* Posts by Steve Button

439 posts • joined 21 Jun 2007


Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

Steve Button

Re: Relegated to the attic...

new case, PSU, Video card, and CPU cooler?

Isn't that a bit like Trigger's broom?

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

Steve Button

Re: Hydrogen is not the answer

Not sure about that. If you put your plant anywhere near a big enough river outlet you'd think that would water it down nicely? When you go on holiday to a small island, the sea water is far more salty, because... no rivers.

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

Steve Button

Re: Virtue-signalling wankery

Totally. I mean "eviction" ? How is that offensive? Perhaps "mv" (move) could be changed to "rename" in Linux because last time I moved house I found it quite stressful. And it has the added bonus of putting us Linux beardos back in line with the correct Windows way of thinking.

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike

Steve Button

I'd say this will only lead to a downward spiral.

Oh wait, that was your point?

Steve Button

The Register is at a loss to understand why e-bikes...

Perhaps this would encourage people who are too unfit to cycle unassisted. You never know, this might get some of them back towards good health. You can also get them for well under £1,000 and of course they can be passed onto someone else once the loan period has ended. If this saves a few people from ending up in ICU, then well worth it.

Of course, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. But it seems like it *might* be a sensible thing to prescribe.

So how are your remote working tools shaping up?

Steve Button

Why do most people even need a PBX?

For the call centre yes, but for the majority of desk based places I've worked I've never needed to touch the phone on my desk. All my calls can be handled with Teams or Hangouts or flavour-of-the-month, and on the odd occasion that I need to actually phone someone I use my moby.

So, that's one way people could save money. Just have a phone shared by a bunch of peeps, which you can use for emergencies. One per block of desks, or perhaps one per floor. Give it a wipe down regularly of course.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

Steve Button

Re: New PC

If that was Trigger's PC, it would have had several new cases as well.

Driveway karaoke singer who wanted to lift lockdown spirits cops council noise complaint

Steve Button

"...and then I felt very sad"

Yes, you are very sad, but it's taken you this long to realise.

If I choose to go into a pub and suffer karaoke for an evening, the fair play. I have even done this a couple of times in my life.

Having it forced upon us for 3 hours, all by the same person? On three occasions.

Mad dash for webcams with surge in videoconferencing has turned out rather nicely for Logitech

Steve Button

long-term secular trends driving our business

Secular? What does he mean?

GitHub blasts code-scanning tool into all open-source projects

Steve Button

Because GitLab?

It's good that we've got more than one vendor in this space, becuase it forces them to up their game.

Wanted: An exit strategy from the overt surveillance of smartphone contact tracing

Steve Button

"once coronavirus is behind us" it will be removed. Unfortunately coronavirus, like the common cold, is here to stay and it will NEVER be completely behind us. When do we decide it's behind us? Once not a single person is dying of it. So, never basically.

A chief technology officer in a time of COVID-19: Keep calm and make the most of the whole business suddenly realising how important IT is

Steve Button

Re: Let's make something clear...

In fact, that's a pretty dumb comment.

"On-premises software is installed and runs on computers on the premises of the person or organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility such ..."

If someone says they will meet you at home, they don't mean "a home" they mean your or their home. It's implied in the context. When you say "on premesis" you aren't talking about the fact that the servers are on "a premesis" it means they are on "your premesis".

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Steve Button

Wear face protection?

Where does it say that on the official advice, or did you just make that one up?

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

Steve Button

Not gonna happen.

At least not in the next few decades. Perhaps when someone discovers the anti-graviton

There are just too many problems. Battery life being the main one, but also noise, obstacles, safety, privacy. Those are all pretty big problems, not easily fixed.

Of course if you keep predicting the future, then some of it will come true eventually. Just in this case, not in any useful timescale for most of us.

Self driving cars are much more likely.

Red Hat tips its Fedora at CoreOS Container Linux stans: Hop onto something else, folks, cos this one's on a boat to Valhalla

Steve Button

Awww, thanks IBM

And we all thought that IBM would be transformed into a more open company by taking over Red Hat.

Seems like it's the other way round, and Red Hat is turning more into a company that will drop FOSS projects like a hot potato if they think that there's money to be made. Which is why IBM have been in a downward spiral for the past 15 or 20 years, or one of the reasons at least.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Steve Button

It's not just the 25%

If they accept roles INSIDE IR35 there is no guarantee that HMRC won't come knocking for potentially years of back dated tax. If you accept you are inside now then you pretty much accept that you were inside last month, and before that.

UK government review of IR35 tax reforms? Like a broken pencil, say contractors groups – it'll be utterly pointless

Steve Button

Re: It's over....

indeed the "contractors" that are being targeted aren't contractors at all

So, you are saying that ALL the "contractors" that worked for the big banks were in fact permies!? Because that's who's being "targeted".

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Steve Button

Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

Thanks. It was a genuine question. I had a vague notion about El Reg being that way. Not sure why that deserves thumbs down. Trump supporters? ;-)

Steve Button

Re: Remote bricking

"follow steps to place their existing hardware into "Recycle mode".

It doesn't say anything about this being done remotely. (although how you define remote might vary. But presumably on the same routable network as the Sonos and logged in? i.e. not (normally) over the internet.)

Steve Button

Re: "the backlash is a wee bit overdone"

Isn't El Reg a climate change denier? Hard to keep that stance and harp on about "the environment" and "sustainability" at the same time.

Or have they changed their stance on this in the last couple of years? Perhaps being on the same page as Trump leaves a bad taste?

Sir John Redwood backs IR35 campaign, notes review would have to start 'immediately' before new off-payroll working rules kick in

Steve Button

Not only will they get less in tax on the lower salary, don't forget they'll get NOTHING back in VAT.

You leak our secrets? We'll leak your book sales, speech fees – into our coffers: Uncle Sam wins royalties fight against Edward Snowden

Steve Button

Re: Only one option then

I read it, thinking that he would get some of the money. It's a shame that money is going to the wrong place, but in the grand scheme of things it's like pissing into the ocean. The most important thing is that I actually read it.

Power of the cloud builders: Who ate one-third of the $38bn data centre pie in Q3? AWS, Microsoft, Google 'n' pals

Steve Button

Old world vendors should club together, form new biz called 'Screwed by Cloud'

yeah, great idea!

Horse and Carriage companies should also get together and form a new biz called 'Screwed by Cars"

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Steve Button

Re: It's a four lettered word!

Did you mean: Remuneration

LightAnchors array: LEDs in routers, power strips, and more, can sneakily ship data to this smartphone app

Steve Button

Re: Yes, but for what?

I must admit the glue gun example is pretty dumb, but it could be used so that electricity meters can transmit a reading instead of having to replace them with smart meters. It could be used to tell me the temperature of the oven, without needing to add an actual display.

It could tell me my laptop battery power, without needing the nice LEDs on the side (when it's in standby mode)

It could be attached to a bus shelter and give more information about the next bus (but I suppose once you've put the connection in place you might as well have a display?)

Headphone ramaining battery?

Outside temperature and pressure or other weather info.

If I had a fitbit it could tell me loads of stuff.

Medical applications? Blood glucose monitor? Insulin levels? (specialist)

Novelty applications? A birthday card with a text message inside that you can read using an app? (OK I'm floundering a bit now).

But these are just things that I can think of after 20 seconds. This could be a really interesting technology.

RuneScape bloke was wrongly sacked after reading veep's salary details on office printer

Steve Button

Re: Not the real question!



Not exactly amazing. And I bet games companies are more stingy (or is that just for developers!?)

Perhaps someone from Jagex would care to comment? (anonymous probably best in this case).

Steve Button

Not the real question!

The real question is "How much?"

Or is it just me who is curious to know what a senior veep earns?

UK political parties fall over themselves to win tech contractor vote by pledging to review IR35

Steve Button

Re: There are an estimated 4.6 million contractors in the UK.


You'd think they have to sell this to someone (Treasury?) and justify all the effort that they are going to, so that they will get more revenue. So, if the numbers are too small, it's not worth doing it.

OTOH, if it's affecting a million+ people then it's a political hot potato an they need to be more careful.

So, they have to both downplay and up-play the numbers!?

We don't usually sugar-coat the news but... Alien sugars found in Earth-bound meteorites

Steve Button

Re: Best petri dish

"DNA had to sponteneously emerge somewhere"

No, it didn't. You can start with much simpler RNA and DNA can evolve later once life has got started. Or it could be started by something even simpler perhaps, which no longer exists because it's died out completely, or it is from another planet.

But we're all just guessing so far.

Steve Button

Just imagine...

... what would happen if a massive asteroid destroyed the earth and all life on it. Wouldn't we be left with some DNA and RNA amongst a bunch of much smaller asteroids, which could then go on to potentially seed life on other planets, billions of years in the future.

So, the real question in my mind is not "How did life start on earth", but "Does this point to life having existed somewhere else in this galaxy?" (albeit much simpler life, if they only had RNA and sugars, and no DNA). Or do we think that these things we're just spontaneously created by some chemical reaction? What's more likely?

The lure of Brexit Britain proves too great for DevOps pipeline wrangler CircleCI

Steve Button


It could be nothing to do with Brexit. Why does everyone blame Brexit when a company leaves the UK, and then act all surprised when a company decides to set up shop in London. We've got a lot to offer, and we'll still have a lot to offer after Brexit.

I just don't think it's that "big of a deal" as the Americans would say.

The downvote button is





HPE has only gone full Kubernetes, pops open new Container Platform

Steve Button


Looks like HP have chosen a bunch of FOSS projects which might work well together.

Not really bringing anything to the party, are they?

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action

Steve Button

I didn't actually see that bit in the article giving details of who is suing who, and for what? just that contractors are seriously pissed off.

And if you accept a permy job, doing the same thing minus a 20% haircut, then you could be in for a HEFTY tax bill for your previous roles at the same place, so you'd be a real fool to take that route.

Weird flex but OK... Motorola's comeback is a $1,500 Razr flip-phone with folding 6.2" screen

Steve Button

Re: @Steve Button

Don't feed the trolls. ;-)

Steve Button

Re: Want one

I want one too. But it's too expensive, so I'll probably get something better value (Pixel?). However, I predict that these will sell like hot cakes (assuming they don't have major reliability issues like Samsung did).

People (particularly millennials or hipsters) want something a bit different to the ubiquitous "slab" which all smart phones look like today. And it flips.

Just my prediction, let's see what happens next year when they are actually available.

Steve Button

What's your point? I assume you go onto Koenigsegg reviews and go saying "2 million quid for one of those? If it was 15 grand I might perhaps consider it. It's just a car. "

Why even bother reading the review (price was in the headline), as you knew straight away that you are in the budget category. Nothing wrong with that, it's your choice.

Do you walk into a Ferrari showroom and carefully explain to them that your 8 year old Ford is good enough for you?

20% of UK businesses would rather axe their contractors than deal with IR35 – survey

Steve Button

Re: Dangers of moving from outside to inside IR35

Seems pretty dumb. If those contractors weren't adding value in the first place, then why did you have them? If they were adding value, then who's going to do that going forward? If you could have found perm people and you were willing to pay them enough and treat them well, then you probably would not have needed the contractors in the first place.

Steve Button

Totally right. Many people would rightly like to get rid of contractors... because they are expensive. You only take on contractors if you have a clear and present need to get stuff done urgently. And contractors will "get things done", as they know they generally won't be kept around unless they are adding value.

Oh, and when business slows down you don't have to think about redundancy payments, you just shrink your contractor workforce. No hard feelings, and thanks for all the fish.

ZTE Nubia Z20: It's £499. It's a great phone. Buy it. Or don't. We don't care

Steve Button

Re: Not Cool

Indeed. The last time I needed to take a selfie (yesterday) was for my ID badge at work... and I just got a colleague to hold the phone for me (Thanks, Paul).

I'm just not super vain or particularly attractive, and so I don't want to be reminded of it.

I think the plastic Pixel is still the best value when it comes time to replace my current Huawei P10.

Are you as handy with privacy certs as you are with a screwdriver? Ikea has the perfect vacancy

Steve Button


So, Ikea are looking tor IS Security specialist. And this is newsworthy because?

Slow Friday? Off to pub and got a word count to fill? Am I missing something?

Pretty much every big company has these roles. They have to.

I'm still scratching my head. Someone please explain the joke?

Just take a look at the carnage on Notepad++'s GitHub: 'Free Uyghur' release sparks spam tsunami by pro-Chinese

Steve Button

Re: *Standing, thunderous, rowdy ovation*

This is not the Chinese government trying to suppress this. They are more sophisticated than that. This is the Chinese people who have been brainwashed into thinking that Westerners have been brainwashed. The thing is, there's lots of them.

" this kind of haphazard spamming only serves to bring attention to initiatives like Notepad’s."

Indeed. And now I know about these particular human rights abuses, which I didn't until today.

Remember that competition for non-hoodie hacker pics? Here's their best entries

Steve Button

"you all love to hate"

Oh, not just me then.

It's not just info security though, it's most of the stories on the Reg. It's almost as if the lazy hacks at El Reg just put something into the search box for Shutterstock and then whatever comes up say "That'll do, let's go down the pub".

US games company Blizzard kowtows to Beijing by banning gamer who dared to bring up Hong Kong

Steve Button

No more Overwatch for me then


Android dev complains of 'Orwellian' treatment as account banned after 6 years on Play store

Steve Button

Re: Looks like a kafkian trial

I think the word is Kafkaesque, not kafkian. I know this because I use it all the time to describe the large institutions where I occasionally work. And I've read "The Trial", which literally gave me nightmares (so, again like working for a large corporation)

IR35 blame game: Barclays to halt off-payroll contractors, goes directly to PAYE

Steve Button

going to jump ship in December.

Yeah, good luck with that. You never pick up new contracts in December (or August).

So, start looking NOW.

Begun, the IR35 wars have.

The D in Systemd is for Directories: Poettering says his creation will phone /home in future

Steve Button

If you really want that this system can come up on its own, don't use this stuff.

OK noted. I really do (1). I won't (2)

(1) Want the system to come up on its own.

(2) Use this stuff.

But I'm a server admin.

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs

Steve Button

Time to get out and walk?

Or cycle? So many* last mile journeys (or last 5 miles) could be done by bike, if the infrastructure is in place to allow people to feel they can cycle safely.

* Yes, not everyone is going to want to do this, but many will.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)

Steve Button

So, anything less than death is not worth writing about? What a stupid comment.

Steve Button

That's horrible.

Dude, I feel for you. Really shitty experience, and will make you feel paranoid and scared for years. And playing over in your head how you would have liked it to have played out? Stuff you just don't need.

Get better insurance. Save your files in Dropbox or iCloud and then you don't have to think about backups so much.

At the end of the day, it's just a computer and you can probably afford to replace it pretty easily.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020