* Posts by Edward Ashford

35 publicly visible posts • joined 20 May 2016

Britain enters period of mourning as Greggs unable to process payments

Edward Ashford

Re: A Suggestion Or Two......................

As we found out here when Ulster Bank went AWOL for a few weeks after a software upgrade.

Sainsburys got credit card payments back on line fairly quickly, but Smart Shop was offline for quite a while.

What sort of fool updates supermarket software on a Friday night?

Linux for older phones postmarketOS changes its init system

Edward Ashford

Solaris was clunky

It was only ever sort of half implemented on Solaris, and it added no value.

It won't be long now and Systemd will be touting for "most installed OS"

NASA solar sail tech is ready – now who's up to use it in a mission?

Edward Ashford


Do they work past the heliopause? Maybe need a furling mechanism too.

I would have called out Sunjammer by Arthur C Clark. Maybe it will happen in my lifetime, but likely with bots rather than humans.

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit

Edward Ashford

Re: Query: the timing of ads

Most of the targeted ads I see are for things I just bought. Not even related stuff, the actual thing I actually just bought.

GPS interference now a major flight safety concern for airline industry

Edward Ashford

Re: Options

What they actually do is fly low enough to read the road signs.

40 years since Elite became the most fun you could have with 22 kilobytes

Edward Ashford

Re: Morals?

Sold the missiles for working capital, remounted the laser facing aft, traded between feudal systems and anarchies for a better margin.

Dive at full speed for the station while collecting bounty shooting pirates off your tail.

Tesla owners in deep freeze discover the cold, hard truth about EVs

Edward Ashford

Re: Just very important to not force people out of the working technology.

Last time I cycled to work in deep snow I ended up carrying it because the mudguards and sprockets all jammed up with ice.

Langlauf skis would have been better, but how many times do you get to use those in most of the UK?

HP customers claim firmware update rendered third-party ink verboten

Edward Ashford

Re: "If a printer is connected to the internet, the update downloads automatically"

I have had no issues with ET on Ubuntu. Really glad I made the switch. Epson support now seems pretty good.

Singapore wants datacenters, clouds, regulated like critical infrastructure

Edward Ashford

Re: weird

The aircraft industry avoids doing anything safety related unless the FAA force it to.

The computer services companies (and their customers) are notorious for prioritising cheap above all else.

The only surprise is that this didn't come sooner, and that the EU haven't joined Singapore.

All those points of yours are very valid, but they are all just cost unless there is a regulation to be complied with.

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking

Edward Ashford

Oh great

Two more links in the wobbly chain. What could possibly go wrong?

Microsoft gives unexpected tutorial on how to install Linux

Edward Ashford

I moved the non technical missus to Ubuntu with Chrome and LibreOffice Calc. She doesn't use macros; your mileage may vary.

Daughter is growing up bilingual. Her home laptop is Ubuntu.

Linux 6.4 debuts after literally unremarkable development push

Edward Ashford

Re: Are we sure it's time to throw something else out?

And in my Canon EOS 20D, still going strong. Mind, I would need to be running it on my old IBM T80 which actually has a PCMCIA slot! I had to use a horrible kludge to get it past the previous issue where my CPU supported protected mode but didn't have the flag (Ubuntu 12 if I remember right)

It's maybe time for a new camera body! The old Canon will have to join the Autohelm autopilot which had to be retired when the last EEPROM burner for the map cartridges gave up the ghost. And the T80. It's served me well.

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams

Edward Ashford

Re: I am surprised that IBM took this long

All in the repo, we just don't tend to pull them as they are huge.

'What's the point of me being in my office, just because they want to see me in the office?'

Edward Ashford

Ego driven. Who would have thought it.

I suppose those who set out up the greasy pole have a different outlook from the wage slaves.

Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot

Edward Ashford


Trucks do occasionally drive onto the runway when they shouldn't. A friend was on an A320 landing at BFS when the pilot had to make an emergency go around.

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement

Edward Ashford

Re: Real Class

It's pretty normal in the automotive and aerospace worlds to review existing patents for something you are designing, and ensure your design doesn't infringe and is in iteslf patentable. I expect Google went through the same process, and the surprise (for them) is they were found to be infringing.

The sensible thing to do at this point is either fix the design or license the product, and that's a commercial one not an engineering one.

Now here's HPE with the weather in Northern Europe

Edward Ashford

Meanwhile the Met Office is switching from Cray to Microsoft https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/what/technology/supercomputer

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

Edward Ashford

Re: “Re-wilding”

In Northern Ireland we had problems with Caesium-137 for a long time after Chernobyl (I think it was also a problem in Wales) as sheep graze on uplands where the soil is shallow and the grass roots kept recycling the Caesium. In lowland pastures where the soil is deeper it gets washed down out of the way of the roots. The solution was to graze for less time on the uplands and bring the sheep down to graze lower down so that when they went to market the Bequerels per kilo were low enough. Try not to think too hard about it when eating your lamb chop.

It's possible that around Fukushima trees are recycling it and the pigs are snuffing up Caesium-137 loaded acorns.


VC's paper claims cost of cloud is twice as much as running on-premises. Let's have a look at that

Edward Ashford

"Over the last few years, alternatives to public cloud infrastructures have evolved significantly and can be built, deployed, and managed entirely via operating expenses (OpEx) instead of capital expenditures."

You can build you own data centre without CapEx? OK, I've missed something somewhere.

The analysis also doesn't seem to look at the huge pain of tech refresh. And every time we've done one you finally come to a server that nobody remembers but everybody is too scared to turn off.

The policies in Cloud are a powerful tool.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

Edward Ashford

It was patentable when it was a "wow, that's a clever idea" thing. That was 1998.


Ironically the new Furby has a lawsuit against it!


I just love US patents!

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Edward Ashford

Re: Learning to live

>>> But machines still lack dexterity, fine motor skills,

Ermmm... have you seen those things that let a surgeon in Chicago operate on a patient in Manchester?

Google remote surgery

Edward Ashford

Re: Basic misunderstanding how law firm works

>>> My doctor is a firm believer in patients using the web to research the condition he has diagnosed - so that they become "experts" in their own case.

Yes, but I bet like mine he isn't a fan of people who diagnose themselves using Google.

Start with "flu-like symptoms"... now is that AIDS, Meningitis, Eastern Equine Encephalopathy... my God! I must be dead already!

It's been coming a long time. Here's a Very Bad Poem wot I wrote in 1993 (in a mock Folk singing style to the rhythm of the bicycle pedals going round)

Robots - or the Engineer's Revenge

EMA 21-FEB-2023

I was a jolly engineer

In nineteen ninety three,

But now a robot does my job

There's no more work for me.

The clean and shiny robots

Were the population's choice,

For engineers remind them

Of the acid rain and noise.

A robot does my laundry,

And another cleans my plates,

One more decides to pay me,

And one decides my fate.

There's robots in the factory,

And robots that are toys.

There's even robots making,

Little robot girls and boys.

The engineer takes tea-breaks,

but the robot never shirks;

For homo sapiente,

But cyborg only works.

But we have had the last laugh,

Though it took ten thousand days;

We built a thinking robot

- and it wanted to be paid!

Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians

Edward Ashford

Re: Automated lifts will never catch on

>> You're forgetting that annoyed passengers in a vehicle can get OUT and confront the sociopath.

Only if the safebot lets them! The vehicle is technically "in motion" at that point.

As an occasional cyclist I can't wait for all these cars to start giving way.

And as for the Mercedes bloke... that's a big assumption that the law won't require it to be the other way around.

Hacktivist crew claims it launched last week's DDoS mega-attack

Edward Ashford

Re: IoT

>> How do you write a law (or regulation) that distinguishes between them, though?

You don't. You change the Computer Misuse Act to let us shoot back. And you petition the PM to treat this as the cyber attack that it was (no matter who perpetrated it) and instruct GCHQ & Co to take action to shut down the Bot Nets (we pay their wages, they might as well do something positive instead of just spying on our emails)

It's no different from asking the police to take duff lorries off the road because they're a danger to everyone.

Floods of Things getting returned to the seller because they have been bricked is probably the only thing that will cause a change. The non-technical buyers (most of the world) will eventually get the message that Brand X is no good, although the temptation to buy cheap cr*p is pretty huge (the missus still goes into Chinese Bazaars even though she knows the stuff is no good)

Plus ça change...

Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

Edward Ashford

10mbps would be loverly!

Actually it would be really, really nice to have 10mbps! I know 2mbps is better than my old modem (33kbaud on a good day) but all these fangly websites that want to sell me stuff I have already bought are slurping up my bandwidth. And Lord help me if I want to work while the little one is watching Peppe Pig

May blocked plans to bring in more Indian IT workers – Vince Cable

Edward Ashford

Re: As a British IT worker....


Ironically, have you looked at what the Indian Govt will charge you as a "rich westerner" for buying a house and daring to live & work in India?

The Europe "Crisis" seems over rated - in 1987 I was working as a placement student in Germany, being paid in D Mark, in a technical department that was 50% British sub-contractors. Coming "back home" past the tender mercies of HM Customs was a bit of a drag but that's life - death and taxes.

Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy

Edward Ashford

Yes, because countries with lots of tanks always play fair

Given how well the ceasefires in Syria went I think whoever lost would just start shooting anyway. Maybe even while the Top Guns of the other side were still being distracted by the VR

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Edward Ashford

Re: Really ....

The key word occurs early in the article... "could". These are the same people who led us into EMU and missed the credit crunch.

Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

Edward Ashford

Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

Larry Wall wrote perl years ago to solve the sort of problem you are describing.

Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Edward Ashford

Re: Is it worth it ?

Crossing the Channel in a small boat is already a bit like crossing the M25 on a bicycle. Now you're proposing no need for lookouts? Hmmm....

If you thought the recent Tesla car "couldn't see the lorry" incident was bad, just wait for the "container ship hit the ferry because of the wrong sort of rain"... or you might also be interested in googling the work on GPS jamming ... ah you don't need to look, it's in El Reg


Try this one for fun:


Chilcot's IT spend: Tighter wallet than most public sector bods

Edward Ashford

Like Archer and River class you mean?

Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

Edward Ashford

Re: Oh dear

Google nie heat map and you will see another problem for small rural countries... there isn't enough infrastructure to carry all that green energy from the remote windy places back to the Big Smoke. Windmills and solar panels have popped up like mushrooms here thanks to the bizarrely generous FIT scheme and hey presto the grid is overloaded. Maybe Zuck could stump up for a few underground HT cables and an energy storage system? (see the fine Register article on the Welsh mountain)

fMRI bugs could upend years of research

Edward Ashford

Re: Good science

It's reported in the Denver Post 1 July 2016.

Your broadband speeds are up by 6Mbps, boasts UK watchdog Ofcom

Edward Ashford

Country Bumpkins...

I get an astonishing 2Mbps. Well sometimes it's as high as 2.7 and when it's homework time on our lane sometimes it drops to 1.5, but hey, it's better than the 33kbaud I used to get from dial up.

I just wish website designers and advertisers could have a little flag that says "slow connection - text only adverts"

And now we have two phones and a tablet stealing my precious bandwidth it can get a little fraught - "Daddy's saving the country - switch to flight mode immediately or I'll ban you from the router!"