* Posts by launcap

386 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jul 2010


Rise of der Maschinen: Daimler trials ROBOT LORRY in Germany

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Re: Self driving trucks and cars

> You're right, it's a government conspiracy to take over DHL

At least DHL have some pretence at professionalism. Unlike other couriers I could mention (Yodel - from hells heart I stab at thee!)

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German headlights..

.. much hilarity is involved in using a UK-spec motorbike in Germany - the standard UK spec (used to be) that bikes with two headlights have both lights enabled on dip.

In Germany, the standard is one light enabled on dip (for no obvious reason - logic kind of indicates that having both lit is safer as, if your bulb blows, you at least still have the other) with both lights only enabled on full beam.

Que lots of flashing by oncoming drivers..

Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

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Re: Very good article, would read again

> But some are more wrong than others.

Except when they are not - in a 'stopped-clock-is-right-sometimes' sort of way.

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Re: Who's an AC-DC fan then?

> I thought everyone in the IT trenches was an AC/DC fan

Nope. They are (just about) tolerable in an 'OK for background music' kind of way. Magic Pie - *now* you are talking!

Mold whine: Soylent superfood shipments stopped by spore scare

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They should just..

.. rebrand it - Soylent Blue!

If it works for cheese is should work for odd-glop-that-no-sane-person-would-use..

Hey techies! Ever wanted to adopt a Congresscritter? Now's your chance

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Does the job..

.. come with an assortment of brightly-coloured crayons and plenty of paper? 'Cos you are gonna need it..

Mobile first? Microsoft decides to kneecap its Android users instead

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> Veni, ViDI, vici?

More like weenie, weedy and weaky..

NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

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Re: Today VW ...

> Who would spend £1000 on a car worth £1500?

Well - we have just spent over £4K on a car that has a writeoff value of £2500..

It depends on the car - in this case it was a 1966 Morris Minor and well worth the repairs. Would I spend that on a modern tin box? Probably not.

Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'

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Re: This is Nothing New

> Demon was the only show in town

Not quite - you could go with Pipex and pay through the nose. But only Demon had proper FAQs about how to get linux autodial and sendmail configurations working..

Ah - memories. Running Slackware 0.99pl15 on a 386sx25 with a honking great (physically anyway - full-height) 330MB ESDI drive that wouldn't fit into the case and so sat on the floor next to the case. The cats enjoyed the heat output..

Kids today eh?

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Re: pronounced “Iron Brew”?

> but even I have trouble being understood sometimes when darn Sarf

A former (Californian) manager had great difficulty understanding my wifes soft south Devon/Plymouth accent (which has now morphed to a Devon/Wiltshire accent complete with the complete loss of everything resembling conventional grammar..)

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Re: pronounced “Iron Brew”?

> She's from southern Spain, and married a Glaswegian

One of my nieces - born in Glasgow to a mother bought up in South Africa and a father brought up in London. Then moved to the US..

Interesting accent.

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Re: Irn Bru

> Perfect lunch while sitting in the car on a cold wet day

Aha - an everyday lunch then!

Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

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> RedmondHat Inside

More likely Redcap inside..


SPOOKY new Pluto snaps will make the HAIR RISE on the back of your neck

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> Agape!




Smartmobe app claimed it will improve your eyesight. Now its maker is coughing up $150k

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> but the FTC will not hesitate to act when health-related claims are not based on sound science

So that means homeopathy adverts are banned then?

American Airlines: TITSUP computers ground US flights

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Re: Software half-life

> anything I'd contributed to United's or Continental's portfolios of whoa woes

> had to have aged out of their systems by at least a decade or two

I suspect some of the middleware code I worked on while at Galileo in the early 90s might still be in place[1]. Which is a pretty scary thought.

[1] Assuming they are still using TPF

Sharp's new TV has over 7,000 lines of pixels – but there's NOTHING TO WATCH

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Re: Low-res

> Over 7,000 pixies. They paint the screen 100 times a second

Very Pterry..

All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

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Re: Is anybody in the so-called "entertainment" field ...

Yes - lots of them. Especially in the Prog rock genre (other genres are available, YMMV, HAND etc)

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> I don't think Waters is a great, solo, song writer; he needs others

A bit like the Genesis boys - much, much better together than any of their solo projects. Apart from (maybe) the first Steve Hackett album - usually called "the best Genesis record that Genesis never made" (largely because Mike and Phil both played on it and helped with the music..)

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Re: Meh

> I do like a bit of prog metal

Floyd ain't prog metal in any way, shape or form..

Dream Theater, Magic Pie et. al. - now *that's* prog metal.

Mine's the one with the progrock.co.uk catalogue in the pocket..

Email reply-all cat-nado drenches Cisco inboxes with pics, memes

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Re: Gawd/ess.

> No, they've all retired.

Oi! Not yet I haven't! Still (sadly) about 15 years away :-(

And I admit I haven't done much sendmail herding since I stopped poking at Sun machines about 13 years ago.. and I discovered qmail.

Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

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Re: Is there any case in the real world

> aniseed ball

>Well, at least they had good taste....

Pre-diabetes I used to really like those :-(

Ho-hum. Life goes (mostly) on.


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Re: Smaller portions will not work.

> bottom of the diabetes epidemic, glucose or artificial saccharides

Part of the problem is that pretty much *any* carbohydrate that you eat will get eventually converted into glucose (or excreted). So, the thing is to look at glycaemic load rather than glycaemic index (GL measures bioavailability over time - so eating 3 apples is better than drinking the juice of 3 apples because your body has to work much harder to extract the carbs and break them down for use whereas the juicing has already done most of the work and your blood glucose rise isn't so much a curve as a vertical line..)

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Re: It's a convincing finding

> There are natural fruit-flavoured drinks which are almost calorie-free and

> free from any unnatural chemicals

Really? I've yet to find one! (Diabetic, despise the taste of saccarine/aspartame/sucralose. Don't mind the taste of xlyitol but it has an unfortunate effect on the gut..)

And I've yet to find a fruit-juice that was almost calorie free - most of them have a far worse effect on blood glucose than eating the amout of fruit required to make the juice.

More info desired.

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Re: craft it smaller

> Give me a pint of a decent 4% ale any time

I think you have mis-spelled "a decent pint of proper cider (floaters optional) that doesn't contain 50% fizz.."

Never was a fan of beer - one pint is enough to give me a hangover. Except for Weissbeer oddly enough!

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

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Re: Downvotes

> The ads pay everyone's wages here and we quite like having food and a roof overhead.

> Support El Reg, whitelist us today!

So do you get paid for just displaying the ad or only when someone clicks on it? If it's the former then I'd be happy to whitelist but if it's the latter then whitelisting you would be pointless because I don't click on ads..

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Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

> You will find that changing the channel doesn't help much these days

It does if you live in a country where decent, free-to-air TV exists without adverts (like the BBC). Sure, we pay for it other ways but I'd far rather subscribe to a set of channels that have watchable content without adverts than zillions of free-ad-supports channels full of crap..

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Re: uBlock Origin

Indeed. Migrated all my FF usage over to it now. Considerably lower CPU & RAM usage results..

Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer

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Not a virus..

But I wrote a little utility (in assembler - my then job was writing IBM S/370 assembler on a TPF mainframe so it wasn't a big jump) to query all the shares on our (OS/2 LAN Server) servers on the network (after doing a broadcast to find them all) and query all the shares to find all the stuff that people had secreted on them..

This was the early 90's so the stuff I found wasn't very exciting and I couldn't tell who had put the stuff there. And if I ran it too often the broadcasts would temporarily lock out my segment of the token-ring network..

There's probably a reason why I stopped doing programming and started doing support instead!

Curiosity Rover's OS has backdoor bug

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I have one of those at home..

.. in miniture anyway. I worked/was employed/went there on a daily basis at Windriver when those rovers were made. Windriver USA made (without checking with NASA) a whole load of RC miniture rovers with NASA and Windriver logos.

NASA pitched a bit of a fit about unauthorised use of their logo and so the minitures never got sold - instead we were allowed to take away a couple each on the strict understanding that we didn't *ever* try to sell them..

I gave one to my nephew and kept one - both (as far as I know) still in their original boxes.

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

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Re: I did wonder

> There isn't a legit way of getting play store if it's not pre-installed

There is - there are multiple Gapps installs out there that an *end-user* can install. It might breach the T&C's that Google has for a supplier to do it but nothing prevents an end-user doing it.

Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution

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Not Yodels fault?

It's *always* Yodels fault.. especially when they comprehensively fail to read the simple (not using long words or complicated grammar) delivery instructions and leave £200-worth of wine on the doorstep in full view of the road..

I suppose I'm lucky that they just don't chuck it over the fence. But that would involve the driver putting in some thought and effort..

Cheers, Bill Gates. Who wouldn't want drinking water made from POO?

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Re: Not too long ago

> reasons beer was a drunk by all was that compared to water it had minimal dangers.

Unless you were from ancient Athens (beer was a foreign drink - proper civilised people drank well-watered wine. Well watered because it was uncivilised to be drunk in the morning and wine because it killed the bugs..)

What did the ancient Greeks ever do for us anyway?

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> boiled with malted barley and hops

And then made into whisky?

(Beer gives me bad hangovers. Even after one pint. Whisky isn't so bad. Cider and red wine [not neccesarily at the same time] don't give me a hangover at all..)

And I like the taste of cider. And red wine. I never really got the taste for beer because of the issue above.

CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

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Re: Windows only though

> I think the feature was a bit of a bad idea by Microsoft to begin with.

I suspect it's also the first step in Microsoft trying to provide the facility that Mac machines have - the ability for a bare-metal machine to do a full install from Apple via the Internet.

Of course, Apple has much tighter control over the hardware and firmware - Microsoft would have to trust that the OEM does a good job of making sure that all the relevent h/w drivers are also present to allow the machine to connect. And we all know how fully trustable the OEMs are eh?

Care.data is a complete omnishambles, says study into hated scheme

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Re: Good medical practice

> My local practice mailed out forms allowing you to opt out of everything.

So did mine. With the rider that opting out would mean my electronic prescriptions would no longer be delivered to the pharmacy of my choice (or any other). So in order to get my diabetes meds I'd have to put in my repeat request as usual, go back two days later, pick up the prescription forms, wait for them to be signed (30 minutes to two hours) then take them to the pharmacy (and wait 30 minutes for them to be filled).

Do-able but a pain in the fundament. Especially given that I work..

Symantec’s dismal results show need for Veritas sale

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If Symantec disappeared..

.. would anything of value be lost?

Possibly Astaro Linux (they borged that a year or so ago) but I can't think of anything else off-hand.

Wanna harvest a stranger's Facebook data? Get a mobile number and off you go

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> once updating the world on your life on FB has embedded itself as a habit in your basal ganglia

Annnd we are back to the Laundry Files. So - is FB the computer equivalent of the Necronomicon?

Mozilla-Microsoft spat latest: Firefox yanks Cortana away from Bing

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40 doesn't crash, staying.

(See, personal experience isn't guarenteed to be adaptable to universal experience..)

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Re: i thought i'd educate myself

> England.

Which has a pretty wide selection of accents (one of my previous (Californian) managers had great difficulty with my wife's soft South Devon/Plymouth accent).

And lets not forget that wonderful Geordie or Northumberland accent. And lets please forget that Essex accent..

FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP

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Re: 32 years

> computer I deal with professionally is a poorly designed cash register.

That is to say - all of them. I've yet to see one that actually looks good, works well *and* is supported by a company with a clue..

Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

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Re: Just goes to show..

> Now that is what I call a secure PC!

You forgot:

Crush it with a Victorian Steam Press (hack that!)

Collect crushed bits in hand-forged steel box and weld shut

Cover steel box in concrete. We recommend at least 30cm thickness.

By rowing boat, take box to nearest deep ocean trench. Preferrably one of at least 2KM depth

Push box over side. Before pushing, check to make sure you are not actually tethered to it.

Run like hell when the Deep Old Ones come after you for littering.

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Re: We've got our FBI on you



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Re: a ha ha ha ha ha :(

> " .... To a general air of "when has a chip ever had a bug ?". ... "

> classics as the FDIV bug.

I remember (many many moons ago) arguing with a colleague about the use of non-Intel chips (in this case AMD). He was adamant against the use of non-Intel on the basis that "Intel were the premier chipmakers and produced chips with no errors - you always knew where you were with Intel". Then the next day the news of the FDIV bug came out..

Sadly, he didn't change his worldview even when faced with the evidence. So we carried on buying Intel-only computers despite the cost premium.

Aussie bloaters gorging on junk food 'each and every day'

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Re: These include chocolate, of which Australians "eat the equivalent of 32kg" per year.

> "eat the equivalent of 32kg of chocolate" is 16Kg. Apples are 10%

Apples contain a good bit more than that - but it isn't generally available. The sugar in chocolate is generally sucrose which is only one step from glucose and easily converted so your blood sugar levels tend to look like the north face of the Eiger..

Apples OTOH, have a lot of their sugars as fructose and locked up within nice cellulose packages[1] that your gut has to work harder to open. So your blood sugar rise looks more like a small roundabout in profile and the broken insulin feedback system has more time to adjust.

Also, Apples contain citric acid and acidic things seem to also slow down sugar take-up (dunno why!).

[1] Which is why drinking sweet fruit juices is generally not a good idea for t2 diabetics - all the sugar is now in solution and much much easier to absorb. Even things like rhubarb juice contain a suprising amount of sugar..

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Re: There are 2 'Schools of Thought' on this

> if you end up with diabetes, the cost is horrendous. Meds, dialysis,

> amputation after amputation (and the prosthetics) before the Grim Reaper shows up

None of which are inevitable (apart from the meds). It doesn't take a great deal to successfully manage t2 diabetes - just some will power (no - I won't stuff myself on cream cakes and sugary snacks) and a sensible diet (and not relying on "I know I've just eaten lots of sugar so I'll take an extra tablet" - the feedback loop itself is broken..)

And ending up with diabetes isn't always as a result of lifesyle - sometimes (like me) you end up being t2 as a result of having a mother with a very large family history of it. Despite being (reasonably) fit and watching what I ate I still ended up t2 after a period of intense stress. And none of the (largely snake oil) 'therapies' that promise to end t2d actually work except in certain fringe cases.

It's Suntory time: Japanese whisky to be distilled in SPAAAAACE

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Re: Risky Experiment [Geddit?!]

> There's also an English Whisky Company

Who produce some very very fine whiskys indeed. Their Chapter 7 is particularly recommended (not that they have it very often - it's a limited release).

Not cheap though - economies of scale they do not have!

Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

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Re: Frozen A/C, hot room

> And for much of the year - spring and autumn - we could keep the door open and welcome the cats in.

And productivity improved?

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Re: PDP 11

> It had airco fitted and that summer it promptly died

A bit like a new computer room project I was involved with - merging two separate computer rooms in a new building. We offered to do a proper calculation (but being the support team were not trusted to do anything related to the new computer room) but the managers chose instead to just install double the capacity of one of the old ones. They chose the wrong (smaller) one. Likewise with UPS capacity.

The end result was a 2-chiller aircon system where theoretically we could take one chiller offline for maintenance but actually had to run them both at about 70% load all the time. Likewise with the UPS - about 80% of the way into the merge, the UPS went into bypass mode as we we were pulling too much current and we couldn't put in a bigger unit as the UPS was surrounded with fixed frames and racks.. It ran on bypass for months with us praying that the power supply in the new building wouldn't crap out on us. Especially as restarting the systems had to be done in a very specific fashion otherwise transactions would almost certainly be lost.

The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

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Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

> "As aerodynamic as a breezeblock"

As the old saying does - even a brick will fly pretty well if you put enough power behind it..