* Posts by Loud Speaker

595 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jan 2015


New GNOME Human Interface Guidelines now official – and obviously some people hate it

Loud Speaker

Re: Who cares?

If there's one design practice that MUST be followed, it's USER CHOICE

^^^^^ This, a thousand times, this.


Don't ever force a change on the users.

If your "new shiney" is any good, people will switch to it when they are good and ready.

If its not good, crawl back into your basement and die - don't force it on us grumpy old farts! We have other things to think about than "where the fuck has the damned button gone this time!!!!"

You MUST present your official ID (but only the one that's really easy to fake)

Loud Speaker

Re: is still a thing to pretend to be someone else?

A very long time ago, I arrived at Dover (from France) in a red Jaguar with white vinyl roof*, together with my very pretty girlfriend and her two friends. Just for a laugh, I was wearing a chauffeur's hat.

The customs and immigration waved us to one side, and were clearly planning to search us. My girlfriend said, loudly, and in my general direction "I don't think they know who we are!" One officer whispered to another, and the third one waved us on.

As we left, one of the friends, leaned forward from the back seat, said "I don't think we know who we are!"

* That was the fashion in those days.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software

Loud Speaker

how to software developes ... get paid?

I have written freeware, including for commercial organisations.

Typically, I, or my employers, want some software. I write it. It solves the immediate problem - but it needs maintenance, and solves a generic problem.

Simples, as my meerkat says (if suitably bribed), I release it as Open Source.

Other people download and use it, but they need bug fixes and/or extra features, so they provide them themselves.

One day, it becomes a major league world beating something.

Or not. See if I care.

Russia spoofed AIS data to fake British warship's course days before Crimea guns showdown

Loud Speaker

Re: back to basics

Good thing I kept my sextant handy.

Indeed - you may need it to measure how fast Boris is drifting away from reality.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'

Loud Speaker

A long time ago, my mother bought four beigels at 25p each* from a local bakers.

"There you go, four beigels £1,25" said the shop assistant

"No, four times 25 is 100" replies my mum.

"Look!" says the asistant, and proceeds to write a column:







"See, numbers can't lie!"

"OK", says my mum "Give me one beigel" and hands over 25p. She then repeats this three more times, and leaves the shop.

Moral: When in Rome do as Romans do. When in thievery, do as the thieves do! (Do your own dammed accumulator next time.)

* I believe it was in the days of £sd but I modernised the story for the yoof of today.

Feature bloat: Psychology boffins find people tend to add elements to solve a problem rather than take things away

Loud Speaker

Re: IT

start implementing this at your corporation: Get rid of Power Point and meetings. <P>

Eat your own dogfood!

Loud Speaker

They were Americans

A long time ago (1975?), I worked on the "Europeanisation" of the Xerox 800 (word processor based on the 8080).<P>

In those days, it was quite hard to get American semiconductors in Europe, so we had to replace the design at PCB level

with a locally designed equivalent.<p>

In most cases, the European design used fewer parts, which we attributed to solving problems by removing

parts while Americans solved them by adding parts.

New systemd 248 feature 'extension images' updates immutable file systems without really updating them

Loud Speaker

that said, it seems systemd is almost becoming an os in it’s own right it had gained so many functions.<P>

Well the sooner it does, the sooner we can avoid it if we don't want it.

You only need pen and paper to fool this OpenAI computer vision code. Just write down what you want it to see

Loud Speaker

Re: Simply write the words ‘iPod’ or ‘pizza’ on a bit of paper

I will experiment and report back tomorrow!

Takes from the taxpayer, gives to the old – by squishing a bug in Thatcherite benefits system

Loud Speaker

Re: 01/26/2004 would have been cleared

ISO 8601 requires that the separator be a dash: 2021-12-31<p>

So that some of your SQL statements will execute the subtract signs, and others will assume the resultant number is a Unix date.This way undetectable bugs will be born intermittently, ensuring programmers will always be employed.

Loud Speaker

Re: Language!

controlling a hydraulic tablet compression <P>

Do these work on Chromebooks?

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

Loud Speaker

Re: The fickle finger of blame...

Point out that they will be personally for the ransom _when_ the system is breached.

Loud Speaker

Re: The fickle finger of blame...

A system with zero backups? Seems . like criminal negligence<P>


Seagate says it's designed two of its own RISC-V CPU cores – and they'll do more than just control storage drives

Loud Speaker

Embedded SQL?

When SCSI first replaced SASI (about 40 years ago) I proposed disk drives with embedded SQL processors, so, instead of looking up your info via a file system, you searched for it in a database. In other words, instead of telling the drive where to look for the data, you tell it what you want, and ask it to go and find it.

Of course, this costs computing power, but if you are getting the computing power for the price of 1/2 teaspoon-full of sand (incremental cost of Risc-V) then why not use it to off load processing from your (Beowulf cluster of) mainstream CPUs? Postgresql is pretty cheap these days, as it does not need to fund any AC75 yachts. (If you need any good indexing algorithms for text, PM me - I want an AC75 for myself).

(At the time I was proposing to use an array of pipelines of Transputers, but Mrs Thatcher quietly took the Transputer round the back of the shed and shot it).

The nightmare is real: 'Excel formulas are the world's most widely used programming language,' says Microsoft

Loud Speaker

Re: Next August 29th...

I have a copy of that spreadsheet on my Pentium, and I am pretty sure the date is predicted to be February 35th.

Loud Speaker

Re: Makes sense

I implemented an entire AI in Excel that did epidemiological case management prediction.<P>

a) How many patients died?<br>

b) Were you hired by Trump?

Loud Speaker

Re: Makes sense

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a Thumb.<p>


Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

Loud Speaker

Well, if they end all movement, they will meet their goal won't they?

GCHQ agency 'strongly urges' Brit universities, colleges to protect themselves after spike in ransomware infections

Loud Speaker


Are UK Universities using Windows? They didn't when I was a student (cos the PC had not been invented - it was all ICL mainframes).

Surely all the UK Universities could club together and produce a BSD clone for University use.

For added confusion, they could call it "University Software Distribution" or "USD" for short ;-()

If every Computer Science student had to produce a device driver ...

No, wait ....

TCL's latest e-ink tech looks good on paper, but Chinese giant will have to back up extraordinary claims

Loud Speaker

400 page "Data sheets" and maintenance manuals

A use that is absolutely crying out for an A3 folding "Ebook" - ie two A4 facing pages.

You can go on site with the data sheets for every possible product you can imagine, and all the components its made from, and have pages for two devices visible at once. Schematics large enough to read, etc.

One per field service engineer on the planet sounds like a reasonable market, and a

fair number will get lost/stole/broken every year.

Probably the only folding device that makes any sense at all.

Never mind thinness - what about gorilla glass and a pull out keyboard with a tracker ball in case you need to do actual engineering?

With a million unwanted .uk domains expiring this week, Nominet again sends punters pushy emails to pay up

Loud Speaker

They were replaced by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in 2007.

Are they also responsible for silly walks?

AI assistants work perfectly in the UK – unless you're from Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Belfast...

Loud Speaker

Standard BBC English here

These things never understand me either.

When using Google maps, my occasionally says "Sorry, I did not understand" - but I always to my best to turn off any voice anything, because I have never

known one to work.

The most annoying is the AVR used by banks. After asking you to say a number, it repeats it back to you and rarely gets as much as one digit in three correct.

Then it asks if it was correct, and you reply "NO" it assumes that you meant "YES".

In fairness, I cannot understand a lot of Americans on TV. I only discovered what "crosswalk" means after extreme harassment from Google's reCaptcha,

and today I was told what a popsicle is. If I am going to learn another language, Spanish is higher on my list than American - and so are Shona and


But I am OK with Glaswegians, but my grandfather grew up in Edinburgh, and I once had a Glaswegian girlfriend.

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old

Loud Speaker

Re: And so it ever was.

Here in the UK, I suspect it is used to recruit technically knowledgeable professional liars - a very valuable resource for the sales team.

What does London's number 65 bus have to hide? OS caught on camera setting fire to '22,000 illegal file(s)!!'

Loud Speaker

I missed the popup ...

"Please wait while Windows deletes your valuable documents"

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

Loud Speaker


Surely here is proof that Windows should never be used in medical (or other life threatening) situations (Or Xboxes).

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

Loud Speaker

Re: If you don't ..

A good trick is to use the same password but different usernames

I would, but I always forget which username is on which system

Loud Speaker

Re: In other news....

And stop with this hiding the password while you are trying to create a new one. If someone is watching, then it is not a good time to be entering the new password twice while he watches you type it!

Google, I am looking at you!

Loud Speaker

Re: OK, sp which password manager to plump for?

NextCloud to any hacker in a third world country


Loud Speaker

Re: In other news....

"Two factor" verification includes a typical set of predefined questions that could be answered by anyone creeping your facebook

a) you should not be using Facebook, for anything, ever

b) Never tell the truth - when they ask for "your mother's maiden name" what they actually mean is "the name of the porn star your Dad imagined he was fucking when you were conceived" (hyphenate if more than one). (Names of dogs and sheep are acceptable here).

If you're writing code in Python, JavaScript, Java and PHP, relax. The hot trendy languages are still miles behind, this survey says

Loud Speaker


We used IBM-compatible PCs (remember them?) running Attachmate 3270 emulator, so arguably we had a graphical display too.

Presumably with CGA - "Crap Graphics Adaptor" - I doubt IBM would have given you Herculeses.

(I wrote a 3270 emulator for the BBC Model B)

Error at or near line1, column 1

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition

Loud Speaker

Re: The most egregious thing about this...

It is so they get a clearer view of your face when you stop to read the sign.

The people who are really in control are "The illiterati".

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Loud Speaker

Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

<iIt is one of Vodafone's masts and it hasn't been switched on.</i>

Probably the first time "Switched On" and "Vodaphone" have appeared in the same post ever!

- I think mine is a Darth Vadaphone!"

Loud Speaker

Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

AI = Actual Idiocy

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines

Loud Speaker

Re: Never keep trying without diagnosing.

Of course, the first thing you do on powering up the board is to measure the rails.

I worked for Xerox UK in the 1970's. We had a new test rig delivered. Some military type had replaced our tradition of using colour codes to indicate the use of a wire (red = +5, black=0V, green = -5, etc) with a system in which the colour represents the revision level (pink= original, while= revision 1, etc).

The new test rig (1.5m x 1.5m x 2m high) had a wiring error (the +5 wires and 240V AC wires were switched). When switched on, all the ICs in the pie-crust (died-cast) metal boxes started popping like popcorn.

At this very moment, the alarm went for the Friday fire practice. Xerox had a very good record for evacuating rapidly. Even before evacuation was complete, the smoke was filling the room. Someone called 999 and asked for "Fire". The switchboard explained that it was a practice - they had already been notified. The staff explained to the fire brigade that there really was a fire. <this exchange continued for some time>

Fortunately, the fire was confined to the test rig, which was 2 metres from anything else.

No buildings were destroyed in conducting this experiment.

Loud Speaker

Re: DEC field service engineers

There were a number of documented cases where games had identified actual faults that the official diagnostics either did not detect or could not locate accurately. Not only were these well known to DEC engineers, but also to most customers.

In those days, the users were a relatively small number and talked amongst themselves.

[Speaking as a former designer of disk controllers, although not for DEC]

This episode of Black Mirror sucks: London cops boast that facial-recog creepycams will be on the streets this year

Loud Speaker

piss taking new?

Taking the piss was the Met's strongest suit even in the 1950's*. and I am sure that anyone who was alive in London in the 1930's will fall over laughing at the idea that things were better in earlier years. Just how difficult it to stop mail bags from leaving trains without due care and attention?

* Since the Kray gang featured regularly in the Daily Mail, you would have thought the idea of arresting them could have come to an ossifer or two.

LG announces bold new plan for financial salvation: Trying to actually make phones people want to buy

Loud Speaker

Read it here ...

Almost all the tech websites are absolutely filled with posts complaining that the manufacturers are removing the features they want and replacing them with ones they don't want.

I won't bother doing the research for you, since you won't be paying me, but Google is your friend (ok, not your actual friend, but can help you search for things)

Tracking President Trump with cellphone location data, Greta-Thunberg-themed malware, SharePoint patch, and more

Loud Speaker

Re: Card-sniffing malware infection?

The evidence is that a lot of PC users won't report malware so long as the machine can still boot.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Loud Speaker

Re: The user replied: "The same electrician who changed that plug rewired my house last week!"

should I call an electrician? Yes/No

The correct answer, which he omitted, is "Maybe".

Loud Speaker

Re: Not on the wall socket

you just have to be "competent"

Even that seems a bit above the ability of a lot of PAT testers.

RISC-V business: Tech foundation moving to Switzerland because of geopolitical concerns

Loud Speaker

Re: Swiss Miss Incorporation

the cheapest private health insurance PER person is around CHF 7000 per annum!!!<P>

According to my Swiss relatives, that insurance will also cover rescuing you from the top of the Alps with helicopters if necessary, or repatriating you if you fall sick in another country - even if it requires chartering a plane. Given that Switzerland is a small country - so people travel to other countries a lot, and the population is prone to Skiing, these are substantial benefits. <p>

As I understand it, without Obamacare, even a sticking plaster could cost you CHF7000 in America, once you include "medical charges".

Hyphens of mass destruction: When a clumsy finger meant the end for hundreds of jobs

Loud Speaker

Re: Nostalgia ain't what it used to be...

Being involved in data entry, I have long wondered why I could get more performance out of a PDP11/70 than a Sun Enterprise server with 32 virtual CPUs.<p>

After a careful investigation I discovered that, while a picture is allegedly worth 1,000 words, it probably consumes something closer to 64k words, and delivers the equivalent of one word. After removing all the Icons from my data entry screens, and replacing them with a single (bold) word, they now go "faster than a speeding PDP11".<p>

Icon - no you can't! (Its behind you).

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament

Loud Speaker

Re: born in Guyana

a naturalised citizen, of colour and a woman to boot should show up the idiocy of our current set of politicians.

While I congratulate and thank her for doing so, in the circumstances, one would have thought that a tame guinea pig could show up the idiocy of our government.

Make her a Dame of the Empire or similar, for services to democracy and the law.

Surely an honorary LLB at the very least.

Loud Speaker


The court has ruled that Boris is a Pro Rogue.

Unfortunately the queen no longer has the power to demand "Off with his head!".

Loud Speaker

And isn't lying to The Queen treasonous?


But he can plead "guilty but insane". He won't be short of witnesses.

Police costs for Gatwick drone fiasco double to nearly £900k – and still no one's been charged

Loud Speaker

Re: £900k is a lot of money to spend investigating...

£900k is a lot of money

This is a London Airport - £900k probably represents 10 minutes takings of the Short Stay car park.

Subcontractor's track record under spotlight as London Mayoral e-counting costs spiral

Loud Speaker

Re: Time to revert to Paper

"Any place in the country" is not necessarily the solution : I, and most of my family, were unable to vote in the Brexit fiasco because we were out of the country for a family event (Wedding?)

Postal votes can be submitted early. Only my mother managed to do it - she is 90 years old and bedbound and planned a postal vote in good time. We did not bother - thinking that most people were sensible and Brexit would soon be forgotten.

Web body mulls halving HTTPS cert lifetimes. That screaming in the distance is HTTPS cert sellers fearing orgs will bail for Let's Encrypt

Loud Speaker

Re: Follow the money

If you are not using Linux/Unix for your server, they your probably too late for security anyway. (Apple is Unix).

Bit of a time-saver: LibreOffice emits 6.3 with new features, loading and UI boosts

Loud Speaker

<insert more whinges and whines> is surely one of the most over used features of most browsers today.

What is really needed is <Delete unwanted crap>

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue

Loud Speaker

Stick it up your USB!

If your data is important (as in "you want to see it again") the rule is: three copies, on each of three different TAPES, in three different locations (ie nine tapes in all).

Does not need to by 800BPI 1/2" tape - LTOx is acceptable.