* Posts by Loud Speaker

575 posts • joined 30 Jan 2015


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.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer

Loud Speaker

Re: Plenty of these nuts over there

Just what harm HS2 is going to cause!

In the words of Bart Simpson, the protestors will probably have a cow!

Philips kills dependence on its Hue hub, pointing to a Bluetooth world

Loud Speaker


What is the point of having a Cray XMP in the shed if it can't control the colour of my light bulbs?

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Loud Speaker

Up yours mate!

As I have spent the last 30 years pointing out to anyone in earshot:

The disadvantage of written descriptions is that, being in a specific language, only speakers of that can understand them. With pictograms/icons/pointless squiggles, no one can understand them. (Although, now, with Google translate, almost everyone can misunderstand).

Hell, if we do have to learn symbols instead of written language, please make it Kanji - at least the symbols have stayed the same of 4,000 years, and are not replaced every 3 months.

Loud Speaker

Re: Dolt

Unless said idiot is a close relative of one or more board members (incest could be involved here).

In some cases, it would appear idiocy is a required characteristic of all board members.

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it

Loud Speaker

Re: It's been years since . . . .

Not if they have half a brain.

An ISP with half a brain? Now that would be headline news!

Put the old one on Ebay, where it belongs.

UK pr0n viewers plan to circumvent smut-block measures – survey

Loud Speaker

Re: Using your credit card to prove your age and/or ID on a porn website

How can it be a credit card if you have paid upfront?

The "right to free speech" is, in reality, the right to tell blatant lies - hence Amazon's "Pay £7 to get free shipping!"

F5 Networks buys into open source, hands over $670m for Nginx! Double Nginx! Infinity Nginx!

Loud Speaker


Should I start migrating back to Apache?

Raiding party! UK's ICO drops in unannounced on couple of dodgy-dialling dirtbag outfits

Loud Speaker

Re: Timing

The penalties are not severe enough yet. I got an "about your recent accident" call from 0117 030 8248, and I tell them to report themselves to the ICO and delete me from their database. My sIster-in-law said "I hope you have an accident, and all your family has accidents".


I get about 2 calls a week pretending to be from BT* saying my PC has a virus or I have been downloading illegal stuff on my IP, and my internet will be disconnected. When asked which of my IPs do they refer to, they can't answer. <p>

*BT does indeed stand for Bloody Terrible.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

Loud Speaker

Re: Mast sharing?

the devices to regularly forward their metadata to our KGB <P>

The KGB obviously need all the Facebook they can get!

Loud Speaker

I think that people ought to try being sensible <P>

You might try explaining that to our politicians.In fact, I promise to support any politician who passes a law against abject stupidity in high places. (I am not holding my breath).

I say, that sucks! Crooks are harnessing hoovers to clean out parking meters in Chelsea

Loud Speaker

the Cool Hand Luke

In my day, we used home made Thermite. Pour it round the base of the meter, insert lighted magnesium ribbon, count to five, and remove the meter.

It helps to wear overalls and drive a 3 1/2 ton Bedford tipper (you can carry more meters that way).

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Loud Speaker

Re: Wonder what my 2005 Accord will do

My sister-in-law has a Nissan Note with a built in double DIN satnav - the map upgrade costs more than a reasonable Android double DIN head unit from Ebay.

My Peugeot has a plastic clip which holds an Android phone.

Loud Speaker


It's OK, the bank branches will remember their location

I take it you don't bank with TSB!

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

Loud Speaker

Re: My favourite was "How to keep your car alive "

I had a collection of over 20 Haynes manuals, but was forced to leave them behind when we moved to a smaller house - the family said "Dad - you are never going to fix any of those cars again" - I promised not to fix any 1970's Fiats ever again - although I could probably fix them without a manual - but the odd pre-electronic Mercedes or Volvo might get a look in.

Can't remember which car, but my favourite Haynes instruction was "Using Ford tool XY7/900695* - or any suitable piece of wood" - this was around 1976 - so probably an Escort of some kind.

* Obviously after 50 years, this number may be remembered incorrectly.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Loud Speaker

Re: 60 bit "bytes" aka word.

I wrote assembler for all those machines.

CDC6400, 6600 and 7600 were 60 bit machines - with 10 6-bit chars in each - or, with huge struggles, 12-bit punch card column images (don't try that at home).

PDP-8s had 12 bit words, and also used 6bit chars.

NO ONE EVER called a 6-bit char a byte. If you did, IBM would probably have sued your pants off. IBM had 8-bits. everyone else did not (until 16-bit machines and Unix).

None of the above machines had any standard way of inputting 8-bit bytes. Nor was there much agreement on how to read 7-bit or 9-bit mag tape - the only agreement seemed to be "Don't use the IBM card punch codes or EBCDIC" - but then again, most sane people would agree not to use EBCDIC.

The ASR33s connected to them processed 8-bit character patterns - but mostly by discarding at least two bits. You either had all lower case (Algol) or all upper case (FORTRAN, COBOL). Of course, real British computers used 5-hole baudot punched tape (Numbers, numbers, letters, letters :-)

Yes, we had IDRIS - UNIX in ALL UPPER CASE - and my ears till hurt 50 years later!

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Loud Speaker

Re: Ex designer of military kit

If you have to pay for the tests to simulate "on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier at sea" you will know where some of the money goes.

And the design briefing begins (or used to) "remember the chaps using this may be upside down in a ditch with people shooting at them" - which is why you have too be able to identify the controls by feel. Pig ugly is a design requirement.

How big is the UK space industry? It hauled in £14.8bn for 2016/2017 – report

Loud Speaker

Re: Eh?

"No Deal" is careful badging by remainers to make it sound like armageddon, whereas all it means is that UK won't have food and drink.

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

Loud Speaker

Re: Where did they get these people?

To what extend was it shared in the context of "Hey, can you believe the kind of crap young people put on the Internet?"

I agree there is definitely a component of older people who think "It was in writing, so it must be true" - this is partly because they are of an age group where a large part of the community was illiterate - being literate meant being educated and informed - and possibly from a rich background and financially more likely to be conservative. And being "educated" was somewhat relative.

Forget ripping off brains for AI. Butterflies and worms could lead us to self-repairing intelligent robots, says prof

Loud Speaker


the "lifestyles" of caterpillars and butterflies.

Research reveals their lifestyles are based on what they read in the Grauniad.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

Loud Speaker

Re: UI Guidelines mandate saying "Press a key to continue"

After having the legendary "My keyboard does not have an any key" call, I got the instructions changed to "space bar" - only to discover that "any" did not include the space bar!

This replaced software featuring the legendary "press any key to continue or any other key to abort". My personal tape backup script still says this 30 years later, but _I_ know that Ctrl-C will abort, and no one else uses the script.

Loud Speaker

Re: Children of the Resolution

Many years ago, I made an interesting observation:

Most pretty girls have bad eyesight. This is because they don't see the flaws in their appearance, and so don't draw attention to them.



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