* Posts by JT_3K

51 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Nov 2012


Vessels claiming to be Chinese warships are messing with passenger planes


Re: Peak China?

I mean, the stories referenced in the book "This is how they tell me the world ends" talk of China's global quiet posturing on the digital stage and, as to their 2011/12(?) hack of Google, finally being able to tie the nation-state to the rampant IPO and data thefts that had been committed increasingly by them over the decade prior.

I'm not saying it's just them. The excellent Register live event in 2011 where Bruce Schneier discussed the multinational arms race to place back doors should remind us of that. But it did (does?) seem that China had a particular push on international collation and local redistribution of IPO that other countries seek to undertake less.

UK.gov bans TikTok from its devices as a 'precaution' over spying fears


Re: 冰山一角

Believe me I'm not taking the side of politicians here, nor am I going to support them.

The thought did occur a few minutes ago (when I was sat here thinking the same thing) that if politicians are using SocMed apps as a consumer, there's an issue, but as a content creator it's potentially about being more transparent, visible to the younger generations particularly and engaging more.

This may be a US-centric study but I'd hazard it's mirrored closely in the UK - https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2021/09/20/news-consumption-across-social-media-in-2021/

We constantly grumble for more engaged, more "modern" politicians who understand their electorate more closely and are more visible. I mean, my local MP is a grade-A fossil who thinks legitimately that the locals would be better served with a cable-car to the top of a local hill than to even consider the real issues impacting. MPs that engage more would hopefully come to understand that which matters more closely and be seen making difficult decisions.

Having also battled many years on the single device debate and with the advent of Virtual Sim Cards, I can see how this might legitimately be happening on other levels.

Doesn't mean that they're not going to use it to look at tractors or porn whilst in parliament though, rather than engaging and doing their real job.

Germany clocks that ripping out Huawei, ZTE network kit won't be cheap or easy


Re: Needs A Re-write......

Life, er, finds a way.


Times have changed but if there's a need, the most ingenious ways will still be found and implemented.

Wannabe space 'superpower' UK tosses £1.6M at eight research projects


Re: A whole £1.6m, that's the coffee and biscuit budget for other nations

Each to their own. I've got builders in at the moment and it's costing me ~£11/day in Creme Eggs, Fanta and a variety of chocolate biscuits. Worth it though to make sure they know how pleased I am with what they're doing.

Backup tech felt the need – the need for speed. And pastries and Tomb Raider


Re: No thumbdrives

I can top that. The owner bought a (very specialist industry specific) machine in 2022 from a competitor that shut down. It was a messy environment and he proudly proclaimed that instead of spending £600k to get his new "[ITEM] Line" in, he'd secured the machine from the liquidators of the old company for £26k.

Muggins here turned out to know more than the "specialist company" that was brought in to install the machine about 286(? - maybe 386) DOS 5.0 networking stacks and came down to get it online, speaking to an XP VM (in an isolated, locked-down to hell and firewall protected VLAN) in SMB 1.0 so it would suck down exported CAD instruction files. It was only once it was running happily they all admitted that the place it'd come from hadn't been able to get it on the network and it'd never done it, being used with 3.5'' floppies

Dear Stupid, I write with news I did not check the content of the [Name] field before sending this letter


Re: This would be the flip side...

Late to the party but that reminds me of the US military, who spent a lot of time partiucularly in Korea/Vietnam era (although much later too IIRC) with quartermaster-types shipping non-existent products to each other when they'd lost items (from a box of pens, to a tank or a couple of Jeeps). This was necessary as there was no formal acceptable way to state that a box of items had been misplaced or stolen without it being a big problem.

The game was to trade them off sufficiently so they could be "used", noting that one unit probably wasn't going to use a shipment of ~10 Jeep axles, but 10 different units could reliably have used them, or until they ended up at a unit that did a lot of flying. If the flying unit had a flight crash, it was an opportunity to posthumously load a large quantity of missing items on the flight and claim them as lost also. I recall a story of one largely empty Huey/C130(?) that had been recorded at something like 8x maximum-weight when it went down, such was the load of "items" it was carrying.

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs


Gather round children...

...and let me tell you about the olden days. When if you weren't rolling out NT4 and were pushing Win95 that the profiles were bypassable and security was just completely pony. Many machines were imaged using the same license key because the license sticker was the part that was important, not the key you'd used and if you'd not applied the sticker, you'd not applied the license to the machine.

Common practice was to:

(a) configure a single-profile machine as the multi-profile systems in the consumer-track non-NT Microsoft OS (even until XP) absolutely killed the machine and made them run like complete and utter dogs and secure your FTP or fileshares individually; or

(b) configure a profile in the way you wanted it to behave and copy it over the "default profile" by hand in File Explorer so every new account would have all the same settings, then create your profiles and let users log in to a fully configured desktop.

Once this was done, you could image the machine, probably with Norton by hooking to a network share for your image (fancy) or if you were really fancy, you'd have one of those stupid handheld hard disk cloning boxes with an IDE connector on the top, a little LCD screen and a slot for you to put a spare 3.5'' IDE drive in the "handle".

Before you start throwing shade about "smaller organisations", that's how the Ambulance service in the UK were doing it during the brief stint I spent with them in 1999/2000 with a very cut-apart desktop experience and an IE hard-link to their web-based queuing/call handling system which required individual login. Registry edits to hide various crap abounded. I also cite that they were still using WfW3.11 print servers at this point and that wasn't uncommon. Remember that a lot of remote services, modem dial-ups to your office's modem bank and even 802.11 (or even 802.11b) at this point required an interactive desktop to get connected - Microsoft said it didn't but none of them ever integrated to that "dial first login" option.

Thankfully by the next time I got in an enterprise it was 2003 and I supported a Win2k "domain" that was being moved to XP and had such luxuries as Group Policy.

Now I've got to go as my heat packs on my back are running out and I need to get some more before I can't reach that drawer any more (genuinely).

Non-binary DDR5 is finally coming to save your wallet


I mean, from a technical on-paper perspective this is probably an achievement. Possibly a chance to make use of binned dies and not waste chips, and a chance for manufacturers to fit machines with the amount of RAM they intend.

From a commercial prospect however, I look to my reseller/box-shifter needing to hold multiple variants of a "lifespan commodity" and them likely feeling increased risk in doing so. Combining with the physical cost of stocking additional lines, I expect not only no saving here, but perhaps a cost bump to the average end-consumer in reality, if these off-size DIMMs ever actually make it to the consumer market?

Sizewell C nuclear plant up for review as UK faces financial black hole


Re: Daft

Agreed. What I mean to foster is that this country seems to have some sort of red-washing goggles where a large subset of the population seems to think that it's blue=bad and red=friend. They're both self-serving and the ideal is dangerous. I can't understand how this has happened when half the issues the same subset of the population bemoans were ultimately caused by short-termist decisions by Labour leadership.


Re: Daft

Again. Can we just start referring to *politicians* and their dumb long term implications? I can throw a load of financially backed arguments that both sides of the spectrum make stupid decisions that have ultimately caused the country more harm in the long term.

Very clearly, not that this is a pro-Tory argument (they make self-serving idiotic short-termist decisions too), more rallying against the "because they're red they're my bestest friends and always make perfect decisions" argument that I'm so tired of hearing. Note the following awesome decisions by Labour:

* Cancellation of TSR-2 ultimately leading to the scientific brain drain from the UK's aerospace industry and it's ultimate collapse

* The British Leyland debacle and everything wrapped up in it that ultimately tanked the UK's automotive industry and the lack of willingness to deal with the mounting problems that ruined the reputation and abilities within because it would have been politically challenging to those involved

* Retirement of Trolley Bus and mass-transit local tram services in major cities

* Implementation of the second half of the Beeching cuts that ultimately removed that mass transit from the UK

* Unwillingness to deal with the declining profitability of coal (because it would have been politically challenging to those involved) in the UK through the 70's that led ultimately to the breaking-point in the early 80's when it was too late to deal with in a non-ruinous manner for those (literally) at the coal face

* 1997's skyrocketing of national debt that devalued the pound aggressively whilst simultaneously selling off the country's gold reserves, making debt more expensive

* PFI2, the ungodly amounts of cash that were thrown at everyone, often for no legitimate need (I was there and witnessed it first hand as the sole voice railing against it) and the enormous amount of debt that national institutions are now facing because they're renting back the buildings and other assets that they used to own (from the friends of all politicians), hence why public sector pay-rises are now extra-challenging. Side note - where are the deeds for half the schools in the country? With the politicians friends

I'm not saying the Tories are a workers co-op or have your best interests at heart. As we had last month however there are Labour pro-fox-hunting politicians. The world is not black and white and just because of some national blindness, Labour are not necessarily your friends, or making decisions with you at heart.

Microsoft feels the need, the need for speed in Teams


For me it's notifications?

I'm *in* the bloody chat where he's just liked my post. I'm *in* the bloody chat where he's just tried to call me. I don't need two unclearable reminders of the crap I'm already watching. I've *just* replied to the bloody comment where you've notified me he's liked it...

Hot, sweaty builders hosed a server – literally – leaving support with an all-night RAID repair job


Many years ago, I ran IT for a 9-5 M-F SME and slowly dragged them from "we've never had an IT guy before" to a broad approximation of best-practices. I managed to get them to stop entering data directly on to the server, then to stop using the 3m x 3m room with the servers as an office and dedicate it to servers, to lock the now declared server room (keeping out the cleaner and stopping her putting stuff in there), to rack mount stuff and then to undertake items like removal of carpet tiles and seal it.

After a while, having pushed a long time for aircon I was finally granted an extractor fan which, in concession to keeping the room warmer in winter, had an automatically retracting cover and was hooked to a thermostat to keep shut when the room was under 19c.

Having gone home one Friday night (1hr away) I noted at 9pm my external services were unavailable. I went back on Saturday and found a black scorch mark 16ft up the wall from the outlet of the fan. Turns out the cover had failed to retract, the fan had superheated and caught fire and the fire had created a pile of airborne plastic particles which had then filled the room. My poor three DL360s had started to warm up and in turn ramped the fans to "full 747 takeoff" power before they'd shut off due to heat. Every wall was black. When I opened the servers they were packed solid with plastic flakes.

I spent a day cleaning the server room, vacuumed my servers, network kit and SAN inside and out and it all powered up with no losses.

Surprisingly, my request for an aircon (humidity controlled) and raised floor was granted the day after.

Singapore to phase out checks for businesses by 2025


The only reason the UK did a tremendous u-turn on ending use of cheques is that the charity sector cried out about how much it took via the medium. As such we're still supporting them nearly a decade later.

It's time.

Biden now wants to toughen up chemical sector's cybersecurity


It's interesting to see the vitriol in the comments. Am I the only one that thinks that any organisation with SCADA kit hooked un-obstructed to the general internet is criminally negligent, a national embarrassment (for any country) and an organisation that needs to try harder?

I can't seem to find it today but for 10yrs I've seen a website that was a front end for a brute-force crawler that basically found and logged SCADA instances globally, none of which were well secured before you even consider the need for exploits. Surely there's literally no excuse today, given the proliferation of cheap MPLS and router devices?

The boss worked in a fishbowl, so office tricks were a treat


I mean, those of us that have "been around" for long enough remember the importance of running a tap from the power on an analogue phone for the combined purposes of being able to "force the line to stay open" when the other party tried to hang up, and to connect a small load (such as a lightbulb) to "force the line to hang up" when another party did the same to us.

Maybe that's a story/discussion for another day...

Health insurer Medibank's data breach diagnosis keeps getting worse


It's an interesting comment about "does not have Cyber Insurance". Like many of us, having operated in the tech sphere for some time and looking at it, there are usually enough holes in a cyber policy to drive a bus through and they're simply not worth the paper they're written on. Whilst I don't seek to support/endorse or pillory Medibank for their action or inaction (immediate, historic or in response), I do question whether the monies anyone directs at a cyber policy shouldn't be better spent on their aptitude and attitude towards internal protection. My research on a recent offering from a major player shows it:

• Not covering any taxes, fines or fees incurred as a result of a breach (PCI, ICO, etc);

• Only covering “legally payable Cyber extortion” (not to countries such with which you shouldn’t trade, from which the attacks often originate);

• Not covering if you’ve had any understanding of the ingress route, which could be leveraged to suggest as you had DLP tools or similar provided as part of a Microsoft agreement, that you should have had understanding of any route;

• Wording meaning that proving a Cyber Threat is “credible” is critical to gain action, yet having not acted on it would be negligent should you be attacked;

• Covering just the first 48hrs of an Emergency Response;

• Voiding coverage if an incident is internally perpetrated;

• Not covering any losses of Intellectual Property via Cyber, or financial losses because of losses of IP via Cyber;

• Contains a clause worded in such a manner that if ingress was via a user clicking a link or having poor password hygiene, it would void the coverage for the incident, and human error causes 95% of cyber breaches;

• Force-majeure is not covered (as usual) which in turn could feasibly be leveraged to cite that if a company the scale of Microsoft, the majority of a good number of SME IT provision, had issues that contributed, it could be stretched to suggest this nullifies a claim; and

• Contains a clause which repeatedly cites “Direct result” which has been leveraged by insurers in the past where possible to pay nothing.

When the annual cost of an SME policy with inherently lower liability could equivalently fund a programme of internal education, a discrete edge mail-filtering service from a major player and a "traditional endpoint AV" type solution and simultaneously has such little likelihood of providing value, I question why many look for one other than ticking a peace-time box with an executive board that hasn't been educated as such?

Apple perfects vendor lock-in with home security kit


Re: Here we go again

Agreed. Having worked in the industry, I now trust a decent door (well installed) with a multipoint mech more than a single mortice. Having said that, if someone wants in to *your* house, they'll get in. If someone wants in to *a* house, they'll choose the one with externally beaded windows, the 30yr old worn single Yale or the snappable barrel in the French door.

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


And again I cite the senior leader in the secondary school in which I started my career simultaneously unable to work his VCR whilst loudly lambasting the IT function for stability and quality in a very public setting. At which point having looked for a good 30 seconds, I "just not quietly enough" reminded him that for a VCR to function, one must insert the tape which was sat on his desk.

Union meeting BT shareholders today to discuss strikes, pay rises


Re: No sympathy for either side

Not that I disagree. In a previous role being responsible for connectivity between around 700 sites in the UK damn near killed me and I'm sure we all have tales of physically needing to be halfway across the country, sat by the one ingress road to a property to be sure that the engineer can't "fail to find a contact" at a retail site with a 20-foot wide illuminated sign visible from the approaching a-road and 14hr/day manned reception.

Be careful what you wish for however in break-up as, having to run the gauntlet of Kingston Communications several times, somehow they've managed to "improve" on the ineptitude.

My primary takeaway from this mess is noting that BT Manglement is already citing delays to fibre roll outs. Ergo, I expect soon that the few days strike action is costing them in October and whatever that has been before will ultimately be blamed for a hugely disproportionate loss of ground in their current obligations. "Your fibre was due in Q4 2022, but due to strike action, your new presentation date is Q3 2026. The end of the UK-wide FTTP rollout has been subsequently and unavoidably moved from 2027 to 2037. We apologise (whatever that means, certainly not in a legally binding sense) for any inconvenience caused."

Linus Torvalds to kernel devs: Grow up and stop pulling all-nighters just before deadline


Re: Err

Having never seen a picture of Linus Torvalds (despite being in the industry for a very long time, just generally not doing Linuxy things) I've now got a mental image of a cross between Mr T and Linus from Linus Tech Tips, again at your keyboard.

PC shipments fall at fastest rate ever as businesses slam wallets shut


How is this unforeseen? As we head in to a seemingly global recession, coming out of a period of stratospheric demand for laptops due to COVID (and subsequent delayed demand from those that couldn't obtain laptops due to escalated demand with limited supply due to chip shortages rolling through 2021) manufacturers are *surprised* that the zero-actual-benefit Windows 11 release hasn't driven a never-ending-gravy-train of permanent growth in the market?

Is it really only me?

The new GPU world order is beginning to take shape


It's a shame. As a casual modern gamer, the only two "modern" games I'd play are GTA V and I could be convinced to take a run at the new Flight Simulator. ARC is in that price range where I'd consider one to replace my ageing GTX 1080, but I understand I'm likely to get a performance hit for that?

Good luck to them though, someone needs to add competition in that sphere.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Re: Live Printer

20yrs ago at a rental house, I made the mistake of touching the hob whilst my other hand was in a sink full of water and got a belt off it. Turns out the sink was badly sealed and a socket on some cheap hardboard in the cupboard underneath was somehow making the sink live. As the hob was metal and earthed, there was 240v between the sink and hob. The landlord didn't fix it for a week, citing it was fine as long as you didn't touch both at once...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot


I mean, I had a friend in my dorm in 2005 that wrote a self-learning neural network for chess in Java. I played it fresh and destroyed it. He left it running against itself overnight and it got better. By the end of the week I couldn't beat it. It's nothing new. Tack on a visual processing unit that can recognise things like placement of the different coloured ghosts and the most "profitable" response based on proximity of each (they each were coded with different "personalities"), and pretty soon it's making better calls than a human. I concur, it's not AI, it's brute-force.

UK launches competition probe into cloud giants in digital services


Ah yes, let's investigate the three "giants in digital services", they're the ones scraping money the UK for projects that run forever and deliver the sum total of sod-all whilst leaving us struggling in the wake of their ineptitude. That's where the UK's digital budget is going.

No wait, that's Mitie, GEO, G4S, Serco, Capita, Atos, Accenture....

...all of which won't get investigated because the boards of these companies are full of the people in parliament running things and their cronies.

School chat app Seesaw abused to send 'inappropriate image' to parents, teachers


Re: Colorued waffle?

Nope. Nope.


I'll go read "Swamps of Dagobah" again before I go looking for that image.

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch


Re: ta ta Liz


Not a "Tory supporter". Remember it's not "these people are our friends because they're in one group and these people are our enemies because they're in another".

Some Labour politicians are pro hunting - See https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/mar/12/greenpolitics.hunting and http://innocentbadger.is/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Labour-Party.pdf

Some Conservatives are anti-hunting - see https://conservativesagainstfoxhunting.com/

How the hell have we got from an obit for a monarch that seems to transcend people who consider themselves royalists and non-royalists to another blanket "I dOnT lIkE tHeM bEcAuSe ThEy'Re BlUe!" comment.


US school year opens with reading, writing, and ransomware


If it's anything like in the UK, it's an education-sector IT funding issue. UK funding for IT positions in educational institutions is woeful and seems stuck seeking a maximum of mid-level roles at around 60-70% of going market value. As such, I see a never ending spiral of under-investment which in turn flushes the quality of support and is yet another challenge through which our never-endingly stretched teaching staff have to battle. My own experience shows of two schools impacted in first-day shenanigans and continuous lost OneDrive, license issues and broken configs this new school year already. There's a problem with valuation of technical functions in education and I'd wager it's similar in the US also.

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down


Re: I have no problem with this.

I beg to differ, as does the speed-camera fine I had in 2016 for doing 33mph in a 30mph. I don't have paperwork to back the following up but the man next to me that had been fined by the police for doing 31mph in a 30mph and had brought it with him. For reference, not that I have an excuse but it a momentary lapse on an empty road at 5am and my first day back after a 2-week paternity with little sleep.


Re: I have no problem with this.

Having lived in Surrey for a year and moved back to Yorkshire there are two different attitudes to speed despite a similar level of occupancy where I lived. Surrey features on-average higher speed limits and fewer cameras, appearing to favour deterrents (cameras usually, rarely speedbumps) in carefully considered locations. Yorkshire however appears to look to reduce limits wherever possible and fears a section without some sort of permanent speed deterrent. West Yorkshire has 402 cameras and is third in counties, despite being near-last in terms of area, whereas areas like Sussex have an eighth of the cameras and are twice the size.

I did not encounter 20mph zones whilst in Surrey, but pressure groups (who bought cheap housing in arterial routes near my home) have managed to get the speed limit slowed on the only route to the motorway with the clearly shared aim of making travel so difficult that people don't bother. They openly admit the other routes they're taking to achieve this also such as "yellow painted bird boxes with black entries" in their front gardens and the slalom they've created to slow it to a crawl. The council would rather you drove less, the police are happy to enforce the ridiculous limit.

Yes. It's arbitrary and some councils enforce it ad-ridiculum as a moneymaking exercise.

Google tells Apple to 'fix text messaging' in bid to promote RCS protocol


Re: The whinings of a sad loser

Furthermore, did you see Google's website (linked from article)? Hilariously it bemoans the colour combinations by which SMS messages appear in the Google apps. It was at that point I couldn't fathom what they thought they were going to achieve.

Moving to Google-controlled RCS running through Google's servers will allow Google to continually make it slightly shitty for Apple users to contact Google users so they can point the finger in hopes of increasing market share. The entirety of this is a dick-move and another sleight in reasons why people are losing respect for them, again. Not saying I prefer Apple and their business methods but this is incredibad.

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you


Re: Anon CVs

I see someone else enjoys Bernard and the Genie.


Re: So?

It's bad enough as a candidate with: recruitment consultants putting up jobs that don't exist in order to grow their "file candidates"; three-tier-deep scraping websites re-dating last year's jobs as current which then wash up in the big aggregators as current; and recruiters pushing out for jobs that they don't have the rights to recruit for on the hope that a candidate presented "on spec" will gain them a fee. This "research" needs to get in the sea.

Bill Gates venture backs effort to bring aircon startup to market


Re: Nice idea, but....

Well birds aren't. How much more of a stretch is it to Skippy?


Re: SmOoThINg oF uSe RaThEr ThAn C0$$$t??

I like the historical approach. Surplus of power? Pump an ungodly amount of water from a low lying location to a relatively high location. Dearth of power? Run back to the original location through a turbine. Better still I'm not thrashing various resources in (relatively) "short term" storage solutions, such as lithium.

Lapping the computer room in record time until the inevitable happens


Re: Not just IT

Nor just to "business". Running a student radio station in Birmingham around 20yrs ago we could only afford to license once a year for a month and spent our year building towards it.

Notably, we chose to start each broadcast with a 24hr marathon (rather than flicking to "playlist" after our standard 10pm-11pm slot and taking manual control at 8am) in which one person would hold the fort and other senior members would float in and out.

Being the resident tech, I held down one year in particular and, having started at 5am on the morning in question in which our license allowed, playing out our "coming soon" loop and driving around Birmingham to check/tweak transmission I returned to "hold the fort" for the big noon launch.

Things didn't go perfectly, despite having checked and serviced the living hell out of the desk and other kit prior, rapidly losing one of the main microphone channels late afternoon. Having soldered, mostly my fingers from memory, upside down through a tiny hole in dim light and got the microphone channel going again, we decided that chair races would be fun around the now-closed Student Union building and I set out to find sufficient cabling to make this worthwhile.

Having found nothing in spares (we were a very poor station), I ventured out with others managing the broadcast and quickly discovered around 50 metres of heavily used ring-main cable that had been pulled from the walls of another university building being refurbished. Returning with my prize I was able to fashion a 50m XLR lead which, given some judicious EQing to pull out the buzz (eat that Dolby) allowed us not only to commentate the ensuing chair race tournament, but also: the moment at which an overenthusiastic finalist ploughed in to the roller shutter for the student hairdresser next to the studio and permanently rendered it useless; the moment a fellow board member forgot to run his mic slider down before proclaiming loudly "JFC guys, that was f****** ace!"; and later, to go "live" down two flights of stairs and report from Friday night at the student union bar.

Thankfully OFCOM never came about the swearing incident, the students in the bar managed to avoid further incidents and we were able to feign ignorance over the loss of the roller shutter.

Software issues cost Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess his job


Living with a Mk7.5 Golf, things aren't perfect but at least they're better. However, the "crash warning assistant" has gone off loudly 4x whilst I've driven it over the past 9mths, quite the feat when I drive it once or twice a week. This irremovable "feature" screams at huge volume whilst lighting up the dashboard like a Christmas tree, usually during a moment when someone appears apt to cut you up or whilst braking *slightly* more than normal on a motorway. In doing so, it provides something else for the human brain to process at precisely the worst possible moment, often without cause but most irritatingly (once, when it had potential reason to recognise a worsening situation) being sufficiently interrupting that it could actually *cause* the incident to become an accident.

I note that the "collision avoidance systems" on BMWs in circa 2017 were so invasive and poor that the SCCA actually banned models from on-racetrack events at the time because these could not be turned off.

If these things are worse in the modern versions, god help anyone who buys a recent car.

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall


Re: Just Asking

In 2008, Dave (the TV channel) commissioned research to find the top 10 oldest jokes in humanity, tracing back to 1900BC. The article with Reuters is here - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-joke-odd-idUSKUA14785120080801

You may want to contact them as I think this may be information they hadn't considered as-yet.


And what of the 3rd owner, or the car sold by a non-BMW-franchise? Being the target and a (diminishing) brand fan it's been harder and harder to support some of the idiotic decisions as the marketing and finance functions began to run roughshod over the engineers of old. Coming out after the E39 5-Series (to 2002) or E46 3-Series (to ~2006) has seen a decline in engineer-based decisions and an uptick in choices to make more money with no care on the end-result.

It started when the service life intervals were pushed out (without changing the components or fluids) which allowed them to look better in fleet pricing and simultaneously meant the cars were less likely to be as viable in old age, pushing consumers to the new cars. Then there was the reduction in quality of components, plastics getting cheaper and more questionable decisions being made such as the inclusion of plastic-impellor water pumps, low quality timing chain guides and that ghastly N57 4-cyl engine. The company that once screamed adverts exclaiming why they "don't make front wheel drives" changed their new performance small car to FWD and tried to pretend they'd never said anything.

For me, I've had two F11 (2009-2017) 5-Series. The first was a low spec purchased used from a dealer, who helped me navigate registration of the ConnectedDrive functions that allowed me to use the concierge, track the location, lock/unlock via app and enable the auxiliary heating (defrost without starting the car, by app or on timer). The latter being a godsend in allowing the car to be scheduled to be defrosted as you leave on a winter morning. The second was a high-spec, 1yr newer, purchased privately for which no amount of calls, emails or wrangling would get these functions enabled, making it clear I was unable to do so despite the car having been capable and it being connected to my account.

I'm reminded of the Playstation store and PS3. Sony have shut down the servers/services and as such the functions once possible are now no longer possible. Progress. Just don't look at the potential e-waste, continuous push back towards the dealership and devaluation of used cars sold by anyone but them, or over three years or so old.

I've had nothing but BMWs for 14yrs, 6 of them. I brought my daughter home from the hospital in one, took my wife on our first date and honeymoon in one and turned down the dieselgate lawsuit as I felt it unethical as I bought another after I knew. I was at the pre-press launch of the new M2 and the first time I ever went on a track, doing 160mph and learning to drift was in one.

It'll be a cold day in hell before I buy another new one.

NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels


Re: Insight?

I would be inclined to agree with you but it's a particularly fine dust. I'm reminded of the stories of Australian car rental companies asking people to sign a clause that they wouldn't take cars in to the outback because of the fine dust getting in everywhere. The story I read was that some guy had come in, signed everything, taken a (low cost) full damage waiver and been given a brand new Suzuki 4wd which he'd promptly driven in to the outback and spent a week hooning about with extra fuel cans in the back. On return, apparently there was so much dust the car was a write off. Even the speedo was ~1/4 full of dust as a line like an hourglass. A rotatable film would probably just mean it was less likely the wind would blow it off

Real-time software? How about real-time patching?


Re: "Dont ask"

I'm reminded of a trip to the Czech Republic a good 20yrs ago in which I stumbled in to a "Zippo and militaria" store and having expressed interest in something vaguely aviation related, was offered the HUD from a recent MIG under the counter. Wasn't sure whether I was more entertained by the event itself or the idea of trying to get it back to the UK.


Re: Site Acceptance Test

Yep. I cite a week in Canada last month in which I managed 92hrs Mon-Fri, operating UK hours from my hotel room and Canadian hours in their office. It's rarely glamorous.

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums


Re: Machine that weighs less than its operating manual.

I still have both the motherboard and 80286-IC electronic diagram (large format) that was inexplicably delivered with our consumer-grade 286 back at the end of the 80's. Really need to dig that out and frame it.

The Filth Filter is part of the chipset, honest. Goes between the TPM and SEP. No, really


Re: A little nervous sometimes...

Concur to an extent, although I remember doing this sort of thing when Windows "helpfully" used to flash up thumbnails of all the image files it was copying in subfolders as part of the Copy display and at USB 1.1 speeds or on a 100mb network, you'd see them for a bit too long.

I remember two major incidents in the same company. The first was a lovely old director-level gent who worked away from home regularly and his wife had sent him away with "personal content". As a massive supporter of our work and perhaps to save his wife from knowing, I somehow forgot to notify anyone of the incident. The other being a challenging regional director with somewhat questionable-morals who cited repeatedly that it was *his daughter* that had been using his work machine for *her* penchant for ladies from a particular region, that were evidently by some standards not ladies. This was subsequently dealt with by HR...three times on the bounce.

Frankly, at that level, why they're incapable of providing a low-grade used machine for their "personal" use was always beyond me.

Lack shame? Fancy some festive Windows knitwear? We've got your back


Can we have a "Microsoft Bob" revival, I'm thinking the Microsoft Bob home area with a cutout/holder in the fireplace where I can put a Microsoft Lumia with an officially sanctioned Microsoft-only app (not available on Android or iOS) showing a period-animated log fire that flattens the battery in 30 mins, but at least makes the phone warm and cosy like a real fire?

NASA boffins seem to think we're worth saving from fiery asteroid death so they're shooting a spaceship at one


Re: Surely it would be better to bounce off than crash?

They used to call me Dave 'Cinzano Bianco' Lister?

Brit MPs blast Baroness Dido Harding's performance as head of NHS Test and Trace


Re: Share the blame

It's rare I'll stick up for the school curriculum but the scientific method *is* taught. The problem lies that its set up to push a student's ability to parrot facts above testing their ability to demonstrate critical thinking and improve their "comprehension" of data from multiple sources (that they may have had to find themselves).

The issue here is that muppets employ muppets and politicians have no competence or accountability sufficient to drive them to achieve long term improvement in the seats they hold for such a brief period. An education secretary has little if any exposure to the real world of challenges facing education despite holding the sole most impactful role in the country. The same can be said for any of the posts, such as Health, Transport, Culture or Home Secretary.

The only criteria to get in to such a post is: to be sufficiently likeable that an electorate chooses you above their traditional candidate from their favoured party; or to be sufficiently likeable that a party places you for election in a traditionally successful area. If you meet either of these and are subsequently sufficiently likeable to someone who gets in charge, you too may find yourself demonstrating a staggering lack of competence and running something in to the ground at a national level.

Microsoft vows to make its Surface laptops, Xbox kit easier to fix by 2022


I'll believe it when I see it.

Perhaps, just perhaps, they could stop gluing Surface Books together so they were completely and utterly lost when they had the smallest issues? I note V1 was glued, V2 finally unscrewed (as long as your issue was with the keyboard side) and V3 is now glued again (thanks!). iFixIt referred to it as the least-repairable laptop ever. You have to spend 90 mins heating/prising and ruining the irreplaceable fabric-based keyboard off the base unit if you want to get under it in a grade-A own-goal for planned obsolescence.

I'm genuinely disappointed and angry that every time I lose a key on a keyboard or the microphone stops working, the thing is landfill.

Change starts with design. Fix your shit (attitude) Microsoft.

RIP heroic SPB playmonaut


There's always one

I love the latin, but I have to point out, the line "Judicandus homunculus" translates literally as "judged small man". It really should be "Judicandus homunculus est" meaning "the small man is judged" (or some variation thereof).

Oprah Winfrey too late to save Microsoft's Windows 8


Following on from other comments, Microsoft might have had a better business reaction if they'd bothered to hold inperson launch events for techs like they did for W7 to help raise awareness.

On the other hand, marketing the OS almost solely as a consumer/home OS that enforces a FondleSlab interface across machines where you actually want to DO something rather than YouTube and Facebook may not have been a smart move.

Handling business fears of retraining, compatability and usability by telling IT bods that they'll be forced to get on board because BYOD means they'll have to support the OS whether they like it or not has just have put backs up across the business and may be the most moronic thing I've seen in IT since "Windows 95 A" or "ME for business".

Go and think again, sunshine.