* Posts by Floydian Slip

84 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Mar 2014


India calls for all mobile phones to include FM radios

Floydian Slip

FM has uses even in the UK

I used to listen to the football via my local BBC radio station (soccer for our US friends) via my phone when out in the garage, washing the car or doing the gardening.

I was known to have one wired earbud in my ear to listen to the game when we went shopping in town too.

Can't do that now because phones don't have FM receivers and broadcast licenses prevent the streaming of matches due to copyright restrictions.

Astra Space to launch satellites from Shetland

Floydian Slip

Re: Isn't it a bit far from the equator?

I'm guessing that it's a better launch point for satellites going in to a polar orbit - perhaps?

Lack shame? Fancy some festive Windows knitwear? We've got your back

Floydian Slip


Back in the days when Compaq was a leading manufacturer of IT equipment, esp. servers, they decided to move into the telephony/comms space. I was sent away on their training course (I think it was 3 days in Richmond).

Very worthwhile (yeah, right) and towards the end, having passed the test, we were presented with our T-Shirts. We burst out laughing and it took a short while for the instructor to see the problem. We had all become Compaq Remote Access Partners and the T-Shirt proudly bore the Compaq logo and the initials underneath. C.R.A.P

I wonder if there's anything similar in Microsoft's war chest. A Windows Analytics Necromancer Komrade perhaps?

Remember when you thought fax machines were dead-matter teleporters? Ah, just me, then

Floydian Slip

Fax Machines and the fan heater

It was cold in the warehouse office so the fan heater was on. Staff were out doing warehousy stuff and making coffee.

The fax machine answered the incoming call, all alone in the toast office. In came delivery instructions from the stores we serviced, pages and pages of them. The fax machine dutifully received them, cut the messages and allowed them to fall in to the collection box we had strategically placed on the floor - to keep them in some form of order, and all in the same place.

Shame then, that the fan heater was facing this box because when we returned to the office, all we could see were blackened sheets of paper with the odd bit of legible writing. The stores were not impressed when we asked them to re-fax their delivery instructions.

Floydian Slip

Happy Memories of a first time faxer

I remember working in a large department store and word got out that I had a fax machine. The Store Director asked whether he could fax a rather important letter to Head Office. I said I would and a secretary was despatched to my department with said letter.

I asked for the fax number to send it to, she had to get back to the SD but eventually we were ready to do. I fed the letter in and dialled the number. The line connected, the fax machine started it's mechanical squeal and disembodied voice at the other end swore. We had to wait for them to hang up and for our fax to reset itself and then started again.

This time, connection was established, handshakes were undertaken and the letter disappeared inside the maws of the machine - and started appearing again in a different place.

Transmission finished, I handed the letter back to a bemused looking secretary, who asked "didn't it work then?" I must have looked more bemused than she by this remark because she went on to say "well, you've still got the letter" and the penny dropped. She had expected the letter to be shredded in to tiny pieces and blown up the phone line to be automatically reassembled at the other end - so I had to explain the basic workings of a fax.

Looking back on the shredding of data, the transmission to a destination and the reassembling is a useful way to describe the WWW

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland

Floydian Slip

Isn't the castle also a garrison for some 600 of the UK's finest fighting chaps?

Would have been interesting to see what might have happened should things have escalated. And if so, it's no wonder the copper was so chilled

Scalpel! Superglue! This mouse won't fix its own ball

Floydian Slip

Re: Ball crud

Back in my support days, I remember a chap in sales asking how we kept our keyboards clean because the keyboard on his home PC was filthy

Told him it was simple. Gently prise the keycaps off and wash in warm, slightly soapy water. Rinse and allow to dry. Whilst drying, gently vacuum (using the dusting brush) the rest of the keyboard.

When the keycaps have dried, simply refit them.

Of course, we had to lend him a keyboard the next day so he could work out the correct order to replace the keycaps in

Ecuador shreds Julian Assange's citizenship

Floydian Slip
Big Brother

Re: Journalist prosecution

Be OK if Assange were a journalist, but he's not.He's nothing more than a editor and publisher

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

Floydian Slip

Could have been worse

So, Hyundai now own 80% of Boston Dynamics.

It could have been worse, a lot worse if the Chinese got hold of the company.

Mind you, they probably have hacked the IP already.

Former Senator and one-time astronaut Bill Nelson named as NASA's new administrator

Floydian Slip

Wait! Bill Nelson? There's only one Bill Nelson

Bebop Deluxe guitarist, Red Noise ands solo artist of some note. Surely not

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

Floydian Slip
Paris Hilton

Happy days

I remember supporting an IT sales team back in the 90s. Both the tech manager and I used to get in before the team arrived so we could get set for the day. (i.e. set up the coffee machine, and empty the first jug before the sales team arrived.)

Unbeknownst to me, the Tech Manager had installed a something "extra" on the head of sales PC - because, well he was head of sales and ALWAYS tinkering where he shouldn't and visiting websites he shouldn't after hours.

HoS arrived, sat down and booted his PC and shouted out loud that there was a problem. We both rushed to his desk and there, in the middle of the screen was a window headed by "Deleting" and then a rapidly scrolling list of files on his PC that it was deleting.

Boy, was the HoS distraught. All his hard work (and some sus downloads) were not only disappearing before his very eyes but eyes other than his were able to see some of the product of his after hours "work"

Many different keystrokes later, none of which failed to halt this desecration, he asked "but it's OK, though, isn't it, because it's all backed up" and the Tec manager said he hoped so, but sometimes when users tinkered with their PCs they upset the delicate link between PC, server and back-up

Finally, it came to light that the Tech Support Mgr had installed a simple script that just listed all the files on the HoS PC so nothing was deleted.

It did stop the HoS from tinkering though and after hours dalliances came to an end........for a while

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

Floydian Slip

Time for UK based (and UK nationality) entrepreneurs to step up to the plate

James Dyson, Richard Branson, and James (Jim) Ratcliffe to step up to the plate. Let's start a campaign

There may be not one but two new air leaks in International Space Station: Russian boss tells us not to panic

Floydian Slip

It's obviously the .......

Chinese but they are never going to admit it and will certainly blocks attempts by the WHO (World Hole Organisation) to find the sources of the air leaks.

When humans return to the Moon in '2024', HPE would like us to remember: We built the computer that simmed this

Floydian Slip

No protection against fools

You can do all the simulation in the world but it'll never stop a human installing the wiring the wrong way around


The Huawei Mate 40 Pro would be the best Android flagship on the market – were it not for the US-China trade war

Floydian Slip

So close, and yet so far

I ran a Huawei Mate 20 Pro for two years - it was as good as all the reviews claimed, and then some. For the first time ever I was going to keep it and swap to SimO until I dropped it one too many times and the top right corner of the screen crunched. Didn't bother getting a quote for a new screen, just decided to go down the upgrade path.

Unlike previous years thee was nothing to get excited about so I decided on some criteria and thought I'd choose that way. Number 1 on the list was "Not Apple" and No.2 was "nothing Chinese" for security and human rights issues (HK, Uighurs etc)

Wow, talk about limiting choice.......Samsung it is then. I'd been a Sammy denier for years, always looking to stay away from the mainstream but choice is now limited. Didn't want the "full-fat" S10 so looked at the S20FE and it looked plenty good enough so that's the slab of glass, plastic and silicon that sits in my hand.

Boy, what a disappointment - even when compared to a 2 year old phone.

Face Recognition - much less accurate and a lot slower

Finger Print Recognition - much less accurate and a lot slower

Battery Life - Despite being 200MaH greater than my Mate 20 it barely lasts a day. The Huawei would easily last for 2

Camera - Zoom clarity and crispness - much poorer.

Wish I'd gone for the P30Pro now but it's too late.

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

Floydian Slip

Re: Looks good to me

Well, that blows my flight plan. I always opted to sit at the back of planes. After all, who ever heard of a plane that reversed in to the mountain.

NASA signs deals to put a rocket under Artemis flights until 2029

Floydian Slip

Re: They

IIRC there aren't too many competitors to choose from in this field. It's one of the reasons (the main reason) why Boeing have withdrawn from the race to develop America's newest intercontinental nation destroyer

'Don't tell anyone but I have a secret.' There, that's my security sorted

Floydian Slip
Paris Hilton

Best Freebie

Way way back I attended courses delivered by Compaq in relation to their new IP Telephony kit designed to provide remote access to corporate HQ and outlying offices.

All delegates were given a T-shirt (hey big spender) with the Compaq logo and the words "Compaq Remote Access Partner"

Suffice to say I don't think anybody chose to wear the T, either in Compaq HQ or outside.

Paris Hilton because I'm sure she'd recognise a C.R.A.P

Sketchy behavior? Wacom tablet drivers phone home with names, times of every app opened on your computer

Floydian Slip

Re: Another one...

If you can't be uniquely identified than GDPR doesn't apply

Bloodhound gang hits 1,010kph, retreats to lab to work on smashing the land speed record

Floydian Slip

"as fast as its current rocket will propel it." Nope, no rocket installed - just the EJ200 and next year it'll have a single rocket fitted to go for the LSR and 800mph and the following year (funds & design permitting) they plan on going for the big 1k

I thought you were fans of the program, may be you are but you need fact checking before hitting the "publish" button. If you need a Bloodhound correspondent I'm not a member of the team but am a huge Richard Noble, Andy Green Thrust and Bloodhound fan and will be happy to contribute for some form of financial compensation

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)

Floydian Slip

Re: That's horrible.

When I'm standing in a public space and need to put my laptop bag on the floor (currently in a bag that looks like a trad leather satchel) I always put one of my feet through the strap. That way, a potential snatch-and-grab might end up dropping the bag as it comes up short against my leg or, at the very minimum, I'll notice as should the strap break

Echelon gets the upper hand: Scores final nod for 100MW bit barn campus in Arklow, Ireland

Floydian Slip


Always watching, always listening, always tracking

Buckminsterfullerene sounds like the next UK Prime Minister but trust us, it's in fact the largest molecule yet found in interstellar space

Floydian Slip

Re: News?

It;s bigly big

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Floydian Slip

Re: Dolt

Ah yes, the screenshot.

The last time I asked for a screenshot (about 5 days ago) I was emailed a picture that had been taken using a phone from about a 30 degree angle. Not only were there scan lines but the angle of the photo made a key part of the screen almost indecipherable.

No, I couldn't just visit the desk seeing as it was on the other side of the country so am anticipating the need for remote access

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'

Floydian Slip

Print and save

I once worked with a chap who would print off his emails, pop them in a drawer and delete. He had four drawers and each month he would empty the bottom drawer in to a secure shredder and move everything else down one, inserting the now empty drawer at the top. He simply figured that 99% of emails were a waste of time and he only acted when one was actually followed up.

He loved being shown how to make folders in Outlook so that the drawer empting became a mouse click rather than physical action

UK is 'not a surveillance state' insists minister defending police face recog tech

Floydian Slip

IR iirc

If I remember correctly, a couple of infra-red LEDs worn at about forehead level are enough to blow out the vision of most CCTV cameras. Being IR, it's not so obvious as walking around with a bright torch strapped to your head, well until the CCTV watchers vector the police to you cos I'm not sure of the legality.

Amazon do a 3w IR Torch for about a tenner. https://amzn.to/2H0w9Tw

Bloodhound SSC reaches the end of the road for want of £25m

Floydian Slip

Andy Green would not drive the car if he felt his life was at risk. Part of the project has been extensive CFD research and testing and Andy G has a maths degree so not only understands the project but can understand the underlying math too.

This is such a shame. For the likes of Dyson, Branson, Ratliff , the Hinduja bros etc and other billionaire industrialists it's a relatively small sum. Many mega rich musos could have added half a mill each.

So sad, after so much effort

One down, two to go. Russia inches closer to putting a crew on Soyuz while celebrating 50 years since the first Return To Flight

Floydian Slip

Re: Zhuque 1

You should have a look at Nammo and the rocket that will (hopefully) be used by Bloodhound SSC. The rocket uses high test hydrogen peroxide (HTP) as the oxidiser and synthetic rubber as the fuel. Apparently you can really turn it on and off as required. Hybrid rockets like this are safe and controllable, as well as being lower cost and greener than alternative methods.


Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Floydian Slip


Probably not a great surprise - in fact some of us have already looked at the consequences, implications and solutions.


ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

Floydian Slip

Holy orders

The Lord giveth and the ICO take away

HostingUK drops offline after losing Farmer vs Fibre competition

Floydian Slip

You can duplicate or triplicate as much as you like but IMHO their ain't no substitute for multiple locations and fail over data-centres.

RAF Air Command to take on UK military space ops

Floydian Slip

Early days

It's early days but I did hear that new recruits are being given extensive training on how to point a pen and make "pew pew" noises in the hope that the enemy (terrestrial or alien) will be scared away by the threat we might have some real space weapons somewhere

Eye in the sea skies: Insitu flies Scaneagle 3 UAV in first public demo

Floydian Slip

Re: trade-in

Not sure that the F35 is such a bad deal, it might be the most astute UK military purchase in history?

Why? If 15% of the plane is built in the UK then we receive revenue for EVERY F35 built and sold. With hoped for international sales in the thousands it's actually likely to be self-funding

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Floydian Slip
Thumb Up

Re: We need some ...

No wonder you posted anonymously. Here in Dysonshire (aka Wiltshire) we recognise that moving the manufacturing off-shore enabled the maintenance of a degree of competitiveness.

You should look at the number of engineers employed by Dyson in the UK really ADDING VALUE by inventing stuff. He's opened an engineering university because he can't find enough and is now using his battery nous to work on a battery powered car.

And I don't think he is a tax dodger - based on the amount of investment in the UK made by him and his company.

Floydian Slip

Re: We need some ...

But surely, you are drying your hands AFTER washing them so all of the offending bacteria should have been left behind in the hand wash basin [see what I did there]

Audiophiles have really taken to the warm digital tone of streaming music

Floydian Slip

Re: Streaming? Nah!

Thankfully a lot of vinyl comes with a decent enough MP3 download code for phones etc so you get the best of both worlds

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

Floydian Slip

Re: SIG!

SIG = Spectrum is Green, meaning all is OK and the aircraft were called "Angels" which is why the pilots were called Angels too.

IMO Captain Scarlett was the first PC children's cartoon - female fighter pilots, disabled commander (Col. White), bi-racial communications office(Lt Green)

Yes, I still enjoy Capt. Scarlet as a middle aged "adult. I'll get my coat - it's the one with an SPV in the pocket.

China to offer recoverable satellites-as-a-service

Floydian Slip

Re: Oak heatshields

Surely the solution is to grow the oak in the micro-gravity of space?

Airbus CIO: We dumped Microsoft Office not over cost but because Google G Suite looks sweet

Floydian Slip

Re: GSuite is not enterprise ready

But what IS the point of changing passwords every 30/60/90 [delete as appropriate] days?

I know you'll say "security" but what does it achieve other than pain, forgotten passwords, incremented passwords etc. If you are targeted, it doesn't matter how frequently you change passwords, it'll be your overall security that's under attack.

Having to change a password regularly only serves to annoy employees

If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Floydian Slip


I've been using twin screens (with a laptop) since about 2003. I struggle to be anywhere near as productive when out and about and am reduced to a single screen.

When I set up on my own, I bought a decent PC (just upgraded) and since 2013 have been using a 3 screen arrangement, one of which is in portrait for working on A4 docs in a reasonable size.

Was easy to achieve, an inexpensive dual-screen graphics card and the PC's VGA output play nicely together and Windows has a screen rotate facility inbuilt so I can have 3 x landscape or 2 x landscape and 1 x portrait with a swivel of the monitor and a couple of clicks

Floydian Slip

Blue is the new shiny

Although not IT related, I remember (back in the mists of time when I was a retail manager) when one of my sales team sold a nice, polished stainless steel cased microwave.

After about an hour, he received a customer who was complaining (and was very insistent) that the microwave was blue rather than the fetching shiny shiny that matched the rest of his kitchen.

He wouldn't take it from the salesperson that it was stainless and demanded to speak to the manager. So, I took the call.....by this time he was extremely irate, loud (I was holding the phone away from my ear) and pretty rude. He was convinced it was blue and wanted to bring it back for a refund.

I told him how to resolve his problem, but he wasn't prepared to listen so I said that if he wanted to bring it back (a 50 mile round trip iirc) and it was indeed blue then I'd not only refund the price but I'd reimburse his travel costs too.

So, about 35 mins later, I saw him pull up in the car-park and went out to help him carry the M/W in (they were pretty heavy back then)

I un-boxed it in the middle of the shop (it was a busy Saturday) and he smiled and smugly said - "see, I told you, it's blue"

I reached over to one of the edges and slightly "pulled" the blue with a fingernail. I was able to snag a bit of the blue protective film and was able to pull it off the shiny, stainless steel finish of the microwave - just as I had suggested he did when he phoned in.

Without a word of apology he hastily repacked his microwave and almost ran from the shop

HomePod, you say? Sex sex sex, that's all you think about

Floydian Slip

Sie Effects (or is that Side Affects?)

Side effect of ibuprofen - headaches.

Go figure

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Floydian Slip

C30 C60 C90 Go was on there

OMG, mix tapes. I was a bit retentive about my mix tapes, never wanting any silence between tracks. I was lucky enough to have a 1/2 way decent stereo, separates dontcha know. So would record a track from the TT, take the tape out, wind it back a bit with a pencil and record the next track. I found the time it took the record head to engage was enough to produce a nice fade between tracks. (yes, I would play the start of the track several times and use the position of the label as the marker for where the music actually started)

I also made a series of mix tapes for my car. I couldn't decide on the order, so wrote down ALL the tracks on paper, cut them all up, put them in a box and then recorded in the order I picked them (tombola style) out of the box. With approx 30 tracks to an average C90, I made a total of 4 tapes. Still have them - just no tape player :-(

Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

Floydian Slip


Think I'll start selling packs of 2" (about 5cm for you decimilized peeps) of sandpaper - just the thing to fit in your driver's door pocket to sand your prints off when caught.

Alien icon cos we all knowz that aliens don't have fingerprints

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Floydian Slip

Re: It was never going anywhere NEAR Mars

And it is really rocket science.

Ignition is an interesting (and quite amusing) read even if you're not a rocket scientist.

Get your free PDF here https://library.sciencemadness.org/library/books/ignition.pdf

Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

Floydian Slip

And we still send them aid????

Elon Musk lowers his mighty erection for test firing: Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage

Floydian Slip

Falcon Super Heavy next?

If you watch the animated video of the launch of the Falcon Heavy all the way through to the end, you'll see all 3 boosters landing back.

It's interesting to see that the landing pad is in the shape of a square with landing pads in each corner and one in the middle. So, that's 5 available landing spots so a Falcon Super Heavy could be a core + 4

Honda pores over in-car navigation software with Alibaba – report

Floydian Slip

We know where you are

So, says a cunning, eveil, genius - we now know where you are, we can track your car covertly. See where you go and sell the information to the highest bidder so wed can advertise to you.

Or target just you with a small diameter bomb to minimise collateral damage

What weighs 800kg and runs Windows XP? How to buy an ATM for fun and profit

Floydian Slip

Re: Money

OK Mr Churchill - that's the great war leader not the f'ing fake dog "oh yes"

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

Floydian Slip

Did they forget something?

If HMS Queen Liz can only enter harbour on a high tide - how will it leave/return when/if fully laden with the extra weight that a full compliment of crew, all stores replenished and naval aviation embarked?

She'll be the only ship that can return to her home port when the sun's in alignment with the moon and there's a super spring tide allied to super high pressue