* Posts by Chuunen Baka

76 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Dec 2010


You can never have too many backups. Also, you can never have too many backups

Chuunen Baka

I worked as an operator in the late 70s and it's not for nothing they called us tape jockeys. Imagine a bank with all its customer records on magnetic tapes. Feed in a tape with today's transactions and update the records on to another set of tapes. Make two copies of each tape and ship them off site. We spent most of the night copying tapes.

Not just deprecated, but deleted: Google finally strips File Transfer Protocol code from Chrome browser

Chuunen Baka

FTP in the browser feels like a hang-over from the early days of the web. I was using the internet before HTTP was a thing. Having FTP URLs was fairly common before real web servers evolved. Can't see a need for them now.

Multiple customers knocked offline as firefighters tackle flames at Telstra's London Hosting Centre bit barn

Chuunen Baka

suspected UPS fire

I love it when a UPS causes an outage. I remember one company's on premises machine room kept shutting down because the UPS battery was low. "I'm sorry I can't *guarantee* uninterrupted service so I'm going to interrupt it now".

Driveway karaoke singer who wanted to lift lockdown spirits cops council noise complaint

Chuunen Baka

One person's entertainment ...

I'd been stuck in a supermarket queue for 30 mins when a so-called comic turned up with a bloody megaphone and started to "entertain" the crowd. I could have happily given him a kicking but that would have breached social distancing.

Das geeks hit crowdfunding target: IBM mainframes are coming home

Chuunen Baka

Die Geeks.

Plural definite article.

And for the record I programmed assembly language for IBM 360 on punch cards many years ago. Never actually saw the hardware as we weren't allowed into the machine room.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

Chuunen Baka

Re: Plaid shirt?

Further back, in the 1980's the plaid shirt (plus mustache) was the hallmark of the gay clone.

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate

Chuunen Baka

Re: Boo hoo

The SIM card's main job is authenticating the phone on the network. Calling emergency numbers does not require authentication.

Australia on the cusp of showing the world how to break encryption

Chuunen Baka

Re: Ijtihad

"in the throes of"

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Chuunen Baka

Re: Fgs

The UK has become increasingly reliant on inward investment. Johnny Foreigner builds stuff here for, yes, a large internal market but also to export to Europe. That investment is stalling, multi-nationals are relocating to Euroland. Manufacturing is a global concern and will decline in an insular UK.

Slurp up patient data for algos that will detect cancer early, says UK PM

Chuunen Baka

Machines instead of GPs

Machine learning as a substitute for being able to see a GP in a reasonable time to report unusual symptoms? GPs are so overloaded and thin on the ground that preventative care has all but disappeared.

Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

Chuunen Baka


Of course it reduces productivity. Every context switch costs time and energy and Slack allows you to interrupt colleagues any time, anywhere. It doesn't help if people don't read emails because of too many automated emails from other productivity tools - I noticed someone with 3000 unread emails the other day. So people Slack rather than email so as not to be ignored.

For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

Chuunen Baka

Single user

The one thing that I've got out of folk talking about face id is that you can register more than one finger print on the old iphone. I didn't know that people used this feature to share phones with partners etc. Anyway, that's not possible with your new super expensive phone.

'We think autonomous coding is a very real thing' – GitHub CEO imagines a future without programmers

Chuunen Baka

I've been coding for 40 years. When I started, everything was built from scratch. Now I glue open source libraries together. You still have to write reams of complex code but the relative increase in productivity is amazing. There are loads of user self-service products of varying qualities but there'll always be a role for specialised computer wranglers. Maybe not as many as now and definitely fewer doing low level coding.

The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

Chuunen Baka

Just like Google ...

They're just doing what all large cloud based companies do. If a product is not earning, they cut it. Try searching for Google graveyard. I miss Reader most.

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Chuunen Baka

Free gift

All the years I've been annoyed by "pre-booked" and never noticed "free gift". Thanks for giving (gifting?) me another thing to bother me.

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Chuunen Baka


Vaping might be the ex-smokers' methadone but allowing it in public places would be a backward step. I'm old enough to remember when not smoking was consider odd. The end goal must surely be zero nicotine addiction and de-normalisation of inhaled nicotine is important.

Japan's terrifying techno-toilets will be made foreigner friendly, vow makers

Chuunen Baka

I must say that having a spray of warm water up your posterior is not unpleasant but there's a lot of drying to do after. I guess that's why they now have ones with fans. I did once press the front bottom button by mistake and ended up with water everywhere.

Penetration tech: BAE Systems' new ammo for Our Boys and Girls

Chuunen Baka

Lead-free shot

The British Army can have lead-free bullets but apparently it's a step too far for the huntin' & shootin' brigade. They want to carry on their tradition of poisoning the country side.

Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

Chuunen Baka

Lingua Franca

20 years ago if you went to a conference in Europe, you'd need translators for the French delegates but rarely for any others. Now conferences are conducted entirely in English and nobody seems uncomfortable with that. Virtually every well educated person in the world speaks some English. How many Asians or South Americans can speak any French?

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

Chuunen Baka

Re: IoT

Nest bought Revolv and bricked their existing customer base and sod the lifetime guarantee. No way am I going to depend on external software to run my home.

Google: 'Here to stay on business cloud... but a long way to go'

Chuunen Baka

Tie in products

Google lost out because they wanted you to use their private APIs with instant lock in. They're starting to do Docker now so maybe if they push that and undercut the opposition they might do ok.

Ireland's international tech sector bumps up against language barrier

Chuunen Baka

Re: Ek wonder...

Oor soveel as Afrikaans kan praat.

Are bearded blokes more sexist?

Chuunen Baka

Age thing

In my day young men grew beards to appear more mature. Later they shaved them off to look less old.I suspect a lot of today's 20-somethings will be shaving them off as soon as the first grey hair appears.

I have no idea if any of that correlates with sexism.

Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

Chuunen Baka


Well done AlphaGo team but what bugs me about these human vs machine things is that computers don't get tired. The poor old human has to sustain concentration for the whole duration and that mental strength is part of being a grand master / top dan / whatever.

Aye, AI: Cambridge's Dr Sean Holden talks to El Reg about our robot overlords

Chuunen Baka

Cup of tea

Some bod on the Infinite Monkey Cage gave a great metaphor for robotic AI as the ability to make a cup of tea in somebody else's kitchen. I think we're a long way from that.

How to save Wikipedia: Start paying editors ... or write for machines

Chuunen Baka

Style over content

WP is effectively run by a bunch of people enforcing the manual of style. Experts are frozen out because every time there is a dispute, the old hands come down heavy spouting chapter and verse from thousands of pages in the talk: namespace. I used to do a lot of editing in a subject area that now has tumbleweed blowing through its talk pages. Most of the knowledgeable editors have been bullied out or just got plain fed up with the bad vibe.

Engineer's bosses gave him printout of his Yahoo IMs. Euro court says it's OK

Chuunen Baka

What was his offence?

We would need to know if he was sacked for excessive personal comms or the simple act of private use of work comms. If the latter, I think it's unfair unless they had a strict policy made clear to employees. Even then, one assumes there'd be a warning the first time.

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

Chuunen Baka


14 units/week = 1% risk of alcohol related death.

From the Beeb article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35255384

"Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, an expert in understanding risk from the University of Cambridge, said it was important to put the 1% risk in context. He said an hour of TV watching or a bacon sandwich a couple of time a week was more dangerous."


Assembly of tech giants convene to define future of computing

Chuunen Baka

More nebulous hype

Really, cloud this and that is just network and server hosting companies drumming up trade. Hype, hype, hype. There is no paradigm shift, just more marketing.

Wikipedia’s biggest scandal: Industrial-scale blackmail

Chuunen Baka

Too late

For better or worse WP has evolved its own culture and is highly resistant to change. Anyone who doesn't like the way they do things is eventually frozen out. But if you can stay below the admins' radar you can get away with a lot.

Typewriters suck. Yet we're infinitely richer for those irritating machines

Chuunen Baka


The main thing about using an old-fashioned typewriter is that it taught you accuracy. Mistakes were costly and even over-typing with Tipp-ex paper was still messy. And it didn't correct the CC.

And if you want a real challenge, try typing a long piece onto a duplicator stencil. Correcting those was a right pain.

Attack of the possibly-Nazi clone parakeet invaders

Chuunen Baka

Wrong parakeet

The illustration is of a Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) of which there are large populations in southern England. The article is about Monk Parakeets which has only a small UK population and there are plans afoot to extirpate them.

Google opens 'Inbox' heir-to-email trial to biz users

Chuunen Baka


A quick look at the promo shots on http://www.google.co.uk/inbox/ would seem to indicate this is less than revolutionary. Looks like Gmail with a to do list. Outlook's reminder flags has done this for years.

BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

Chuunen Baka

EE bye gone

I found the EE branding oddly annoying. "Everything Everywhere" - what idiot committee came up with that and the rubbish logo to boot?

Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

Chuunen Baka

It all boils down to unemployment. Captialists will invest in IA to replace workers. The researchers can say all they want about that being an unwanted side-effect but for others, it's the main point.

Vodafone: SPOOKS are plugged DIRECTLY into our network

Chuunen Baka
Big Brother

Jason Bourne

When I watch re-runs of the Jason Bourne films, I assume I am suspending disbelief at the CIA's ability to tap into a phone with the quick tap of a keyboard. Now, I wonder if that stuff is not so unrealistic after all.

Charity: Ta for the free Win 8.1, Microsoft – we'll use it to install Win 7

Chuunen Baka

I don't know how hard TIFKAM is to learn because I haven't even tried. I just installed Class Shell and ignored it.

The cloud awaits... but is your enterprise ready for the jump?

Chuunen Baka
Big Brother


That's all.

Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Chuunen Baka

Environment first

I buy organic for the environment and wildlife. Mind you, HMG once warned about excessive pesticide levels in root veg so I won't buy them if there's no organic available.

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Chuunen Baka

Joys of Capitalism

It amuses me that people consistently vote for "business friendly" governments and then are shocked when businesses turn around and screw them.

Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

Chuunen Baka

Re: @ TrishaD

I always call it the "Gay BLT".

If you want an IT job you'll need more than a degree, say top techies

Chuunen Baka

Re: A time machine helps, too.

Unix equiivalent:

ls *.x | sed 's/\(.*\).x/mv & \1.y/' | sh -s

(Assuming El Reg doesn't mash my backslashes and ampersands).

Amazon won't break into sweat about Google's cloud. Yet

Chuunen Baka

Lock in?

I sort of hoped OpenStack was a way to prevent lock-in and to open the market to competition. Instead we get three proprietary solutions.

First the Yanks, now us: In-flight mobe use WON'T kill us all, say Eurocrats

Chuunen Baka

I once left my phone on (accidently) on a flight from Heathrow to Belfast. When I landed I found a text welcoming me to Guernsey. How does that work?

Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Chuunen Baka

I fly between Heathrow and Belfast City often. At City they always call flights with "have your boarding pass and photo id ready". BMI (now, BA) never actually ask for id at the gate but Aer Lingus insist. When I asked why, I was told it was a "legal requirement".

Thousands! of! Yahoo! Mail! users! driven! crazy! by! revamp!

Chuunen Baka

I've been paying for a Flickr Pro a/c for 8 years and have built up a shed-load of contacts. They're fscking the UI up so much I'm using the API to download all my photos with a view to starting over on another site.

Quantum computing gets recursive

Chuunen Baka

Re: Useful?

"Two words: Grover's algorithm"

Wikipedia: "When applications of Grover's algorithm are considered, it should be emphasized that the database is not represented explicitly. Instead, an oracle is invoked to evaluate an item by its index. Reading a full data-base item by item and converting it into such a representation may take a lot longer than Grover's search. "

So it's still all to do with i/o unless someones working on a quantum database. Hey, your data's probably in here somewhere.

Chuunen Baka


Are these hypothetical devices only useful for number crunching? Most computing is actually data storage, retrieval, filtering and transforming. The clever stuff is still in the design of algorithms to acheive new things with the data. Obviously you can run an algorithm more times but the time-consuming part is usually all in the i/o. I don't see how quanta help with that.

I, for one, welcome our robotic communist jobless future

Chuunen Baka


I only see a dystopian future of a workless underclass controlled by robocops and drones. There will be a continuing erosion of human work while politicos bang on about "hard working families". Too many people and not enough jobs will push wages down so the plebs can't afford the bounty the robots produce.

The masses used to be useful as workers and consumers. They will be failing on both counts soon.

Radioaficionados españoles: Echadnos una mano

Chuunen Baka

Shouldn't that be "Echarnos una mano"?