* Posts by 2+2=5

1882 posts • joined 21 Jan 2014

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

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Re: Interview 2.0

> "How would you work out the tidal flow volume of the Thames Estuary?"

"Net zero. Next question."

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Re: Interesting previous interviews

> They basically floundered around the rest of the interview;

Years ago I floundered through interviewing someone for exactly the opposite reason. I had written a nice C programming test that started fairly simply, got steadily harder and ended with a couple of quite tricky questions. The easy ones were to give candidates a bit of confidence and how far they progressed was a reasonable sign of how good/experienced they were.

This one candidate failed to get a single question right. But his answers were so poor I really didn't know where to start: even a kid who'd done an 'O'-level computer studies project in C would have done better. With hindsight I should have terminated the interview immediately but I was young, lacked the intolerance I now have :-), and having explained the interview process to him felt I should stick to it.

Needless to say, despite having told HR we wanted to see people's CVs in advance of them being invited to interview they kept ignoring us and, sure enough, this guy's CV was indeed an accurate reflection of his abilities.

Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry

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Re: Oops!

> Please see my recent post regarding DTK.com


> (Oh! and yes, we were also cursed with a Coventy postcode).

Did your Coventry postcode get you blocked under the CV blocker as well?

Punchy Italian kartist gets 15-year ban for trackside rampage... and other stories

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He's no Murray Walker

I haven't watched it all through - I just couldn't listen to any more of that awful, dreary commentary.

At 1.48 he says "Accidents are always a matter of IF not WHEN in motorsport..."

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

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Re: Right to repair?

> I made a temporary repair to the old pin by drilling a small hole in each half (not easy) and inserting a snapped-off drill bit and some superglue.

Sounds like it would have been less effort to just use an old drill the same diameter as the pin and cut the end off. No fiddly drilling. :-)

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

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Re: An idea

I've been caught like that (many times, sigh) - saving something in a hurry and forgetting to change to the right folder!

The solution is to start a new document, type a couple of characters and then save - the location it defaults to is likely where the previous one I'm actually after is. :-)

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> more and more clicks to do ‘save as’ to a folder

This, more than anything, is what annoys me most about current Windows. It insists on putting OneDrive as the first choice save location - utterly oblivious to the fact that my employer has gone 'all in' with OneDrive so the Desktop and My Documents are already in OneDrive. Left hand meet right hand. :-(

Make-me-admin holes found in Windows, Linux kernel

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> The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not, or he had a deadline.

Fixed that for you George.

Paid antivirus? On ads? Think of all the beer you could buy without that subscription

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New tipple?

Badgers Old Bork?

BT to phase out 3G in UK by 2023 for EE, Plusnet, BT Mobile subscribers

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Re: BT said it’ll also retire 2G by the end of this decade,

That's a shame - I will finally have to stop using my lovely old, power-sipping Nokias. I'm already teary-eyed at the thought that I will only need to get the charger out twice more.

Microsoft solicits Clippy comeback – later reveals it had already decided to bring back the peppy paperclip

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Seems perfectly reasonable

Given that the Unicode for the paperclip character is U+1F4CE I think that every font should put a face onto their paperclip glyph. :-)

Facial-recognition technology gets a smack in the chops from civil rights campaigners

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Double jeopardy

> "This biased software has already put people in jail for crimes they did not commit. Being vetted for our suitability to shop is an authoritarian nightmare, not the free and democratic society we want and expect."

Shall we have a sweepstake on how long before an incident where a person is 'recognised' simultaneously committing a crime at two geographically separate stores and gets prosecuted for both?

Imagine a world where Apple shacked up with Xerox in the '80s: How might it look today?

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The other alternative history...

Is the one where Gary Kildall does meet with IBM, does license them CP/M and Microsoft never exists. As a result Apple never exists.

And the Internet is Token Ring - ah, shit, I knew there had to be a downside.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Sub-$600 midranger makes premium phones feel frivolous

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> Samsung doesn't ship earbuds with the A52, but does include a 15W charger that does the job...

I'm not sure I could fit a charger into my ear and how does it do stereo?

Researchers warn of unpatched remote code execution flaws in Schneider Electric industrial gear

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Blank document

> the document available at the time of writing was wholly blank save for the single word "Internal" at the bottom.

It was a brain dump from the programmer responsible for on-device security

NHS contracts for document storage, digitisation three years after paperless deadline

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Re: Put it to scale..

Back in 1990-something I worked on an offer for my employer proposing to digitise hospitals' x-ray films.

One of the benefits in the cost model was that most hospitals would free up the equivalent of a small building.

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer

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> a pair of serial ports

Well if it were just one you wouldn't have anything to talk to.

South Korean uni installs lavatory that pays out when you spend a penny

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> The eco-friendly convenience [...] uses a vacuum pump to send human waste to an underground tank

Gravity gets everything to the tank just fine - the vacuum pump is to make the whole experience exertion free.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

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Re: On the go ...

If you are ever near Biggin Hill then I heartily recommend the Spitfire Café with its all day breakfasts named after famous planes.


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Alternate method for the crap that supermarkets pass off as bacon...

1) Add bacon to frying pan

2) Cook on medium heat, no oil, for 5 mins

3) Marvel that so much water can be injected into so little 'meat'.

4) Tip away water

5) Add small amount of oil and proceed to fry normally

Salesforce's Patterson blazes a trail for humble-braggers everywhere

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The oleaginous chisel-jawed Brit

> The oleaginous chisel-jawed Brit

Surely you mean "The olay-ginous chisel-jawed Brit..."?

Disclaimer: Joke may not work in your locale due to brand naming variations. Other concoctions of chemicals for rubbing into your face available. Always consult your bank balance before purchasing cosmetics.

Quantum Key Distribution: Is it as secure as claimed and what can it offer the enterprise?

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Asking a company whether they can benefit from quantum <anything> is like...

Asking a company whether they can benefit from QKD or quantum <anything> is like asking them whether they can benefit from fusion power ... a practical working system is so far in the future it's impossible to answer on anything more than a hypothetical basis.

One good deed leads to a storm in an Exchange Server

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Re: Sort of, guilty as charged

> How come no-one spotted this possibility when creating automated OoO messages!?

I'm sure they did. And decided the solution was "too hard", bumped it onto the LTNIHAG* task list, and shipped the OoO feature anyway.

[*] Let the next intern have a go

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

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Re: If "radioactive hybrid terror pigs" is not a punk band, it totally should be

Surely Fukushima's latest problem is heavy water not heavy metal?

Android devs prepare to hand over app-signing keys to Google from August

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Dear Valued Android Developer...

Dear Valued Android Developer,

We've analysed your app $app-name to see how well it shows adverts to your users. We feel that your current advert display rate of 0 is a little below what our extensive market research has shown to be optimal, which is 15,000 per second per user. We've taken the opportunity to amend your code and have re-signed and re-released $app-name for you.

To give your users a chance to fully appreciate the benefits of the new version, we've also locked the app against further changes for 28 days. If you wish to make any changes you'll need to wait for the lock period to expire.

Google Developer Support Program

Leaked print spooler exploit lets Windows users remotely execute code as system on your domain controller

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Good news and bad news

The bad news is that it's a severe vulnerability.

The good news is that I can use the exploit to log in and disable the print spooler service without having to wait for the admins to do it.


When free and open source actually means £6k-£8k per package: Atos's £136m contract with NHS England

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Re: Fairly standard pricing

> But 2 weeks of engineer time to donwload a binary and create a package that invokes the installer bypassing user prompts is simply either fraud or using a very, very, incompetent engineer.

You've clearly never worked in a large organisation. The reason it takes 2 weeks is because he has to write a plan first; select a packaging template; confirm the user requirement; confirm all the possible deployment targets (one app might need 3 or 4 packages); attend some stand-ups; do the packaging; document what has been done; get the documentation reviewed and approved; liaise with the tester; attend team meetings with his manager arguing over the relative priority of this work versus something else another customer is complaining about; continually make notes as you may be pulled off at any moment even though it would be more efficient to just get on and JFDI; and finally fill in his timesheet. Then add the manager's, test manager's and tester's time.

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Re: What is this on the Grenfell scale?

> This is some software for back office roles, it is not for critical systems, get some fucking perspective.

Quite right, but does the contract with Atos make that distinction?

UK artists seek 'luvvie levy' on new gadgets to make up for all the media that consumers access online

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Re: What ?

> If people are consuming creative material online, they're going somewhere for that, so tax that place.

We've already got a bedroom tax. <fnarr>.

Hubble memory errors persist despite NASA booting long-idle backup payload computer

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Re: I wonder if ...

No because there have been 30 years of patches, fixes and hacks put in place to work-around faults that have arisen and also to improve results from science instruments as better ways to get more out of them have been developed. The "old guys" would have to spend ages getting up to speed with the current state of affairs versus the way they left it. On top of that - assuming they are still in the industry - they will have moved on to more modern electronics so may not actually be as well versed as the current team are anyway.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

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Re: As opposed to what, exactly?

> So in civilized countries you don't go to prison when you lose your liberty?

> Neat trick, that.

Losing your liberty without going to prison is easily achieved: it's called a curfew, enforced via an ankle tag.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

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Re: "Data makes money for our Chums"

> And that is an amazing testament to the success of big pharma


Labour saving machinery - at home and in the factory - has reduced the drudge of daily life and that has had at least as big an impact on life expectancy.

Facebook granted patent for 'artificial reality' baseball cap. Repeat, an 'artificial reality' baseball cap

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Re: UK Law......one more opportunity to ignore it!!!....and be spied on at the same time!!!!

And GDPR requires camera operators to give notice (i.e. display a warning sign) to people who remain on public land but will be captured on camera before they come into the field of view.

I would hazard a guess that 99.999% of domestic cameras and 99.9% of commercial cameras fail in this respect.

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Big Brother

Re: prior art?

The unique aspect to this Facebook hat is that it is permanently glued to your head and you're unable to look away from the adverts served up to the screen by Facebook. Occasionally you're allowed to send a message to friends and family to let them know that you haven't been kidnapped (but are being tortured).

The face recognition / eye-tracking system will detect and intercept any attempt to send a help message by blinking Morse code.

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Re: "hats solve the problem presented by AR glasses"

> But I prefer your hardhat idea

Already been done: Microsoft have a hard-hat mounted version of their Hololens augmented reality glasses.

US Air Force announces plan to assassinate molluscs with hypersonic missile

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up to 90 giant clams being killed

Why are they using giant clams as targets and how do they get them to Mach 5 in the first place?

Hyundai takes 80 per cent stake in terrifying Black Mirror robo-hound firm Boston Dynamics

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Guide dog - right idea wrong use-case

While a robotic guide dog might be possible at some point in the (near) future a much more achievable objective is to produce a 'dementia dog'.

Something the size of a small dog, made to look cute, with a lead that can be fastened to a dementia patient's wrist. The patient can then 'take the dog for a walk', and it doesn't matter if they get lost or forget to come home because the dog can gently and discreetly steer them away from busy streets and lead them back, either on a recall signal or after a set period of time - an hour's exercise say.

It's 2021 and a printf format string in a wireless network's name can break iPhone Wi-Fi

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Re: In what world

Not an excuse but an observation.

The Apple documentation for NSString shows that it has about 30 gazillion methods, and calls onto Core Foundation code for some of its functionality - and the bug could be in any of the code because, as a developer, you have no idea which methods call what without installing a debugging version of the NSString library and stepping through it all yourself.

OO programming was supposed to simplify things: it seems to have stopped doing that.

Do you want to become a vulture? Now's your chance to join The Register's news desk

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Re: Tempting

> Thinking of commentards, El Reg _could_ review some of the better ones

One key skill for any new journalist would be understanding how the caps lock key works. :-p

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

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Re: Hunt Groups

The first company I worked for had hunt groups but generally setup to ring each number in turn rather than all at once.

Woking late once (in the open plan office) I heard a phone ring and then transfer to another desk so I pressed star whatever it was to accept the call rather than wait for it to get round to me and I got a call from the floor above - the one in my office continued to ring.

I discovered, that after a certain time at night, the entire building went onto a single hunt group that would ring one phone per office so the security guard could answer any calls made to main reception even when on his rounds.

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

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Re: Register

> What is the correct term for some one who registers many domains?

> Registrar has too tight a meaning.

The registrar is the official (or in this case organisation) that records the registration. The person applying for the domain therefore ought to be called a 'registree'. But since there isn't such a word then 'applicant' is probably the best alternative.

In terms of having registered too many then maybe "domain diarrhoeic"?

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Re: Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph

> Of course the millenium bridge over the Thames was struck by the "make it look good" first and worry about function later after it was built, so maybe that's a single contradiction to your argument.

The Millennium Bridge would have looked good had it 'landed' inside Tate Modern as originally intended. However they didn't get permission for that so they just cut the end off and turned it around on itself, zig-zag style, instead of re-designing. Aesthetically it's an awful, awful bodge.

It also doesn't align with the passage at the St. Paul's end, so as you cross the bridge you don't quite get a clear view up the passage to St. Paul's. If it had been built with a slight curve then that could have been achieved as well.

The early wobbles have saved its reputation in a way: tourist guides can talk about that and skate over how poorly it fits into its context.

Vissles V84: Mechanical keyboard hits all the right buttons for Mac power users

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;: [{ etc

What is it with modern keycaps? Semi-colon colon and the various bracket combinations could easily be printed one above the other but for some unexplained reason they are printed side-by-side.

At the moment I'm using an old Matias Tactile Pro keyboard which has extra USB ports on each side which I use to plug a headset in when I'm on calls. This works well when combined with an external monitor because the laptop is folded-up and tucked away at the side of the desk and I don't have to faff trying to plug the headset into one of its USBs when a call comes in.

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset

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> The huge set contains 136 pieces, including a stand in the shape of the Enterprise's emblem, a cradle to allow the model to be hung from a ceiling, various bridge furniture, phasers, tricorders, and communicators for the crew and even a few tribbles.

What no shuttle bay and shuttle? And no spare red-shirted landing-party crewmembers?

Facebook, academics think they've cracked spotting deepfakes by spotting how they're generated

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Re: Sure, today

> Deepfake videos are in their infancy. I doubt you'll be able to say the same in a decade.

The problem with spotting a deepfake in 10 years time is that by then all videos will be fakes.

All TV presenters will be computer generated because they'll be cheaper than paying real people. Soap operas will have CGI cast so you only have to pay script writers. And politicians will be sending video "clones" of themselves to give tailored speeches to tailored audiences while the actual human only talks to donors rich enough to buy time in his/her presence.

So spotting a fake will be difficult because everything will be a fake - the only question being whether it is an authorised fake or an unauthorised fake.

Japan assembles superteam of aircraft component manufacturers to build supersonic passenger plane

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Re: What baffles me about Concorde

> The only thing I can see being different now to say in the 1980 and 1990's is business customers where you would essentially have to go to another country to "see" somebody whereas now you can just get on Zoom.

This... and digital photography.

In the late-80s I met a lovely woman who worked in the fashion industry. Fairly regularly she would be commissioned to fly Concorde from London to New York and back on the same day to attend a fashion show and then prepare drawings of the latest fashions. She'd sketch at the show and flesh them out on the return flight. These drawings would then be used by whichever chain it was that had commissioned her to produce UK high-street versions, trying to steal a march on their rivals.

One (non-Concorde) story of hers I particularly remember was her handing in a trouser suit to be dry-cleaned at a 2hr dry-cleaner in Hong Kong only to find when she got it back that it had been taken apart, a pattern made, sewn back together and dry cleaned all within the 2 hour window! :-)

She said it had been done extremely well as well - anyone not in the industry wouldn't have noticed.

Calendly’s new logo perceived as either bog-standard or kind of crappy

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They're not the first company with a toilet related logo


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> Their logo is blurry because the hexagon in the middle has rounded corners.

The hexagon is renowned in the mathematical world and the natural world as an efficient, space maximising shape that fills the plane. By choosing rounded corners they are deliberately saying that they are less than optimally efficient.

Now that's an honest message.

We've found another reason not to use Microsoft's Paint 3D – researchers

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Paint can be messy

> The idea was that users would embrace its support for 3D objects and ditch the ancient Microsoft Paint (first introduced with Windows 1.0) for the new shiny.

It came with a completely unnecessary yet undeletable top-level folder called "3D Objects". This alone was enough for me - in a reasoned, mature and not-at-all petulant decision - to resolve to never ever open the thing. :-)

I've mostly succeeded.

[Icon: putting one of your dad's old shirts on back-to-front in infants' school when painting.]


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