* Posts by Lazlo Woodbine

381 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Feb 2014


McDonald's pulls plug on Wi-Fi, starts playing classical music to soothe yobs

Lazlo Woodbine

When I was a mere wippersnapper, the bus station in town alighted upon this same tactic, blaring the kind of easy listening tripe that even Smoth FM and Radio 2 reject as too smaltzy.

Unfortunately they didn't count on the kids actually enjoying the noise once it escaped the crackly distorted PA speakers, so the 30 or so youths who were causing problems became 60 or so when their industrial music loving friends arrived to enjoy the distorted Mantovani.

Chromebook SH1MMER exploit promises admin jailbreak

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Shocking

"on a device you purchased"

Many, if not most, Chromebooks are used in education, therefore the users do not own them, they belong to the school...

New IT boss decided to 'audit everything you guys are doing wrong'. Which went wrong

Lazlo Woodbine

You really don't get it do you.

Employers see someone willing to put in that mythical 110% and they get them to do 115%, but do they pay them extra, do they bollocks. Employers have the same mindset as the phone scammers who share the lists of people who fall for their scams.

Don't fall for the scam, do the hours you're paid for, because every minute you work extra is additional cash in your bosses pocket, not yours...

Lazlo Woodbine

Doing exactly what you're paid for and what your contract stipulates does not equal being a plodder.

What working to rule means is working the hours you're paid for, not doing unpaid overtime, not coming in on your days off without additional pay, not working through your holidays.

In other words, doing what your employer is paying your to do.

Lazlo Woodbine

The correct term for "quiet quitting" is "work to rule", unfortunately it's always been seen as a bad thing, even if it's doing exactly what your employer is paying you to do...

I was reasonable to ask to WFH in early days of COVID, says fired engineer

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Massachusetts in the early days of COVID

I had a colleague who work from home from the middle of February 2020 for health reasons and still hasn't returned to the office.

We boxed-up all the contents of his desk and put it in storage. There's every change he's written some AI type script to do his job and he's now in the Bahamas. If that's the case I say fair play fella.

Heata offers free hot water by mounting servers on people's water tanks

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Free hot water?

I came here to ask that very question...

Pakistan’s government to agencies: Dark web is dangerous, please don’t go there

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: PDF: Anodyne... And "Factually" Enlightening!

I'm guessing they extrapolated from this statistic in your link

"Imagine an iceberg floating in the ocean. The smallest portion above the water is what we call the ‘surface web’. It only represents around 4% of the entire internet."

Mixing an invisible laser and a fire alarm made for a disastrous demo

Lazlo Woodbine

If the laser is "1m x 2m and 1.8m tall" you're going to need a pretty big shark to carry it around...

In praise of MIDI, tech's hidden gift to humanity

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Nice to have.

The ST was used in many recording studios because of it's clean MIDI interface, I saw a picture of Norman Cook's studio recently and he still has on.

The Amiga on the other hand had great graphics, so was used for video work. I seem to remeber the Chart Show on ITV used an Amiga 3000 for the graphics

Server installer fails to spot STOP button – because he wasn't an archaeologist

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Flanders and Swann - The Gasman Cometh

When I was in school back in the 80's, our Chemistry teacher was in the habit of ducking below his bench as soon as the lesson ended and light up a crafty between lessons fag.

One day Sir had pissed of one of the kids, so as the lad was leaving the lesson he ran his hand across the teacher's desk, turning on all the gas taps.

Let's just say that was the last time that particular teacher lit a cigarette in his classroom...

Look like Bane, spend like Batman with Dyson's $949 headphones

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: [Checks Calendar] ...

As I said when Dyson brought out their £495 desk lamp - Dyson, extracting money from the gullible since 1993...

Gunfire at electrical grid kills power for 45,000 in North Carolina

Lazlo Woodbine

I'm assuming this list is in alphabetical order to someone with only a rudimentary grasp of English

FTX's crypto villain Sam Bankman-Fried admits 'I made a lot of mistakes'

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Fortunately he took out some insurance

I think you'd overstated the Republican and Democrat donations somewhat, it's $235,000 and $990,000, not million

Meta fined $275m after data-scraping fiasco leaked 533m Facebook users' profiles

Lazlo Woodbine

GDPR fines...

.... can be up to 4% of an offender's global turnover

In 2021 Facebook / Meta turned over a mere $117.9 billion, so 4% would be $4.7 billion, a much more appropriate figure.

Block Fi seeks bankruptcy protection as 'shocking' FTX contagion spreads

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Pack of cards....

I'd wprry about any pension companies that invested in Crypto, anyone with an ounce of common sense knew it was doomed to end in a dumpster fire like this...

Epson zaps lasers into oblivion, in the name of the environment

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Fake Out of Toner messages

I guess one of the beauties of the new Epson printers that use a bag of ink, they can't lie about being out of ink, you can tell when the bag is empty.

The same is ture of the HP Pagewide printers, you can tell when those cartridges are empty because they weigh almost nothing when out of ink.

Lazlo Woodbine

We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

We've just swapped out all our lasers, a mix of Xerox Phaser colours and Brother monos for Epson inkjets

We even swapped out the two big Toshiba bulk printers that do all the fancy foldy, staply, punchy things to booklets for a pair big Epson injets.

Genrally I'm finding the Epson Workforce Pro in my office to be quieter and quicker than the elderly Xerox Phaser colour printer it replaced.

The colours aren't as vivid though, but I'm not printing photos, so it's not an issue.

The thing I found most interesting is the big bag of black ink is supposed to last 50,000 pages, and works out at a shade over 2p a page if we buy the genuine Epson part, so I imagine that cost will plumet once we find a compatible supply.

On that note, I printed over 1,000 pages on Wednesday (we email the school reports home, but teachers are old school, so like a printed report on their desk for parents' evening) and it barely made a dent in the ink level bar, so I'm assuming the 50,000 page figure may be close to true.

I've had this printer for 3 weeks now, so I can't attest to its reliablilty or longevity, but I'm happy with it at the moment.

Guess the most common password. Hint: We just told you

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: XKCD Rankings?

That's what I do, intital letters from each word in the first line of a song, substitute symbols and numbers for letters as appropriate

You then have a 12+ character password that's all but gibberish, but reasonably easy to remember.

Just don't pick a song by a band people know is your favourite.

LG debuts thin malleable screens made from contact lens material

Lazlo Woodbine

Astin Martin Vanish

Couple this with a few high-res cameras and you have Bond's vanishing Vanquish...

Why I love my Chromebook: Reason 1, it's a Linux desktop

Lazlo Woodbine

Just got a Chromebook after reading this on Friday

I read this on Friday and decided to try a Chromebook.

Seeing as I was trading my old phone into CEX I decided to use the credit to buy an Acer Chromebook. Not great spec, but it's all metal like a MacBook, it's got a Full HD touch screen, and runs Chrome OS well enough for my needs.

From my initial testing I think this is my long sought after perfect on-the-road writing tool, especially as it charges using USB C, so I don't need to lug around the bulky PSU, instead I can use a compact 45w Anker USB-C charger.

Data loss prevention emergency tactic: keep your finger on the power button for the foreseeable future

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: The "half click" and related moves

I was building PCs for a large UK OEM in the early 2000's and our PCs still had metal cases

UK government in talks with datacenter operators over blackouts

Lazlo Woodbine

From experience in planning back-up supplies, the power from the generators is usually only supplied to certain circuits. So for instance CCTV keeps recording, but the monitors are not powered.

This would mean kitchens would have no power.

That's not to say the staff won't have hidden a kettle in a room that does have power, just in case...

Remote work wipes $453b off office real estate

Lazlo Woodbine

I guess this is my point, telling people they can save £275 a year by turning your TV off at the wall is giving them false hope.

For instance, my TOTAL electricity bill last year was £235 and I have two TVs and a 32" monitor on standby, how does that work even if the unit cost was 50% what it is now.

Another rubbish one I saw yesterday is the myth you'll save £20 a year if you turn your router off at night. A quick look at my router specs, which I assume would be the same for most people as I have one of the standard Thompson routers, shows it will cost around £20 a year to power the router 24/7 at current prices (34p a unit) so I assume it uses all that power between midnight and 8am if turning it off over night will save me the same £20...

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Units?

So when my TV's manual says it consumes less than 0.5W on standby, how much power is it using per hour so I can work out the cost saving?

I've assumed 20 hours standby per day and 34p per unit as stated on my latest bill...

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Units?

This is my point, I think the people who wrote the paper looked at a manufacturers enviroment statement of annual consumption then decided that was hourly consumption...

Lazlo Woodbine

I always wonder about the maths behind these reports.

Yesterday I read a report from a consumer organisation about power saving, they claimed that a TV uses 1.6Kw/h when on standby, so switching it off at the wall would save £275 a year,

A simple check of my TV's manual (Hisense 55U8HQ) shows it uses less than 0.5w/h on standby, so assuming it's on standby 20 hours a day, I will save a total of £1.25 turning it off at the wall based on my current billing rate...

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released

Lazlo Woodbine

I've tried FreeOffice and found docx compatibility to be sketchy at best when given a reasonably complex document.

I quite like the free online MS Office but it throws up one very annoying issue, the site where I upload my work doesn't like the docx files it creates and really mangles the paragraph formatting. No idea what the problem is.

All I have to do to fix it is to open the office online document in desktop Word and then reupload it and the file is fixed.

Google Docs is also fine, and produces a docx suitable for uploading, but Docs really struggles with a file over about 90,000 words - or it does on my Mac Mini with 16gb RAM...

Lazlo Woodbine

I've tried various MS Office alternatives, and nothing seems to be quite as good as MS Office for me personally, and seeing as I don't have to pay for it as I have an Education licence through work I usually just go back to using MS Office.

The last one I tried was WPS Office and whilst I found it looked OK, it has the most inaccurate word count I've ever encountered.

The document I was working on was 250,000 words or thereabouts, Word and Google Docs argued about which side of 250k we were, but they were close. WPS Office on the other hand reported over 275,000 words and I can't find any reason why it's so far out,

I will try ONLYOFFICE when my new computer arrives at the weekend.

PC component scavenging queue jumper pulled into line with a screensaver

Lazlo Woodbine

When I worked in the service department of a PC maker, our work PCs were a few generations old, runing NT 4 when we were shipping PCs running XP.

That was our work PC:

Everyone in the department also had a second PC under their desk strictly for lunchtime and Friday afternoon gaming that was made up from the finest parts stripped out of returned PCs. These PCs ran on a separate gigabit network when the office PCs were still on 100mb if you were lucky, and they also had an unfiltered internet connection for game updates,


This tiny Intel Xeon-toting PC board can take your Raspberry Pi any day

Lazlo Woodbine

Somebody needs to find some new material for you linux types, your jokes stopped being remotely funny a decade ago...

Lazlo Woodbine

I was going more for a price comparison than features

Lazlo Woodbine

"the board can be equipped with up to 64GB of DDR4 ... by way of a pair of SODIMM memory slots"

The second slot appears to be invisible in your attached photo.

Also, last time I checked a Pi 4b board was about $30, the cheapest of these boards is over $800, so you're kind of comparing a Dacia Sandero with a Rolls Royce Phantom, not really the same market segment at all...

Google's ChromeOS Flex turned my old MacBook into new frustrations

Lazlo Woodbine

Beta worked fine, full release not so much

I tried a couple of Beta versions of Chrome OS Flex (via USB 3 sticks) on my 2012 Mac Mini, they worked fine, once I'd fed in my Google account everything just worked.

The full released version though hung after I'd entered my account and flat out refused to boot fully.

Maybe they don't support 10 year old Minis, which is fine I suppose, but it's odd that the Betas were fine but not the final version

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Wait... what? Now you can officially turn Macs into Chromebooks!?!

I guess if you have a Pre-2014 MacBook that doesn't get updates anymore, Chrome OS is a slightly more secure alternative.

Or you could buy a new Chromebook...

Lazlo Woodbine

I tested Flex beta on my old 2012 Mac Mini and it worked fine.

Yeah, it's a Mac Mini Server, so it's rocking a chunky i7 with 16GB of RAM on an SSD, but it's 10 year old hardware and ran fine.

Still not sure why it exists though, when Linux Mint runs well on the same hardware and offers more scope.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Thanks for the money but your stuffed.

When I worked in CCTV some companies systems still used 30 year old tube cameras built before the days of CCD & CMOS sensors, not great quality, but they still did an adequate job.

These things should be classed as appliances with an expected life measured in decades, not the sort of stuff that gets relegated to the attic or tip when something a slightly different colour is released...

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Thanks for the money but your stuffed.

Not really the same, as PCs running XP and Windows 7 would still continue working once MS stopped supporting the platforms, A place I worked last year still had several standalone PCs running XP as the devices they controlled had no drivers for Windows 7 or 10.

By the sound of things, Hive products wull simply stop working after the cut-off date.

Leaked Uber docs reveal frequent use of 'kill switch' to deactivate tech, thwart investigators

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: "Dawn Raid Manual"

The Conservative party rules on No Confidence votes in their leader are Conservative Party rules, not laws.

This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15

Lazlo Woodbine


Your mention of pouring glue into the USB ports reminds me of the time a customer sent his laptop back for repair because he couldn't plug in his USB stick.

Upon inspection all his USB ports had been filled with glue, I informed him of this and he said "yes, that's to stop my son plugging in USB sticks, I got a virus last time he did that."

I said, "so, you poured the glue in yourself to stop your son, and now you're sondering why you can't plug USB sticks in."

This is when the penny dropped, I told him the glue had damaged the motherboard and it needed replacing, he wasn't happy with the bill, so I sent it back unrepaired

Getting that syncing feeling after an Exchange restore

Lazlo Woodbine

If this was NT days, a new MB would usually mean a fresh install to keep things stable

Microsoft teases Outlook Lite for Android

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Funniest thing I've read in a long time...

I've got a Nokia X20, it doesn't kill background Apps and I still get at least two full days from a batter, often three workdays and charge it on the third night

No idea what the other phones are doing if they kill apps and still can't get a couple of workdays out of a battery...

ZTE intros 'cloud laptop' that draws just five watts of power

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Netbook anybody?

As far as I recall, Netbooks had a local OS and some local storage, and would function well without an internet connection, this device seems to be purely a terminal.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Digital transmission?

Rega also make very fine (and expensive) CD players

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: Digital transmission?

Rega also make some very fine CD players, in fact they're one of the few companies still releasing new CD players.

Considering their CD players are just as pricy as their turntables they'll be just as happy with selling you either device.

Elon Musk needs more cash for Twitter buy after Tesla margin loan lapses

Lazlo Woodbine

The Donald has a platform, it's just that nobody, including himself, use it...

Dell's rugged Latitude 5430 laptop is quick and pretty – but also bulky and heavy

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: You're whinging about a 6.5 pound laptop?

1.97kg is 4.3 pounds.

And when mentioning snowflakes please consider your post demonstrates just how offended you seem to be by something so minor...

Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes

Lazlo Woodbine

Soup Dragon

Have they thought to ask the Soup Dragon if the can use his lava tubes?

Arm CPU ran on electricity generated by algae for over six months

Lazlo Woodbine

So my algae filled pond could probably power a decent sized server...

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Lazlo Woodbine

Re: ""Don't you know who I am?"

It's happened twice to me at work, both times from utterly insignificant micro-celebrities who I delighted in telling them, "no, I don't know who you are"