* Posts by Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

1727 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jul 2014

Rigorous dev courageously lied about exec's NSFW printouts – and survived long enough to quit with dignity

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Re: X-Rated Regomiser?


I also noted that Jeremy was a bit of a Playboy and had an office in the Penthouse. Well played.

Up to £895M up for grabs in UK Emergency Services procurement

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Re: Missing something

I worked with that too - quite a lot of years ago now. At the time I remember it being a bit of a pain to integrate with compared to GPRS (which some of my other customers were using) but real-world performance offered similar speeds to GPRS. I've since moved on from working with those customers, but I expect that the improved performance of 3G/4G/5G from a simple GSM modem means that they'll have moved away from Mobitex by now.

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Re: Missing something

I'm not an expert in radio comms, but why do they want a solution based upon mobile phone tech?

Better speed and bandwdth than what's available with existing radio tech. There are other radio technologies that offer something better, but I expect they'd require investment in a nationwide network of masts. A solution based on existing phone network means existing infrastructure can be utilised with upgrading/extending where necessary.

How long do mobile networks keep going in a power outage?

Based on experience of the local phone mast and not-unusal powercuts...not long enough. I usually lose mobile signal after less than half an hour. That's a Vodafone-owned mast though - I'd like to think that EE base stations which would form the ESN would be upgraded to give them more resilience, although that might be a bold assumption on my part :-/

It's not hard to enviage some sort of emergency which takes out power and/or masts.

True, but those scenarios wouldn't be specific to phone masts - a TETRA mast could equally well cop an unfortunate lightning strike

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac

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Re: Serial...

it worked fine until I was sat outside my tent on a Sunday, beer in hand, running some month end processes and the sun came out

It's a shame that this story is about an As/400 - if you'd been connected to a Sun server the irony would have been wonderful

North Korea shows off surveillance satellite it claims it can launch

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Re: Amazing they’ve been able to do this

Given how backwards and insular North Korea is & is perceived, it’s amazing they can develop this kind of technology in country.

The BBC podcast 'The Lazarus Heist' sheds light on this. In particular a recent episode from the second series explaining how things are procured from overseas in dubious ways, using money obtained by state-sponsored hacking.

India calls for all mobile phones to include FM radios

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Re: It may be a market-related choice, but I would like to still have the option

Big FM radio fan here too.

The 'it just works' aspect is great under normal circumstances, but also very useful in failure conditions. Where I live, power cuts are not unknown and then the trusty battery powered radio is the only way to get any information. Past few storms have knocked out electricity so home broadband stops. The local celltower doesn't have backup power so after a short while any hope of having internet via mobile device is off the table as well (as an aside, there's also talk of the phone system here switching to VOIP only, so also have the prospect of totally losing voice comms in the event of a power cut)

YouTube's 'Ad blockers not allowed' pop-up scares the bejesus out of netizens

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I wonder how much of that extra increase in instrusiveness is directly attributable to YouTube and how much to content creators? The option for mid-video adverts has been available for ages. If monetisation is enabled on your YT channel then when you publish a video on YT, if you are able to select how/where ads are presented.

Personally, I always decline the option of any type of advert that blocks the viewing experience. For me it strikes the right balance between getting some (less intrusive) ads into my content to allow me to make an income, without impacting the viewers' experience too much. If I wanted to make more money at the expense of the audience's quality of viewing, then there are a number of other boxes I could tick...but I don't

Balloon-borne telescope returns first photos in search for dark matter

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Re: Stabiliser?

I'd assume some sort of gyroscopic gubbins or other means of lens stabilisation. I have a few lenses for my DSLR which include tiny motors to counteract any unsteadiness of hand - that's consumer/prosumer grade kit so I assume if you've got budget for doing proper space science stuff then similar tech is very much available.

Meta's Zuckerberg paid $27M in 'other' compensation for 2022

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Travel costs

We've all had a couple of years or so where business travel simply wasn't a thing, and we learned to find ways around that obstacle. After that, it surprises me how many companies - especially those in the tech sector - have fallen back to the old time and cost burdensome ways....and doesn't Meta have some sort of online virtual meeting/collaboration space of its own creation anyway?

Military helicopter crash blamed on failure to apply software patch

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This makes the usual advice of "try switching it off and back on again" sound a lot more risky

BOFH: We send a user to visit Kelvin – Keeper of the Batteries

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Re: Nicknames

We had one called Leathers, short for Leatherman - a complete tool that's carried by everyone in the team.

Leaked IT contractor files detail Kremlin's stockpile of cyber-weapons

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I agree that if an attack is coming from an organisation's infrastructure, and they are made aware of it, then they should take appropriate action to stop that.

However, we all know how easy it is to spoof a source IP address. The risk with public naming-and-shaming is that you could be identifying the spoofee and not the spoofer, and risk public ire upon an innocent party.

Scientists speak their brains: Please don’t call us boffins

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Re: So they're saying there's a power imbalance?

"Geek" and "Nerd" are, of course, derogatory terms, generally used ironically by techies to refer to themselves. When others use them, or even worse when non-techies refer to themselves as "nerds", it's basically a kind of bigotry.

I've heard both terms being used for and by non-technical people, and in a non-derogatory way, when referring to being very into a particular subject...for example someone describing themselves as being "a bit of a history geek" or "nerding out about post-modernist architecture"

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Re: I, for one, would be honored!

Likewise, it never occurred to me it was gendered. I just assumed it was multi-gender, in the same way as formal terms such as doctor, professor, engineer, or informal terms such as expert, whizz, genius.

Extending the thinking, even terms at the other end of the scale, such as idiot, are gender-neutral.

FTX cryptovillain Sam Bankman-Fried charged with bribing Chinese officials

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Life imprisonment

A friend of mine lives in a very old house, which has an oubliette under the living room floor - that always struck me as a very cost-effective means of imprisonment. In more recent times it apparently served as an useful tool of pursuasion when dealing with recalcitrant children.

Moon's glass beads contain enough water to support a mission

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Re: A lot and just a little

If it can be collected after use, then water can be cleansed/recycled. Similar situation on ISS, where waste water that's already had a trip through the digestive tract is captured, cleaned up and recycled to be drunk again.

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem

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That reminded me of...

...a classic Not The Nine O' Clock News sketch... https://youtu.be/FU-tuY0Z7nQ

Europe's right-to-repair law asks hardware makers for fixes for up to 10 years

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Re: A good start, but ...

and at true end of life, the full schematics should be released

I've got a mixer / USB audio interface from Wharfdale, and the instruction manual actually includes a full schematic / circuit diagram

Japanese outfit's private Moon mission enters Lunar orbit

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Re: Wish there were more info on the transfer orbit

your destination isn't just a place, it's an orbit

A phrase to be coming to a motivational poster near you soon

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Re: Wish there were more info on the transfer orbit

going nearly 4 times the distance past the Moon

The satnav in my car gets really annoyed if I go past a junction by a few metres - the navigation do-dah in there must be absolutely apoplectic

Student satellite demonstrates drag sail to de-orbit old hardware

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how come it only weighed 225 grammes?

Batteries not included?

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

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Oh, VERY well played Sir !!

That sounds like a very appreciative comment - I'll regard it as a To Sir With Love

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"LULU" error

That's something to Shout about

FTX inner circle helped itself to $3.2B, liquidators say

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There are a couple things that boggle my mind here.

Firstly, the fact that SBF et all thought they could do this sort of stuff and get away with it

Secondly, the sheer scale of the numbers involved and the fact there are so many people ready to plough so much money into cryptos**t

Titanic mass grave site to be pillaged for NFTs

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Not 100% sure but does it count as a grave when the human remains have long since been eaten or dissolved into the sea?

Good question. I'm inclined to say yes because we still refer to plots in churchyards/cemetaries as graves, long after the occupants have been transformed to worm food.

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the actions of the company show that the world's most famous shipwreck is just there to be milked

It's also arguably the world's most famous mass grave, which makes this whole thing even more tasteless.

Results are in for biggest 4-day work week trial ever: 92% sticking with it

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Wednesday feels like the ideal day as it breaks the week up enough to make being sent away on business travel a lot less practical. Taking time out for travel you'd not get long enough at the other end to make the trip worth the cost or effort.

After a long period of proving we could run this business via remote meetings, I'm finding it incredibly frustrating that manglement are falling back to the old ways of expecting business travel to be the norm...putting a big Wednesday-sized obstacle in the way would be a useful way of showing that remote meetings should still be a used in preference to travel.

Wow, so they actually let AI fly an F-16 fighter jet

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Re: Hmm

I expect the logic/algorithms for actually conducting a dogfight are relatively simple (and probably already exist to a greater or lesser degree in the world of video gaming). The key factor here will be the ability to identify and track the other party in the dogfight - as autopiloted cars have shown, this can be quite tricky at normal road speeds on a flat highway, never mind at high speed with movement in all 3 dimensions.

Lufthansa flights grounded by major IT snafu, 'construction work' blamed

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Ironic that this happened in the airline industry, which is all about resilience through carefully designed redundancy.

US sanctions fail to stop Russia connecting with Cisco hardware

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Re: The Russians are using Cisco?

I remember reading in 'The Next World War' by James Adams about how around the time of the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi government had procured a load of IT equipment for command & control infrastructure. This saw some intervention by the appropriate 3-letter agencies in the states before it was sent on its way. The plan was that when the war really started, then there would be a load of equipment ready to send all the inside information back to the USA.

All went well until the first day of the air war when another intelligence bod got wind of the fact that there was a warehouse full of newly-delivered command & control hardware. The whole lot was destroyed in an air strike before it could be deployed.

Make Linux safer… or die trying

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Re: Rhythm is a Dancer

Presumably it would also play a few bars of "I've Got The Power" every time you did a 'sudo' or 'su root'

Zoox blurs line between workers and crash test dummies in robo-taxi trial

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It also means that just the Johnny Cabs from Total Recall, there’s no way for Arnold — or anyone else for that matter — to take control and go for a joyride.

So that means there's no way for anyone to take control if the vehicle goes rogue and decides to go for a joyride itself? Hmmm... count me out.

The Twitpocalypse may have begun, as datacenter migration reportedly founders

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Twitter is supposed to be a microblogging platform - if people are trying to use it to post longer content then they are misusing the tool, and to my mind that doesn't warrant a redesign.

Many years ago I used to work with a customer who had an obsession with trying to abuse Lotus-123 into being a word processor - the solution to that problem was not to implement a bunch of new macros to make Lotus-123 behave more like Wordstar

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Re: Here is data everyone, including Musk, has been looking for

Upvote for showing your workings-out.

Eurocops shut down Exclu encrypted messaging app, arrest dozens

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If they'd have spoken Double Dutch then there would have been no need for the encryption...

You could say that they could just skip it

Another RAC staffer nabbed for storing, sharing car crash data

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Re: Bingo time

Yep. I've done plenty of data security assessments in my time. You can generally throw technology and rules at most of the threats (assuming management take it seriously enough to give you the budget to implement your design)....but the "bent DBA" bad actor is always the toughest nut to crack. Prevention is more of a personnel/vetting thing than an information security issue...the best that technology can do for the authorised-person-accessing-data (mis)use case is logging.

WAN router IP address change blamed for global Microsoft 365 outage

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cloud software could be used in life and death situations, and a failure could cost lives.

If it's that critical and that life-and-death, then you absolutely have to make management understand the risks and allow you to build sufficient redundancy into the design.

If there's anything good to come out of events like this MIcrosoft outage, it's to have real world events that you can use as examples for why you want to keep things off the cloud, or be given enough budget to design something that has a fallback in the event that the cloud fails.

James Webb Space Telescope suffers another hitch: Instrument down

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...and those of us of a certain age may also recall the Tefal Heads, from the TV adverts for products from that particular manufacturer

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Re: R2 Unit

It's R2 units all the way down

ChatGPT talks its way through Wharton MBA, medical exams

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Re: If people can earn a degree using ChatGPT

does not care about its job (for it has no self-awareness and therefore no self-interest) and simply continues to generate the same rubbish quality of bullshit when you tell it that it's a crap employee

We had one of those once....I think his name was Steve.

Google dumps 12,000 employees after project probe

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"As an almost 25-year-old-company..."

Google's been around that long?!?

Man, now I feel old :-(

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

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It depends on what you want from your job. I was always happy to give a little more than required when it was necessary.

I think the best approach (1) do be professional, (2) don't be an arse.

This works best when followed by both employee and employer, but employers seem less willing to reciprocate these days.

Bringing cakes into the office is killing your colleagues, says UK food watchdog boss

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Killing my colleagues with cake?

I hadn't realised that was a feasible option. I'd been contemplating more BFH-inspired approaches, but that sounds like a lot less effort.

JEDEC reportedly set to formalize Dell laptop memory standard

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Re: "CAMM will allow 128GB of memory at DDR5/4800"

If a game needs such a huge amount of memory, then it will likely need a similarly large amount of CPU/GPU....which will need a commensurate amount of cooling...and a laptop doesn't feel like the optimal form factor for all of that.

Royal Mail, cops probe 'cyber incident' that's knackered international mail

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I have 2 tracked international parcels posted mid December going from Liverpool going to the USA which have still not left the Heathrow distribution centre

I can beat that - I've got a parcel going from Newcastle to USA, posted over the counter on 8th December, and according to tracking it still hasn't left the local post office.

Virgin Orbit doesn't

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Re: Had it been a success....

That would be a geographical matter.

I consider Arianne to be European, as the everyone's favourite reliable source of knowledge, Wikipedia - "The system was designed as an expendable launch system by the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), the French government's space agency, "

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Re: Had it been a success....

We’ve won the space race in Europe.

Even if last night's launch had been a success, I think it's a bit much to claim it as a race-winner, given that the French have been lobbing satellites aloft (generally with success) for quite a long time

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building

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Re: Water and IT

My father used to work in maintenance at a UK university and told me a story along the lines of...

Something went catastrophically wrong, leading to a flood of water threatening to swamp the room with The Computer in it.

This was beyond sandbagging, so a bright spark decided to commandeer a pump to get rid of the water...but where to get rid of the water to?

As the pump was fairly high-power, someone had the idea to hook the pump up to a very long hose and take the water up to a large tank with spare capacity on the roof on an adjacent building.

This was duly done, but even after a lot of pumping, the flood still seemed in danger of engulfing the computer room. In fact, it only seemed to be getting worse.

Yes - the initial flood was caused by a burst pipe linked to the tank in the next building that the workers were currently pumping water back into.

(The flooding eventually spilled out onto a grassed area outside the building. The foreman was in danger of having a sense-of-humour failure when someone ran off to the nearby park and stole a rowing boat to put in the newly-formed lake)

Rust projects open to denial of service thanks to Hyper mistakes

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Re: So Rust is not memory safe then

Everything has a maximum. "Unlimited" is never true.

I refer you to Einstein's quote about the universe and human stupidity.

Forget the climate: Steep prices the biggest reason EV sales aren't higher

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Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

Those 3 x 333Km legs are well within the range of many modern EV's

True, but not all year round.

Look at how many EVs were getting stranded on the roads during the recent cold snap because the range dropped significantly.