* Posts by NXM

314 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Sep 2012


Data breach reveals distressing info: People who order pineapple on pizza

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Re: Never mind tinned fruit, defund the BBC, NOW...

Bloody hell, that'll give me nightmares

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food abomination

I once saw a takeaway selling chicken tikka masala pizza - eeyyyuck. Why not serve it with a naan? I nearly phoned the police.

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death

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satnav dependence

Our neighbours get many, many people turning round and going back the other way on Fridays because that's when the chalet site takes in new guests every week. The misguided tourists go right past a big sign at the chalets' road because their satnav guides them to the centre of the postcode at our neighbours' about half a mile further on. The satnav must be right, what I can actually see must be wrong.

Some tourists demand the keys to their chalet, which is nowhere in sight. Once our neighbours were startled to see a bunch of Japanese tourists staring into their window. Some of them don't even know what the site's called - they think it's Hoseasons, the booking agent.

BT confirms it's switching off 3G in UK from Jan next year

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Re: Elderly and Vulnerable?

Try this:


Although it is a bit pricey.

If anyone finds an $80M F-35 stealth fighter, please call the Pentagon

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The pilot kept putting it to sleep instead of turning off every night because it took so long to start in the morning. On the next flight the wifi wouldn't work, then explorer seized up, and then it opened the canopy, ejected him, and set autopilot on itself before whizzing off into the distance.

Some American gov't person was moaning on (according to the Times) about how someone should've been able to track it. Well, stealth plane, durrrr.

Apple's iPhone 12 woes spread as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands weigh in

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Re: Testing is easy?

What, you can't fry an egg on an iPhone? I'm not buying one then.

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One source of official action against non-compliance in self-certified goods comes from competitors who may be peeved by another company getting away with breaking the rules and gaining an advantage. In this case Apple may claim better radio performance in weak signal areas. And if an iPhone 12 transgresses, later ones might do too.

Mobiles vary their power output depending on received signal gain, so a software fix isn't a problem. Bad publicity is.

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972

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Re: El Reg comparators for temperature?

I suggest:

Cod Mornay






Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: Doubling the amps?

I still have the 6809 processor analyser I bought for the company I worked for in 1992. It's the size of a wheelie carry-on suitcase, powered by a 68000. Cost about £6500 then, about £15k now. I bought it at the auction after the company went bust.

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Re: Silly Mistakes

"a fault to earth is essentially close to a fault to neutral"

I have an old clothes iron in the museum that has a 'heating' indicator composed of a torch bulb in the handle. It connects across neutral to earth, usually about 4V in the UK. Try it now and it always trips the RCD; they only had fuses when it was made.

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Re: I I be a-goin there, I be-n't start from here

This works because the resistance of the filament while cold is very low, but increases sharply as it heats up. That's why bulbs fail when you first turn them on - the inrush current is far higher than the steady-state current when hot. Weak (thinner bits form from crystallisation during use) points in the filament when turned on get overloaded and melt.

Incidentally we have a Edward VII Coronation commemerative light bulb from 1901. Never dared try it, but it tests ok!

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Cooking error

Once, just once, I had the deep-fat fryer on the hob so the cooker sucker sucked all the steam away. All went well until I accidentally turned the ring underneath it on.

In seconds the kitchen was full of burned plastic fumes. What an idiot I am.

(I have an engineering degree, so if you put it down to a vital experiment I suppose I could say I learned something)

BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription

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unintended consequences

My aunt accidentally turned the heated seats on and thought she'd wet herself

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

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It would seem that the OneWeb service doesn't yet include positioning, which is a great pity. If it were available, Musk could be sidestepped.

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?

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They already have nuclear powered submarines which could be described as fission ships.

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

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Re: Le Brexit

Depends on what you think the fluffy-headed imbecile's job was. If it was to distract attention from those actually pulling the strings, like Zaphod Beeblebrox, then he did his job perfectly. If it was to actually run the country then rather less so.

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

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So you're saying that since any plane younger than 16 years is exempt, someone landed a Dakota and forgot to pay the £12.50 ulez charge?

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Re: It's an impressive sight

A while back I did some back-of-an-envelope calculations using 90s per landing plus guesstimated airspeed to work out the distance between planes, then looked at the Thames estuary on Google maps. You can see them coming in at just the right intervals.

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A builder unplugged the server (marked DO NOT UNPLUG) to charge his drill battery

Lesson 1: Keep your mind on the ... why aren't the servers making any noise?

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electrical avoidance

My old power lecturer (whose stories, as I've mentioned previously, always started with 'When I used to work for the SWEB') used to say that if you didn't know where the root 3 goes, you shouldn't be doing power engineering.

So I didn't, and concentrated on digital electronics. The world of power engineering was safe as a result.

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead

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faulty by design

You're forgetting something: getting the bill through isn't because they want to protect the children, it's so they get some headlines out of it. Like everything else they're doing, it's a distraction attempt so we forget that pretty much everything is broken here.

Moscow makes a mess on the Moon as Luna 25 probe misses orbit, lands with a thud

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Re: "Luna 25, by contrast, tried to make the trip in nine days"

Makes me wonder if the rover was replaced by extra fuel to make the trip quicker in order to beat the Indian craft

Man arrested in Northern Ireland police data leak as more incidents come to light

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Re: So, arrested for accessing published information ?

According to my 10-minute bout of research into the Terrorism Act 2000, the plod might be in contravention of section 58 (1) (a) concerning making a record of information which may be useful to terrorists.


Perhaps the CPS might take a view on that as making a record must include publishing information on a website.

Lock-in to legacy code is a thing. Being locked in by legacy code is another thing entirely

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Re: Almost got locked in

"higher-level brains"

I'm pretty sure security guards often have these, but are forced to work in dull, poorly paid jobs because there's nothing else. You could say the same about people studying for qualifications while flipping burgers, serving beer, cleaning floors, and so on.

Never diss people doing lowly jobs, they're still people and they deserve respect. If your life was to become difficult, it could be you.

Google Street View car careens into creek after 100mph cop chase

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Re: at that point that the driver lost control and careened through a yard into a creek

Do you mind if I put my massive tool in Mrs Doyle's box?

Tesla steering problems attract regulator eyes for second time this year

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Re: I have had power steering fail in an ICE car

In the heat of a situation like that it's sometimes difficult to think your way out of it, because you're so busy trying not to die.

My whale-like Rover 820 stalled on a hairpin bend once, which meant the power steering failed and it nearly threw me off a cliff. I couldn't change down a gear to keep the steering on because I was grappling with the wheel saying 'ohfuckohfuckohfuck'.

Aspiration to deploy new UK nuclear reactor every year a 'wish', not a plan

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Re: Hospital Strategy

What is the book?

Why, it's the Necrotelecomnicon of course

Nobody would ever work on the live server, right? Not intentionally, anyway

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"shot absolutely everything on 4K video"

I read recently that amateur astronomers do this to find the 'lucky shot' of Saturn, say, out of the many many frames with atmospheric wobbles, starlink satellites and so on that ruined them. Probably takes ages to find the good one though.

What does Twitter's new logo really represent?

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Re: Let's hope it stops the hate comments

I blame the Greeks. They invented gayness.

TETRA radio comms used by emergency heroes easily cracked, say experts

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Re: Governments and access to encrypted messages

"illegal to snoop on Tetra comms"

That reminds me of emergency services comms in the UK circa the 1970's. They transmitted on unused FM frequencies, different ones for officers in the field and control. Using the gift of any FM radio you could hear one side of the conversation, presumably with another one you could hear both.

But no-one ever did, ever, not even me (promise!) because there was a law against it.

Always on the Horizon, UK must wait for megabucks EU science deal

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Re: The ECJ (and to a lesser extent ECHR) are the issue

Well if course! Science benefits everyone, not just us in South Rockall, therefore it's a socialist enterprise and should be banned.

Tesla plots entry to Britain's stagnant energy market

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"Plants love CO2"

They do, and there's lots of it on Venus. But the runaway greenhouse effect there makes it a bit too warm for them to grow.

Indian developer fired 90 percent of tech support team, outsourced the job to AI

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Judging by my recent experience with their human "support team" they could've been replaced by AI running on a Psion Organizer to better effect. At least until its PP3 battery ran out.

Turning a computer off, then on again, never goes wrong. Right?

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Re: The web server that wasn't

That was Jurassic Park, Shirley?

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Re: Sausage Factory

"No more scotch eggs"

On the surface this might seem to be a disaster, but my experience of Scotch Eggs from factories is that of a spheroid with something resembling a gobstopper inside with a coating made of lard and sawdust, coated in yet more sawdust.

Make em yourself, they'll be far far better.

Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes

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Re: Speed issues

"Ethernet cables"

Real men (and women) do it with wires.

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Re: Never had a problem...

"swinging in the wind"

I had that too. When I phoned BT several times over the course of 18 months I always told them the line always fails when it's windy, so send someone out while it's still windy.

Did they? Did they bollocks. They always waited a few days then came out when the wind had died down, and amazingly the line worked again! They never arrived with a cherry picker either, despite it being an overhead line.

Eventually a very persistent pair of engineers tracked it down to a dodgy connection up the nearest pole which only failed in the wind.

The problem here is that openreach never keeps records of previous conversations and frequently doesn't tell it's own staff what the problem is.

Hacking a Foosball table scored an own goal for naughty engineers

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frozen coins

According to my power lecturer, whose stories always started with "when I worked for the SWEB...", someone he visited to collect the coin meter contents did exactly that. No coins in the box (which was unexpectedly rusty) and a damp saucer underneath. He only worked out what was happening years later.

The worst bit, he said, was that they were stealing the electricity they used to freeze the 50p's.

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111

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Re: Multiple redundancy

This should be taught in school

My brother-in-law keeled over with a heart attack a few years ago. A lorry driver who was with him lost several minutes because his phone had no service and he thought he couldn't dial for an ambulance. In fact he could have, because there was service from other providers. The driver eventually found a neighbour and an ambulance and first responders arrived to help my brother-in-law, but he was dead on arrival at hospital.

I don't blame the driver, I blame the mobile providers for not telling people, all the time, that you can call 999 even if it seems like there's no mobile coverage where you are.

Way out in deep space, astronomers spot precursor of carbon based life

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Re: scientists and not 'boffins'.

Obligatory XKCD on geeks and nerds


Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?

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Re: Power Points

That's easy - just press shift-F5

Data cleanser did its job, but – oopsie! – also doubled customers' bills

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I can explain all this ... actually, no, I can't.

Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim

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Re: no backup strategy, SMH stupidity

"You pull a handle which pulls a string round some pulleys, the string pulls a coiled spring and makes a bell wobble so that the clapper hits the side."

Proper automation would involve your valet opening the door and offering tea to your guest.

UK smart meter rollout years late and less than two thirds complete

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Re: Not smart at all

It's SMETS2, installed a couple of years ago. Octopus just can't be bothered.

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Not smart at all

I have a "smart meter" at my workshop which has never worked. I suspect it's because Octopus doesn't have a transceiver in the area and it works on something other than the mobile network.

So it gives them the ability to get a government bung for installing it, while making me take the bloody readings. Even then, they only use the readings I send if I do it on the last 4 days of the month. If not, they wildly overestimate the power use and rob money from my account.

Florida man insists he didn't violate the law by keeping Top Secret docs

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Re: What I cannot understand ...

It would seem some people think he still believes he's the president, so wants to keep the papers to prove it and show off to everyone. That's why he reckons he can still declassify them (just by thinking about it), which is something he could only do while still in office.

Apparently some papers he's mentioned in recordings and transcripts are still missing.


[and before the True Believers start gibbering to refute this the story is available from several sources, not just the NYT]

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out

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Re: How about

Me neither.

Going to that Hawkwind concert in 1985 was a mistake.

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lost earbuds

Must be too old. I remember when earbuds used to come with a piece of electric string so they didn't get lost or go flat. How quaint.

James Webb smells someone having barbecue in galaxy 12 billion light years away

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Re: The start of life?

Could be wrong here, but universal expansion makes the universe bigger rather faster than walking pace. Maybe get a skateboard?

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse

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Re: farm supplies

FYI Sam Turner's, Northallerton.

Though possibly all farm supplies shops are linked via L-space.