* Posts by Little Mouse

1454 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Dec 2014

Blue screen of death or Eurovision's Windows95man performance – what's less annoying?

Little Mouse

Re: Can anyone offer us a serious explanation

Have you ever watched the movie "Highlander"?

All the component parts are excruciating, and it just shouldn't work, but the end product is strangely and thoroughly compelling.

I told Halle Berry where to go during a programming gig in LA

Little Mouse

When I worked for a local authority, there was no chance of luxury overnight accommodation due to it all being funded by the taxpayer.

To their credit though, they didn't always book the absolute cheapest. Except for once, In Reading. I saw my hotel on the news a month or so later - It turned out there had been a murder there not long before my stay.

Council claims database pain forced it to drop apostrophes from street names

Little Mouse

Re: Tail wags dog

Obligatory Viz Letterbox quote:

"Are Nice biscuits pronounced Nice or Nice? I always pronounce it Nice, but my wife insists that it is Nice."

(With thanks to Barry Macbeth)

Tesla devotee tests Cybertruck safety with his own finger – and fails

Little Mouse

Re: WTF is a frunk

I believe the technical term is: "Clipped compound"

Help! My mouse climbed a wall and now it doesn't work right

Little Mouse

Re: Mouse balls

That smug, god-like, feeling after successfully removing the crud from the roller in one clean piece.

Ah yes.

Microsoft really does not want Windows 11 running on ancient PCs

Little Mouse

Re: Alternative

I've been running Windows at home for the past 30+ years, because, well, easy. But there's no way in a gazillion years that I will let M$ force me to bin perfectly functional hardware.

So, yes. When the time comes, it'll be a new OS. No question.

Whistleblower cries foul over alleged fuselage gaps in Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Little Mouse

Anything to see here...?

Boeing has been at the pointy end of a lot of criticism recently, and deservedly so. But that's usually a result of their poor working practices, cutting corners, shaving costs, etc. i.e. Just plain doing their job wrong.

In this case though, all the whistleblower is saying is that, in his opinion, the actual design of the aircraft is wrong. The same design that actually does go through a LOT of rigorous testing and sign-off. (regardless of how shoddily it's all assembled at the end). If there really were fundamental flaws in the blueprints, someone else absolutely would have noticed.

This smells more of someone wanting their 15 minutes of fame.

Global taxi software vendor exposes details of nearly 300K across UK and Ireland

Little Mouse

Re: Consumer-facing ride-hailing app experience?

They try to(!) And it's certainly an "experience".

For booking in advance, the iCabbi app nearly always says there's no cars available, but sometimes you can get lucky by retrying the exact same booking but with a new pickup time that's only a minute or two off the original. (And that's after avoiding times that are exactly on the hour/ half-hour)

I'm not sure if that's down to iCabbi being pointlessly inflexible, or the local taxi company supplying them with non-optimal data.

I dare say I'm on the "exposed" list. Hopefully they'll be significantly quicker to let me know than Capita were after their Pensions breach last year (i.e. days not months!)

Sleuths who cracked Zodiac Killer's cipher thank the crowd

Little Mouse

I think you've accidentally discovered how Iain M Banks came up with all those tongue-twister names for his characters.

Simulation reveals all Japanese will have the same surname by 2531

Little Mouse

"He then assumed a constant growth rate"...

I'm stating the obvious, I know, but you can find tiny discrepancies in the noise of almost any data set and twist it to mean anything you like.

A few notes on the statistics would have been helpful. To what extent were the numbers meaningful?

I'm reminded of a similar (kind of) joke news article in Viz back in the day, which extrapolated the difference in length of two near-identical bees, to warn us of a near future where we could all soon expect to be terrorised by foot-long killer flying monsters

UK council yanks IT systems and phone lines offline following cyber ambush

Little Mouse

Re: Ah, the good old UK public sector!

re "incompetent IT staff", etc.

Been there - done that. It's far more nuanced than just Idiots-work-for-the-council. It's basically a Kafka-nightmare in miniature, played out by the characters from Gormenghast.

The staffers are not typically incompetent at all. Not necessarily the top 10%, but certainly more than capable of keeping the IT lights on.

It's the layers and layers of middle management who bog everything down. That's where the "couldn't get a proper job in the real world" individuals are to be found. Too many decisions made at that level are self-serving and fly in the interests of the tax-payer.

Add to that the senior management, who, like CEOs everywhere, spunk too much money on their pet vanity project, but then leave before it gets finished, only to get replaced by a looky-likey clone with another totally different vision that requires a complete U-turn.

And then you have the tendering and procurement processes that effectively guarantee that all promising and well-intentioned initiatives get compromised to the point of being unrecognisable.

Windows 10 failing to patch properly? You are most definitely not alone

Little Mouse

KB5001716? Again!?!?!

That little fucker cause me no end of pain a year or so ago.

They keep releasing newer versions with the same KB name. My machine wouldn't update at all because that patch refused to apply, because it thought it was already installed.

I forget the exact fix process, but basically you need to fool your PC onto thinking it both is and isn't installed, depending on what stage of the patch process you're at, by manually inserting/deleting the unpacked contents of the manual install files (old and new versions), as appropriate.

UK finance minister promises NHS £3.4B IT investment to unlock £35B savings

Little Mouse

Re: Tory Go Vermin is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

Oi! I watch Goggle Box & I resemble that remark!

HP print rental service seeks more users to become subscription addicts

Little Mouse

Re: A fool and his money

HP has past form for changing the Ts & Cs of their subscription plans. Remember their Instant Ink Print Free for Life?

Chinese PC-maker Acemagic customized its own machines to get infected with malware

Little Mouse

"a ten percent discount to any future Acemagic purchase"

Mmmmm.... That sounds about as appetising as a discount from the takeaway after you complain about finding a curly hair in your meal.

It's time we add friction to digital experiences and slow them down

Little Mouse

Re: Tom Cruise to the rescue

...and username & password characters are always 10 times normal size.

Work to resolve binary babble from Voyager 1 is ongoing

Little Mouse

22.5 light hours distance is seriously impressive.

There's got to be some kudos in Voyager passing the 1 light-day boundary. Is anyone here willing to do the necessary sums to calculate exactly when that will be?

I really hope it will still be sending/receiving when it does so.

Saturnian moon Mimas: Crunchy on the outside, sub-surface ocean on the inside

Little Mouse

" It has a crater so large, relative to its size, that it looks like Death Star"

It does indeed. A pic would have been nice.

NASA, Lockheed Martin reveal subtly supersonic X-59 plane

Little Mouse

Re: Semitic Plane

Now I've got his theme music going around my head... Thanks.

Windows keyboards to get a Copilot key – but how quickly will users jump?

Little Mouse

We've already seen plenty of keyboards that had dedicated buttons for applications that the average user actually gives a shit about - "Internet", Email, Etc. But those buttons never got used. By anyone. Ever.

It's a dead-end idea from MS, and not even an original one at that.

New cars bought in the UK must be zero emission by 2035 – it's the law

Little Mouse

I anticipate the UK's definition of "zero emissions" being watered down somewhat as the date draws closer.

Maybe I could just pay a 3rd-party to supposedly plant a few trees on my behalf for every journey I make? I understand that this works just fine for "Carbon neutral".

'The computer was sitting in a puddle of mud, with water up to the motherboard'

Little Mouse

Re: Dye Houses

The "prettiest" one I came across was the small machine room for a semi-rural museum. It was just a small room that had a tiny window to outside that was kept open a crack all year round.

One day I walked in to find a thick layer of colourful dead butterflies covering every inch of every surface. There must have been thousands of the poor things.

They had similar overnight infestations of ladybirds too, over the years. I'm not sure what it was about the room that attracted them.

Calculating Pi in the sky: Axiom Space plans to launch 'orbital datacenter'

Little Mouse

Don't forget the important stuff

1U for the KVM.

4U for the UPS batteries that are guaranteed to not work when needed.

2U for a dusty legacy server that can't be decommissioned.

1U for a piece of networking kit that isn't properly racked, and just sits on top of the server below.

A front cabinet door that won't lock and needs a good thump to stay shut.

An assorted of dropped screws scattered around the hard to reach places.

8km of tangled cables that spill out like intestines when you open the back cabinet door.

Orange warning lights that have been lit since the dawn of time and never get dealt with because "hardware redundancy".

Did I miss anything?

Japanese brewery using generative AI to dream up new beverages

Little Mouse


Wine that has effectively been fizzed up in a Soda Stream (Prosecco, Cava, etc) is a very different beast to wine that has been properly finished its fermentation in the bottle, Champagne style.

Little Mouse

Using generative AI to come up with brand new ideas?

The Diceman (sequel) did this decades ago, but in the world of automotive engineering rather than beer.

(TL:DR Spoiler alert - He chose to swap his counter-culture no-responsibility ideals for big money, and designed a randomised computer system that generated millions of unusual tweaks to existing car designs, providing the inspirational seed for breakthroughs that would never have been considered otherwise)

Little Mouse

Re: Humans are still worse than AI

"Burnt toffee" flavour was a recent one I had. Imagine blending Guinness with a Crunchy bar.

How to give Windows Hello the finger and login as someone on their stolen laptop

Little Mouse

Re: The linked (thank you) article is great ...

YouTube subtitles seems unable to recognise the word "nonce" (Instead it comes up with "Nuns", "NS", etc).

Is that because it's on the official naughty list (I assume Youtube has a blacklist of forbidden words), or is it just not a known word in the USA?

Rights warriors claim online ad auction data a danger to national security

Little Mouse

Riddle me this...

Given that $$$ is already being spent behind the scenes on "targeted" advertising, how come the best the industry can seem to manage is to insert the name of a nearby town or city into adverts for utterly random shite?

More X subscription tiers could spell doom for free access as biz bleeds cash

Little Mouse

We all knew it would end in tiers...

...the tiers of a clown.

Royal College considers no confidence move after Excel recruitment debacle

Little Mouse

Re: That seems odd, no?

Heh - My Dad said pretty much the same thing, when he found out we were allowed to use pocket calculators in school back in the 80's.

Little Mouse

Re: Experts

...and let's not forget those special users who insist on categorising cells by background colour...

Indian authorities raid fake tech support rings after tipoff from Amazon and Microsoft

Little Mouse

"just have a look at the multitude of videos on YouTube." No need - I already get relatively regular scam calls from "Sky" and/or "Microsoft" a couple of times a month.

I've given up trying to prank and fool them back - that novelty eventually wore off. Now I just give them the full-on Disappointed Dad lecture. "Is this what you dreamed of doing when you were young?" etc etc.

If I'm lucky they get really angry, which is so much more satisfying.

As TikTok surveils staff's office hours, research indicates WFH is good for planet

Little Mouse

Re: Good for the planet?

That article reads like it was written 10-15 years ago - That time when the actual science really did take a back seat to the political evangelising and name-calling and dubious "facts" that were endlessly repeated as absolute gospel (by both sides, I should add). Since then things have calmed down a lot in that regard, and actual science has been allowed to feature a lot more in the debate, to the point where it's no longer about the old Climate Change yes/no question, but the details.

TLDR - I couldn't get to the end of the article. Too much hyperbole, opinion, and unnecessary "flowery fluff" around the actual facts it is trying to get across. There may be a cohesive argument in there somewhere, but it's buried too deep for me.

Sure, give the new kid and his MCSE power over the AS/400. What could possibly go wrong?

Little Mouse

Re: A bit unusual

I got-away-with-it-once when, in my first job, I very publicly fucked up whilst all the higher-ups were watching.

My boss had left me on my own to deal with a very critical and expensive company-wide issue, and wasn't there to stop me making a very schoolboy error. He'd gone off to play golf instead.

He liked to tell me afterwards that he'd personally stuck his neck out for me and taken a bollocking on my behalf, but I think it's more likely that he actually was held accountable and torn a new one in private.

Little Mouse

Re: A bit unusual

Maybe next week we'll get a confession from "Ricardo", of last week's "Test for Ricardo" Motorola fame. I'd love to know whether he just-got-away-with-it and held onto his job or not.

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation

Little Mouse

Re: Outlook...

Another advantage of the One Pile system is that it is self-sorting. The "important", recent, stuff can be found near the top, whilst the "it can wait another week" stuff magically works it's way lower down.

Health, payment info for 1.2M people feared stolen from Purfoods in IT attack

Little Mouse

Re: Are you serious?

So.... Your client was never actually PCI-DSS compliant then. Were they even claiming that they were? A Del-boy approach to PCI-DSS isn't going to improve data security - Why would it?

PCI-DSS is only toothless in the sense that the PCI-DSS police aren't going to come after you for breaking their rules - They'll just remove your compliance certification. And if that happens then you lose any contracts you may have had that depended on that compliance.

And on the plus side, when done "right", the PCI-DSS framework can massively mitigate against the likelihood and/or impact of a significant breach.

Microsoft makes some certification exams open book

Little Mouse

It's not a complete article without mentioning "AI"?

This comment was not created by generative AI. But sometime in the future, maybe it might.

Want tech cred? Learn how to email like a pro

Little Mouse

"did it never occur to you..."

Many, many, things in IT rankle, niggle &/or rub me up the wrong way. But not many of them merit having righteous sub-cultures fighting their opposing causes in a never-ending war.

And an aside, forum threads and office email threads are entirely different beasts. Bottom-posting for forum threads like this, to be sure. But if I replied to my bosses emails and hid my text at the "wrong" end, he'd either just assume that I'd sent him a blank reply, or spot my out of time text, shake his head in bewilderment, and tell me not to be an arse.

Little Mouse

Before today the Top vs Bottom argument never even touched my radar, despite 35+ years in the industry & 10 years of hobbying prior to that. But a quick Google reveals that this is a topic that is as fiercely fought over as Windows vs Linux, and has been since the dawn of time.

Biden to bolster boondocks broadband with a billion bonus bucks (barely)

Little Mouse

A thumbs-up from me for "disburse".

Judge denies HP's plea to throw out all-in-one printer lockdown lawsuit

Little Mouse

Re: Epson

Home Pixma user here - I've found my ink costs are significantly less than with the HP inkjets I owned in another life.

Although, to be fair, I don't by Canon-branded ink..

Get your staff's consent before you monitor them, tech inquiry warns

Little Mouse

Re: Well, duh..

If it really came down to it, any such company would just add a "Consent" clause to the default employment contract. Most already do, I imagine.

Consultation won't come into it. Or at best, you'd get "consulted" regarding whether you want to a) Like it or B) Lump it.

Another HR tick-box, Hooray.

Lawsuit: We've got the stats to prove Twitter ax fell unfairly on older, female engineers

Little Mouse

Re: A tough sell

Don't be silly - Brexit was much more decisive than that (52% vs 48%)

Ukraine's Victor Zhora: Russia's cyber 'war crimes' will continue after ground invasion ends

Little Mouse

"stop pretending to be a victim"...

What, Ukraine have just been experiencing a really bad run of luck recently? It's not like they've been invaded or anything?

Boffins say they can turn typing sounds into text with 95% accuracy

Little Mouse

Re: Practical attack?

"What is the accuracy if they get good audio quality but can't train their model on the specific user and keyboard and location beforehand?"

But that's exactly what's being described in the article. There is no prior-training required. For each deployment, the model just needs to listen long enough to figure it all out for itself.

Edit: "Sorry that handle..." pipped me to the post, and spelled it out (heh) far better than me.

Telecom giants dial up the heat on suppliers: It's not you, it's your CO2

Little Mouse

All Talk and no Trousers?

So, lots of bluster and declarations of intent, etc, but no actual plan? Hmm.

Orkney islands look to drones to streamline mail deliveries

Little Mouse

Re: Yeah, bad weather is a problem

I don't think that it's average windspeeds we need to worry about. It's the sudden gusts that are going to bring these babies down.

ISTR a horrific boat race around 10 years ago. The maximum windspeeds were well outside the "safe" tolerance levels, but the forecasters only published the average expected speeds. That mix-up resulted in fatalities.

Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser

Little Mouse

Journos participating in the chat (and especially putting commentards in their place) is something that I really miss from the "old" Register. More of this, please.

Capita staffers told attackers stole data from its own pension fund

Little Mouse

I finally got my letter in the post yesterday. They certainly dragged their heels over this.

They also offered me the usual free Experian membership for a year. I feel so much safer now.