* Posts by MrBanana

432 posts • joined 31 May 2017


Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

The thing to note about Quad switching from valves to transistors was that, yes they reduced distortion levels, but they didn't change the basic topology of the circuitry. The harmonic characteristics of both amps were deliberately designed to be the same. But even if Quad were gaming the test by controlling both configurations, it has been shown since that many so called golden ears of the AES couldn't tell the difference between Crown DC-300 (solid state) and VTL 300 (tube) amps. In general most competent power amps, when operated within their design parameters, sound pretty much the same. Differences usually only show when driving difficult speaker loads. Same goes for speaker cables, and don't get me started on the supposed benefits of upgrading that 1m of power cord that runs from the wall socket to your amp.

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust

MrBanana Silver badge

There is a Rick And Morty episode devoted to just this. Rick uses a micro-universe of slave people to power his car battery https://rickandmorty.fandom.com/wiki/Microverse_Battery

IBM buys Randori to address multicloud security messes

MrBanana Silver badge

The typical IBM play here is to absorb the profit and growth figures to swell their own crappy quarterly numbers, let the product languish, rape and pillage the customer base, and wait for all the clever employees to get bored and fuck off. Offshoring commencing in three... two... one...

Microsoft points at Linux and shouts: Look, look! Privilege-escalation flaws here, too!

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Ugh! Scripts.

(Replace ___ with spaces because python is stupidly tied to the idea that whitespace is a syntax element, not a token delimiter.)


Could a leaky capacitor be at fault on ESA's Sentinel-1B?

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Strange

I have a pre-amp from the late 1980s that still works flawlessly, and has been permanently powered on for most of that time. It was build with discrete transistors and diodes, and polystyrene and polypropylene caps. No ceramics or electrolytics. It cost an arm and a leg back then, but I've never regretted it.

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: 'twas ever thus

"A friend of mine bought a flat in the Netherlands. The previous owner took everything including the floorboards. This was apparently considered normal."

Yup, been through the house buying process a couple of times in NL and early on was clued up by our agent that floorboards could be an optional extra. I still think it odd, although not cheap (no building work is here), how would you get so attached to your choice of flooring to take it with you?

Also odd what gets left behind. In my current house, amongst the crap left in the workshop were two massive polystyrene blocks, the size of cupboards, and a scythe. When we cleared out the house we bought from our great uncle we went to see what was in the shed. Turned out he was a terrible hoarder and just built a new shed next to the old one when he had filled it. Seven shed Ted we called him. Had to call the police to ask for the shotgun we found to be decommissioned.

An early crack at network management with an unfortunate logfile

MrBanana Silver badge

You are Nigel Molesworth and I claim my 5 pounds.

Star loses $500,000 NFT after crooks exploit Rarible market

MrBanana Silver badge

On one visit to Tate Modern I saw a glass of water on a shelf, with a sign that said "this is not a glass of water on a shelf'. Another visit involved explaining to my 80 year old mother the art installation of a life size, slow motion, video of naked man with a very non-small penis, dancing to trance music. I explained that it was art, her reaction was - "is the end of it attached to a piece of string?".

Anything Non Fungible in the above?

What do you do when all your source walks out the door?

MrBanana Silver badge

Source code - you can get that back right?

Worked as Tech Support for a company that had an SQL client written in an interpreted language. Way too often the call would start off as a simple question with the obvious answer being to modify the code to increase a limit, or some other minor change. Customer would then continue down many angles of enquiry that might possibly fix the problem but not involve changing any source code. Yes, they had lost it. A strings command on the p-code would give them some SQL statements and other messages, but that was all. We had some very insistent customers, and high dollar requests, to solve their problems. In the end we produced an un-compiler (it wasn't a true decompiler as it just dumped out descriptive names for the embedded opcodes) and sold it to hapless customers who had a rogue employee, or had mislabelled their back up tapes. or were just generally asleep at the wheel when it came to source code control.

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Been on the other end of this one…

"a single engineer who regarded any attempt to involve anybody else in a project he’d laid claim to as a personal fiefdom as a personal attack and went to considerable lengths to actively sabotage any attempt at collaboration"

It was Lennart Poettering, and I claim my 5 quid.

Next versions of both Fedora and Ubuntu head into beta

MrBanana Silver badge


I see KDE mentioned for RH, but no Kubuntu release yet? For me, any new, or old, version of GNOME is painful to use.

Chinese drone-maker DJI denies aiding Russia's Ukraine invasion

MrBanana Silver badge

Spam ?

"thousands of spam messages containing the same content" complained the Chinese company.

The irony is strong in this one.

1,000-plus AI-generated LinkedIn faces uncovered

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: back when I was in high school...

In my first computer job in the late 1980s we had a fictitious employee called John Toombs. His ephemeral existence was defined by the many job functions he got shuffled around in the company. These promotions were announced in Computer Weekly, and the other UK PC rags, just to get the company name in the press every couple of months.

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: missing accessories

Hold on me hearties, it's not September 19th just yet.

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

MrBanana Silver badge

Keyboard test

At one job the test for bad keyboard input to the application was for Jeff (name changed) to roll his head a couple of times across the keyboard, and look for any errors. Actually caught more out of bounds, or basic crash errors, than you might imagine.

MrBanana Silver badge

Also seen in source code changes

I can't remember what broken, although widely ingenious, code gymnastics had been previously performed, but the fix for it had the comments "We don't do that under Bozos Big Top".

EU cuts off key Russian banks from SWIFT system

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: A spelling question.

And "The Country Where Politicians Hide Their Money".

MrBanana Silver badge


Internally, Russia has its own bank transfer mechanism - SPFS. So Russian citizens will be able to continue with their day to day business. If Putin can get China and India hooked up to that, then SWIFT is less of an issue. Except for Germany etc needing to pay their gas bills.

MrBanana Silver badge

I saw a Twitter thread from a military logistics expert who explained that the trucks they are using had been in longterm outdoor storage. Without regular use, UV exposure had damaged the tyres. Compounded by the automatic inflation systems that would then shred the carcass when the vehicle was brought back into service. Possibly explains that long queue of trucks that seem to be taking forever to travel just 30km to Kyiv.

Fitbit recalls Ionic smartwatch for burning fat – literally

MrBanana Silver badge

Just like Dyson

As someone who always wants to repair something rather than replace it, I thought that it was great that there were so many spares available for Dyson vacuums. But after repairing a few of them, only a couple of years old, it dawned on me - the frickin' things are crap, that's why there are so many spares, and fools willing to participate in the cult of Dyson. My 25 year old Panasonic (one replacement drive belt), and venerable Henry hoover have never been any trouble.

IT advice fuelled by beer is the best IT advice of all, right?

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Good will visit - lost good will

Most outside work, customer chats over a beer are not a problem, and usually a good thing. But you can tell when you are doing all the talking, and they are doing the pumping for knowledge. Then you have to try and open the conversation to understand what they really want to know, and why. It's probably important if they are pushing like this, so encourage them to set up a proper dialogue at a more appropriate time. Or, end up with a drunken scuffle in the carpark - "Noo, my databases iss farster than yor databaeses." - This obviously never happened, to me. It was probably Bob (Regomised) from Tech Support.

MrBanana Silver badge

Enjoy the beer when you can

Just two support guys, enjoying a fine brew after an out of town sabbatical week working with our development guys. My pager goes off, uh ho! Then Bob's pager goes off as well, oh crap - that means it's VERY serious. Swiftly finish beers. Taxi back to Bob's parents who lived locally. Get coffee. Dig out 9600 baud modem. Get more coffee. Fix customer problem. The VP in charge of support congratulated us and used the "heck we can pull our top guys out of a bar in Portland at 1am to fix your problem" story for years afterwards. Different back then, not sure it would be such a proud boast in our more enlightened times.

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Atari ST ?

And also a BBC Micro, Amiga, TI, Tandy and pretty much any other home computer from the 1980s. If they want to patent retro computing then they should be forced to use 8-bit CPUs.

IBM cannot kill this age-discrimination lawsuit linked to CEO

MrBanana Silver badge

Guilty until proven guilty

I'm not big a fan of "no smoke without fire", or "throw enough shit at the wall until it sticks" - but seriously? There are just way too many claims. The only IBM way out of this is yet another out of court settlement. But I wonder if one claimant will stand up, decline the cash, and spill the beans.

Cyberwarfare looms as Russia shells, invades Ukraine

MrBanana Silver badge

Shutdown their Cloud accounts

How many Russian companies use Amazon, Google or Microsoft cloud services? Could the US sanction to get Russian based accounts shutdown? It may only be temporary until they reconfigure and redirect through other countries, but it would be an uncomfortable, if short term, pain point. It may come about anyway if SWIFT gets shutdown and they can't cough up their fees on time.

US imposes sanctions as Russia invades Ukraine

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: re. more blankets

It is relatively easy to sanction Russian banks and the obvious Oligarchs, but they will have known all about the possibility years ago, probably since 2014 when Crimea kicked off, and now have it all hidden away. What you would have to do now, is go after the many billions processed by the City of London laundromat. A few years ago there was a bill proposed to enable far reaching investigation of the suspect transactions going through UK financial systems. But it got quashed by the Tory government. Not for me to say, but I guess that detailed investigation into suspect transactions would have a number of bums sat around the cabinet table squirming.

Skills shortage puts SAP projects on hold

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Too many news

Or too many bogus certifications that have to be paid for every 12 months.

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: You don't need training

I had assumed that for SAP, Oracle and all the other behemoths of the enterprise world, that you got your programmers by going each morning to the IT equivalent of Home Depot with a Hilux pickup, a wad of $20 bills, and waited for people to hop in. Heck, it probably is Home Depot isn't it?

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Just copying TV

Well yes. But your true visionary sees way beyond the current limitations and postulates a what if scenario that could well become reality. I fondly remember BBC Tomorrow's World in the 1970s and err, re-usable wall paper - that'll be a thing surely. Iron-on paint anyone? My coat's the one with the Sinclair C5 keys in the pocket.

MrBanana Silver badge

And the crap they pulled with the Open Document Format standard being hijacked for their own means.

Should we expect to keep communication private in the digital age?

MrBanana Silver badge

Still can't say yes or no

Although the poorly framed question (and it wasn't just the special bonus double negative) is noted at the end of this piece, there is the assumption that since all the "Yes"/"No" respondents could figure it out, it wasn't an issue. But that doesn't account for all those (like myself) who couldn't answer one way or the other, so didn't bother. You need three options "Yes"/"No"/"Sorry we ballsed up the question in such a way that it makes no real sense".

Top chipmakers ignore India's semiconductor factory subsidies

MrBanana Silver badge

VPN use case?

I have a VPN set up, but it requires hopping around the various endpoints until I can find one that hasn't been spotted by BBC iPlayer yet. I watch shite UK TV for 20 minutes, and then think "Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?".

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Snotty condescending holier-than-thou assholes

It can be quite obnoxious, and I avoid it whenever possible, but sometimes the "do what they say" directive can be destructive to point of hysteria (on my part) compared to the "do what they thought they had meant". Depends how much of an arse the people involved, especially when you warn them at the first encounter - you sure about that? I keep a backup position in any case - more internal chuckles as I take "some time" to see if their problem can be fixed.

MrBanana Silver badge

It's magic

I've gone through the process of explaining to the noob about the possibility of the file extension being missing, wrong, or hidden. Use 'file wibble.xxx' and you'll get a fair idea of what you are dealing with, not infallible but good for 95% of cases, I say. That's magic they say. Yes it is: 'man 5 magic'.

Amazon, Visa strike global truce on credit card charges

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Still Avoiding Them

You were going great until you got to "pay the taxes required" - I think we all know that isn't true.

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Still Avoiding Them

You've been lucky with HMV. One friend has beed waiting 8 months for a backorder copy of Joni Mitchell's blue CD. I ordered The Courier, 2021 Bluray with Benedict Cumberbatch, sure enough it arrived in a shrink wrapped package with the correct cardboard slip cover. However, inside was the appalling 2019 film of the same name. How could they screw that up?

We get the privacy we deserve from our behavior

MrBanana Silver badge

It does seem badly worded, and really the wrong debate question as a whole. My sentiment is - I want my communications to remain private, but sadly, I do not expect it to be so. I don't see a way to express that in the simple yes/no answer to the given question.

IBM Consulting assimilates cloud firm for Azure expertise

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Sheer hubris

Looks like someone found the non-diet cola. Probably time for bed now.

MrBanana Silver badge

They don't care

As with all IBM acquisitions.

They don't care about the company.

They don't care about their people.

They don't care about their products.

They only care about the figure it will add to IBM's "growth", and being able to pillage another customer list.

Massive cyberattack takes Ukraine military, big bank websites offline

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Parting Shot?

Putin is using the "I don't want NATO in Ukraine" stance as something of a smoke screen. What he really doesn't want is closer ties between Ukraine and Europe. That would interfere with the obvious intention of creating his legacy - reunifying what he can from the fractured USSR. I think he had been relying on indecision amongst the European countries because of the usual diplomatic scuffles, but that hasn't really happened. So now he has to double down with 60% of his military assets, and a massively long table.

IBM looked to reinvigorate its 'dated maternal workforce'

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: experience

I did some time at IBM when the "honestly it's not" age discrimination started. I remember being invited to a meeting with a new group, headed by a new "thinker", who had something to present to myself and a colleague. We walked past the foosball table to the meeting room. Naturally the room had no chairs, and was covered in multi-coloured Post-it Notes. Once they had gone through their mood boards and the non-linear presentation of this new idea, I turned to the other old geezer in the room. "Didn't we look at something like this 8 years ago?". "Yeah, we worked out that compute power just to run the UI for one session wouldn't be available for a couple of decades." The children were somewhat disappointed, and (fortunately) we were never asked back to their romper room.

Microsoft Teams unable to send and receive calls for some after update

MrBanana Silver badge

Teams ability for windows to "pop out" , "pop under", "pop over to another desktop", "pop up nowhere", and generally cock about with your workflow is truly staggering.

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: or can block them from being accessible in the UK

They can, and I do, use a VPN. But many content providers not only use IP geofencing, they also use VPN sniffers that have lists of known endpoints. So it may take a few goes at reconnecting your VPN until you get one that works. It's a pain, but how else am I going to get my BBC shite TV ® programming delivered?

Jeff Bezos adds some more overheads to his $485m yacht by taking down historic bridge

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: I like bridges

Yes, it's a great statement for an industrial age now past.

There are local elections coming up and it looks to be turning into a political football (if you could ever play keepy uppy with such a thing). The council says that a 2017 decision for it to never be changed remains, the mayor says no application for dismantling the bridge has been requested, engineers say it could be done in a day, while Bezos the Bald stamps his foot and waves a fistful for Amazon vouchers - which aren't much use to anyone as amazon.nl is pretty shite.

Brocade wrongly sacked award-winning salesman who depended on company insurance for cancer treatment

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Psychopath

"To be fair to HR, they simply do what they are told to do.

I can't imagine they like it much."

You obviously haven't been on the shitty end of an interview with HR. After screwing me over on commission payments they were smirking when I was in the first interview to ask them what was going on, then positively gleeful when they told me that my appeal had been denied. It was only legal action that got them to reverse their decision, the outcome communicated to me over email. Clearly couldn't look me in the eye to admit their mistakes. Fuckers, the lot of them, at all levels.

UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules

MrBanana Silver badge


It's freely available here in NL and other EU countries. It was the Danes who had a problem with it because it has added vitamins and needs to get approval from their food administration department. Not sure if Unilever ever bothered to apply for an exemption.

Earth to Voyager 2: Standby for connection – after we tip this water out of the dish

MrBanana Silver badge

When satellite dishes go bad

Had to wait for half way through the video, but there it was. A satellite dish having a wee.

'Can you identify your assailants?' Yes, they were pixelated! I'd know them anywhere!

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: occasionally being sampled when there's nothing left in the house.

The killer for me was choc-mint liqueur. The only way to save everyone else was to drink it all myself - not a pretty sight in the morning. Also avoid anything that is in an overly fancy bottle. If you are offered any kind of drink from a glass bottle shaped like a galleon under full sail, a grinning skull, or an AK47, then you should only use the contents for stripping paint.

Why should I pay for that security option? Hijacking only happens to planes

MrBanana Silver badge

"IS supposedly had a wider remit than just IT and definitely more than the DP manager who ran things before I took over."

When I did my computing degree in the 1980s there was a split in year two for either the Data Processing track, or proper Computing Programming. Many took the easy DP option and got high level degrees in taking archives and labelling backup tapes. I took the difficult option - write an abstract language compiler was one task - and got a middling Bishop Desmond. Probably would have done better if I'd tipped up to lectures more than once a week.

Privacy is for paedophiles, UK government seems to be saying while spending £500k demonising online chat encryption

MrBanana Silver badge

Re: Nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide....

"Remind me again, which government was going to bring in I.D. cards?"

Given time, all of them.

The UK populace are screwed. Voting in a different flavour political party will change nothing.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022