* Posts by Dropper

375 posts • joined 8 Jan 2011


DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world



Are you telling me they managed to fuse together an 8 year old child hopped up on Easter eggs with a really fast blue hedgehog?

Raspberry Pi OS update beefs up security


Ransomware attack causes massive 4 minute outage

I can imagine the sinking feeling you'd get if your Raspberry Pi was compromised.. especially when the realization hits that trying to find another SD card amongst all the crap in your desk drawer is a complete nightmare.

Remember Norton 360's bundled cryptominer? Irritated folk realise Ethereum crafter is tricky to delete


Heh Norton

Over the last few years I've found it installed on enough PCs and laptops to know plenty of people still use it. Without the crypto stuff enabled, it isn't any worse a drag on resources than any other consumer AV software - if you're not still using something you built in the early 90s.

And in terms of performance/protection, pretty much all mainstream, commercial AV suites are more or less equal - which is to say slightly better than having Windows Defender but a long way short of having real endpoint s/w and h/w protection.

What I find funny though is how people are proudly stating they ditched products like Norton in comment entered using Google Chrome or Firefox.

You don't get to be superior about not installing software that makes free use of your PC when you gift tech companies all your personal information. And if you use any social media or have installed a smart device? ROFL at the people that do this and then claim they know what they're doing because they avoid McAfee or Norton.

Don't worry, the halo won't fade from the IT dept when this pandemic is over – because it was never there



2020 was an awesome year - I was working for a non-profit that provided very decent low income housing to the less well off in Vegas. In the words of our CEO, "IT knocked it out of the park" when it came time to transition 100% of the office staff to working from home. The move was flawless and took about a week for the 3 of us to get laptops fully setup, patched and delivered to 134 staff.

All laptops came with docking stations, dual monitors and a decent keyboard and mouse. VPN software was installed, accounts created and connections were tested using hotspots. Remote conferencing was handled by Teams and Zoom. We had already migrated to Exchange online and Office 365. Surveillance, rent collection and project management applications were also browser-based, so as far as software went it was fairly easy to get it all ready to go.

Another week later and any teething issues were sorted - everyone was able to connect, work and communicate. Job done.

About a month later all IT staff were called in for a meeting, where it was announced that the entire department was being outsourced. The wonderful non-profit we worked for gave us an entire 3 hours notice before terminating our employment. The reason, we were told, is that despite handling the transition to working from home quickly and flawlessly, despite keeping control over issues and having no long term problems to address.. they did not have confidence we could continue to provide the necessary service as the company grew.

So absolutely. Don't worry about losing that halo - it was most certainly never there.


This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification


In my job I'm not allowed to be part of the always on culture, because they're now too afraid to let me join.


Re: Expect a reply when I am in the pub ?

After a series of experiments combing whitley neill rhubarb & ginger gin with various tonic waters, flavoured drinks then eventually carbonated water because we just stopped caring, I found that responding to every work-related notification I received has resulted in new HR policies regarding responding to Teams messages, emails and work-related texts after hours.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell


Been there

Seems like covid has brought out the worst in hiring practices, and for some reason interviewers still don’t understand that the candidate is also interviewing them.

As for the 8 interviews saga. Every idiot company does this now, or so it seems.

“We noticed the guy that delivers sandwiches hasn’t had an interview with you yet, so we’d would like to line just one more.”

I had one company suddenly contact me after 6 weeks of silence, to see if I could do one more interview. Besides the fact I’d long since started a new job, that length of silence means one of two things. Someone quit on the first day and they’re now contacting a 2nd or 3rd choice - or they’re a disorganized, dithering bunch of morons.

I’m now done at 3 interviews. If they ask for more I tell them I’ve chosen another company who was better qualified for the position I’m interested in, but I’ll keep them on file should I need a new position in the future.

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


Multiple Accounts

If you want to access multiple Microsoft accounts without resorting to multiple vms, make liberal use of incognito browser windows and never save your passwords - unless you have a multi-platform, multi-browser, password manager.

And no one does this well - as you stated, everything assumes that each user will only have one account. I admin 4 separate Office 365 systems, 2 of which use the "hybrid" combo of an on-prem mail server + Exchange 365. I have migrated users from Google Workspace to Exchange 365 several times - and what I learned is the more forgetful a system is, the better.

Saving passwords nearly always ends up being more of a hindrance than a help, and even if software says it can handle multiple profiles, usually that's an outright lie if you need to do anything remotely administrative.

SteelSeries Apex Pro plays both sides of the mechanical keyboard fence – and wins


Not convinced

I believe Razer has released something similar with their new Huntsman keyboard, and it has an equally eye-watering price tag. I'm not really convinced by either, but I can see the appeal. Personally I need to feel the actuation, but I also don't want the keyboard to be too noisy - so I just prefer the razer orange / mx brown switches.

If someone doesn't care about typos - and their gaming requires an instant response - then I understand why they'd prefer these linear style switches. I can't see myself being converted though. I've tried a linear switch keyboard and I ended up hating it, because it was too horrible to type with.

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager


Never Change

They never change really do they? Since the late 80s they've been doing this - whether it was the hard disk space doubling software, the clones of Norton and PC Tools utilities or whatever else they vacuumed up in their pursuit and destruction of rival software houses.

Back then there were all kinds of rumours about cloning software, destroying the originator's sales in the process, then waiting them out in lengthy copyright trials which they eventually won by default when the competitor went bankrupt.

They developed OS2 for IBM, accidentally creating a better product than Windows (it actually had something only the Amiga could lay claim to at the time, pre-emptive multitasking), but if the rumours are to be believed they deliberately sabotaged the product with bad code.

In the 90s it was Linux, which they assaulted after buying Unix from Novel - then claimed that Linux was just a rip off of their product (acting as if they were somehow responsible for all the development of Sun Microsystems).

So.. here we are again.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump


Re: Give a child the information in the wrong order.

No sorry. I watched this mess live (I'm still at a loss to explain why).

Word salad or not, he did state we should try injecting it as a treatment, then went on to insinuate that it could be used to clean the lungs (admittedly no delivery method was mentioned).

He was talking about disinfectant. No mention of bleach (thankfully, as some use this as a hideously painful form of suicide). He did not mention other products, he did not say develop a drug like disinfectant. He said we should try inject it, to treat the infection inside. In-fucking-side (profanity directed at Trump, not you).

I get what you're saying. He regularly rambles on, emitting an unintelligible word-salad of nonsense.. so it stands to reason that maybe the same happened here. It did not. He said the words, in the correct order to make a sentence. On the one hand I was delighted for him, he said an actual sentence in English. On the other I was in a state of shock for about 3 minutes, unable to respond, after hearing what that sentence was.

And yes, he did mention using UV light, but as he clearly has no understanding of science, he does not recognize how dangerous this would be. It's unfortunate that someone allowed him to learn of this method of cleaning surfaces without at least an attempt to educate him first on its dangers.



I tried my first Clorox-Tini.. shaken (of course).. and aside from a little hoarseness, difficulty breathing, retching, full-on vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and mouth burns.. I didn't notice anything untoward. I think he might be on to something here.

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket


Steam Powered Rocket

Mad Mike: The Earth is flat.

Earth: No.. you're flat.

Tea tipplers are more likely to live longer, healthier lives than you triple venti pumpkin-syrup soy-milk latte-swilling fiends


Tea and Beer


So a cuppa in the morning and a beer before bed.. heart attack risk reduced by nearly half!

So can I cancel death completely by eating bacon sarnies with my tea and a vindaloo with my beer? If so, it would be the final proof that God is British.

Behold Schrödinger's Y2K, when software went all quantum



After emigrating to the US in 1999 I was besieged by weirdos asking me why I wasn't snapped up by companies panicked about the approaching apocalypse.

I remember being incredibly confused.. because while everyone in the UK had long since worked out that the worst that could happen was some obsolete kit (mostly VCRs) might get the time wrong and fail to record (or actually record) a few TV shows. Oh I think someone mentioned shop/bank doors on timers might need to be manually opened.

I tried to explain to everyone who asked that a few vcrs telling the time wrong would not cause buildings to explode, economies to collapse or planes to fall out of the sky, but they remained unconvinced. Eventually I did find employment and spent New Years Eve on-call, silently laughing inside at the huge amount of nothing I was doing while earning massive amounts of cash.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market


Cost prohibitive

I can get the car I need - a 1-2 yr old AWD vehicle - for about $20-22K. To get an equivalent hybrid would add a minimum of $10K or 30,000 miles. If you're lucky.

And even if I was able to spend the extra money, buying a used hybrid is too risky. The cost of replacing hybrid batteries is extortionate.

If I didn't live somewhere where it snows for 7 months of the year, with temperatures that regularly fall well below 0F, maybe I'd consider a used hybrid FWD car.

I'll do my part to try to be as carbon neutral as I can in other ways. Transportation just isn't something I can gamble with.

The immovable object versus the unstoppable force: How the tech boys club remains exclusive



My problem with articles like this is the assumption that only one sub group of people are affected by preferential treatment. There's no doubt that certain groups have been discriminated against, but that discrimination isn't against a single target. The greatest con game played against the poor is to pit each group against each other, leaving the wealthy to laugh at us all.

No we should not start reverse discrimination based on gender, orientation, ethnicity, financial status, nationality, age or whatever other arbitrary factor pits one set of people against another.

Why should person be at a disadvantage for the rest of their working lives, just because people who look like them have committed injustices? That kind of reasoning promotes discrimination and anger, while those with the power and money just sit back and laugh as the people below them fight amongst each other.

Why can't we just have fairness? Make it a civil crime to not be fair. Fine companies that have been found to deliberately exclude individuals from promotion or other rewards when it can be clearly shown they favor one set of people over others.

All I hear when I see articles like this is another attempt to let the good old boys club continue as before. Because this article isn't a call to bring them to account for their actions. It's a call to let them continue as before, but instead of targeting women they get to choose another group to ignore.

You only need to click once, fool: Gaming rig sales up as Trump presses continue on trade tariff tussle


Re: Panic buying ?

He couldn't care less what the effect is on his own economy. He's used the common right wing tactic of stating the opposite of what is true, and as usual it's being lapped up by everyone who votes that way.

He's using tariffs in the same way he's using a fence on the southern border. To get votes for his re-election from xenophobes.

The fact that all tariffs on goods are paid for by American consumers isn't a concern for him. He has his supporters thinking that he's got one over on "Johnny Foreigner". They certainly won't let something as inconvenient as facts or the truth get in the way of the believe that he knows what he's doing. Even when it affects the cans used to make the beer they ask other people to hold.

How long is a lifetime? If you’re Comcast, it’s until a rival quits a city: ISP 'broke' price promise


It definitely doesn't mean what you think it does

Even if you can get a corporation to admit they used the word "lifetime" on a cable/internet contract, they'll quickly refer you to the small print definition.

"Lifetime contract" generally means the lifetime of the contract - which can be any length of time they want it to be.

Guarantee that even if they did use the word on a written contract, there will be small print definition that explains that as soon as the company decides to cancel or change the contract, it's "lifetime" is over.

The tech world is always using this word and it always means the lifetime of the product, not the lifetime of the person buying it. The usual time frame for "lifetime" warranties is 2-5 years.

Other industries do the same thing. Your "lifetime" warranty on a mattress is usually about 10 years, but can be 20. Your lifetime warranty on a vacuum cleaner is normally 5. Hard disks 3. I've yet to hear of a product whose warranty ends when you die.

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


Trust in thermal ink?

It makes zero sense to trust something that won't last as long as the shortest warranty. Fortunately any shop worthy of your business wouldn't need an actual receipt for returns, there are numerous other ways to pull that data should your gear turn wonky.

Geo-boffins drill into dino-killing asteroid crater, discover extinction involves bad smells, chilly weather, no broadband internet...


Re: Fahrenheit?

Never really understood why anyone cared about what set of units a person uses. They're just numbers. As long as the person using them is consistent, it doesn't matter which are used.

As a child of the 80s I was brought up using both imperial and metric numbers and like most of my generation I just automatically convert one to the other.

I suppose the other part of that is base 10 is a poor fit for a world dominated by technology, which prefers base 2 or 16.

There's a fair argument to be had that base 10 is the mathematic language of simpletons who can't count beyond the number of fingers and toes they usually have. Of course imperial is even worse.. because it uses random quantities as it leaps from one measurement to the next.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI



Exactly this every time someone suggests something as stupid as giving up your DNA voluntarily.

I know people will swap their AD usernames and passwords for a pen.. but surely they would want to keep something that can put you in jail, identify pre-existng conditions to medical insurers or proof you're related to the Welsh safely contained in their keyboards (skin, hair, etc).

Sorry, Samsung. Seems nobody is immune to peak smartphone



Networks failed to deliver anything close to the true potential of 3G and 4G. Right now most users say that 5G download / upload speeds are no better than their old 4G LTE networks. Obviously the key attraction of 5G is capacity rather than speed.. because the capacity will be greater phone companies will be more able to meet their bandwidth demands, which they patently can't with 4G. But anyone who believes that throttling and metering won't return are naïve.

It's been a cycle of yo-yoing from metered to unlimited to metered over the last 15 years or so.. the promise of giving something I used to get for a fraction of the price if I buy a $1000 phone? Yeah.. right.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock


It's not just the cost of iPhones

As much as I enjoy randomly bashing large corporates like Apple, the truth is they aren't the only phone company that's going to feel pain.

1/ It's taken a while, but people have finally woken up to the fact that new phones aren't that much better than old phones. Apple kind of blew it for everyone when they decided to cut the price of battery replacement to $30 for a year. Anyone who replaced their battery found out the phone started performing like new for a multitude of reasons, not least the fact the a cell phone OS is not exactly demanding on a modern day processor and most cell phone processors have been overkill for tasks they perform for about 10 years now.

2/ The cost of phones has sky rocketed for sure, but the real factor in slowing down new purchases is the fact that phones are no longer discounted and tied to 2 year contracts. Instead they are leased for 2 years on a monthly payment plan. Once those payment plans go, phone bills go down $20-$40 per line. Anyone here eager to suddenly increase your monthly phone bill for the sake of a slightly larger screen with a slightly better (but still crap) camera? I have an iPhone 10. The photos I take are still shit because a/I'm shit at photography and b/it has a sensor the size of a pin head. The only reason I have the phone I have is because it was heavily discounted and my old one broke. If either of those was not true, I would not have saddled myself with a monthly payment plan. You see the whole "contract free" thing is a scam. You still have a contract, only now if you don't pay the bill instead of only slamming your credit and cutting off your service.. they can also repo your phone.

So yeah, phone sales are going down.. and I can't wait to see what other companies also feel the pain when everyone realises that cell phones can easily last 4 years.

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip


"The flight team investigating the breakdown have deduced that Dawn’s hydrazine fuel reserves are empty".. or...A space alien invasion fleet turned it off to prevent detection.

It'll be one of those two things.

Bitcoin backer sues AT&T for $240m over stolen cryptocurrency


Maginot Line

Ironic he should mention the "Maginot Line" line.. because as with the original, what cost him was his unshakeable faith in what he believed couldn't possibly happen.. did happen.

The Maginot Line if anyone is interested, is not where the Germans crushed French troops. It was an impervious system of bunkers and fortifications that forced the Germans to re-evaluate and invade France via Holland and Belgium. The British and French had expected this and therefore set up a defensive front in Belgium, part of which included the Ardennes forest, which the French left undermanned. They believed it would be impossible for the Germans to move quickly enough through that region and could therefore reinforce at leisure. Unfortunately they were "wrong". The Germans successfully pushed through, encircled Allied forces and forced the British to retreat to Dunkirk.

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)



I would have thought the easy way to fix this situation would be to insist that if anyone who wants compensation for digital content, they must insist that a notice of copyright and a link to obtain permission (or payment) on any work that is published. It would then be the responsibility of the website that is publishing the content to comply with the request, and would be liable for misuse if they did not.

The rights holder could easily have told the travel site: "Sure you can publish my photo for X number of shiny coins, but only if you include the above information."

Whether a rights holder allows free educational use of their material would of course be up to them.

Alaskan borough dusts off the typewriters after ransomware crims pwn entire network



"The attack is notable not only for the way it dismantled an entire organisation's computer infrastructure, but the remarkable honesty of the victims."

While I was living and working in Alaska, it was always refreshing that the IT staff I worked with didn't bother to waste anyone's time trying to hide mistakes. There wasn't really any need to. We just didn't have the money to hire the expertise that would have prevented this kind of attack, let alone the software and hardware. Besides, it helps with post mortem troubleshooting when you can step through mistakes without having to worry about whether a job is on the line. People are a lot more honest when they see that owning a mistake results in trying to figure out how not to make it again rather than finger pointing and disciplinary actions.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade


Windows tablet

It's a browsing tablet that allows you to edit the occasional Office document. It can probably handle the needs of students in lower age groups and can probably be used for coding or as a reasonable diagnostic tool (hook it up to electronic devices to analyse them via a USB / serial connection). No one who buys one of these things is going to try gaming or edit complex images in Photoshop.

At $400-$600 it's a bit over-priced, but not by much as it's obviously meant for someone that doesn't want to heft a laptop around. Only someone that wants a tablet-sized device would ever buy this - and as a tablet you expect limitations at that price point. No one buys a regular iPad and expects it to replace a MacBook Pro, so why would this be any different in the Windows world?

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi


Tip of the hat

For the deliberate attempts to antagonize the few on this site that past there English language exam's.

You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart


Phone Calls

Strangely nothing has been said about the ability to make a reliable phone call here.. because if it did the $1000 iPhone X would be slammed, followed closely by the iPhone 8. Can't tell you how often over the last month (since the last major iOS update) both mine and my wife's iPhone X have resulted in calls where the other person couldn't hear us - as though the front-side microphone just turns itself off, then back on, then off, randomly throughout calls. A quick search reveals the problem has been around since launch and has not been fixed. Oddly, I had no issues for the first couple months then after the last micro update, using the phone to make a call has been awful.

Official: AMD now stands for All the Money, Dudes!



Always been a fan of ATI and AMD products, however the only game I've been playing for the last 5 or so years is WoW.

While pairing a decent Ryzen processor and Radeon card is viable for WoW, it's been more cost effective for me to stick with Intel / NVidia. WoW relies almost exclusively on single thread CPU processing power and Intel still leads AMD in this regard. With the video card, the cost of equivalent Radeons still seem heavily affected by the cypto currency "tax".

The good news on that particular idiocy is that both AMD and NVidia are going to release GFX cards with no video ports at slightly lower prices, which they hope will mitigate the price of regular cards.

If I played other games, I'd probably return to AMD for at least the processor. But I'm not paying a $100-$200 tax on a video card just because I like the manufacturer. Being brand loyal for the sake of it is idiocy - no corporate gives a crap about you, so you should always go for what gives you the best value for money.

Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build


Time to roll the dice

I live on the theory that computing is the ultimate gamble.

Since I bought my first BBC Micro thru Commodore Amiga thru various PCs I have always thrown the dice to see what will happen.

HDD meltdowns without adequate backups is just my way of performing a disk purge.. cleaning up all that wasted space cluttered by tax returns, family photos and contact information.

So sure.. new Windows update.. ahead full speed mate.

Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show


Not a terrible idea

On the Surface (unforgivable.. I'll get my coat) it's not a terrible idea.

The problem is there's no way it will have sufficient performance to run even a scaled down version of Windows at that price. iPads have a huge advantage in performance because the OS is so simplistic and therefore has little overhead in comparison with a full blown OS.

The downside of course is that iOS doesn't offer enough to be viable in all business environments.

My wife is a teacher, the school she works at gives all students an iPad for the school year, which they get to take home but have to return in the summer. These iPads come with professionally created apps that are used to supplement (not replace) traditional education. The age of the kids is 8-12 and as such the restrictions and limited scope of the apps is fine for their purposes.

Once you get to a point where your users start needing professional applications with the features that you expect to find in a business environment, the limitations of iOS are very quickly found out.

Android, iOS and Windows RT are far too limited. So while I can see a cheap Windows tablet being useful, it wouldn't offer much more than a Chromebook. Simply.. would you buy a Chromebook for 500 quid just because it's flat?

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace


To assume

"the idea that the universe is the way it is today and can obviously support life because we exist"

That's a pretty big assumption.. we might equally all be the figment of each other's imaginations.

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet



Next time they get a chipped windscreen they'll know now it's probably best not to go with the cheapest guy. Check the yelp reviews next time.

Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know


Notch Support

If the rumour sites are to be believed.. and they usually get things at least 1/2 right.. then pretty much all new iOS models are going to follow the same design as the iPhone X.. which is probably why they are insisting on everyone support the thing.

I have an iPhone X.. the notch is a necessary part of the phone. Doesn't look good, but I know why it's there. Could they have designed the thing differently? Probably, in the same way they could have waited a year and nailed down the behind-glass fingerprint sensor they were going to use.

I don't have an issue with being pushed to support the latest SDK, that's best practice anyway. I do have issues with their rushed design philosophy. This is new for Apple. In years past, for all the flaws in their over-priced products, they at least made good-looking stuff.

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down


Sales reflect reality

First of all I have an iPhone X, because I wanted one.

But I fully understand why most people don't want one.

In terms of flaws, I don't really count the "notch" as one of them. It doesn't affect the way I use the phone. I don't watch videos or movies on a 5" screen.

The first deal-breaking flaw of this phone is its breakability. Dropping glass on the floor usually has one result. I've seen some awesomely expensive cases fully protected by their shatter-prone phones. The cases came through drop tests without a scratch. Unfortunately the same could not be said for their contents. Bottom line, don't drop an iPhone X. You might get away with one or two drops, I even seen it survive drops case-less, but all you're doing is weakening the phone to point where it will shatter.

The second deal-breaking flaw is that it's overpriced by about $300-$400. No phone should cost more than $600-$700. Carriers offering interest-free loans is just code for the re-introduction of contracts.

Finally that battery. A good battery will degrade to about 80% efficiency after two years - if you avoid unnecessary re-charging. Conventional wisdom says that it takes about 500 charge cycles for your average battery to reach 80% efficiency. The problem with the iPhone X and phones like it is they can make use of wireless charging, which is harmful to battery life. Unlike wired charging (modern cables place an almost negligible load on a battery at 100% charge), wireless charges continuously hit the phone's battery with charge cycles, speeding up its end of life.

So to fix problem 1, I won't drop it. Much. To fix problem 2, I got a discount then paid the rest in full. Saving up for a thing you want works. To fix problem 3.. well you can't, but avoiding wireless charging will lengthen the time I need to visit an Apple store to pay for an $80 battery.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick



I remember shortly after emigrating to Alaska, I was completely flabbergasted to find that not a single person understood the phrase "green cross code"...

Desktop PC shipments dip below 100m/year


They're too good.. for their own good

Trouble is, and I know the Reg has stated this themselves, PCs are just too good. Same goes for mobile computing really.

I looked at upgrading my 4 yr old PC with an equivalent model (i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, decent video card, etc) and found today's models benchmark maybe 10-15% faster than my own.

As my current machine boots up from POST to everything loaded in the system tray in under 2 minutes, it's difficult to justify the $1000+ required to purchase something better. Worse.. new games still run at decent settings at over 60 FPS. Not max settings for sure, but I don't have to move the performance "sliders" too much to the left. Photoshop and Premier still tick along at excellent speeds, 3D Studio churns out awful attempts at rendering at a brisk pace. Simply put, stuff today is too good.

Same goes for tablets and phones. Swap out the battery and if it isn't over 3 years old the chances are it will run the latest version of your mobile OS at a very respectable speed.

Moral of the story. Make sh!!tter stuff guys.

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus. Even though a watchdog says tech is quite atrocious


Driverless cars yes.. GPS apps no

So let me get this straight.. cars with no drivers are fine, but using your phone to give you directions is not.. well played California.

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump


In-Person interviews

Actually when my conditional status was converted to permanent status, it was done without an interview.

The only "interview" I had - from the initial application in England to receiving my permanent status - was at the counter at the US Embassy after the doctor examination (all applicants have chest scans for TB and an AIDs test to make sure you're not emigrating for medical reasons). I handed over my supporting documentation to prove my sponsor (wife) could afford to support me in the event I couldn't get a job and that was it. The interview consisted of a few yes/no answers regarding the financial documents and tax returns.

When it came time to remove the conditional status from my residency, the documentation I used to support the fact I was in a real marriage was sufficient to bypass the interview process. It's hard to say a person isn't in a real marriage when they have joint bank accounts, credit card accounts, loans, mortgages, utility bills, tax returns and affidavits from friends of the family. That doesn't mean people aren't in real marriages if they don't have all those things, but when you do it's better proof than guessing what colour your wife's toothbrush is and what her favourite fast food might be.

GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins



Are GM products limited to veggies? Where's my 100% bacon pig? There's an ongoing bacon drought in the US and not a single scientist is working on the solution.

I can't for the life of me imagine how the US is consuming more bacon than it produces what with portion sizes being a healthy 5-6 slices per breakfast, but if this continues we'll be reduced to rasher-ning.

Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better


I'll pass

You can get a decent i7 light weight, slim laptop with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GByte SSD for less than the worst version of this "tablet". It'll even have a 360 degrees (fold behind the keyboard) HD touchscreen.

No way I'd pay for a glorified iPad ($320) + standard i5 ($150) plus cheapo GTX 1050 ($130) for $3000-$4500. Even if it does have a $150 SSD thrown in.

Save yourself at least two grand by buying a Dell or HP 13" touchscreen laptop with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a 128GB iPad.

Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court



Best policy is to take a bag filled various colours of crystal slime (it's a toy).

Throw in something lumpy to give it texture.

Personally my preference would be the blood clot version and something that resembles skin mixed in.

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale



"Relocation packages don't always cover things like rental deposits"

What exactly is it meant for? If you're offered 12K to relocate, that means 12K to move. Renting a new place is an obvious requirement for moving, along with travel expenses and moving your household items.

Sure he should have researched everything before agreeing to the move, but I would think it was a safe assumption that relocation funds could be used to relocate.

What should not have been a surprise is being sacked for taking time off work while on a probationary period at a company like Oracle. They are a US corporate. There is no "time off" during your probationary period if you want to keep the job, regardless of whether it's your fault or theirs that you need the time off. It's not right, it's immoral and should be illegal - but it isn't. I guarantee they have a clause written into every job contract that allows them to dismiss you immediately if you miss work during the first 90 days of employment, which is enough to satisfy the law in most countries.

Working for US corporates comes with huge risk. It's only worth doing if you know exactly what you're getting into and have a backup plan for when it all goes south.

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist


Forget the kids.. turns out I'm probably a hacker.. but I'm keeping calm, I've yet to find a smoking gun. I'll just keep monitoring my internet activity for suspicious behaviour.. be a bit of a bummer to have to turn myself in though.

Witness Apple's iPhone-iPad extravapalooza here in our no-hate zone


Can't believe they went with 16GB in the base model phone again.. Android phones can get away with this because they usually have SD card slots. If you're going to charge so much for what is basically a fast SD card imbedded in the phone, at least make it so the price difference between models is as negligible as the cost of said SD card.

If I can by a high speed 64GB SD card for under $50.. the cost of a 64GB iPhone 6whatever should be absolutely no more than $50 above the base model. I'm pretty sure that Apple can get better prices on SD RAM than I can.. but if not they should look at buying theirs from Walmart or Office Depot..

'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair


It think they'll be okay

Microsoft are going to make their phones compatible with all apps.. so I think they might be ok.

I despise the Windows phone interface, but only a complete idiot would think making a phone compatible with all apps from all operating systems is a bad thing.

Android apps will run without the user having to do a thing. Download the app, run it. That's how it will work on a Windows 10 phone.

Supposedly iOS apps with have to be recompiled in Visual Studio - you load your project into VS then compile it as a Windows phone app. That's it, no changes, no modifications. We'll wait to see if that works (I predict issues).

Most people producing iOS apps aren't doing so on PCs and therefore don't have Visual Studio. Problem? Not really, Microsoft are about to distribute Visual Studio for Mac OS and Linux at a cost of zero dollars and zero cents. Because they want iOS app developers to put their stuff on Windows phones. Don't hold your breath Microsoft, Apple users tend to have a slight bias against your software.

So potentially, if you can get past the awful UI, Microsoft phones will be the most flexible phones on the market.

Here's a fun fact. Connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to a Windows 10 phone and it will ask you if you want to run Windows in desktop mode. Not sure why you'd want to run 6" Windows PC.. but you could.

NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON



"NASA has decided that putting a lump of rock from an asteroid into orbit around the Moon is better than trying to hook a whole asteroid."

Just trying to get my head around this.. someone decided that putting part of an asteroid in orbit around the moon is better than putting a whole one in orbit around the moon. Okay I get that part. It is better because maybe it's easier.

The part I don't get is why they haven't worked out that not putting an asteroid in orbit around the moon at all is an even better idea.

When you play pool you can either knock a ball down a hole, or you can get fancy and use a trick shot to knock two or three into various holes at the same time. This is like someone at NASA decided that they best way to save the planet in the advent of a planet-killing asteroid would be to get drunk and attempt a trick shot. Do they do all their recruiting from ACME, or just when they want to hire someone for the planet-saving division?



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