* Posts by Andy E

217 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Jul 2010


NASA, DARPA to go nuclear in hopes of putting boots on Mars

Andy E

Where is the handbrake?

The only way it can shorten the travel time is by going faster but how do you slow it down when it gets there?

Laser-wielding boffins bend lightning to their will

Andy E

What about the other way?

I can see this working well for lightning strikes that are going earth to cloud but what about when they are traveling down from cloud to earth. Won't something get frazzled?

New York cracks down on carbon fuel-based crypto-mining operations

Andy E

Re: Crypto currency would go away if

There's so many things wrong with this post. All metals are traded (including gold, silver and copper). The price of them will fluctuate depending on demand and supply. Even when it was used as a backing for a currency, the gold standard was a volatile monetary system.

IBM sues Micro Focus, claims it copied Big Blue mainframe software

Andy E

Re: Venue and jurisdiction is going to complicate this

As they are being sued in New York I'm not sure that UK law will prevail.

NASA wants a hundredfold upgrade for space computers

Andy E

Re: Extra redundancy

Now that the USA has manned spaceflight capability, I wonder if there is any merit in another servicing mission to Hubble.

UK hospitals lose millions after AI startup valuation collapses

Andy E

Shoddy reporting

This is just sensationalism and widely distorting the truth. The various trusts didn't actually pay any money for the shares. They provided data and in return were given some shares which are now pretty much worthless. THEY HAVE NOT LOST ANY MONEY. You could summarize it as they were tricked into giving away data for free but even that's a distortion of the facts.

Businesses should dump Windows for the Linux desktop

Andy E


One of the things that gets overlooked is the availability of the skill set(s) required to support the end users. With a Microsoft environment there's a ready supply of skilled people mostly due to its sheer market dominance. With a Linux environment the choices of distributions, desktops and applications which will do what the the company wants, ensures that the chosen solution will likely require a rare and possibly unique skill set to support. There won't be many suitably skilled people around to staff up the support team.

British boffins make touchless computing tech on the cheap

Andy E

Re: Where's the God in this?

Excuse me but how is Google going to serve you the right advert if it can't analyze your gesture, eye movement, voice pitch or breathing?

Health trusts swapped patient data for shares in an AI firm. They may have lost millions

Andy E

Lost money?

If I understand this correctly the NHS trusts haven't lost any money as they didn't spend any. They were swapping anonymised patient records for shares in the startup company. Its a very poor headline.

Meta now involved in making metalevel standards for the metaverse

Andy E

Re: Seeking education here...

I was wondering exactly the same thing as I wear glasses. The lenses are different for left and right.

Perhaps were not the target audience as they desperately try to make this mainstream.

Tweaks to IPv4 could free up 'hundreds of millions of addresses'

Andy E

Virgin Media home routers don't know what IPv6 is. They only do IPv4.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Andy E

My 1st attempt

An old PC I had failed (motherboard failure). I tried to move the hard drive to another box I had but Windows wouldn't entertain that. That gave me the opportunity to stuff in some spare hard drives and an SSD and install Linux Mint. Perhaps I should mention that at that time I had no prior experience of installing any type of Linux,

My mistake was wanting to use the hard drives in a particular way (SSD for system, medium sized HD for Home and the big HD for general stuff). It took an awful lot of googling and multiple installs to get it how I wanted. Quite a steep learning curve if you want something different to a default install.

While I cursed a lot during the build I've grown to like Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop. It's similar enough to Windows so I can just get on and do the stuff I want to do. I will be moving more systems over to Linux as they don't have the hardware spec for Windows 11 put are perfectly good PC's.

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Andy E

Goodbye Windows 11

With no prior Linux experience, I built a Linux Mint system last year for a project. The experience was "interesting", but I got there in the end.

If Microsoft get rid of local accounts then I'm afraid that might be the final straw and the three windows machines used every day will be going Minty too.

Microsoft-backed robovans to deliver grub in London

Andy E

Parking like a human

Having to contend with "parked" delivery vans from Asda and Ocado as they deliver their orders is a daily challenge here. They just seem to stop as close to the target address as they can ignoring any no parking restrictions and/or blocking access roads, driveways etc.. How are they going to teach robots to do that?

Lawyers say changes to UK data law will make life harder for international businesses

Andy E

Additional and unnecessary costs

Developing a DP regime that substantially differs from GDPR will add additional and unnecessary costs to the businesses and organisations that have to comply with its requirements.

I can't see what the attraction is, except to monetarize and share the data subjects personal data without their knowledge or consent (that's the "innovation" bit).

Intuit sued over alleged cryptocurrency thefts via Mailchimp intrusion

Andy E

Pot meet Kettle

One of the main points seems to be that Mailchimp fell for a phishing attack which led to the claimants falling for a phishing attack.

I do think they have a valid point about the time taken to alert the users about the attack though.

Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

Andy E

Re: Is anyone else seeing a major opening for switching to another Operating System?

I have a laptop and a desk top that quite happily run Windows 10 and are fine for what they are used for. However, they don't meet the requirements for Windows 11. Assuming they continue to run and have the performance needed, I will be moving them to Linux Mint when W10 goes EOL.

I expect this (Linux) will be the fate for many W10 boxes which is probably a good thing. Why throw away a perfectly good computer?

The wild world of non-C operating systems

Andy E

Re: Multics & PL/I

I actually wrote extensions to VMS in Macro-32 before switching to Bliss-32 after a training course.

This was of course many, many years ago......

How experimental was Microsoft's 'experimental banner' in File Explorer?

Andy E

Solitaire & FreeCell

For those who can remember trying to get through boring shifts, Solitaire & FreeCell were essential on Windows 7. Have a look at what they have done to them in Solitaire Collection for a taste of what an Ad strewn Windows might look like in the future. Imagine opening an application which triggers a video advert (with sound) which you have to let complete before the app loads. That's what the Windows future looks like.

Half of bosses out of touch with reality, study shows

Andy E

It should be called Team!

You can only be active in one Team at a time so why its called Teams is beyond me.

Anyway, in Microsoft's world if your not using Teams then you aren't working. As the best bit of Team(s) is the Meetings I'm not surprised they are using this as their measurement metric.

Capgemini wins £30m deal to work on UK customs

Andy E

CTC Delivery?

In the context of this article what does "CTC delivery" mean? Counselling and Testing Centre? One will certainly be needed as this has all the hallmarks of yet another Government led IT disaster.

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

Andy E

I can't see the point

Nearly all the clients I deal with have shunted their users data to the cloud. Very little gets stored on the mobile/desk computer. So if your data is in the cloud, why do you need to take the computer home with you? Just use the one you have at home.

With the advances in the mobile phones these are now powerful enough to use as mobile computers (providing you have the right peripherals). Perhaps another reason why I can't see the point of Apples patent application.

Crypto.com now says someone tried to drain $34m from hundreds of accounts

Andy E

Re: It sounds like their MFA was worth SFA.

With a little insider help it is possible to bypass the 2FA system. In a recent Twitter incident they (the criminals) impersonated an employee who was having difficulty getting access and the Admin people let them in bypassing the 2FA. So it can be done.

Microsoft tweaks Teams and Viva to help bridge gap between frontline workers and their managers, among other things

Andy E

Two points....

1) What is an "employee experience platform"?

2) "folks who were not able to go home and did all their work in person" - I don't know anybody who doesn't do their work "in person". I think the bosses would get upset if we got someone else to do it for us.

I need a beer.

UK taxman breathes life into old relationship as Capgemini handed £51m deal extension

Andy E

Re: Two points

I agree with both your points but would add the following to the second point-

While it is a complicated task to create a system that reflects the current tax system how do you factor in for yet unspecified future changes to the tax system? A change may be announced next week and several more in the next month. Certainly more changes in the Budget. Some may just be simple rate adjustments while other changes may be a new tax or the combination of taxes.

Who knows what the Chancellor will dream up next?

Munich mk2? Germany's Schleswig-Holstein plans to switch 25,000 PCs to LibreOffice

Andy E

Re: Windows 11

The issues I had were on the with the original install. The PC in question has a SSD and a collection of old HD's. Trying to set these up as I wanted was the hard bit. A lot of searches and three installs later I had the setup I wanted. Next was identifying what the command line utilities I needed were and what flags and arguments to use to get the desired outcomes was shall we say interesting.

I cut my teeth (as it were) on VAX VMS. Even today the DCL command line environment from VMS seems futuristic compared Linux, Windows and anything else I have looked at.

Andy E

Windows 11

I did wonder if the relativity high spec requirements for Windows 11 would trigger some companies to a Linux distribution. While my newer PC's can move to W11 with no problems I have a perfectly serviceable PC which can't. As the program I need has a Linux equivalent it was a no-brainer to put Mint on it.

Although its up and running now it was still a steep learning curve to get it setup as I wanted.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

Andy E

Re: Forgive me for saying this...

I'm sorry but I have to use Teams everyday and apart from the video conferencing it is awful. Essentially its window dressing on a Sharepoint backend with appallingly bad and inconsistent integration.

Why is it called Teams anyway? You can only have one active team open at a time. That's frustrating when I'm in 4 teams with 4 different clients.

China sets goal of running single-stack IPv6 network by 2030, orders upgrade blitz

Andy E

Virgin Media Broadband

I wonder if this is why Virgin Media don't have a Chinese presence. Their home routers don't support V6 and looking at their support forums it would suggest they have never heard of it.

South Korea tables law to remove app stores' in-app purchase monopolies

Andy E

Re: Five per cent

While I agree 30% does seem excessive I think we would be having these discussions at what ever rate was set - even 5%. It seems to have moved onto a philosophical argument about monopolies. .

Linux Mint 20.2 is a bit more insistent about updating but not as annoying as Windows or Mac, team promises

Andy E
Thumb Up

I like it

Using bits and pieces left over from numerous PC upgrades I built a system and loaded Mint to see what this Linux stuff was. There was a steep learning curve but eventually I got it setup as I wanted. Its not a box I use every day but it seems stable and lets me know when there are updates available. The updates themselves have not caused me any issues although you do tend to get more prompts requiring user input than Windows or Mac updates.

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts

Andy E

It really is that bad

Teams is really just a GUI for SharePoint with some bells and whistles added. The development team appear to be using Agile as new features appear which aren't fully implemented and often don't quite work.

The group video call is probably the best bit of Teams. Chats are OK but a nightmare if you want to delete something. The Files interface is poor and don't get me started on the appalling MS Office apps integration.

I have two clients who set out to fully use it and had training days etc. In both organisations its now just used for meetings, chats and a file repository for shared documents. None of the other features get used.

Intel data center boss Navin Shenoy exits as CEO takes sledgehammer to group

Andy E

Re: If you want to succeed in data centre and AI hardware...

There's a clue here: Chief (3rd iteration) People Officer or C-3PO for short.

BT 'welcomes' whopping £2bn investment by French telco Altice

Andy E

Investment in BT?

It's hardly an investment in BT when all Altice have done is bought some BT shares from the Stock Market. The only people seeing Altic's money are the share holders they bought the shares from.

Conflicting messaging overshadows NHS Digital's attempts to inform public about patient data slurp

Andy E

Confusion everywhere

I remember reading that the data was anonymised at the point of collection but after reading through the NHS Digital pages I'm beginning to doubt this.

There is no clear simple statement to say that the data they want to collect for this new research service is anonymised or its not. Its the anonymisation bit that's important here.

Legacy IT kit is behind 80% of UK taxman's pandemic costs, says spending watchdog

Andy E

Short sighted madness

I'm constantly amazed at the number of times organizations will go out and purchase (or develop) a point solution, turn it on and then forget about it. There's never any type of roadmap to keep it current or to evolve it to meet changing business requirements. It's just left to run as is, until something becomes embarrassing (out of support) or it breaks. Unfortunately Government departments set the gold standard in this category.

Freed from the office, home workers roam sunlit uplands of IPv6... 2 metres apart

Andy E

Virgin Media?

Their Hub 3 has no knowledge of IPv6. I don't think they do either.

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

Andy E


The AI got it right 80% of the time. In real life that other 20% where it gets it wrong could end things very quickly.

If you're wondering how Brit cops' live suspect-hunting facial-recog is going, it's cruising at 88% false positives

Andy E

Re: Lies, damned lies and The Guardian's view of statistics.

The figures don't add up unless you know how many of the wanted people were in the group of faces surveyed. If they were all in that group then its a spectacular failure rate. If none of them were in the group then you have the false positive rate which seems reasonable.

Incidentally they don't say that the person the apprehended was in the group of people they were watching out for. They might have just got lucky and nabbed a different villain.

Asteroid Bennu is flinging particles of dust and rock from its surface – and scientists can't work out why

Andy E

Its having a....

Its having a PEE (Particle Ejection Event). Please give it some privacy.

Google goes full Anti-Flash-ist, boots Adobe's insecure monstrosity out of web search index

Andy E

Beat me to it

I don't understand why Channel 4 are sticking with Flash. Seems stupid to restrict your potential audience to only those that can view a legacy platform. A potential audience that is getting smaller and smaller.

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack

Andy E

Don't call it Teams!

A tenant can have 500,000 teams.

1 user can be in 1,000 different teams (i.e. per project, per department, per office, ...)

Each team can have 5,000 members.

Each of those teams can have 200 channels, so you just need to have multiple teams to have more than 200.

But you can only have 1 bloody team open at a time FFS!!!! Lets just call it TEAM

I can't believe Microsoft Management let this product out of the door. I use it every day and it is just awful.

Quantum goes open and passwords must die in a week of Microsoft fun

Andy E

Re: "Also borked for a few users is the display driver"

Another good example of "no quality control and absolutely no checking that everything is all right" is Microsoft Teams

Its hard to imagine how they could release something so spectacularly poor.

UK transport's 'ludicrous' robocar code may 'put lives at risk'

Andy E

Department of stupidity

This is the same department that couldn't get its head around Segways and they have a human driver! They are still illegal on roads or pavements.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Andy E

Not worth the money

Home-brew is one of my hobbies and its remarkably easy and cheap to make good beer. It doesn't matter wether you bottle or keg the beer after fermentation, it will still need time to condition. This is usually one or two weeks in a warm place and the same in a cold place. Some of my brews spend 6 months conditioning before they are at their best.

This contraption is likely to give you a mildly alcoholic drink that tastes awful. Mind you it can do it a lot quicker than I can. Save your money and buy a home brew setup or go down the pub.

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Andy E

Build number?

How does this build number malarky work then? My PC which is running Windows 10 Pro 64bit says it is running 10.0.17134 build 17134. 17134 is a bigger number than 1809 or am I understanding this wrong? Perhaps its 17-134 v 18-09?


Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

Andy E

Re: Stupidity

The thing about a badge is that anyone can carry it and clock-in for you. It's a bit harder to do that with someone else's finger.

Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness

Andy E

Hang on....

Hops have a number of roles in brewing beer. Firstly they are used to bitter the beer as it is very sweet in its raw state. A second role is to add flavour and aroma. Thats why they are added at various stages of the brewing process. They also help protect the beer from infection.

If you aren't using hops where does the bitterness come from?

Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan

Andy E

Perhaps we should have a meeting to discuss his performance?