* Posts by Dwarf

1221 posts • joined 11 Dec 2014


Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: a GUI in the office was a dim and distant dream.


Thanks for the memories.

Ventura Publisher, Gem Plus (?) and Corel Draw and awe from the rest of the office over the high spec PC, massive CRT and high end video card that drove it all, plus a nice HP laser printer.

Spent a chunk of my apprenticeship running one of those before getting back to proper engineering, but at least the datasheets were accurate when they came out

Docker shocker: Cash-strapped container crew threatens to delete 4.5 petabytes of unloved images

Dwarf Silver badge

Save the whales

How many sample whales are going to be killed by this move.

Has anybody listened to what the whales say ?

Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s receive critical software updates over 3.5" floppy disks

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Re: Cloud

I was referring to the one made out of water vapour that results in a bit of turbulence when you fly through them.

I'd guess you just need a wireless connection to the cloud.

On reflection, perhaps I should have added the joke icon to the previous posting.

Dwarf Silver badge


You would assume that connectivity of planes to the cloud should be a simple thing to do - at least for part of their working day

I guess that could be termed a fly-by download rather than a drive-by download.

Search for 'things of value' in a bank: Iowa cops allege this bloke broke into one and decided on ... hand sanitiser

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: Warning labels

Are you planning on grinding metric or imperial angles ?

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

Dwarf Silver badge

I once had a friend insert an RJ11 into a USB-A connector, it went in and looked right and the cable was appropriate for the multi-function printer/fax/scanner.

I was at the far end of the phone and they were using the same phone line for fax and phone, so diagnostic was a bit slow in places. I had to go there and take a look. Took a minute to figure out what was happening.

I've also seen a phone exchange that had to stay put during an office build out that ended up with concrete all over its wirewrapped backplane. It worked fine after all the moisture had dried out, but fixing any backplane issues was never an option !!

UK insurance biz Direct Line drops 'misrepresentation' claims against IBM in £36m database platform lawsuit

Dwarf Silver badge


I've Been Mis-sold

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again

Dwarf Silver badge

Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a rock ?

Even if they do get a service pack to convert them from rocks into planes, how would we as customers ever know if the particular one we are expected to get onto has been fixed or not ?

How about a big sticker on the way in that we can all see or better still, visibility of the sensors on the plane as we approach ?

I guess the new game is American Roulette, its like Russian Roulette, except they use planes instead of guns.

Personal view - no trust in Boeing as profits came before safety, you can probably bet someone is looking at the big hole in the bottom line and trying to figure out how to fix that for "shareholder value", but I bet nobody is worrying too much about the end customers or learning the real lesson of doing things right, rather than doing things cheap.

Now we know that one sensor can screw the plane, will they be fitting 3 or 5 to ensure that even if one fails, the plane still does what its supposed to - gets people safely from A to B with no nasty surprises.

My next concern - what about all the other places on the plane that the same logic was applied to save a few quid ??

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people

Dwarf Silver badge


So, just like every other airliner, even before the budget brands started carving away everything and anything to make a couple of extra quid.

Ahh, you want your knees in the same place on your body when we land and you also want Oxygen, yep, those are all extras.

Would be nice to see a new leading edge aircraft design, but you have to wonder how many of those meetings could really be done over video conferencing given that its 2020 and all.

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

Dwarf Silver badge

Wrist watches

Did trump just learn about wrist watches ?

Look at my tick tock..

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

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Is this really news ?

I'm sitting here with a 3D printer printing right now ... ahh the lovely smell of the flowers from the garden ... at least I hope that's what I'm smelling

Seriously though, even official 3D printer firmware has had this issue, check out the Teaching Tech video.

Is this any different to any computer controlled widget though - your toaster, coffee maker, fridge or TV set ?

Any control output, if reconfigured by malicious software could do nasty things. How about defrosting your fridge and freezer and turning your audio system up to maximum when you are on holiday.

There are also those unfortunate situations where bad places doing things with centrifuges to make nukes seem to suffer from a higher than normal failure rates as their control systems make them self destruct... or so I've heard..

So, this is not just a 3D printer issue.

Legendary Li-ion battery boffin John Goodenough to develop gel power packs with South Korea's SK Innovation

Dwarf Silver badge


Is that what he says when he has a working design ?

But what does he say when he has a bad design ?..

Either way, I guess if it’s goodenough for him, then it’s goodenough for us.

Humble-bragging ServiceNow CEO tells anyone who listens: 'Our destiny is to become the defining enterprise software biz of 21st century'

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Dear Bill,

I think it should be re-branded as above since the current name is misleading as to the actual responses you get.


Anyone that has to use the software

Your RITM has now been closed with a status of "Rejected"

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Dwarf Silver badge

And they wonder why open source matters

+1 for any form of open source firmware on such devices. dd-wrt, OpenWRT / LEDE all work well.

At least the community cares about longer-term than the corporate view of "did I sell a unit to some sucker", "how can I minimise the ongoing support cost" along with "fuck the planet, sell them a new one next year when they realise that this one is crap"

The initial install of any open source firmware on such devices may take a bit of effort, but short, medium and long term, you are better off with ongoing maintained firmware and generally a far better feature set than the brain-dead firmware for Mr average with "Can I watch Netflix and porn"

The big challenge is how to take people that don't understand even the basics (like how to plug it in or update firmware) and explain why this is in their own interests.

What is interesting though is how those that have experienced the open source firmware are always happy with the result and will often share a bottle of wine or two whilst you configure it all up and explain the concepts to them and I know from experience that many remember some of the important bits from their informal training.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

Dwarf Silver badge

What will the snowflakes make of this ?

I've got a 9 way gender bender - male to male and female to female, although they have not been used in years and are probably quite tight now. It will probably need a good wiggle to get it in and out until it loosens up.

I've even got a 25 way gender bender in both male to make and female to female. If you are lucky, there are no bent pins.

Perhaps they should get out more and stop trying to over-think things and making things up as they have boring lives.

Personally, I'm just laughing at this BS and saying nope, I'm still going to call things by their proper names as its embedded after decades and won't change any time soon. If they don't like it then tough, there are bigger issues to worry about in the world..

As the FCC finally starts tackling its dreadful broadband maps, Georgia reveals just how bad they are

Dwarf Silver badge

Land of the free they say.

Free to choose the single overpriced and under performing service (as compared to the broader planets expectation of Broadband / Internet access)

I hope that they resolve this issue soon and that they fine the companies for gaming the metrics in their favour.

It sounds like they need an overseeing regulating body to ensure that the rules are applied properly and in the customers favour ... oh wait, they've already got one, but it seems to need some new teeth...

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

Dwarf Silver badge



But the country and broader EU does and companies have to comply with the rules, Looks like they are going to need to learn quickly. Don't forget that the directors must comply with the rules, even if they have not got explicit roles in the company to handle that sort of request. (or they were just fobbing you off)

Don't forget that you've just got to make the request..They have the obligation to fulfil it.

Might be good to talk to the ICO or perhaps get a bit of legal advice to make them realise their obligations if things get sticky.


Good luck !!

Dwarf Silver badge


Give that button a push with them and see where it goes.

It's not a Windows 10 release without something breaking so here's a troubleshooter for your OneDrive woes

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Files on demand

In the old days we used to call these a floppy or a hard disk.

Now its all marketing BS to make it sound like something shiny and new

Let's roll the 3d6 dice on today's security drama: Ah, 15, that's LG allegedly hacked, source code stolen by Maze ransomware gang

Dwarf Silver badge

@Jan 0

That's a new keyboard you owe me.

At least someone knows what they company was called before marketing re-branded it Life's Good to make it more palatable to European markets that don't get all this luck and 8's thing that is common in the far east.

Clint Eastwood also springs to mind "So, Do you feel lucky Punk ?!" and I guess that applies to both sides in this game of Chicken, but who will prevail ? Personally, I say don't pay the scumbags.

Conversely, though if it does get released, then I'm wondering if any of the code will contain keys or backdoor accounts that would be very interesting from a security perspective for all the Internet of Tat that is not upgradeable.

Hopefully after a couple of leaks like this, companies of such devices will see that upgrade ability is a key requirement for any device in the 2020's and beyond.

So from a consumer perspective, we win in both scenarios.

It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: Track record

And they can still screw things up even with all the juicy telemetry on what their systems are up to.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Dwarf Silver badge

OK, bored now

That's a shame, will have to take it off my list of things to consider when its time to get a new laptop.

If I can't run x64 code then its not very useful to me.

How about offering both CPIU architectures and see which one people want for their specific needs ?

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

Dwarf Silver badge

its easy

They just look for pictures with the black eye mask and the bag over their shoulder that says SWAG in large capital letters.

Even I can do that without a computer.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

Dwarf Silver badge

Two minds

I'm in two minds about this.

I like Intel and I like ARM, but I don't want to be strong-ARM'ed into that being my daily workhorse, so how about offering both types of CPU and allowing me as the customer to choose what works best for me.

If you can pull it off and give me equivalent performance as my current MacBook running the collection of workloads that I need for me to make my day rate - like remote software for customer sites (VM's,. standard Windows and Linux installs, Citrix,Zoom, that sort of stuff) then perhaps I might consider it, but if the supported products aren't there and aren't supported by the 3rd parties, then its no deal.

I really enjoy my current MacBook, as its convenient and it just works, but I enjoy being able to pay the bills and buy a pint a lot more than having a new CPU that can last longer on a single charge or is cheaper than the existing model and in regard to that, I strongly doubt that a new machine will end up being cheaper to the end customer.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: We have our own US-based All-American 5G Conspiracy Theory!

Resistance is not futile, according to Ohm's Law, its simply Voltage divided by Current

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

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: What does 'six feet' mean?

The problem with using an average crocodile is that many are above or below average length, so that would lead to confusion on the exact distances. Conversely this makes it ideal for government use where confusion is always your friend.

I have a theory though that if we actually used crocodiles to ensure distancing, then that would work as people are naturally wary of the beasts. I'm still working on how to protect the person wielding the crocodile as a ruler though.

Mind then wanders off to wonder if crocodiles actually get Covid-19 and if they actually are 6 feet long as I thought they got a lot larger than that..

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

Dwarf Silver badge

Just in case there wasn't enough sh*t on the Internet already.

Next - Internet outages due to the latest fatberg being removed and more chances for a JCB to cut through connectivity.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Dwarf Silver badge

Easy to fix..

Don't install the app, then you know with 100% confidence that its a scammer.

I know that the app won't be going onto any of our family devices, reasons include

1. Battery life will suffer - blasting out bluetooth all day long like a canary

2. The government has said that they will keep the data for unspecified reasons.. Err, GDPR logic should also apply.

3. Bluetooth only says a big circle from here, not that the person was within 2 metres of me. If social distancing needs 2M, then why use a 100M technology to do that.

4. It doesn't understand vertical spacing, so if I'm 30 metres up or down compared to someone, it won't be able to tell the difference.

5. IT doesn't see everyone,so those with no mobile / those that don't want to use it, the person that wiped their hands with CV on the same hand rail / door etc 20 minutes ago, etc.

6. Not all problems require a technology solution.

7. This is really about making people feel better about things rather than actually fixing the problem.

Now, given that Bluetooth is 2.4GHZ and that's the same frequency (ish) as a microwave oven, then if they could find a way of boosting the power and providing me with an star trek style anti-bacterial surface wiper device, then I might be prepared to use it as that would be useful.

Some that I've mentioned this idea to suggested that Samsung have already started to do this with their Galaxy Note 7 range, bit its a one-time capability..

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: None of this is a new problem

I've never really thought about "why 132 columns" before, but as its not multiples of 40 or 80, then I'm guessing that its related to the size of paper available (probably in the US?) and how many fixed width character blobs would fit in the space.

Although when you think a little more about this and the need for customisation of the ordinary roles of dead tree to add sprocket holes, tear lines for a page and alternative green and white stripy bars, then it makes it you wonder why they didn't go for 120 or 160 column as the page shape could presumably also be changed during the preparation of the fanfold paper pack.

Or is it actually 120 columns with 12 extra columns for some line number prefix type arrangement ??

Interested in this topic suddenly invoked after several decades not worrying about it.

I found an answer ..


Dwarf Silver badge

None of this is a new problem

Massive screens compared to those 40+ years ago gives a lot more options for people to work in a manner that works for them. I remember working on 40 column displays then getting a better display that could do 80 columns - it was enlightening..

Given that nobody prints out on hardcopy any more and 80 column printers had their limitations in the day - hence 132 column devices and as Unix and Linux have always had termcap (terminal capabilities) to cope with terminal differences "stty columns 132" or "stty columns 1000" all work as intended

All editors since the year dot have had line wrap capabilities that allow you to fold longer lines within the editor to make them readable without scrolling if you want to work like that and no changes to line lengths are made to the saved file either..

On the back of that, virtually all programming languages have a way to cope with longer lines either with a line wrap (\ in c) so a lot of this will come down to personal preference based on what the person is doing / what hardware they have available to work on.

I'm just a bit bemused as to why this has suddenly become an issue in 2020 when its had long established solutions for many decades.

Are we re-learning things we already know the answers to as people refuse to look at history and standards as they always assume they can do it better with zero knowledge and background. This seems to be the norm these days.

Did nobody tell them about the lockdown? Logitech releases new 'luggable' mechanical keyboard for LAN parties

Dwarf Silver badge

"with its ultra-slender mechanical keyswitches"

What could possibly go wrong ...

I just hope they are more tolerant of dust and debris than some other brands have proven to be.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

Dwarf Silver badge

How Gullible are you ?

Please send £50 for our questionnaire.

Photostopped: Adobe Cloud evaporates in mass outage. Hope none of you are on a deadline, eh?

Dwarf Silver badge

If only

If only there was a way to run things locally without the need to depend on things outside of my machine, then perhaps these sort of issues could be avoided..

Surf's up: Microsoft emits new security baseline for Edge 83 with way to shut off access to built-in browser game

Dwarf Silver badge

Whats an Edge Browser ?

Is that the thing that we download Chrome with ?

If someone could stop hackers pwning medical systems right now, that would be cool, say Red Cross and friends

Dwarf Silver badge

Whilst their logic may be good, I wonder if anyone has explained to them that the attacker doesn't know what the endpoint is, nor do they generally care.

Its easy to see why the compromised will happen since people click links with interesting titles and pandemics definitely tick the box for that.

The only way to really fix this issue is to ensure that the tools that you need to do your job are properly protected, a bit like how you lock the the other things in the hospitals and vehicles. Its time for organisations world-wide to realise that IT security budgets are really important and that its not wasted money. On the other hand, paying a scammer is.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

Dwarf Silver badge

So it doesn't even do what its creator needs ??

What irony.

Now, about all this pain you tried to force on all the rest of us then. How about those in Microsoft realise that visions rarely come to fruition and there is nothing wrong with saying "we screwed up". Windows 7 was your best OS and Office without the stupid Ribbon was the best. How about giving users what they actually want.

I for one can't even get calculator to launch reliably on a Windows 10 machine, sometimes it comes up, sometimes it opens but forgets to open a window, other times it comes up in a different size (far too big to use, / full screen). That must be one of the simplest applications, and its one of your own, so how hard can this really be ?

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: Funny that


That’s how I used to manage to install and fix NT3.51 /NT4 in both Japanese and German on customer sites whilst speaking neither of those languages. It all goes well until you get an error message ...

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

Dwarf Silver badge


Dear patent trolls, I hope you catch something nasty. The world will be a better place without you. Go and find a proper job - stack the shelves and do something productive for society rather than trying to suck the life out of it.

I'm left wondering what do patent trolls tell their kids / grand kids that they do for the their day job and what do their kids think about that ???

Openreach tells El Reg it'll kill off copper sales in 118 UK locations next year

Dwarf Silver badge

I wonder if this is in any way related to where they suffer the highest costs due to copper theft ?

Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'

Dwarf Silver badge

Of course all the telemetry they get on what people do will not be harvested an processed to see what they need to try and invade into next.

Papa don't breach: Contracts, personal info on Madonna, Lady Gaga, Elton John, others swiped in celeb law firm 'hack'

Dwarf Silver badge

Sounds like they need some good legal advice.

Also sounds like they needed some technology advice, but you have to wonder if they were already given such advice and declined it, probably on cost grounds. I wonder what the data dump will say about matters such as IT investment and security.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Dwarf Silver badge


What will these be called - the not-sure lists ?

How much time and effort will be taken to implement such a change and how can this be a higher priority than any of the other things they should be worrying about right now ?

I don't get why people calling things by their normal name is a problem. None of it has anything to do with race except for the people who want to make an issue out of it for whatever reason - and that is generally in no way related to the original topic.

I wear black shoes, why are these any more of an issue than the tan ones I also wear.or the muddy brown but originally green wellies in the garden. None of this has anything to do with anything other than the colour the object is.

Things used to be very simple, or binary, this was termed black and white as in it is or it isn't. Its no more complicated than that but for some reason people want to do that - we even have some trying to coin the term non-binary. Sorry, no, binary is base 2, it is or it is not. There is no other state ...


ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

Dwarf Silver badge

Time for a change

At last some common sense. Unfortunately it was not from within their own team on the first couple of days when this came up, so it seems appropriate to change some of that team to make future thinking clearer, quicker and far more transparent for their customers as trust right now does not exist between the rest of the world and them

Resistance is futile: Some Cisco security appliances are ticking time bombs of fail thanks to faulty resistors

Dwarf Silver badge

Resistance is not futile

It is simply voltage divided by current.

Guess which cloud giant Zoom picked to handle millions more video calls? Bzzt, wrong answer: It's Oracle

Dwarf Silver badge

Well, I suppose with virtually nobody else using their cloud facilities, there would be plenty of spare capacity.

Wakey-wakey! A quarter of IT pros only get 3-4 hours' kip – and you won't believe what's being touted as the 'solution'

Dwarf Silver badge

Conversely ...

What about all those people skilling up on the endless money making machine of endless courses about cloud, that takes time and that means less sleep.

So, arguable if they got rid of cloud, then there would be no need to stay up late and learn about it hence people would get more sleep. so, less cloud = more sleep.

My invoice is in the post ..

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

Dwarf Silver badge


Looks like a candidate for a fine for incorrectly managing personally identifiable information (PII)

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Dwarf Silver badge


Curly brackets should be used to define paragraphs (blocks) and a semicolon at the end of each sentence (statement)

White space should never be used to define structure and he reader must assume that multiple white space is syntactically identical as a single white space. i.e. [\w] is identical to [\w+]. White space can be used to aid readability,

Or am I thinking about something else :-)

Seriously though, this is why I refuse to learn python and stick to proper language structures.

Happy birthday, ARM1. It is 35 years since Britain's Acorn RISC Machine chip sipped power for the first time

Dwarf Silver badge


I recall playing this many times on an borrowed Archimedes, very impressive graphics and game performance for its day.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

Dwarf Silver badge

Re: Free for non-commercial use?

This is perhaps one area where pay-per-use would be appropriate.

I use TeamViewer to support some friends and yep, it kicks in every so often boldly claiming corporate use when its not and its a right pain in the arse when you are trying to fix something and it bins the connection half way through something like an install or fighting a stability issue.

I wouldn't mind if there was a pay-per-use, ideally paid for by the party being called (i.e. the person being supported) on say a per hour or per day basis. Assuming the £30/month rate then it should be around 4p per full hour. They could even do it with a PayPal type topup on your own account that gives "remote control credits" where remote control time is added up across a month, so there is no impact for being disconnected and reconnecting during all those remote reboots and forced TeamViewer client upgrades etc.

One thing is clear, I'm not going to be paying to help someone for free nor would I pay £30 a month for something that I'll barely use for 95% of the time, but I would like a way to get rid of the stupid commercial use false positives and lack of SLA for how long it takes them to fix those.



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