* Posts by matthewdjb

99 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Oct 2014


Nuclear-powered datacenters: What could go wrong?


Tried it. Got atomic ache.

IT needs more brains, so why is it being such a zombie about getting them?


Re: Well there's your problem

Oh, you fixed the Air Traffic Control system!

FreeBSD can now boot in 25 milliseconds


Re: Pretty impressive

I first used quicksort in anger in 1990. I learned it during my CS degree in the late 80s. It was already two decades old then.

Professor freezes student grades after ChatGPT claimed AI wrote their papers


Re: Artificial Irony detector required

I did run this paper he wrote

I asked Chatgpt "Please tell me if the following was generated by AI:", followed by the text of this paper https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016815912030054X where Munn is lead author. The response was:

It is difficult to determine with absolute certainty whether this text was generated by AI or written by a human. However, the technical nature and formatting of the text, as well as the lack of personal opinions or subjective language, suggest that it may have been generated by AI.

Cisco: Don't use 'blind spot' – and do use 'feed two birds with one scone'


Re: Way too complicated

That is an urban myth


Sorry, that should be 'makes a first pass'

So I need to try to suggest sex first?

Why a top US cyber spy urges: Get religious about backups


Re: .. and drop the most unsafe platform on Earth

You mean Mac OS?


Re: The USA, religion, and backups

I must be a bad God fearing Christian. I've had all the jabs and COVID. But then, I'm not American.

The UK's bad encryption law can't withstand global contempt


All I can says is:






































































































Re: If they cared about children...

Conversely the right to choose is the right to choose to have an abortion, because if you choose not to, there is no support from the pro choice movement.

Actually it's all bollocks, because there are a very few on both sides who will offer to support women to keep their child.

But hey, that would go against the rhetoric, wouldn't it?

PC tech turns doctor to diagnose PC's constant crashes as a case of arthritis


Re: More magnetics

Similar happened to me on the Italian motorways. Got the ticket at the toll machine. Drove a few hundred km. Tried to leave the Motorway. (automatic exit machine).. ticket wouldn't read. I had to press the contact button. I don't speak Italian. Somehow I managed to communicate that I'd got onto the motorway at its start, and they remotely set the fee.

I'd stored the ticket next to my mobile phone in the car.

Spotted in the wild: Chimera – a Linux that isn't GNU/Linux


I don't know what any of this means.

When philosophy meets development.

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong


Re: Smoking computers

Sloping tops didn't stop us from using them to dry out clothes when we caught in a downpour.

ChatGPT has mastered the confidence trick, and that's a terrible look for AI


Re: I asked it what War and Peace was about.

What is the book "Equal Rites" by Terry Pratchett about?

"Equal Rites is a novel by Terry Pratchett, published in 1987. It is the third book in the Discworld series. The story follows the character Granny Weatherwax, a witch, as she tries to prevent a young girl named Eskarina Smith from becoming the first female wizard in the Discworld. Along the way, Granny must confront the prejudices and superstitions of the wizarding community, who believe that magic is only for men."

Maybe it's only read the early works?


Re: Can it learn from its mistakes?

I asked it. It said no. But it could be lying...


Re: I asked it what War and Peace was about.

I asked: Who was Sir Terry Pratchett?


"Sir Terry Pratchett was a British author, best known for his Discworld series of fantasy novels. He was born in 1948 and began writing at a young age. He published his first novel, The Carpet People, in 1971, and his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983.

"Over the course of his career, Pratchett wrote more than 70 books, many of which were part of the Discworld series. He was known for his humorous and satirical writing style, and his books often explored themes of social and political satire, as well as science fiction and fantasy."

So clearly it "knows" something.

I then asked: What is War and Peace about?

"War and Peace is a novel by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The novel is considered one of the greatest works of world literature, and it is renowned for its epic scope, detailed depiction of Russian society in the early 19th century, and its exploration of the psychological and emotional lives of its characters.

War and Peace is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and it follows the lives of several aristocratic families in Russia as they navigate the social, political, and personal challenges of the time. The novel explores themes such as the nature of war, the impact of historical events on individuals and society, and the search for meaning and purpose in life.

At its core, War and Peace is a story about the human experience and the ways in which people are affected by the events and circumstances of their time. It is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of the human condition."


How odd

I asked:

How is Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem linked to Turing Machines

The answer was:

Gödel's incompleteness theorem and Turing machines are both connected to the concept of the limitations of formal systems and computing. Gödel's incompleteness theorem is a mathematical result that showed that any formal system used for mathematics (such as a programming language) must be incomplete. This means that there are certain statements that cannot be proven or disproven within the system.

The Turing machine, on the other hand, is a theoretical computing model proposed by mathematician Alan Turing. It is a universal computing device, capable of simulating any other computing device. However, the Turing machine is also subject to the limitations of Gödel's theorem, meaning that there are certain tasks or problems that it cannot solve.

The link between Gödel's incompleteness theorem and Turing machines comes from the fact that both are concerned with the limitations of what can be achieved with computing. Gödel's theorem shows that there are certain problems that cannot be solved by a computer, even in principle, while the Turing machine is a theoretical model of a computing device that is designed to be able to perform any computation that could be done by a real-world computer.

Together, Gödel's incompleteness theorem and the Turing machine provide a theoretical framework for understanding the limitations of computing and the inherent limitations of formal systems.

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture


Re: "Fun & pro, that's our motto!"

In my case years ago it was the manager who insisted on driving home. Nowadays, I'd either take his keys, or call the police.

Umbrella company Parasol Group confirms cyber attack as 'root cause' of prolonged network outage


Brookson, SJD, Nixon Williams confirm hacking.

140,000-plus drivers sent $60m in compensation checks after Amazon 'stole their tips'


easyJet b do something similar. They waived flight change admin fees, due to Covid, but the new flight will be charged considerably more than if you purchased it directly. They simply add the admin fee they would have charged to the price of the first flight.

I changed two flights to two new ones. At the same time I bought two additional identical flights. The first leg of the changed flights was over £130 more expensive than the additional. easyJet of course deny any wrong doing saying they don't have a published price.

Judging by the way your face lit up, my inbox just got more attractive


Yeah. We know. Dabbs mentioned it in the article.

Sir Clive Sinclair: Personal computing pioneer missed out on being Britain's Steve Jobs


ZX80 for me. Learned to program in it. Then a ZX81, and learned Z80.. still programming (but getting paid for it) 40 years later.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...


Re: Screw-up?

I'll check.

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?


Re: Anyone

Calipers? I just 'ad an 'ammer. To flatten them 0s into 1s.

Another UK government limb that can't get IR35 right: Court service pays taxman £12.5m


They should appeal. All the way to the supreme court!

Hey, AI software developers, you are taking Unicode into account, right ... right?


People have been using such tricks to try to bypass moderation on the forum I moderate for years.

Automatic temporary ban. To start with.

The trouble with trying it on the Times automotive automoderation (for example) is that some begger is going to report it to the humans.

Ch-ch-ch-Chia! HDD sales soar to record levels as latest crypto craze sweeps Europe


Re: Chia

Oh the ironing of commenting about the waste of social media

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection


The clued up didn't get bookshelves. Simply bookshelf wallpaper.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast


Re: abbreviated, with substitutes

One other word. Andouillette. Piggy goodness in a tube. Offaly good

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?


Ideas and information. Far more dangerous.

VS Code acknowledges its elders: Makefile projects get an official extension – and VIM mode is on the backlog


Copy line to the next? Select, Ctrl-c,ctrl-v.

People are used to what they're used to. Sometimes what they're used to is slower compared to modern applications. But having used vi(m) for years, I doubt it's really more effective than modern editors.

Anyway, as a developer, I spend more time thinking than I do typing.

Really smart syntax checking in the editor. That's what I want.

People actually write novels about DevOps – and an author spoke about his take at Dynatrace's Perform event


Nah. Does it syntax check?

Looking for the perfect Valentine's gift? How about a week of retro gaming BBC Microlympics?


Re: Right on Commander!

Elite dangerous is great. If you get stranded, you can sort people in real life and they'll come and rescue you

I played for a year when it came out. Haven't touched it since. But I recall docking is not that difficult.

Severe bug in Libgcrypt – used by GPG and others – is a whole heap of trouble, prompts patch scramble


Have these guys never heard of clean code?


What's wrong with copyOfBuffer?

Transcribe-my-thoughts app would prevent everyone knowing what I actually said during meetings


You poor innocent fool

He who controls the minutes controls the meetings.

No one remembers what was agreed.

So long as you're not too unsubtle, you can choose the decisions that were made.

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though


Audio notifications. How quaint.

That's it. It's over. It's really over. From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works. We're free. We can just leave


Re: Best thing to happen...

Floppies? Loading programs from cassette and tape player.

Or typing hex into the hex loader from a magazine listing.

Exonerated: First subpostmasters cleared of criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon scandal


Not just private eye, but also computer weekly.

Brexit border-line issues: Would you want to still be 'testing' software designed to stop Kent becoming a massive lorry park come 31 December?


Re: Stockpile your popcorn

So sorry for bringing intelligence into the conversation.

If only...

Astronomers get more than they bargained for, as Mars probe InSight's instruments detects solar eclipses


Re: Stähler must be my age

No, he's Swiss.

5 Swiss francs is about the thickness of a 50p and worth about £4.

An irritating itch down the back of your neck? Searing midsummer heat? Of course, it can only be SysAdmin Day


Re: Colonies of sysadmins have a single queen




Re: Since when was ...

Sure. That's what they want you to think.

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world


“We hope that most schools are going to be open, and we don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons,” Trump said.

So instead he's going to force them to open for political reasons.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'


If the underlying issues prompting this idea were to be resolved, no one would be calling for this change. Therefore, it seems to me to be clearly necessary.

Do Baptists get offended when they visit Geneva and see statues of Calvin who used to drown their ilk? No, because the issues behind that are long resolved.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript


It's really simple. Some drone from cognizent/infosys/tech Mahindra or whatever muppet outfit they've outsourced to, googled for the resource, found it at the archive and used that. Because they're like that furniture retailer - Sofa Kingdom.

Infosys denies former head of diversity recruitment's accusations of racial bias and visa fraud


Of course it's not their (written) policy.

A fête worse than death: After struggling to connect into SAP's SapphireNow online shindig, we were all 'rewarded' with a Sting concert


Re: SAP Deployment.

Been paying my bills for over twenty years. What's not to like?

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler


When the same user needed his two passwords reset. For the fiftieth time. We set the first to Head and the second to Dick. To be fair he took it with good grace.

My test string in ROSCOE was 'hippopotame'. Obvious but inoffensive. Mostly.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Re: Algol 68 is not ALGOL 60

I remember attempting a C compiler using that book. Did enough to pass the course but never finished it. It was hard!


Re: No love for CORAL 66?

In memory processing. We loaded our entire billing system into an alpha with a whole 2GB of memory. The billing run on the vax would take two hours. On the alpha, two minutes. (and then it still took five hours to print out the bills).