* Posts by kiwimuso

237 posts • joined 13 Nov 2010


TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader


Re: As I read that

Dear werdsmith.

You really do have a comprehension problem with the English language, don't you.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam



"Build from scratch high availability platforms to host a myriad of s/w that will scale up to millions of subscribers without falling over? Good luck with that..."

It's quite simple. You buy Huawei products, as they are acknowledged to be the leaders, analyse the shit out of them (i.e. pinch the IP) improve of the sloppy coding, and voila! Success!!

If you can't learn off successful companies, what else are you gonna do?

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?


Re: In the Antipodean version... @Magani

" this is just as believable as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa et al."

Oi! You leave our Jacinda out of this.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT


Re: Proper lash up

The church at Hever Castle where Queen Elizabeth I's father Thomas Boleyn is buried is called the new church.

It was built in 950!!!

US prez Donald Trump declares America closed to those flying in from Schengen zone over coronavirus woes


Re: Green card holders and the immediate family of US citizens get a pass.

Arrange the following words into a suitable sentence.

door. horse. stable. bolted. locking

Un-fucking-believable!! That is all.

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong


@One does not drive on the wrong side of the road when visiting a foreign country by accident...

Oh yes, one does.

When I was working in the U.S. I had occasion to find myself driving on the wrong side of the road for several hundred yards until I realised.

I won't bore you with the details of how it happened, but it involved dual carriageways and single lane roads. Fortunately, the single lane road (2-way normal road) was a very quiet street, so no harm done but it focused my attention I can tell you.

T'was the only time so it worked.

I also know of several other expats working there at the time, who had similar experiences. Usually only happened once, though, fortunately.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter


Re: ""What was a wistful daydream just five years ago is now an inevitability,""


"And sod the poor animals, eh?"

Poor animals, eh!

So, what are you intending to grow for the predators of this world, such as the cats, crocs, sharks etc.

Hell even birds and insects prey on other species. Not to mention whales!! Damned inconsiderate of them eating all that krill!! There oughta be a law against it.

Grow up!

It always amazes me that for some reason, humans eating other animals or beings is apparently immoral, but it's perfectly OK for the rest of the world's creatures to indulge themselves on their feathered and furry, not to mention exoskeletoned (and others) friends.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket



Hey mate, you obviously haven't driven in Auckland recently. More red light runners here than anywhere I've been - apart from Amsterdam.

And more and more red light cameras because of it. Doesn't seem to stop the stupid arses though.

Amsterdam as far as I could tell, you don't stop crossing the intersection until the cars coming from the other direction actually start entering the intersection. Even worse when bikes are involved. They go anywhere, anytime, presumably until somebody hits them.

Oh, and I would love it id they brought in flashing aamber (or red) lights when there is little traffic around. When arriving on Vipond Rd at the junction with and Whangaparaoa Rd, in Whangaparaoa

at 11 p.m., it is possible to sit there on a red light for several minutes with nary another vehicle in sight. Then of course, naturally, Whangaparaoa Rd goes amber/yellow precisely when the only car for several miles/kilometers approaches it. Thus pissing off unnecessarily both sets of drivers. This has happened even after several cars have stacked up at the lights in Vipond, all of whom, I would assume have triggered the in road loop sensor.

Bugger, maybe that's whats wrong. Someone forgot to install the loop, or forgot to wire it up.

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper



Does no one ever use them to reconcile with bank/credit card statements?

That's the only reason we keep them, then unless needed for warranty purposes are shredded once a month.

And if you DON'T reconcile your bank/credit card statements, you have a naive trust in other people.

It doesn't happen often but we have found mistakes in both types of statement, not to mention small amounts charged to the credit card without authorisation. Small amounts may not matter to me personally, but if it's done by a single perpetrator against >100s people, it's a nice little earner for them.

Au my bog: Bloke, 66, on bail after 'solid-gold' crapper called 'America' stolen from stately home


Re: There's cheap crap, and there is expensive crap.

I cannot believe that El Reg's headline does not say something like:

Valuable art work (loo)ted from Blenheim Palace.

Or alternatively: Gold-plated crapper (loo)ted from Churchill's blingheim palace.

Icon, cause this happens sometimes in these places.

COBOL: Five little letters that if put on a CV would ensure stable income for many a greybeard coder


Re: IF Year > 50

Ha! First language I learnt (1966) was RPG, a bloody awful language which I detested as I found it completely illogical. Then on to BAL (IBM assembler) with which I have written most of my code at various places. My first shop was a savings bank which ran an online banking system on an IBM 360/30 which had a grand total of 32Kb (yes, "K" of "core" storage memory. Oh, and 2311 disk drives which from memory had around 7 or 8 Mb. ( 7.25 Mb according to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM_magnetic_disk_drives#IBM_2311 )

I went to the UK at the end of the 60's and worked for a company making small model cars. (No, not Austin or Morris!) I was employed as a BAL "expert" but was sent on a COBOL course as I was supposed to write Assembler subroutines which could be called form COBOL programs to handle unit record functions. E.g. card reader, printer etc as the built in COBOL functions were apparently not up to par. Other than the course, I never wrote another COBOL program until many years later (1980's I think) back in Kiwiland I was doing a contract which involved taking Assembler programs written for an !CL something or other. I had to read through, understand what the program was trying to achieve then write specs so a COBOL programmer could re-write the programs, this time for an ICL 1900 series machine, which incidentally was a lovely machine to work on.

At the end of several weeks trying to sort through myriad spaghetti code, the high-ups decided that they couldn't spare anyone to do it, especially as they were all effectively junior programmers, so asked whether I could re-write them.

I said I would give it a go, and wrote the programs with my rather, by then, limited memory for COBOL by simply typing in the way I thought that the language should be, then ran it through the compiler. I seem to remember that it only took me a couple of compiles to get the syntax right (all the error codes were available online) and I think it took maybe a week of testing with corrections to actually replicate the assembler programs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as it was a nice challenge and it amused me that the so-called high level language programmers were astounded that a mere assembler programmer could actually write structured code. I told them it matters not what language you used, structured code is still structured code. Most of the spaghetti code, i.e. unstructured code, usually came about because of management's insistence that any mods should be done as quickly as possible, rather than properly.

Bane of my life that was. I got to the stage, that when asked for a job estimate for how long a job would take, I never, ever gave them the quick, and nasty estimate. It usually didn't take much longer to do properly so that's what I quoted for. It was always accepted, as they didn't have much option.

Thank [deity] I've finished with all that corporate bullshit.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: Eh?


Not according to this.


Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one


Re: Cool but mostly hype

(Like India's compressed air vehicle, the AirPod).

No, like France's compressed air vehicle, AirPod, which despite the country designator apparently being in Luxembourg, is actually located close to Nice, France


Crunch time: It's all fun and video games until you're being pressured into working for free


Re: How do people with children do it?

.....and as I heard someone say many years ago, and I have since used myself a few times: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part

It got a laugh, if nothing else, but made the point.

City-obliterating asteroid screamed past Earth the other night – and boffins only clocked it just 26 hours beforehand


Re: What about auto-updates?

"Kiwi - I'm starting to think you are actually me! :-)"

And me!!!

White House mulls just banning strong end-to-end crypto. Plus: More bad stuff in infosec land


Re: Governments don't like to think of themselves as repressive


"The legislature sets the laws, reflecting the majority view of the people according to the mandate they stood for election on...."

Ah, there's your big mistake. They SAY they're representing their electorate, but, but, but, do they always!

It's the curious case of the vanishing iPhone sales as Huawei grabs second place off Apple in smartmobe stakes


Re: Marketing


"Would you buy a phone that can't do any of the Chat and Social Media Apps, no Netflix or just about any app that needs some sort of API key to work?"

Bloody oath, mate!!!

Tesla driver killed after smashing into truck had just enabled Autopilot – US crash watchdog


Re: What's the point?


apropos your comment re reaction time, surely, if you are relying on someone's brake lights to tell whether they are slowing or not, then in my opinion, you are driving far too close.

What happened to the "being able to stop in 1/2 the clear distance".

I hope that you are not following me if you are relying on my brake lights.

My first reaction to something (well) ahead of the car in front is simply take my foot off the accelerator. My second reaction is change down sufficient gears that if I have to accelerate suddenly to avoid anything, then I am always (well, mostly) in the right gear to do so. Brakes are the last thing I resort to unless of course it is an emergency due to some f***wit changing lanes suddenly without either a) signalling, or b) doing so so late that it becomes an emergency. Or even not bothering to signal at all.

You know, the sort of idiots you get driving on our roads daily, and all done at around 100 kph!

I get the feeling that the more so-called safety gizmos that they put in cars the worse the driving becomes. How about those people that rely entirely on those they are cutting in front of, to be alert and have good brakes, you know, like large articulated lorries. Darwin will out, no matter how many safety assist, or laws are in place.

As I have often said for many years now, "You can not legislate for idiots or the ignorant."

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


Re: Car analogy, software emulation

"It is all about cutting costs. And the most obvious cost to cut is the meat-bags that require wages, and breaks, food, ....."

Perhaps 'management' should think about automating themselves then, as they are quite clearly the most expensive meat-bags on the company payroll.

It would solve the "golden handshakes" cost to the company as well. You know the ones where the CEO fucks up, the company loses vast amounts of money and maybe the share price drops like a stone and when they finally let the CEO go they still get paid a handsome payoff, because "it's in their contract"!

Most other staff just get fired if they screw up.

Icon, 'cause it seems obvious to me.>>>>>>

SpaceX Crew Dragon: Launched and docked. Now, about that splashdown...


Re: Make them an offer?

No, no! The answer is obvious.

One of the launches drags a looong rope behind it. When it reaches the ISS, the waiting crew drag it in after it has been connected to an also suitable length hose, then just pump up the fuel that you need. Then for other commodities, like food, they could be shipped in small canisters in the same hose as the fuel.

icon> or it may be a reasonable idea. I was taking my cue from Arthur C. Clarke's "space elevator" concept.

U wot, m8? OMG SMS is back from dead


Re: Con Man's Delight


Jeez! Don't tell me you Yanks STILL use cheques!

I haven't written a cheque (or even a check) in years. In fact to be precise, December 2015!!!

Everything is done online or via a card of some description.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: Perhaps

@Michael Wojcik

"....not closely genetically related to kodiaks or other ursinae."

There's always one, isn't there!

There's always one person that has to spoil a perfectly good commentard forum with actual science!!!

....and yeah, I know I'm a bit late to this party!!!

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election


Re: Respect my authoritay

"I'm in my late 60s and it's the people older than me who often don't get it."

I'm 75 and I'm often being accused of being overly cynical.

I wonder why!

Suffice to say that my extreme cynicism started probably 20 years ago and has strengthened over the years.

Of course I implicitly believe "everything" I read in El Reg - well sometimes, when there are citations and all that jazz.

I have decided that most news seems to be opinions rather than hard facts. The opinions may be based around facts, but they are only opinions of the particular journalist as far as I can make out. No better than my own impeccable opinions!

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Re: Wow, it's almost...

@Alan Brown

"Of course when the NZ population voted overwhelmingly for PR and MMP,"

So of course, New Zealanders voted for the most "undemocratic" system offered.

Oh, it's proportional all right, but no one get to vote for those on the "list".

A party can shove any old hack on their list and if the numbers come out right, they get in as an MP.

Democratic? Hell no!

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary


Re: It'll never happen...


"Wish there was some way to fix it (if anyone knows how, let me know, will be a great help)"

Well if you know the email address of the other person, then why not email them and suggest that they get in touch with their garage or whoever and correct the mistake.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight


Re: You call that a cheat ?

@I ain't Spartacus

I've developed an even easier method for perfectly cooked, separated rice with NO measuring at all.

Put a quantity of rice in saucepan. Cover with cold water for 10 minutes or so, or don;t even bother with this step.

Drain the rice if you have soaked otherwise just ensure water is a good knuckle above the level of rice, about a centimetre or so.

Bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes, max 5. Drain rice, (I use a sieve) place rice back in saucepan, put lid back on, put it on the lowest heat you have for 10 minutes. It might even work just with the residual saucepan heat alone. I haven't tried that as I have induction hobs which enables me to set an extremely low heat).

What you will finish up with is perfectly cooked rice, still slightly al dente, all separate grains, and even better, nothing stuck to the pot. If you don't want it al dente, cook it for 5 minutes.

Depending on your rice, you might even get away with 3 - 4 minutes boiling.


What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs



Well the problem with that is I, and I'm sure many others, have no idea what any of these drugs look like so couldn't possibly know what substances I should not have in my car in case they were mistaken for an illegal substance.

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans


Re: Not being a noisy neighbour


"Arbitrarily throwing explosives off the back of the boat isn't accurate enough for those purposes!"

Maybe, but much more fun!!! Just not for the marine life.

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention


Re: This seems quite irresponsible

@ hoola

As always, just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean that you should!!!

Budget 2018: Landlords could be forced to grant access for full-fibre connections


Re: Market distortion ...

By Jove, you must have missed the bit about not being able to contact, or getting no response from the owner(s) in order to obtain permission - or not!

No response to request? Then permission granted by court order.

At least, that's the way I see it. Perhaps you have better/different comprehension skills than I.

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST


Re: I'll still be driving myself thanks.


I love your optimism. Tradespeople and the like who work from their vehicles, and carry loads of tools, perhaps not so much.

Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket



"How does that work with a debit card and a credit card, both with contactless chip?"

Ha. Ha. You need separate cards for debit & credit? How quaint.

I have a single card used for either. At the time of the transaction I choose which I shall use for payment, bank account or credit card.

Very eco-friendly as well (if we're going down that route) as one bit of plastic less for landfill when it expires.

Remember the Yorkie pizza horror? Here's who won our exclusive Reg merch...

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Re: Northerners... @ I ain't Spartacus

"Chips with gravy is already an abomination "

Personally, I think that smothering chips in vinegar is an equal abomination, and also makes the chips go soggy.

Whatever heathen thought that vinegar (vinegar, for Deity's sake) is an appropriate condiment to drown chips with, needs to be flogged within an inch of his benighted life.

In fact, any sort of liquid addition to chips is an abomination. Although I must admit to a partiality to the continental habit of mayonnaise, and maybe, at a pinch, a smidgen of tomato ketchup. But only to dip said chips into as required, not actually smothering them and ruining the texture. Certainly not the abominable, overly sweet tomato sauce much beloved by other Kiwis!! I lost my taste for over sweet foods a long time ago.

Now awaiting the copious down votes from other heathens.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster


Re: It was funny but she did learn stuff there.

"I knew a bloke once (a lawyer, so entirely thick)"

That should have been, of course, NOT entirely thick, but on reflection maybe my original mis-comment was correct.


Re: It was funny but she did learn stuff there.

@ Ken Hagan

"The computer age for nerds dates from WW2. The computer age for normal people started around about 1990....."

Good God! How old are you! The computer age started to go mainstream at the very least, by the early 60s. I was writing RPG (ugghh!), Assembler, and later PL/I since 1966 for a bank first of all, then later after skiving off to the UK, more Assembler, COBOL, then later again 8086 assembler.

I agree that it started way earlier than that, but that's when it became mainstream - even here in New Zealand. My first job at the (savings) bank was for an online banking system, which incidentally was waaayyy before the Poms, judging by the banking system there in the early 70s.

I might add, that if the oldies didn't get it, I would suggest that was more the fault of the instructor rather than the pupils. If you have never struck a concept before, then saying "click on an icon" is totally meaningless, as is expecting anyone to know instinctively what a mouse was and how to use it. I knew a bloke once (a lawyer, so entirely thick) who was never shown how to use one, but managed to eventually work it out for himself. The only thing was, he held the mouse back to front, with the "tail" trailing over the front of the desk. Consequently any instruction to "right" or "left" click was totally arse about face for him.

Happily retired now and nearly 75, there are some modern concepts that people take for granted that I sometimes have a struggle with. Being used to a Samsung tablet and an Android phone, both with home and back buttons, I recently purchased an iPad which of course only has a single button, and of course these days no user manual to get you going. I am still learning new stuff on it because it operates quite differently to Android. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to switch to another open app (amongst other things). Oh yeah, totally intuitive. I figured it out because I worked out that there had to be an easy way, so tried all sorts of gestures, swipes etc, until stumbling upon it.

Incidentally an "intuitive" interface is all in the eye of the beholder. If you've written the interface then of course it's intuitive. Not so much for other people. I still have problems with a lot of website interfaces which in my humble opinion are a pile of garbage. It is also NOT clever to put yellow writing on a light brown background or vice versa. And there are several other colour combinations that do not work all that well either.

But then what would I know. I've only had over 40 years experience or writing software, designing interfaces, and learning how people handle such things. First rule, do not assume that you know what works for people, just because you understand it.

BTW why is El Reg using an American dictionary in a UK publication? It just flagged up "colour" which everyone knows is the correct spelling despite the efforts of some to "simplify" English.

California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

Thumb Up

Re: All well and good but...

@ JohnFen

"Nationalize the physical infrastructure."

Bingo! Or close to it.

Here in New Zealand, all telecoms were handled by Telecom which devolved from the old Post Office which handled (apart from postal duties) telephones and exchanges.

When they started playing games with external ISPs the government of the day stepped in and essentially told them to hive off the infrastructure as a separate company. So now we have Telecom (renamed to Spark, which I hope isn't an indication of things to come) and Chorus which is responsible only for the network. The government put in place certain controls to limit Chorus' ability to play favourites or whatever and also charged them with installing fibre nationwide (as far as is currently practical, so mainly main centres at present).

Chorus installs and maintains the networks and rents out use of same to the various providers.

Spark now becomes just another ISP vying for customers along with any other ISPs. Currently I have the ability to choose from at least 4 or 5 main providers (all offering deals I might say) over fibre or still VDSL if that is your preference although I can't see that choice lasting long as most fibre offerings are priced around the same as ADSL/VDSL. There are probably more but I can't be arsed looking them up.

So, what we have is a private company (possibly with some government shares in it, I know not) but regulated to a point to prevent any jiggery-pokery. Seems to work very well for us.

I love a free market, but some times it needs a little regulation to keep the sharks at bay.

I may have some of the details not quite right, but in essence, the above is the way it more or less works

OK, who had 'Montana' in the net neutrality state pool? Congratulations


Re: They have no right to do that

Ah, leave the stupid troll alone.

The fact that most, if not all, of the rest of the Western world and a lot of the non Western world manages to operate quite successfully on an open internet without breaking it will never convince idiots like this.

They simply spout bollocks to hear the sound of their own voice and don't even have the wit or intelligence to realise that they ARE talking a load of bollocks.

Destroying the city to save the robocar


Re: Obviously the solution is....

"The Netherlands seems to be rather warm in winter... being a marine climate probably helps."


How come then that when I had a 6 month contract in Amsterdam including the Christmas period, the canals started icing over. Not completely, admittedly, but any ice forming in the main city canals would seem to indicate a temperature below zero.

I can also vouch for the temperature as I cycled from the Jordaan district out to near Schipol/Amstelveen most days.

Icon, because I needed a bit of this after my journeys to and from.....


Re: Obviously the solution is....

"Automated wheelchairs."

Have a look at this as a possible solution to your problem.


All it needs is the automatic routing bit.

Should be a piece of cake to implement.

Social network smacks back: Accusers say it helps recruiters target age-groups in job ads


Re: age discrimination

"And not very bright."

You're making the mistake of conflating "being on Facebook" as actually "using it".

I made the mistake of signing on many years ago, but I rarely use it, but do occasionally get notifications of some of my rellie's doings and current whereabouts. Most of the time I get notified of what they had for breakfast. Delete!!! And they seem happy to post photos of their young children all over the Interwebz via Facebook, and no doubt other "social media", of which, mostly, I have no idea about, and definitely no desire to join.

el Reg is sufficient to keep up with the wider world of tech to which I once belonged. I have even managed to persuade viewers of my LinkedIn account that I am now retired, and have no need to be approached for my "ideal job opportunity".

Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation



re Jon Smit

I think, codswallop yourself. If you cared to peruse his comment reasonably carefully, I doubt you will find any reference to the word "drone".

I think you are reading more into it than was actually stated. OTH it doesn't mean that a drone was NOT involved. He just doesn't state it.

Apologies if I am going blind and missed the reference myself.


Trump's tax tease will be a massive payday for Valley tech giants and their shareholders


Re: I'm its a coincidence the plan includes a huge tax break for Trump

@Bombastic Bob


I'm curious Bob. If one lets the people keep what they earn, as you put it, who do you think is going to pay for the U.S. infrastructure, not to mention the military.

How will the arms industry make a living if all that is cut back.

Interestingly, when I worked in the U.S. I seem to remember that one was expected to declare their world-wide income on which they were(are?) taxed. Has that changed?

Bearing in mind that in the U.S of A, corporations are regarded (apparently) as people, why aren't they being taxed on their world-wide income - whether it is repatriated or not!!!

Just asking.

Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars



"Sometimes I think we would do better if we reduced the automation in cars."

I've thought this for some time.

From personal observation, for what it's worth, every so called "safety" device added to cars seems to have resulted in far worse driving than before, and I see the same thing happening with potential additions.

Take eye level brake lights which were mandated some years ago. I'm sorry, you should not be driving on the car in front's brake lights, and if you couldn't see the regular brake lights, then you were driving too damn close anyway. You should be looking several vehicles in front of you, and if they can't be seen i.e.following a large vehicle, then there should be a good sized gap left in front of you.

Reversing cameras. How about car designers actually designing cars with adequate vision to rearwards. I can remember cars which were a doddle to reverse and see if it was clear or not.

Ditto for blind spot warning. Use your damn mirrors, and throw a glance to the side BEFORE making your manouvre.

The more that these "useful" safety additions are made to cars, the more that people assume that they are safe as "no warning" equals safe. BS of the highest order.

Last year I bought a vehicle with the least electronics and safety gizmos that I could find, specifically in order to not for one moment be tempted that it's OK to do whatever, because nothing warned me.

I use my eyes and brains, anticipate road conditions (as far as is practicable) and turned off all electronic "assistance" as far as possible, and fortunately, my vehicle is not one of those that automatically lock the doors when moving. I will lock the doors as and when I see fit. I do NOT want a car telling me how I should drive or even worse, potentially overriding my actions. I will take responsibility for my own actions and decisions thank-you very much.

And before all you do gooders jump down my throat explaining why I should accept being controlled by some bit of silicon and a designers poor sense, I have not had an accident other than a minor ding from a parking misjudgment (mea culpa) in the last 30 years. And that's after 50 something years and many miles of driving. I am not a slow, over cautious driver either. I have been known to exceed the speed limit in certain circumstances, not to excess, and used judiciously and in some cases I have been known to be well under any speed limit because of road condition, visibility or what ever.

I tend to concentrate on my driving much to the annoyance of my other half when she is talking to me in the car. Obviously, being human, my attention may wander, but I do try to keep my attention on the road when other drivers are around, or the state of the road demands it.

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'


Re: HR Fail @TonyJ

Ditto - for the age.

Many years ago when I started work with a largish company in my neck of the woods, I was interviewed by the head of Personnel which then had a staff of 9, who not only did the formal employment procedures, but were also responsible for Payroll.

When I left several years later, it had now become Human Resources with a staff of over 200. WTF!!!

What do they do!! Admittedly they now have to formulate procedures for Health & Safety, but I would have thought that would have taken a couple of people no more than 6 months to formulate.

Oh, they did an "exit interview" with me as well.

Wow! 200+ people to do that - oh, and they had also outsourced payroll by then as well.

Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'


might: Strong push?


"The end of private personal transport, the start of a new public transport system.."

I can't see it happening. What about farmers and other people who live outside of town and the types of vehicles they use. Are you going to have driver-less tractors? They certainly won't be hiring one as they are needed, I suspect. Too useful NOT to own one. BTW I wonder how good autonomous cars would be on gravel back roads, with random potholes and/or loose gravel lying around.

Not to mention tradesmen who keep their tools in them, might use a driver-less vehicle, but probably not rent them as needed, unless someone comes up with a "pod" system that contains the relevant tools, which can be attached and detached very quickly.

I am currently doing copious landscaping on our land, and that involves going to the timber yard, attaching one of their free trailers to transport 1 or more pieces (depending on what I need at that moment) to home. It would be impractical and expensive to have someone deliver a single length of timber. As the project is being designed as a I go to suit the land form (steep) there isn't much possibility of advance planning and buying all the timber in one go.

Having said that, although I like driving, I would still use a driver-less car for certain journeys. E.g. instead of taxis,, but they would have to be available when I want them, and a hell of a lot cheaper than our current taxi prices.


Re: Strong push?


"Really makes me wonder why government and megacorps are willing to throw so much money, time and effort at something unwanted by the masses, unless there is an ulterior motive they have not told us about, but will benefit them immensely at our expense."

Because, in the current government mantra language, "If it saves one life it will be worth it!"

Soooo, you're prepared to spend sqillions of [insert currency of choice] of OUR money in order to save one life, OK, I'll be generous and give you a few lives, only for the undeserving bastards to dies anyway! Besides, you're saving having to pay them pensions. Some people are so ungrateful!!!

See icon, although I suspect there's more than a grain of truth in there.

Nuh-uh, Google, you WILL hand over emails stored on foreign servers, says US judge


@ soulrideruk

"The lib dems also vowed to make marijuana legal should they ever ascend to parliament. Only they dropped it like a hot potato when the chance to govern alongside the tories came up..."

Oh dear, you seem to have no concept of how a coalition works, do you.

You state your position in advance of the election but when it comes down to creating a coalition, it's down to negotiating a deal with the other party. Some of your policies you drop as not being as important as others. Ditto for the other party. I am sure the Tories also had to compromise a bit - maybe not a lot, but you never know. If they are desperate for power then they may be willing to concede all sorts of 'principles'!

If the Lib-dems had acquired enough votes to govern alone, they may well have instituted a 'legalise marijuana' policy. We will never know, so it's rather useless speculating on it.

Kids these days will never understand the value of money


Re: cash

Interesting technology the rest of the world seems to have.

Here in lil' ol' New Zealand I have a single card which is not only a credit card, but is a debit card if I so choose, as well. Any EFTPOS transactions show up up on my account virtually instantaneously, therefore my phone app ALWAYS shows the correct balance.

Having said that, I get really pissed off with the apparently new current fad of asking if I want my receipt, or getting even more common, not even bothering asking. I just stand there with my hand out, waiting.

Any silly sod who does not take their receipts in order to reconcile their bank accounts are just a scam victim in waiting. I have detected several instances of charges being made to my accounts, credit card or current account which I have not authorised (or forgotten about). At least I have caught up with it fairly quickly.

Makes me wonder whether any of them actually check their accounts at all.

US tech giants take brave immigration stand that has nothing to do with profit whatsoever


Re: That's a long article, let me condense it for you.

"supposed to be talking about near geniuses with world class and very unique skills."

Why, thank you kind sir.

I am glad to know that my services rendered under an H1-B visa were of such esteemed value.

Mind you, that was the late 80's when there wasn't so much sub-continental immigration so I don;t think companies had really started forcing the issue of "cheap" replacement programmers. And I did have fairly specialist expertise at the time.

I did find out that the salary offered was slightly less than I felt I should be on, as I had nothing to compare to when first offered. It was done on a contract-to-hire basis, so after 12 months I negotiated a better salary to become permanent. It probably still wasn't what it should have been or what I could have achieved somewhere else, but I was happy, as I was only intending to stay long enough to see some more of the country.

Having lived in the DFW area I had no desire to lengthen my stay over about 2 - 3 years. An interesting experience all the same and we got to see quite a bit of the U.S. as well, which as far as I was concerned was my main objective.


'Grey technology' should be the new black


Re: Websites that break core URL links for no reason

"Something as brutally simple as www.brandname.com/contact...

One of my pet peeves. Actually a lot more than that.

The one I hate is the contact "form" where before you can even start typing in your complaint/query/feedback you are given a drop down list of Categories, Having selected a category, you get another drop-down list from which to select some other pointless sub-category or something.

Why is it, that whoever designs (and I use that word VERY loosely) these things think that they know better than I do about what I want to say. And yeah, I know why they do it, but even an "other" category would be helpful. Then they can learn what other categories should be added.

The other day I wanted to report to my ISP a rejected email from the ISP that a friend in the U.S. uses, and to which I have been sending, successfully, emails for years. Suddenly mine are being rejected for some spurious reason (in my mind, anyway) such as "could be Spam" or the IP address might be faked. WTF!!!! You have been accepting emails from this range of IP addresses for several years.

When I went to the U.S. website to report it, they wanted all sorts of information, such as IP address range, which of course, I didn't know, so I go to my ISP website to report it to be met by the above load of rubbish, with nary a choice for "report an apparent crap address" or similar.

Even worse, no ability to forward the rejection email, so they can see for themselves.

Why not allow the ability for attachments!! Grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch.

I eventually replied to an email received from someone in India on their helpdesk, reiterating the problem, and attaching the rejection email. Finally got an adequate reply, but doubt if I will be advised that it has been sorted.

I guess I'll just have to keep sending him stuff to both of his addresses until such time that his primary ISP isn't rejecting them.



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