* Posts by Kernel

702 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011

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Imagine your data center backup generator kicks in during power outage ... and catches fire. Well, it happened

Kernel

Re: This would never have happened at a certain broadcaster I used to work for.

"Indeed there have been some remarkable two-stroke diesel engines developed, such as this beast:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier_Deltic"

Or even one of these:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4rtsil%C3%A4-Sulzer_RTA96-C

- very reliable engines for which IIRC I've seen a figure of 85% efficiency quoted.

Kernel

Re: This would never have happened at a certain broadcaster I used to work for.

"While two stroke diesels exist, I have never seen one powering a backup generator for a modern data center ... "

I have, in a major national telco switching point, cell network control site and data centre containing network management systems, the servers that hold the national directory service data and one copy of the telco's billing data - and all three engines are still there and tested on load every month.

In over 25 years the only time I've known of one of these engines to fail was due to a failure of the electric fan motor on the remotely mounted radiator.

There's nothing quite like being close when all three V12s fire up together, after which one settles down to take the load, one runs at the working speed but off load and the third will eventually shut down after 10 minutes or so. For those who are wondering, somewhere on the high side of 22,000 litres every 24 hours.

UK Supreme Court declares Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed: Ride biz's legal battle ends in a crash

Kernel

Re: Well....

"outside of London, taxi firms have been able to create viable businesses and compete with each other while complying with appropriate legislation. It's only the likes of Uber who don't want to compete on a level playing field."

Here in New Zealand an Uber driver has to have the same license as a taxi driver - but what is interesting is that a) an Uber ride is usually about 2/3 the price of the equivilent taxi ride, b) the Uber ride is normally ready to pick me up within 5 minutes, as opposed to waiting up to 40 minutes for the taxi company to answer their phone and then anther 45 minutes for the taxi to arrive, and c) it is not unusual for my Uber ride to be a car and driver from the same taxi company I tried to call in 'b'.

The long delays in the taxi service pre-date the existence of Uber in my home city, so they are not due to the taxi company's drivers working Uber rather than taxi.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

Kernel

Re: Pretty much had to happen some day

"Couldn't he have drawn his gun and say something like "I suggest you GTFO" ? You know, give the guy a chance to reconsider ? "

I'm not from the US, but I'm pretty sure that I've read that in most states where you are allowed to carry a gun in public this would be considered illegal, on the basis that you obviously weren't sufficiently threatened to justify drawing the weapon.

It's not a difficult concept.

Nespresso smart cards hacked to provide infinite coffee after someone wasn't too perky about security

Kernel

Re: Nespresso...

"we make coffee the same way as the rest of Europe - ground coffee + steam,"

If you're using steam then you're doing it wrong - coffee is made with water that is below boiling temperature, about 97 degrees. Steam is only involved if you're steaming milk to add to the coffee after it's been brewed.

Europe considers making it law that your boss can’t bug you outside of office hours

Kernel

Re: Been there, done that.

"What happens when you win lottery/retire/lose argument with a bus?"

While I fully appreciate the point you're trying to make, I do struggle to see why the OP would give a shit, especially in the event of the bus option.

Drone smashes through helicopter's windscreen and injures passenger

Kernel

Re: Relatively wrong headline?

"If the drone was flying within the legally permitted altitude and area then it could be the helicopter pilot at fault."

Not too sure if this is what has attracted the down votes, but that was also my initial thought - until there has been a proper investigation we don't know which pilot was at fault for failing to keep a look out and avoiding the collision.

Just because you're flying an A380 it doesn't automatically give you the right to land on top of the Cessna 150 in front of you that has already been cleared for landing.

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

Kernel

Re: Attaching a tractor-fed Epson LX-80 dot matrix impact printer was the height of luxury

I've got a few Pi's lying around and a Creed teleprinter in the shed - it might almost be worth the hassle of building a +- 80volt power supply just for the laughs of getting it working.

Theranos destroyed crucial subpoenaed SQL blood test database, can't unlock backups, prosecutors say

Kernel

"Have you not met the UK fiction factory ^B^B^B^B^B^B Police?"

Or even a High Court bailiff - can't absolutely prove that TV is yours? - then we'll assume it belongs to our debtor that lived here 6 months ago.

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only

Kernel

Re: I think we now know

This would be the same Nokia that reported Net Sales of 5.3 billion Euro in third quarter of 2020, with a operating margin of 9.2% and cash and investment assets of 7.6 billion Euro?

I wish my finances were run into the ground to the same extent.

The only part of Nokia that was run into the ground was the cellphone division which they sold to Microsoft.

I built a shed once. How hard can a data centre be?

Kernel

"Ever stood by and watched a customer try to cram a square peg into a round hole?"

Not exactly IT related, but in the course of my career I've worked on a PABX (BPO 100 Type) where the front of the cabinet was in a different room (and could only be accessed by a short walk down a corridor) than the rear of the cabinet (great for fault finding), a BPO 300Type PABX which was not only accessed via a long trek through the service tunnels under a hospital (watch your head on the concrete beam just as you are straightening up after ducking under the steam pipe) that had about 200mm cut off the top of the racks because the room wasn't high enough for the equipment and a rural carrier system that had to have around 600mm cut out of the bottom of all the racks because the engineers specified buildings that were designed for a GEC system, rather than the somewhat taller Fujitsu kit we were supplied with. I also remember having to cart two NEC x-bar switching racks to a rural exchange building to store them there for a future expansion of that exchange - once we got them there it was realised the the two racks from a recovered NC400 type were slightly taller than the building designed to contain a NC460 type.

Sales people and engineers - you've got laugh otherwise the depression starts to set in.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard

Kernel

Re: EV charging time

"My personal cut-off is below 300 Km / day, and I know not of a single person, where this would be beyond 600 Km / day."

Unfortunately your use case is not everyone's - a 600km/day limitation would mean that visiting family would become a two day trip each way, requiring two lots of overnight accommodation to be paid for, as opposed to the current one day trip each way.

Hell, my son even spent a couple of weeks doing a job on a farm in Aussie where a 600km/day limitation wouldn't even get you to the nearest pub and back - no alcohol was permitted on the property, so staying in for a beer wasn't an option.

iPhone factory workers riot over unpaid wages in India

Kernel

Re: Barf

"Our graph is pretty much flat zero. We have very few people who earn less than $300/year."

Try doing some research on homelessness in the US - there's plenty of people there living in their cars and many of them are in full time employment.

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?

Kernel

Re: Charging

"But 2030 is in the future, and alternative power is lucrative enough to drive development, so who know what the problems with batteries or whatever fuel cells appear will be in the future? "

Zinc-air fuel cells utilising a liquid fuel solution which can be pumped out and refilled at a service station when the zinc has been depleted:

i) Already developed as a demonstration model by the University of Singapore

ii) Zinc is a common and relatively non-toxic material

iii) The depleted fuel solution can be regenerated and re-used

iv) The energy density of zinc-air technology is higher than any of the lithium technologies as one of the electrodes is freely available from the atmosphere and doesn't have to be built into the cell

v) An old and proven portable energy source, in use in a non-rechargable form in millions of hearing aids.

vi) The rechargeable version is easily scaled up to house/community/national grid level storage of wind or solar generated electricity for later use, as the fuel solution can be regenerated, either externally or in place, by the application of electricity, just like recharging any other sort of battery.

Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain

Kernel

Re: Not aluminium?

"The one mystery not solved is "who took the first one?"."

One of the pleasures of living in a UTC+12 time zone - you often get to hear the news first.

From a New Zealand news site -

"Utah residents Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen posted a 23-second video showing the monolith, once embedded into the rock, being dismantled, loaded onto a wheelbarrow and carried away at night."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6c2EhNtSj4

Italian competition watchdog slaps Apple with €10m fine over allegedly misleading iPhone waterproofing claims

Kernel

Re: Own Goal

"Ahh that chestnut AGAIN that coffee was if I remember correctly was just below boiling point "

Which is the correct temperature for coffee - coffee enthusiasts (and I include myself in that category) go to a lot of trouble to ensure that the coffee emerging from the porta-filters on our expensive machines is in the region of 97 degrees Celsius (with small variations to get the best out of a specific bean/roast).

Police warn of bad Apples that fell off the back of a truck after highway robbery

Kernel

"I don't use Macs so I can't say for sure but I would assume they have something similar - not necessarily "activation" since they don't use the cell network but there's probably some "check if I'm legit" process when you are setting up a Mac up from scratch."

I'm not sure that's actually the case for Macs - the instance of MAC OS (Catalina, IIRC) that I run under KVM on my Linux/Win10 laptop doesn't seem to have any issues and it certainly logs on to Apple's servers and picks up updates from there. It could be, of course, that the install process inserted a MAC address in KVM that was already recognised by Apple as a legit one of theirs.

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy

Kernel

"The virtual pub quizmaster isn't looking so credulous, though. He has just reminded me who classical Rome's first emperor was. He does not look in the mood to entertain the idea that I really had typed in A-U-G-U-S-T-U-S but my computer, on a whim, retyped it as J-U-L-I-U-S."

It could be argued your computer was right - "The Roman emperors were the rulers of the Roman Empire dating from the granting of the title of Augustus to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus by the Roman Senate in 27 BC, "

Julius Caesar, on the other hand, was an elected dictator, not an emperor.

Mr President? Donald?! Any chance you can actually decide if Oracle can buy us or do we have to leave?

Kernel

"He probably thought MS owned Nokia so it was red-blooded all-America tech."

I've got news for him - based on the factory identifier part of the serial numbers on a lot of the Nokia telco network kit I worked on as recently as 12 months ago, much of it's made in Nokia's manufacturing facility in China.

Palo Alto Networks threatens to sue security startup for comparison review, says it breaks software EULA

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There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Kernel

Re: the difference between an engineer and sn installer.

".... it would be very unlikely a disturbance would have taken out just a single strand."

You'd be surprised how often this happens - it's not at all unusual to have damage to just a few of the fibres in a cable that has been grazed by a spade or digger bucket, especially in older cables which have a steel strength member in the centre rather than kevlar. I've even seen a situation where only the fibres in one of the six slots of the core were impacted by the damage to the cable - 4 fibres out of a total of 24 in that particular cable.

Singapore to give all incoming travelers wearable tracking device

Kernel

Re: Thoughts from Singapore...

"A guard on a quarantine facility will ensure you don't get visitors you shouldn't be getting, and can check you wear your mask during exercises outdoor.

Sucks sure, but once you're past it, and clear, like Thailand, its great to have confidence the virus is gone."

Likewise in New Zealand - it's great being able to go to the pub again without worrying about how close someone else is sitting to you (because the few cases we do have are all in quarantine facilities). Well worth the cost and effort of ensuring incoming travellers stay in quarantine for 14 days.

The ones that get a lot of people's backs up here are those that either break quarantine - expect little sympathy from public/police/judiciary - or, my personal favourites, those who have suddenly decided they want to come back to NZ after working overseas for many years and then start complaining how "it's so expensive living in NZ". I have a solution for those ones - feel free to fuck off back to where you came from, we've done without you for many years, I'm sure we'll continue to get on fine without you.

Like several other countries, we sacrificed a lot of personal freedoms to get on top of this virus and, despite various ads about the need to continue being kind to people, now that life is pretty much back to normal very few of us will tolerate anything that puts our current CV-19 status at risk.

Co-inventor of the computer mouse, William English, dies

Kernel

"So why houses, and not hice, for more than one house"

I can think of a couple of reasons;

i) It's a lot easier to build a world-spanning empire if you insist on using a language that has few, if any, universally applicable rules and instead has many idiosynctric variations that have to be memorized;

ii) Revenge for irregular verbs - as someone who had to learn German at school the least English can do is give a bit of grief back to Germans who are trying to learn English.

In reality, it's because English is more of a 'Creole' language, being built of words and structures uplifted from other languages as was seen to be most convenient at the time, rather than a single source language eg., French.

As an example, until recently I had always assumed that 'dinghy' was a strange, ancient, possibly Saxon or Old English word for a small boat - while poking around in a copy of "Hobson - Jobson" I learnt that it is actually a Bengali word for a small boat. I believe that umbrella and pyjamas are also common "English" words that have only been so since the days of the Raj.

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030

Kernel

Re: Big batteries

"Great big flow batteries............ that's what you need.

Scalable

No fire risk

Good lifetime

Completely recyclable

Can be made from readily available materials"

Yep - build them with similar technology as the ones that live behind my ears.

Large scale zinc-air fuel cells have all those characteristics, as well as being mechanically rechargeable - they also have a very high energy density as they don't need to contain the cathode material within the cell. Ideal for cars/trucks as the mechanical recharging could take place a some facility built for the purpose and equipped with appropriate pumps and hoses - maybe we could call them 'service stations'?

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

Kernel

So many personal pronouns in one short comment - lucky you're not an Auditor then, as we known what happens to them if they make that mistake.*

* If you don't, then you need to spend some time perusing the works of Sir Pterry.

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

Kernel

Re: Focusing on market solutions....

Don't worry - that'll be coming soon after your NHS system has been aligned to the US healthcare model.

China’s preferred Linux distro trumpets Arm benchmark results

Kernel

" It's why places like Bell Labs and the other big research centres that used to drive technology are no more."

Bell Labs is most certainly still there, doing research and driving technology development - but it's known as 'Nokia Bell Labs' now days.

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

Kernel

Re: Simpler than I expected

"Re: Simpler than I expected

@werdsmith He-didn't-sign-up-for-anything. He seems to have been auto-enrolled by TomTom using data they had stored for services supplied to a car ( and TomTom device) he no longer owned."

I'm getting the distinct impression that 'Werdsmith' is having a basic issue with reading and comprehension - at least four times he has repeated his theme that Ben should have cancelled his subscription when he sold the car, despite Ben having stated numerous times that he never subscribed to anything in the first place.

Perhaps it's time Werdsmith changed his username to something that doesn't imply a better than average skill in language?

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

Kernel

Re: COVID-19 decides. And CO2 decides.

" think Spanish flu,"

Since the orange idiot seems to be keen on pointing the finger of blame by labelling CV-19 based on where it appears to have originated, perhaps now would be the time, employing the same logic, to relabel "Spanish Flu" as either "US Flu" or"American Flu"?

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

Kernel

Re: Mind of a teenager

"Young people are pretty good at these computer things, and if you want to know how to get admin rights on a machine you have physical access to, its just a search away..."

Too true - six or seven weeks ago I spent several hours on a Zoom call, guiding my grandson through the process of installing VirtualBox and a Win10 VM on his laptop (natively Linux Mint).

Four weeks later he accused me of slowing his laptop down - although my son said that might have been due to the other 10 VMs (various Linux and Unix flavours, I understand) the grandson had installed subsequently, thus consuming most of the free disk space.

The wee chappie turned seven about two weeks ago - his current focus is on trying out different OS's on his RPi 4.

The weird thing is that neither my son nor daughter-in-law regard computers as anything more than a tool which can be used but doesn't have to be understood to work - I blame his school.

Folk sure like to stick electric toothbrush heads in their ears: True wireless stereo sales buck coronavirus trends

Kernel

Re: I'm still astonished...

"no manufacturer has gone the hearing aid design route."

When I had my aids fitted the audiologist told me that Apple have invested heavily in companies that manufacture hearing aids because, as you point out, hearing aid design leads the pack in terms of functionality, battery life and DSP capability - although not necessarily sound fidelity.

Paging technology providers: £3m is on the table to replace archaic NHS comms network

Kernel

Pagers v SMS

Many years ago I was deeply involved with the installation and testing of a public nation-wide commercial paging service - long before cellphones and SMS were available.

The huge advantage a properly designed paging system has over SMS is that paged messages are delivered in a fixed time frame eg., 30 secs, one minute, or whatever you've configured the system for - SMS, while it is generally pretty much immediate, doesn't have any delivery time comittments and any given message may turn up anywhere from seconds to hours after it was sent, especially if it has to cross from one network to another.

Germany prepares to launch COVID-19 contact-tracing app 'this week' while UK version stuck in development hell

Kernel

Re: The Covid money pot

" along with work on treating resistant TB and they don't get side-lined by the first world's latest pet problem."

Indeed! - the latest figures I've seen (from 2017) indicated that someone, somewhere in the world, dies from TB every 23 seconds - with the Wu Flu it's only somewhere in the region of one every 58 seconds.

It is important that we don't loose site of the fact that there are other, older, diseases that are still killing at a far greater rate, many years after they have become an insignifiant issue for those of us lucky enough to live in the right countries.

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

Kernel

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

"Until you open the borders... or is that not going to happen?"

If this question refers to NZ, then the answer is that no, it's not going to happen anytime soon - there was mention of up to 10 years before international travel is fully open again.

My understanding is that currently, to get into NZ, you need to obtain a specific permit to enter, isolate in your country of origin and undergo several CV-19 tests with negative results then, when you arrive here, you get quarantined and tested for another two weeks,

There is discussion around having open borders with countries such as Australia and certain Pacific island nations once both parties are able to establish that the virus is extinct in their country and that they have controls in place to keep it that way - so think isolation bubbles, but bigger.

Kernel

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

"Aspects of the Government response have been shambolic but to pretend that the Government have managed this any worse than their peers across the world, or indeed any worse than the cunts like Kneel to the Mob Starmer would have done (bearing in mind he has no answers - for anything, ever) is wishful thinking."

And yet, here in New Zealand we are back to normal life (except for border entry restrictions) and on track for declaring that the virus is extinct in NZ in about five day's time - so yes, it could be said that they've managed it worse than some of their peers across the world.

Dude, where's my laser?

Kernel

Re: "it did end up spending a winter at the South Pole."

"All very plausible, except that how do you keep the beam centered on the ice when the shark is shivering like that?"

By ordering sufficient quantities of 'Overall, thermal (water resistant), sharks for the use of' before you take delivery of the sharks.

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

Kernel

"Staggering - I was impressed when I started work in 1970 and we were squeezing 960 telephone channels down a 4 MHz coaxial cable! "

Aah - you're of the same era in the telecommunications business as myself (I started in 1972, retired October last year).

The good old days, when a supergroup was massive capacity and digital communications meant a VF telegraph system running at 30 baud.

Kernel

Re: Only part of the problem

"75Km is not very far. So you have crack regenerating the signal as an electrical signal."

No, regeneration only happens at 100's or 1000's of km intervals, determined by the capabilities of your specific fibres, error correction capabilities of the coding scheme in use, etc.

Analogue amplification of the composite optical signal is a different story though - yes, that does happen every 70km or so.

Kernel

DWDM on a chip

Very impressive!

The only problem I can see is that quite a large number of racks are going to be needed to MUX/DEMUX enough lower order trib streams to produce a single 44Tb payload for the single chip DWDM.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Kernel

Re: someone explaining

"So for a US-UK fibre, the landing station in the UK might generate +1000V DC, with the 0V line from the power supply connected to the ground. Then the landing station in the US generates -1000V DC, with the 0V line from the power supply connected to the ground. "

I think you're missing a zero in those numbers - IIRC the Southern Cross cable, on its NZ to Hawaii section, feeds somewhere in the region of 12.5kV from each end.

A rough idea of the required total feed voltage (at least for the cables I'm familiar with) can be determined by the formula 'cable length'/n, where n = 50 (volts needed to power each amplifier) times 60 (km, the approximate distance between amplifiers).

Optical amplifiers are based on a short (a few metres) of optical fibre that has been doped with a small amount of Erbium atoms - hence the the fact that they are normally referred to as EDFAs - Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifier. Other dopants can be used, which produce amplifiers that have a different working frequency range.

A 'pump laser' (up to three) within the amplifier is used to excite some of the electrons in the Erbium atoms up from their normal rest energy level to a level that is two steps more energetic. The electrons which have been pushed up then almost immediately drop back one level, leaving them in the level that is one step up from their rest state - they are comparatively stable at this level. The initial drop back from the highest level generates spurious photons, which cause noise in the optical signal and limit the amount of amplification stages you can have while still retaining a workable signal to noise ratio.

The electrons that have been left sitting in a stable state, one level higher than their rest state, will, when struck by a photon from the incoming signal drop back to their rest state, in the process of which they emit a photon that is an exact copy of the signal photon that collied with them. This new photon, plus the original one, then go on to repeat the process, causing the desired signal to be amplified.

Needless to say, there's a hell of a lot of devil in the details between my simple description above and actually building a field deployable EDFA, but in any DWDM system they are probably the most common optical block present.

No, I'm not the Orange Idiot at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., I just spent many years working for a vendor of such toys as a support engineer for DWDM systems.

Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things

Kernel

"(no more lies, damn lies, and tainted statistics, please)

"

You can add another 1701 CV-19 deaths in the US to the total since I posted yesterday - are you seriously suggesting that that many people die in the US from any of the other causes you list, in a 24 hour period? Remember, deaths from those causes are still occurring - the CV-19 deaths are in addition to, not instead of, any deaths from 'normal' causes.

Unlike a war where, when you get sick of people dying, a truce is agreed and everyone goes home to their loved ones, with this disease the decision to take the necessary steps is just the beginning and you still have several weeks of deaths ahead of you at that point. It took NZ seven weeks to get CV-19 more or less under control - and we have a much smaller population, very little in the way of truly high-density housing, easily closed borders and easily controlled travel routes around the country.

Sweden is a very different country to the US in many ways and what works there (and that's still under discussion) is unlikely to work in the US.

Kernel

"We keep telling you that we are NOT SUBJECTS. We're CITIZENS. "

You're also citizens who are dying from CV-19 at the 7th highest per capita rate in the world - you're even managing to die from this cause at a higher per capita rate than India; and from documentaries I've seen of the living conditions forced upon the lower levels of Indian society, that's likely to be quite an achievement!

You're having to keep bodies in refrigerated trucks because there's not even enough morgue capacity in some parts of the country.

FFS, you've lost more "CITIZENS" to CV-19 in the last three months than all the US troops that died in Vietnam (58,209 + 1597 MIA) and at the current rate of progress you'll be past the WW I total (116,516) in the very near future - like less than two weeks!

You've currently had 82,246 deaths, with 1,426 of those occurring in the last 24 hours (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html) - what sort of Federal action would be demanded if the cause of those deaths (at the same rate) was something else, such as contaminated food/drink, or military casualties?

Taking the steps needed to keep a highly infectious and dangerous disease under control is not Communism, Socialism, serfdom or slavery, it's just common sense.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Kernel

"Red as a colour for danger makes some sense"

I grew up understanding that - it took me a while to get used to the idea, when I started working in a civil service organisation, that red was used to designate current files/configurations on as built drawings, and green was for archive files and superceded configurations.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

Kernel

"Before going back to the safety razor I tried the disposable BICs and also imported some blades from China to fit my Gillette handle. I'd thrown better blades out - had a face like chopped ham :-("

Check on-line for blades from reputable brands like Astra, Derby or Merkur - here in NZ I can buy a 100 pack of Astra blades for $NZ25.00, and I generally get a month of (daily) shaves per blade.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

Kernel

Re: Yes, but.

"Ah, Fortran. I think I still have the book on that.

A surprising language. I'm rather glad I never had to use it professionally."

My first attempts at programming were when I was still at school using a subset of Fortran known as "Portran" (Port-a-Punch Fortran).

This used pre-punched cards that you attacked with a bent paper clip to push out the required chads to create the code on the cards. We learnt a lot about 'hanging chads', long before they became famous as a muddying factor in election results.

Our completed stacks of cards were taken to one of the local banks, which would send them off to be batch-processed after their own jobs had been run (once a week and only if they hadn't used all their paid for machine time) - there is nothing like the disappointment of waiting 2 or 3 weeks to get your results back and finding the run had been sabotaged by a stray chad and that the result of all your work and patience was (IIRC) "Syntax error causes execution failure".

Control is only an illusion, no matter what you shove on the Netware share

Kernel

Re: "Or heard the sphincter-loosening words: 'What's a backup?' "

'"She's a good cook and my wife"

How very modern of you.'

Alternatively, rather than going for the cheap shot and a few easy upvotes, you could actually quote the full sentence - "She's a good cook and my wife and I got a good meal as a thank-you." - or does this not suit your personal agenda?

Reading the second sentence from the OP, "I was called to a friend's house with a plea to fix their broken PC - it wouldn't start.", it's pretty obvious that the OP fixed a friend's PC and as a reward that friend cooked a good meal for the OP and his wife.

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket

Kernel

Re: "bending their knees in anticipation"

"They aren't standing on anything because their legs go "all the way down"."

No, the elephants are standing on the turtle - everyone should know that.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

Kernel

Re: such craftsmen could not possibly survive

"I think there are a few Swiss watchmakers who might disagree."

Excepting the really high-end 'designer' grade Swiss watchmakers, I think you'll find most watches marked as 'Swiss made' contain movements of Chinese manufacture in a case of similar source, with just the minimum of work being done in Switzerland to qualify for the 'Swiss made' label.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

Kernel

Re: I imagine humans could be tricked too

"Kids (usually) have been doing the tap thing on speed signs probably since the invention of the signs and black tape."

I've never seen a speed limit sign altered, but in New Zealand the addition of nipples to the 'uneven surface' signs* used here is fairly common - to the extent that one without nipples tends to trigger a "something's missing" response in the back of my mind.

* Similar to this one - https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/bumps-warning-signs-uneven-road-78390839.jpg

Please check your data: A self-driving car dataset failed to label hundreds of pedestrians, thousands of vehicles

Kernel

"I am the lawful and legitimate owner of the genuinely innovative and original invention known as "someones bungalow". "

While we all, I am sure, appreciate your humour, just for the record the extraneous apostrophe referred to is in "it's", not "someone's".

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