* Posts by Shadow Systems

1702 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Shadow Systems

I got to press the button...

I was a little kid barely knee high to a grasshopper & was part of a tour of a computer lab. The Big Scary Man in the puffy trousers (what the grey bearded old goat looked like to me) asked me if I wanted to learn to type my name on the keyboard. I said yes, stepped up, & carefully typed in "m y n a m e". He laughed, told me I was a fun kid, & told me to hit the enter key. So I pressed enter.

At which point the PSU caught fire & shot flames out the back like a flamethrower.

Best. Tour. Ever.

We were ushered out as quickly as possible while TBSM ran for a fire extinguisher. I've been in love with computers ever since. =-D

Beijing bashes Bing and lashes LinkedIn over improper data collection and storage

Shadow Systems

Hit them! Hit them hard! =-D

Repeatedly. Enthusiasticly. With gusto! I volunteer to do speed metal drum solos on their heads! =-D

ASUS baffles customer by telling them thermal pad thickness is proprietary

Shadow Systems

At Stoneshop, re: psychiatry.

To quote Old Man Henderson, "Dude, I fucked a Shoggoth and _you're_ freaking me out."

The stuff I claim to see in the ink blots always makes their heads explode & the office to be forced to release me since there's nobody left sane enough to pass judgement.

*Pure, Sweet, & Innocent(TM) smile*

Shadow Systems

Re: At TeeCee, re: rocks.

Sev, I wish I could see to draw such a cartoon. I know what Torg would look like, I know how I'd portray him, I can hear him talking (he's one of TheVoicesInMyHead), so could probably have WAY too much fun with such a task.

Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for sentient beings throughout the multiverse, I Am Not Allowed by order of the "MultiDimensional Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sentient Beings". They have determined that my doodles violate too many of the cosmic laws WRT "Rule 34" as it pertains to "porn involving squiggly things".


I shall try to post the occaisional Torg bit, but I have to leave all the best parts (AKA the artwork & animated bits involving c-

(The screen goes black & friendly green letters appear)

"This post has been censored for your sanity. Nothing to read here, please move along. Signed, The Society."

Shadow Systems

At TeeCee, re: rocks.

*Pauses with a rock in upraised hand*

Torg the barely literate HalfOrc grunty voice: No hit with rock? Ungh?

*Lowers rock sadly*

Torg: Not use rock. Use fist?

*Holds up a fist the size of a canned ham*

(Off screen panick voice) NO!

*Torg looks sad & lowers hand*

Torg, muttering sulkily: Torg wanna hit somthin.

(Offscreen, calmer voice) Torg, smash yourself in the head. Nobody else gets hurt that way.

*Torg's face brightens & he starts smashing himself in the forehead with the laptop*

(Offscreen panicked voice again) NOOOOOOOOoooooo!


This episode of "Torg the Drooling Idiot" brought to you by Microsoft HellDesk, Tylenol+3 migraine medication, & copious pints of caffeinated alcohol.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? Detroit waits for my order, you'd better make amends

Shadow Systems

Re: Dear Lord...

You can't be my lord & savior, Cthulhu already knows that I've not bought a ticket. But why should that matter? I never said I wanted to *play* the lotto, just *win* it. =-D

Shadow Systems

Dear Lord...

Please give me a chance to prove that winning the lotto won't spoil me. Pretty please? With bacon on top?

*Pure, Sweet, & Innocent(TM) cherubic smile*

Google to revive RSS support in Chrome for Android

Shadow Systems

RSS is dead?

*Looks at my over full RSS news feeds folder in my desktop Outlook 2010*

Ummm... since when? I've been getting a constant stream of RSS stories for at least the last two decades, including ElReg. The only time I ever notice any slowing of the flood is during major holidays when everyone is off getting drunk. (I approve!)

Just because $Company (Apple, Google, etc) is doing it (again) all of a sudden doesn't mean it ever died in the first place, it just means that company is trying to hoodwink folks into (re)using their (cr)app to consume said RSS feeds.

A freeware RSS reader, Save As file, import into Outlook, & hey look! I get RSS stories just like I get all the rest of my news. No need to deal with $Company at all.

Dear Google. Your habit of giving something & then taking it away like an Olympic Gold medel yoyo speed flinger is what prompted me to stop dealing with the bulk of your offerings. Google Docs may be nice for collaboration, but that assumes you won't take your ball & go home like a whiney little brat throwing a temper tantrum. Google Calendar might be nice, but what happens when you decide to kill it? Google photo storeage might be useful (for you), but what happens to all our stuff when you decide to rip the service out from under our feet? You're acting like Microsoft in the "Offer $Service one day, kill $Service a little while later" catagory of idiocy. Same goes for RSS feeds. You had a reader, killed it, & now want to rerelease another reader in the hopes folks have forgotten that you've already shit all over us once before?


RSS isn't dead, it's not in need of revival, it just needs someone to do a DDG search for "free RSS reader".

Internet Explorer downgraded to 'Walking Dead' status as Microsoft sets date for demise

Shadow Systems

I love it when they say my browser isn't secure enough...

...and promptly tell me to turn on JavaScript for security. JS for security is like stripping naked for privacy.

UK data watchdog fines 'pandemic partner' biz £8k: It sent 84,000 marketing emails to people who'd given info for track and trace

Shadow Systems

At oiseau, re: draconian measures.

Lock them in a room. Subject them to Vogon poetry for the next two weeks without pause. Hose the quivering blobs of exploded flesh down the drain. Punishment done. =-D

I first considered forcing them to listen to me play the bagpipes to be the punishment, but then I remembered it's on My Skippy's List. Damn that list. =-J

India ponders why just three per cent of its broadband services are wired

Shadow Systems

Take care of the poverty first.

You've already admitted that the bulk of your citizens are online mainly/only via their phones. Why might that be? Because they can't afford a desktop computer that would, in turn, need a wired connection.

Instead of giving companies subsidies to entice them to build more wired connections for folks that probably have nothing to use said connections with, how about raising the general standard of living so that the bulk of your citizens can afford a desktop computer, a wired internet connection, electricity, sanitation, & food? You know, the Must Have's of life rather than the merely Nice To Have's that might be so far on the back burner it's not even in the same damned time zone as the dung fire over which they're currently cooking their food?

And before you smack me for being an elitest twit, please keep in mind that I'm trying to be as open minded as I can with the resources I have at hand. I subscribe to news sites like ElReg, the BBC, the Guardian, ARS Technica, and others in an attempt to get as broad a viewpoint as I can from as many sources as possible. From what I've read in places like ElReg, India has issues with their populace being mostly poor unto the point of hand to mouth existence in badly (if at all) maintained cities that contain small islands of more prosperous folks; the divide between the Have's & the Have Not's is so stark that it's like two different worlds trying to occupy the same physical space. So if that is true, if the bulk of Indians can't afford much beyond their cellphones as a means to get online, what's the point of a wired connection they can't use?

There but for the grace of God go I; I can't farm my own food, I can't work to earn the money to pay someone else to grow my food, and I'd be up shit creek without an internet connection by which to apply for all the government services I need.

I feel bad for those folks, which is why I'm wondering why the government is so worried about something that many of their citizens can't afford much less access.

If I'm too poor to afford a car, what use is it to me if you build better roads? If you want me to care about the roads, improve my standard of living to the point where I can afford to get one instead of worrying where my next meal might come from.


Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband

Shadow Systems

Charter is full of crap.

An ISP accurately describing the speeds folks will get rather than the arse-pulled fiction the ISP marketing dreams up? Never. Fucking. Happens.

Satisfied customers? More like captive ones. Depending on the terrain you may not even be able to get a cell signal much less wired broadband, so it's not like those folks have a hell of a lot of choice. Switching to satelite may be difficult if not impossible if any number of factors is in play, the least of which is trees blocking LOS to the required bit of sky.

Difficulty in providing to rural areas that are problematic to deploy to is why the government has been giving you tax breaks, sweetheart deals, & subsidies for decades. We've already paid you ten times over the cost to run fiber optic to every home, tent, & Port-O-Potty in the nation, so STFU, stop whining, & get busy providing what you've already been paid for.

I swear to Cthulhu's nymphomaniac grandmother that companies that have sucked on the government teat for too long should be nationalized, the C-level execs forced into cages for "many enter, only one survives" death matches, & the lone survivor placed in public stocks to be regularly, ritually beaten with wiffle ball bats as A Warning To Others not to pull similar shite...

*Deep breath*

I guess I'll go find my dried frog pills now...

Linux laptop biz System76 makes its first foray into the mechanical keyboard world with dinky, hackable Launch

Shadow Systems

Re: Way over the top price for me

I don't hit the space bar with my thumbs either...

*Smashes forehead down to whack the key*


UK pharma supplier put into special measures after new IT system causes almost 10,000 missed medicine deliveries

Shadow Systems

Re: We deeply regret the difficulties

Exactly. I'm insulin dependant diabetic. I require multiple daily injections to survive. If my pharmacy suddenly stopped delivering my insulin, I'd be stuck in an ICU ward under observation until a regular, consistent, reliable source of insulin could be obtained. And you can damn-well believe I'd tell my medical insurance provider to send the bill for such a prolonged hospital stay to said pharmacy.

Please bring back the headings.

Shadow Systems

Where did "Related stories" header go?

The list of related stories is back to not having a header to identify it as such.

It's just a bare list of story links with nothing to explain that they are related in some way to the current story, but are not part of the story itself.

I hit the list & followed the link thinking I was going to find out more about the current story, only to find myself reading a completely different story.

*Scratches head in confusion* What tha...? *Hits the back arrow*

Ok, back to the current story I'd been reading, manually browse the list, and only then realize it's the "Related Stories" section even though it's not marked as such.

Please give it a "Related Stories" header so it doesn't confuse folks. Thanks.

*Sets out a pitcher to entice the team to make the change*


Shadow Systems

Thanks! Pints all around!

I can now find all the bits that help me navigate the site quickly & accurately.

I'll buy the first round at the pub across the street... Last one there has to wear pants! =-D

*Sprints for the pub*

Shadow Systems

Re: A header is easier.

I've just confirmed over various random stories from today & yesterday that the ARIA bit does not get announced. I get told there's a list of items but nothing to denote what the list is for/about (related stories).

A "Related Stories" header & then another after that section to specify the story continues will always get spoken, can't get ignored by the browser, and is a much less complex HTML tag to implement.


Shadow Systems

A header is easier.

An ARIA element doesn't always work, especially if the browser ignores them as a non standard HTML tag. In the vein of "I have no idea WTF that is so I'll ignore it" way of operation.

A heading is standard, always works, & can be jumped to with a single keystroke. I would prefer headers for that reason.

A header to denote "Other stories you might be interested in", a header after to denote that the story resumes, plus a header at the top of the meta tag/corrections/post a comment section, please. Since you've removed the direct link from the top of the story direct to the comments^, a header to find that lower section would be appreciated.

^: I can understand why, it kept folks from knee-jerk-posting without reading the story, but at least put in a header at the top of that section so it can be found at all. As it stands I don't know the story is about to end & that section begin, so by the time I've hit a key to stop the screen reader & head back to the comments bit, I've got to navigate a zillion up-arrows to get back to it.

Thanks for listening & enjoy a pint in gratitude.

Shadow Systems

Please bring back the headings.

Screen reader users rely on various common section dividers, EG headings, lists, tables, etc, to navigate around a web page. ElReg had a heading that allowed us to quickly find the meta tags involved in the story, where to send corrections, & to participate in the comments. Now that heading is gone & we can't get to that section without having to fumble around the page.

Please restore the headings so we can better use the site, thanks.

In a related issue, there is now no header to announce the related articles bit where ElReg puts the links to stuff that we might also like to read. This makes it impossible for a screen reader user to distinguish what is current article & what is the other links.

Please restore the header so we know that it's no longer part of the active story, or move the entire section to the end after the "post a comment" section. This will make it clear it's not part of the active story & keep us from following what sounds like links for the current story but that turn out to be something else. Thank you.

More power to web apps, cries Google, and more privacy, too

Shadow Systems

How to be secure...

Use an external hardware firewall (such as a PiHole) to block FaceBook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, AdSense, & every other data harvesting, privacy raping, "You're not the customer, you are the product" server you can. Use a browser like Netscape Navigator. Refuse to run JavaScript, if not all scripts in general. Last but not least, use an OS that doesn't treat you like shit. I suggest a Commodore 128D, Amiga, or an Atari.

I'll post a </Sarcasm> tag just in case you're irony deficient. =-)p

Ex-Apple marketing bigwig tells Epic judge: Our revenue-sharing model is designed to stop money laundering

Shadow Systems

Re: It's a good thing I'm not a judge...

Funny story there. A friend of mine once tried to get me to try some LSD. I refused & said my imagination was "too fucked up already all on it's own, it doesn't need any help." My friend scoffed & said I was full of shit. I made them lean back on their couch & pointed up at their ceiling.

"See the texture? How it's all lumpy & bumpy & nobby? Those aren't defects those are ripples. It's actually water. There are fish in your ceiling swimming under the painted surface. They'll occaisionally poke their heads out & look at the people below. They memorize what we look like when we're awake so they can then fuck with us in our sleep. That's what they're doing right now. Waiting. For you to go to sleep. So they can leap up out of the ceiling & fall down on your head. You wake up, think ''it's all just a dream'', then wonder how in the hell your head got wet. It's the fish, Man. It's the FISH! LOOK OUT! HERE COMES ONE NOW!"

I secretly licked my finger then touched him in the forehead with it as I said "Blorp" like a drop of water hitting home.

He screamed like a little girl stomping on a slug in bare feet.

"See? And I came up with that on the spur of the moment, off the top of my head, *while stone cold sober*. Do you _REALLY_ want me to take acid & get worse?"

My friend never tried to get me to take drugs ever again. He said I was too fucked up as it was.


What am I on? I'm Creatively Vindictive. If my imagination got any more potent, I'd make Steven King's nightmares look like orgasms in comparison.

*Hands you a pint & taps rims*

Drink up. My Kool Aid is full of dried frog pills. =-D

Shadow Systems

It's a good thing I'm not a judge...

"Look. Either you stop spewing bullshit all over my courtroom or I'll instruct the bailiff to start clubbing you like a cheap pinata. The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Let's try again now, shall we?"

*The fucker opens his mouth to speak*

"Bailiff! It's PINATA TIME!"

Bailiff squealing like Gir as he draws his baton & rushes forward: "FINE-LEE!"

Witness stand: AAAaaaiiiieeeee!

Me: "Now THIS is entertainment! Where's my popcorn?"


The UK loves cybersecurity so much, it's going to regulate managed service providers' infosec practices in law

Shadow Systems

Re: Digital Defence Officer

I heard "digital infrastructure minister" & realized that they were publicly acknowledging that the person was in fact paid to be dim!

I'll get my coat, it's the one with the pockets full of dim bulbs...

Microsoft sheds some light on perplexing Outlook blank email incident: Word was to blame

Shadow Systems

At Alan Bourke, re MS QA testing.

Would that be the same Microsoft that regularly, consistantly, reliably breaks something with each & every Patch Tuesday? Audio, networking, printers, webcams, Word, Outlook, Excell, Exchange, the list goes on & on & on & on.

You claim they QA test their code, the proof to the contrary is written about on this very fine news site for all to laugh, cry, groan, bitch, moan, & gnash their teeth about. Don't take my word for it, you simply have to go read past articles WRT MS updates to realize that MS & QA no longer exist on the same plane of reality. Unfortunately.

*Hands you a pint*

Drink up. Beer is the easiest way to settle the bile that MS inspires. =-j

Shadow Systems

Re: "foolishly attempt to author web content there and save as HTML"

In my case I was "asked" to use FrontPage. I did, sort of. I used it to create the page, examined the code, copy&pasted it into Notepad, cleaned it of all the crap/cruft, then saved it as plain text. Change the extension, load in the browser, & viola a site that looked as they wanted, but wasn't a bloated sack of crappy/crufty code that was more prone to fail than a drunk neurosurgeon with epilepsy.

I kept the FP pages in the same directory as my saved text files, the better to show my manager why FP was a bad idea. He had to concede the point when my edited code could fit on a 5.25" floppy & the FP version was measured in megabytes instead.

*Hands over a pint & taps rims*

Here's to using the right tool for the job. Cheers!

Fancy trying to explain Microsoft Teams to your parents? They may ask about the new Personal version

Shadow Systems

They don't use Microsoft...

Thank the gods.

They're firmly in the Apple camp & thus I no longer have to do tech support for their issues. Even better is that they don't have webcams & microphones on their laptops, StepDad permanently disables them the moment he buys a "new" (refurb) machine, so if they ever decide to do a video call, it'll have to be on their Iphones. Which, thankfully, also won't get the taint of MS infecting them any time soon.


We'd love to report on the outcome of the CREST exam cheatsheet probe, but UK infosec body won't publish it

Shadow Systems

Reduced confidence?

If it gets any lower it'll require negative imaginary irrational numbers to express. Time to find a more professional certification provider.

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs

Shadow Systems

Re: Hardware dongles?

Essentially yes. I read it, tried to write a post, realized I was vomiting vitriol like Vesuvius, so closed the tab to kill the attempted post & did something else to calm down. Once I was calm & could think straight once more, I came back & reread the story. Rinse & repeat.

The visual ones are obviously not accessible for the blind. The audio ones *might* be *IF* the audio is clear & unambiguous. Since that's almost never the case, they are pretty much not accessible either. Of course I'll pick out the few words you want me to regurgitate, just remove the echo, reverb, hiss, clicking, popping, & what sounds like a drunk bagpiper doing a speed metal solo in the background.


I'm an American & even I couldn't do the visual concepts in all their images back when I could still see. A bike? Would that be an upright two wheeler, a recumbant two wheeler, an upright three wheeler, a recumbant three wheeler, one of the old fashioned massive front wheel & microscopic rear wheel, a forward swept two wheel racing (aerodynamic to the point of being anatomicly improbable), with or without a fairing, with or without paniers, with a regular saddle "banana" saddle, recumbant saddle, touring saddle, or some other sort? A child's tricycle? An old person's trike with the lumbar support seat & the wire grocery basket on the front? There are so many different styles & configurations that vary from location to location that just saying "bike" is akin to asking someone to point to the "boat" & pointing them to a seascape full of every design ever contemplated by a drunken sailor in the middle of an acid trip.

*Shakes head sadly*

99.99% of the time if a site drops a CAPTCHA in my path I'll simply close the tab & go elsewhere. If they include an email link then I'll give it to them with both barrels, but otherwise it's often not worth the hassle nor headache to explain it to the socially blind (versus physical blindness) idiots why they've just lost my business.

That "check this box if you're Human" is utter bullshit. It's not an element I can navigate to, it's not an actual element I can interact with, and since I don't use a mouse there's no way to toggle the bloody thing. I *AM* Human you fucking pile of steaming Howler Monkey shit, but you don't seem to give SweetFuckAll that your audience might not be of perfect vision, perfect hearing, & perfect motor controls. I hope your aged mother visits your site & promptly kicks your sorry ass for telling her that she's not Human because she's unable to jump your fucking hurdles.

*Deep breath*

I'll go away now. I can feel the urge to kill coming back strong. NURSE! Refill my dried frog pills please, STAT!

*Wanders off muttering darkly & tapping my cane as if trying to beat the pedestrian-using-concrete to death*

Your private data has been nabbed: Please update your life as soon as possible while we deflect responsibility

Shadow Systems

At A.P. Veening, re: shooting the bastards...

Nobody ever said WHERE to shoot them. It need not be immediately fatal. A round through the golf balls will get their attention & make them miss their tee time. *Cough*

Or just tell their mom. Instant Darwin award winner right there. *Cackle*

Shadow Systems


Every time you sign up for an account somewhere, start a fresh text file & save it as the name of the site: EG "$ShiteSite.Dingleberry.co.uk.txt". Every question they require to register gets added to the text file along with the fake PII you use to fill it out. Fake name, fake DOB, fake address, fake everything. Each question & fake answer gets added to the text file. That way you can open the file & regurgitate the lies back to them in a week/month/year/whenever you have to deal with them again.

If you make your 1st name the 1st half of the site url & your last name the other half, it becomes obvious whom "leaked" the PII the spammers are now trying to use to scam you. If your DOB is something no normal person could ever possibly be (say April the 41st, 1822) then they can use it all they want to try & social engineer themselves into other parts of your life. If your mailing address is really the nearest police station, the scum will get a nice surprise when they try to come rob "you". If you give your phone number as that of said police department, the scammers may find themselves in for a nasty surprise when they try to scam a cop. My vehicle? It's an original Model A Ford. My home? A cave in the middle of Inverness. My pet's name? "Shitstain". My mom's maiden name? "Phuqu". My favorite sports team? The Sacramento Beavers. Yadda yadda yadda, and all of it gets recorded in the file.

"But we need your real info for $Reason!" Fine. You can have it just after you give me yours. What's that, you don't want to? Funny that, huh?

Use fake PII that identifies the site at which it was used. Then when (never if) it leaks it proves from whence it came & whom to never do business with ever again. ConsumerOpinion BureauDotCom I'm looking at you. *Evil grin* Not my real PII & I've poisoned the files of all the scum you gave it to. *Double handed TheFinger* Muh Hahahahahahahaha...


Enjoy a pint. It's Friday! =-D

India’s vaccination-booking API criticised for excluding millions, containing bugs, and overflowing with elitism

Shadow Systems

The complaints have a point.

If you use a FeaturePhone & not a SmartPhone then you *can't* use an app to register for, schedule to get, nor to validate that you have received your vaccination. In a country where 2G, 3G, & 4G are their network backbone for cellular & less than 60% of their population can even use that to get online, how exactly do you propose the poor folks obey your demands to do what is technologicly impossible?

"We made it a law that everyone drives on the right side of the road from now on." Umm, that's nice, but I don't own a car. Can't afford one. Not that it matters, the nearest petrol station to my home is over 100KM away. "That's beside the point! You are required to drive as we've made law!" Ok, you have fun with that. I'll walk on whatever side of the street I damn well feel like, kthanxbai.

If you only have a 2G FeaturePhone & can only use it when you've got the spare cash to buy a ~10minute PAYG card, even if you COULD use the app, you couldn't afford the data rates it would burn through like a pirahna through a bleeding cow. =-(

Rude awakening for O2 customers after network runs surprise test of emergency mobile alert system

Shadow Systems

Re: To be honest

No fair! You would be the only one to survive the event! You bastard! Waaaahhhhh hahahaha...

*Hands you a pint*

Drink up, I'll leave out a box of Twinkies for you to feast on after we're all gone. =-Jp

Intel throws sand in the face of 'musclebooks' with 10nm Tiger Lake tech

Shadow Systems

Re: "a new PC will be faster and smaller and lighter"

I'd like to add a physical, full sized gigabit ethernet jack, a headphone jack, a full sized SD card reader (you can use an adapter to allow the smaller cards, but you can't go the other direction), and an SVGA port for those damned projectors that haven't been upgraded since before the last ice age.

I don't mind a heavy laptop, I had one of the early Compaq luggables & a Commodore spine crusher as a kid so the kids these days don't know WTF a *real* heavy machine feels like, and all those "Thin & Light" Calvin Kline crack model thingamajigs are so flimsy you don't dare even use one as a coaster.

BAH! Danged whippersnappers anyer newfangled pieces o' shite. Give me a REAL computer, dagnabbit!

*Shakes a palsied fist*

And get offn muh laaaaawn! =-D

Chinese rocket plunges into Indian Ocean, still lands sharp rebuke from NASA

Shadow Systems

I love watching heavenly bodies...

...and sometimes even outer space! =-D

*Runs away before someone hits me with some reentering debris*

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

Shadow Systems

At J27, re: lane lines...

For some odd reason that makes me want to take a Spirograph, a bucket of paint, & go doodle swirls, spirals, loops & whorls all over the place to see if it drives a Tesla insane.

Shadow Systems

At Gobaskof, re: SatNav...

My StepFather & I were on a road trip from the American West coast to the East one. Being blind & unable to drive for some schtoooopid reason (those reflective bits are the source for the phrase "driving by braille", so why can't I drive? *Cough*) which meant he did all of it. He relied entirely on a SatNav gadget for the entire trip, every damned bit of it, and I got so sick & tired of the voice it used that I wanted to chuck the fucker out a window. (StepDad or SatNav, either one.)

Anyway, we're going along when the device tells us to turn right for no apparent reason. There's an offramp ahead, he turns off, and the device leads us on a *FIVE FUCKING HOUR* long detour through the countryside. We're in a truck hauling a camper ("Caravan Trailer") & some of the roads it's directing us across are either unpaved, badly maintained, too narrow for a pair of cows to walk side by side, or all of the above. By the time we're about || close to finding the next farmhouse & asking how the hell to get back to civilization, the device tells us to take a final right on to a freeway...

The same one we'd been on in the first place.

Via an onramp within sight of the offramp it had told us to take in the first place.

My StepDad swore a blue streak so venomous that I nearly wet myself laughing. I didn't, I was afraid he'd kick me out & make me walk, but I've often slipped with comments about "driving directions from supposedly ''smart'' devices" that gets him to swear again.

They're out to kill us all, it's that simple. Either by leading us across rickety wooden bridges that can't hold the weight of a car, or down forgotten trails to hide our dessicated corpses in the backwoods, or send us off cliffs into long abandoned quarries for our bodies to dissolve among the quicklime. =-)p

Facebook: Nice iOS app of ours you have there, would be a shame if you had to pay for it

Shadow Systems

Re: Oh really?

Exactly. None of the FB using folks I talk to (not via FB) would be willing to pay for FB access. Most would, in fact, drop FB like a radioactive lump of shite.

Go ahead Zuck, try & charge your users for access. I'll be standing on high ground to watch the ocean of blood your bottom line spurts out in its death throws.

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

Shadow Systems

At Jonathan Richards 1, re: the wiggly red lines.

I'm the OP AC that started this whole mess. (Waits for the rain of thrown rotten vegetables, dead fish, & wadded up napkins to stop pelting me.)

The only thing I can offer as to having ignored the little red wormy bits peppering my prose is that my screen reader doesn't even know such things exist. Font faces, pitch, colour, or any other aspect of the words beyond the plain text gets ignored so it can read the plain text aloud. If I had to AltTab over to a dictionary file & look up every word that I was unsure about, I'd never get anything posted at all. I'd be black & blue from all the times the site poked me to ask "HEY! Are you still awake over there?" (Sighs)

*Gives the barkeep another mortgage to my house to pay for the next round of drinks*

Drink up. Now that I'm no longer posting AC in this thread, I can come join you all at the bar for a drink of my own. =-)

Appeals court nixes online blueprint sharing ban on 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

Shadow Systems

Re: Question

My GrandFather (RIP) was a member of a historical recreation group known as the "Mountain Men". They dressed up in the leathers & furs of yore, camped in primative wigwam/yurt style tents (hide walls & hand carved wooden poles rather than modern synthetic materials & shock corded carbon fibre stuff), hunted their own food, & used primative weaponry as their GreatGrandFather's might have done. One of those weapons was a muzzle loader & the role my GrandFather had was of blacksmith creating said item.

He said making it was fairly simple -- essentially just a long tube sealed at one end & open at the other -- but the forging of the tube was the tricky bit. You had to make the walls thick enough to not crack/explode from use, you had to make sure the interior walls were smooth so excessive roughness could cause the shot/gasses to deform/explode the tube at those points, & all done by hand. No lathes, no preform templates to go by, each one was essentially one of a kind. Even if you could somehow mass produce them, like creating ten tubes & ten stocks to assemble all in one go, the tubes were unique from forge to forge with differences in heat, metalurgy, etc.

I watched him build one. It took him nearly six months just to cast the tube. The stock was much easier & only took a week to carve & fit. Watching him take it to the back yard, fill it with black powder & shot, then lock it in a vice for the actual firing, I asked why he did that last bit. "Because that bastard could blow up in my hands if even a tiny impurity or failure is in the mix."

Sure enough, the damned thing went kaboom & torched the vice. The fact that the two of us were hiding behind a hay bale at the time was what kept us from getting shrapnel in the head.

All of this is to say that while it may LOOK easy, it might even SOUND easy, if even a primative muzzle loading version can't be garanteed not to blow up in your face, there's no way in hell I'd trust a 3D printed version to not do likewise. Sure it might have better tolerences & materials handling, but the more technical something becomes then the more likely it is prone to failing.

If something made by hand, assembled by hand, & barely above flinging poop at someone can go boom, the technicly advanced, requiring 3D printing, micrometer tolerances, futuristic doohickey is just taunting Murphy to catch one in the head. =-J

Shadow over Fedora 34 as maintainer of Java packages quits with some choice words for Red Hat and Eclipse

Shadow Systems


When did Zombie Sexually Transmitted Diseases enter into any of this?


I'll get my coat, it's the one with the copy of the "Necronomicon For BOFH's" in the pocket. =-)p

El Reg checks in with Rocket Lab's Peter Beck to see how that hat tastes amid reusable rockets and swelling payloads

Shadow Systems

You want a heavy lifter?

Get my StepDad to make you a batch of his chili with beans. You'll soon be able to carry gigaton cargo out past Uranus.


I'll get my coat, it's the one with the pockets full of antacid tablets. =-)p

PCs continue to sell like hot cakes and industry can barely keep up with demand – analyst

Shadow Systems

At Katrinab, re: Intel.

I just bought a desktop computer yesterday morning (see above post). It's an AMD R7 with 16Gb RAM & 256Gb SSD for $700. A similarly specc'd laptop was listed as over $1K & had a two week backorder.

If anyone wants (much less needs) to buy a new computer, going the AMD route may not only prove a less expensive alternative, the availability (of even laptop much less desktop) parts may mean getting the new shiny in a few days rather than weeks.

Just my two bits of copper plated currency. =-)p

Shadow Systems

I kind of agree...

First off, a laptop is pretty much required if you have to take it to some fast food place & use their WiFi to get online, but if you have home internet service then a desktop is a much better solution. The performance difference between (say) a 10th generation I7U (ultra low voltage / mobile) system & a 10th generation I7 (desktop) based one is like comparing a bicycle to a motorcycle. Yes they're both wheeled transportation, but they're not even in the same time zone.

I just bought a desktop from a site yesterday (Saturday) morning around 0900 & their ETA on delivery is *later today*. A similar spec laptop had a backorder of over two weeks. So if you have a choice of what kind of new computer to get & you're pretty much stuck at home, why bother with a laptop?

Scam victims find same fraudulent ads lurking on Facebook and Google even after flagging them up

Shadow Systems

I helped my Mom yesterday.

I am not my Mom's tech guy for her MBP laptop, that's StepDad's balliwick. But when I learned that she was "getting flooded with crap ads", I asked about what ad blocker she was using. Her reply of "Ad what-now?" was all the (horrifying) answer I needed.

I sat down with her, had her Be My Eyes, & helped her download & install ad blocking software for her machine. One reboot later & I knew I'd done good by the fact that I will be enjoying a Mom's home made apple pie for dessert. And now that I think about it, an apple pie for an Apple try is a rather amusing pun. =-)p

I asked StepDad why he hadn't installed an ad blocker on her machine. His reply was "Because she never asked for one?" I wanted to kick his nuts up out the top of his skull. Of COURSE she didn't ask for it, she's not tech savvy you blithering dolt! GAH!

*Deep calming breath*

Anyway, Mom is happy, I'll be happy tonight when she comes over to deliver that apple pie, & my StepDad may find himself sleeping on the couch for awhile for not doing his job.

*Wanders off whistling innocently*

Something went wrong but we won't tell you what it is. Now, would you like to take out a premium subscription?

Shadow Systems

Re: Preemptive Ticket Closing?

"If you close this ticket before I have, you agree to pay me $1M in small, non sequential, unmarked bills."

If they then close the ticket, print out that fact & send them the bill.

"We never agreed to pay you!"

And I never agreed that the ticket was resolved. You closed it, you pay me, end of.

And while I'm enjoying this fantasy, I'll also have the happy one about gigaton meteore strikes wiping out all the C-level execs of most of the world's largest companies.

*Eyes close, happy purr*

Maybe high-speed internet is infrastructure after all, say US Republicans in proposal to spend $65bn over five years

Shadow Systems

Get started on the B Ark...

We need to complete it so we can load all the lawyers, lobbiests, politicians, telemarketers, used car salesfolks, & other assorted wastes of oxygen into it. Once it's full we can launch it into a blackhole & start building the next Ark for the other idiots that evaded the first round.

Or is that cruelty to blackholes?

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user

Shadow Systems

Electronic Sheep.

A tiny little Windows .exe file that would produce a cartoon sheep near the top of the screen. If the sheep appeared on the top edge of a window frame (like the File Manager or a word processing document for example) then the sheep would slowly progress along the frame grazing on digital grass. Until it reached the edge & fell off, at which point it would bleat in surprise & terror. Until it either hit the top of another frame to repeat the cycle, or fell off the screen entirely to reappear somewhere at the top again.

This was amusing if launched in the single digit instances, annoying if launched in the tens, & would bring a server to it's knees if spawned by the hundreds.

The sales manager of my employer at the time had started his life as a sheep rancher & still kept a few on his home acreage, so I thought he might appreciate the joke.

Day one saw a single instance & he was surprised and delighted. Day two saw a second spawned; he was surprised, delighted, & even turned the sound up to laugh at the surprised "BAAAA!" as they fell off the frames. By day forty-two he was no longer amused as his computer was taking far too long to do even simple tasks. At about the six month mark he was probably about ready to throw his computer off the roof.

I walked by, admired the sheep, & asked him why he no longer enjoyed them. He told me in no uncertain terms he was sick & fekkin tired of bloody sheep. I told him to go to lunch & I'd see what I could do to rid his computer of the infestation. He was only all too happy to hit the pub to calm down.

I uninstalled all the copies, removed the script that cloned the .exe file & renamed it so to avoid obvious detection, and verified that his computer was back as it should be.

He comes back, turns his system on, & cries out in gratitude that I'm a bloody genius. He grabs me, drags me back across the street, & stands me a pint in gratitude. At which point I felt honour bound to explain my prank. I figured he'd kick my arse back to the office & deliver my head to the HR department. Instead he slaps me on the back & praises me for a prank well done.

"But if you do it again, mind, I'll chuck yer arse off the roof to act as a cushion for the computer I'll send down next, Mkay?"

I agreed not to do it (to him) again, clinked in toast, & enjoyed my pint.

Of course I should have known it was all too good to be true.

One of my coworkers found the original .exe, copied it to their own computer, and used it to infect the main server. A task set to spawn a new copy every five seconds until the task was killed. By which time there were *thousands* of sheep infesting the server screens & the machines unable to do much of anything at all. And whom had just admitted to having pulled that prank on the sales guy? Whom got blamed for the server prank? Yeah... Sigh.

I was frog marched into the server room & told by the regional VP to "fix yer shit or clean out yer desk". Since I knew the exact file size of the executable it was a simple task to do a global DIR to find them, move them to a temp folder, & make sure the server task manager no longer spawned fresh copies. Make sure no false posatives in the temp folder, delete the folder, & reboot. Prove to the VP that no more sheep would be grazing, try to explain that *I* hadn't done the server prank, but all that got was the VP making a very loud (Drill Sargent projecting bellow) announcement that "any more pranks gets the joker fired!"

I certainly didn't pull any further ones, and a Fiver found its way to my desk wrapped in an appollogy note "For the server stunt".

Still, I loved those little sheep. I just wish I could see to run them again & laugh at the baaa'ing little baa-aa-aa-astards. =-)