* Posts by ma1010

937 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Nov 2012


Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit


Yes, please stop

Dude, you're making me embarrassed to be an American. The world ain't a comic book. Please start taking your meds again.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


We checked in with the new Windows 10X build, and let's just say getting this ready for late 2020 will be a challenge

Paris Hilton

Re: Please, no more.....

...and their agility means they continually introduce more bugs than they fix.

Oh, so agility! That's what you call what MS has and which explains the Win X or Win 10 or Win X10 or 10X or whatever they're calling their shitshow this week. Thank God we're still using 7 at work; just hope they don't change it before I retire. So sad to see what's become of MS.

Paris because she's almost as confused as MS seems to be these days.

ExoMars team delays 2020 Red Planet road trip after failing to complete all necessary testing



Delaying a mission to ensure all tests are complete? We could think of one aviation giant that could learn a thing or two from such a revolutionary approach.

And I have NO IDEA what organization you could be referring to. ***boing***boing***

Capita hops on UK's years-late, billions-over-budget Emergency Services Network to keep legacy system alive


The actual question is

Yeah, but you said they're using Capita. You want to ask "What could go Right?" That's a much shorter list than the "What could go wrong?" one.

I feel for anyone in the UK who needs emergency services.

Have you ever seen one of these, son? Ricoh spins off 360° camera boffins to debut neuralyzer-shaped snapper


One obvious purpose

With 360 degree coverage, every picture you take will be a "selfie," a real boon for those people who are addicted to taking pictures of themselves.

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?


Re: Barclays don't dogfood their IT

I swore I'd never install Win X, but SWMBO wanted to use TurboTax this year, and it refused to install on the Win 7 VM, so I had to create a Win X VM for that one purpose.

Rocket Lab wants to break free, hopes next mission is more 'A Kind Of Magic' than 'Another One Bites The Dust'

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Re: Ring any bells?

Sadly, I can give you only one upvote, although you hit the nail on the head. Nowadays most companies seem to be run by psychopaths who don't give a crap for anyone or anything except increasing their bank balance.

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing


Re: Which was the bigger engineering challenge ? Concorde. Or Apollo ?

What do you mean by lack of development?? After all we've got social media, the surveillance society, shiny iPhones and the Internet of Things! Who says there's no development these days??

(Excuse me while I go vomit.)

New Jersey beats New York – and then the rest of America – on broadband access. How does your state fare?


Re: Two words:


If you're from Blighty and making fun of us having Trump, I've got one word for you: Boris.

Glass houses and all.

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal


Business as usual for government

Instead, the rules are punishing the most responsible drone flyers in an effort to target the least responsible.

Of course! That's EXACTLY what government mostly does, punish the law-abiding in some misguided attempt to stop criminals from doing criminal things. It works so well, too. Not. So then we need MORE of the same sort of laws. Lather, rinse, repeat. Freedom? You must be joking!

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more


Don't be so harsh

on the Saxons.

I suggest looking at a university physics text book from before the turn of the century, and compare with a 1040s version.

Really, the 1040's was before even the Doomesday Book was compiled, much less Newton, etc.

Windows 7 goes dual screen to shriek at passersby: Please, just upgrade me or let me die


I did

Microsoft has spent the last year begging Windows 7 users to move to a better place.

But it involved switching to Linux. Along with many others, I'm still waiting for MS to come up with their own viable alternative to Windows 7. Perhaps next year?

Your phone wakes up. Its assistant starts reading out your text messages. To everyone around. You panic. How? Ultrasonic waves



Those damned sharks are up to it again, I see.

Apple tries to have VirnetX VPN patent ruling overturned again, US Supremes say no... again


Hard to feel sorry for Apple

These are the guys who sued Samsung for daring to have "rounded corners" on their phone. "Thieves! You stole our IP!! You owe us millions for IP theft!" they cried.

But now that Apple has gotten called out for stealing networking protocols -- an IP a bit more impressive than rounded corners -- it's just all those mean judges and juries being unfair to poor, little, abused Apple, so they throw their toys out of the pram.

Stop whinging, you damned sods! Nobody feels sorry for you. Just pay the bill (out of petty cash) and move on.

Talk about making a rod for your own back: Pot dealer's seized €54m Bitcoins up in smoke after keys thrown out with fishing gear


Re: Daft or smart?

Reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode. These guys stole an armored car full of gold bullion. To escape prison, they drove to this cave in the desert and went into suspended animation for 100 years. In the end the one surviving thief is offering a contemporary fellow a gold bar for a drink of water, but then dies. The fellow looks at the gold and wonders why, when people can make all the gold they want, this person seemed to think it was worth something.

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition


Re: "appalled that [city mayor] Sadiq Khan has approved such....surveillance technology for London"

So UK politics are about like ours here in the USA. You can vote for Democratic (Labour) and get mass surveillance and no rights, you can vote Republican (Conservative) and get the exact, same thing. I'm so glad we have the opportunity to vote. Right? Why the silence???

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Re: Sigh.

In short, move over voluntarily if you feel the need to go slow, are tired, or are looking at the scenery, and notice a backup behind you.

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Even if you ARE driving the speed limit. There's a particular road in the country I like to ride my bike on which has a 45 speed limit. I set my cruise at 45 and often on that road collect close followers. When they show up, as soon as it's safe, I pull over and let them go roaring by. That way we're all happy. Not having someone on my ass makes the ride much more pleasant, and they're glad that I'm not slowing them down.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?


Re: It wasn't me!

You had vi? Luxury! We had to write COBOL programs in EDLIN. (Really, truly, for a class - except before long I got a copy of WordStar and never looked back.)

'That's here. That's home. That's us': It's 30 years since Voyager 1 looked back and squinted at a 'Pale Blue Dot'

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Excellent article!

More of this, please.

Mi first! Latest Xiaomi flagship storms DxOMark rankings with quartet of powerful cameras


Be nice if they made them for the U.S. market

I saw some really good Xiaomi phones and was going to get one, but the ones I was looking at don't work on the frequencies used here. And with the trade war crap going on, who knows if they're going to bother to try to sell their phones here?

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill

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I loved Delphi

The company I worked for back then needed a new accounting system and couldn't use off-the-shelf solutions. I wrote an entire accounting and customer service system in Delphi and loved that language. The inheritance made it simple to modify default control behaviors to get them to do whatever you wanted. The full SQL integration was very well done, and Delphi also integrated into MS Office easily, so it was simple to control Office apps or output spreadsheets or whatever from Delphi. It really was just about a perfect product and worked with everything we used. I was very sad to see what became of it later on.

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?


Re: Bless..


Hear, hear: The first to invent idiot-cancelling headphones gets my cash


Comfortable earbuds

I can't speak to headphones, but I sometimes leave my earbuds in for 8+ hours at a time. That used to kill my ears until I found a company called Comply Foam that makes replacement earbud tips out of memory foam. They have different styles (I use the "comfort" style), and they are comfortable all day and have the added advantage of muffling background noise. I love them. The only bad thing is that the foam does wear out after a while, but they usually last several months if you're gentle with them.


Re: Selective attention

What you say about unconscious lip reading is very interesting. I am totally "tone deaf" to lip reading. My wife used to try to "talk" to me at times by exaggerating her lip movements (such as trying to tell me something when I was on the phone), but I never got it at all and still don't even begin to have a clue.

Perhaps that explains why I can't have a conversation with anyone in noisy places. The wife and I met a friend in this really noisy place, and for the whole meal, I didn't understand a word either of them said, but they were fine talking to each other.

Social media notifications of the future: Ranger tagged you in a photo with Tessadora, Wrenlow, Faelina and Graylen


Another horror story

In the small town in Louisiana where my mother grew up, about 100 years ago, there was a man named Pigg (don't know his first name). A magnificent human being, while his wife was in the hospital maternity ward, he was drinking in a bar. Someone came in and told everyone that his wife had just delivered twin girls. One other bar patron bet Mr. Pigg that he wouldn't name his daughters "Ima" and "Ura" (pronounced your-ah). Mr. Pigg won the bet.

Some names should be considered child abuse.


It's even worse if it's political

Here in the USA there was this neo-Nazi couple whose last name I don't remember, so I'm going to say "Smith." They named their son "Adolf Hitler Smith" and their daughter "Aryan Nation Smith."

Imaging growing up with those monikers. Poor kids.

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it


Re: re: Why?

And that's why Win 10 lives in a VM on a Linux machine and has no access to my files. Only installed Win 10 so SWMBO could use Turbotax this year since those buggers designed this year's version so it would refuse to install in the Win 7 VM.

Things I learned from Y2K (pt 87): How to swap a mainframe for Microsoft Access


This is EXACTLY what happens all the time

This is SO TRUE. Most companies either have short-sighted management who won't give their workers the IT resources they need to do their jobs, or they've got an IT department that doesn't give a damn about user needs and/or isn't allowed or interested enough to talk to the actual users to see what their needs might be (see government IT).

So a few skilled individuals do "guerrilla IT" using tools like Excel or Access to try to get their jobs done and get bugger all thanks for it, frequently the opposite for "unauthorized activity." Later, their little projects end up becoming business critical systems, but since the systems were never documented properly, and the creators are retired or were laid off to make room for younger, more malleable, lower-paid employees, it's difficult at best to alter if business needs change.

'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told


Re: Buyer's remorse?

Was Oracle really also bidding on Autonomy? If that's so - while HP is a monster, I now sort of wish they'd have let Oracle buy it so Larry could have taken it in the shorts. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Lynch lied about Autonomy's accounts, rages HPE to the High Court



As an earlier article in El Reg put it, one possible verdict would be "A plague on both your houses!" And well-deserved, I think.

Another possibility might be "Kill all the beancounters and let God sort 'em out," which I suspect the BOFH would approve.

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail


Re: Always work on a copy!

If Mick had been a true BOFH, he would have expected no less of a user than storing important emails in the DELETED folder and would have planned accordingly. Of course, his plans may also have involved electricity, carpet, quicklime, etc., but he certainly would have expected those important emails to be in DELETED.

Starliner: Boeing, Boeing... it's back! Borked capsule makes a successful return to Earth


Government Doublespeak

Don't know if it's true (I wasn't there), but I heard that once the Air Force tested a missile by launching it from a plane. The missile came off the rail, the engine failed to ignite, and the missile did a ballistic fall to Earth. The test was termed a "Qualified Success." Well, they DID get it to come off the rail all right, but the only other thing that worked right was gravity, which the contractors couldn't take much credit for.

Vivaldi opens up an exciting new front in the browser wars, seeks to get around blocking with cunning code


Re: Filtering by browser is a throwback

Totally agree!

I use the current version of Waterfox on Linux, and every time I go to Bank of America, it gives me bullshit error messages about using an unsupported browser. I ignore those messages, and the web site works fine.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?


Re: Not just a wall socket

Back in the 1980's, I bought a house in New Mexico. Building codes back there and then were about like a third world country, if that good. The service entrance (where the power comes into the house) was supposed to have a pipe coming out of the breaker box and going through the eave of the house to a weatherhead with the 2 hot and 1 ground wires coming out of it and connected to the wires from the electric company, with everything insulated and well out of reach. Instead, some cowboy (maybe a real one - it was New Mexico, after all) had bent the pipe down under the eave. What was worse, the ground rose towards the back of the house, so anyone over 4 feet tall could reach up and touch either of the 2 bare, hot wires which could not be switched off locally. It's a miracle nobody was killed by that.

In addition, they used BX cable (armored, flexible cable) outside. BX cable is to be used inside in dry locations ONLY. And this was for a 240 volt, 30 Amp circuit to a dryer. Oh, dear.

First thing I did was replace the entire service entrance to bring it up to code. Then I replaced the BX cable with solid conduit with watertight fittings. Didn't really have all the money to do that right then, but I really didn't want anyone getting killed, so I found the money somehow.

Since the FCC won't act, Congress finally moves on robocalls by passing half-decent TRACED Act


Fight the roboscammers' technology with technology.

I use Extreme Call Blocker, which is set to route all numbers not white listed [or whatever the politically correct term is this week] to VM. Most scum callers don’t leave VMs, of course. For those who do, I use YouMail which is a nice VM package in general and warns “Scam Likely” for the usual “This is your credit card company” or “You won a free trip!" calls. It also transcribes voicemails so you can quickly see if it’s crap and just delete without wasting any time listening to their drivel.


Re: Looking for loopholes in all the right places

AND every phone Ajit Pai has. And throw in all his immediate family, for good measure. Maybe if THEY complain to him, he'll listen?

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'

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Spot on!

Thanks, Simon! Not only brightening up a workday, but also telling it like it is. I always felt the "twit" part of "Twitter" was key.

You'll never get Huawei with this, FCC tells US telcos: Buy Chinese kit and you won't see another dime from us


Communism IS terrible

Under Communism, man exploits man. Fortunately, we live in countries that follow Capitalism, which is the exact opposite of the way those commies do things!

Black Helicopters

So True...

Both Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese government and military apparatus and are subject to Chinese laws requiring them to assist with espionage, a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations,

Yes, indeed. I'm terrified about what the Chinese might find out about me with all their snooping. Thank $DEITY we all live in countries where no telecoms company is ever forced to divulge any of our communications to any "government and military apparatus," eh?

What was that you said? "Snoopers Charter" and "Patriot Act"? Oh. Yeah. Crap.

No wonder cops are so keen on Ring – they can slurp your doorbell footage with few limits, US senators complain


Here we go again

As soon as I saw the bit "...take that responsibility very seriously," I quit reading their statement because I bloody KNEW it was a lie.

Any time a corporate talks about how seriously they take your safety/security/privacy/whatever, it's a red flashing light that the statement is total bollocks.

ICO scammer Maksim Zaslavskiy to miss 2020 Tokyo Olympics over digital currency fraud


Re: "no investments in any sort of real-world asset to back the coins"

That is pretty much true. It is certainly possible for an entity to issue securities that are backed by real assets (such as stock in a corporation with tangible assets), and that could, theoretically, include some real-world asset for backing a cryptocoin[1], but I wouldn't be looking for a lot of real anything in the cryptocoin market.

[1]As another poster pointed out, cryptocoins can be "mined," so this could introduce issues relating to the number of coins in circulation vs. the value of the "real" assets. Some mechanism would have to exist to limit this, although it happens all the time with many funds which pay investors dividends by giving them more shares of the fund, which can dilute the value of the shares overall.

'Big Bang': Great for creating the universe, but not as an approach to IT migration, TSB told


So, what's new about this?

Everybody talks about how crap MS is for not testing their Windows builds correctly - and they're right. Sadly, this is just the way software is done these days, apparently by everyone, if El Reg's stories are anything to go by. Wanna program? Just half-ass code it, fart in the general direction of testing it, then push it out the door and try to fix it when it breaks and the users scream.

There's an old saying "Why is there never time to do things right, but always time to do things over?" Not to mention damage to one's reputation and possible legal problems, but nobody seems to care much these days about that. Instead, we always keep hearing the same, old crap: "We take quality/security/privacy/whatever VERY SERIOUSLY" = "We don't give a toss because we don't think it will impact bottom line, or we'll be gone by the time it does."


Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?


Re: Quelle surprise...

Well, you're just the fellow I'm looking for! I've got a red-hot deal for you on some of these new Farcebook Libra. Meet me over behind the big parking garage by the oak tree, and I'll happily convert any cash you have to Farcebook Libra. Small, unmarked bills only, please.

NASA boffins tackle Nazi alien in space – with the help of Native American tribal elders


Re: one way ticket

No, we want to keep the telephone sanitis(z)ers! Remember what happened to the people on Golgafrincham after they launched their telephone sanitizers in the B-Ark: they all died from a disease caught from a dirty telephone.

Instead, I propose we take all the lawyers, politicians, control freaks and add to them all the people who are involved in designing or implementing Internet trackers, "targeted" advertising, robo-calls and all other forms of spam. And don't forget Ajit Pai. Put them all on the "B" Ark but program it like Hotblack Desiato's stunt ship - launch it straight into the sun. After that, the Golden Age of Earth can begin. It couldn't hurt, and I think it's worth a try, at least.

Robotics mastermind admits: I pushed over my 1-year-old daughter to understand balance


There are a lot of considerations, but...

I'd think a properly-equipped "Spot" would be great for police or firefighters. Then again, maybe the cost is too high or there are limitations to the robots I don't know about that would prevent such use.

Still, for cops who sometimes have to check a building for a possible gun-toting nut or firefighters who must check a burning buildings for possible victims trapped inside, I'd think a robot scout would be invaluable.

Here are some deadhead jobs any chatbot could take over right now


Re: Scam callers

I remember one case like that where a potential victim told the caller his name was Adolf Eichman and that he was in an accident in which he had been decapitated. The Indian gentleman never even blinked, just kept asking for his mailing address so they could send him some documents to sign.

When the IT department speaks, users listen. Or face the consequences


Sometimes they can learn

Back in the early 90's, before our company had a network at all, I had a boss who loved to save everything on floppies because she moved between work and home computers. I told her she should save on the HD and copy to floppy for backup/transport, but she didn't listen and kept saving to floppies. Then one day she had a 400 page critical file she was working on refuse to open in WordPerfect.

I fired up some of the good old-time Norton Utilities and managed to get it to open in WP, losing only about 3 pages or so. I repeated my advice about using the HD as her primary save location and using floppies for backup/transport. She listened that time.

PSA: Turning off silent macros in Office for Mac leaves users wide open to silent macro attacks


Re: Boeing

Well, right now you can vote for the Republicans who are pretty much owned by the corporations, OR you can vote for the Democrats who are pretty much owned by the corporations.

Yeah, I'm sick of them, too. Screw 'em all! Let's start our own political party that's actually for the people! All we have to do is find some sponsors with enough money to pay campaign expenses so we can advertise our new party and get candidates elected. We need someone with lots of money, though. Like, uh, some big corporations...

Oh, yeah, looks like we have a problem there. I guess we're screwed before we start, actually.

Antarctic researchers send an SOS to the world: Who wrote this message in a bottle?



While there certainly are hams who go to places about as hospitable as this, most go to more desirable real estate. For example, Midway (famous for the battle there in WW II) is now a wildlife sanctuary, but some hams went there a few years back. And there are other, more pleasant, pacific islands and such that hams sometimes go to. But I'd say you have to be really dedicated to want to go all that far just to get radio contacts.

All this makes what I do to work Field Day (when we take our radios and portable antennas out into a field somewhere and operate them off generators to test emergency communications capabilities) look pretty tame.