* Posts by dvd

98 posts • joined 31 Mar 2011


Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'


I read a very good analysis of the tesla accident where the car ploughed into the side of the truck.

The explanation, as far as I remember, was that when a human encounters a novel situation they will take care, slow down, be suspicious, whatever. Whereas an ai only has it's training data. So it will always just pick the best fit from that data.

I'm willing to bet that the training data has no images of trucks on their sides. So the ai's best fit was an overpass or something that it had seen before. Bang.

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


Re: I Remember...

When I was at Newcastle in first year they taught us in Algol W. In second year they decided that Pascal was now the tits and we all had to use that instead. Everybody just kept writing their programs in Algol and fixed the syntax errors.

That was possible in the second year as we had data entry terminals, unlike in the first year when we had fucking awful punch card data entry :-|

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes



If you're a touch typist and a hot desker you can 'reserve' your favourite desk by swapping the key tops on the keyboard at that desk.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word


Extended Space

Word fucks about with dashes to make em dashes and en dashes - why can't it change dot space space at the end of a sentence to a dot extended space?

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills


Re: Never saw a car crash into a computer

There's an expression that I've not heard in 40 years since I moved away from Newcastle. In Scotland it's generally Tesco's car park that's reserved for the arse displays.

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?


Re: Good for data-less phone plans

Yep. My mum doesn't have a smartphone and neither do a lot of her pals.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Re: Paris...

> Afterwards people were saying, "Paris, how lucky you are!" Business travel ain't glamorous.

One place where I worked we engineers had to travel a lot - it was absolutely hellish. Long hours, travelling cattle class, getting berated by customers, plus the inevitable extension to the trip length by at least a week. Totally shit. But nobody back home would believe it. Including the top management and the admin staff. They assumed that it was a paid holiday with a little light work on the side.

Expenses worked by getting an advance in travellers cheques and cash and interminable form filling on return. There was a big problem with engineers not having time / inclination to do the admin on return, so there was always a backlog of expenses to fill in.

The management / admin came up with a brilliant plan to clear the backlog of expenses. They announced that no trip would be approved for an engineer if that engineer had not done all their previous expenses.

The inevitable happened. Not one engineer in the company filled in an expenses form. Not one. Business trips for engineers came to a dead halt. Not a single customer visit happened for a couple of months. Management and admin were baffled; they could not understand why their cunning plan failed.

Internet Archive opens National Emergency Library with unlimited lending of 1.4m books for stuck-at-home netizens amid virus pandemic


Re: Current copyright terms ignored... the world keeps turning

In my opinion there should be a use it or lose it clause. If I can't buy a copy then the copyright is lost.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice


Re: Dunfermline

They were starting to make inroads into Scotland but recently they have been closing their branches and have been maintaining a faux presence by keeping a lonely atm open in a few scottish towns.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42


Yeah they were - they were like nuclear bunkers. We couldn't understand it either, but there you go. Eight floors up in our rooms and the signal for radio 4 sucked balls. But practically underground surrounded by (presumably metal framed) buildings it was great.


I was at school when the first series was broadcast. The trailers caused a buzz at school and people listened to it that had never previously even heard of radio 4.

I was at Newcastle university when series 2 was broadcast. The only place in the halls of residence that we could get a good signal to listen to it was in one corner of the library of Havelock hall, so every week we had to smuggle a ghetto blaster in and surreptitiously record it. As it was in the library we couldn't listen to it real time so we had to take the tapes back to our rooms to listen to it after it was finished. I'd forgotten all about that till just now....

All that Samsung users found on UK website after weird Find my Mobile push notification was... other people's details


Re: Package Disabler Pro

All the crapware is basically why I abandoned Samsung. It was just intolerable.

Uncle Sam tells F-35B allies they'll have to fly the things a lot more if they want to help out around South China Sea


Re: Let me get this right

McVities Digestive, you barbarian!

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


Re: "Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly?"

I had burglars steal my reel-to-reel player and leave the rest of my hi-fi. They carefully stacked up the bits that they didn't want and they even disconnected it all properly. It was almost hard to be cross at them.

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally


Yep, I did a free upgrade from windows 7 to 10 just last week. It worked fine. Microsoft haven't stopped allowing it, they have just stopped advertising it.

No horrific butterfly keys on this keyboard, just you and your big, dumb fingers


Re: Chorded keyboards

I had one of these - I hoped that it might help my RSI, but in fact it made it about a million times worse.

It's sill in my box of bits somewhere.

Senior health tech pros warn NHS England: Be transparent with mass database trawl or face public backlash


Re: Dido Harding

Read her Wikipedia page. Her career is a tale of failing upward from one failed company to another.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan


Re: "the backlash is a wee bit overdone"

I would have said that The Register's position on climate change is 'nuanced', accepting that it is happening while at the same time not accepting the greenwash and political posturing around the issue which is so common these days.

While you'd think that this is just intellectually honest, it seems to put you straight into the denier camp in a lot of people's eyes.

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'


Re: Back in the day...

I worked on machines that had power keys exactly at knee height.

It was quite common to come across people with legs akimbo trying to maintain pressure on the power button with their knees while trying to finish up their work and initiate an orderly shutdown before leg cramps enforced a disorderly one.

The time PC Tools spared an aerospace techie the blushes


Re: "Art"

I first heard stiffy in South Africa too.

From then on I made a point of using the term as much as possible.

Vivaldi opens up an exciting new front in the browser wars, seeks to get around blocking with cunning code


Re: Filtering by browser is a throwback

I use Firefox on Linux Mint and the Barclays site works fine...

Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures


Seemingly some people were persuaded to plead guilty to lesser charges in return for shorter sentences.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?


Re: Not on the wall socket

One of the tests at one place I worked passed a 110V site transformer with a hole in the side big enough to get your whole hand inside..........

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday


Re: This is inevitable

Well done, you've just invented kodi on raspberry pi ;)

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority asked drone orgs to email fliers' data in an Excel spreadsheet



My recollection of the CAA was that they hated private pilots of all types.

Help! I bought a domain and ended up with a stranger's PayPal! And I can't give it back


In my experience 'Data Protection', 'Health and Safety' and 'Insurance Issue' are pretty much always code for 'I can't be arsed to do that'.

This fall, Ubuntu 19.10 stars as Eoan Ermine in... Dawn of the Stoats


Re: 32bit

Indeed. My printer only has 32 bit drivers available and already it only works with excessive amounts of farting about to get the dependencies in place. And Dell isn't ever going to do 64 bit versions - as far as they're concerned it's obsolete.

This decision may be the last straw; the death knell for my printer. It's a decision that's going to cause distribution migration or landfill.

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then


Re: Accounts names

I regularly do that. The poor souls handling the call don't care. They are just going through the motions.

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words


Re: This is stupid

Yes, and the whole world laughs at Americans when they use the term African American to refer to someone genuinely from Africa.

On top of this, there's an underlying assumption that everyone in Africa is black, which is a pretty narrow and stereotypical view of the continent. It's a big place and there's all sorts of races there.

Plusnet holds off spirited charge from Vodafone in broadband complaint charts


I can remember when PlusNet was good. Shows how old I am....

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames


Re: Dolt

We had a customer that insisted on sending us massive word documents containing one or two screenshots for diagnosis.

We thought for ages that they were just being obtuse but it turned out that their desktops were so locked down that word was pretty much the only way that they had to save a screenshot.

So they were actually being quite smart.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


Re: Not Unique...

Have you had a cat? Cats only chase mice when they want to, not when you need them to.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire


Oh, absolutely it's a good idea.

I'm more taking exception to the idea that the technology doesn't exist.


"The energy grid isn't set up to store energy, explained Henry, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, in an interview with The Register. "The whole grid is operated by predicting demand and dialing in supply," he said."

Erm .... Cruachan? Ffestiniog? And a few dozen other pumped storage power stations worldwide? With even a few in the US, so he doesn't even have that excuse.

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-


Re: For the love of God...

It was from At Last The 1948 Show.....

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die


Re: Satya Nadella is The Man With The Golden Gum

I upgraded my Dell laptop a few months ago to add an SDD and 3G connectivity to it with very little drama other than finding screws to fit.

Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions


Re: One meelion dollars

A company that I worked for sold software to banks in Zimbabwe.

They asked us to customise the software for them to add six digits to all the amounts. By the time it was done the six digits were not enough. They talked about getting us to do it again but the order never came. We tried to contact the banks but nobody was answering the phones. We assumed that the employees were to busy trying to get food to talk to us about trivialities like software development.

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it


Re: 80186

Those Convergent Technology machines were awesome for the 80s. It's a shame they went nowhere.

The operating system (which was an advanced for the time pre-emptive multi-tasking networking operating system) was called CTOS - Convergent Technology Operating System. Burroughs badge engineered them and in a magnificent display of can't-be-arsedness, changed the OS name to BTOS. What did the T stand for? Nobody knew, but it meant that the string length did not need to change...........

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA


I remember seeing Concorde flying overhead in the early '80s and being almost unable to hear it at all. Dunno what all the fuss was about.

Mind you I was at the Reading rock festival at the time.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires


Re: What no-one has mentioned yet... - DRUMS

They were still using MTS when I was there in the early eighties. I can't remember which mainframe it was on though.

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it


Heating / Aircon

I've never worked anywhere yet where the heating / aircon worked adequately. Ever. One place that I worked had the thermostat in the boss's tiny office in an open plan building of about 10000 square foot. That worked well. And that sort of shit was pretty typical.

I've also never worked anywhere yet where anyone who could didn't fiddle with the thermostat constantly as the temperature was uncomfortable somewhere in the office.

Surely this shit should be sorted out by now.

Canucks have beef with Soylent as to whether or not it's a real meal deal


Re: Canadian Smuggling Time

I was informed by a Scot that the recipe for haggis is:

- take one sheep

- push your arm down its throat, grab its tail and turn it inside out

- hit it with a club until tender

BT fined £25,000 over second unsafe London roadworks this year


Sorry, but you are an arse.

BT are flouting safety regulations that are there for a reason. Heavy machinery is incredibly dangerous and working near it is incredibly dangerous. People get killed in the construction industry regularly by it. And the HSE quite rightly come down on you like a ton of bricks if it happens. And similarly if a member of the public is injured. Unlimited fines. They are not using hyperbole.

Sites should be properly designed and that includes pedestrian safety. Pedestrian safety means closing down paths, crossings etc AND PROVIDING PROPER SAFE ALTERNATIVES. The rules are there to protect everyone. BT are being chancers.

This is not the 1920s where a few deaths on a construction site are acceptable. Come back when you have passed your CITB site safety course and then you can express an opinion.


Equifax's IT leaders 'retire' as company says it knew about the bug that brought it down


I don't get why forcing you to pay to manage this data isn't extortion, and why mistakes in this information that is shared with third parties isn't libel.

BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits


So company stories are a thing, then? I thought mine thought up that wank on their own.

Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'


I had to use Verify the other day. I found it a fucking nightmare and I've got a degree in Computer Science. Lord knows how less computer literate manage.

BA passengers caught in crossfire of Heathrow baggage meltdown


I swore never to use KLM after they made me queue for EIGHT HOURS at the transfer desk at Schipol after missing a connection. It's fun to bad mouth BA but don't hold up another as better. The sad fact is that they are all shit.

Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control


Re: Not Just Us Then

It's not just nostalgia. We are working through it now. It's ####ing hilarious. Stupid but hilarious.

Get it watched.

Orbital boffins cut four years off NASA mission to shiniest object in the Solar System



Isn't the shiniest object in the solar system the sun?

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution


Re: Renewables are not as green as its promotors claim

Isn't that what vegetarians are for? They are like veal for cannibals. Plus they don't have the strength to escape.



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