* Posts by John Miles

320 posts • joined 31 Jan 2007


Blue passports, French service provider: Atos bags £21m UK Passport Office deal

John Miles

Re: barely delivering a lorry.

if your definition of lorry includes a three wheeler driven by Inspector Clouseau

When software depends on a project thanklessly maintained by a random guy in Nebraska, is open source sustainable?

John Miles

Re: unlikely that the commercial entity will vanish overnight.

Thinks back to last redundancy, to most of the customers and staff a software company did just disappear overnight leaving several companies desperately looking for support/replacement for a critical system.

Nasdaq's 32-bit code can't handle Berkshire Hathaway's monster share price

John Miles

There was a plain version of Windows 3.11 which was just a bug fix release - there was also a version 3.1 for Work Groups - but most people would have probably got Windows 3.11 for Workgroups as I believe that was default for OEMs

NASA’s getting really good at this flying a helicopter on Mars thing

John Miles

Re: Why are there two sets of tracks in the aerial photo?

At a guess it will involve testing systems out, looking best place for and dropping helicoptor off and they can't move to far from helicoptor at this stage

Capgemini scores £150m contract to help Student Loan Company overcome its IT problems 5 years after £50m superfail

John Miles

Re: why not at least try to get the person who has benefited

And there lies an issue with our education establishment - it is geared towards number of people on courses and makes no concern whether those courses have any value to society or the people on them.

John Miles

Re: why not at least try to get the person who has benefited

From what I see the biggest group who benefited by increasing the amount of people heading to university is those who can claim they have lowered youth unemployment and those in charge of universities.

If the person gained benefit from going to college then likely they will be paying with higher taxes over their working lives as they will gain better paid employment - but this is becoming less likely than in past. You'd expect that under normal supply and demand when you increase supply, now add in the increasing tendcy to shift expensive non management jobs to lower cost regions and you are hitting falling value in degrees - so I am not convinced degrees are generally cost effective for the person studying for them now.

Businesses should be gaining benefit for better educated workers - but they seem reluctant to pay for it now.

Pentagon confirms footage of three strange craft taken by the Navy are UFOs (no, that doesn't mean they're aliens)

John Miles

Re: They cross the vastness of interstellar space in technology far beyond our own

Probably just some rich kids with nothing to do. Who cruise around looking for planets that haven't made interstellar contact yet and buzz them - Teaser

Move aside, Technoking: All hail the Sweat Master and his many inspirational job titles

John Miles


For some reason I keep reading Technoking as combination of "Technology" and "Smoking" - but then it is Elon Musk

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed

John Miles

Re: 365, 364, 363...

To paraphrase Douglas Adams

We have a new normality. I repeat, we have a new normality. Anything that still doesn't work is therefore your own problem.

Remember that day in 2020 when you were asked to get the business working from home – by tomorrow?

John Miles

Re: If this pandemic had hit in the '90s, ...

I wouldn't have been able to work from home in the 90s (and not just because of the lack of Internet) - however the offices I worked in had more space per person and only a few people compared to the open plan ones at work now. So I wonder if it would have been that bad

The sooner AI stops trying to mimic human intelligence, the better – as there isn't any

John Miles

Re: Then they tried it on some real data,

You know this sort of error is older than computers -

Anti-Tank Dog -

Another serious training mistake was revealed later; the Soviets used their own diesel engine tanks to train the dogs rather than German tanks which had gasoline engines. As the dogs relied on their acute sense of smell, the dogs sought out familiar Soviet tanks instead of strange-smelling German tanks.

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative

John Miles

Re: My current annoyance is "gift" as a verb

Looking in the Oxford Dictionary on the shelf - Gift can be a verb and is 400 years old . I'd usually expect it something like "To Gift something to ..."

I have usually seen it that way in legal documents

Microsoft unveils swappable SSDs for Surface Pro 7+ but 'strongly discourages' users from upping their capacity

John Miles

WIFI card with non HP approved

I guess the non-approved ones would be the ones that actually worked - used to have to reboot a HP laptop several times a day as the wi-fi card/driver just died and only full reboot would recover it. (It got better after a firmware update) - The only reason I would consider another HP laptop is the works ones I have had since have been pretty reliable.

Forget about an AI stealing your job, even pigs can be trained to use computers

John Miles

Re: Done before?

Yes I remember seeing something similar from back then - used to come to mind when watching people struggle with using computer mice for first time. (edit - as highlighted just how intelligent pigs are)

In Rust we trust: Shoring up Apache, ISRG ditches C, turns to wunderkind lang for new TLS crypto module

John Miles

Re: Real problem mentioned first

I think a better anaology is

A good worker realises a sharp knife is dangerous so extreme care is needed but they also know that trying to maintain the level of vigilence required for long periods/large projects is hard/impossible so start looking whether there is a more appropriate tool for the job at hand. Once found they will put the knife back in draw for times they need the fine cutting ability not possible with the tools at hand (which will likely reduce as they learn new tool). They also understand the fancy new tool isn't fullproof, it just stops you cutting yourself on the blade but doesn't stop you dropping it on your foot.

European Commission outlines appeal against Apple's €13bn tax ruling

John Miles

Re: Lawndering

I look forward to seeing the converted heating system landing on the moon

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop

John Miles

Re: "when Wi-Fi gets more reliable every year"

My 5G was being swamped - so I ended up getting a tri-band AX router which makes things much better. However I suspect the switch from N to AC/AX and the fact the router has a pretty powerful processor helps.

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

John Miles

My website has raised its anchor and set sail into the internet oceans without me

John Miles

Dealt with similar

A company's website was all working but they couldn't get hold of the company who created it for them. Turns out the had gone bankrupt and been liquidated, but as they'd paid for their hosting for several years in advance it was still running all their clients sites for some time. The biggest problem was the domains where ownership had passed to the official receivers hands even though the client was renewing them, but they decided to let them expire and just buy them back, (before every possible domain expiring was jumped on by squatters)

US nuke agency hacked by suspected Russian SolarWinds spies, Microsoft also installed backdoor

John Miles

Just imagine if they hack the Windows Update Servers

It would be serving upgrades that Delete User Files or BSOD etc.

Another piece comes to .NET Core: Microsoft will keep the runtime patched automatically

John Miles

Re: It's a myth that it's intrinsically impossible to create bug free software

I am an Electronics Engineer who switched to software - however I'd disagree, I'd say it is impossible to build any complex software system which is bug free within a useful/reasonable time period. I am not even sure with enough time you could make it bug free due to complexity. Even if the system doesn't hit bugs under normal circumstances there will likely be conditions that can be exploited by the black hats as engineers/developers have a logical approach which can blind them to potential attacks vectors.

You can however build highly reliable systems and resilient with the right level of discipline, which rarely hit the bugs and I don't think it actually takes any more resources if you start out doing it correctly. However a lot of managers don't understand this and it takes time and experience for a developers to get into a position they have the right skills to apply the discipline needed, which they'll never get if they spend lots of time stuck on doing it by yesterday without people with the skills to guide them

Mysterious Utah monolith mysteriously disappears without trace

John Miles

Re: Weighed in as scrap?

Rummours were there lots of shouts of "cosmic", "git" and "plonker" in area and sightings of a strange yellow three wheeler with Paris, New York written on the side (which local nerd said was a Reliant Regal, but no one listened to him )

If I pedal faster and feed it spinach, my robot barman might pull more pints

John Miles

Re: Re fooling the exercise bike settings

A couple of years ago work did a 10,000 step challenge and you got free step counter. It was observed that some people had quite a few steps after driving to work.

UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details

John Miles

Re: How difficult is this?

or even just point it at BBC's version - BBC Lockdown rules: What Covid tier is your area in and what are the restrictions?

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy

John Miles

Re: and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots.

Pretty certain the universe has managed to get quite a few of them into the programmers camp and even more in to management to handle those it can't remove yet

Shock news: NASA lunar ambitions might be a bit too... ambitious

John Miles

Re: is to continue the fantasy that humanity could somehow become a space-borne spices

Well if we don't start trying it will always remain a fantasy.

anyway I thought we meant to take the spice Melange, not become it ;)

Biden projected to be the next US President, Microsoft joins rest of world in telling Trump: It looks like... you're fired

John Miles

Re: Yay! Party time!

There is always the Faithless electors but it is unlikely to impact the election

Personally I think it would be best if Trump focuses on trying to overturn the results etc. Much better than giving up earlier and having longer to focus his vindictive nature

Shopping online for Xmas? AI chatbots know whether you want to be naughty or nice

John Miles

Re: still a ways to go

did the repeating message while waiting for someone to answer suggest you use the webpages to find the answers while you waited

Congrats, HCL, on your £1.5m contract to upgrade a county council's ERP system to SAP S4/HANA within a year

John Miles

Re: Someone made promises

Or lawyers will prove it is much cheaper and easier to forget than try holding them to a contract that probably didn't say what they thought it said anyway

Das Keyboard 4C TKL: Plucky mechanical contender strikes happy medium between typing feel and clackety-clack joy

John Miles

Re: well tuned Porsche engine, and instead being treated to the noise of a backfiring tractor.

Which could also be a Porsche - since they have made tractors

You won't need .NET Standard... except when you do need it: Microsoft sets out latest in ever-changing story

John Miles

Re: There was an xkcd about competing standards...

Funny you should mention that - if you read The future of .NET Standard by Immo Landwerth (linked in article) it actually uses it

Oracle's Java 15 rides into town, waving the 'we're number one' flag, demands 25th birthday party

John Miles

with 14 new features

Of the 14 listed there are 2x Remove, 2x Deprecate and 1x reimplement existing functionaility - so must be the marketing definition of new feature

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

John Miles

Re: ASUS router

I have an ASUS RT-N66U which I brought back in July 2013 (I think had been out a year or so) and the ASUS webpage lists latest firmware as of June 2020 - it is now being used in media bridge mode as I have upgraded to a tri-band AX router where it was dropping out (mainly I think due to other routers close by)

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript

John Miles

Re: I'm smarter...

Let's just say posts by AManFromMars1 tend not to be easiest to read, so the theory is they aren't really posts but some hidden data

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

John Miles

Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

A spare isn't much good if you can't change the wheel, which is probably most drivers now. If I get a puncture, to be honest with the size and weight of the wheels on my car, I am probably going to call the breakdown service to change it anyway

John Miles

Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

I thought they were one of the first, they switched to run flat tyres for most cars so you could usually drive to somewhere when the warning comes up (though personally I'd avoid run flats as they are rather hard on ride)

Features vs compatibility: Google Chrome team promises more 'rigour', but what does that mean?

John Miles

RE: 3rd browser did we

We had Opera with its own engine until 2013 when it became something based on Chrome

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

John Miles

Re: but "Copy as path"

Thanks, I didn't know that

Not exactly what you'd call discoverable though

John Miles

Re: I'm getting old but..

Probably Microsoft PowerToys back in WIndows 95 days, it had several useful features, including Command Prompt Here and one I found useful send filename to clipboard

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

John Miles

Re: Male and female connectors..

The connector world already has "gender-bender" ( though not sure I'd use that term in conversation now, but I doubt in context it would upset the trans people I know )

Multi-part Android spyware lurked on Google Play Store for 4 years, posing as a bunch of legit-looking apps

John Miles

RE: The truly paranoid will most probably

will not use a phone for anything important like banking because not only don't they trust the phone, they don't trust the banks app software (or maybe just don't trust the banks)

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge

John Miles

Re: What will the O2 now be known as?

I'd suggest prefixing 02 with a S - to give SO2 aka sulphur dioxide

Remember Tapplock, the 'unbreakable' smart lock that was allergic to screwdrivers? The FTC just slapped it down for 'deceiving' folks

John Miles

Re: thinking "tech savvy" means working a phone

Another one relevant to over complicating things - xkcd: I'm An Idiot

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

John Miles

until there are lemon-soaked paper napkins again

now if they only ordered a reboot every 42 days

20 years later, Microsoft's still hammerin' Xamarin: Bunch of improvements on the way for cross-platform coding toolset

John Miles

Re: "Dual-screen support is coming soon"

My main home PC has had two monitors since 2002 and at work since around 2007 - home is 2x 27" 2K monitors, work is 24" 1920 - I have no idea how I managed to code on 80x25 VGA

NHS websites will no longer burn up your mobile data allowance, say Brit telcos

John Miles


If it is off road I believe it is OK for it to be without MOT as long as it is Taxed or SORN, you can't get it taxed without MOT (or less than 3 years old), so would have to SORN it then. If VED is due at end of month and MOT due then, probably worth seeing if you can renew now as I have managed that in past to ensure tax disk arrived in time, even though MOT would expire before new Tax started (though don't know if it will work with new system)

We checked in with the new Windows 10X build, and let's just say getting this ready for late 2020 will be a challenge

John Miles

Re: MS making proper shut down so difficult

shutdown /s is easier - and something you can explain to an non IT person.

But that still leaves us with MS Windows Team, in an effort to pretend Windows boots faster, mislabelled the action which leads to lots of confusion when full shutdown is required.

John Miles

Re: anything more than a traditional desktop or non touch enabled laptop

Currently using a two in one laptop with touch screen but using a Bluetooth mouse in preference to either the touch screen or touch pad, though the touch screen can be useful when ****** Windows decides Bluetooth device is unknown/not working and I need to reboot it again (another stupid decision by MS making proper shut down so difficult as sometimes you need a cold boot for it to forget it is broken).

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?

John Miles

Re: FizzBuzz

They are looking for something like FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition



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