* Posts by Olivier2553

418 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Aug 2016


Borkem ipsum: Supermarket gifts Thailand a tech fail that will echo down the millennia – and probably choke a turtle


Re: Party pooper here...

Intentional to use English in a not English speaking, non Roman alphabet writing? Definitely.

But certainly not intentional to leave placeholder text, but something went bork in the chain of designing, writing the text, approving, printing.


Re: WTF? They didn't even proof-read?? ====>

Remember that is Thailand, different language, different alphabet. 95% of the people could not read one paragraph in English and among those who read, who would care to, and among those who care, most would think that if they don't understand, that is because they are lacking the vocabulary.

Who is crazy enough to read what is written on their shopping bags?

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?


Re: EVs = bad for planet, bad for poor people, bad for practicality

If kW/h makes sense (and it does) how GW/day would not?

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


Re: Bad User Interface

Considering that CTRL-S for search predates CTRL-F, which is the wrong one?

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons


Comments in Bind?

Yes, it happened to me too, and not 20 plus years ago. But as far as I remember, bind would not reload the zone with the error, or something, so I noticed the error immediately.

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


Live experience...

Our major online-store in Thailand has launched their robot assistant a short while back. But apparently typing "human" will get you into contact with a warm body.

And it is really live because I have the chat going in another tab.

After Cummings' Barnard Castle trip, cheeky Britons started using the word 'vision' in their passwords


If their task is to check that nobody is using weak passwords, then they should be granted the file with the hashed passwords. It is easy then to brute force try to decode them.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off


Flying to Tashkent

On my second trip to Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan, I insisted I would not go through Kabul and endure the long and uncomfortable road trip. Instead I would only go if I could fly to Tashkent. There I had booked a taxi that took me South to visit Samarkand on the way to the border where I rejoined with my colleagues and our president. If crossing the border when fine for us, our president who was Persian but with a Swedish passport took a much longer time to proceed. I still regret I was not able to spend more time in Samarkand.

When I was a teenager, our return flight from a Greek camp had been overbooked, so we were rerouted through some country that was still part of USSR, we spent ten hours in transit, with no possibility to go outside, soldier with some big guns were making sure we staid in line.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?


Re: Socket switches seem like a weird idea...

Well, electricity can leak from empty plugs, sort of. Here in Thailand, I have often seen the wall plugs being installed on the neutral wire instead of the live (presumably in case the switch get destroyed and you touch the inside, it would be touching the neutral?).

As a result, fluorescent lamps would never go completely dark but would keep a constant glow due to the live being present all the time.

Things may have changed since a proper electric panel, including some sort of fault detector is now compulsory for any newly built house.

Ho hum: If you're so artificially intelligent, name this song while my videos go viral


That facemask detection at entrance to Tesco

At my local Lotus supermarket, they have a table with a facemask detection system. It is installed in such a way that a small children or a tall adult are out of the way of the camera (anyone not in the 5 to 6 foot height I'd say). And of course, they need one staff to man the equipment, so the real benefit is negative (same number of staff, but added cost of technology).

Local is rural Thailand, I cannot say for other branches, I have only been to that one in the past few weeks.

On the part about privacy, I don't really consider it a breach of my privacy if a screen displays a message saying that I do not wear a mask while other punters around me could see by themselves that I do go uncovered.

A cautionary tale of virtual floppies and all too real credentials


Re: Waddayamean "nowadays"?

Nor did Dave ever requested anything with such power, he only needed a machine with a floppy.

Quick thinking and an explanation for everything – key CTO qualities


Re: Terrifying video wall

Talking about Porn Hub, pornography is illegal, here, in Thailand, so major sites like Porn Hub are blocked at ISP level. But Porn Hub is sponsoring one of the major football team. All the youngsters who have a shirt from their favorite team know well enough what the sponsor represent and they cannot be blamed for supporting their team, can they.


Re: I've been fired ...

Damn kids is still true. I have a smart phone that I used as a glorified MP3 player, I load my MP3 and listen at my stuff. But that phone may be borrowed by the damn kids or others, and then I may find it has the browser still on some page or other that I would never access myself.

The vid-confs drinking game: Down a shot of brandy every time someone titters 'Sorry, I was on mute'


or "galuchat" to stick to the new country of residence of Mr AD.

From the Department of WCGW: An app-controlled polycarbonate lock with no manual override/physical key


Cellmate at last

After I read bout that story last week in the Bangkok post (a very technology oriented newspaper, not) I was wondering why ElReg never covered that cock-up.

It has been remedied too.

Welcome back Mr Dabbs.


It seems there is also a metal ring and while acid may help with that, it may not be the best choice, nor is angle grinder or a plasma torch.

IT Marie Kondo asks: Does this noisy PC spark joy? Alas, no. So under the desk it goes


Re: cold feet warm computer.

I have often witness, here in Thailand, people pressing the up button to call the lift when it is waiting on a floor below, instead of just pressing the button for the direction you intend to go.

I guess it all result to (broadly) education.

A decades-old lesson on not inserting Excel where it doesn't belong


I have always considered that the user who provides the address and fill the form knows what the address should look like in their administrative region, so address field should be as open as possible, with maybe an exception for the country as it is used to calculate the postage fee.

If addresses will be used for non mail stuff, like sending a physical person to a location, we are dealing with a more restricted area (maybe country size) and then the address can be formatted with fields that corresponds to the country>

I only once received a telegram since I live in Thailand, I was very interested to find that the address had been summarized for administrative purpose and consisted of the lot number where the house reside (with a sub-number is the lot has been divided further), the number of the district subdivision and the district post code. 3 numbers for an address is very efficient IMHO. Since, I am very careful when writing the numbers as I know it is all that matters.


Re: RDBMS vs Excel

A colleague of mine, when translating some documentation into French, played the game to find every possible combination of the different meaning of each word (like "page" as a sheet of paper or a young person, "left" as a direction or the verb to leave).


But when lives are at risk, you also need the answer now. Are you ready to wait 6 month until the right solution is developed and fully tested?

Big IQ play from IT outsourcer: Can't create batch files if you can't save files. Of any kind


Re: Idiocy

One of the problem with outsourcing is that it is taken as a solution to the wrong problem.

Often outsourcing is seen as a way to save the cost of doing something. While it should only b a way of saving on the burden of doing that thing, but knowing well it will cost you more.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable


A bit bigger than a pick-up truck

It is not uncommon to see a rope attached to a truck (like 10t model), going up the electric poles and pulling the future electric cable (those pretty thick ones, 15 or 20 meters high up at the top of the poles, each spaces 100m apart, so it must be in the 10s, if not 100s KV). But they are using pulley on each pole when pulling the cables.


Re: Single points of failure always do.

A decade or more ago, most of Thailand international traffic when down: all ISP had most of their different international connections running though a single sub ocean cable to Singapore (at that time, we were lucky to have a satellite link to Japan).

When working on a project for the University of Laos, I tried to tell them that they should invest into independent routing between their two sites, at that time Vientiane was going through a lot of extension and building and not a month would pass without the cable being cut. I did not manage to get my point through.

I love my electricity company's app – but the FBI says the nuclear industry bribed politicians $60m to kill it


Re: An honest question...

There is no reason why it would not be feasible.


I'd say that with different hourly prices, I need a way to turn on and off some appliances when the electricity price is inside different ranges. But I will not spend my day having a look at my phone every 15 minutes.

Beside, that sort of automation has been available for decades, way before smart meters. My parents have been running like that for 20 plus years: the electricity would be at a reduced fee all the year long except during day time on 9 (or maybe 20 ?) days that are deemed to be very high demand (like the coldest of winter), if you used any electricity during those high price days, it was high priced, really (3 times the normal price comes to my mind). The days are not fixed in advance. So it was up to you to monitor if you were in a high price time.

And only running analog meter, the power company could send a signal (multiplexed into to 50 Hertz?) that you could use to automatically turn off stuff (electric cooker, over, electric water heater (they keep the water warm enough for 10 hours when they have proper insulation), washing machines, etc.) and turn on some signal light to remind people in the house.

I always visited during summer, so I never saw the system in use except the last time in Marsh 2019 when I went down to the kitchen one morning to be greeted by the red light.

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns


Re: Why

But is seems MCAS had suddenly made stabilizer runaway much more probable than before while at same time removing the possibility of easy correction.


Re: Perceptions of 'risk'

What risk there is if you get paid even if you do something stupid? The risk is that you lose everything is you miss and get a big reward is you succeed.

Get rewarded or get rewarded is not a risk.

Your latest security headache? Ed from accounting using his kid as an unpaid helpdesk


How social media can be work related, except maybe for the department doing OR, but they are expected to know already how to use social media then.

We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down


Re: How about nonpayment?

I'd say it depends on the contract, but unless something explicit is mentioned, once you bought the licence to use a software, there is no time limitation. You will not get bug fixes if you don't take maintenance, but the software should not stop working only because you reached a certain date.


Re: I put

I think that you missed the point that it was a demo version. You cannot argue against a demo version that stop working and removes itself once the demo period is over.

Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer


Zamak is being used for good miniature toy cars. As it ends up at the ends of children it is hard wearing.

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system


Re: whoops - wrong disk

I remember reading something similar about railway maintenance. I think it was related to the brake. There was a choice to perform task one or task two and after that there was a final stage to do in both cases. The indentation of the printed manual was such that the final task looked to belong only to case two. Hence accident.

I don't remember the details, but that came about in a discussion on the advantages of a structured text editing (LaTeX) vs. a WYSIWYG.

The power of Bill compels you: A server room possessed by a Microsoft-hating, Linux-loving Demon


Re: the demon earth @regadpellagru

You realise that the picture show mainly phone and fiber lines. power lines are in the bus, neatly arranged on the higher section of the poles.

Smash-and-grabbed: Chinese AI academic cuffed by Feds after 'binning hard drive' amid software leak probe


Re: I have a theory...

Am I mistaken or the hard drive is a 3.5", not a 2.5". 3 mounting holes on each long side under the drive does not correspond to the hole pattern of a 2.5 drive.

Funny, that: Handy script for wiping directories is capable of wreaking havoc beyond a miscreant's wildest dreams


Re: The brute force and ignorance approach

Knowing a bit of ed is always useful, even if once in a decade.

Plus there is not much to know anyway, it pretty much consists in 5 commands, it will not clutter your memory.


Re: My contribution ...

I am usually firm enough with my tone of voice that when I say that I am busy and come back in half an hour, people leave me to what I am doing.

And when they come back, I explain to them what I was doing and why I could not be interrupted.

And I found out that just saying "not now, come back in 30" does not distract me nor make me lose track of what I am doing. Probably because I did not give them time to present their request.

Techie studied ancient ways of iSeries machine, saved day when user unleashed eldritch powers, got £50 gift voucher


Re: Maybe get a process to delay that 11am thing too

Go rent a JBC and dig a big hole in the communication infrastructure. By the time the network will be restored, it will be after 11.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN


Re: Actually in Italy the stamdard is still a Type L plug

But the, any pair of countries do some cross border trading and should unite their types of plugs, so you would end-up with a single standard all across the world. I don't mean that would be a bad thing, but that is not how the world works.


Re: With great power comes great incompatibility

I had something similar happening in my condominium (apartment building) few years ago: the network ans Internet access was a mess: tunneling all the traffic to some company providing the service (I think they were supposed to keep logs of the traffic) instead of simply routing the service to the ISP. What once had been a decent system (Linksys WiFi running DD-WRT, a WiFi point to point link to the other building, so apparently people who designed the solution had some idea) but with no maintenance, the main router running on some Windows, no upgrade, the service was failing and needed to be rebooted several times a week.

The solution to reboot? The building technician would shut the power of the entire building, count to five and restore the power. You better not be in the lift when this happened.

Reply-All storm sparked by student smut sees school system shut down Google Classroom for up to a week


Nope. That would be enforcing by obscurity only.

Any mailing list with a proper setting will have a list of who can write to the list or not, independently from the fact it was used in a CC or painted on the wall.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!


Re: Not actually an interview but....

Also unrelated, but I find it cute when I see young couple, like teenagers, wearing a mask with the same design (here in Thailand, we have been wearing masks for almost 6 months, so we have been through a lot of masks fashion already).


Re: Not actually an interview but....

It was not diving, but we would sometime have a river swim, wet suit, fins, mask and a tire in guise of a buoy.

Early January, some place near Paris, I think it was Moret sur Loing (a place that was inspiration to some impresionnist painters). We were done with the swimming, stationed on the bank of the road, just at the entrance of the bridge. Divers are not shy women would usually wear only to bottom part of a bikini under their wet suit. Imagine the surprise of the drivers by. A few accidents were barely avoided that morning.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic


Re: There is no problem

Hummm, Are you sure C4 is opaque enough to block the light detector?

A tale of mainframes and students being too clever by far


Strange association

After high school, I did not want to go to University, instead I did a 2 years technical degree in computer stuff. At the end of the two years we had a couple of months of internship that I did in a lab developing digital cameras for the television. My task was to interface a math coprocessor to a machine running a Motorola CPU, design the hardware, program the driver all in assembler... The students were assigned a professor who was in charge of following what work was being made by the student. For some reason known only to the university administration, the professor working with me was the person in charge of teaching us COBOL. No need to say that he never really understood what I was doing.

Oh what a cute little animation... OH MY GOD. (Not acceptable, even in the '80s)


Re: they did not know what "giving head" meant

And if I could work it out at 16 I reckon the BBC censors could.

You could make sense because you were 16, they could not because they had not been 16 anymore for so many years :)



I have heard that the song "Walking on the wide side" from Lou Reed escaped BBC censorship because they did not know what "giving head" meant (it being US slang and not UK slang).

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


Re: Speaking about the f*ing manual...

I don't lock every racks, only those located in places where some public may be walking by, mostly to prevent accident. I made myself a bunch of all the matching keys: I have only 2 keys on the bunch and could open most of the racks in the country.

Azure admins' cold sweat likely caused by a 'isolated' power problems that browned out West Central USA region


Or you could fish out the old board games and start doing something together instead if doing something next to each other...

Being bored is good, it the the time when you can let your mind drift out and become creative: I used to draft a lot of project at the time when I rode a bike several hours every week end. I had nothing better to keep my mind busy.

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper


Re: DIY bidet installation kits

A small hand shower, plus a T connection, starting price will get you parting with 3 euro.


Re: Surely,...

I would be interested, but do they have a bog paper liner?