* Posts by Excused Boots

71 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jun 2017


LIGO cranks up the sensitivity to sniff out gravitational waves

Excused Boots

Re: Well my dear...

of the neutron flow..


BOFH: Get me a new data file or your manager finds out exactly what you think of him

Excused Boots

Re: Oh the pain!

Hang on a minute, just what the actual fuck is 'premium knowledge'?

Was this software written by 'the Masons' or something?

Excused Boots

Re: Oh the pain!

Not feet nailed to the floor, but head!

Naturally not until you have discovered what the 'fix' actually was, and tested before employing said nail gun!

Dish confirms 300,000 people's data was exposed in February's attack

Excused Boots


"We have received confirmation that the extracted data has been deleted," Dish said, adding that it has been monitoring the dark web and criminal forums for signs the data is available online. "The results of the monitoring are consistent with the confirmation that the extracted data has been deleted," it added.

The only people who could possibly delete it are the people who stole it in the first place, and DISH believes them, OK well, stranger things have happened, no?

And that assumes that said actors didn’t sell what they had extracted to another party before deleting it, no?

I’ll give it 18 months at most before this data starts appearing all over the place; prime phishing material, no?

OK now what actually needs to happen in cases such as this?* Firstly senior management at DISH (or any other company), need to be looking at jail time, not company fines, not half felt apologies, but whoever was CTO and CEO at DISH at the time, needs to be handcuffed and dragged out of their home (ideally with the world’s press in attendance to record it), on the grounds that they were, well, fucking incompetent and as such compromised the details for a lot of people.

In fact maybe every single investor in DISH needs to be hit with a (small) fine, On the grounds that you want the rewards when it works, (fair enough), take the rap when the people in charge (which as investors, you are responsible for), fuck up!

*Yes, of course I know this won’t ever happen, it not being the way the system works. One day though, maybe?

Twitter adds new DM features, and Musk claims encryption is here, starting today

Excused Boots

Re: The Best Encryption

Although it would be an interesting proof of concept.

I mean, is this some kind of challenge?

Of course Russia's ex-space boss doubts US set foot on the Moon

Excused Boots

Re: Conspiracy Theorists...

Alas even if they were to ‘see it with their own eyes’, they can simply claim that it as was a massive illusion, produced by <insert bullshit, made up, impossible technology here>, so yes they are still ‘right’ and it’s all a fraud.

Unfortunately, some people are beyond helping, doesn’t mean we should't keep trying though!

Excused Boots

Re: Rogozin isn't well

What, you think he should avoid staircases or windows, which do seem to be problematic for critics of the current regime!

Four out of five Uranus moons likely to have ocean under crust

Excused Boots

Re: Nominative determinism

And these puerile jokes is why in the future (apparently), the whole planet will be renamed ‘Urecrum’, just to avoid the smutty innuendo.

Oh no, wait, having on a minute…….

Academics have 'no confidence' in Edinburgh University's response to its Oracle disaster

Excused Boots

Re: Update

Now as much as I tend to dislike this knee-jerk reaction, then maybe it is time; as my American colleague tend to put it; to ‘lawyer up’. Anyone who has so much lost out on a penny due to, what does look like a complete failure of due diligence, or maybe competence on many parties involved, should probably wade in.

Now what would this achieve? Materially for those involved, very little, the various lawyers would probably be able to afford to bye another yacht! But the fallout from the bad publicity, ‘and on the BBC news tonight, Edinburgh University’s management do seem to be all serially incompetent, so don’t go there hoping for a degree’, could be considerable.

But, look, this crap does seem to happen with sadly increased regularity. Now we all know that sometimes people make mistakes, nobody is perfect. But if this had all gone to plan, then no doubt, those responsible would have claimed (well deserved) extra compensation. Where are the sanctions, when the same people screw up and it all goes ‘nipples north’?

SpaceX tries to de-orbit Amazon's request for a satellite broadband shortcut

Excused Boots

Re: Me frist!

Texas, really, come on now, every potential super villain knows that you have to construct your secret lair under or within a volcano on a Japanese island! Otherwise, well, you're just not getting the idea of proper super villainy here are you?

Microsoft admits Azure Resource Manager failed after code change

Excused Boots

Re: Test

Now although I do, absolutely get what you are saying, but every so slightly in MS's defence (defense?) here, these systems are now so large and complex that is arguable if it is even possible to test this sort of thing prior to rolling it out?

Maybe that actually is the test, push out the updates, is it all working? If yes then breath a sigh of relief and rinse and repeat for the next time - but if it all suddenly breaks catastrophically, then, it's a case of 'oh bugger, right let's roll it all back and try again later!'

One day, MS will push out an update which has an unexpected domino effect and brings the entire global M365 system crashing down, won't (probably) be tomorrow, or next month or next year - but one day it is inevitable. Now let's assume that MS have actually mitigated against this and are in a position to roll back any changes and restore order. But there is a time lag for this, the update is pushed out, it take a while for the effects to become obvious, what initially looks like a local issue which can be dealt with, grows to encompass whole regions and zones and eventually someone senior at MS with enough clout, basically makes the call; 'oh shit, roll it all back, now!'

And of course, this all takes time, so in the meantime, what is the cost of potential lost business to companies?

Musk, Tesla win securities fraud battle over that 'funding secured' tweet

Excused Boots

Re: Criminally liable but not civilly?

Of course one interpretation is that the jury have decided that Musk is actually a complete fruitcase, and whatever he says, physically or via any sort of social media, really should be treated on the same grounds as someone who claims ‘I am Napoleon’, ‘yes of course you are, now come along and take your medicine’!

UK Online Safety law threatens Big Tech bosses with jail

Excused Boots

Re: Non-digital age tokens (similar to alcohol retail model)

Ok, well, I promise you that I have read this completely through three times and am still none the wiser about what you are proposing. A physical paper-based token which is sold in all good newsagents, (and quite a few bad ones too), and it does what? Does it has a code which you enter and allows you to access 'adult' websites, or any site which has any content that is not child-appropriate?

Is that right - and please do correct me if I've misunderstood your point. Because, I'm sorry that's just not how the internet works. How do you enforce each site conforming to your rules, ISPs are ordered to block those that don't? Unfortunately, somewhere around a quarter of a million new websites are set up EACH DAY - that's a hell of a lot of extra staff they'll need to ensure compliance, happy with your monthly broadband bill going up tenfold at least to pay for it are you?

And I have a couple of other queries, you talk about CHILD SAFE sites, who decides what is CHILD-SAFE, will that be YOU, you personally decide what large numbers of people are allowed to access or not. Look I understand that naively some people might think it's obvious and easy, the latest Teletubbies show (is that still a thing BTW) is obviously fine, whereas sluts-getting-fisted.com almost certainly isn't? However between those two extremes, there is a massive range of sites, where their suitability for children is open to interpretation.

Secondly, what do you mean by a 'child' is that anyone under 18 (well in the UK, not sure what the legal definition is in the US or other countries). Because if it is then there is a massive difference between what might be appropriate, and indeed useful and helpful for a 16 or 17 year old, is radically different to that appropriate for an 8 year old - personally, I'd really want a 15, 16, 17 year old to have full access to sex education websites and those offering contraception advice etc and know that they can do this discretely and privately. Your proposal sounds as if this wouldn't be possible unless these were also available to everyone under 18, no? Of course in an ideal world, it wouldn't be necessary because said 15-17 year old would be able to have a frank and 'adult' discussion about it with their parents - well; news flash, we don't actually live in an ideal world!

This might well be a controversial position but I have two daughters, they are now 21 and 16, but when they got to an age of wanting and expecting internet access, I deliberately didn't even try to implement any sort of filtering, basically on the grounds that I do this sort of stuff for a living and am painfully aware of how useless it all it, especially if you except it to be a stand-in for parental responsibility.

What I did do, is tell both of them that if they browse the internet freely then they absolutely will at some point stumble on something that they find disturbing or worrying or dangerous. But when they do, either regard it as the fantasy it is, or, even better, tell me or their Mum and show us what they found. And we will absolutely NOT be judgemental, or be angry, or take their iPads away etc. What we will do is honestly explain the reality of what they have found, discuss it openly, and just say, maybe be a little more circumspect in what you browse for in the future.

And you know what, they've both turned out to be perfectly well-rounded and rational human beings, and I'm fairly certain that they have both watched porn or stumbled upon it, and that's fine - because I would like to think that they have been given the tools to work out for themselves what is reality and what is just some fantasy which only really exists in the imagination of a porn company's director.

Now I'm not saying that this model will work perfectly for everyone - but thinking that some 'big brother', one size fits all, technological solution will work is complete rubbish.

What I can fairly confidently predict is that this legislation will have some limited successes which will be touted as a 'great success in protecting our children' by those advocating it. In reality it will do next to nothing to stop 'children' seeing stuff that you would rather they don't.

However it will absolutely be abused* and used (wrongly, but technically legally) to stifle annoying opponents off whoever is in power at the time. Some police officers (and it is probably a small minority) 'abuse' their positions and power - as we know all, too well from a very recent Court case, local authority staff, abuse their self-believed importance. Golden rule - via you give a group of people certain rights and powers over others, and a small subset of them ABSOLUTELY WILL abuse it, it's simply human nature!

* anyone remember the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act? What were MPs told who were worried about the details, 'no this will only be used to act against the worse terrorists and those who threaten the state', and it gets passed. And some years later we found that the interpretation is so loose that it was used to legally spy on people putting their bins out on the wrong day!

Miniature nuclear reactors could be the answer to sustainable datacenter growth

Excused Boots

Re: The security costs will kill the concept

And, your point is absolutely valid and true.

In reality, so called 'dirty-bombs' have very limited 'strategic value' the destruction they cause is limited to the damage due to the conventional explosive. The radioactive contamination will be restricted to the immediate area, and this can be cleaned up, but at considerable expense, both immediately ie paying specialists to clean it up, and as as a by-product of nobody wanting to be in the immediate area for a while, which may have an economic impact.

I have heard it said that a 'dirty bomb', is the ideal 'terrorists weapon' in as much as it doesn't actually cause too much damage or even casualties - what not does do, is cause considerable economic damage, and well basically , I quite'terrorise', the people!

So realistically stick a load of SEMTEX on one of these things sitting at the middle of a datecentre and set it off - realistically, what will happen is that you blow all the windows out, oh, but DCs tend not to have windows anyway, you have a power failure (presumably mitigated by alternative supplies), and the surrounding area is radioactive.

The data centre carries on as if nothing has happened - the problem is getting staff into the building if necessary, because the obvious response is going to be 'you want me to go where - screw you boss, I quit'

You know, maybe we need to employ teams of greybeards, who a) actually understand this stuff more than then supposed experts, and b) aren't too bothered about radiation exposure on the grounds that they are all in their 70's anyway, so if they are likely to die in 50 years time due to the exposure, well so what?

Note that I am not really advocating the creation of 'suicide squads' of greybeard IT experts, who are paid stupidly excessive sums of money to just be on standby and spend the rest of the time in Tahiti, waiting for the call - although come to think about it....

Excused Boots

Re: Civilian

Be careful here, what do you mean by 'civilian'?

Do you mean, someone not properly trained - in which case I agree with you? Or do you mean someone who is not part of a military or paramilitary organisation, in which case, do you not think said non-civilians might just be susceptible to the 'Yes SIR, no SIR, three bags full SIR' mentality, ie follow orders regardless.....

So why do you think that properly trained and qualified 'civilians' are more problematic or less capable than, what , non-civilians'?

Excused Boots

Re: Waste not want not

Out of curious interest and hoping that someone on here can contribute, I do fully understand how, in theory a 'fission' reactor could be fuelled and 'sealed' and have an operational life of, years, decades!

Now imagine that fusion power becomes commercially possible, be it laser implosion or magnetic confinement, furthermore imagine that this could be miniaturised into a small package.

My question is, how much fuel would be required to sustain a fusion reactor, producing, say 300 MW for a lifetime of five years?

Is there any conceivable system that could make this a self-contained, no maintenance or refuelling system required over this lifetime?

Excused Boots

Re: No Nukes

And, you know, that's fine - unpopular options are equally valid.

But, please tell me, what is your alternative solution, and if said solution doesn't work, lights are going out all over the country (whichever country you happen to live in), people are dying in hospital because the power has gone off, and 'the mob' are demanding that 'something be done'- and that includes a massive increase in Nuclear Power stations NOW, and to hell with any and all safely issues - oh and anyone who disagrees is likely to find themselves hanging from the nearest lamppost.....?

Because, I promise you that simply kicking the can down the road indefinitely, and hoping that 'the next lot' in Government will sort it as 'it'll be their problem' - really isn't going to end well.....

On the 12th day of the Rackspace email disaster, it did not give to me …

Excused Boots

Re: who's bollocks: Rackspace, or hosted exchange?

And this is true, but as sure as 'God made little green apples', at some point in the future, MS absolutely WILL suffer from a similar incident, be it some external attack or, more likely simple human error.

Although as you rightly say, I 'expect' that MS365's reliability and resilience is much higher than Rackspace's as MS is a 'big' company, which effectively is doing hosting for a living. But from the punter's point of view isn't Rackspace also a 'big' company, which effectively is doing hosting for a living? So anyone might well be forgiven for assuming that the two are equivalent.

In my time, I've moved quite a few on-prem Exchange servers to M365, it never works absolutely perfectly, but then again nothing does - so it is important to set expectations, yes Mr CEO, I fully expect the vast, vast majority of your email to migrate and be available - but there is always a non-zero probability that a couple of messages will get lost in transit, and no, I can't tell you up front which ones they will be!

Usually they are understanding about this, still looking at how 'cheap' it is to run things from Das Cloud! And then you drop the bombshell on them - and what about backups that are fully under your control? And then you get the usual cry of 'but it's the cloud, everything is perfectly safe, no, why do we need to spend extra money on backups'? Suddenly the up-front savings are not quite as much as first thought!

So you end up having a small fight with your client to get them to understand this, 'oh doesn't Microsoft do it all'? Well, yes but you never, ever use the same company to backup your data and look after it at the same time - either some on-prem device (but 'we're trying to get rid of all the equipment in the office - we don't want to buy more') or an alternative cloud provider (something like Skykick or similar), which will have a recurring monthly cost.

There is nothing inherently wrong about cloud storage or cloud-based infrastructure, just as long as you always remember that despite all the claims by the salespeople, you could be working just fine on Friday afternoon but that doesn't necessarily mean that your data will still be there on Monday morning - unless you are prepared to take matters into your own hands to mitigate against this!

US Dept of Energy set to reveal fusion breakthrough

Excused Boots

Although you aren’t actually wrong, it’s the time required that’s an issue. Yes you can, theoretically make any element you like in an accelerator or via neutron capture, but this is a slow and not very controlled process. Plus you can’t create complex molecules like this, you might get the raw elements but then you need to do a lot of chemistry to produce what you want.

Or, you use the fact that nature has already made long chain hydrocarbons for you in the form of crude oil just don’t waste it by burning it (yes I know, you don’t burn crude oil directly, but bear with me on this).

Excused Boots

Indeed, crude oil is probably far too valuable to be wasted by burning it! Even if fusion power were suddenly globally available tomorrow, there would still be a strong demand for oil as the basis for chemical processes.

But this will all be a slow transition, the invention of the first steam engine did not mean that all horse or man-powered devices were obsolete the same day, OK, yes well, technically I suppose they were obsolete, but demand for them carried on for some time - because it takes a while for new technology to work its way round.

So what has been achieved, a fusion process has put out more energy than was put in? Yes OK we all knew that this was possible (there is a good example of this some 150 million Km away), but this is the first time it has been done, deliberately, artificially, here, on Earth, by humans.

Making it useful, ie large scale energy production is still, what 30 years away! It is quite possible that the inertial confinement process will prove to be a dead end for technical or mechanical reasons, let’s see what ITER does when completed. There is plenty of time for established industries to gradually change and evolve.

I’m not generally a big optimist, but I do feel that when humans or ‘society’ really, really puts their minds to doing something, we really can achieve remarkable results.

Server installer fails to spot STOP button – because he wasn't an archaeologist

Excused Boots

Re: Reality - Or cynicism?

Doesn’t matter really, it was a poor design and layout - something that probably should have been recognised long before it was implemented, although it possibly was but the lowly engineer was ignored by the ‘designers’ and ‘architects’, because, well, what do they know?

Personally, I’d have hit the ‘wrong’ button, every…single…time, just to make a point!

Excused Boots

Re: Hearing a 'click'

Hard to imagine a ‘better’ solution, but can’t help wondering what that must have cost!

Excused Boots

Re: Paint all over everything, including power sockets and emergency buttons?

Which is fair enough, but what happens if you have an accident (your fault), seriously injure someone and that although you ‘might’, theoretically have 50k available at one point, right now you are a bit strapped for cash?

The basic idea, well at least on this side of the pond, is that irrespective of how rich you are, or claim to be, a private citizen is legally obliged to have insurance via a ‘reputable company’ on the grounds that no matter what happens, the innocent third (injured) party gets paid out - and I can imagine that might be somewhat more pressing in the US, re. health care, short or long term. Arguments are then between the driver and the insurance company.

Now I’m not necessarily arguing which system is best, but honestly, what happens in the US if someone doesn’t have insurance and just isn’t in a position to fund treatment for an injured party. Yes, of course you can sue, but if the driver, simply doesn’t have money to give, then that’ll go nowhere irrespective of any Court ruling!

Genuinely, I’m just curious, in this case are there any State level or Federal level safety nets at all?

Excused Boots

Surely no explanation necessary? It’s always DNS!

BOFH: Come back to the office. Your hotdesk is nice and warm

Excused Boots

Re: Real Life

Joke was on him then?

Honestly, first rule of doing shit like this is that you absolutely don’t, even jokingly, ever, ever mention it!

It’s similar to natural selection, ‘Bob’ wasn’t ‘fit’ to survive and hence goes extinct (unemployed), leaving a gap in the ecosystem for someone else to occupy.

Ain’t science wonderful?

Excused Boots

Re: My eyes have been

Yep this happens, for some odd reason management never seem to consider that people actually talk to each other, irrespective of them being ‘employees’ or ‘being told not to mention this to anyone else’!

Odd really, it’s almost as if some people don’t live in the same reality as the rest of us!

Twitter tries to lure brands back with spend-matching scheme

Excused Boots

It does strike me that doing an effective ‘buy one get one free’ strategy might make sense for a new startup company, desperate to make some sort of mark in the industry, but a long-term established company like Twitter, seriously?

Anyone else think that something might just have gone catastrophically wrong with Twitter’s management, assuming, of course that there is any functional management?

Twitter gives up fight against COVID-19 misinformation

Excused Boots

Re: @Potemkine! - What does your vital link tell about this

And you know that’s fine, at the time, they acknowledged that there wasn’t compelling evidence that it prevented transmission, but was there evidence that it reduced transmission and/or reduced the chances of dying as a consequence of contracting the virus?

Do you not think that the fact (as you admit to) that this is a public document, would mitigate against there being some massive ‘cover up’ but actually all the known facts (and, of course, things change as more is understood, as more research is done, as advice changes based on better understanding) are freely available if anyone wants to check and make their own opinions?

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think that there are some political parties in all parts of the world, who are prepared to claim ‘freedom from government restrictions’ is a rallying call. It’s simplistic, it appeals to those who can’t or won’t use their own brain power to wonder about the validity of their claims. Ultimately, I can’t help but wonder if these institutions are more concerned about gaining power by means of manipulating people’s fears than they are about their constituents dying.

Excused Boots

Re: Presenting the lab leak as fact

Indeed, if I claim that I have invisible fairies living at the bottom of my garden, and nobody has (indeed can) proved that there isn’t, than must it be taken as accepted that, yes fairies do exist and that they indeed inhabit the end of my garden and public policy is based on that assumption?

Because, that is the situation regarding the COVID vaccines and mask mandates and restrictions on group meetings etc. No they will not ever be 100% effective, yes there will be some people who will die even though they conformed to all the restrictions and dutifully got themselves vaccinated etc. There will be a tiny number of people with an underlying condition, which having the vaccine just pushed over the edge and they died, which wouldn’t have happen right then (it would have happened a little later though) if they had not have the vaccine - and that is a tragedy for their family, but it doesn’t mean that the vaccine was faulty or they shouldn’t have taken it.

Let me give an example, theoretically imagine a group of 100000 people who are all susceptible to a virus, this virus, statistically will kill, say 10% of people who get it, that’s not high but it is 10000 people. There is a vaccine but it’s not 100% safe or effective, statistically if everyone took it then there is a 95% chance that it will stop you getting ill, and massively reduce your chances of passing the virus on. But there is a small, 0.01% chance that an individual who has the vaccine develops complications (and no two people are the same so impossible to tell up front) and may well die.

Now you are the local Prime Minster, President, State Governor, the people are looking to you for advice, now assuming that your priority to to avoid unnecessary deaths (unless, of course you really don’t care), what advice do you give?

Elon Musk picks fight with Apple for slashing advertising spend on Twitter

Excused Boots

Re: YAMM - yet another Muskamania Mutter

"What is it with this whack a mole guy? Is he Trump’s illegitimate spawn or just brain dead?'

Are those two mutually exclusive? I would have thought that the former would have ensured the later!

Excused Boots

Re: The Muskrat fan club seem to think he'll be releasing his own phone to destroy Apple and Google.

Except it wouldn't be a third platform would it? It would be some Android clone, utterly indistinguishable to all the others, may or may not have the Play Store (probably wouldn't want to pay the 'Google Tax' - so it'll use the 'Musk Store' (only one app at the moment but 'watch this space')).

But meanwhile back in the real world - this won't ever actually happen. This is yet another 'mouth running away before brain has become properly engaged' Because the most important thing is that Elon stays in the public eye and is commented about*. For people like him indifference is equivalent to death!

*Damn it - I've just commented on......

Excused Boots

Re: Give it a little more time.

Now I've said it before, but there was no chance that Musky ever, ever wanted to own Twitter, his mouth just ran away while his brain was otherwise engaged with something else - unfortunately for him, it turned out that the law actually does apply to billionaires as well (well sometimes) - who'd have thought it?

So maybe, plan B is to bring Twitter down, effectively make it worthless and bankrupt (anyone happen to know what the law is regarding his financial responsibilities if that happens?), tear it all down and start up something new, 'Twatter', 'S'Matter', 'Swatter'; 'Squatter'*, and hope (yeh right) that it'll get any sort of traction.

* Other bad puns are available.

Excused Boots

Personally, I expect the numbers to be in the single (maybe double) digit figures.

Twitter, Musk, and a week of bad decisions

Excused Boots

Re: Couple of contradictions in Musk’s plans…

Except than Elon never, ever actually wanted to own Twitter, his mouth simply ran away with him and he made stupid promises (for which he does had a degree of form, no?)

Unfortunately he ran up against someone (the ex-CEO) who was prepared to push back and force the issue in the Courts - sorry Elon, you promised this, now deliver!

Probably what he should have done, is had a really good look at the situation and paid up the, what was it, $1 billion for failing to follow through with the deal, and chalked it up to experience. Except he didn't, we had months and months of complaints about the number of supposed 'bots', the state of the company's finances etc, as reasons why he should be let off.

Now you might have thought that world's richest person would be doing due diligence into a company before making a legally binding offer to purchase it, no? Seemingly not!

But because, he couldn't bear the idea of admitting he'd made a bad mistake, paying up the sum required and walking away with his reputation slightly dented - he was forced into taking over the company, the debts involved proving to be a real existential threat to the future of 'Tesla' - I suspect that 'in extremis' Space-X will be fine, being nationalised and taken over by the US government because of its strategic importance.

Excused Boots

Re: The federal gov will play things by the book,

With quite a good degree of accuracy, I'm sure!

Excused Boots

Re: Close it Down and Get Out Quick

Well yes, of course for that sum on money he may well have been able to stand up a viable medium/long term competitor to Twitter.

Unfortunately he allowed his mouth to run away while his brain was still getting out of bed!

Making a stupid, knee-jerk reaction promise to buy the company (and the guy does really have form for this sort of run-away twattery), is fine, except the ex-CEO of Twitter actually had the balls to pull him up on it and force the issue!

I've said it before, but I suspect that Elon is a genuine well-meaning but ultimately flawed human like the rest of us, he just happens to be the richest person on the planet (well on paper anyway), so what he does, or says has disproportional effects. What he really, really needs is a close confidant able to say to him, 'Elon, you are a really clever person in some fields, just not this one, so stop believing in your own mythology and back off. Because, sorry to say, you are sounding like a bit of a fucking idiot!'

Excused Boots

Re: "done"

And indeed in the former sense as well.

If Twitter can't make money and has no obvious route or means to do so in the near future, then it is a zombie organisation just waiting for someone to put a metaphorical bullet in its head!

How many users it has, isn't directly relevant, the vast majority won't pay a single penny for the privilege, their only worth is to convince advertisers of the 'reach' they can get - except current and potential advertisers are being a bit 'oh hang on a minute, not too sure about the way this is going - don't really want my advert appearing anywhere near a post extolling the virtues of the Third Reich - think I'll pass on this and see how it all pan out!'

Any while they wait and see, that's money that Twitter isn't getting. Which means further cuts in staffing, which means.......

Elon, see that thing you are currently circling? It's called 'the drain'!

Catching a falling rocket with a helicopter more complex than it sounds, says Rocket Lab

Excused Boots

I believe the issue is that salt water is quite corrosive, to some of the materials used in rocket engines and that even if you can recover the booster reasonably intact, it needs a lot more checking and refurbishment than required if it can be recovered 'dry'.

In then meantime

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket

Never let it fade away

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket

Save it for a rainy day....


Red Cross seeks digital equivalent of its emblems to mark some tech as off-limits in war

Excused Boots

Indeed, but just because 'bad shit' was done in the past, it justifies it being done now by 'the other side'?

It would be nice to think that we might have all moved on a bit by now - or am I just being hopelessly naive and idealistic?

Twitter begs some staff to come back, says they were laid off accidentally

Excused Boots

Re: I don't like to say "told you so".

'Move fast and break stuff'

and then move even faster to try to pick up the pieces of the stuff you broke and try to glue it all back together again!

Excused Boots

Re: I hope they tell Musk to get fucked

"No thought put into this layoff"? Of course there wasn't, how long has he been in charge, two weeks? In that time how can anyone possibly have a handle on the inner workings of a company or who is or is not vital?

It is quite possible that 50% of Twitter's employees are, indeed superfluous, but nobody can say that yet with any degree of certainty or know which 50% can go!

Now a more cynical person than me, might well conclude that this was yet another knee-jerk reaction by someone who has a psychological need to be in the limelight and doesn't have anyone close, able or willing to say 'now Elon, you are a really really clever person, in some fields, and in others you are a complete twat - and this is one of the latter, so just stop and have a think about it'!

Excused Boots

Re: More proof

Indeed, regrettably nothing draws a crowd more than an imminent train wreck!

Tumblr says nudes are back on the menu – within reason

Excused Boots

Re: Do you know...

'The right to bear arms', OK fine I'm not an American but a resident of the UK, but really I want to know what does this mean? You are allowed to own a sword and that's it?

Or more specifically what do, citizens of the United Sates (and yes that's awkward but technically 'Americans' includes people, living in Canada - OK stop; you all know what I mean) - think that the 2nd Amendment covers.

Hypothetically, if I were a US citizen, living in, oh, say Houston, could I buy a handgun, (sorry but I'm not overly familiar with the terminology) without giving a reasonably good reason for needing one. Could I buy a shotgun, how about a M16 assault rifle? If yes then why? Why on Earth do you think that having such a weapon helps me in any way?

Taking the argument to the extreme, could I purchase and deploy a tactical nuclear weapon? If not then why not? Is that not a violation of my 2nd Amendment rights? Where exactly is the line?

Now before the inevitable downvotes start, let me say that I am not anti-American, I genuinely just want to understand how others see the issue and the arguments for and against.

Best wishes. John

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process

Excused Boots

Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

When both sides accuse you of bias, it is a good indication that you are right all along!

Excused Boots

Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

I mean really, does anyone here think that Elon really ever wanted to own or run Twitter? Of course not, his mouth simply ran away before his brain properly engaged; 'funding secured' anyone!

But this time, alas, it has blown up in his face and he's stuck with it. Which is slightly reassuring if we believe that the LAW is actually universal and applies to everyone irrespective of how many billions they are (on paper) worth!

I think the issue with very, very wealthy people is that they tend to accrue hangers on who simply say what they think the boss wants to hear, rather than what they really NEED to hear. So if someone close had said 'Elon, you are coming across as a fucking idiot, just stop now, you twat', it would all have worked out much better!

Alas no, it's a shame that the positive contributions he has made to human endeavour will be completely overshadowed by short term fuckwittewry.

C'est la vieu.

And yes, I'm sure there will be more than a few downvotes for this comment - I would be genuinely interested in knowing why, and what their counterpoints are - I suspect I am going to be disappointed though.


Boeing's Starliner launch pushed back again... to April 2023

Excused Boots

"If and when Starliner carries crew to the ISS, it'll be flown by Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Sunita "Suni" Williams, who will stay on the ISS for around two weeks."

Can't help but think that if I were 'Butch' or 'Suni' I might well be wondering if I had made the best career choices!

Is the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope worth the price tag?

Excused Boots

Re: Science!

I can’t help but be reminded of (one of) the founder(s) of FermiLab, R.R. Wilson, who when being questioned by a Senate committee about the cost of the institution and was asked ‘how does this facility contribute to the security of then US’ answered ‘it doesn’t, except the existence of such a facility makes the US a little more worth defending’.

OK, yes I have paraphrased, the actual answer in response to a question regarding the value of high-energy physics research to the security of the US was “It has nothing to do directly with defending our country, except to make it worth defending,”

But let me ask another question;

‘What is the point of research into cancer treatments?’

Now, sounds obvious doesn’t it, except think of it this way, every single person who is successfully treated for cancer, eventually dies anyway - so does that mean that the money spent on their treatment and general cancer research is ‘wasted’ and could be better spend on ‘other things’, not too sure what these 'other things’ could be though - I invite suggestions from other posters or interested parties.

We (humanity) spends money on basic research because as a species, we absolutely have to know, 'what’s over that hill', 'what’s beyond that sea’, ‘what’s at the top of that mountain’? We will expend resources in finding out because we have to!

Of course there are global issues closer to home which also need addressing, climate change, energy generation, food production, access to basic needs, water, food, sanitation, education, for all 8 (or so) billion of us, not just those who happen to be fortunate to live in the first world.

But despite these, then the day when we, as a species, stops looking up and wondering ‘what is that in the sky and how can I find out’, is the day when we start the inevitable decline into extinction!

Taser maker offers electric-shock drones to stop school shootings

Excused Boots

Actually no, they might have inadvertently found the solution;

Anyone in the US who thinks that the terms of the 2nd Amendment had been abused to the point of ridiculousness should be given free passage to any other country in the World, (a bit like the reverse of the situation in the 17th-19th centuries). Give it 200-300 years and the remaining population will be either dead or reduced to barbarism, and hence ripe for re-colonisation as per the 16th-19th centuries.

Win-Win really!

What, downvotes, how comes? Surely this exactly what the Republicans/NRA/ etc. should endorse - everyone has the right to decide their own future, and if that isn't what you think they should want then well, sorry about that....

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

Excused Boots

Reduce the problems a lot?

Well depending on the BOFH'ness of the employee in question then 'a lot' can very from 'absolutely not at all, to 'completely insignificant';

China details relocation plan for up to five million datacenter racks

Excused Boots

Re: Also aids employment

Oh no, absolutely these datacentres will be coal powered or possibly nuclear or gas, but more that likely coal. After all what's this 'global climate change' nonsense? We have business, and profit and influence to think about....