* Posts by Rol

1402 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jan 2013


User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work


Idiot proofing a procedure is one thing, but writing it for those already hardwired to the old processes is another. In those circumstances I think it ideal to have two versions - one that is the prime document, that will live as long as the process exists, and a second for immediate consumption by the existing team where it goes to great lengths to highlight where the new process deviates from the old. In that latter version, I would always try and cover the potential errors caused by long term muscle memory and how to get the process back on track without having to ring me at 2 in the morning.

In fact in my latest job I have found it useful to come along a week or two after their training to then show them how to fix their most common errors for themselves. It is a wonder why very little attention is paid to this element of training, as once they have made an error, they are stuck, or worse, frantically mashing the keyboard to try and fix things.

Rhysida ransomware gang: We attacked the British Library


How brave of them!

Instead of breaking in to the highly profitable supermarket a few miles away, with it's state of the art burglar system, they instead opted for the local store owned by an elderly couple. The store is a bit run down, but is vital to the local community.

As you would expect, it was a doddle. Practically no risk whatsoever, and while they got away with plenty of stuff, it was in truth, more or less worthless stuff, but a kick in the teeth for the owners sufficient for them to close up shop and retire. The local community were then stuffed, as those without cars could not get to the next nearest shop, which was the massive supermarket that had caused the closure of every retailer in a 20 mile radius.

This hack, on the British library is no different, and no less likely to have been carried out by those who operate on the emotional level of children. I hope they get caught and sent to sit on the naughty step for a very long time.

Watchdog bites back against blockage of $9M fine on US selfie-scraper Clearview AI



It really is beyond all comprehension that a UK tribunal would blatantly class every UK citizen as a criminal on the run from US authorities.

You're all sacked for gross misconduct and dare I say treason.

New appointments to the tribunal will be decided by those who are not cap in hand to our foreign overlords. If any can be found in this fast becoming septic isle of sewer level politicians.

Uncle Sam snooping on US folks? Not without a warrant, lawmakers agree


This is all a distraction. The US has been snooping on the rest of the world and its own citizens using friendly proxies such as Saudi Arabia, who will never be held accountable.

They can continue to do as they like, no matter congress's opinion on the matter, so this is nothing more than a charade to keep the masses thinking there is some form of oversight on mass snooping, when it's actually no holds barred.

US actors are still on strike – and yup, it's about those looming AI clones


Re: Resistance is useless

Yeah. Imagine the security one would feel if every single one of the cast will still be alive and not embroiled in a scandal come the 15th Season of your top TV show.

A.I. characters are the executives dreams come true.

Personally I'd much prefer the next generation hold up an AI character as their role model than the usual misfits of screen and stage, who are still operating as if they're above accepted moral norms.

Boffins say their thin film solar cells make space farms viable


Some things would be best engineered in zero g, if not only achievable in zero g, so this could be where the output from the farms go?

Excel Hell II: If the sickness can't be fixed, it must be contained


It it's not broke, we'll fix that come the next update!

Excel stopped being a useful little tool when Microsoft attempted to make it more useful, by second guessing and overriding the user.

Every little tweak to Excel threw up ever more disastrous outcomes, and the real bugbear was many of those tweaks could not be turned off or customised.

One benefit of Microsoft's hole digging exercise, is that my VB skills have had to improve to help make the sheets immune to the sewer of shite that flows out of Redmond's blue sky (more like black hole) development team.

New information physics theory is evidence 'we're living in a simulation,' says author


Re: power

Technically advanced, yes, but has it the imagination to fathom the unknown? If all you know is what you can see/feel/smell/hear, you might want to question what more is there beyond my senses. And if you lack the imagination and the drive to experiment in directions common sense suggests is pointless, you will never stumble onto the truth.

Here's where we come in useful. We have imagination in spades, and the stupidity to chase dreams. We are at the cutting edge of someone's attempt to investigate the unknown unknowns.

UK data watchdog warns Snap over My AI chatbot privacy issues


Re: Good ol' 4Chan...

Keeping society firmly subterranean no matter how lofty the rest of us aspire to climb.

Blockchain biz goes nuclear: Standard Power wants to use NuScale reactors for DCs


Not just that, what about the physical security of those SMR's? Every deployed SMR is currently surrounded by military personnel ready to blast into atoms anyone coming near them with so much as a grimace on their face.

These SMR's will be protected by what? Mall level security?

I can see the locals, keen not to have a mini Two Mile Island on their doorstep, insisting they go elsewhere.

Nukes, schmukes – fuel cells could power future datacenters


Re: As AI use continues to grow, the race to find alternative ways to power datacenters accelerates

Your right. Currently the cost of energy is disproportionately more expensive for low energy users. That is surely totally upside down to the need to limit use.

Take the UK's way of dealing with the hyperinflation of energy. They capped household bills. The level it was set at meant nearly half the population who have always kept a very tight rein on their energy use, never did get close to the cap, and therefore had no support through that mechanism. It was the families with outdoor heated swimming pools that took the largess of that tax funded cashback.

Techies at Europe's biggest council have 8 weeks to pull finance reports from Oracle system


When will they ever learn?

So, they went for the cheapest option did they? Haha. The option where they take an off the shelf system and then train their staff to bend to its will. It could have worked a charm, but they likely skimped on the training budget by a country mile.

I remember taking over an accounts role that had been abandoned by the manager (got drunk and walked) who for one reason or another, and I suspect cheapo chiselling from the directors, was tasked with implementing a totally new accounts package, that they hadn't the first clue how to use, let alone instal and initiate all the accounts/ledgers/etc. It was a fucking fiasco when I turned up and spent the first two weeks reading the manual to finally conclude they had set it up backwards. The P&L account was meant to be the first account you created, not the last. It was never ever going to churn out anything meaningful, and as it was software approved for auditable use, no way of reversing any of the balls ups. I did offer to smash the hard drives and start again from scratch. haha.

For a city that's supposed to be investing in people, they could do with taking a very long hard look at themselves and consider their staff are people too, and a few weeks/months of training to add more strings to their bow, would have been very worthwhile, and not just a tick-box worthy.

Long-term support for Linux kernels is about to get a lot shorter


Re: Stable not in the stable

My Windows 7 runs absolutely beautifully. It was a bootleg version to start with. It has never been updated and practically every application/game is bootleg.

Every snippet of internet connectivity has been wrenched out of it. It has never been online and never will.

As I guess most of the nasties that it is no doubt encumbered with have an overwhelming need to chat to a server somewhere, they sit dormant, patiently awaiting the day the police connect it to the internet and destroy whatever evidence it was they were looking for haha

Twitter, aka X, tops charts for misinformation, EU official says


Re: Twitter / X is a sewer

I'm sure the definition of terrorism could quite easily be construed to include 99% of X's feed.

In my mind, any organisation that actively promotes rhetoric designed to undermine our right to a happy life, is engaging in terrorism.

Why can't datacenter operators stop thinking about atomic power?


Big Brother plc

I imagine in years to come, the super big, globe spanning organisations that crunch data for a living, will also outgrow home nation's ability/willingness to protect them. At which point this article would have morphed to data centres requiring small nuclear deterrents to fill the gap between what the nation is willing to supply and what the ever more unpopular big brother orgs feel is needed for their security.

NASA rockets draining its pockets as officials whisper: 'We can't afford this'


Re: Still cheaper than HS2...

Only if they built it using RAAC concrete. Which I assume they will.

Right to repair advocates have a new opponent: Scientologists


Re: Expose,

Huncoat still has their stocks, though sadly they are no longer in use. A few more years outside of EU protections and a few more years of Tory governance, and they might be back as an alternative to custodial sentencing.

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster


Re: Great job!

It's shame you chose to reiterate Tory propaganda instead of the facts. Fact is, every Tory government has broken the bank on every occasion they have been in office and Labour have always balanced the books. Yes, they presided over a disastrous period a lifetime ago as they tried to stimulate the economy and keep many old industries ticking along, but that is well and truly last century, and outweighed by the numerous shambolic Tory deficits that have happened since.

Sextortion suspects on trial after teen victim dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound


It's no wonder the likes of the Mafia thrive in some regions, when vigilantism is the only recourse normally honest citizens have.

The whole point of a police force and a judiciary, is so the public do not have to prosecute a crime themselves, which often meant back before such institutions came about, beating the guy trying to steal your cattle to death, and then retaliating against his wider family who came and beat one of your family to death in retribution.

In a fair world the police force and criminal courts would find themselves being sued for failing to fulfil their roles. Then again, the UK government would also now be getting sued for failing to honour the contract whereby you pay your taxes and everyone gets timely access to necessary medical treatment.

Two US Navy sailors charged with giving Chinese spies secret military info


Re: the US are such hypocrites

If they had taken time to get themselves a little better organised, they could have incorporated themselves, and set up a political "lobbying" company. They'd have been untouchable.

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


Re: Hospital Strategy

Marie Curie's lab notes.


Re: Hospital Strategy

Reminds me of the quiz question - There is a book in a museum that can only be read if you sign a waiver accepting full responsibility if it results in your death or injury. What is the book?

White House: Losing Section 702 spy powers would be among 'worst intelligence failures of our time'


Re: The fight over 702 distraction anyway

You're spot on about it being a distraction. The US intelligence service operates no holds barred in foreign holes where the mention of human rights are a joke.

I remember doing a DNS lookup on those snooping in on my torrenting many years ago, and couldn't for the life of me fathom why the Saudi Arabian government was the least bit interested in my ever expanding music collection. Fact is, they were not at all interested, but the US intelligence wing that operated out of Mecca was. And being in a place where anything, no matter how evil it is, is overlooked, they'll still be there today, eavesdropping on the entire world knowing they'll never have to ask permission from anyone. Least of which the US government.

So yes. 702's future is immaterial to the plot.

Prices of gallium and germanium rise as China export controls loom


Damned if you do. Damned if you don't

and worse. the huge investments required to get domestic rare earth production up and running will require more than just money. it will require, hard to enforce, international sanctions so as to stop China reversing its policy and dumping rare earth products on the market to undercut the fledgling home grown industries. Which it will do at a stroke.

On the record: Apple bags patent for iDevice to play LPs


All together now. "I hear the sound....of distant drums"

"I'm not quite loving your remix"

"That's not a remix, that's direct from vinyl"

"But it sounds a bit duff"

"What's wrong?"

"Well the drums seem out of sync"

"Err....Yes I see what you mean, but that isn't the drums. That's the sound of me typing on the keyboard and being carried through all the hard connections to the record deck"

"Sounds a bit crap,if you ask me"

"Yeah, I think you're right"

"I'd ask for your money back if I were you"

BOFH: You can be replaced by a robot or get your carbon footprint below Big Dave's


Re: Error in binary expression at line 61

but even mathematicians want it both ways. Consider infinity. In mathematics they will argue the set of all numbers is greater than the set of all integers. Both sets have an infinite number of elements, but one is infinitely bigger than the other, because between every integer there are an infinite set of numbers. however, infinity raised to the power infinity is still only infinity, it isn't a bigger infinity, but the big brains will tell you it is.

Why do cloud titans keep building datacenters in America's hottest city?


4 cents?

I read 4 cents a kw hour and couldn't concentrate on the article any further. 4 cents! That's less than 10% of what I currently pay. It's practically nothing in comparison to UK prices. How on Earth is power that cheap in America?

I notice the article goes on to mention what we here in the UK consider to be the the most expensive means of generating electricity, nuclear, which surely must have comparable costs to the UK, unless over in America it's okay to just sweep the waste under someone else's rug.

Based on power costs alone, I'm going to petition my local MP and ask if we could apply to be the 51st state, or at least get a solid answer as to why we're getting fleeced on power in the UK.

4 cents! I just can't get it out of my head.

Clingy Virgin Media won't let us leave, customers complain


Beware the freebies.

My experiences with Virgin Media go back many years, so long ago they were actually considered a decent company. Since then however the American model has been adopted, and it has gone totally Trump. They will grab you between the legs and not let go until wrestled away by evil commie laws that deny lovely sweet true blue capitalist companies the right to have the shirt off your back along with any skin that might accidentally be attached.

My example was the year in year out free upgrades, that then required paying for the year after. And no. Returning back to the original speed was never allowed. I spent a long period unemployed and struggling with them over divisive contracts and in all my dealings they not once mentioned my unemployed and on benefit status qualified me for a hugely discounted package. Neither was it mentioned in any of their literature or on their website.

They're just evil and long may their routers rot in my local landfill.

MIT discovery suggests a new class of superconductors


Re: Knok-nock, Neo

I suppose like the experiments with quantum particles, where the spin is only fixed once it is measured. Sure raises the question about an all seeing all knowing God like entity. Surely if that entity is everywhere, then the experiments with boson pairs and the like would show their spins are fixed from the start, as the gaze of God must surely have that effect. Unless of course our all seeing all knowing entity really isn't that interested in the minute its creation/simulation.

GitHub accused of varying Copilot output to avoid copyright allegations


Re: How close does code have to be?

Coding is a highly creative process, involving a plethora of disciplines and despite two competing sets of code performing the exact same function, they can be a million miles apart in speed and efficiency.

So do we copyright the concept of sorting a list of data, or do we rightfully recognise the art of doing that as efficiently as possible and therefore the code becomes the protected art?

NASA experts looked through 800 UFO sightings and found essentially nothing


It's like Flat Earther's. Of the multitude of nut jobs out there peddling such nonsense only about five of them truly believe the Earth is flat. The rest are playing a devilish debating game of who can get the most people to believe in total bullshit.

There's clearly an unfortunate downside to that game, as the citizen's of both the UK and USA can testify. How else did Trump/Boris/Brexit become a plausible concept that just might get past all sanity checks.

Amazon Ring, Alexa accused of every nightmare IoT security fail you can imagine


I remember

long long ago, back when i had a shiny Reg badge, outlining a suggestion to thwart the nasty door-steppers preying on your elderly parents.

It was way before Amazon brought out Ring, but it detailed the exact way that Ring functions, minus the nasties of course. So, if anyone feels like bringing out a competing version I'll happily dig out my prior art to parry any attempt by Amazon at claiming it was their original IP.


Re: Who would have seen that coming?

I think far more effective would be a a phone call to a real life Saul Goodman, and a class action.

The findings of the commission have already done most of the legwork, it's just a case of identifying who was affected and waiving the potential of a life changing cheque in front of them.

The compensation payout just might see Amazon so beggared it will have no choice but to learn a very very expensive lesson.

If you have shares in that diabolical company, I'd sell now before it gets left with nothing but a pair of boxer shorts to cover its embarrassing cock-up.

1. This crypto-coin is called Jimbo. 2. $8m was stolen from its devs in flash loan attack


Re: Methinks we need a crypto currency name generator

Stewart's Crumbs

Lee's Funky Bits

haha. I know what you did there. lol

Users complain over UK state-owned bank's services as Atos eyes the exit


What's up Doc?

I think they outsource many government IT contracts out to high functioning rabbits. Very clever, but beyond the confines of their hutches, they have no idea about the outside world.

Take DWP for example. They will send you a text to your mobile phone to access the account, and later ask you to help make the account more secure by providing your mobile number, but it must not be the number you use to access your account.

DWP have won the Frans Kafka award several years running.

Working from home could kill career advancement, says IBM CEO


...where the deers and the antelope play

Well, I started my new job when the lock down was in full swing. It was in the next county and would never had been on my job radar, but for the fact it was working from home.

Since then, several associated teams have been forced back into the office and are struggling. Seriously struggling. Experienced staff have resigned, and the empty chairs been left that way for many many months despite a recruitment push to fill them. Seems no one wants to work in a job that can be easily done from home, but through management dogma must now be done in the office.

Those teams are now so overworked and overstressed they are falling to pieces and our team is now being asked to help out. Our team's boss is a bit of a maverick, and he's not in the slightest interested in the corporate theme being trotted out of "back to your desks" and his team is fully staffed. When someone leaves, which is usually through promotion, or going off round the world, they get replaced immediately, as there are no recruitment issues for a team that can happily work from home.

The other team's managers want at least one of us on secondment, on a weekly rota, and we're politely, but firmly telling them how that's going to work. As in, we're not going to work, we're going to stay at home and knock all their productivity targets out of the park. They certainly winced at that, but have no choice. They messed up their own team dynamics by forcing them back on site for no real reason.

Unless my next job is oiling down naked models for a new TV series, I'll never accept a job that requires my physical attendance, ever.

Forget general AI, apparently zebrafish larvae can count


Re: Jumping to conclusions?

I'm always sceptical of experiments. And this one more so, as you have pointed out.

Using what has already been suggested, I would think a setup like this would be more suitable-

Three cards. One with ten black squares, another eight and the third twelve. Each day they are moved around randomly and at exactly midday, food is released above the ten black square card.

If they can count, like the article suggests, then within a week, just before midday, they will all be huddled near the ten black square card.

Budget: UK chip strategy still nowhere to be seen. Money for quantum, AI? Sure


Re: Chipping

I think a company's quality control department might find the adage "Shit in, shit out" getting a little overused in internal memos. lol


and that industry could change the lives of thousands in the UK, if ever the handbrake was released and the pedal pushed to the metal.

Empowering the disempowered by stuffing a living wage in their pocket while creating something we could export around the world, isn't exactly the Tory policy of the last forty years.


Jobs for the boys

So. A massive investment by the Tory party in a technology that will provide about a dozen jobs nationwide for those capable of operating a mop and bucket, to clean the data centres, and a few hundred highly skilled jobs.

I really do hope the highly skilled spend all their money on fast food and taxis, so the peasantry might get a sniff of that trickle down money, and not just stuff it into their unlimited pension pot.

British industry calls for regulation of autonomous vehicles


Re: Until there are an agreed set of regulations

In that case, it would make a whole heap of sense if the insurance was dealt with by the manufacturer. Basically, the vehicle is provided to you with the insurance already in place for when it is running under autonomous mode. You the driver need only get insurance for the times the vehicle is under your control, or is parked up.

So when in autonomous mode, any accidents will be covered by the manufacturer's insurance, and if it gets set on fire outside your house, or you drive it into a wall, then it is your insurance that covers that.

For sanity's sake, perhaps these vehicles should only be offered as long term rentals, allowing the manufacturer to more easily perform upgrades and keep them as standard. You've seen the diabolical "upgrades" your neighbour has done to their vehicle, haven't you!

Catholic clergy surveillance org 'outs gay priests'


Re: "identify gay priests, and providing that information to bishops "

I remember as a lad, hitch-hiking my way down to Bristol and in the pouring rain got a lift in a very nice Jag. The driver told me he was a senior cleric for an evangelical church and his role was to mentor and support the other clerics through times of crisis, which normally revolved around their sexual urges and how they might better suppress them.

Twenty minutes into the journey he pulled off of the motorway and dropped me at the services, as it was clear his offer of dropping me right at my intended destination so long as I sucked his cock was never going to happen.

I imagine he's now some high ranking Bishop and continues to this day to abuse those who are seeking solace and guidance.


The piece doesn't really come with an editorial. El Reg's opinion in this matter is not stated. It is as you put it, copied from other sources, and presented as such.

The discerning reader can form their own opinions. And as this publication tends to attract a higher than average cohort of discerning readers, I think it can be said that this article is unlikely to change the perceptions of those readers, as to the crazed minds of religious zealots.


"Hello. How can we help you?"

"Well I'm starting this new business up and could do with some help with the PR"

"Well, you have come to the right place. We at 'Chew it and Spit PR offices' are the world leaders in advising in these matters, so what is it you're selling?"

"A new religion. Well, a newer version of an older religion I suppose"

"Ooo. Let's just stick with new religion, don't want the two business models getting confused. Has it got a name?"

"I was thinking, 'Bugger You All' "

"Ah, I don't know."

"Well, with all this hate going on in the world, I thought I'd capitalise on it and get some of that market"

"It's been played to death has that one. All the major religions have focussed on that tribal us and them exclusivity thing. You're gonna have to come up with something new"

"You've taken the wind out of my sails, I'm not sure what to suggest"

"Tell you what, the whole love thing hasn't been tapped into yet. Now that would make your religion stand out a mile from the others"


"Yeah, love. Instead of hating anyone who isn't in your gang, you love them. Then they might think about joining"

"Oh yeah, that's a great idea"

"OK, so what about a better name than 'Bugger you all'. What's your name?"


"Err, err. You're not giving me anything here. Middle name?"


"Err, yeah, that might have some mileage. Tell you what, I'll get an opinion group together and they can brainstorm some ideas for a name. Some play on Christ might fit the bill. We'll see"

"Now what are your policies? The tenets of your religion?"

"Beating on queers. That's got to be top of the list"

"Err. Can I stop you there. That isn't really well thought through. Don't forget we're coming from an all inclusive love angle. You can't go beating on anyone."

"Alright then. You're making this very difficult and all I want is some easy money"

"It's not going to be easy Jesus, I'm thinking to really sell this business, you might need to make some personal sacrifices"

"Like what?"

"Well I can see the big picture here, and you being nailed to a cross and crucified would mega-boost the ratings"

"Whoa. You can stop right there. You're mad. I'm taking my business elsewhere"

"Fine, but I should point out, a lot of the makings of this new religion is my IP, and the streets are full of down and outs that would die for this opportunity"

"Fine, you do that. I'm off to the stoning to cheer myself up"

And so the PR company that had up to that point concentrated on manufacturing boy bands started a new department manufacturing religious ideology and the rest as they say is history...rewritten and edited to suit the narrative through the ages.


What would Jesus have done?

It really is extremely hard to get your head around the fact that the most "devout" followers of a religion, are more likely to diverge 180 degrees from the teachings of their prophet and saviour.

Jesus, supposedly, did not preach hate. In fact quite the opposite. Yet his hardcore fans are nothing but soulless, hate-filled, misanthropes.

BOFH: I care a lot ... about onion bhajis


Re: Bhajis?

Damned railways. There's your reason for a lack of barges. Progress...Pah!

Boffins find 'missing link' between interstellar ice and what comes out of the tap


Re: Nobel Prize Winning Stuff

Well, the water deep in the Earth, has trickled down through the many fissures over the years, and also been carried down by subduction. It didn't sit there sweating out the hot times before the crust started to form.

And the water deposited on Earth by meteors did evaporate instantly on impact, as you say, but it evaporated into our atmosphere and rained down at some point later.

Arm co-founder: Britain's chip strat 'couldn’t be any worse'


I would imagine an IT industry becoming a runaway success in the UK would have the financial industry in a tither.

As it currently stands, the UK's financial industry is by any measure our only industry, and that gives them clout in every political decision that has ever been made in this country, and by their hopes, ever will be.

In America, where the IT industry, by its shear might has political power, that perhaps in some scenarios outguns that of the financial world, our financial services sector has perhaps looked on that and taken steps to ensure their dominance in the lobbying halls of Westminster will never be challenged.

It is clear, the IT sector in the UK is not short of mega star talent to get us there, but the finances required will never materialise, beyond a smattering of venture capital and woefully inadequate government grants, which will no doubt filter back towards some rather dubious "investors" via consultancy fees to their associates.

Signal says it'll shut down in UK if Online Safety Bill approved


Re: Will this cover

It's interesting how your argument focuses right down to a personal attack, as if previous comments have pierced your very soul, when they were nothing more than a general observation, pushed out there in a quasi-satirical manner.

Is this a hint at the desperation one might feel when there is no arguing against the facts?

If there's one thing that has not been off the world's agender since the rise of Fox news, it is hate.

Hate, Hate Hate! It's almost as if the 2% have recognised how distracting and useful a tool hate really is.

"Don't look at the billions my left hand is stealing, look at my right hand sticking two fingers up at you all"

Find pushes back birth of Europe's steel hardware to about 3,000 years ago


Thankfully for the archaeologists trying to date non-organic materials, the spade was not invented until 1760 by Spear & Jackson. And so all manner of things were just discarded on the ground, rather than hidden in a hastily dug out hole, thus adding several hundred years to their age.