* Posts by JulianB

111 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Sep 2011


You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference


Ten Summoner’s Tales

That's fine as long as it means ten tales from a summoner. You could have "Ten Summoners' Tales" if you had several summoners.

I understand it's a pun on Sting's surname, Sumner.

SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans


Re: number of genes != better sense of smell

Likewise, I'm not sure that having more genes controlling something means that that something works better, though there must be potential for finer control. Elephants are larger than dogs: is that because they have more "size" genes?

Another good skill to have --- Understanding the business you work for.


Given that the US has four time zones across the contiguous states (and a total of nine once you include the "oddments"), you'd think they'd get the idea that not everywhere in the world is at the same time, but it's still not uncommon to run into problems in our working day because it's nighttime over there.

New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics


"violate common sense and laws of physics"

Unlike other Star Wars films and sci-fi generally...

When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post


and so, ad infinitum

Google for Stan O'Neal. The second hit, after Wikipedia, is Peston's article on how Google won't link to the original article, with a link to the original article. Presumably he'll now get another letter saying that you can't Google this one either, and can publish a new article reporting the fact...

So O'Neal now still looks bad, to some degree, as the result of the first article, and worse because he can be seen to have tried to hide it.

Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?


"this writer's Apple Map app has started giving directions in a Welsh accent"

How does it do at pronouncing Welsh place names? My satnav causes much amusement once you get beyond, say, Cardiff or Swansea.

Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign


Re: Stop calling it #@*$ing "coding"

Yes. A long time ago I worked somewhere that had a programming pool, who turned the analysts' instructions into code. I don't know if such places still exist, but even then, if you were any good you fairly quickly got plucked out into a project team where you analysed a problem, designed a solution, and then coded and tested it. Those other aspects must be worth stressing,if we want to attract either girls or boys who currently think working with computers is boring.

London Tech Week: All for the luvvies and the joke's on you, taxpayers


Re: Tech businesses

Strictly, Boots The Chemist doesn't do R&D and didn't invent Ibuprofen: another division of The Boots Company did that. BTC is the retailer (so I'm not sure why it merits a mention of its own).

BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept


Re: Signs on the reserved parking spaces:

Genuinely, at two different companies, I've been in briefings about reorganisations where they've said words to the effect of "This position should be known as Business Unit Manager, but obviously we can't use that".

And the issue of "what can we change our name to without changing the initials" has also cropped up more than once.

Facial recognition tech convicts man in Chicago robbery case


"activist groups remain weary of facial recognition [...] tools"

Possibly, though I suspect you mean "wary".

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working


Re: Took ages to convince my parents...

Wife's grandmother got some other grandchild to call me to fix her TV remote over the phone, because "Julian's in computers". Yeah, former mainly mainframe programmer, now a technical writer. To be fair, said grandchild knew I'd be no help and was happy to agree with me that going to a TV shop might be better.

Flying saucer with 'stadium-sized' orb to INVADE Earth's skies


Football or football?

Presumably NASA refers to the American aberration of the game. How many US football stadia to one UK football stadium?

Don't snap SELFIES at the polls – it may screw up voting, says official


Yes and no. I've done a bit of this in the past. We only asked for the numbers, which could be passed back to the party to check if any of their expected supporters hadn't turned up and might be offered a lift or whatever. We would have no way of knowing how anyone actually intended to vote, or did vote. The representatives of the different parties happily shared info: we wouldn't know whether a given number was one of "ours" or "theirs".

BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust


And I haven't yet seen an "infographic" that couldn't be better expressed as a paragraph.

94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank


Re: Hard to get the staff?

I see they have 27 applications at the time of writing, so I guess you're right, they'll find someone. Apart from the money, and being in London, what puts me off is that you have to be "fun".

Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)


Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Phones that make and receive calls better (e.g. with a weak signal). It seems that everything about mobile phones has improved in leaps and bounds apart from their core function.

I need speed - any other options?


Re: I need speed - any other options?

I'm facing a similar (but worse) situation. The obvious answer seems to be satellite - Eurosat or similar. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of thing?

Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission


Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

"Except the Jews" - see commandment 6 of 10

London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name


Re: Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

I <heart> New York

Oh, you're from Lincolnshire too?

(5-10 miles NW of Boston, just to make things worse)

Trials of 'Iron Man' military exoskeleton due in June


Re: Or will they just carry an adapter for all the oil rich countries?

No just a standard US-style 110v plug, and then be surprised that not everyone in the world uses the same standard.

IBM x86 sale will disrupt customers and the channel, shrieks Fujitsu


Yeah, right

because the future for Fujitsu is far less uncertain and unpredictable than for Lenovo

Apple's Tim Cook: Fear not, worried investors, new product salvation is 'absolutely' on the way


Re: Forgot Your Own Device

Hmm, sounds a bit like the laptop I take home in the evening, then bring back in the morning and plug into a docking station. Plus ca change, plus c'est la mem-sahib.

UK smut filter may have sent game patch to sin-bin


Re: Obscene Geography

Interestingly, that place name means exactly what it looks like. I don't have my Dictionary of English Place-names to hand, but the entry is words to the effect of "Town with a stream used as an open sewer".


I've been briefed on more than one company reorganisation where the speaker said something like "This role would logically be called Business Unit Manager, but we obviously can't use that..."

Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'


Better than someone I heard of who obfuscated his PINs by writing them down in EBCDIC. So he'd write F1F2F3F4 safe in the knowledge that nobody would guess he meant 1234.


Using a blank keyboard

A colleague of mine used the blank "Das Keyboard", and couldn't tell you offhand what his password was. He just picked a pleasing pattern of keys. I guess that would be applicable even on a conventional keyboard.

Amazon workers in Delaware reject trade union membership


Naive question...

.... but what's to stop those who want to join a union from doing so while those who don't, don't? I've worked in places where some of my colleagues were in one union or another and some were in none. That's in the UK - does the US have an "all or nothing" law?

Yet another pricey Olympics' exec drafted in by UK.gov - this time for broadband spending


Re: wheres mine

You've got a 5 millibit connection? And I though mine was bad...

Even 'Your computer has a virus' cold-call gits are migrating off XP


Difference between this and roofs or cars

I think the difference is that it just conceivable (perhaps not to you and me, but to a lot of people) that Microsoft would know that your Windows computer has a problem and it is possible to give them access and let them do stuff to it remotely. Hardly anybody would accept the idea of Ford knowing your car has a worn bearing and offering to fix it over the phone (there's always one, I guess).

Ever been asked fro your Facebook password ?


Do they mean password?

I think my initial reply would be along the lines of "My password? Do you mean my ID?" (or whatever term Facebook uses)

It wouldn't be unreasonable for a prospective employer to want to look at my public persona as revealed on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., to see how it compared to my persona on my CV.

If they insisted they meant my password, then I'd politely refuse and explain why, as detailed in others' posts, above.

Curriculum Vitae - must rage


>> some agencies are really NOT up to muster on IT tech

When I was being sent to interviews by an agency, I always took my own version of my CV with me, and the interviewer was always grateful to see what I'd actually written before the agency scrambled it.

Classy Oregon diners tipped waitress with 'crystal meth' – cops


Re: "a meth lab comprising a small torch, batteries and other items",

I'm now clearing all other items from my house, just to make sure I'm above suspicion

iPhone fanbois outsmart fandroids in totally reliable test of brain power


Re: I had a go at this test

What this shows me is that phones are slower than computers (or perhaps that touch screens are slower than mice) for web-based interactions. Their fastest finisher took 47 seconds and I've just done it in 45 on a Win7 laptop, doing it "seriously" rather than trying to beat the system.

Horrific FLESH-EATING PLATYPUS once terrorised Australia


Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

Thanks. Exactly the sort of answer I hoped for.


Size estimate based on single tooth

How valid is it to extrapolate the length of an unknown animal based on a single tooth? Could they not have discovered, for example, a standard sized platypus with enormous teeth? Or something entirely different with at least one tooth uncommonly like that of a platypus?

How to spot a coders comment


Re: infinite loop

"DO FOREVER" is a completely standard REXX command...


My favourite comment

discovered when investigating a program that wasn't quite working correctly (and the original programmer had left)


Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)


Re: Over excitement much?

Taking any of these figures, it seems we need a ship capable of supporting many generations of crew, producing its own energy, food, etc. Once we can do that, we don't need the other planets: just stay on the ship.

Call me maybe: Orange loses a segment as competition bites


Re: Ummm

It makes grammatical sense:

* Orange was known as France Telecom.

* Orange has customers in Europe and Africa.

* Orange has no customers in the UK.

* Orange remains part owner of EE in the UK.

"Remains" is a strange choice of word, appearing to imply that it was formerly part-owner of EE outside the UK, but is so no longer.

Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting


You just know...

I'm not necessarily pro-bullfighting myself, but making comments like "I know that there is nothing remotely entertaining about stabbing bulls to death in bullfighting arenas.", when apparently a lot of people are entertained by it, shows a good deal of self-importance. "I believe there is nothing remotely entertaining..." or "I don't know what is entertaining..." would be more rational.

Met Police vid: HIDE your mobes. Pavement BIKER cutpurses on the loose


Re: Youtube broken

An upvote for (almost) pointing out that scooter riders are not bikers.

Obamacare goes LIVE, and so do the survey-spewing spambots


"enticing prizes or in this case, Apple products"

Trend Micro aren't fanbois, then?

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff


Some sympathy

I take on board all the comments about an obnoxious git bluffing about the law, but when the EJ rep asks ‘What are you, some kind of lawyer?’, I wouldn't deny him the satisfaction of saying "Yes, actually", given that it was true-ish.

Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES


Re: Thats strange...

Well, reportedly people have driven directly into the water when they should have waited for a ferry, so yes.

(Possibly an urban myth of course)

Lip-wobbling boffins: Eating Chinese food is like kissing a vibrator


Re: For all the chilli jokes

There's always someone who'll spoil everything by using facts...

Lefthand mice


Re: Lefthand mice

Like you, I use a right-handed mouse in my left hand. However I hold it between thumb and third (ring) finger, left-click with the second finger and right-click with the index finger. Hasn't caused me any strain.

Incidentally, I'm right-handed. I use the mouse with my left hand to keep the right hand free. It seems obvious to me, though nobody else seems to think so.

Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers


Re: Rule of thumb.....

There was a non-Dilbert cartoon on our office wall for years, featuring a CEO type saying "Our staff are our greatest asset. I vote we sell them."

'Chromecast - recycle it after a long fulfilling life of kitten videos'


Re: The "Wooow" juror comment

I can't vouch for this personally but I'm given to understand that a typical reflection from a jury member is "I hope I'm never tried in front of a jury like that".

HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE


Re: Only a matter of time

Well, if the radiation interferes with their DNA so much that they grow fins, I guess that's punishment enough in itself...