* Posts by old_IT_guy

43 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2015

Ring system discovered around dwarf planet Quaoar leaves astronomers puzzled


continuous injection of momentum from the cryovolcanic ejecta might be involved

UK's Online Safety Bill drops rules forcing social media to remove 'legal but harmful' content


"legal but harmful"

the phrase or an equivalent was never in the draft bill - so how can it be dropped?

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless


Wit endures

Charles Proteus Steinmetz said much the same to Henry Ford to explain his $10000 invoice after he'd fixed a vexing problem in a generator that kept failing at one of Ford's new plants


Wit endures :)

Leaked footage shows British F-35B falling off HMS Queen Elizabeth and pilot's death-defying ejection



... that's rather embarrassing...

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch loses first stage in fight against extradition to US


The extradition treaty we have in entirely one sided, the treaty was hurriedly put together at the start of the "war on terror" we signed our side, the US never signed the bit that made the treaty reciprocal.

Look at the Anne Sacoolas case - were she a UK citizen who did what she did in the US instead we would have had to ship her over to them. They are under no obligation to send her to us for trial.

US state has in some ways more power over UK citizens than our own authorities. The treaty should be abandoned by the UK asap.

Academics demand answers from NHS over potential data timebomb ticking inside new UK contact-tracing app


this poses a dilemma

Is there any body or organisation we can trust to:

- collect that data securely

- store that data securely

- delete that data when it's no longer considered valid or needed

- refrain from abusing that data either themselves or by selling it on to others

I suggest the answer to all the above is a resounding No.

That leaves us with a dilemma - what's overall worse, refusing to use the app with consequences for the number of deaths and length of the lock-down or just going with it knowing that they'll make a mess of it and likely abuse it in some way either deliberately or by virtue of thorough incompetence.

It's a hard one for me to answer at any rate.

Revealed: NHS England bosses meet with tech and pharmaceutical giants to discuss price list of millions of Brits' medical data


straw poll

Can we trust any government or quango to safeguard our data, prevent its abuse in hands of private companies and not get utterly ripped off?

For the record my vote is No, we can't.

Boffins find proof that yes, Carl Sagan and Joni Mitchell were right, we really are all made up of star stuff



The author appears not to understand the subject enough to write clearly about it, which is curious because Reg writers nearly always do - I wonder if this escaped some form of proof reading by a colleague?

Private equity to gobble up Brit virus blocker Sophos for £3bn


vulture capitalists...

Thoma Bravo are no different to the rest of the breed - it's all about bottom line and squeezing margins, it makes no difference if that leaves the product understaffed or not, and usually does. Good luck to Sophos staff, if I were in your shoes I'd leave asap, these buy-outs rarely end well for staff.

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it


You have a choice, here's mine

The BBC fail as a public service broadcaster on so many measures.

I stopped paying the usurious licence fee in the early 2000s, no regrets at all - the biased broadcasting corporation is infested with woke aresholes and much their content has become predictable, preachy, sanctimonious and unwatchable/unlistenable by me. At least James O'Brien and other broadcasters on LBC don't pretend to be unbiased...

The few admittedly high quality documentaries I am missing on release are not worth enduring the other repellent content for. I'll catch them up online in various ways.

Vote with your wallets - stop paying the licence fee, stop using the BBC, it only encourages the precious darlings.

Astroboffins baffled after spotting solar system with great gas giant that shouldn't exist


Speculation about other reasons

Possibly captured from a different star during a very rare but not impossible close encounter; crowded or busy stellar clusters can I believe eject members; or the Gas Giant itself was ejected from a different system during a turbulent youth and captured by the minnow it currently orbits.

As you can see from my handle, I'm no Astro-boffin, this is pure speculation

Astroboffins baffled as black hole at center of Milky Way suddenly a lot hungrier than before


Re: Black hole crisis

Gexit, please. Let's use the right terminology.

I support full Gexit before all those pesky Andromedan immigrants will arrive in just under 5 billion years time and change our galaxy forever.

I also support Sexit - yes, that means I am a Sexitist or Sexiteer - the Earth should leave the Solar System before Climate change turns the sun into a Red Giant

Eco-activists arrested by Brit cops after threatening to close Heathrow with drones


Re: Good work MET Police

I suspect you know exactly what was meant, and so would any UK citizen. It's also called Car Tax, Bloody Disgraceful Rip Off Tax and so on.

UK.gov: Huge mobile masts coming to a grassy hill near you soon


Can someone explain...

what's the fuss about 5G anyway? yes, it's faster, but how many people actually need that speed increase?

Isn't this a a solution looking for a problem and not finding one big enough to justify the spend but going ahead anyway?

It's hard for me not to see this as another case of an industry pushing a technology that there isn't a real need for - yet at any rate - to boost profits/share prices and the technically/scientifically illiterate and usually innumerate government helping them with wads of our cash and possible deregulation.

In the end it costs us all money, from the tax money the government use to subsidise trials and roll-out (remember BT took a bunch of tax cash which wasn't [all?] used for what it was intended for?) to increased monthly charges from the mobile telcos to their customers, which are already far higher than they should be imnsho.

I fail to see the benefit, am I missing something, obvious or otherwise?

Cloudflare punts far-right hate-hole 8chan off the internet after 30 slayed in US mass shootings


Guns or the people using them?

Isn't the real problem the people using the guns rather than the guns themselves?

Sure, if they didn't have guns they couldn't shoot people so easily, but they'd probably find other equivalent means to express themselves.

I am pretty convinced people are the problem and that edukayshun is the answer.

Internet imbeciles, aka British ISP lobbyists, backtrack on dubbing Mozilla a villain for DNS-over-HTTPS support


Kieren for Pres!

superb breakfast laugh, thanks!

Not all heroes wear capes: Contractor grills DXC globo veep on pay rises, offshoring, and cuts to healthcare help


DXC = Amityville Horror

get out


And now here's Tom on Jupiter with the weather: Thanks, Karen. Still a bit breezy on the Great Red Spot, but it's easing up



GRS wants out!

Another TITSUP* on this lovely Tuesday: Virgin Mobile takes time out to enjoy the sunshine


There is a solution

The only power we have is to vote with our wallet and stop using companies instead of taking to antisocial media to lambast them when they cock up or behave in a way people who like to voice their opinions think is bad.

Like when Starbucks was fingered for effective tax avoidance, there was an outcry for all of a few minutes, the next day walking past Starbucks I saw no fewer people queuing for their overpriced dishwater. If people had stopped using Starbucks - even if only for a few days - the corporate leeches might have panicked and changed things up a bit.

Time to vote with our feet and wallets in the corporate arena (as well as the political one as we are starting to see happen), if they suck, don't spend your money with them even if it means doing without some gewgaw or other.

Clearly, if no-one is any better, and we cannot do without whatever it is they offer, we're shafted and have to pick the lesser of many evils, as I have had to do...

Confession: I admit to being a VM customer myself, I use their broadband because it's cable and they wound up being the current owners of the company I've had my broadband service from since the very early naughties, the only (cable) alternative I am aware of is to use BT, who are even bigger cunts than VM and I will never knowingly use. Mea culpla, mea maxima culpa.

Three planets and two stars adds up to one research team made very happy by Kepler's unique discovery


Binary star systems with planets may be a rarity, but binary systems (unqualified) aren't.

UK health tech quango strikes Gould, reckons digital policy wonk has NHSX-factor to run org


Security first please.

"I will know I have succeeded if in two years we have reduced the crazy amount of time that clinicians spend inputting and accessing patient information, if we have given patients the tools so they can access information and services directly from their phones, and if we have started to build a system in which patient information can be securely accessed from wherever it is needed, ensuring safer and better care as patients move around the system, and saving patients from having to tell every doctor and nurse their story over and over again."

Surely finish building a system in which patient information can be securely accessed from wherever it is needed before giving it all to the slurpers via a "we must be seen to be trendy" app for mobiles...

Fortune favours the Brave: Privacy browser chap takes gripes over adtech body's website to Irish data watchdog



Hit a site with a cookie wall, simply close the tab. At the moment I can't think of a single case in my use of the web where there was no alternative site without the intrusive cookie wall.

I know that's not going to cover some edge cases where there is simply no alternative, but for most such shitty sites, just close the tab.

Glad someone is taking on those wankers though, well done!

Judge snubs FBI's bid to snaffle Autonomy docs ahead of founder Mike Lynch's UK showdown



Caveat Emptor has its place in this argument regardless of Autonomy's conduct.

Even if Autonomy were dishonest, HP have a track record of corporate malfeasance (bribery, for one), which while it doesn't excuse any bad conduct on Autonomy's part, it does give some needed perspective.

Also, they're both businesses, their task is to make money and not be caught doing something illegal.

I have no sympathy for either of them (the companies), only for their victims, it's their lowest paid employees and their customers who pay the price for both companies' greed.

Cisco sues lawyers on its own side – for bigger slice of capacitor price-fixing settlement pie


My brother has our grandparent's 1960's GEC fridge in his living room (chilling beers ofc!). It has worked perfectly for over 50 years, never broken down, never needed re-gassing and is far quieter than any fridge either of us have ever owned. It's also not at all unattractive, this image is of the same model - https://goo.gl/images/XiiT8A

It's all been said elsewhere countless times as well as why, but I do wish this design philosophy hadn't fallen by the wayside decades ago.

Google's stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits


Re: When will using GMail (or any Google Service...)...

They're a business, they exist to make money, any claims of loftier goals are a smoke screen to give their unfettered greed a veneer of appeal for the benefit of their marks.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true


Re: Indeed

She - "her bedroom".

I clearly didn't over-indulge last night

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain


Re: As a non Apple owner, all I can ask is


Pentagon cloud contract sueball: Oh no, Oracle doesn't need those docs, AWS tells court


A plague on both their houses, greedy fucktards that they all are

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports


Unthinking authoritarianism - one of Mrs. May's defining characteristics. Unsurprisingly, her government departments reflect her malfunction. The other side, if they were in, would do something even more daft - mine isn't a party partisan statement, they all suck big hairy goat balls, and if there was a "none of the above" on my ballot paper, I'd always be ticking that. Fuck the lot of them.

Newsflash: Twitter still toxic place for women, particular those of color, Amnesty study finds


Why does anyone give a flying fuck about what one person says and another finds offensive on a(n anti-)social media platform? Even if for some reason you do, if YOU take offence that easily simply stop using the damn thing.

Note the directionality, you TAKE offence, then accuse someone of GIVING offence, it's entirely subjective, which one would presume prevents a sensible, fair and proportionate law from being formulated... (n.b. by chance I encountered and had a conversation with a UK government lawyer a month ago, I raised this point and received an entirely bullshitting answer, perfectly well suited both to the politicians who instructed her and her profession).

Analogy: If you are waiting for a bus and get repeatedly soaked by cars driving through puddles from some recent rain you move back or walk to another bus stop or even to your destination. Continuing to stand at the bus stop complaining about the bastard drivers is just too stupid for words.

Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request


memory is short

Meng Hongwei - Director of Interpol, disappeared on arrival in China on 25th September this year, now being investigated by China's National Supervisory Commission.

This arrest was committed with apparent impunity, search and you'll find very little - if any - comment from the West at the time and basically nothing since.

China is posturing over Meng Wanzhou's Canada arrest and we should ignore them, it's part of that ridiculous game called International Politics.

It's official – satellite spots water ice at the Moon's chilly poles


Re: rotating on it's axis

Oh yes, requires it's rotation-on-its-axis period match its orbit-round-earth period :)


"The Moon is hypothesized to have rotated on its current axis two to three billion years ago"

Um, isn't it still rotating on it's axis? It's tidally locked to us, that's why we get to see the same face when the moon is up, that requires that it's rotation period match ours...

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity


heavy atmosphere

I am feeling oppressed, seems we live on a planet where the normal pressure is 1000 Earth atmospheres.

Jingle bells, IBM tells more staff it is D-day ♫


why stay?

When the ship is so obviously sinking - I suggest that 22 profitless quarters, that's five and a half years for the innumerate, qualifies as a sinking ship - don't wait to be pushed, look for a new job. As an ex-IBMer you (whoever you are) will find it easier to get a new job in the sector than most. The lure of a redundancy payment shouldn't be sufficient to offset the erosion of your quality of life as you work for an organisation in terminal decline.

Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised


Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

Progressive and Regressive are relative terms, in the context of their time Athens was Progressive, not Regressive.

It could perhaps be argued that they should be considered Regressive in the context of the modern era, but then you'd have to state where in the world you are taking as your baseline as well.

It is only in relation to "the west" in the modern era that you may be able to claim Athenian society was regressive, and then some will still argue with you.

Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment


Liberty Global are gougers

they've hiked prices twice at least since taking over, they are all about maximising their profit - which is fair enough, customers (like me) can always walk away (and I will), but their whining about Brexit consequences is pathetic, just a play to get more government money to throw away not providing any wider or better service.

Leave LG (VM) they are scum, I certainly am leaving at the end of my contact.

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works


o rly?

many reasoned arguments presented in the comments to the effect of "what a load of bollocks".

I completely agree.

'Faceless' Liberty Global has 'sucked the very soul' out of Virgin Media


rant in E minor (thanks Bill)

They're all a bunch of c**ts. We're meaningless ciphers for their profit. They don't care if we are pissed off or if we leave. We are a sadly necessary nuisance for them. No difference between any of them, provide the minimum service they can get away with and often way below that level.

Here's an example of their cynicism: VM offer a TIVO box which they have hamstrung with a 10mb nic making the bloated unwieldy poorly designed menu system almost unusably slow to interact with. This minor detail is not included in what passes for a "tech spec" for the device (that I could see). Naturally, we will soon be able to buy an "upgraded box" - with a 100MB nic, something the original should have had, only this way they can shaft you for a fat upgrade charge. Note that the minimum speed VM offer is 50mb/s - 10mbps nic really does cripple their silly box.

Unprincipled tossers the lot of them.

And, yes, they are a business, they are there to make profit, but like nearly all businesses they imnsho get the balance completely wrong, their conduct is unethical across the board (pun intended).

Happy Friday :)

Watch a hot, speeding space alien explode all over Earth's Beaver


Not detected...

"Subsequent research showed that between 2000 and 2013 Earth was hit by two asteroids a year that exploded with a force of more than one kiloton, with the biggest bang a 600 kiloton airburst. None of these meteors had been spotted by telescopes."

'Roids approaching from the direction of the sun are not detectable from Earth, we need a couple of satellites around the L2 points to see what we cannot from, down here.

NASA probe sent to faraway planet finds DWARF world instead: Pics


"The craft is the fastest human-made object to leave Earth's orbit"

Voyager 2 is currently moving at around 16 Km/s, faster than New Horizon.

Fancy six months of security nirvana for free? Read on...


What AV?

I've not used AV software on my home machines for, ooh, well, ever really.

I've also never had a virus.

What works for me is "being careful" - this covers opening email attachments, visiting websites etc.

Naturally (pardon the pun) being behind a locked down NAT firewall in my router helps a lot.

I realise this isn't a viable option for all people - not every one in a household is aware (read: savvy, experienced etc.) enough - but it has worked for me.

To my mind what a windows machine - any, but mine in particular - doesn't need is yet another set of processes that "have your best interests at heart and try to be extra helpful" by doing stuff to your machine that you are unaware of either the reason for or the detail of.

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?



Night of the Lepus.

Them, Phase 4 - anyone know of any other ant movies?

I've watched them all with many laughs and no regrets, but they are truly among the mingers of the film world.