The evidence so far suggests the lifetime of ink-on-thin-stuff is at least 1,000 years. I wonder whether 2021 digital technologies will still be available in 3021.

In my case, the ramp-up process often goes in the opposite direction: reading a paperback, then buying hardback editions of other books by the same author. This is purely motivated by book fetishism, but latterly it's morphed into something different. I read a Kindle edition because it's quick and convenient, but then I have to buy the hard copy because the illustrations, code samples or equations in Kindle are rubbish.

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

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Re: Black magic

Most of these escape-sequence tricks were ANSI features, though a few of them wre DEC extensions.

There was a set of routines in the VMS Runtime Library that you could use to write fancy screens with scrolling regions and text decoration. It was about as close to a GUI as you could get on a character-cell display like the VT220.

Facebook, it's cool to see you using Rust and joining the foundation, but please don't Zuck it up for all of us

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Re: Rust - the language for coders who can't.

So the solution is easy: no need to use Rust, just hire only good coders. It's going to slow things down a bit, as there certainly seem to be more mediocre than good coders around.

Identifying the good ones may be tricky. Obviously this is the place to look, as it's clear that everyone contributing to this thread is an infallible coder.

Börk returns to its spiritual home of Sweden as duff disks take down Stockholm signage

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The sign at the top of the building says "Stockholm Heart Center". I hope their pacemakers are more reliable than their disks.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!

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"Do you know who I am?" ... Yes, they reply, because you gave your customer number when dialling in

My experience differs. The automated answering system asks you to enter your account number, so you take the phone away from your ear, put it on speaker, get the keypad back, and laboriously enter a 30-digit number.

But when you're eventually connected, they ask for your account number again (plus DOB, home address, mother's maiden name - all those things nobody but you could possibly know).

UK government gives Automated Lane Keeping Systems the green light for use on motorways

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Re: 37MPH

I assume this isn't targeted at urban streets and country lanes, so go and drive down an average main road. See how many people like to drive at 37mph. See, by way of contrast, how many think the national speed limit is slower than they like to travel (I confess I'm one of those).

Would many people be content to travel at 37mph, thereby making their journey last twice as long, in return for not having to steer? I doubt it.

Microsoft demotes Calibri from default typeface gig, starts fling with five other fonts

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Re: Obviously

There is nothing civilised about the 1990's

Times New Roman was designed in 1931. Whether the 1930s counts as a more civilised age is debatable. The decade certainly didn't end well.

NASA’s getting really good at this flying a helicopter on Mars thing

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Truly brilliant.

Did anyone else feel that the gap when the drone went off screen was a bit like those disconcerting moments when you lose sight of a young child or dog that's been left in your charge?

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity

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Re: Covid 19 and hot desks

I've seen references to cleaning companies using some kind of mist on desks, but I've no idea how effective it is. And many offices are distinctly relaxed about hygiene.

In the last place where I worked on-site, the mice all had tails. The keyboards were so old that the captions had worn off some of the keys, and so filthy that you could tell what your predecessor had for lunch five years ago by turning them upside down. It's said that an average keyboard harbours more germs than a lavatory seat; I reckon these had more than Porton Down.

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Re: Who got the extra time?

Technically I got the extra. It's a big slice of time, too. It used to take me two hours each way to commute to central London. Flexi-time wouldn't help, as the trains are slower and more infrequent outside rush hour.

But I'm baffled about what I'm doing with my extra time. True, I sleep a bit later, but not four hours more. The sad fact is that structured time lasts longer.

But I'll fight tooth and nail against a return to the daily commute.

Something went wrong but we won't tell you what it is. Now, would you like to take out a premium subscription?

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To be fair to the numpties, it's common for login screens not to specify which part of the credentials is incorrect. The idea is that any hint makes life easier for intruders. But "An error has occurred" is a stupid way to tell the user that the credentials are wrong.

Apart from that, there's no point in telling the user all about the underlying cause of every error. Just tell him what he has to do to resolve it.

Plot twist! South Korean telco uses 5G to fight coronavirus via hospital-patrolling robot

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Yongin Severance Hospital sounds like a place where you need to keep a close watch on all your limbs.

You want a reboot? I'll give you a reboot! Happy now?

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a large motorcycle broker

I read through most of this article wondering what a motorcycle broker does. In my days as a motorbike rider I broke more than one, but that's obviously not what "broker" means. I'd always assumed that the supply chain for motorbikes is much the same as any other pricey consumer good, but this seemed to imply that dealers sourced bikes from some kind of intermediary market-maker.

Towards the end it becomes clear that it's an insurance broker.


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