* Posts by staringatclouds

92 posts • joined 13 Jan 2016


The Souls noob's guide to Elden Ring


Re: Fun to watch, not to play

Try The Dark Mod

The emphasis is on stealth rather than combat, it's based on the Doom 3 engine & runs on PC's under Windows & Linux

99.9% of the mission content is fan generated so missions can be a bit variable, but it has quite a few missions that rival AAA games

Oh & it's free just google "The Dark Mod" for the website & downloads

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away


Re: Y2K minor point

Thanks for the downvotes guys, the year I spent sorting out hardware issues must have been a total waste


Y2K minor point

"Y2K was caused by programmers saving space by storing years as two digits"

No it wasn't, if it were a software problem a patch would have solved it

It was caused by the hardware storing dates as 2 digits & because it was the hardware this meant replacing the clock chips which usually meant replacing the entire device

Y2K was primarily a hardware problem, which is why it was such a mare to deal with

Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines


Re: Last update wrecked so much

All of my machines are Linux bar one cheapo tablet which won't download any updates because no matter how much space is freed on the disk there isn't enough space to store the download

MPs charged with analysing Online Safety Bill say end-to-end encryption should be called out as 'specific risk factor'


Next time ask them what Vega is like


Re: end-to-end encryption

"Lets ban end to end encryption" say MP's who regularly talk to their party donors via Whatsapp

China's Yutu rover spots 'mysterious hut' on far side of the Moon


I wondered where that went

I used to have a gazebo

Then after a sudden storm I found I didn't have a gazebo any more

I wondered where it went, I didn't think of looking up there

The Omicron dilemma: Google goes first on delaying office work


Re: Safely reopen?

andu 103 : "In the same way if you banned all drivers from driving for 1 month, you can bet that month would have the lowest number of road accidents! See previous point about you can't do that forever."

The problem with that analogy is

Covid will die out in the population if it's not given a chance to spread for about a month

Whereas drivers won't become safer drivers, and therefore less likely to have accidents, after a month off

And the reason Covid didn't die out with previous lockdowns is they weren't coordinated globally, sometimes they weren't coordinated nationally, and there were always selfish tossers who didn't think the rules apply to them, so there was always a new virus load spreading somewhere

Bring on the downvotes

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson


Re: Palemoon, check. Seamonkey, check.

was it an e-book ?

UK schools slap a hold on facial scanning of children amid fierce criticism


Re: David Swanston should have spoken to the ICO

It would be just as interesting to see the form that parents filled in to give consent for their child to use facial scanning

I suspect the question was phrased in such a way that there was no choice

Something like "We are installing this system, it uses facial recognition, if you don't consent your child will need to make alternative arrangements"


The Key word is children

Children cannot give informed consent & their parents cannot consent because they're giving away the right to something they themselves do not possess

For example compare this with sex

Children cannot give informed consent to sex, not can their parents give consent for their children to have sex

Now facial recognition won't get anyone pregnant, but it's using personal information which is potentially damaging and can have an effect that lasts their entire life

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review


Re: Analogue radio receivers were low cost

Now they do, when DAB first came out you couldn't get a receiver for less than £100 & the smallest were the size of suitcases

Well at least the ones I could find were, finding a small, portable, cheap DAB receiver back in ye olde dayes was an exercise in frustration, especially when you could get an FM receiver that could practically fit on a keyring

Opt-out is the right approach for sharing your medical records with researchers


It's my data, if you want to access it you can ask me, if you present a decent case, can ensure anonymity & privacy I'll let you have it, otherwise, no

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.


Reminds me of the time we upgraded our SPARC box with an extra processor

Then after we'd forgotten all about it the auditors turn up and we had a conversation along the lines of

A: "SPARC Processor, part number blablabla, could I see it please ?"

Me: "You do know that's a PROCESSOR not an actual computer don't you"

A: "Yes, it says so on the ticket here SPARC Processor, can I see it?"

Me: "You see that cream coloured biscuit tin shaped box sitting on top of the other cream coloured biscuit tin shaped boxes over there?"

A: "Yes"

Me: "That's the companies main financial database server, it's in that, I'd have to turn it off & disassemble it a bit, do you still want to see it?"

A: "Yes please"

Me: "OK I'll have to send out an email to tell the people in the UK, US, Australia & Switzerland that we're going to shut down the finance server for a hardware audit, it may take them a while to get back to me, would you like a cup of tea while we wait?"

A: "... erm .... can I make a phone call?"

I know we really needed a redundant system for such a vital function, but no bugger would pay for it, this was back in Windows 95 days, possibly early NT days, a while ago anyway

Dowden out, Dorries in: Is UK data protection in safe hands?


Re: Ahem.

Boris's handler makes all the decisions...

Spending watchdog blames British Home Office for delays to £1bn crime-fighting IT system


Re: Process - minor correction

1. Choose a Tory party donor


UK's NHS hands Accenture another £5m for Test and Trace system for another year


SERCO Test & Trace with an NHS badge slapped on to shift the blame for it's failure

Rest assured if it was working SERCO would be shouting from the rooftops that it was their product

Good news: There's a slightly increased chance of asteroid Bennu hitting Earth. Bad news: It's still really slight


Keith & Lemmy's livers are immortal the rest of them not so much

Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop


Re: I have this on my Dell latitude

I have two Dell Precision T1700's originally running Win7 pro one for me & one for my partner

I migrated both to Zorin 15 when Win7 support ran out

Zero issues, it worked out of the box, I swapped the email & browser to the same as I used on Win 7 but that's about it

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time


So given Priti's folder holds details of the information she gave to an unfriendly foreign power*

Why aren't MI5/GCHQ reining her in a bit ?

* You remember all those foreign 'holidays' she took & was subsequently sacked as a minister for before someone thought "the plebs will have forgotten by now lets make her a minister again"


Re: Anonymous Data is Impossible

Lets call this what it is

Eugenics by algorithm

And before people say I'm overreacting, that's exactly what this ...

"Google (Alphabet) now knows that patient 014432 is Janet Crow from Acre Lane in Clapham, and from her gmail contacts and Facebook profile can see who her friends and family are and, based on their search history and given the genetic nature of her condition, knows not to insure members of her family without an increased premium and that they should not hire from that family due to higher likelihood of death in service."

... means

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features


Audacious - https://www.audacious-media-player.org/

Sorry, that's taken


How about something like "Harmony" as it's an antonym of "Audacity"

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Re: Strike three

Audacious is an audio player

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset



"including a stand in the shape of the Enterprise's emblem"


I really must see a Doctor about this cough

Of all the analytics firms in the world, why is Palantir getting its claws into UK health data?

Big Brother

Cambridge Analytica database

A few idle questions

Cambridge Analytica built a database of voters using various scams & scraped Facebook data, it wasn't complete but it was good enough to target at least some of the electorate with ads playing to their concerns and may have affected their vote in the EU referendum

Does anyone know what happened to that database ?

Does anyone believe it was deleted when CA closed shop ?

Does anyone think it's not being maintained & augmented ?

Does anyone wonder how the Conservatives achieved an 80 seat majority with a little over 29% of the electorate voting for them ?

Let the downvotes begin

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary


"Whilst of course preserving the highest standards of safety and privacy"

Right up until everyone has forgotten & a minister decides they can safely change the legislation because no one who hasn't opted out can opt out at that stage

Say 6 months to a year

In this round of 'Real life or Black Mirror episode', drones that hunt down humans by listening to their screams


"In Varela's defence, the technology is not intended to allow future autonomous battle machines - which may or may not look like the HK-Aerial craft from James Cameron's 1984 classic The Terminator - to track down the few remaining human survivors of an inevitable robot uprising by listening to their pitiful cries for mercy"

Skynet was "intended" to save lives

Snowden was right, rules human rights court as it declares UK spy laws broke ECHR


Re: Always listening to our customers

"Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him."

- Cardinal Richelieu

We’ve found them! Govt reinstates records previously missing from the Police National Computer


Manual insertion

“Over 99 per cent of the data deleted from the PNC was recovered within the previously announced timeline. The remaining records required manual insertion into the PNC ..."

As we all know this is a completely error free & accurate process :eyeroll:

I wonder who now has a record who didn't have one before & who did but hasn't now

Buttle/Tuttle anyone ?

'A massive middle finger': Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture


"Just to reiterate, telemetry is completely optional and disabled by default."

...until it isn't

AI clocks first-known 'binary sextuply-eclipsing sextuple star system'. Another AI will be along shortly to tell us how to pronounce that properly


Piersons puppeteer home system?

I've heard rumours Netflix are doing a Ringworld series, I didn't realise their budget was this big

Parler games: Social network for internet rejects sues Amazon Web Services for pulling plug on hosting


Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

"Because they agreed to letting Trump or anyone else sign up... they were ostracized by big tech."

Not true

They were ostracised because they allowed death threats, threats of violence & incitement to commit these acts.

Mike Pence was threatened with hanging for not supporting Trump, one user advocated skinning someones children, wife, brothers, sisters, parents & grandparents because they were lefty democrats & it would teach them a lesson to see their line ended.

The fact that Parler allowed this & did not promptly take steps to remove it is why they were shut down.

Not because they supported Trump.

It may date back to 1994 but there's no end in sight for the UK's Chief customs system as Brexit rules beckon


Re: Let's see

You still have no reasons for voting leave, or you would have articulated them

BTW calling something "bollocks" is not the killer put down you seem to think it is

"Lets imagine worst case scenario ahh we need food and meds to enter the country. Who is slowing them down?" - We are, we caused all this, or more specifically you & your mates are

"If our customs is stopping the flow of food and meds then we reduce our checks." - CALLING ALL SMUGGLERS EASY MARK HERE brilliant suggestion, do you also sell nylons out of a suitcase ?


Re: Still. The Farage Garage will be open for business on time.

"That would require reading comprehension from those who dont think reasons have been articulated, particularly as this is addressed so often it would require someone brand new to not know this"

Your words not mine, you say your audience is too thick or too bigoted

There's a very simple way to deal with "Not because you haven't got any reasons" and that's to give one

But you won't, you'll bang on about how it's all been explained, without providing one single reason or link to one or saying no matter what you say we'll dismiss it

Go on prove me wrong, show one reason that no one can knock down


Re: Let's see

If Leavers are correct then everything will be hunky dory & I will apologise

If Leavers are incorrect, and all the evidence to date is pointing that way, then people will die

Now I'm happy to apologise right here & now if we can avoid the latter, if that's all it takes to stop this nonsense I'll do it, not a problem, save lives? yes please, I'm sorry, there! done!

But thanks to Leavers we're committed to this experiment, so when the ports back up as they did the other day during a test & food & meds start to perish waiting for customs clearance & people start to die for lack of food, meds or both, how many Leavers will put their hand up & apologise ?

Because it won't be any use guys, it'll be too late

And it'll be the fault of Leavers

And if they think we're unhappy with them now, just imagine how happy we'll be with them then

That's the fault with waiting to see what comes out in the wash

A red sock in with the white load is an embarrassment

Blocking up the ports because there's no plan & never was & then people start dying is a little bit more serious, so if there's the slightest danger of it happening then every effort should be taken to avoid it



Re: Still. The Farage Garage will be open for business on time.

Against an 80 seat majority & a 3 line whip Parliament neither approve nor amend, Legislation goes straight from a Cabinet ministers scribble to the statute books, the only minor hiccup being the House of Lords and even they can't prevent the cabinet pushing through whatever legislation it wants unamended


Re: Still. The Farage Garage will be open for business on time.

I'm sorry it's tiresome, but we're going to keep banging on about absolutely everything wrong with Brexit because a short *trial* caused massive tailbacks yesterday, yet Leavers still trot out "Project Fear"

The French trialled their boarding system which added 70 seconds per truck to processing time

I should note that the French have completed their infrastructure builds & have their IT systems up & running, they're ready to go, 1/1/21 they turn them on & we get tailbacks up the M20 almost instantly

We're still in the planning phase with a couple of weeks to go before they go live, you're an IT guy, how many major projects have you worked on that were still planning a few weeks before they went live ? How many of those weren't abject disasters ?



Re: Still. The Farage Garage will be open for business on time.

So you're not going to try because you say your audience is too thick & too bigoted

Not because you haven't got any reasons

And people wonder why these debates get heated

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending


Re: Fuck off, Deutsche Bank

OK Deutsche Bank here's the deal

We're paying for our own electricity, lighting & heating

We're donating square metres of office space from our homes for free, space which we now can't use for anything else

We're eating our own internet data allowance, which we're paying for

On occasion we provide our own equipment, lots of people use their own printers for example

Our employers don't have to pay any of that, nor do they have to secure or insure the workspace

Sometimes they don't even need the workspace so they save on rent

The work still gets done, our employers have less expenditure so their profit margins are up, OK in the short term they may need to spring for some laptops woo, generally all the costs of WFH are borne by us

I'll admit we don't have to commute for hours a day & we don't have to pay for that commute

But if you add it all up I reckon employers come out on top and all the sacrifices are made by us

For example me & my partner work for different companies so we can't share a workspace because of confidentiality, so we've given up a bedroom & the dining room, what's the cost of 2 separate workspaces Deutsche Bank ?

So before we start talking about extra taxation for employees

We can be paid for for the workspaces we're providing

Or our employers who are making more profit can be taxed

Or we could call it even

Or you could just do what the OP said in the title

Still want to talk about tax ?

Brit Conservative Party used 10 million people's names to derive their country of origin, ethnicity and religion according to ICO report


Re: So what did they think of Boris ?

he's an American immigrant born in New York with Turkish ancestry - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Johnson

He had dual citizenship until the IRS gave him a bill

Johnson's paternal great-grandfather was Circassian-Turkish journalist Ali Kemal

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April


There won't be 7,000 trucks in a queue to Kent

In order for a UK haulier to take goods to an EU member state they need an ECMT permit, these come in 2 flavours, monthly & yearly.

In March of 2019 the UK had 11,392 applications for yearly permits of which it allocated 984 with a possible 70% more ( 689 after rounding up ) to come so that's a maximum of 1673 annual permits.

They also had 2,832 monthly permits which hadn't been allocated.

So in any one month there's between 3,816 & 4,505 permits, which translates to the same number of UK vehicles travelling to the EU, no point setting off for the EU without a permit.

I doubt 2020 has a much larger allocation, given the state of talks.

And 11,392 applications were made, and that's when we had FoM and didn't actually need permits, we just thought FoM could end any day so we'd best get them, when transition ends those permits will be needed.

And that's for the entire UK, any port, not just the ones in Kent, we'll sharing those 3,816 to 4,505 trucks between several other ports as well as Dover.

So if there's 2000 UK trucks going through Dover we'll be lucky, though that figure's just a guess. I'd be surprised if UK haulage operators weren't looking at alternative routes to avoid queueing though. Any RORO ports that happen to be on the east of the UK & aren't in Kent will do see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/list-of-roll-on-roll-off-ports.

And any EU trucks that get stuck in a queue returning to base will only do so once as their operators won't send them again, sitting in a queue costs them money, UK haulage will be uneconomic so they'll finish their current contracts & won't pick up any future ones, after all they have 27 other countries they can haul to.

The Government will be well aware of all this as they're the ones that issue the certificates in the UK. I'd say they're just going to pretend they don't know and act all surprised in January in order to whip up some anti EU sentiment, "But we built all these car parks, disrupted lives, put a border round Kent & now the nasty EU won't even let us use them waaaaah, it's all their fault how could we have foreseen this" yadda yadda

Source for March 2019 figures - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47377037

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing


Youre the herd, this is a cull

This is bound to get me enough downvotes to be kicked off Reg

Lets see, which groups tend to catch Covid 19 & subsequently die

Mainly it's the old, the sick, the homeless, the unemployed/unproductive & the NHS professionals who treat them

There's a small number of children & a few productive members of society

I'd say it's fair to assume that most of these people are not natural Tory voters, so the Tory's don't care if they die

And the few that are Tory voters are regarded as a necessary sacrifice, they're collateral damage

On average more non Tory voters than Tory voters die from Covid 19

So don't expect the Tory Government to help you, you're a resource, nothing more, if they can't use you to make money or increase their power you're useless to them

They are not going to lift a finger to stop Covid unless they can profit from it & they do not see a profit in saving your life

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline


In the late 70's when I was at uni, we had a PDP11/34 in a lab with about 15 teletypes hooked in

It turned out to be unusually susceptible to static, as several students including myself only had to touch the handle of the door to the room and every head poring over the teletype output would suddenly look up as the system crashed

Bit awkward when you had a class in there

We had porters going round with water filled spray bottles at one time damping down the nylon carpets, which did nothing, they eventually removed the carpets altogether which helped a bit

I found an earthing point and grounded myself before going anywhere near the room, which helped a lot more

UK.gov admits it has not performed legally required data protection checks for COVID-19 tracing system


Re: what charges...

Don't forget how PPE is counted 10,000 boxes of tissues with an average content of 100 tissues per box = 1 million items of PPE

Mysterious disappearance ?

Nah, creative accounting, misdirection & criminal negligence

EG multi purpose items

Silly example, say a bin liner can be used as a bin liner disposing hazardous waste or an emergency surgical gown or an impromptu body bag, all possible PPE uses

So a bin liner gets counted 3 times

Then it's used as a bin liner & only that use is ticked off the spreadsheet

The figures say you've still got 2 more items of PPE, good luck finding them

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets


Any close down of social media by Trump will last right up to the second he tries to tweet about it

Not that he can do it anyway

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer


More Bullsh*tting Customers

I once was called to a client back in the days when I was desperate for work & did hardware calls.

They had a dead server, well it was a Windows NT PC they used as a server.

The server was situated on a desk in the middle of the office & was never turned off, but one day it just died.

They did a lot of grinding being an auto repair shop & there was a high concentration of metal dust in the case, which I dutifully hoovered out, but it still wouldn't turn on so I looked at the power supply.

Took out the PSU, tipped it on it's side & a large pile of highly conductive metal dust started to fall out, so I replaced the PSU & the machine started, I advised the client to get an enclosure to filter the dust, job done, I thought.

Then they refused to pay, saying I'd walked off site with a CD containing a reference database for parts & they weren't paying until they got it back.

I hadn't taken anything off their site I even left them the dead PSU to remind them about the dust problem.

This "he said, she said" continued for months until eventually the CD in question was found in the clients desk drawer.

It turns out someone installed some freebie ISO mounting software on the server & shared out an ISO of the CD over their network, putting the original CD in a safe place.

Because the server was never turned off they didn't put the ISO mounting & sharing instructions in the autoexec either, it all had to be done manually from a logged on account, it wasn't documented anywhere, so this was forgotten.

I let them figure out how to mount & share the ISO file.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Just a quick correction

It's not an NHS App

It's a Marc Warner/Dominic Cummings App

i.e. the team that abused facebook data for the 2016 referendum to microtarget small groups of swing voters with adverts that played to their fears

That reason alone is sufficient for me to reject installing this app on any device I own

Even though I trust Google/Apple about as far as I can throw them I'll cheerfully put the Google/Apple app on my phone, as my trust in them is orders of magnitude greater than my trust in Warner/Cummings

Cortana, why are you still here? Microsoft makes the long-suffering assistant chattier for more countries with new Windows 10 build


Cortana can't be uninstalled as it's part of the core & essential as far as Microsoft are concerned

But you can get rid of it, or at least you could, so I'm not sure if this still works

The last time I got rid of Cortana I did this

Find the folder Cortana is installed in & try to rename it by appending something like ".old", this will fail as Cortana is running but you should get a popup with "retry", leave the popup on screen

Find the running Cortana process & kill it, then quickly click the "retry" on the rename popup before Cortana restarts

You may need to take ownership of the folder but some variant of that should work

Then reboot, as the folder has been renamed, Cortana won't start as the folder can't be found

I think the only thing that was affected was searching the local hard drive

Please note when windows next updates, Cortana will reappear

It does leave the software on the drive but at least it's not running



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