* Posts by cortland

1151 posts • joined 29 Mar 2012


IBM made ‘top-down’ efforts to fire older workers, says US employment discrimination watchdog


Re: Standard Modus Operandi for IBM

That's so -- but the loss due to less experienced replacements could easily have been more than the savings in wages and benefits.

Some of the things I saw during an second, post-military career that started in 1983 and retired from in 2011 lead me to believe that penny-pinching firms that don't take advantage of that much experience will eventually end up paying for a lower level of expertise.

About 12 years ago, working on an aircraft electronics system, I noticed one of the test labs certifying compliance with mandatory aviation standards (look up ED-14*) had computerized test stations, and had put a janitor to running one. That's probably a rare occurrence, but I've seen engineers with degrees making mistakes just as bad. *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DO-160

For want of a nail...

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos


Re: Thinking outside the box

Then there's that sinking feeling...

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'



"Hey!" what's wrong with the prop...............AAAAH!

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles


Someone should be

... locked in a room with books only by David Crystal -- I'm reading a hardly used copy of his 2004 "The Stories of English" and now I'll have to look into the pages where he mentions or discusses the evolution of Scottish English. The appendix has some 20+ entries for that general subject. Those who have a copy, or a Kindle (tm) download, might find some relief on pages 488-490.

Many of my fellow Americans -- US type -- hardly know enough to recognize quotations from Shakespeare, and at 76, my own memory is nothing to be proud of; could it be that the Wikipedia source knew less?

Ex-Apple engineer lifts lid on Uncle Sam's top-secret plan to turn customized iPod into 'Geiger counter'


Not exactly new now...

From the How To Geek site:

>>Android: While we’d hope you’d never need it, clever researchers have figured out how to turn the camera on your Android phone into a makeshift Geiger Counter with nothing more than an app and some black tape.

It’s not as versatile as a true Geiger Counter (it doesn’t measure as broad a spectrum) but for a free application that could be quickly deployed during an emergency to the hundreds of millions of smartphones floating around, it’s pretty awesome. From the app author’s web site: <<


What does London's number 65 bus have to hide? OS caught on camera setting fire to '22,000 illegal file(s)!!'


Don't worry

The facial recognition software just had a problem connecting with the usual government agencies.

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract



Below the navel, perhaps; there's a saying in the engineering profession that you can get only two from the profiteer's Trinity, "Good, Quick and Cheap".

Cereal Killer Cafe enters hipster heaven, heads online: Coronavirus blamed for shutters being pulled down


Old -- really old

The cereal we got at St. Piran's in 1952 couldn't have *cost* more than a ha'pence. The caning was free.

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban


Tsk, tsk...

You were doing SO well... until the giveaway at the last.

You could have milked this for WEEKS.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


It may even


Clock it just right and it'll be good at shutting down 5G for meters. HOWEVER.. that runs the user afoul of national and international standards of maximum RF possessions.

What for? Why, to protect subscribers of the medium.

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard


I ran into a similarly proprietary problem about ten years ago, when I was looking for a well built but inexpensive connector to use in a telecomm's bay abut to be introduced; the firm that actually made it it were ready , but the patent owners stopped it.

Judge snubs IT outsourcers' plea to Alt-F4 tougher H-1B visa rules: Bosses told to fill out the extra paperwork



Das Heimatsicherhietsamt sieht ALLES.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors


The Prints of Dublin?

Or are they just Dublin down?

It's just paperwork.

Behold Schrödinger's Y2K, when software went all quantum


Some computers still work

My Tandy model 100 "laptop" still works; it's got about 29 kilobytes of storage, too!

May the May update be with you: OpenSSL key sniffed from radio signal


Re: Lesson from the early 1980s

Heh! I retired from the US Army in 1983 -- and started a second career in EMC engineering with a few years doing TEMPEST testing.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


I need to take this up with my Michigan State representative; it's possible to enter an intersection on green and have the light go through yellow to red before one gets around the corner.

SpaceX reveals chain of events that caused the unplanned disassembly of Crew Dragon capsule


Holy Doctor!

They've made a space-going Dalek.

... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales


Hmm. Nudist camps?

They bare watching.

Imagine being charged to take a lunch break... even if you didn't. Welcome to the world of these electronics assembly line workers


"A spokesperson was not available for immediate comment."


UK.gov whacks export ban on 'grotesque' crab made by famous Brit potter bros


Too late!

The image has gone all over the world by now,and will be showing up soon in Chinese toy boxes and advertising.

Comms room, comms room, comms room is on fire – we don't need no water, let the engineer burn


Re: Great post

Personal experience.

Taking a physics course during the Summer holiday I was making some money washing the chem-lab glass containers etc. and asked the Acting Dean of Students if it was safe to dispose of the the leftovers down the drain. He said yes, it was safe.

It wasn't':phosphorus trichloride decomposes on contact with water into phosphorus, and HCL.


Re: And then some fool fills up a car with Li-ion...

Booming down the tracks?


Re: And then some fool fills up a car with Li-ion...

You may have my "on a ladder three feet from a full rev's spinning tale [sic*] rotor" story beat.

* I like puns.

Oh, the massive sky dong? Contrails from 'standard' F-35 training, US Air Force insists


Control says

Extend the linear segment.

This is a sett-up! Mum catches badger feasting on contents of freezer



Next: a badgerigar.

Investors whack red alert on tech reseller Computacenter over lack of women on board


No problems

AI will replace the humans. Microsecond response to events -- and NO discrimination!

It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday


Re: There was always a near monopoly on encyclopedic knowledge

This may be an older post, but I must point out that in time of yore (heh) countless bright children were often known to read encyclopedias and even unabridged dictionaries for the pleasure of discovery.

I did, anyway.

Self-taught Belgian bloke cracks crypto conundrum that was supposed to be uncrackable until 2034


Wrong turn

A spherical Bolt breaks the thread.

Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America


Re: 'tis the Merkin way

"Fee", see?

Parents slapped with dress code after turning school grounds into a fashion crime scene


Someone had to say it. But bears dont have arms.



If they don't want men to wear undershirts, there'll be a lot of sweat-soaked shirts stinking up the place — and what's wrong with a satin yarmulke?

You spin me right round, baby, right round like an exploding asteroid, baby, right round round round


Painful asteroids?

The spam begins — "Buy our Solid Rock Creme, and stay hard forever." Or something like that.

FYI: You could make Tesla's Autopilot swerve into traffic with a few stickers on the road


Glass overkill

They could much more easily and reliably be able to control the windshield wipers with a low-power laser shooting edge-on from the bottom of the glass to the top, or one side to the other; refraction from raindrops on the glass could be detected as modulation of the laser beam and turn the wipers on.

Only one Huawei? We pitted the P30 Pro against Samsung and Apple's best – and this is what we found


I suspect the major difference between these rivals is due to what camera manufacturers would call "Art" settings; emphasizing contrast and color to please those who want a little more snap in their picture.

Getting enough stabilization to do a 50 times zoom is amazing – but my mirrorless camera,with both in- body and on-lens stabilization (depending on the lens) lets me shoot pictures down to 1/5th or even 1/4th of a second exposure indoors, with a 100 mm lens. The races are on, and the Percheron's still deliver more beer per night.

VP Mike Pence: I want Americans back on the Moon by 2024 (or before the Chinese get there)


Sorry, Mike

There's a Wall that's more important -- and we'd have to buy Russian rockets because you haven't exactly been pushing money at us.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin


Re: And then billed 3 extra hours?

Some of the older Samsung monitors sold with Tandy/Radio Shack computers in the 1990's could be made to run at higher resolutions, which resulted (or so I heard) in a monitor catching fire.


re "big iron"...

When I retired from the Amy I walked into a job in electromagnetic compatibility at Wang Labs, in Massachusetts. It took three of us to wheel one of the TEMPEST machines up the ramp into the test chamber; HDD the size of a Fiat, outside, with cables that were like wrestling world-record Boa Constrictors.

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives


Re: Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

Eh, or rounded corners on a smartphone.


Re: takedowns

And in the United States, copyright extends to original works posted online by even private citizens – no registration required.

Here's one original from me for now; it seems you would under the terms of the ruling violate *my* copyright by reading it.

There once was a board all atoasting, much alarmed at the prospect of posting -- with three words in a row that appeared in a show -- would justify banning and roasting.

Cortland E. Richmond 13 September 2018

Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts


Coffee, anyone?

This unworthy servant of the Great Ghu Hytek is known to have solved a display problem with a set-top box using what in the US we call an electric hot-plate. Without even connecting it to the mains outlet.

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama


It's Texas, Silly!

Between 1997 in 2002, I had an interesting position in Northern California with a firm based in Texas (since absorbed by others) . Telecom Valley has long since dried up and blown away, but I have a lot of memories of that time.

I was the de facto EMC expert in the R&D department there, and beside monitoring designs in progress, was often called on to fix problems that developed in the field. One such problem came up shortly before the inevitable layoffs began and one got me; equipment in Texas was shutting down mysteriously, not a cloud in the sky, nor high tension power lines collapsing on the telephone outside plant, no, not that.

Protective devices on telephone lines were just quietly dying of overload, burning out and and taking down-line equipment "off the net", as we would say now.

They had at the time other EMC engineers than myself, the headquarters being in Texas, so I am confident (ha!) somebody eventually fixed that – but here's my theory.

Clouds passing over the millions of miles of lines across the state carried quite sizable charges, despite never discharging via lightning until things REALLY got "charged up". And as they passed over portions of the network, the charge they carried induced a flow of current between different parts of the land-line system. Equipment protectors being designed to handle short if exceedingly high currents, were burning out because these slowly rising and slowly falling peaks of current exceeded their ability to dissipate it as heat.

It's a good theory, anyway. It's never nice to fool Mother Nature.

Astroboffins spy the brightest quasar that lit the universe's dark ages



Surely it's light, redshifted.

New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy


Not just video

Writing in the same style – anonymously – as any well-known public figure, actor or actress, etc. could be taken for writing by that person.

Who shall be first?

You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs


Re: "You can call me a dreamer..."

It's odd that the word "dreamer" should crop up in connection with the phrase "national sovereignty", considering that the national sovereignty of the United States is apparently threatened by the presence of so many "Dreamers" brought into the country without documentation, young people OUR national sovereignty apparently requires us to deport to nations speaking a language foreign to them.

Or that national sovereignty reaches into nations far away. Oh well; back to the days when government listened to every telephone call and read every telegram, eh? For the sake of privacy.

Humans are STRANGE.

Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell


A WHAT curtain?

From Alaska to San Diego, an [idiot] curtain has descended on the United States...

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word


Re: Is that how you spell...

Fernando Llamas?

Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update


Somewhere around here

Somewhere around here I have an upgraded Tandy Model 100 that will work just fine for basic word processing – and the batteries last 40 hours. Windows? I'm dragging out my DOS 3.1 computer next week.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m


Re: and Pigs might fly a.k.a F-35

Not so much discussed is that multiple 35's whose radar and computational power is networked may be practically as good as having an AWACS circling around some hundred kilometers from the scene.

It's all new, that. I wonder if it will work as well is expected the first time it has to.


Re: I ain't never seen a white elephant fly.



Troubled Watchkeeper drones miss crucial UK flight safety certificate



Perhaps they should be tested where they'll be used in earnest, hmm?



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020