* Posts by drand

176 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Nov 2012


Council claims database pain forced it to drop apostrophes from street names


Not even the worst crime against St. Mary

A few years ago round my way a road sign appeared giving direction to St Mary,s Hospital. My complaints were not acknowledged, but it was eventually corrected.

What if Microsoft had given us Windows XP 2024?


The cost may be astronomical, but then so are the marketing budgets and revenues. Sadly. I don't know why they do it but someone, somewhere will be convinced it makes more money than doing it sensibly.

Everyone wants better web search – is Perplexity's AI the answer?


Re: AI not needed in search

This exactly. I would go so far as to say Google search results were very good for a time (probably longer ago than I think it was). But we all know the problem: search is now a vector for shovelling ads down our throats and scraping data; unless and until this changes - which it won't - then no amount of AI or anything else thrown at it will help the ultimate search outcome for regular users.

Bank's datacenter died after travelling back in time to 1970


Re: Priorities

As my dad was fond of saying - "you can help by staying out of the way".

Honda cooks up an electric motorbike menu, with sides of connectivity



"In the future, data obtained and accumulated from both ICE and electric models will be utilized to understand the needs of customers based on the data of how those motorcycle models are being used," predicted Honda.

Engine, wheels, petrol tank, seat, handlebars. Piss off with the rest of it.

Remembering the time Windows accidentally sent Poland to the bottom of the sea


Rose-tinted spectacles

So even in the good old days, Windows testing & QA was still shit.

Atlassian buys 'asynchronous video' outfit Loom for almost $1 billion


How much?!

A beelion USD or AUD? Either way, fair play to this guy for making such an enormous amount of money. I wish I'd though of it, but I don't know whether I would have had the nerve to inflict such fuckwittery on JIRA users even for that much cash.

Attackers accessed UK military data through high-security fencing firm's Windows 7 rig


No Cyber Essentials?

No Government contracts for you!

How did they get themselves in this mess?

Want tunes with that? India-made POS terminal includes a speaker


Re: Testing

..and this is an 'icle'. What's your point?

[credit to a commentard on an OnCall (?) thread a couple of weeks ago, you know who you are]

Windows screensaver left broadcast techie all at sea


Re: huh?

It translates as:

And yea, on that fateful day, the Almighty didst bestow upon the Ark many virgin Windowes computers; and Merrill was alone, forsaken by his brethren, who had wandered into the hold where he did maketh moving images of the sheep and the goats, and was cast overboard for his sin.

Or something.

Nobody does DR tests to survive lightning striking twice


Re: At least you fixed the problem.

Amazingstoke we called it, with a skip full of sarcasm. Eurgh.

BOFH: Cough up half a grand and we'll protect you from AI


To apply a misquotation

BofH: "I spent most of my money on lager and onion bhajis. The rest I just squandered."

AI is going to eat itself: Experiment shows people training bots are using bots


Garbage in...

It's like the machine learning version of the Human Centipede (NSFW, if you don't know). Neither ends well.

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


Re: My Mantra*

True. The guy I took over from, proper electrical engineer, used to say "If you haven't got three, you haven't got any." Turns out I'm still filtering out what's really useful from his stash, as he decided to keep at least six of everything, even when the kit it was intended for had been in storage for ten years 'just in case'...

Elizabeth Holmes is going to prison – with a $500m bill


If the court decides reasonably that the criminal is not a threat to others in that two weeks, and is motivated to sort their affairs out, then it's fair enough. There will be plenty of cases where the dependents of the criminal would be even more screwed over by their behaviour if it were straight to the slammer; hopefully a little time would give innocent relatives, children, spouses a chance to get their shit together.

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race


Please keep this shit away from motorbikes

Modern cars care almost undriveable thanks to awful HMI (looking at you Golf mk8), the assist systems are not up to scratch, and they reset all your settings when there's a software update (VAG again). Bikes nowadays are coming with more and more gadgets they don't need. Just stop it. I don't want to be 'connected' on the bike.

It's not really about navigation, or even about improving the riding experience, it's about collecting data and making money.

The world of work is broken and it's Microsoft's fault



The report is hopefully subtitled "Will AI Fix Work?" - Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies.

The statistics presented, that more time is spent communicating than creating, imply that communicating is less valuable. This is patently not true - how productive are a million monkeys with typewriters?

Of course Russia's ex-space boss doubts US set foot on the Moon


Maybe it's the same reason Russia had competent armed forces capable of defeating the Nazi menace in 1945, but they can't do it now.

How prompt injection attacks hijack today's top-end AI – and it's tough to fix



Some clever people have made made some beautifully constructed, convincing origami houses. Then some cretins have come along and started shouting that the origami houses are the future and we must all live in one. Now we are not surprised to find out that some joker has walked through the wall of our paper house and stolen our stuff. We don't need a more secure paper house, we need to stop using them for purposes to which they are unsuited.

If this is a terrible analogy, it's not mine it's ChatGPTs.

Twitter users complain 'private' Circle posts aren't


Re: Can Twitter just die already?

He now just needs to paint over the 'ter' and he'll be bob on.

Cruise emits software fix after self-driving car slams into bus


Re: Unique error

Exactly this - If your algorithms can't keep the vehicle further away from the thing in front than the distance it takes to stop, then it shouldn't be allowed on the road; this is the standard expected of human drivers [1].

What if someone was crossing the road behind the bus? Would that be another unique situation. I would like to see autonomous vehicle operators held to a standard where this kind of fuck-up is subject to some weight of criminal responsibility if they can not show reasonably practicable measures undertaken by competent persons to assure others' road safety. Yes I am grumpy this morning.

[1]: At least when they pass their test. Many will drift out of cal over time.

The most bizarre online replacement items in your delivered shopping?


This is why I now go to the shops.

Stupid substitutions. Packing the cat litter on top of the bread and the bananas in with the raw fish. Arriving early for a delivery slot and being shitty that I'm not in. Not delivering part of the order and refusing to come back and deliver it. Quibbling about refunds for damaged or out of date items. Making a fuss about me checking everything against the delivery note to ensure that the previous two things have not reoccurred. I know not everyone has the option or will to go round supermarkets, and it isn't without its own issues, but for me it's a lot less stress.

Attackers hit Bitcoin ATMs to steal $1.5 million in crypto cash


Re: So...

...but it has blockchain! How can it fail?

Student satellite demonstrates drag sail to de-orbit old hardware


Re: Sputnik-like CubeSat?

Just like square sweets that look round!

Musk: Tesla's doing great. I mean, have you seen my Twitter follower count?


Temper your Cybertruck expectations better than its windows

Bravo, a pun worthy of the old Reg.

(Yes that is a back-handed compliment)

European telco body looks into terahertz for future 6G comms


Re: 6G

But you'll never find a Nessie an a zoo.

Look like Bane, spend like Batman with Dyson's $949 headphones


Dyson peaked with the Ballbarrow

Since then he's devoted his time to becoming a poundshop Steve Jobs and I can't stand him.

Boeing swipes at Starlink as it finishes two internet slinging satellites


It's lonely up there in MEO...

BOFH: We're an industry leader … in employing idiot managers


Re: Industry Leaders

Fox? More like a stoned badger.

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


That's much more betterer.

Multi-factor auth fatigue is real – and it's why you may be in the headlines next


A clock on a fridge?!

I have never seen such a thing. On a microwave that has a seven-seg display anyway, yes, but a fridge no. Why? And why does it bother me so much? Time for the pub...

UK comms regulator rings death knell for fax machines


Re: Faxing is often better

There is (maybe even more than one) electronic system in England & Wales for exactly this purpose.

A friend of mine who has recently left pharmacy was constantly frustrated by the inability of general practice to use these systems properly or even at all. And then there were the pharmacy managers who wouldn't hear anything about these newfangled ways of doing things and were left stuck in the dark ages. In the end we all pay the price for this kind of silliness as poor public service.

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released


Re: Ribbon

Totally agree, I find it hateful, but I suspect it's a play for MS refugees - the more similar the UI, the less organisations have to worry about retraining and supporting users if they do take the plunge away from Word.

Emissions-slashing hybrid trains to hit tracks in Europe


Japanese manufacturer Hitachi Rail and Italy's Trenitalia have unveiled a triple hybrid locomotive that they claim halves carbon emission compared with the trains they replace.

The "Blues train" is suitable to carry passengers throughout the European network and is powered by a combination of batteries, electric cable, and diesel engines.

OK, snarky comments...

Hybrid trains have been around for ages, diesel/electric and electric/electric. If it uses three sources of power, then it's a double hybrid, not a triple. Also, if one of those is electric cable, they're going to need a lot of extension reels.

Though seriously this (switching to battery within locality of stations and urban areas) is long overdue, and I've often wondered why it isn't already happening. Though it's not a surprise given the quality of the UK's rolling stock and infrastructure compared with elsewhere in western Europe I've experienced.

p.s. I miss the sound of the Paxman Valentas spooling up from cold and whistling by, when I were a lad.

Microsoft Outlook sends users back to 1930 with (very) mini-Millennium-Bug glitch


Re: Off topic but...

I like your rant but I think the poster is referring to the 'What are the biggest tech-related initiatives impacting your organisation right now?' inline panel that appears at the bottom of every article, whether you've answered it or not.

Maybe it gets blocked by certain ad/tracker blockers, but I get it here at work.


Maybe so...

But my dad caning overtime on late 90's millennium bug ERP projects paid to put me through university, so I'm not complaining!

BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM


Re: Pedantic description alert!

Many a time I have elicited eye-rolls on spouting this bit of fine pedantry. Interestingly though, many dictionaries nowadays don't make the distinction and 'acronym' substitutes for both (even the trusty 1991-edition Pocket Oxford in my desk).

Government buyers take 22 months on average to procure tech


Well done, this post really delivered.

Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners


Re: Spelling!!!

Ye Olde Register then? Everyone knows that's British, cor blimey guv'nor etc.

G7 countries beat UK in worldwide broadband speed test again


Re: What is "enough"?

Spot on. The comment about 'dawdling with FTTC' is stupid. More backbone fibre and squeezing what there is out of local copper helps out those people on the lowest speeds. Sure it's not always that simple but headline speeds and mean speeds aren't a useful metric in determining how equitable your internet provision is.

What we need is a big initiative to get everyone up to the same level, with a catchy name. Any suggestions?

Japan to change laws that require use of floppy disks


Arf, Arf!

... in 2021 former prime minister Yoshihide Suga promised to reduce reliance on the use of seals and fax machines...

What, are they now on to penguins with pagers?

1,900 Signal users exposed: Twilio attacker 'explicitly' looked for certain numbers


Do as I say, not as I do

A company that provides 2FA services does not require its own employees to use 2FA when logging in/changing passwords. Peak tech company.

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape


Re: Safer than people think

Plant some potatoes in your exclusion zone, shoot a deer roaming the woods there, and I will happily eat Chernobyl venison steak and chips.

Why don't you go and camp out at the bottom of the Aswan for a weekend?

This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15


Given that several of the military establishments were said to have been in the desert it's possible they were in the USA to begin with.

Dell's rugged Latitude 5430 laptop is quick and pretty – but also bulky and heavy


Aha, but you would fasten the Allen key cover with a Phillips screw to prevent inappropriate use.

Microsoft tests ‘Suggested Actions’ in Windows 11. Insiders: Can we turn it off?


Just. Stop.

Fucking. About. With. Your. OS.

MIT's thin plastic speakers fall flat. And that's by design


Needs work

Promising but it won't sound any good until there's an audiophile version. I'm thinking incorporate some gold leaf for a warmer, more rounded signal and fill those domes with argon for a really expansive soundstage.

Users sound off as new Google Workspace for Education storage limits near


Re: MS Is Loving This

Yeah but then you have to use SharePoint - yuck. And I would have little faith in MS not pulling the same con a year down the road.

Tesla to disable 'self-driving' feature that allowed vehicles to roll past stop signs at junctions


Rolling stop my arse

If you're rolling, you aint stopped. Really, how much of an inconvenience is it? Especially if you're driving an automatic or electric car, just ease off the brake.

There are a fair few STOP signs in the UK but mainly outside of urban areas. They tend to be placed on a minor road when crossing a bigger one, when the driver really should be concentrating on looking at what's coming rather than inching the vehicle forward for a quick getaway - junction on a bend, high speed traffic, complex junction etc.

Also anyone who has driven or navigated a road rally in the UK will know all give ways and stops are to be properly stopped at, unless in quiet zones and specified otherwise by the organizers, and may be observed. Doesn't really slow anyone down.

UK government has 'no clear plan' for replacing ageing legacy IT estate, MPs report


Re: There is an upside

I've known a few of the same disposition.

We lovingly refer to them as Trailing-Edge Technology Specialists.