* Posts by TomPhan

246 publicly visible posts • joined 12 May 2015


Robots are creepy. Why trust AIs that are even creepier?


Re: Ahhh, smug mode.

Would you like some toast?

Logitech Lift: Vertical mouse for those with small hands


Your sinister bias is showing

The comparison to other mouses fails as there's not left handed versions of them.

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


Re: The Old Engineer and the Hammer

But did you know where to hit puberty and how hard to hit it?

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds


Re: Fuck that

You're lucky if you get a project manager who can actually manage, the ones we've currently got take notes and that's it. And next week they won't be able to find the notes form this weeks meeting.

Axed data scientist sues IBM claiming he was discriminated against as a man



Once a Performance Improvement Plan is mentioned you're better off looking for a new job - it's notorious for being used as a way to fire someone for non fireable actions.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?


Re: Turbo Pascal - Missing Semi-Colon at line 454

The COBAL class I took graded you on how many times you complied a program (something like start at 100%, drop 10% each time). The way to get 100% was to note the first error then reboot the PC before it completed, fix that error, then try again.

BOFH: What a beautiful classic car. Shame if anything were to happen to it


Glasses on or off?

We had one round of ID cards where anyone wearing glasses had to take them off because otherwise they'd reflect the flash from the camera. And the flash was needed because the room they were using to take the photos was too dark.

Microsoft prepares for its staff to return to Washington sites


Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

Although we have multiple rainforests, WA isn't even in the top 10 for the rainiest states. Overcast much of the time, but usually that doesn't convert to rain.

Beware the big bang in the network room


Re: Had he never seen Star Trek?

"just for my records, can you tell me which moon of Neptune you're based on?"


Service Windows

Ours can only be between 9PM to 5AM, and you have to state in advance what the start and end times will be. Fine, except recent reorgs meant many people now only work 8AM to 5PM, and there's some systems where nobody can make any changes because of this.


Re: Ahh the forest of cables

All of our PCs have a non-removable sticker with the host name in big friendly letters, so if there's an issue the user knows what machine they're on. And if the PC isn't accessible, for example inside a kiosk or behind a wall mounted TV, then the sticker is put on those.

Except the workflow changed, and now all the stickers are put onto the PCs when they're received, so we now have to keep look-up tables saying what they used to be going back three generations.

Apple tweaks AirTags to be less useful for stalkers, thieves


Still missing the most requested feature

AirTags are associated with one Apple ID, so they can't be shared. If something goes missing then only that person can try to find it, so for anything that you share and have a tag on (pets and children are the two most mentioned) you'll have to hope the right person is nearby.

The "solutions" Apple have suggested is for everyone to use the same Apple ID (and then saying Apple IDs shouldn't be shared either) or using multiple AirTags.

Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*


My electric bike (from Rad Power) get to 25mph, with less sound than a regular push-bike, and it's far heavier than any e-scooter could be.



Perfect opportunity to cram more advertising into the environment. Go past a McDonalds and you'll hear the latest commercial from Burger King (until McD pays a higher rate).

How can we recruit for the future if it takes an hour to send an email, asks Air Force AI bigwig in plea for better IT


Re: Big Biscuits

If they're using a computer as a tool then there should be policies in place for them to log out of it each day, with the system having optional reboots as needed. No reason for users to be logged in for days on end.

How to polish the bottom line? Microsoft makes it really hard to claim expenses, say staffers


There was a remote office I needed to be at for a few weeks, and I spent hours each day on the train travelling even though a hotel would have been cheaper - the problem was that the expenses system would have treated a hotel stay as one event which went over an arbitrary limit, whereas the travel was multiple daily events and so allowed.

Do you know what TikTok is? Then you might make a good magistrate, says Ministry of Justice


It's not knowing what TikTok is that counts...

...it's knowing why people use TikTok that's important.

Working overtime? Those extra hours might not be hurting your wellbeing after all – just don't tell Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma


If it's something you enjoy doing, and that's the only part you'll be doing, then you're not bothered about the extra time - but that's not realistic for most jobs because there's so many layers of bureaucracy involved that the instead of doing the coding (or whatever) you'll be completing spreadsheets and filling reports.

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day


Re: Déjà vu...

I've experienced the situation where the old department was told not to ask me for advice, and to figure things out from scratch. Though that was more because of petty managers than anything else.


Re: I recognise the story

Due to (pointless) company reorganisations I was moved out of a department then a couple of years moved back, and as part of the "new employee induction" had to go on a training course to learn how to use an application I'd designed and coded.

How do you call support when the telephones go TITSUP*?


Re: Reclaiming Private Call Costs

I've got 30 minutes booked as HR Activity every Friday to deal with filling out the not-a-timesheet.

Can Rust save the planet? Why, and why not


Does the energy saving include the days of online searching as you try to find out how to do something, or the wasted weeks when a different solution is thought of?

Possibly we should go with languages which are very easy to learn and just make a very efficient compiler.

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'


Re: Totally American

Andy Riley

Desmond Coyle

George Byrne

David Nicholson

Declan Lynch

Ken Sweeney

Neil Hannon

Keith Cullen

Ciaran Donnelly

Mick McEvoy

Jack White

Henry Bigbigging

Hank Tree

Hiroshima Twinkie

Stig Bubblecard

Johnny Hellzapoppin’

Luke Duke

Billy Ferry

Chewy Louie

John Hoop

Hairycake Linehan

Rebulah Conundrum

Peewee Stairmaster

Jemima Racktool

Jerry Twig

Spodo Komodo

Cannabranna Lammer

Todd Unctious


Lesley and Robyn

I'm diabetic. I'd rather risk my shared health data being stolen than a double amputation


It all depends on how well the data can be cleaned

If it was possible to change the data so that no one could be identified, and still retain its usefulness, then it should be automatically shared with an opt out option.

But that's so unlikely to happen, there's been enough errors in the past not to trust anyone who says they can do it, and as we understand more about "big data" it seems the ability to do so will become impossible.

A new take on programming trends: You know what's not a bunch of JS? Devs learning Python and Java ahead of JavaScript


A further axis to the graph would be what topics directors are talking about, DevOps changing to SRE seems to be the most current change and that's going to reflect on the languages and styles currently being looked for.

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks


Re: You cannot convert an electron to joules.

Just reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.


Re: Ask the dog - it has an 80% success rate

I've noticed that the pixies have developed the technology to change any photos you may have taken as proof that you've looked and couldn't find it.


Re: "a multitude of fresh qualifications counted for naught"

Strictly speaking the qualifications contain the right keywords that the CV scanning software is looking for.

So I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it


Going to back to the UK to deal with my parents estate after they died, I often had to explain that there's parts of the world where having a 5 digit house number isn't uncommon.


Used to live in a house which was one of 8 built on land which was previously just two. So the house numbers were the original one, to keep in order on the street, but with A, B, C, or D as a suffix. Unfortunately a lot of the delivery services and utilities thought they were all apartments inside the one closest to the street and ignored everyone else.

Oh! A surprise tour of the data centre! You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have


Re: year 2000

Think Geek, when it existed and wasn't just tie-ins, used to sell Annoy-A-Trons for that very purpose.

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers


Re: Two observations:

One of those pill sorters with compartments for the different days works well, and they usually have closable lids.

Live, die, copy-paste, repeat: Everything is recycled now, including ideas


Re: Another title might be "Tech hoardings"

Somewhere I've got a 2mb card, used to expand the memory of my digital camera in 1997.

Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search


Re: Met police cybercrime unit ?

Possibly a funny handshake was involved.

BOFH: They say you either love it or you hate it. We can confirm you're going to hate it


offline backups on the recovery laptop?

So just how small is this company really?

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon



So a spin-off where a fire engineer goes around swapping the labels on tanks and selling nitrogen at raves?

What is GitOps? This is the technical introduction you've been looking for


Re: For the love of...

Recently had a day long training course on "Agile" - not tailored to how we work and concentrating on the terminology. Cargo cultism at its finest.


Re: For the love of...

The only good thing is that the people who mandate training course on the subjects don't read El Reg - it's when Forbes or the like say TosspotOps it the latest thing, then we know to prepare for hours of learning nothing.

Devilish plans for your next app update ensure they never happen – unless you start praying


Re: Laundry Files

https://infodump.ghost.io/radio-and-podcasts/ for the related dramas.


Re: Laundry Files

As a follow up check out the Lovecraft Investigations podcast from the BBC. It's three of HPL's stories interwoven with Julien Simpsons "Pleasant Green" mythos, which has a lot of conceptual overlap with the Laundry Files world.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection


Is it cheating if it's a photo of your office?

I still have occasional need to go into our expensive and pretty much abandoned building, so I've photographed various room, desks, and what the view is like from where a webcam would normally be. Perfectly appropriate backdrops.


Re: Books arranged by colour

Penguin book covers have different colours for different genres - green for crime, orange for general fiction, black for classics, etc - and plenty of people arrange them by it.


Re: "Set-dressing" has been going on for ages.


Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast


The most appropriate song was missed

Eat Y'self Fitter

Microsoft patches PrintNightmare – even on Windows 7 – but the terror isn't over


Bound to be some issues with a rushed job

After all, Microsoft has only spent 40 years writing Windows, you can't expect them to have got it fully working yet.

Go to L: A man of the cloth faces keyboard conundrum


Re: Calling upon a higher power

I was on a (mandated) training course this week where we were told not to use the term "standups" as it would be offensive to people who couldn't stand up. Instead we were supposed to call them "scrums" - it wasn't worth explaining what happens during one of those.

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication


Re: Ah Captcha!

My fear is that it's all happening real-time and there's a "self driving" car about to plough into a pedestrian if the right square isn't clicked within the next five seconds.

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?


Rather than *A* Prince Edward?

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again


Re: The knob......

A lot time ago there was a new entry system installed and everyone had a badge with a mag stripe to swipe - then it was discovered the data wasn't being read and you could use a credit card, a library card, or a video rental membership card just as long as it had one of those strips on the back. Turned out getting all the software to really read them cost much more than the company was willing to pay.