* Posts by Whiskers

176 posts • joined 15 May 2014


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Re: "We are still very keen to donate some of the proceeds to the cause"

... standard operating procedure for oligarchs and plutocrats since time immemorial

UK govt draws a blank over vaccine certification app – no really, the report is half-empty


Re: Here in the EU...

Aaah, Brexit ...


Re: Here in the EU...

The printed "NHS COVID Pass" I received the other day after applying via the NHS web site, doesn't seem to have an expiry date.

The barcode "Your unique reference use this to confirm your NHS COVID Pass" printed at the top of the letterhead is read by my smartphone as a meaningless 8 digit number (not resembling the long alpha-numeric code number printed below it).

Although it shows my name address and birth date, it doesn't reveal my NHS or NI numbers.

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…


Re: @codejunky

Yes. Both camps are equally to blame for the mess.


Brexit wasn't and isn't a continuing process, it was a once-only event that has happened and that's that. Its aftermath is of course ongoing, and that's what has to be handled now. Too bad there wasn't any real preparation in advance, or even proper negotiation of its terms.


Re: A Good Thing

At least he wouldn't rely on magic or miracles


Re: A Good Thing

For some reason, this discussion brought to my mind the once-famous government job of "President of the Board of Trade". Not something I've heard anything about for many years, but it would seem to be pretty much what's needed now; someone to guide and inspire and enable "Trade". Not "Brexit", that's history, nothing can be done about it now.

Whimsically, I referred to Wikipedia <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Board_of_Trade> and found that not only does the job still exist, there's an incumbent. Someone called Elizabeth Truss, who's been in post for nearly 3 years. I wonder what she's been doing and is it her "thinking" that the successful applicant is expected to "change"?

Sold: €15k invisible sculpture that's a must-see for art lovers


upcoming "Fake or Fortune?"

I look forward to the episode of this BBC4 TV series where experts discuss whether ot not the intangible artwork is genuine (which so far in the series has effectively been defined as 'made by the/a person whose other works have fetched silly high prices', rather than the far more reasonable 'is it any good as art?), and what difference this makes to the estimated price it might fetch if the present owners ever try to sell it.

Will costly or rare intangible artworks be used as currency to launder the proceeds of intangible crime? Will cheap intangible works be sold in newsagents and gift shops?

First Forth, C and Python, now comp.lang.tcl latest Usenet programming forum nuked by Google Groups


Re: Ban Google

Some NNTP service providers do (or did) use filters to reduce spam, floods, and other nuisances - and they can of course remove the posting account of any of their users who generate enough complaints. Each admin of course has their own policies about such things.



Claws Mail can handle usenet quite well, and is cross-platform, more or less (essentially a Linux program, but there's a fairly usable Windows port). There are Android apps too, although they have limitations and can produce posts that annoy because of faulty formatting.

Slrn and Gnus are probably the ones to go for if you use Linux and get serious about usenet.

I seem to remember Mac users have always been rather poorly provided with newsreaders.


Usenet Improvement Project

<http://twovoyagers.com/improve-usenet.org/> Founded by the late Blinky The Shark and preserved in his memory. There may now be some broken links.

Börk returns to its spiritual home of Sweden as duff disks take down Stockholm signage



It's the Magratheans, or the mice. They need to switch the Earth off and start it again, to install the latest system upgrade.

It's wild the lengths Facebook engineers will go to find new ways to show you inane ads about tat: This time, AR...


Very handy

So I'll finally be able to control Lexx (or a baby Lexx) ... as will everyone else? <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexx>

Facebook and Australia do a deal: The Social Network™ will restore news down under and even start paying for it


Re: No free lunch

Peraps readers of news need to be reminded that someone has to pay for it. Not so long ago it was assumed that you'd pay for your newspaper - even if it did carry lots of paid-for advertisements too. Some publications still manage to survive on that model; some have modified it to get money from on-line readers instead, or as well. Some local printed newspapers in my neck of the woods get all their income from advertising (in imitation of commercial radio and TV stations) and are given away free of charge to readers - generating a mountain of waste paper. Any of those arrangements seems more realistic than hoping that Google or Facebook will voluntarily pay for anything if they don't have to.

Whoever pays for the news, gets to choose what is reported and how, of course. Do Google and Facebook users really trust those corporations that much?


No free lunch

Until this story came to my attention, it hadn't occurred to me that anyone could (let alone would) rely on Facebook for "news". Gossip and rumour, yes, and conversation, certainly. Given that they do, though, it seems only fair that the providers of that content should be reimbursed - and it's slightly shocking if they haven't been.

Pandemic? Check. World in peril? Check. CES is on? Check. So of course Bluetooth Smart Masks are now a thing


Re: @Version 1.0

... or something else for those obsolete/retired smartphones to do?

NHS COVID-19 app is trying to tell Android users something but buggy notification appears stuck on 'Loading...' screen


Re: Being in the NHS

'snuff o' that!


Integration with new asymptomatic testing service?

I had wondered if there was an update being installed, to take account of the new 'community' testing services being set up by local authorities <https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asymptomatic-testing-to-be-rolled-out-across-the-country-starting-this-week> but I can't see anything about that in the app.

Is there any integration between the NHS Covid-19 app and these new tests? I had one the other day and got a negative result (Phew!) but there doesn't seem to be any way to log this in the app - unlike the tests for people with suspected symptoms that have been available by appointment for some months, for which the result notification includes a code number to be entered into the app. (The community testing centre didn't even have an NHS Covid-19 QR login code available).

What can the 1944 OSS manual teach us before we all return to sabotage the office?


Re: Which

I rather think we are at war with ourselves (whoever "we" are).


Re: passengers?

Calling them "passengers" implies the acceptance that at some stage, travel will be involved. "Customers" are merely applying for a service or goods; delivery is at best negotiable. ("Patrons" are even worse off; they are expected to pay, but delivery is largely a matter of chance).

Just let this sink in: Capita wins 12-year £1bn contract to provide training services to the Royal Navy and Marines


Re: Nostalgia

Although there's not much of the press left on Fleet St since they all moved out to Wapping and such places.



> and also trying to resell the Royal Navy course to the "wider international defence market", as well as "identifying further revenue opportunities for the services" are also part of the consortium's remit. <

Sounds like the Good Old Days of Francis Drake et al; outsourced "defence", piracy, privateers, buccaneers, mercenaries. Press Gangs?

China, Russia and Iran all attacking US elections and using some nasty new tactics, says Microsoft


But how or why did those defective leaders come to be chosen and elected? Something unprecedented seems to have happened to voters in the US and UK

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


Lead aprons

Anyone else remember the lead-lined aprons issued to 'Computer Operators' because of the (alledged) radiation from the cathode ray tube monitors? My company's health and safety people allowed their use to be optional unless the operator was pregnant. Most of the computer operators had peviously been short-hand typists now updated to using 'word processors' - big ugly things looking like the control station from Star Trek, with stacks of big floppy disks around.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


Re: Sorry to be technical

Ideally, the viscsity of the cream and the jam should be very similar, both requiring the use of two spoons, or a knife and spoon, to transfer them to the split (or the scone if that's what you've got).


Re: It doesn't matter..

Glad to see I'm not the only fan of the split :))



Growing up in Cornwall in the '50s, I came to prefer splits to scones. For a start, they hold more cream (and jam). Strawberry jam is OK, best if home-made from wild fruit, but blackberry jam or bramble jelly are best with clotted cream.

We used to have to fight the flies and wasps for the jam; whatever happened to all of them?

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means



I've heard at least one comedian suggest that everyone should wear six-foot-wide hoop skirts, as an aid to maintaining distance.

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails


'Kaiten' allows you to interleave your reply if you want to. Its 'free' relative 'K9' may do so too, I don't remember. (I have no connection with the product, it's just the email client I dislike least of those I've tried on Android).

Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame


Re: KPIs

When these were introduced in my last workplace someone asked what the initials stood for. I came up with "keeping people ignorant".

We are Google, we are proud, English football is moving to our cloud


Football is not our national sport; 'discussing football' is [☆]. Football is not moving into the clouds (although it does sometimes happen in fog), but 'discussing football' has always had a large nebulous element.

[☆] For several values of 'discuss'.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers


Re: The only conspiracy

The email just arrived, and confirmation worked. Still just shy of seven figures ...


As the site says, allow 24 hours for the email to arrive, and check the spam and junk filters. I can imagine the email servers struggling just as much as the rest of the system.


I think the one against compulsory ID cards had some influence.


Re: The only conspiracy

The site does say to allow 24 hours for the confirmation email to arrive, and to look in your spam and junk folders. I've been waiting about 30 minutes for the email to get to me.

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...


Getting more like Usenet:))

NASA gently nudges sleeping space 'scopes Chandra, Hubble out of gyro-induced stupor


The eternal struggle to not break things.

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?


Re: Tea with milk

Just for the record, tea is grown in the British Isles; just £39.50 for 11 grams (which can make up to 20 cups if you do it right) <https://tregothnan.co.uk/product/single-estate-loose-11g/>. They also sell their tea blended with more common imported leaves at more ordinary prices.

Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China


Re: Oh dear...

So anthropomorphism cuts both ways ....

FBI's flawed phone tally blamed on programming error. 7,800 unbreakable mobes? Er, um...


Re: ...an audit could take weeks...

They're probably not counting actual phones at all; rather, a mixed bag of paper and electronic records about phones that are not easily accessible (what with being 'evidence').

Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me


>> "It seems to me absolutely right that when one drives down a street, one should be able to spot an electric charging point rather as one can spot a pillar box or Belisha beacon," said Conservative MP John Hayes. <<

If there are to be enough public charging points to cater for all cars being electric, we're going to need more or less continuous rows of charging points along all streets where parking is allowed. If there's anything that needs to be clearly marked, it will be those parking places where the charging point is missing or not working. So the 'Hayes hole' will be the one that's of use to almost no-one.

Where the electricity is to come from, is not at all clear.

If charging points are only as common as Belisha beacons, we're not going anywhere. Literally.

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs



In keeping with the anachronistic steam-train and bellows-camera signs, shouldn't the soccer ball depicted be one of the real leather lace-up sort with large complex curved panels? The Bucky-ball shape is too modern.

Firmware update blunder bricks hundreds of home 'smart' locks


The key's indoors ...

I wonder if any users have left their only physical keys inside the house whose lock is now bricked? This could get a bit messy and expensive. I know, as I've managed to lock myself out more than once (purely by my own actions, no internet required). Doors and windows aren't cheap.

If their only computer is also inside the inaccessible house, will they even have got the email?

Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'


Re: Moving sidewalks

Not Asimov; H G Wells in 1898 "When the Sleeper Wakes" <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/775/775-h/775-h.htm#link2HCH0005> (re-written in 1910).


Re: "Electric vehicles are the obvious solution to that particular problem"

> apartment buildings [that have only one parking spot per apartment], <

As many as that? Where I am, there are more than 40 households and only 16 parking spaces - all on street. Parking only works because many households don't own any sort of road vehicle at all; something that has been a basic planning assumption for centuries. There are lock-up garages in the vicinity, but they seem to be used for storing something other than cars. Only the streets with low-rise housing on both sides have the luxury of a parking space for each household. (And the local authority charges for annual parking permits these days, too).

AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins


Re: The future:

> Have you ever ridden in a truly nasty cab? Now imagine that experience without being mitigated by the presence of another human being. <

Perhaps the self-cleaning public loo will provide the model; after each use, the auto-cab goes to the nearest cleansing station for a thorough hose-down and decontamination inside and out. Users will soon get used to the smell of disinfectant and the need to don a plastic mac before getting into one.

Worried about election hacking? There's a technology fix – Helios


Re: "Because you can"

> Adding "yet another proposition" to a paper ballot is not cheap. <

You don't have to have just one sheet of paper, and you don't have to have all the elections and referendums taking place on the same day. Here in the UK we seem to manage local and national and EU elections pretty well with paper ballots - and referendums too, although we struggle to ask the right questions with those. Sometimes there's just one paper, possibly with a single question on it, and sometimes the ballot has a long list of names on it; sometimes we've even managed to have some of the papers for 'first past the post' elections and others for some form of 'PR' - on the same day. Paper is very flexible, and so are human counters.

Huawei missed memo that PC's dead – so here are three new notebooks


Re: Linux?

My Toshiba Ultra HD4K i7 laptop running Arch Linux has an operational touch-screen. I hardly ever use it though, the old USB track-ball is still my preferred pointy-clicky thing.

Cook fights for life after Google summit blaze


Buiilt-in extinguishers?

You'd think by now that legislation would have ensured that all commercial or industrial deep fryers had built-in extinguishing systems of some sort.

Tesla's latest car crash: Its 'meritless' lawsuit against ex-Autopilot bod


Re: Self-regulating recall?

>> 2) Once your car will also be sentient, there'll be nothing but new problems. Like constant bickering about how "you only ever want to drive to boring places like work and shopping. I wanna go someplace fun!" and stuff like that. Who needs that? <<

Sounds like the mind of a campervan stuck in the body of a hatchback. Are car mechanics going to have to become counsellors? Could the 'Thomas the Tank Engine' stories become foundation texts for a new vehicle culture?



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