* Posts by Andy the ex-Brit

62 posts • joined 3 Feb 2012


These Rapoo webcams won't blow your mind, but they also won't break the bank

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: I want manual DOF control

I use my Canon DSLR and the EOS Webcam Utility. Get a fast (wide aperature) lens and you can have great background blurring. Can probably get a good setup for only about £1000.

SAP 'investigating' after viral video allegedly shows anti-mask employee coughing on shoppers

Andy the ex-Brit

I'm not sure I could have resisted punching her in her stupid nose. I'd feel bad about it afterwards. A little. Maybe.

Giant Tesla battery providing explosion in renewable energy – not as intended

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Smoke 'em if you've got 'em.

Arguably, some of the tar sands and shale oil fields are already beyond that point. The difference is being made up by "investors" as new money is used to keep paying the old.

Intrepid Change.org user launches petition to make Jeff Bezos' space trip one-way

Andy the ex-Brit

Maybe Kim Jong Un would like the last open seat.

Today I shall explain how dual monitors work using the medium of interpretive dance

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: The Obvious

That's what my bank seems to think. I couldn't possibly be making the browser window wider so that the transaction description text stops wrapping and it can therefore fit more rows on the screen. I just wanted whitespace.

Third time's a harm? Microsoft tries to get twice-rejected compression patent past skeptical examiners

Andy the ex-Brit
Thumb Up

Yes, this

Just a couple of years ago, a high level technical manager called me in his office to solve a technical problem that caused us warranty issues. He described the problem. I'm an engineer with expertise in related devices. I thought about it for less than ten seconds and made a recommendation.

"We can't do that. [Competitor] has patented it."

Chill out, lockdown ain't over yet – perhaps FUZIX on the Pi Pico could feature in your weekend shed projects

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Young people these days...

No "notebook" that came with 32 kB of RAM was in any sense "very thin." Back then we had what we called "luggables" that weighed at least 25 lb / 12 kg and had about 6" monochrome 25-line screens.

Healthy 32-year-old offered COVID-19 vaccine because doctors had him down as 6.2cm tall with BMI of 28,000

Andy the ex-Brit

The doctor entered the measurement correctly, but measured him while he was lying down.

The wastepaper basket is on the other side of the office – that must be why they put all these slots in the computer

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Whoops mind your head if there is a fire, and dont trip

Nice place for a smoke break "outdoors"?

UK dev loses ownership claim on forensic software he said he wrote in spare time and licensed to employer

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Related issue

When I joined my company 20+ years ago, we were given packets on our first day with all the paperwork we had to fill out, sign, and bring back the next day. One of my colleagues confided to me that he was not happy with the terms of the non-compete agreement so he just typed up and printed one more to his liking. Nobody in HR of course looked any closer than making sure all the correct pieces of paper were there and signed.

Dept of If I'd Known 20 Years Ago: Call centres, roosting chickens, and Bitcoin

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: So I'm not the only one .....

Have an upvote. They'll be along shortly to downvote you.

Raspberry Pi Foundation moves into microcontrollers with the $4 Pi Pico using homegrown silicon

Andy the ex-Brit

12-bit A/D disappointing

So close to what I need for an application! If they were 16-bit, or even 14-bit, I have a project I'd start today! Guaranteed to make me a thousandaire!

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Cubic metres? cm^3? ?? What is its abbrev.??

Instrumentation & flow measurement engineer here. I have never used CUM or anything like it for cubic meters. I don't need to use superscripts either, as superscript 3 is readily available as ASCII 179. On number pad, Alt 0179 gives ³, which I use in m³, m³/s, etc.

Alleged Ponzi mastermind on the run from FBI hid in lake with sea-scooter, collared after he surfaced half-hour later

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Sounds like he was a dick but...

The 3-d printed copies of your own teeth are a nice final touch.

Missing Alan Turing memorabilia to be returned to Blighty from the US, 36 years after it went walkabout

Andy the ex-Brit

Wow, I googled her and found this old opinion piece she wrote. Delusional for sure!


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

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: soo...

Speaking of the "next guy", my brother was building a house, and having done a lot of improvement project and struggling to run wires, he went to the construction site one weekend and ran a piece of 4" or 6" pipe behind a wall from basement to attic. He figured he might want to run network one day in the future (this was before wiring houses with Ethernet was common.)

The house had a heat pump system with an additional purely resistance electric heater for very cold days. The resistors were in the attic, powered from the basement where the electrical entered. The builder apparently ran one gauge too small cable to them, and found this out only on final inspection when all the walls and ceiling were fully finished. My brother figures he saved that builder $10k by letting him run the replacement cable through his conduit.

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Closest I've had to that ....

Here's one with a British accent for you... although he pronounces "solder" very oddly. Soda? Is he trying to sound like a Yank?


Google adopts ‘value-neutral’ language to make selfies less about ‘beauty’

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: It's even worse..

When I got my new phone I didn't notice I had moved the slider over and thought something looked odd about a couple of selfies I took. It took me a while to figure out that the little wrinkles around my eyes and mouth were gone. I'm a young looking 49, but looked 25 in the photos.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Unlikely story

* no, I will never buy a monster truck. Nor a non-monster truck. I ride a bicycle almost everywhere, and drive a convertible MINI when I must drive. I also have a motorbike which will be running again one day.

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Unlikely story

One of my (US) credit cards has a limit significantly higher than that. They kept raising my limit, without my ever asking them to. Consumer protections are good enough over here that it's no risk to me to leave it like that, and hey, I may just want to buy a monster truck with it one day.

I've never had it anywhere near the limit, and pay it off 100% every month so I pay no interest.

It looks like you want to browse the internet with Chrome. Would you like help? Maybe try Edge? Please?

Andy the ex-Brit

Microsoft seriously pushing Edge

I logged onto my home PC this morning to find that it had rebooted overnight.

Edge was open, full screen, asking me to copy my settings over from Chrome and make Edge "Built for Windows 10" my default browser.

Edge shortcut pinned to the taskbar.

Edge shortcut on the desktop, that I had to use admin privileges to delete.

Anyone else?

Mortal wombat: 4 generations of women fight for their lives against murderous marsupial

Andy the ex-Brit

They're starting to wear clothing now?

"She rushed out to meet the monster still wearing pyjamas."

When did it put the pyjamas on? This seems relevant.

BOFH: Trying to go after IT's budget again?

Andy the ex-Brit

Reminds me of cost saving projects I was on that were totally fake. Assume that we would choose the most expensive solution, then compare all solutions and choose a perfectly normal middle-range one. Instant, huge savings to be claimed by management.

One time I said in a meeting for such a project, "I saved $2000 today by cycling to work!"

"You mean per year?"

"No, I got a quote on chartering a helicopter ride, then cycled here instead. Savings!"

Imagine if Facebook could read your mind: Er, I have some bad news for you...

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Gyms

Going to the gym will allow you to eat more bacon!

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Well The Big Problem with Helping With Your Windows, OSX Problem Is ...

Just press F11 quickly.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner

Andy the ex-Brit

Bacon makes everything better

I grew up loathing Brussels sprouts. I was forced to eat one every time they were served. I didn't plan on eating them as an adult.

Then I discovered that they can be cooked in bacon. This is a game changer. Now I am the guy who makes them, and they go over pretty well.

Some Things just aren't meant to be (on Internet of Things networks). But we can work around that

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: No...

"... thanks to radios that could well be accepting connections from anything that wants to throw electrons at them."

It would be shocking if radios worked that way!

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Observing for your self

That only works if you start from the assumption that Polaris is essentially infinitely far away. If instead you assume it's a bright dot a mere few thousand or million kilometers directly over the north pole, of course its angle relative to you will change as you travel away from the pole.

Note: not a flat-earther. This is just an example of how you can wrestle with evidence until it matches your assumptions.

You mean Google updated its smartwatch OS and nobody noticed?

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

"At least you've spotted the trend."

Yes. I suspect it's somewhat inherent in packing so much tech into a watch-sized package. I've had other sub-$200 tech work well and be at least nominally supported for a decade or more:

Garmin GPS (since stolen)

Coby MP3 player

DVD player

Canon, Sony P&S cameras

DSLR lenses

Andy the ex-Brit

Just have contact number 4 text you: it must be 4:20, time to go home!

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

Thanks. Unfortunately, Strava stopped support, so one of my two use cases is no longer there. I used to be able to start, stop, pause, and perhaps most importantly monitor that it was still recording (sometimes the phone app crashes,) all from my wrist. Then this:


So dumb. Like the manufacturer closing its doors means everyone stopped using their watches. Note, they didn't just stop developing the Pebble support--they removed the feature from the app.

Andy the ex-Brit

Any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive Wear watch?

I like having one for when I'm cycling, both to see who's calling/texting me, so I can decide whether to stop or not, and to start/stop Strava.

In three years, I've been through:

Pebble - screen died

Another Pebble - stopped using when Strava stopped supporting it

Moto 360 2nd gen - screen died

I have no desire to keep spending $80-$150 every year to have a working one.

Give 1,000 monkeys typewriters, they'll write Shakespeare. Give them robot arms, and wait – they actually did that?

Andy the ex-Brit


I've read this twice, and it seems like "same side" and "opposite side" are backwards here. I'm assuming that monkeys are sufficiently similar to humans that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right arm, and vice versa.

Hells door-bells! Ring pieces paralyzed in horror during Halloween trick-or-treat rush

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Hmm ...

Ok, but where is the electomagnetic hold mechanism to prevent it from being operated if it can't connect to the server?

Is this cough cancer, doc? No: it's a case of Playmobil on the lung

Andy the ex-Brit

I'm the same age as this patient, and I know I inhaled a small piece of Lego around the same year. Hopefully I don't become the topic of a similar paper one day.

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

I'd just about be able to make it under that flying with my 16-year-old son. I don't think I would do it, though. My elder son is currently studying to be a commercial pilot, so I think I'll wait to fly with him.

Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Double vacuum

"2 atmospheres in the suit, zero outside, or more easily, 4 inside and one outside."

Or three inside, and one outside.

To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

Andy the ex-Brit

Interesting demonstration

"As can be seen from the example above, last year's transformation of stands out as odd.

The researchers' revised approach reads better. This particular sample may only feature only minor variations on the original text, but if it can defy stylometric analysis, it has accomplished its job."

Was the article run through the tool it describes?

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Who still uses farenheight for things like this ?

The Fahrenheit conversions are ridiculous. He wisely dropped the 0.33 degrees at the end, but better to just put 90,000,000 and 27,000,000. No way was the temperature measured with seven or eight digits of precision, and then reported as 50,000,000 K.

Event horizons around black holes do exist, say astroboffins

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Clever Chap, Einstein

"I know there's a few ideas for that floating around, but whoever nails it will be owed something more grand than the Nobel physics prize..."

A Nobel prize, plus a pint?

London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

Andy the ex-Brit

Please, come and reinvent it here

Living in the Midwest USA, I have enjoyed using almost every bus, subway, or train service I've used outside of where I live. London is one of my favorites. Paris is probably better. Dublin is okay, but hard for visitors to use. Washington DC was a bit of a pain to figure out, but useable. I'm warming up to Chicago.

Where I live, they recently improved some of our bus stops with actual shelters from the elements, where before there was just a Bus Stop sign nailed to a telephone pole. Things that most bus stops here don't have:

Rubbish bins (and therefore are surrounded by a sea of scattered litter)


Indication of what bus routes they are on

Indication of when the next bus is coming

Indication of when the last bus of the day runs

Information about connections and destinations

Printed timetables of any kind

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: It would be nice...

"...there are people for whom being able to get a bus to go 200 yards down the road is the difference between making that journal or not, i.e the elderly and disabled."

So give those who genuinely need it a pass that gives them nearly door-to-door service. Something electronic that lets them flag a passing bus for pickup at a non-standard location, or stop a bus they're on to be let off where they need to be. Place the normal stops at least a half mile apart.

Fraud detection system with 93% failure rate gets IT companies sued

Andy the ex-Brit

...get five times their losses...

Well, their attorneys might. That's something.

Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

Andy the ex-Brit


Strava is down due to this! How can I check how many miles I've ridden so far this month?

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Andy the ex-Brit

My Google-fu may be weak.

From the article:

"Recently, I wrote about Vim and the value of software that doesn't update unless it really needs to."

Where? Not on the author's Register article list, and not anywhere that Google sees his name.

Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

Andy the ex-Brit

A title is optional

I've visited Austin for NI Week (National Instruments.) I could get a job there fairly easily. Great town bikeable, decent craft beer scene, but so. fsking. hot. Looking at Chicago now...

Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

Andy the ex-Brit

Password by email

I recently registered for a special interest jobs site, and minutes later got a Thanks for Registering email with my username and password in plaintext.

Boggles the mind. I should have guessed when the password entry fields weren't even obfuscated.

They got a pretty stern response back from me.

Ohio bloke accused of torching own home after his pacemaker rats him out to cops

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Metadata captures the criminal

This already happens. One example:


Silence is golden: How Google hunts Android malware in the wild

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: Gender-neutral singular pronouns [sic]



Acceptable since the 14th century, despite the efforts of 19th century grammarians to turn English into Latin.

Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds

Andy the ex-Brit

Re: As for that time...

Go to the linked BBC video. It is the actual time to solve the cube, including calculations and physical movements. Makes the cube look like it just magically changes color when played at full speed.



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