* Posts by My-Handle

221 posts • joined 20 May 2011

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Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

My-Handle

Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

I thought it was just me as well!

The Head of Marketing had issues getting to a website. I walked in, hit the (apparently same) link that she'd been trying and hey presto!

Can't explain the street light thing though. That's just weird.

Infra-red light sensors as well. They don't spot me unless I'm right on top of them. Very annoying when I'm in the gents and the lights decide that no-one's about any more.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

My-Handle

Re: How did they learn he was Dalit?

I've experienced a similar phenomenon here in Northern Ireland. Most people I meet here can tell, from a name, accent or turn of phrase, whether someone is Protestant or Catholic. It's almost a reflex for some of them (inc, I was born and raised in England and have a very British-sounding accent. Guess which group I get lumped in with, despite being agnostic :) )

Despite the above, I've never experienced any problems regarding this. It just seems to be something people here are aware of, even if they don't act on it.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

My-Handle

Re: Trials?

I'm not sure I get where the "leave it wherever" mentality came from originally. If I rent literally anything else, I'm responsible for returning it to the renter in a reasonable condition. If the renting company allows their users to leave the scooters in the middle of any pavement, you start getting these issues coming up (like littering & public nuisance, damaged vehicles, having to round them up from all over the city each night).

Surely it would make most sense to scatter a set of stands around a city (e.g. next to transit hubs, car parks, major shopping locations etc). Most people who want to use these things will likely arrive in a city via a transit hub etc and will likely be returning there at the end of the day.

People who live and work in a city (whose house and workplace aren't located near a stand) would likely buy their own version for commuting, if they don't already have something comparable.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

My-Handle

Re: Alternatives are good.

I don't think treating anything that a human might handle semi-regularly with chilli oil is a great idea. One cable comes loose, you plug it back in, unthinkingly rub some dust out of your eye... and suddenly you have a real problem.

I did something similar in my uni days. Rubbed the insides of a jalapeno pepper on the door handle of a particularly obnoxious housemate (himself a bit of a prankster). The results weren't quite as funny as I thought they'd be, even with something as mild as a jalapeno.

On another note, both dogs and cats are permitted in my office and no cables get chewed. Allowing rodents free rein is probably asking for it though.

GitHub redesign goes mobile-friendly – to chagrin of devs who shockingly do a lot of work on proper computers

My-Handle

Re: Qui bono?

"I find it odd that managers of those developers then insist they develop interfaces and software that keep moving the goal posts in terms of usability for Joe Bloggs and his dog."

FTFY

Windows fails to reach the Finnish line as Helsinki signage pleads for help

My-Handle

Re: Is Finland part of Russia?

Should I point out the possible lack of wisdom in describing anything as "for nerds" in the forums of a tech website?

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

My-Handle

Re: New Normal?

I tend to adopt a subtly different approach.

Like you, I feel the call of Loki and the desire to let chaos reign. In my case, I usually take a moment to consider whatever task or game that has been set for the team, then declare a method to solve it quickly, meeting most requirements, and in a way totally outside the spirit of the task. It's way more fun to watch whoever came up with such a daft game squirm, and watch your team delight in the knowledge that they beat the system and can now bunk off for a smoke, chat or drink for half an hour while everyone else faffs around doing it the "right" way.

The last time this happened was at a work Christmas do. Some bossy so-and-so came up with a team building task, to pass a grapefruit / orange along a line of people using "anything but your hands". The other team started trying to use their chins, the crook of their elbows, teeth etc to pass the grapefruit along. My team (once I'd communicated my idea along the line), used glasses, napkins, and finally a fork jammed into the thing to pass it along the line. Didn't use our hands :) Needless to say, our team won. Miss Bossy wasn't happy, but my manager was rather chuffed at us "thinking outside the box". My manager was also on my team :D

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

My-Handle

Re: "The IT manager turned up clutching a clipboard"

One company I worked for (not a small company) had a policy of putting the lowest 15% performers of an entire department on a disciplinary action at the end of every month. People who got fingered two months in a row were fired.

Most people who worked there actually did a decent job, and given their "targets" were way above the actual amount of work they were given to do, the performance statistics were largely random. This effectively turned the entire policy into a game of Russian Roulette. Strangely, the performance of the department tanked and we ended up losing on average 4 staff every Friday for an entire summer.

Boffins find that over nine out of ten 'ethical' hackers are being a bit naughty when it comes to cloud services

My-Handle

Re: "fake credit card numbers"

And too many "marketing opportunities" sent to me by a bank abusing their multi-factor authentication system results in me choosing another bank.

...

Sorry, it's been a long day.

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

My-Handle

Re: Remember when...

I had an issue with ransomware a little while ago. The core program was a small enough thing, but the little bugger had a nasty habit of copying itself into every one of the locations you described above, every time it booted. So if you cleaned and rebooted the machine (air-gapped, of course) and you'd missed even one version of the program, it'd restart and copy itself everywhere again (though at least you could use Task Manager to figure out where it had started from -this- time).

It wouldn't have been nearly as easy for something like that to revive itself without Microsoft's scatter-brained approach to start-up programs.

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

My-Handle

Some colleagues of mine...

There was one place I worked (briefly) that had a lot of developers working on the same (extremely old) code base. It was good practice to tag each new script with your name, the date that it was authored, and what the code was supposed to do. The usual good practice stuff.

One day I came to modify a bit of code. I couldn't work out what it did, and all of the variables were variants of swear words. I scrolled to the top of the code file to look for the author, then leaned over to one of the senior programmers and asked "Who's Wilma Dickfit?".

The senior programmer (a good-natured ageing metal-head), leaned over, read the header note without a change in expression, then shouted "Oi, Wilma!" at the far corner of the office. Everyone else turned to look at one mid-twenties programmer who had turned beetroot-red :D

Apparently he had a bit of a reputation for immaturity, and an inability to learn from experience.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

My-Handle

Re: The Right Stuff

Well, at least you used the troll icon

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

My-Handle

Re: They are to big to fail

Don't bet on it.

They're too big to financially fail, but one too many politically embarrasing situations and Boeing will start to lose those big contracts. Then they'll start losing money and cutting jobs (after all, they won't need the people who were working on those contracts anymore). They might get one or two bailouts, but no politician wants to be challanged on why they're spending so much money on an embarrasment of a company, and with less people working at Boeing there's less incentive for politicians "bringing jobs to their states". That's when the government will yank support and Boeing will go down hard.

The death Boeing dies will be a political one.

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either

My-Handle

Re: Because ... it’ll just work : Nope

Heh, yeah maybe :)

I wouldn't trust a more recent HP to last even three years, but in the mid 00s they weren't too bad reliability wise.

My-Handle

Re: Because ... it’ll just work : Nope

"Because it works for a damn long time."

The same can be said of a lot of less expensive kit. I've got a 16 year old HP pavilion laptop that I dragged out of a cupboard and booted up a month ago and it... just worked.

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

My-Handle

Re: A decent keyboard is a decent investment

I have a feeling I'm sailing against the wind on this one, but in all fairness I've got a Microsoft branded keyboard that I bought for £12 from John Lewis somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago. I've gamed with it, written novels and done development work with it. It's still clean, doesn't have any issues (yet) and only gets minimum maintenance. Currently using it now.

Treated right (or in this case just not abused), even a halfway-decent keyboard can last a fair while.

ICE cold: Microsoft's GitHub wrings hands over US prez's Trump immigration ban plan

My-Handle

To address your first sentence, MiguelC made his post about an hour and a half after OP (holmegm).

NSO Group: Facebook tried to license our spyware to snoop on its own addicts – the same spyware it's suing us over

My-Handle

Re: Anti-Popcorn?

In this scenario, I favour the outcome where the two companies rabidly sue and counter-sue each other until all the money has gone to the lawyers, bankrupting both.

Unfortunately I've yet to conceive a scenario where the lawyers lose too.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

My-Handle

Re: The whole story smells of being a False Flag effort

I think you might have the wrong comments thread. These kind of suggestions are usually reserved for BOFH comments :)

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

My-Handle

Wait...

They actually answer customer service calls?

Pandemic impact: Two-thirds of polled Reg readers say it's business as usual in the IT dept, one in ten panicking

My-Handle

Re: Surely this is the time....

On the upside, either your car isn't drinking petrol or you're not paying for public transport.

Short of tech talent to deal with novel coronavirus surge? Let us help – with free job ads on The Register

My-Handle

<quote>PS: Please don't abuse this offer, though, because, let's face it, you don't want to end up as a headline.</quote>

Biting the hand that feeds IT :) It had to get into the article somewhere.

PC owners borg into the most powerful computer the world has ever known – all in the search for coronavirus cure

My-Handle

Re: When you say spare cycles...

Look, if you don't want to use it then don't. But please don't disparage people who are putting a lot of effort into trying to help. It might be entirely useless, but running this thing actually doesn't impact me (or a lot of people) much at all. And it's pretty likely to have some kind of a positive effect.

As to your proposal that one good programmer and data analyst is worth a million machines... how does one good programmer and data analyst with the power of a million machines match up?

...

I just fed the troll, didn't I?

My-Handle

Re: Very worthy

Update: No work units currently available for my config :(

My-Handle

Re: Very worthy

I've got no graphics to speak of, but how does a pair of 8-core 3GHz AMD Opterons and 24Gb of RAM in an HP Proliant DL385 sound?

Downloading FAH now, be seeing you shortly :)

SpaceX beats an engine failure to loft another 60 Starlink satellites

My-Handle

Re: Paint won't stay on

Something tells me they, as experienced rocket and satellite manufacturers, might be using something a bit more suited to the task than Dulux Rich Black.

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

My-Handle

Re: you'd still struggle to get through a couple of rolls

My SO managed to block the toilet with dog hair. And the outside toilet with leaves.

The mind boggles.

My-Handle

Re: you'd still struggle to get through a couple of rolls

Be glad if you never find out what internal varicose veins can do.

Mine aren't quite at the level of hemorrhoids, but they can require quite a thorough wiping to get properly clean. They are also easily irritated, which can encourage the gut to retain water and not really produce anything all that solid, which in turn requires more wiping. Having said that, even with all the above I still won't go through a roll a week.

And I'm only 34....

FYI: When Virgin Media said it leaked 'limited contact info', it meant p0rno filter requests, IP addresses, IMEIs as well as names, addresses and more

My-Handle

Then we have one of two choices.

1: Drop trou, bend over and resign ourselves to what follows

2: Decide that there should be privacy on the internet and determine what actions need to be taken to reasonably achieve this.

A 4% turnover fine seems like a fine example of the latter to me.

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

My-Handle

Re: "throughput of goods is in excess of the usual Christmas peak"

I shamelessly panicked in a traditional British fashion. I bought another box of tea. Well, the tin was almost empty, what else would you expect me to drink? God forbid that the supermarkets run out of that, what would the world come to?

</Colonial British General voice>

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing

My-Handle

Re: Light the fire

Same here. My granddad (still alive and kicking at 93 years old) was one of the engineers who worked on the Concorde project during his time at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. Would love to put something towards keeping it's legacy alive.

After 16 years of hype, graphene finally delivers on its promise – with a cosmetic face mask

My-Handle

Re: I wonder how long it'll be before ...

Graphene tends to lack the hydrogen component that's somewhat typical of hydrocarbons. Also, I believe small flakes of graphene shear off graphite (i.e. pencil lead) all the time, so if it was detrimental to your health I'm inclined to think we'd have found out by now.

Veritasium did a video on Youtube on how you can get small graphene flakes with just a pencil and sellotape. The tricky part seems to be making big sheets of the stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PifL8bAybyc

It's Terpin time: Bloke who was SIM jacked twice by Bitcoin thieves gets green light to sue telco for millions

My-Handle

Re: File Encryption?

It was a reference to an earlier article, in which a certain gent invested an amount of illicit cash in bitcoin, then stored the passwords on a piece of paper stored with his fishing rod.

When the feds came looking, it turned out the paper had been thrown out by his landlord along with the rest of his gear

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/02/25/drug_dealer_bitcoin/

London's top cop dismisses 'highly inaccurate or ill informed' facial-recognition critics, possibly ironically

My-Handle

Re: Were the Met Police so 'highly accurate and well-informed' in the past?

Her statement is also belied by the fact that they pulled an innocent man off the street and found something to fine him for (I believe he swore at the police officer) just because he hid his face from the facial recognition cameras.

Grade A felon right there.

Your McDonald's demo has expired. For full functionality, please purchase a licence or try another fast-food joint

My-Handle

Re: Demo food

Yep. Integrity, care, taste etc...

Galileo got it wrong – official: Jupiter actually wet, not super-dry: 'No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet'

My-Handle

I believe he also used it in "Men At Arms". Cuddy glommed a clockwork motor off his cousin (or something) to power Detritus' cooling helmet

Outlook more like 'look out!' as Microsoft email decides everything is spam today

My-Handle

Re: Windows Search is down, too.

Well that's a blessing. Usually it just spits a whole load of irrelevant Bing search results at me rather than the file I actually want to find.

Things I learned from Y2K (pt 87): How to swap a mainframe for Microsoft Access

My-Handle

I don't know, it got me my current job. Access / VBA, not the toilet plunger :)

My-Handle

I hold my hand up here, the situation was exactly as MiguelC describes. I was that guy, and yes my code did hook in to "god knows what" as CaptainScarlet suggested.

But... my team was starved of resource. I asked for SQL and was turned down, so I used what tools I had to hand. A year later, the three-month backlog of work for my team had disappeared. The quality of the work we were doing had shot up. I was saving the business something between £200k and £300k in labour costs. And all the while, I was telling upper management that this software was business critical, I was the only one who knew how it worked, and I hadn't been allowed the time to document any of it.

I left the company after my entire team were made redundant. I had a redundancy date 'pencilled in' and pushed back several months in a row, yet my software was still in active use in several teams. I have no idea what happened to my software after that.

So Access... yes there are better tools for the job. But it can be damned useful in a pinch. And it was my ladder into proper software development :)

My-Handle

The first bit of production software I ever wrote was in Access / VBA. When I was discussing it with a few mates (all IT professionals), one scoffed and said it wasn't a real database (i.e. not SQL, which is what he worked with). I still have a soft spot for it, as it can be a surprisingly effective tool in the right circumstances.

European Space Agency chief will quit 'perfect job' in 2021 after 'dirty games' to oust him

My-Handle

Re: What's in a name

To me, the switch from "European" to "EU" sounds like an attempt to put a block in the way of any UK involvement in Galileo or similar projects.

Canadian insurer paid for ransomware decryptor. Now it's hunting the scum down

My-Handle

Of course, the downside of pissing off a company that has a lot of cash and hiding somewhere without an extradition treaty is that the lack of legal agreements works both ways. In the event that the insurance company successfully uses it's resources to find the perpetrators and decides to unofficially send in the heavies for a quiet chat, it might end up being pretty difficult to hold that company accountable.

France seeks science-fiction writers to help futureproof its military against science-fact

My-Handle

Re: For Proprietary Immaculate Provisioning via OHMS

Strangely, that doesn't seem to have lost any clarity in translation.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too

My-Handle

Re: Moving parts?

Back before LiDAR was a commonly-used technology, my employer of the day had a LiDAR unit mounted on a tripod with an automatic pan / pitch attachment. I protested whenever it was on because when it panned (and ONLY when it panned, never pitch) I was treated to a deafening high-pitched whine from some controller card or other. No-one else could hear it and all thought I was having a laugh... until the owner of said unit installed it behind my desk, linked it up to his PDA and randomly set it panning from across the room several times a day, watching me instantly wince.

I was accused of being a bat in a previous life.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer

My-Handle

"Was it a missing semi-colon?"

Nope. Written in Boss-mandated VB

My-Handle

Upvoted

Sometimes, finding the problem is almost all of the work. Just a week ago, I was getting reports of an issue with my code. It was just something small and niggly, one small part wasn't working quite right. I knew that once I found the issue it would be a 2 minute fix. It took me two and a half hours to find.

BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?

My-Handle

Re: Hmmm

In an attempt to stave off death, Mr Burns had a secret particle accelerator built underneath the nuclear power plant. The accelerator's near-lightspeed beam creates a time loop, subjecting everyone in the field to live the same week over and over in a seemingly endless variety of permutations. As such, no-one ages, no-one really remembers any specifics of what went on last week, but somehow they still manage to keep up with the outside world.

Damn, Friday cannot end quickly enough...

Who says HMRC hasn't got a sense of humour? Er, 65 million Brits

My-Handle

Re: bangers and fries

While we're on this culinary adventure, my port of call tonight was a good rib-eye steak (medium-rare). Been looking forward to it all week :)

The other half's on a low-carb diet, so sadly both pasta and chips are off the menu.

And now for this evening's space weather report. We've got a hotspot of satellite-wrecking 'killer electrons' in the outer Van Allen belt...

My-Handle

Re: Size matters

If you take mass to be a measure of size in this case, then actually yes. When you accelerate stuff to relativistic speeds, the energy you put in begins increasing the target object's mass more than it's speed. If these things are moving at near light speed, they will be more massive than at (near) rest.

Whether that affects the radius of the things is for more intelligent people than me to answer :)

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing

My-Handle

I raise you...

I raise your research from a questionable source like an actual doctor doing real research with a video from some guy on youtube.

https://youtu.be/K-Fc08X56R0 (Derek Muller of Veritasium)

His video was specific to fizzy drinks though, not beer. I leave it to my fellow commentards to discuss how relevant this might be :)

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