* Posts by Still Water

34 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Apr 2011

Google, Oracle cloud servers wilt in UK heatwave, take down websites

Still Water


Assuming this might be located in Slough, given Oracle, and given the same heads up we got at work today about a similar cooling failure at the same time...

A tiny typo in an automated email to thousands of customers turns out to be a big problem for legal

Still Water

Re: What was I thinking?

A very valid way of filtering down applications to review. Previously we advertised for a Sen. Test Analyst:

Please provide CV and covering letter explaining why you are suitable for role, etc.

83 applications culled to 7 due to lack of letter. When apparently unable to read instructions like this, doubts are raised over their abilities to read requirements for testing...

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...

Still Water

44 is way too small to have any power in a clinical trial - exactly the reason why large scale trials are needed. In this case - the RECOVERY trial at Oxford University is a prime example of how to do scientific research like this properly.

'No BS' web host Gandi emits outage postmortem, has 'only theories' on what went wrong

Still Water

Chalk one up...

... to cosmic rays.... :-/

Amazon recalls dodgy solar eclipse shades that offer no eye protection

Still Water

There aren't declared faulty at all, just that Amazon can't confirm they are conformant to the relevant ISO...(for whatever reason)

Still Water

Amazon appear to be very cautious here, though perhaps understandably so (eyesight and solar observation is not something to be taken lightly).

There have been a lot of items recalled from manufacturers who make some of the best solar filters in the world (Thousand Oaks, Baader, etc), just because the AAS don't have the specific model listed or because the marketplace seller hasn't got the correct documentation. It does seem however that they've taken a blanket approach to it where a lot of the goods being sold are legitimate and from reputable retailers and manufacturers.

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Still Water

Re: Don't give me no static ...

It's related, but not quite the same - it is called triboluminescence (whereby small charges are shorted within the glue itself/bond breakage cause the glow) - it's not like the discharge you get when (eg) taking off a jumper made of man-made fibres.

Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Still Water

If you have to worry about this, you need a new IDE.

Edinburgh Uni email snafu tells students they won't be graduating

Still Water

Selling point of SITS: it's immensely configurable. Which is also one of its biggest issues...!

You can write in SQL rather than in SRL, but it's just not the recommended way, but sometimes there's no alternative to getting a (single) query to work in a vaguely sensible timeframe.

But yes - market leader, but probably one of the worst pieces of software I've had the misfortune to work with in my career.

Still Water

Tribal SITS

For all you Uniface lovers: Edinburgh use it. Enough said really.

NASA Sun probe named for solar wind boffin Eugene Parker

Still Water

Re: Chris Waddle

Butros, Butros-Ghali.

Trend Micro AV nukes innocent Sharepoint code, admins despair

Still Water

Killed SharePoint?

Gets my vote then...

How to build a server room: Back to basics

Still Water

Re: [UPS] "batteries are only good for 3 to 5 years"

Corollary: If you can't replace the batteries because they have expanded/deformed due to their age and are stuck in the cage, they are already past their best...

Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

Still Water

Re: Gigabit home internet? Crikey!

Yup - that's exactly it. You don't really notice it's there - everything just works as it should.

Same issue with our local council here as well (preferred to stay with BT for some unknown reason), until it was pointed out that half the village would be put at a disadvantage, and they changed their mind. Other local councils are the same - often because they just don't understand why people would need more than a few hundred kbits to read email...).

FWIW, there is at least one location I know of where the *residents* refused to let the installers come into their (non-private!) close because they didn't want the road dug up. The 4xconnection pots got installed at the end of the road, up to 40m from the houses they are supposed to serve and they carried on! Their loss!

Still Water

I live in one of the villages with Gigaclear and have the 50MBit package. The offering of GB connections is largely pointless (though I know some who are taking it to do hosting at home...) but the point is that Gigaclear have come along and offered a connection which is better than BT could ever do, especially since in places, BT have ruled they won't do the upgrade to 21CN in the near future (in our case only half the village would get it...).

Having previously had a copper ADSL with speedtests down in the 600Kbits (above the 500kb threshold that Openreach set for action...) the guarantee of reliable broadband at acceptable speed is a no-brainer for many, even if they don't *need* 50MB...

And yes, several of the villages are in the Witney constiuency, but Gigaclear started off over the Thames in Blackwood's constituency, and also have extended into other areas. Around here there is much high tech industry (motorsport, science, 2 large Universities, etc) and lots of people who commute to London who can effectively take advantage of home working - this might seem like a good demographic to sell to, no?

I throughly recommend it if you have the option - and as a bonus I now have no services offered over BT provided infrastructure :)

BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

Still Water

I was wondering why when trying to watch VoD through the BBC SPORT Smart TV app I was getting:

Content unavailable. Error code: WIGGINS


Content unavailable. Error code: BOYCOTT

Nothing like a nice informative error message, huh?

BT! dumps! Yahoo! after! 10! long! years! together!

Still Water
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About 10 years too late

The Yahoo service was abysmal - the mail "deprioritisation" they installed (instead of proper greylisting) resulted in massively delayed or bounced legitimate messages and was appalling (and hard to explain - other than "get a new ISP"); trying to obtain technical support as a sysadmin trying to get mail delivered was like pulling teeth.

Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

Still Water

Unknown in decades?

Not sure about that-I had a crossed line and corresponding 3-way conversation about 6 months ago with a nice elderly lady two villages away. She had had a faulty line for 2 weeks. Good old BT..

When open source eats itself, we win

Still Water

Re: Two different things with some overlapping functionality

Agreed - though I've seen them in conjunction in presentation/app tier arrangement. Use nginx to proxy and serve static content (very quickly) and save apache, which does have a larger resource footprint, to handle dynamic content. (eg serve static html, images, js, css, etc from nginz and then just use apache to handle the rest).

As you say, the design of the site dictates how much static content you can hand off to nginx, but in some situations, it's a useful tool to use.

Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

Still Water

Sky moving to Yahoo? Ouch.

If you ever think Gmail is poor, go and use Yahoo mail for a time and see how bad that is (BT mail users will already knowthis). If you receive mail within two days of it being sent sometimes, then you're doing well (vis: Yahoo's cack-handed anti-spam "deprioritisation" method)

How one bad algorithm cost traders $440m

Still Water

Hang on...

...they were testing software on a system that was capable of putting through live trades? This is what test environments are for. They only have themselves to blame.

If this got through a test environment and passed, then really, they need to sack their entire QA team and start again...

Nuke clock incapable of losing time chimes with boffins

Still Water

Re: How?

We *define* the second by using atomic clocks, ergo, an average reading of many clocks can never be "slow" or "fast". If you do something odd with a single atomic clock like take it up a mountain, launch it in a satellite, etc, then it will drift, but that's relativity for you.

Why use atomic clock definition? The definition of a second came about because pendulums, the earth's rotation rate and the tropical year cannot be measured with anything like the same accuracy. A physical principle that nothing can ever be exactly measured.

NB: The measurement of metre is now defined by the speed of light (a defined constant) and the definition of a second rather than by using a platinum bar, or measurements of spectral lines, for much the same reasons - we can measure time far more accurately.

Hubble snaps mystery green death nebula in NGC 1846

Still Water


...Remember it's false colour, so it may not actually *be* green ("colour" is somewhat hard to define in astronomy other than by wavelength of light). The light received may well be green if it's from [OIII] (forbidden Oxygen III transition) which is fairly common in planetary nebulae. (OK - it's more of a teal-type colour, but close enough).

Gas bill climbed £13,000 after correct online reading given

Still Water

Just, huh? If that's a feature, then the person who designed it needs to have a severe re-think. Sure coping with the 99999 roll-over might have a little bit of logic, but when you're in the 13000s, it's rather unlikely...

Brands stiffed by .xxx briefs' cock-ups

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Crazy rules

I know you should really think about the trademark process and trademark both mycompany and mycompany.com, but really daft rules...

Rogue toilet takes out Norfolk server

Still Water

Megaplop reduces server megaflops

As title...

Hundreds of Brit pubs to offer free WiFi

Still Water

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I've not managed to find many proper OpenZone hotspots that aren't associated with a BTFON point - OpenZone hotspots are included in many mobile plans, but OpenZone hotspots associated with BTFON points (ie home routers) aren't.

Confusing? Er, yup, especially since there's sometimes no way of telling what hotspot type it is without just trying it, only for it to fail...

Evil Android Trojan records your calls

Still Water

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Quite - I've been looking for one for a while and can't find a decent (free) one.

8m health records go walkabout

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...is great, as long as the user doesn't leave the decryption password on a post-it/sticker on the laptop case/keyboard...

IT security is only as good as the users who have to use it.

Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel

Still Water

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Not ideal, no. But portable, within the grasp of a single half-competent user without having to resort to hiring developers, DBAs etc. Of course, if there's more than one person using it, you are royally shafted.

Not sure a role "managing an Excel database" falls under the job description "Database Administrator" either...

Danish embassy issues MARMITE WAFFLE

Still Water
IT Angle


Now we're talking.

Italian bus driver goes completely hands-free

Still Water


...was waiting for the predicted earthquake to hit and sending a few last SMS while he had chance...

Facebook fails webmail tests

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Thumb Up


Absolutely. Even people like Unilever use them for developing their washing powders as they hardly break down and are built like brick shithouses.

Scottish news site admits coding mishap caused outage

Still Water


Yup - having a test system that's like live (and not just some apache server running on a dev's local box) would have probably gone a long way to picking this up.