* Posts by Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

1496 posts • joined 22 Jul 2014

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

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Re: Lifetime warranty eh?

Warranty lasts for the lifetime of you, or the wheels, whichever is the shorter

Voyager 1 cracks yet another barrier: Now 150 Astronomical Units from Sol

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Re: Light years

The thought that struck me was that it's been on the go for 45 years and covered 22,290,082,734 km without any physical human intervention....yet only a few days ago a light came on in my 2-year old car to say that it was time for it's third service because it'd been driven 30,000 miles.

Russia tested satellite-to-satellite shooter, say UK and USA

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I'm more thinking along the second idea, simply because we know that Russia does like "copying" other nations ideas - Tupolev Tu-144 (Concordski)? and Buran (Space Shuttle)? both spring to mind...

Also, they did a respectable clone of the B29 (a fact I only learned recently because it was mentioned in these forums - every day's a school day)

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist

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Re: "he had downloaded documents to an external drive against company policy"

I thought it was odd that they only found out about the external hard drive when they did some investigation. If that sort of access is being logged, then I would expect it to be fed into some sort of monitoring system so that infractions can be detected and acted on as they happen, rather than only finding out when doing some retrospective investigation

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

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Mind control by 5G is not a risk

At least not for me. Where I live I struggle to get decent 3G coverage, nevermind 4G, so I don't see any risk of 5G waves reaching my cranium controlling (what's left of) my mind

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?

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rm * was Brad's friend that day

That sounds like the old disaster movie plot device...a closing line that just sets everything up for a sequel

Google employs people to invent colours – and they think their work improves your wellbeing

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I think that the colour you associate with tech equipment is a generational thing...from wood-effect, to beige, to black, the brief dalliance with more colourful colours, to silver which seems prominent now.

Cornish drinkers catch a different kind of buzz as pub installs electric fence at bar

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Re: Can't abide the stuff.

That blackcurrant & rum concoction sounds interesting. Not something that had occurred to me before, and I'm no stranger to a bit of dabbling with fruit-infused spirits. I think I'll be adding two or three extra things to my shopping list, and giving that a try

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Re: Puntastic

The Mho the merrier

All in all it's just another bork on the wall: For pity's sake, begs signage, climb onto the pub's roof and boot me up

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Writing on the wall

One step further towards Rush on Streetview, and it looks like the old signage is for Gents' and children's footwear...an aptly boot-related subject

Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's

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A shame, because an alternative pud option, butterscotch Angel Delight, is a thing of glory (although we're slightly concerned that happy childhood memories of decades ago might be sullied by the adult experience of today).

Last year I was shopping in my local supermarket and noticed that Angel Delight is still a thing, so bought a packet out of nostalgic curiosity. I'm happy to confirm that time hasn't dulled the culinary experience, although as an adult I'm more aware of how many unnatural ingredients I was consuming and how it probably wasn't that healthy a thing to do. Childhood was a far happier time, when I could eat pretty much anything without a care (or an expanding waistline)

Boolean bafflement at British Airways' Executive Club: Sneaky little Avioses - Wicked, Tricksy, False!

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Although Boolean false is usually 0 and Boolean true is usually >0

I'm sure I remember language(s) that I worked with back in the day when I got my hands dirty with coding, that used -1 for true. IIRC it's because -1 is represented as all 1's in binary, compared to False/0 which is all-bits-zero in binary

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

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Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

What happened to horizontal computer cases?

Good point. I remember back in the late 80's/early 90's when we all had horizontal cases, it was quite the fashionable thing in my workplace to stand them vertically. IIRC this was an evolution of having the monitor sitting on the desk itself, and having the case (horizontal) off to one side...I think because it was considered to be a bit cooler than having the monitor atop the base unit in a conventional manner. The practice of then putting the base unit vertically was just to save desk real estate. None of the machines even had CD drives then so there was no worries about whether a disc would stay in place.

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

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Re: Victorian computing

Given train operators' attitude towards punctuality, presumably such a device would be known as an Indifference Engine.

Yes, Prime Minister, rewrite the Computer Misuse Act: Brit infosec outfits urge reform

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Re: The law is fine and doesn't need changing

If a "security person" wants to "test" the vulnerabilities of someone's computer, then they should ask permission from the owner of the computer before conducting such testing. Otherwise anyone could claim after being caught that he was a "white hat" merely "testing security".

Agreed. All the times I've been involved with security testing, there's been paperwork agreed between the client and the testers with words to the effect of "you're going to do something naughty, but it's OK because we've asked you to (so that we know how to detect/stop other people from being naughty)" and that makes common sense. Therefore there is no "unauthorised" activity.

I've always been a bit mystified as to why people who, without any solicitation, try to break into networks and snoop around are in some way considered to be heroic in their actions because they are highlighting weaknesses in someone's security. Outside of cyberspace, it's the equivalent of going down the street trying to pick doorlocks to get into peoples' houses, just so you can tell someone that they need to replace their aging Yale....something which feels both wrong and creepy in equal measure.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

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Like shutting off when the remaining minutes countdown reaches 29.

In my experience, once it has beeped to indicate that it's now active a UPS generally shuts down in the time it takes to utter the first four words of the sentence "I'm glad I've got UPS"

When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows

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Re: Sounds like a night out in this hack's often less than fair city of Brighton

No, nothing compares to a night out in Liverpool for the sheer quantity of alcohol, vomit and threats of violence. Except possibly Glasgow.

I'm slightly surprised about the violence bit - I've generally found Scousers to be quite a friendly, easy-going lot...although I've tended to cross paths with them outside of their home city. Maybe they're a bit more belligerent when they're on their home turf?

BT and Serco among bidders competing to run Britain's unfortunately named Skynet military satellite system

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Re: Wot no Hawaii?

This is Skynet 6 - I think they be better suited to 5.0

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

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Re: Fiber in sewer pipes

Well, that will be fun for someone when it comes time to troubleshoot and fix a service outage

Troubleshooting should be easy - there'll be plenty of logs

As anti-brutality protests fill streets of American cities, netizens cram police app with K-Pop, airwaves with NWA

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Re: radio channel

If you have two brain cells to rub together you'd think this would be easy, but it isn't, especially in a big city like Chicago. It's so much easier to just keep using what you already have.

I wasn;t making any comment on how easy (or not) it might be to implement. What I was saying is that in the UK for at least a couple of decades emergency services have been using secure communications (TETRA, provided by the Airwave network) and I know that similar secure networks are used by these services in a multitude of other countries. It strikes me as odd that in the USA they're still using something so insecure for this purpose.

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radio channel

the channel used by the Chicago PD was not encrypted or protected, and could easily be broadcast over by anyone with the right equipment.

In this day and age, that sounds a bit, well, rubbish. I remember using a VHF radio to tune into British police radio traffic when I was a small lad, but that was decades ago...technology and security have moved on.

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

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Re: and then there is this????

I just had a look at their website, and can't make up my mind if it's a badly named real thing, or some sort of parody/spoof.

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

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Re: Never saw a car crash into a computer

Indeed. As a native of Newcastle I have only ever known Fenwick as the department store (on Northumberland Street) and by derivation as a place where one might expose oneself if proven wrong, as in "if the Vega guys ever ship any product, I'll bare my a**e in Fenwick's window"

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

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Of all those people recording videos of them torching 5G masts, I wonder how many were frustrated that it took so long to upload the footage from their phone to InstaTwitFaceTube?

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

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Now that DAB radio covers 90 per cent of the UK and listening via digital platforms accounts for 52 per cent of all listening

This looks like another one of those statistics that's measured by population count rather than land mass, so is massively skewed by big cities with lots of people.

I have a DAB receiver built into my car (2018 model) and have tried listening on DAB in preference to FM but it just doesn't work. In quite a lot of places, if DAB is available at all then it's only the BBC stations - the commercial ones (I'm a big fan of Planet Rock) just don't get transmitted from some masts.

And head further north....on a recent trip in Scotland there were places where I could hardly get FM, never mind DAB. Obviously, in places like that mobile data coverage is GPRS at best, so online listening isn't a viable option either.

Long live FM say I...although I am of an age where I still occasionally refer to radio as "the wireless" and remember talking about "VHF and medium wave" rather than "FM and AM".

Apple creates face shield for health workers, resists the temptation to call it the 'iMask'

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Even if one was to be really harshly cynical and call it a viral marketing/awareness exercise, it's still a good thing.


Reg fashion special: Top designer says 'video chat accessories' are in for spring!

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A phrase I leaned last week is "business mullet" - shirt on top with boxers below, the ideal outfit for video conferencing

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

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Re: The end result

Since so many employers are investing in enabling staff to work from home as much as possible, I wonder how this will end up.

Honest Hans will give you odds of 2-1 that the government will say that home-working has been proven to work and will mandate it in order to get commuters off the roads and so get us closer to carbon neutrality.

The show Musk go on: Tesla defies Silicon Valley coronavirus lockdown order, keeps Fremont factory open

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On the plus side...

If they're going into work, at least they can take a dump there and make use of company-supplied bog roll rather than worrying about maintaining a stash at home.

Forget James Bond's super-gadgets, this chap spied for China using SD card dead drops. Now he's behind bars

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Re: He seems to be very trusting

his handlers may have given him the money in advance, but then it wouldn't be "reimbursement".


Google reveals the wheels almost literally fell off one of its cloudy server racks

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Don't expect numbers in a name? One idiot changed his middle name to his national insurance number.

That reminds me of an old Top Tip from Viz...."Avoid paying for expensive personailsed licence plates by simply changing your name to your car's registration number - yours sincerely, C695 LCU, Southend"

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

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The cleaners here won't even clean the desks because they have computers on them. I've got an interesting experiment going on to see how thick a layer of dust I can build up over the course of a few years*

* technically it's a control group, because I have a similar ongoing experiment at home, which is down to pure laziness on my part.

Resellers facing 'months' of delays for orders to be fulfilled. IT gathers dust on docks as coronavirus-stricken China goes back to work

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Re: Just an FYI

I guess they also help prevent you from spreading your germs to others. I saw something last year about how the Japanese perceived obsession with avoiding bugs by wearing masks is actually the opposite - it's them being polite and not breathing/coughing their germs onto other people.

Capita hops on UK's years-late, billions-over-budget Emergency Services Network to keep legacy system alive

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Re: EE Data

if there is a major incident close-by does that mean that ordinary EE subscribers will suddenly find themselves devoid of any Data Services?

'twas ever thus for any network... see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACCOLC

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

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Re: Windows appears in the most unlikely places

And of course a photocopier must retain, somewhere, images of documents of which it is producing copies...

Indeed they do. I remember watching something a while back (probably on YouTube) here a guy went around buying second hand photocopiers...they all had bog standard hard drives in them, which he took out, hooked up to a PC and voila....terrabtypes of TIFF files of everything that had ever been photocopied or printed. A scary enough though, but at least one of the machines in question had been previously used by a police force

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

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The only place in the halls of residence that we could get a good signal to listen to it was in one corner of the library of Havelock hall,

I thought that all the libraries at Castle Leazes were practically underground in the quad in the middle of each hall?

UK.gov sits down with mobile big four to formalise plans for rural shared 4G network

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Scotland, for example, will see 4G coverage from at least one operator rise from 80 per cent today to 91 per cent by 2025. Wales will also see a sizeable improvement, going from 89 per cent to 95 per cent.

'x' per cent of what? Population or land mass? I suspect the former, as there's no way I'd believe Scotland has 4G covering 80% of the landmass....last time I was in the lower bit of the Highlands, it was sometimes a struggle to get anything above GPRS. I reckon 91% coverage by population could be achievable while still leaving a lot of land without coverage.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

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Re: Why reinstall Win3.1?

IIRC that was an official marketing slogan at the time - "A better DOS than DOS, a better Windows than Windows"

....and then NT launched and is was light-heartedly referred to as "a better OS/2 than OS/2"

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef

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Re: Security Controls.

I often come up against people who think that certain 'data' isn't super-secret because it doesn't meet the criteria. Never mind that in the wrong hands that data could very well have a very negative impact on hundreds of millions of people.

And people so easily overlook the value of conflating a number of seemingly innocuous bits of data. For example....Bob is single...Bob lives at <address>. Bob works for <company> as a middle manager. <company> has office hours of 0830-1730.....throw that lot together and you've got a good idea of where there's a house likely to have some decent value contents and when it's likely to be unoccupied and available for burglary.

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Re: Cell phones in prison

And how the heck does someone smuggle a modern smartphone into a prison?

I expect that the easiest route in is via a guard who has taken a bribe.

If all you want is a basic phone, then there are some crazily small ones out there (have a look on Amazon) which are easily concealable and I expect could be exchanged from visitor to inmate with minimal sleight of hand during a visiting session

Broadband providers can now flog Openreach's new IP voice network in bid to ditch UK's copper phone lines by 2025

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The way that legacy kit has a knack of hanging around, I think 2025 seems like an ambitious target for switching off PSTN. There are bound to be loads of old-school bits of equipment all over the country still dialing in to some central server or another to exchange data

HP hostile takeover warms up: Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

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Re: Why

The key thing here is that whatever happens, the Xerox name needs to survive....with a lower-case 'x' it's a slang expression for 'to photocopy' and a very useful thing in a game of Scrabble.

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!

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Re: Oh so special's

For someone unfamiliar with the Tube, that's probably not an unreasonable question. Where I live there is an electrically-powered mass-transit urban rail system, but at some periods during the day the trains only run one every 15 minutes. If I'm making a journey at that time I take a quick look at the timetables to make sure I'm not going to be hanging around on a platform when I could be doing something more useful with my time.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

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There was a very good Long Read article in The Grauniad a while ago about the battle between the towel industry and the hand dryer industry...each one putting out negative propaganda about the other. The hand dryer industry funds and publishes a study about the environmental impact of paper towels, and Big Towel puts out a press release about how Airblades are basically a machine for spraying germs around the washroom. It's really serious stuff.

Worth a read or, as I did, search it out on your podcast delivery mechanism of choice.

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms

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Re: Differences

As an outsider on a contract for services, you can change that culture if necessary to achieve the required objective

I don't believe that culture change is exclusively the preserve of an outsider on a contract for services. Where I currently work, there are a number of changes which have come from initiatives started by people on the inside, i.e. permanent staff members. Arguably they're better placed to initiate change because (a) they've been here longer so understand the culture better, (b) are known to management who respect their experience and so are more prepared to listen to them

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But would you take a 3 month temp PAYE job 150 miles away while getting paid the rate for the job, just like the others working there?

To be honest, no. I have family so always looked for employers in my home city or within commuting distance.

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People are still getting mixed up between being an employee under PAYE and a permanent employee. You can be the first without being the second.

Indeed. I've been a PAYE employee on a permanent contract for a good number of years now, but did quite a number of jobs before that as a temporary employee, i.e. not as a freelance contractor.

One was covering for someone on maternity, another was a few months to cover someone on long-term sick, others were for "we have a project running for <x> months and need someone to do <y> on it". Signed a contract of employment and became a employee on PAYE with the knowledge that after a set period of time my employment would come to an end.

I think I spent around four years in full-time employment and in that time I only had one job with a permanent contract (the job turned out to be s**t and I resigned after a week).

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

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Re: Electrics (especially batteries) are a problem, one of many

<$1,000 would buy you a well-made Swiss watch with an automatic movement, so no batteries to worry about.


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