* Posts by Steve Kerr

188 posts • joined 26 Jul 2013


Fixing an upside-down USB plug: A case of supporting the insupportable

Steve Kerr

When I was doing electronic systems in college - certainly with a few people that shouldn't have been allowed near anything electrical, we had one guy who produced entertainment.

They used to have these plug boards with which you could fit components that was sort of a bit like lego, you could slot in these blocks that had components and a description of what it was on it, they were powered by a separate 12v power supply.

We heard a big bang and everyone turned round to see a mushroom cloud billow up to and across the ceiling and a look of horror on the guys face.

We never worked out how he managed to cause a transistor (I think it was) to lose its magic blue smoke.

We did jokingly create the "Theory of Random Connections" off of the back of what he done which was the running joke for the rest of the college year.

Fun times.

Apple exec sues over 'ageist' removal of $800k stock bonus

Steve Kerr

Re: Foot. Shot....

From the looks of it, all future RSUs are already NULL as looking behind the scenes, they're trying to manage him out.

So yeah, he's suing for ageism.

Chinese-linked cyber crims nab $529 million from Indian nationals

Steve Kerr

Love when the Indian scammers call

Have some great calls with the scammers until they start swearing at me - much entertainment.

Although it's crap that people got scammed out of money, is a bit funny that the what seems to be the majority of scammers are themselves being scammed.

The icing on the cake is if those scum that scammed people out of money were then scammed out those illgotten gains.

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

Steve Kerr

Queen Elizabeth - demon driver

I think she has done so much for country, even amongst her own problems in her own family, just like every other family.

I do mourn her passing.

I was at Windsor Horse Show last year when we were asked to just wait for a minute.

These 3 black rangers pulled up next to us, they were going pretty fast, surprised the first one didn't do a handbrake sliding stop.

The drivers door opened and out got the queen, was totally aghast as she was just in front of us, I've got photos of her that close too.

She was watching one of the native showing classes, not in the main ring either, just the side ring and they had a chair there for her to sit on and watch.

We went and saw some other things and when we can back past she was just leaving, getting in the drivers seat leading the way, we saw her driving on the road up to the castle and she was accelerating away from the others, she must have been doing at least 70mph! Total demon driver, it was brilliant.

After the loss of Prince Philip it was so nice to see her so happy at Windsor watching all the horse.

A great loss to the country.

Nvidia books $1.32b inventory charge as PC market slows

Steve Kerr

Yup - charging significantly over MSRP whilst not actually dropping the prices to lower than the original MSRP for cards which are a couple of years old now.

So yeah, you're stuck with inventory because you're unwilling to drop the prices to something more acceptable to the market.

It's why I'm still using an 8 year old graphics card because I'm not paying those prices for yesterdays technology. Charging a premium for bleeding edge I can understand.

AMD have seen the writing on the wall and are starting to drop prices, Nvidia have their heads in the clouds still riding the crypto boom (and bust)

CityFibre loses appeal against Openreach discounts for ISPs

Steve Kerr

Unfortunately where I live the only fibre provider currently is price gouging the local area which I suspect won't stop until BT finally roll out fibre here.

Had a major row with one of their door to doors sales people that got aggressive after I said no, not interested. Believed he was entititled to know all the reasons why I would not switch there and then. His attitude pretty much sealed why they would never get my business even without considering their eye watering prices.

BT currently listed my area as before 2025 but I suspect will be after the heat death of the universe.

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups

Steve Kerr

Turning up at work to a bunch of police

In a previous job turned up for a shift with a bunch of police that wanted to talk to me - scared the crap out of me.

Turns out, they wanted to listen to a voice recording of a particular line (lots of dealer lines & also some switchboard lines were recorded) and management told that to come to the building and I'd do it but didn't tell me that they were arriving.

These were analogue tapes that had something like 48 lines recorded and the tapes ran for 24 hours at a time.

Anyway, I ran thru a tape over a time period for one particular external line whilst they listened (and obviously I did too).

What transpired was there were some bomb threats being phoned in to reception, in listening to a scratchy recording, could hear a woman in the background and a child, it was one of the managers in the midsts of a mental breakdown phoning in bomb threats. Don't know what actually happened to him in the end. I was asked by the police about what I thought I heard.

Have had to listen in to a bunch of other dealer conversations which included hearing the sex lives of several of the dealers - oops!

Next major update of Windows 11 prepares for launch

Steve Kerr

Nothing of appeal

I've looked at it (on a VM) and currently, I see nothing on it which is giving me a "wow, must migrate to this immediately" as opposed to "kicking and screaming and throwing my toys out of my pram"

For some people out there it may be OK as it seems they are trying to go for the MacOS type look but in a Microsoft way.

Maybe windows 12 will be better, to me, this is like the Windows Vista/8 version, they've tried something different, it's going to fail so they go back to something similar to XP/Win7/Win10

The end of the iPod – last model available 'while supplies last'

Steve Kerr

IPod Touch

Still use my IPod Touch with stored music from ripped CD's and with Tidal in offline mode.

Was hoping they were going to release an updated one as it's useful for being small, good battery life and not having to worry about storage for everything else on a phone as well.

So when this dies or becomes incompatible with the latest Tidal App update will have to look for something else.

It's a shame as it was a really good simple product.

OpenVMS on x86-64 reaches production status with v9.2

Steve Kerr

Re: I wonder how many people still remember how to use it?

I think I know the confusion here.

From memory, (probably wrong), the filesystem was called Files11 or some such.

The file system had extensions to create databases as part of the filesystem with which you used FDL? (File Definition Language) that specified things like fields, sizes, types, bucket sizes, indexes and with that you can basically create a database file.

it was efficient, meant you could use standard backups as everything looked like a file, some really funky stuff.

My best effort was being able to pass commands to batch jobs real time using the OPER console functionality so could to a REPLY/TO the OPER prompt to direct the program what to do next, even done sanity checks on input - best one was a colleague saying it was impossible and couldn't be done and then me presenting, yeah, here's how to do it, I wrote this in a previous company. :-)

Windows 10 still growing, but Win 11 had another bad month, says AdDuplex

Steve Kerr

Re: So which is it?

I would assume that has kit dies, moves out of support he would migrate peoples PC's to mac/linux at that point, probably what I would do!

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

Steve Kerr

Re: "Dont ask"

Been driven thru the back roads in Moscow back to the airport late at night on a terrifying journey after I flew over for a work meeting.

Outside of the middle of moscow, there is literally no street lights or electricity.

Picked up by some taxi driver and driven down narrow back streets was rather worried about exactly where we were going - think the driver saw the terror in my eyes and said "Is OK, no worries"

he was actually skipping the clogged main roads which are a nightmare, just everything outside was pitch black!

Pop quiz: The network team didn't make your change. The server is in a locked room. What do you do?

Steve Kerr

Locked in at night

I was doing some work late one evening for a bank in Newcastle, we finished about 10pm.

In the huge foyer the length of the building, the customer said as I was a visitor, I had to go out via the main entrance and they would go out via the staff only revolving doors that had to be used with a staff pass.

They duly left and I walked down to the main doors to find there was no-one there, main doors locked and the customer had legged it and I didn't have their mobile numbers to contact them to let me out.

Waited there for 20 minutes thinking I was going to be there all night locked in at bank.

Then I thought I heard music, thought I was hearing things it was so quiet, took me a few minutes to identify where it was coming from, had to go upstairs and pinpoint where it was coming from, found it finally when I found 2 guys replacing floor tiles at the other end. Told them what happened and asked if they had a pass that would get me out of the door.

Finally made it out after being stuck for 30 minutes and still no security showed up - even waved my arms in the air a bit in case there was security monitoring cameras!

The customer did laugh the following day and said that should have probably made sure I could get out before they left!

Fun times

Vulnerabilities and censorship tools among hot new features in Beijing's Olympics app

Steve Kerr

A lot of the list is for illegal items

China is bad for a lot of things and certainly not condoning their actions, so ignoring the holes in the app, the probable monitoring and tracking etc....

Someone has posted the list at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/citizenlab/chat-censorship/master/olympics/illegalwords.txt

Digging thru it, the far majority is for things that are illegal and are pretty much terms for "guns for sale, drugs for sale, prostitutes for sale" though some really odd ones like "national tourism board".

Have only had a 5 minute dig as currently in the midst of my work day.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Steve Kerr

The joys of generator tests and failover

One financial institution I worked at many years ago decided to do a generator test late in the evening midweek - I was on shift that evening.

The failvoer goes Mains -> Battery -> Generator

On this test it went something like Mains -> Battery -> Generator (fails to start, everything goes black) -> Back to battery (everything comes on) -> back to generator (everything goes black) -> back to battery everything comes on -> batteries give out -> everything goes black and stays black.

No emergency lighting in the DC where the bridge was it turns out and no outside lighting to shine in thru the windows as there were none.

The hilarity, the mainframe batch runs that were in the progress at the time, the chaos - fun times.

So issues with the generators and lots of issues with failed batteries, lots of root cause analysis, lots of beefing up batteries, failover procedures etc...

There was fun at one bank where the generator fuel tanks spung a leak and flooded the basement canteen to a depth of 3 feet, they never did manage to paint over the diesel tide mark enough and their was a odour of diesel for the rest of the time I was there which never quite left.

GPU makers promise relief is at hand over chip shortages, prices expected to fall in second half of the year

Steve Kerr

Re: I, for one, shall remain patient.

I've got the AMD Ryzon box I built a couple of years back, still has a GTX970 in it from beginning of 2015 as I'm not paying these current eye watering prices (even if I could get hold of one)

ASUS recalls motherboards that flame out thanks to backwards capacitors

Steve Kerr

Re: New laptop board? It's a new laptop according to MS activation. Get a new license.

It's more likely these boards were part of self builds or small company builds so they would not have OEM licenses for windows.

I originally purchased a Win7 license when it was released (not OEM tied).

I've been thru this when I had an i7 die and the cost of a replacement was laughable, it was more cost effective to build a new machine and transplant some bits that I could (decided to do a pimped out box, with RGB lighting and stuff - never again will I do this after the 12-14 hours it took over 4 days with huge amounts of internal wiring!)

So, new case, motherboard (switched to AMD), RAM - only things that remained were the original SSDs and the graphics card.

I booted it and rather expected it to blue screen and die and have to reinstall windows, instead it installed all the correct drivers, didn't complain and asked to relicense which took less than 5 minutes to sort with the license key.

So as much as I hate to say it, but kudos to M$ for making a seemless migration with the same install into what was pretty much a totally different PC with a different CPU and drivers and not had any problems since in the 2 1/2 years since it was built.

Tesla disables in-car gaming feature that allowed play while MuskMobiles were in motion

Steve Kerr

Re: Back to horse-drawn buggies please!

There was a rumoured to be a case of someone being arrested in Hyde Park back in the day before motorvehicles of being drunk in charge of a horse.

in an interesting twist, it seemed that the horse was also drunk

NASA delays crewed Moon landing until 2025, citing technical infeasibility

Steve Kerr

Dust off Apollo

Just saying!

Shame that over the years it's all been turned into bean counters and strangled funding for Nasa where so much science and technology has come off of the back of pushing frontiers.

Would be good to see a second moon landing in my lifetime though the first I would've been mostly going "goo goo goo" and soiling nappies.

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Steve Kerr

I would suggest Virtucon

Dr. Evils empire.

I bet zuck has a Mr. Bigglesworth too.

Based on the current company i would suggest the board isn't dissimilar to Dr. Evils various henchmen, sorry, that wasn't PC enough, hench'various entities of inteterminate genders (72 gender types or some such on fakebook now), rocks, trees, a pot of pentunias currently speeding towards the earth wondering whether "they" will be its friend or whatever'

Blue Origin employees complain of sexist culture that ignores safety concerns

Steve Kerr

Say it ain't so

Working for a Bezos owned company and not having a toxic workplace and being akin to slave labour?

Business as usual at Blue Origin then taking Amazon corporate ethos to new heights

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up

Steve Kerr

Green energy

All we need to do is install a wind farm.

Problem solved.

Not sure which problem but it's solved.

kudos though for this, very interesting read - didn't realise that there had been astromonical views of this in the 1880's.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Steve Kerr

RIP Sir Clive

Started in computing with a ZX81 when they first came out, was 11 years old with a 16K ram pack too.

As much as people have mocked him over the years - he kicked off the affordable home computer market in the UK.

Yes, some of his products failed, some were ropey but the point is, he tried to produce new product were ahead of the time but unfortunately the technology of the era sometimes was quite up to it.

Here I sit, working in IT over 45 years later and a good proportion of the reason for that all started with the ZX81 created by Sir Clive that was purchased from WH Smith.

I read he was still tinkering as recent as last week.

So I raise my beer to you as the impact you had will carry on for many years to come and a name that will live on in human history.

Facebook building 'on-demand executable file format' that self-inflates using homebrew compression

Steve Kerr

give developers minimum spec

Giving developers super fast machines with max everything means they don't care about efficency generally.

Give them yesteryears base models to work with and that will reduce bloat as they will have to work within the framework of what they have.

That's what I'd do!

back in the days of spectrums, c64s etc....software developers had to be so much more efficient to work within the limitations they had.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...

Steve Kerr

Working for a european bank out in Romania

I was implementing a new service bureau for a european bank out in Romania (worked out there for about 4 months)

Long story which I won't go into though it was internal service bureau competing against another internal service bureau but it was more dynamic to changes and would charge 10% of the cost of the other one and ran with with 15 staff total rather than a couple of hundred, I digress....

I was interrupted with what I was doing and was asked to join a conference call between them and a vendor trying to upsell something in the product as a party with no vested interest with either of them.

The vendor was saying that this new component was going to cost €100,000 and was trying to get the bank to foot the development bill even though the vendor was trying to sell it to them. I said, I could implement what the vendor was trying to sell for free with the current software and about an hour of time so didn't need it at all.

Was fun listening to the vendor get angrier and angrier as they realised their attempt to get the bank to pay for the dev (which they would then sell on to other customers) evaporate before their eyes and that the rest of the value add had evaporated with it.

Fun times!

UK.gov is launching an anti-Facebook encryption push. Don't think of the children: Think of the nuances and edge cases instead

Steve Kerr

Cesspit of criminals, despots & the downright untrustworthy

That would be a variety of members of parliament & their advisors, lackies & hangers on.

If this is required, I'm sure our illustrious leaders will lead by example by making sure that all of their communications are freely available unecrypted to anybody requesting it.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear - I'm sure that's ok isn't it? No?

I'm sure they're mostly there to be serving the country rather than self serving?

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?

Steve Kerr

Re: Computer O Level

I've still got a graphical CP/M game of Star Trek on a floppu disk for a 380/Z somewhere

There are some other games but I can't remember what they are!

Horizon Workrooms promises a virtual future of teal despair

Steve Kerr

I can see the next step

IOI Loyalty Centres like in Ready Player One.

Get into your FB workpod peon.

See that last line in the access list? Yeah, that means you don't have an access list

Steve Kerr

Re: My boss was a twit.

Or get promoted

IBM Cloud took the evening off – 23 services were hard to provision for eight hours

Steve Kerr

Looking at clouds

They have a tendancy to evaporate.

They have their place I grant you but then this article.

Undebug my heart: Using Cisco's IOS to take down capitalism – accidentally

Steve Kerr

Never mind thrown under the bus

Had a manager when I worked for a bank that would throw you under a multiple pile up.

Anything that went well, he crowed from the rooftops that it was all because of him, anything wrong, he threw you under the bus by name.

It's how I ended up with the head of european settlements screaming screaming at me down the phone.

Oddly I was moved out of his team, one Friday afternoon at 5pm and told I was working for a different team at 9am on Monday.

He was the proverbial Richard Cranium.

But then, I've had managers that took all the flak and wouldn't identify the person that made a mistake.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Steve Kerr

Hands up

My first job in IT as a 19 year old learning the ropes.

Helped the IT manager with some cabling twinax cabling work for AS/400 that ran down 4 floors in a conduit shaft, problem was, we didn't have access to 2 of the floors as they were owned by other companies, somewhere they were cable tied very firmly so couldn't move them,.

had the bright idea of cutting the cables at both ends to which we had no access so they could be moved.

Then, by stripping back the plastic, twisted the cables, soldered them together and covered them in insulating tape and left it at that.

Wasn't any complaints on the Monday morning from the AS/400 people so job well done and dodgy cable soldering hidden.

I was the 19 year bright spark who said to cut the cables and resolder, just fortunate there was enough slack at either end to do it.

Northern Train's ticketing system out to lunch as ransomware attack shuts down servers

Steve Kerr

Makes a change

Normally it's their passengers, sorry "customers" that are normally held to ransom

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Steve Kerr

Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

From memory (might be a little wavy due to a slight concussion from falling off a horse on Saturday during a showjumping lesson where my horse went thru rather than over the jump but she is young and still learning)....

Windows 9 was skipped because there is stuff still embedded in windows from the 9x days which means having internals flagged as 9 would/could cause much entertainment with random weirdness happening due to version name conflicts.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

Steve Kerr

Careful with that axe Eugene

On second thoughts, hack away.

Brit IT firms wound up by court order after fooling folk into paying for 'support' over fake computer errors

Steve Kerr

Re: Just this afternoon

I have been answering calls for entertainment value, so far


BT Internet

BT openreach

Amazon (iphone/ipad has been purchased)

VISA (we've stopped a payment)

I've been very helpful, and it I manage to have them on the phone for more than 5-10 minutes and get bored, I go from civil to turning the dial to 11 on extreme swearing and abuse

On the see-saw of happiness, mine goes up, theirs go down.

I do know they are real people on the other end, but they are despicable scum preying on the unwary, unknowing and trusting and deserve what they get.

Oddly, the number of calls I've got seem to have radically reduced since I started on this experiment

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise

Steve Kerr

Sound of silence

At the beginning of each shift, there was a meeting to discuss what had happened and anything special for that shift, at the end of the meeting, everyone traipsed to the bridge in the computer room.

Access was via a card held near the wall at a certain point and an electromagnet held the door in place.

The door magnet was a bit weak so with a bit of a shove it was possible to open the door without the door being unlocked (there were manned desks in the next compartment so anybody coming in was seen).

Did I mention the emergency shutdown button on the wall behind covered with its nice plastic cover and the door stop that was next to it.

Well, as "someone" (not me) shoved the door, the door release was activated at that exact point by the card in their pocket, door acclerates into the door stop which promptly gets pushed into the wall behind it as it was only a weak partition wall, shattered the plastic cover and hit the emergency button.


Off went the IBM mainframes, the ICL's, the VAX's, the AS/400, the HP's, the stratus non-stop (they stopped!), the System/38's and whatever other collection of stuff was in the room - all in the process of their overnight batch runs.

The only saving grace was it was going into a night shift - the evening shift were a little unhappy about having to stay for a couple of hours longer as everyone rushed to get it all up and running and restart batch runs at their checkpoints and other stuff.

The emergency shutdown was moved off of the wall behind the door and the door magnets fixed.

Fun times!

Home Office slams PNC tech team: 'Inadequate testing' of new code contributed to loss of 413,000 records

Steve Kerr

The computer says no

I'm sure the police said a few years ago that it was too hard to remove records of people from the PNC when legally they should have been removed after a certain date.

Seems that it's actually easier done than said going by what happened here

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Steve Kerr

First company I worked for

Had a dec vax 8600 with Xerox and apple fax modems wired up to it.

Also had PDP 11/34 and a PDP 11/84 with I think TU10 tape drives with custom software and boot loaders on tape (not using the RSX installed on the disk packs), those had custom hardware with fibreoptics to draw graphs onto roll fed Kodak film (had a dark room as well to process the film).

On a microvax, they had an Ibis disk drive which had 4 sets of read/write heads, the thing used to rock back and forth when in use. if the lid was up for maintenace, it had something like a 6 inch wide band connecting the motor to the fixed disk - not something you'd want to get a tie caught in when it was running unless you were into instant beheading.

On and off for years, been trying to find a picture of the Ibis without luck.

Are you ready to take a stand? Flexispot E7 motorised desk should handle whatever you dump on it – but it's not cheap

Steve Kerr

Ikea standing desks

The Ikea one I have looks to be more sturdy than the one here and seems to be more stylish than this one reviewed

The instructions for it are good and put together without any issues, though it is damn heavy and says to get it upright you should use 2 people, I done it by myself though probably shouldn't have.

Price range for the top of the range electric one is in the same price bracket as this and also has a 10 year warranty.

Preliminary report on Texas Tesla crash finds Autosteer was 'not available' along road where both passengers died

Steve Kerr

Re: As a motorcyclist....

Based on the way a number of people drive on the road, I would say when push comes to shove, the self drive vehicles will be safer to be around if you're on a motorbike.

Being that I've been in several motorcycle accidents where I was on the motorbike.

* Hit from behind whilst stationary at traffic lights and ending up sprawled in the middle of the junction (Didn't see you)

* Pulled out on from a side road - wrote off the motorbike (didn't see you), driver reckoned I was doing 70mph in a 30mph where there was a red light 20 metres away just behind the side road he pulled out of

* U-Turn on main road with traffic (didn't see you)

Also, lane changes on motorways with no indication and various other near misses including doing a superman impression at 70mph due to a trail of oil/diesel on a wet motorway.

Love riding motorbikes, don't ride them anymore as the roads are too dangerous now

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing

Steve Kerr

Re: China does not care what the USA says

Or the debris they caused take out their own satellites

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user

Steve Kerr

The porn mail from the 90s

I remember working for a bank the porn mail that went round

The one where someone clicked something and it basically unmuted sound, set the volume to max and screaming "THERE'S SOMEBODY WATCHING PORN OVER HERE!!!" whilst flashing the screen red & orange or something.

The look of horror on peoples faces staring at the screen,

Much hilarity hearing that richoting at round a floor of 600 IT people in a bank at various distances!

I wasn't responsbible for that one fortunately!

Microsoft realises constant meetings stress people out, adds Office 365 settings to cut them short or start them late

Steve Kerr

Re: The problem is...


I book every lunchtime as a meeting and the end of my working day + 1 hour as meeting too.

This stops those sociopaths who book meetings from 12:30-13:30 - seriously? You book things in a way that makes people either have an early lunch or a late lunch - we have several that do this, have mentioned this to them that they shouldn't do it, I'll decline such meetings.

When in the office in the past, always went out at lunchtimes, even if it meant costing more money in lunch, number of times sitting at my desk where I either had a fork or sandwich half way to my mouth and someone utters the immortal words - "Are you at lunch?

Have had a number of back to back meetings - it would be nice to actually have time to do my job!

You want a reboot? I'll give you a reboot! Happy now?

Steve Kerr

Investment bank production settlements power off

Not me fortunately and many years ago, late 90's

Tech workinng on some HP-UX UAT system, for whatever reason, he wanted to reboot or power-off/on some multi-cabinet HP-UX server.

He had major visual impairment, he had these huge monitors with very large font sizes and he read from a distance of about 4 inches.

He decided to go up a floor to the computer room and past the ops to the HP-UX server and flipped the power button, except..... he powered off the production settlements server during the business day.

Don't quite remember how long it was down for before it was got up running again and a lot of shouting happened.

Access rights for tech people were rescinded soon after, tickets had to be raised with th Ops people to gain access and then they let you in,

Saying that, it was a big room, easy to get lost in and every corner looked the same, always fun finding BT people and others who were lost in there and pleading for help on finding the exit, internal people too - there were 1000 full height racks in there.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

Steve Kerr

Re: Russians, alcohol, making toasts

Years ago doing a project for an austrian bank, had to go to the Ukraine (amongst many other ex-eastern block countries) for a meeting.

Went to dinner in the evening with the local heads of bank and vodka was brought out at the start that was so cold it was like syrup, had to have a bunch of shots and I had a stinking cold, knew it was rude to decline. They pointed out some men at the other end of the restaurant who used to be the top dogs in the KGB and what they used to do. An interesting view into local stuff.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Steve Kerr

Re: Where’s The Effing Ignition Lock!?

I had a Saab 900

You had to have the car in reverse to remove the key.

Personally thought it was a great safety feature that you have to have the handbrake on and leave the gar in gear which stops incidents like the car rolling away when you walk away from it because you forgot to leave those in place.

Ever since then, have always left my car in gear.

We've seen things you people wouldn't believe. A halo of light polarized by a gigantic black hole's magnetic field...

Steve Kerr

Re: Dunning Kruger

From memory of physics in school 40 years ago, didn't search for this on purpose....

Where you have a photon generator firing a single photon at a time and 2 slits where the photon can go through you will get an interference pattern


If you try to identfy the exact slit it goes through, the interference pattern will disappear as the very act of viewing which slit the photon goes through affects the outcome.

Something to do with it both being a wave and a particle from memory.

I do also recall reading that with quantum entanglement, it is possible to identify which slit the photon went through and keep the interference pattern.

Kudos though for the science and everything that went through to finding this stuff, I absolutely love reading about these things.

Big problem: Nominet members won't know how many votes they're casting in decision to oust CEO, chair

Steve Kerr

Tin pot dictators

I've not seen this much ballot stuffing and vote rigging since I last looked at the voting outcome in some tin pot dictatorships

Desperate Nominet chairman claims member vote to fire him would spark British government intervention

Steve Kerr

More the problem is government changes but the civil servants underneath it all stay the same.

So doesn't matter which lot are in power, the ones causing the ineptitude stay and get promoted into great er levels of incompetence



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