* Posts by OwenMc64

20 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2015

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson


But they are human....

I visited my sister in the US years ago, and having been through the looooong list of things you can't bring in, more than once, I came empty handed for Thanksgiving, planning on getting something locally.

After going through said long list of things i couldn't bring in, getitng a 'no' to them all, the guy was obviously aghast that I was vistiing with nothing at all, and asked me "you the youngest?"

Me: Yes

Him: When you're through baggage claim, go and buy her some chocolates, flowers, ANYTHING....

I still chuckle at that, and it usually gets me approaching the desk with a smile - can't hurt!

This can’t be a real bomb threat: You've called a modem, not a phone


Re: Cracking the official facade

A couple of decades back, visiting my sister & family in the US & knowing the US Customs strict interpratation of rules etc, I was bringing NOTHING through for the folks ( a bag of baby clothes I was ferrying from one sister to another a decade before got thoroughly 'inspected').

The customs guy ran through the list, all 'No', and looked like he couldn't believe I was visiting family with NO gifts & said

"You the youngest?"

Me: Yes

Him: "Go to the shops there before you meet your sister and buy her some flowers, chocolates - ANYthing' and passed me through - all with the same serious expression....

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call


Re: The joys of the phonetic alphabet

I tend to use it on the phone - my accent isn't local, and it usually saves re-doing.

Sept I rang the garage back to check on an MOT time, and the mechanic read back the full entry on my booking..... including the "(nerd)" at the end :-)

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement


Re: I once had to do something similar in a Skoda...

In a similar situation with my 1st car, I had the windows & sunroof open (top spec when new - £100 to me :-))

Trump Administration fast-tracks compulsory border facial recognition scans for all US citizens


Let the politicians try it too ...

Recently it struck me that the facial recognition (or pick-your-biomteric-of-the-moment) bandwagon might move a little slower if the FIRST people to trial it were the politicians.... (+ lobbyists for the tech in question :-) )

E.g., no access to govt buildings/canteen/car without first donating your info, and needing to be verified a couple of times a week (preferably including some larger database with loadsa bad guys of the same vintage ... :-) )

Simple argument against - it'll cost those poor politicos time, which is OUR time.

OK, trial it for a fixed 6-month period and feed the false-positives & other feedback into the decision making process ...

Oh, and for extra points, make the 'cost of failure' just as friendly as they want to impose on the current subjects - re-test, revalidate & bring in all the paperwork in person (no sending aides in your place ...)

It'd never happen, but hey, it is my least harmless fantasy relating to politicians...

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


Re: Germany

Re Germany's actions on smart meters, a quick search on t'web found this 2 year old summary:


Which follows on from a new law that got passed in 04/2016:


Quote: " Contrary to other areas of energy policy, such as renewable energy, the German government has been wary of the costs associated with this task.", which I have to say sounds like a prudent view.

From the EU directive:


2. Member States shall ensure the implementation of intelligent metering systems that shall assist the active participation of consumers in the electricity supply market. The implementation of those metering systems may be subject to an economic assessment of all the long-term costs and benefits to the market and the individual consumer or which form of intelligent metering is economically reasonable and cost-effective and which timeframe is feasible for their distribution.

Such assessment shall take place by 3 September 2012.

Subject to that assessment, Member States or any competent authority they designate shall prepare a timetable with a target of up to 10 years for the implementation of intelligent metering systems.

Where roll-out of smart meters is assessed positively, at least 80 % of consumers shall be equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020.

The Member States, or any competent authority they designate, shall ensure the interoperability of those metering systems to be implemented within their territories and shall have due regard to the use of appropriate standards and best practice and the importance of the development of the internal market in electricity.


Reading the first article, I'd say the German view just echoes that of many of the previous contributors here: "Not worth it, freund", so they targetted it at the higher users.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster


Mouse-related + parent.

My sister bought my 92 (at the time) Mum a new notebook + wireless mouse. My Mum gets the tech - she just uses it to play patience - but not always the differences from when she did this on a desktop + wired mouse.

"My mouse is doing funny things....".

Looking at the screen, it was indeed behaving oddly, so asked for the mouse, which felt funny in my hand - big clue: as she was holding it upside down. Years of using a wired mouse had gotten her used to using the 'tail' to orient it - now she had lost the reference point....

I was sitting beside her when this happened - not sure how I'd've helped with this one over the phone!

You may not have noticed, but 'superfast' broadband is available to 94% of Blighty


Re: Just FYI

Aye indeed - whatever about the sub-heading, the expansion to:

"Fivemiletown in Ulster, Northern Ireland" really displays astounding ignorance.

Written from Hampshire in Europe, England.....

Fancy a mile-high earjob? We've had five!


Re: QC25 here, too

In-ear + level III ear-protectors are comfy enough that I wear them for an hour or 2 at a time in the office.

I've had colleagues come over to tell my my phone was ringing, within arm's reach, so that's plenty quiet for my purposes :-)

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone


Re: "Mundane staff"

Secretaries & Security - I always tried to stay on their side when I was posted to customer sites, and while it didn't pay off too often, the investment didn't hurt.

One of the secretaries was English working in the US, I just need to pack a packet of Maltesers every trip to keep her sweet. That customer was tricky & she was a senior person's PA, so THAT was worth the grid

Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford


Re: Repainting the text....

I always read that as a toungue-in-cheek variant of 'Give Peace a Chance" - even got me a t-shirt - amazing what you'll pick up El Reg

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work


In a previous job I travelled a lot to customer sites, & I made sure to get on with "Systems, Security & Secretaries" - duty-free chocolate smoothed many a trip.

And then there was the time Security had to escort me from a customer site - it sort of spoiled the effect when I was on first-name terms with the guy who turned up :-D

Apple, Amazon smash audiobook cabal after European pressure


Re: It's all irrellevant now

Grate is the word that springs to mind with President Tweety-Pie Trump....

Robots blamed for wiping 10 per cent off the value of sterling


Now, while I don't believe everything I read in the Economist any more than I do all that I read in the Register, quoting the relevant paragraph from:


"Amid the world’s most complex divorce, Britain’s diplomats also have another vital task. Through its membership of the EU, Britain is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and party to free-trade deals with 53 other countries. When it leaves, it will lose all that. So Britain must urgently prepare to rejoin the WTO as an individual country—which, again, requires the consent of every other member."

Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste


Re: T'was ever thus

Or even 'sounds like a roman consul, but turns out to be a modern tale' :-)


US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe


Re: EU Irony

Sadly the EU is not alone on this matter - many other countries make use of the same tricks:



Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus


Re: Optional

I haven't replayed to check, but I believe that one end of the kiddies see-saw was a ducking stool, which at the time I thought was another one of those hidden clues :-)

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor


Not a sales plug, but as a biker I find that Nikwax Visor does a great job on keeping the rain off the front of the visor. I had an anonymous bottle of something similar picked up from a German service station that lasted for years and years - Nikwax was the best replacement I could find.

For the misting, check the biker shops - loads of options there.

Might make for a different passenger experience if you MUST drive in the rain :-)

Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website


Re: Trump frangrance


Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target


Or, to put it another way.....