* Posts by Steve Button

494 posts • joined 21 Jun 2007


Trial of Theranos boss Elizabeth Holmes begins: She plans to say her boyfriend and COO Balwani abused her

Steve Button

Re: Blame the Indian guy

It really doesn't matter. He could have said "blame the brown skinned person" and it would be just as correct, because sadly that's a thing. And don't think OP was arguing that it's a good thing, quite the opposite.

Steve Button

Re: I don't buy it

Well, yeah. Perhaps because it's REALLY OBVIOUSLY SARCASM. And the USA aren't awake yet, so we don't have to spell it out.

Steve Button

Re: I don't buy it

I think sometimes people see a thumbs down, and so they also think they have to add a thumbs down without actually properly reading the comment.

Many people are sheep.

What's the top programming language? It's not JavaScript but Python, says IEEE survey

Steve Button

You could say the Taliban are probably a very popular government based on the amount they have been searched for in the last few months, but does that mean they are any good?

Personally I think JavaScript is slowly catching up*, and not quite as bad as it was a few years ago. And that's probably the best I can say about it, but I'd far sooner reach for Python for many projects (or Go or Rust) although I guess JS is still king for front end? (which I have very little to do with TBH).

* we've moved away from the Taliban analogy at this point.

Horizon Workrooms promises a virtual future of teal despair

Steve Button

Worth repeating

"You can say a lot about Facebook's insane parasitism of human society. Like the fungus that infects an ant and takes over its nervous system, making it climb to the top of a plant and erupt in an explosion of spores, Facebook has mindlessly evolved to exploit us with maximal efficiency.

There is no moral guiding the act of hyper-categorising people and feeding them to whatever entity wants them most, but it delivers cash. So it will be done. Democracy may falter as a result, pitting families against themselves in a new civil culture war, but the spreadsheet looks good."

Am loving those first two paragraphs. This is why I don't use Facebook any more.

Facebook sat on report that reveals most-shared post for months was questionable COVID story

Steve Button

Difficult one.

One the one hand, it seems the story is true and someone has died after taking the vaccine. Could be related, perhaps not. A very very small number of people do die from an adverse reaction. However, it does seem we're not allowed to know this because most people on Facebook are too stupid or just innumerate and can't work out the stats. Which is also probably true.

So, do we take the position that people are just too dumb to understand? They should be protected? "You can't handle the truth!"

CES to require proof-of-vaccination at 2022 tech mega-conference

Steve Button

Re: “ Based on today’s science, we understand vaccines offer us the best hope…

It's starting to look like vaccines don't actually reduce the chances of you catching or passing on Covid by very much, especially with Delta. With that in mind, forcing people to take the vaccine doesn't really seem to make sense as people who have had the vaccine can still pass on covid. It does not give you a magical cloak of protection.... or has it now become more about politics and "virtue signalling" ?

This is coming from someone who has been double jabbed for months, but would like to still be able to participate with others in society who decide they don't want to be jabbed, for whatever reason.

Not that I was going to go to CES anyway, but I won't be going to anything that requires en-jabbment as a condition of entry. Except perhaps snowboarding, as my principles only go so far.

Scientists reckon eliminating COVID-19 will be easier than polio, harder than smallpox – just buckle in for a wait

Steve Button

Re: What do you mean no Apocalypse?

And likewise many patients are suffering from something else (which was going to kill them anyway) and just happen to have caught Covid whilst in hospital, which may or may not have contributed to their eventual demise.

Steve Button

Re: What do you mean no Apocalypse?

Ahh, but you assume lockdowns actually work. I'd like to see some evidence for that? Other than delaying things for a few months, or basically kicking the can down the road (and even then not very much - as most of the working class still have to go to work) I'm not convinced.

Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search

Steve Button

Loss of income? Inconvenience?

Is there any recourse, or do the property firm get away with the "punishment" that they have given someone for having them arrested and questioned?

Seems that some compensation should be in order, partly from the property company and partly from the Policy (or the CPS) for not doing any form of checks before arresting someone?

Perl's Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language's foundation

Steve Button

Re: Software Communism

I vote we should bring back Flame Of The Week, and this should be the first entry.

Steve Button

Re: Software Communism

Ahhh, that made me smile. Top rant. And kinda true really.

Steve Button

Re: Is that still a thing?

Yes, Perl does make it easy to write ugly code... but you can do that in most languages, it just takes a little more effort. You can also write concise and readable code, if you so choose.

I've also not used it in over 10 years, but would be happy to if a project came along. Although, I'd be happier with Python or Go because... well future prospects really.

Steve Button

Re: Who? What?

I really have no clue what this story is about. Someone said some things, which upset some people? But it was on IRC ot Twitter, so outside of the jurisdiction of Community Affairs Team?

But we can't say what it is they said, you'll have to do your own digging for that?

Can someone summarise what this is REALLY about? It it Trump? Covid? Trans right? I can bet it's nothing to do with Perl.

Amazon delays return to office work until 2022 at the earliest

Steve Button

Re: Return to Office

"really only possible in an office environment"

That's really not the case. Someone can drop me a Slack or Teams message at a moment's notice. and if I'm not in the middle of something we can drop into a screen share. This really is possible.

Great reset? More like Fake Reset: Leaders need a reality check if they think their best staff will give up hybrid work

Steve Button

Generals always fight the last war

Many managers will want things to go back to the way they were, but that's not going to happen as those who have talent will be able to work flexibly from now on.

As for The Great Reset, it's either a sinister plan to take over the wealth of the planet or some crazy vague aspirations depending on who you ask. I'm pretty sure the governments around the world are not organised enough to come together and "build back better". Either that or they are all just pretending to be inept, and it's all part of the big plan. ;-)

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key

Steve Button

Re: Americans throw away 416,000 cell phone

aha, that makes a lot more sense.

It's just the article says "Americans throw away 416,000 cell phones every single year,"

Steve Button

Americans throw away 416,000 cell phone

"Americans throw away 416,000"

You sure about that number? There's like 320 million Americans.... Or is that how many each American throws away every year?

Apple patches zero-day vulnerability in iOS, iPadOS, macOS under active attack

Steve Button

Dogs are really fast

Have you ever tried to catch a dog? They ain't slow. Especially if they have the ball and they don't want you to get it. Why do we say this?

This page has been deliberately left blank

Steve Button


Went to buy one (£3.99 why not. It's ironic. Isn't it Alannis?)

They don't seem to have any way to buy them. They don't exist.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

Steve Button

Re: abbreviated, with substitutes

That's your (wrong) opinion, and you are welcome to it. But still wrong.

2021: A Bork Odyssey. Is it remake of Disney's The Black Hole or explorer.exe being shown the door?

Steve Button

Re: Politically Correct Commands

I've been doing Unix/Linux for 25+ years and I'm pretty sure that's not a command. However, if you kill a process it does tend to kill the children processes as well. Unless you kill -9, in which case sometimes the children turn into Zombies. Or Kill -15 which will force the parents to turn into werewolves.

Funny how Sir Tim Berners-Lee, famous for hyperlinks, is into NFTs, glorified hyperlinks

Steve Button

I guess it might have a use...

... rich people who want to donate to some kind of cause that they support, and at the same time the value of the NFT *might* even go up over time, so it's a (very risky) investment also.

So, a pretty limited use case, and not really for the rest of us who will just use Patreon or Fiverr do give people small amounts.

But then people pay millions for a shark made of blood or a piece of shit in a box, so who knows? There's no limit to stupidity.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Steve Button

Re: The light..

So, a warning light then?

Linus Torvalds tells kernel list poster to 'SHUT THE HELL UP' for saying COVID-19 vaccines create 'new humanoid race'

Steve Button

Why all the thumbs down?

Despite all his philanthropy work, Bill Gates does seem to keep getting richer and richer. So much for giving away all his money.

WTH are NFTs? Here is the token, there is the Beeple....

Steve Button

So, it's a bubble?

Basically, yes... and yes.

I'm not seeing any practical use for this that gives you any tangible benefits over a traditional written (or verbal) contract. A solution looking for a problem.

Does the boss want those 2 hours of your free time back? A study says fighting through crowds to office each day hurts productivity

Steve Button

Re: You misquoted your own poll

Yes agreed. They are going to have to offer flexible tickets. Perhaps you buy a block of 10 and use them whenever you travel in, rather than buying an expensive monthly. I can't see demand getting back up to 2019 levels for a very long time, so they should have plenty of capacity.

OTOH, all the train companies might go bust due to lack of demand.

Steve Button

Re: Who got the extra time?

Personally I've been going to the gym (home gym when real one closed), sleeping longer and spending more time with the family in those extra couple of hours.

We always have breakfast together, and I get to work feeling ready for the day... rather than drained and frustrated by the selfish c**t who would not shut up on the train about their problems on a very loud phone call, and felt the need to share it with the whole carriage. Or stuck waiting for "signal failure". Or crammed in for 1 1/2 hours with no seat, because previous train was cancelled.

So, yeah my "employer"* seriously benefits from all that, as I can focus more easily on the work as I'm not as stressed by all the daily commute and the crap that goes along with it.

*contractor, so client really.

Having said that, I'd be quite happy to put up with that commute for 2 days a week, just to get face time with my colleagues. But 5 days a week (or 4)? Really don't want to do that again. Perhaps for project kickoff, etc. but for the rest of the time, no thanks.

Steve Button

You misquoted your own poll

It's three days at home and two in the office by around double the amount that wanted it the other way around!

What's this about a muon experiment potentially upending Standard Model of physics? We speak to one of the scientists involved

Steve Button

But does this mean I can have my flying car?

OR more to the point, can I have a hoverboard?

I mean, it's 2021 FFS.

AI recommendations fail fans who like hard rock and hip hop – official science

Steve Button

Re: all of the recommendation algorithms are a failure

Agreed. Spotify things I like "Fallout! Boy" because I like "My Chemical Romance". They are sort of audibly similar, to a dumb computer, but not to squishy humans.

However, given enough time and enough data I suppose they might feasibly be able to find some great music for me. But not there yet.

Steve Button

False assumptions

I like Alt-J, Metallica, Tchaikovsky, Caro and hundreds (or thousands?) of other things.

Some of the things I like are "hard" Queens of the Stone Age (and I even like some Hip Hop from Public Enemy to NF).

Saying I don't like to listen outside my genre is utter rubbish.

Just recommend stuff that's "Good" because that's all I like to listen to.

But it has to be subjectively good (to me I mean) and not necessarily what the next person likes.

And some people (many people I think) don't like something because it doesn't fit into their self perception. I happen to also like some Britney Spears songs, in addition to the above... so good luck recommending things to me. But I know if I like it when I hear it.

Burgers, birds, and Blue Screens of Death: Remember the joys of commuting?

Steve Button

It's a sad day, but perhaps it's time to move on.

You know, and spend more time doing the actual work they are paying me for.

AI-generated pixelated photo of AOC in a bikini pulled from paper highlighting danger of AI-generated pics

Steve Button

Had to Google for AOC

Wasn't sure how you would put a bikini onto a computer monitor. Now I know it's a human person, but not really any the wiser.

UK taxman is supposed to know how IR35 reforms work but still lost appeal against TV presenter Kaye Adams

Steve Button

Will be delayed (again)

Surely this is going to be delayed by another year, because Covid? If that was the reason last year, then it still applies this year.

Also, the who MOO thing is ridiculous. If you contract an electrician to rewire your office over the next three months, you can't really then turn around and say you don't want them to do the work, once you've agreed on the contract. And they can't really turn around and say they don't feel like doing it any more. Of course you are obliged to offer the work agreed in the contract. How is this a test of employment?

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

Steve Button

Is it possible this is BS?

I first saw it on Twitter, then on the BBC and now on El Reg. Is it possible this guy is having a laugh at our expense, and making himself a bit Twitter famous at the same time? Can the NHS really be that inept? (OK, at this point perhaps I should just not bother hitting submit - of course they can). LOL

UK tax collector won't probe businesses for compliance with IR35 rules unless there's reason to suspect naughtiness

Steve Button

Drop it!

Presumably as the pandemic is still in full swing, they will be announcing yet another delay to this policy. That was the reason last year, so I guess this will happen again at the last minute again this year. Really they should just get rid of it, it's a terrible policy.

Smells like Teams spirit: New platform Viva builds in all the tools Microsoft thinks staff need to succeed

Steve Button


I read the whole thing. Some of the paragraphs I even read twice. I'm still none the wiser as to what any of this is all about? I had a big lunch, and a little sleepy, maybe it's just me?

It's like Microsoft marketing wrote all the buzzword filled middle bit and the "author" wrote the first and last paragraphs.

Can anyone explain to me, in English, what this is and if I might find it useful?

Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention

Steve Button

You can trust Oracle

They have a long track record of providing sterling support for a very reasonable price, and not squeezing their customers for every last penny.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream

Steve Button

Re: Embrace, extend, and extinguish…

Yes, I thought exactly the same thing. Microsoft don't seem to be that way any more under Satya Nadella, and genuinely seem to have moved on. Shame that Red Hat (well IBM) are becoming the new Microsoft. How weird to be even saying that, but that's 2020 for you.

AWS going AWOL last week is exactly why less is more in cloud server land

Steve Button

"There are just as many servers as before"

Wrong. Because for most organizations, even large ones, you can't pack them to the gills in the same say a super massive one like Amazon, Azure or GCP can. So, there are actually fewer servers. But still not server-less, just you don't have to care that there's a server at the end of it.

Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

Steve Button

Re: Ah the good old days

I sorta remember that too, but perhaps you have just planted that memory in my brain.

Presumably we would have had to record the game* onto tape first to load it onto the C64 (other computers may have been available at the time).

*Yes, it would have to have been a game for you to bother going to the effort of recording it yourself onto a tape, wouldn't it?

Finding remote working a bit of a grind? Microsoft staffers feel your pain

Steve Button

Not an open plan office, PLEASE!

I don't mind going in a couple of days a week, but 5 days in an open plan office just leaves me no time to concentrate on hard problems. Like today, I've been reading through a NIST Guide for container recommendations, which I could never do in an open plan office. I supposed Noise Cancelling Headphones help. :shrug:

Ho hum: If you're so artificially intelligent, name this song while my videos go viral

Steve Button

Martin Clunes?

How did you get Martin Clunes to sing Gary Numan? I bet he wanted more than £60 for that voice gig.

Or was it Kipper? Actually, it sounded more like Kipper the Dog.

I could tell what the song was on the first hum. I tried it myself with "The Night" by the Four Seasons earlier in the week (which was an earworm for me, and I genuinely couldn't remember who it was by). Likewise Google: 0. Me: 1.

UK's National Audit Office warns full-fibre rollout strategy is leaving rural Britain behind. Again

Steve Button

Re: OW

You could set up a DVD-by-mail delivery service too. Like Netflx, but through the post. Call it Postflix? (oh, wait. They already did that 10 years ago). But they called it Netflix.

Steve Button

Re: Moving goalposts

That's what I thought. When I read "some premises may still lack superfast speeds, let alone gigabit connectivity". I thought "Let Alone!?" Gigabit is pretty damned fast, and should be enough for even the hungriest of bandwidth needs for quite some time for the vast majority of people.

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

Steve Button

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

Same thing here. Except the muppet who severed the cable was ME, and it was the phone cable into my house which runs up the wall behind a wysteria bush that needed trimming. I soldered it back together rather than using a choc block, and it's been fine ever since. :-)

BT cutting contractors' rates by a fifth and halving notice period because 'coronavirus'

Steve Button

Not really, no. It comes down to market forces as a poster above stated.

There is less demand for contractors now, so they can get away with paying lower rates. When the market picks up again, they will struggle to find people and the rates will go back up again. People will switch from contract to perm, and some will switch back again. Depends on how tempting it is to take that risk, and when rates are high it's more tempting.

Steve Button

Not surprising really.

Nothing to do with Covid though, if anything demand for BT services must have gone up massively over the last 6 months.

However, Covid has screwed the contractor market (along with Brexit and IR35). so I'm not surprised BT are making this move. I guess the banks will see this and see if they can do one better. If they have any contractors left.

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Steve Button

Re: Simple solution

Even as I hit "Submit" I realised that this would not work, because of foreign languages. So, let's stick with the ISO standard for now, until English becomes the de facto standard language on the planet.



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