* Posts by NerryTutkins

187 posts • joined 9 Jan 2018


Stob treks back across the decades to review the greatest TV sci-fi in the light of recent experience


"always bearing hard left"

This always bugs me on scifi shows. The ships in orbit always look like they are going around a planet that is only about 10 times bigger than they are. The beginning of Voyager makes it even worse with Voyager flying over the rings of a planet and following their curve around.

Other things that bug me:

Deep Space 9 Opening Credits


* The tail of comets is away from the sun, not behind the direction of motion. However, as we pan through the tail and the comet is directly in front of us, there is no sun behind it as their should be.

* Even if you want to think that the trail is somehow left behind the trail of motion (which makes no sense in a vacuum), there is no trail when the sequence starts. It only starts to be created as the credits progress, as if the rock was stationary and leaving no trail until the point the "camera" starts rolling.

Blue Origin sets its price: $1.4m minimum for trip into space


Re: "One wonders what good that money could do"

The state sponsored manned missions have been in a rut for 30 years, sending people into space to just go round and round in circles doing "science", which is largely researching the effect of zero G on people, to help the next batch of people who will go round and round in circles researching the effects of zero G for the next batch, and so on. Most of the other experiments they do not involving people could easily be automated and sent to space for far less, if it was important.

Meanwhile, we've seen amazing stuff done by unmanned probes. The mars rovers (especially the landings) and the helicopter and potential submarine missions to some solar system moons are far more interesting.

If taking $1.4m from super-rich helps develop manned space travel without government money, and maybe one day get it to the point where the development can be fully justified by private enterprise, then I am all for it.

I'd love to see people walk on Mars in my lifetime, or even a manned moonbase.... something that pushes things further. I was born as the last astronauts were walking on the moon in 72, and since then manned spaceflight has been endlessly disappointing to this kid who was promised we'd be going to the planets for our holidays.

Parler returns to Apple's iOS App Store with Hive mind to moderate hate


skynet, this is how it happens

I remember Microsoft had to pull the plug in its own AI after a day because it started spewing race hate after a few hours of interacting with the public.

Just imagine what an AI interacting exclusively with redneck conspiracy theorists and insurrectionists is going to be doing after a day or two.

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to push its tech, but survey suggests many devs slipped through the .NET


Re: Hell I'm still using MFC

I do wonder though why Microsoft, with its open source tendency for new versions, does not allow the older legacy tech loose as open source. There are a lot of people still using Web Forms and other tech because it works and it suits them, and perhaps they have a lot of legacy code that would be expensive to completely rewrite in Blazor, etc.

As you say, they do a good job of keeping old stuff running (we still have some clients with old classic ASP scripts that still work fine) but it would be nice if they would open source end-of-line stuff they have no interest in continuing, because others may choose to keep them running or perhaps port them to the newer .NET versions.

God bless this mess: Study says UK's Christian beliefs had 'important' role in Brexit


Re: Religion in the UK?

I would assume it would be the fact that they're all going to burn in hellfire for eternity would be a factor?

Because it seems to be a central plank of most religions that they are the only right ones, and everyone else is not just wrong, but is going to face eternal torture for not believing.


Re: Religion in the UK?

I assumed it was because Anglicans have form historically for having a hissy fit over foreigners insisting on everyone following same rules, and then leaving and isolating themselves with their own inferior version of whatever it was they left in a huff. That's basically how the C of E started....


Re: I find myself saying...

As an IT person, I was rather irked by the way the brexit politicians were convinced that the issues of cross border trade, and customs inspections and so on were really not issues because we have really clever people and they ought to be able to sort it out without big fences and inspection posts using... computers, drones, the internet, black magic, etc.

In other words, if it all goes to shit, it's the fault of people like me who haven't stepped up to fix it, and not them for pushing this whole thing without having any real idea of how it would actually work.

Thing is, if you asked any of these clever people they're so proud of beforehand as to their opinions, it would be "remain" ... everyone with any knowledge, economists, hauliers, etc. knew the problems and that they could not be magicked away. But they just weren't interested in what "clever" people thought about Brexit, they'd already decided to do it and didn't want to hear anything that contradicted their view.

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge


Re: IANAL either, however ..... the word in barrack rooms is .....

My thoughts exactly. The clause is rather vague, and my feeling is if you're going to potentially take 100s of 1000s of pounds out of an employees pay packet, your contract should be pretty explicit.

Saying merely it's "subject to review and approval" to me implies a formality that high commission would be looked at more closely to ensure the employee was not gaming the system (e.g. banking commission on orders that then get cancelled) or that it was not a miscalculation. But they would still need some reasonable basis not to pay.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99


Re: forthright with outspoken opinions

He is now, nearly a day and he hasn't said anything racist. Let's hope he keeps it up.


Re: No TV

I see your China, Cuba, Russia and North Korea and, erm.... Ireland (which is the closest republic but somehow failed to make your list), and raise you the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other assorted head-chopping feudal states.


forthright with outspoken opinions

I am always slightly bemused by the legion of people who claim to like Phil the Greek because he's outspoken and willing to say what he thinks even if it offends some people.

Because when I say I think he's a bell-end, these principles seem to suddenly disappear.


Re: No TV

Couldn't agree more. One of the big benefits of moving overseas, and to a republic no less, is that we don't get forelock tugging enforced mourning periods.

I still have clients in the UK, and for one of them we have been working on a system for "operation London bridge" where government and local authority web sites are basically expected to force users via a nag screen about whichever royal has died. Would piss me off if I was trying to find out when to put my bins out and have to read irrelevant stuff like this that is already being rammed down my throat elsewhere.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem


We once had a client in the late 90s who obviously read too many wank-wordy business books and told us that we had to make his site "XML". We asked a little more and he explained that at the time it had .asp at the end of some pages, and he had been told that meant it wasn't XML, and it needed to be XML.

When we tried to explain the difference between scripting platform and markup, he was having none of it. We were just trying to pull the wool over his eyes with technical mumbo jumbo, which wasn't going to wash, since he knew what he was talking about.

After a good laugh in the pub that night, we decided we'd change the mapping in IIS for handling .xml files and then do a find/replace on all the links in the site, and charge for a site rebuild. Unfortunately they downsized him out the door before we could, and whoever got his web site brief hadn't read about XML and the myriad of benefits it would bring if they rebuilt their site on the "XML platform".


easily done

I have the best part of 30 years in the IT game but it's still easily done.

Yesterday I installed the Swiftkey keyboard on my phone, and then spent the next 30 minutes googling why on earth it has no backspace key. I was backswiping in the text field thinking some fancy gestures might work.

Eventually I noticed when I turned my brightness up that there was a backspace key but it was black, and the keyboard was a dark colour (maybe as I have dark mode on my phone). Quick change of theme, and suddenly all is good.

The annoying thing is I remember looking at the layout early on and wondering why with all the space down the sides of the lower rows, they hadn't used it with a backspace key.

Cross-platform Windows Presentation Framework, anyone? The short answer: yes. Unpacking Avalonia


Re: Microsoft's long list of dead ends

I would say another big advantage of this is that it is an open source project that is not controlled or bankrolled by Microsoft. Microsoft seem to introduce new things with big fanfare, have an expensive marketing campaign to get devs on board, push it as the next big thing and insist that in the future this will unify everything and be *the* platform. Couple of years later, someone shuffles on to another job, and new guy comes up with the new "next big thing", following which the last "next big thing" gets unceremoniously dumped and all the devs who invested time and money in it get thrown under the bus.

ESA gives UK space an £8.5m Boost: Rocketeers eye a 2022 launch


"150kg to low earth orbit"

Manned UK flight should be coming soon. That's almost as much as a single British holidaymaker.

Delayed UK digital border system was only stable enough to be used by 4% of intended users, MPs say


hostile environment

I am British but haven't been back to the UK since 2016. My wife is from Brazil, I have two kids and live in Portugal. Every time we came into the UK, they would stop my wife and try to refuse her entry, send her back to Portugal. Legally they couldn't, because I was an EU resident and eventually the argument would get escalated to the one person at the Border Service who actually knew the rules and would reluctantly tell the officers they had to stamp her in. Then the next time, exactly the same thing, like they seemed to be unable to put any note on her immigration record to avoid it in future.

The last time I visited the UK was 2016, not long after the Brexit vote. Then, not only did we get the routine shakedown by the morons of the Border Service, I found that my home town felt different. Just going to the park with the kids we got disapproving glances because suddenly foreigners were supposed to be gone. My kids tend to talk Portuguese to each other, and suddenly this made people uncomfortable. After that, we had no particular desire to go again. It didn't feel like the friendly safe place I remembered growing up in. My parents moved over to the next street from us in Portugal couple of years back, and my brother already emigrated to the US, so no real reason to return. I still have the UK company, but now we're getting nastygrams from HSBC, looks like they're going to pull the plug because both of us live overseas, so it seems the UK doesn't even want our business either now. So we're probably going to move that to Ireland instead.

All in all, the UK seems to be doing a fine job of this hostile environment thing. And I am not even a foreigner! Should help keep chaos down at the borders, if people just stay at home.

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


Re: ... this move into the EU effectively united ... Ireland

I am not sure I would agree that the DUP were sold down the river. It's one thing to see the Tories pull the wool over the eyes of the average voter, who can perhaps more easily be swept up in jingoistic promises of "we hold all the cards" and "we'll have our cake and eat it".

But you expect a deeper level of understanding from professional politicians.

The DUP propped up the Tory brexit government and enthusiastically backed Brexit. When the Tories lacked the majority in the last parliament, the DUP could easily have forced the government to stay in the single market and customs union which would have meant no borders, just like before. Let's remember that despite Tory revisionism, Thatcher was an enthusiast for the single market and if it was really true that "we only joined an economic club" they could easily have left the EU as a political construct, continuing to remain in trading arrangements "the economic club" that would minimize border checks.

But the Tory government convinced itself that even the economic club was bad, and they'd do better outside. The DUP held their coat, and supported this hardline approach throughout, and of course duplicitous promises were made. The DUP should have been smart enough to realise that Johnson had a history of lying and telling people whatever they want to hear, and that there was no possibility with the NI arrangements that a border in the Irish sea could be avoided.

One day, probably within the next 15 years, there will be a united Ireland, and they'll put up ironic statues of Arlene Foster and her critical role in cutting Northern Ireland off from the UK and welding it to the Republic.

The bank of Bitcoin: MicroStrategy's share price rides high on the back of cryptocurrency investment


Re: Investment? Speculation!

I see the biggest problem with crypto currencies, especially bitcoin, is that they're kind of a victim of their own success.

The idea of a digital asset that has the properties of gold (limited supply, large liquid market, can be subdivided, can potentially be traded between two sides without any knowlege of central authorities) with the advantages of being digital (transferrable via the internet, zero weight, can be backed up) is revolutionary.

The problem is, that these properties also make it desirable to the point where the price balloons and nobody is crazy enough to actually spend it, instead it becomes a speculative asset, hoarded as a means to make vast quick profits, thereby undercutting any real utility it had which justified its value. It's like a catch 22 situation.

That said, governments aren't exactly helping. There are plenty of other speculative bubbles, such as the UK housing market or the stock market, which the authorities not only tolerate, but positively feed, effectively underwriting risk by always stepping in to reduce the price of borrowing and hose money into the market whenever the bubble looks like popping. Such actions only feed the price of gold, crypto and other assets which also benefit when the fiat currency is being debased.

NASA sends nuclear tank 293 million miles to Mars, misses landing spot by just five metres. Now watch its video


They sent a guy with a pickup just outside the back lot, he picked them both up and took them back to the film studio.


Re: One Tonne of Rover....

"They've rebadged it, you fool!"



Re: Top stuff

Would love it one day if there was sufficient bandwidth to have this video in realtime during the landing. It was exciting enough watching a room full of boffins watching their data screens, but watching in hi-definition as the landing commences would be different level.

Microsoft pulls the sheets off first .NET 6 preview and... it's still a mess. Native Apple Silicon support, though


deja vu

The attraction of both Blazor and MAUI is full-stack C# so that developers need only work with C# and .NET.

ASP.NET Webforms did this 20 years ago. It was still a perfectly good system at what it did until they decided it had to go. Much as there was a lot of bad webforms code, I've seen far worse with MVC and javascript, wide open APIs with all the trust on client side code that is trivial to bypass.

.NET 6.0 introduces Blazor desktop applications, which still use web technology but are wrapped to run as native applications. "It is primarily aimed at web developers that want to provide rich client and offline experiences for their users," said Lander."

Jesus Christ, not satisfied with kneecapping web development options, now they're going to try to do the same for desktop too?

So apparently, the desktop development analogue for the web (webforms) is fitting a square peg in a round hole, and needs to be taken out and shot.

But fitting a round peg in a square hole, they're now trying to push the web model onto desktop?

I really can't help thinking at times that Microsoft spends 90% of its time trying to find new, different ways to do exactly the same things that can already be done perfectly well, while forcing developers to constantly learn new technologies, just to stand still doing the same things.

They'll no doubt highlight performance gains, but it's disingenuous, because they'd have had similar gains on existing technologies if they'd put the effort into improving those.

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab


bit confused about all this

Firstly, we don't seem to know a lot of the details, such as how much of the UK's vaccine supply is coming from the EU. I imagine regardless of contracts, there is not much the UK could do about that if the EU blocks shipments, anymore than the EU can do much to for the UK to deliver vaccines from its plants to the EU.

Secondly, the WHO has condemned the EU for threatening to block exports, because it is "morally wrong" to embark on vaccine nationalism. Yet if the UK has contracts that require AZ to deliver to them first, even if it means shipping EU produced vaccine to them to complete vaccinating everyone (100m doses) before many of the most vulnerable old people in the EU have been vaccinated, that doesn't seem any different in terms of preventing others having the vaccine until you have satisfied all your own needs. Legally you might be relying on contracts rather than emergency export bans or whatever, but we're talking morally not legally. It seems exactly the same to me. Has the WHO condemned the UK?

Thirdly, it seems reasonable legally that any block like the UK, US or EU can force through heavy handed export bans in cases of national security. Now I suppose you could argue that vaccinating your population is a dubious use of 'national security', but then again, the UK has specifically refused to allow its contract with AZ to be published due to 'national security'. It would therefore be rather difficult to argue both angles at the same time.

I suspect that this will all be moot in a month or two. The EU production will ramp up, and by early summer everywhere will be swimming in vaccines, probably while the last virus wave was taken down by lockdowns anyway.

But it may well have poisoned relations, which is pretty bad news as I work in ecommerce and basically none of my clients are able to ship stuff to the EU due to paperwork, and orders have collapsed. At present, the UK is not applying checks to incoming shipments from the EU, but they plan to implement that soon. At that point, there will be total collapse in trade. And I guess banks hoping to get equivalency are screwed now, it seems there is very little goodwill left.

Whatever happens, there needs to be talks over smoothing out trade, because long term the present arrangement is going to kill many businesses.

Nothing new since the microwave: Let's get those home tech inventors cooking


Re: Smart heating system?

What you should so is place an ice lolly, preferably something nice and brightly coloured, in a clear plastic bag, at the top of the freezer, in a vertical position. If you come back, and it's solidified in a flat lump at the bottom of the clear bag, you'll know that your freezer defrosted and re-froze.

Visual Studio 16.9 Preview 3 brings Chromium WebView debugging, noisy tests for visually impaired, and more


Re: What's really needed

Visual Studio is so big, the changes rarely change the interface significantly. Even the recent changes to the GIT dialogs were pretty logical and quick to get used to.

There is a community edition, and most who are on paid versions will get updates through their licensing anyway.

The updates tend to revolve around tooling for new things like .NET 5 and so on, a development tool has to keep moving to support the various technologies it is used for authoring on.


I recently started a windows forms project using .NET 5 for first time. I looked for the webview control, but noticed it was missing, and guessed was because it was IE based and that is obsolete now.

In the end I used selenium to remote control Chrome instead, and I actually think it's a better result for what I needed to do and I can access the DOM and use xpath to find values in a page and so on.

It's been a day or so and nope, we still can't wrap our head around why GitHub would fire someone for saying Nazis were storming the US Capitol


Re: The problem

At no point though did Hillary refuse to accept the actual result of the election, or contest it in court. Neither did she encourage a mob of her supporters to go to the capitol and storm it, or otherwise create violent mayhem.

Obama invited Trump to the whitehouse in the time after the election and before Trump was inaugurated, there is film of this visit.

I really don't see how you can try to draw parallels here?

Trump's gone quiet, Parler nuked, Twitter protest never happened: There's an eerie calm – but at what cost?


Re: 1st amendment

Firstly, no earlier president used television and radio to incite a mob of his angry conspiracy theorist followers to raid the capitol building and attempt to hunt down the VP and various other politicians. So it was never really an issue before.

Secondly, television and radio have some editorial control. If a president did openly incite revolution, I am pretty sure they'd have pulled the feed at some point.

We live in extraordinary times, but try to think 5 years ago whether the prospect of a US president openly starting to foment civil war and insurrection after losing an election by a significant margin was even a possibility. Extraordinary actions call for extraordinary responses.

Days before the US election, phishers net $2.3m from Wisconsin Republicans


Re: Democrats have won

Ooh, this didn't age well....


Re: Trump money and mouth miles apart

It is curious that in America, they primarily expect the police to be funded by taxes. And the same with schools. And the fire brigade.

But if you suggest the same for healthcare, you're a COMMUNIST.

Xiaomi revenues up by a third due to strong phone sales and triple-digit European growth


I bought a Pocophone F1 (xiaomi) couple of years ago. Cost me something like 200 quid. It had what was then a top of the range processor, decent RAM. Also bought my wife a Xiaomi, and then my daughter just a few months ago. Battery life is excellent, performance really good and nice camera too. The screen is maybe the weakest part, only in that it's not OLED, but still really crisp and brightness ok unless you're outside in bright sunlight. Back is plastic rather than glass, but for me that's a bonus because it's tougher. And they provide a free rubber case, and you really need a case on any phone anyway so the finish on the back of a phone is wasted on most users anyway.

I get how people might pay multiples of price for desktop workstations or laptops with top notch processors and loaded with RAM for intensive tasks, but I really don't see any economic argument for 1000 quid phones. I am pretty sure that there is no performance benefit that would really improve productivity for anyone on the kind of tasks you do on a phone like talking, emails and a bit of browsing.

Reports of one's death have been greatly exaggerated: French radio station splurges obituary bank over interwebs


Re: Wouldnt mind, though

4 billion per year? You got that from Nicholas Witchell or Penny Junor or some other professional butt kisser.

People don't come to the UK to see the royal family. They come to see the buildings, the places and the history. The history does not depend on whether you have a royal family or not.

Just look at Paris. France topped their royals couple of hundred years ago, and they still get more tourists than the UK. And I am pretty sure they aren't there in the slim hope of seeing President Macron gurning from a palace balcony or shooting past in a motorcade.

Why, yes, you can register an XSS attack as a UK company name. How do we know that? Someone actually did it


Re: It isn't actively policed

Cheeky. You should watch yourself in tunnels.

Ed Snowden doesn’t need to worry about being turfed out of Russia any more


He's settling in and looking forward to having Donald Trump and Rudy "Adjusting my shirt" Guiliani as neighbours when they have to run from the feds in a couple of months.

Pack your bags! Astroboffins spot 24 'superhabitable' exoplanets better than Earth at supporting complex life


I remember being at school in the mid 80s, and my science teacher explaining to us that the planets in our solar system were the only known ones, we did not know for sure that others existed around other stars, though it seemed very likely considering we had nine (not eight, it was the 80s).

He also explained how it would be physically impossible to see planets around other stars even with a huge telescope, they were simply too far away and too small, dark to be seen right next to huge bright stars, so we probably wouldn't know until we sent probes there. And because of the vast distances, the probes could take centuries to arrive, and their reports back years or decades to return. So even our grandchildren probably still wouldn't know.

And then about 10 years later, we started finding exoplanets, and now 30 years or so on, we have a big list of rocky, earth-sized ones, we can even tell if they have atmospheres, and what the atmosphere contains, whether they have water and magnetic fields.

Science is quite astounding at achieving what was only a few years ago considered impossible.

Tesla to build cars made of batteries and hit $25k price tag about three years down the road

This post has been deleted by a moderator


Re: Applefying the car

In most developed countries, I would imagine that the vast majority of cars do not experience damage requiring repair of the kind that would be a problem if the structure was battery. In that case, the efficiency and cost improvements are quite compelling.

This probably isn't going to hack it in India and China, where the standards of driving are pretty appalling and it's just assume that cars bump into each other all the time.

Replacing batteries is less of a concern if the decline in performance is 10-20% over a 15 year lifespan, that would be similar to what one might expect in an IC engine, as seals and other components degrade. Yes, you can replace an engine, but few cars do. They just get scrapped.

My main concern would be the reliance on software and updates. We've all owned phones that have been cut loose on updates, and found quite quickly that they are unusable for all but telephone calls.

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan


Re: State Aid????

The UK won't be a rule taker, it will be a rule maker.

So it does seem rather curious how enthusiastic the brexitters are about WTO rules. I can only assume they are unaware of who makes the World Trade Organization rules, and assume it is... Britain.

But presumably when they find out its a group of foreigners, even some quite dark ones, toys will come out of prams, and there will be further foamy mouthed brexitter statements that we're going to break WTO rules whenever it suits us, and that nobody will object for fear of not being able to trade with us.

.NET Core: Still a Microsoft platform thing despite more than five years open source


Always seemed an uphill task

I was always rather skeptical about the whole idea of cross platform .NET.

I just didn't see people on non-MS platforms enthusiastically adopting it. Most developers on those platforms would have a natural reluctance to invest time and effort in a Microsoft technology.

I kind of expected that all MS would achieve was to gut .NET features for compatibility and as a result lose some of the advantage of having a Windows specific framework, while achieving hardly any market outside of Microsoft devices regardless. And even if they were successful, they would be doing so at the expense of Windows and Azure, so at some point the suits would say "why are we pushing technologies that take users away from our server platform"?

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO


Re: He's not an imigrant

I can see this is obviously satire of the beliefs of many people in the US. I guess the downvoters didn't get it.

My brother is white British, lives in North Carolina, and has never experienced any kind of anti-immigrant sentiment, even though his accent marks him out as an immigrant. I am sure many of the white people there would regard him as more entitled to be a neighbour than a black family who've been Americans for generations.


Re: We hear these stories all the time

I think it is true. I also think that people are selectively racist.

I know a friends mother, who's on facebook. I know her personally, and she was always nice to me (my wife is south american), she has friends from her son's time in the middle east where we used to be, who are arab muslims, and her son now has a partner from the far east.

Yet, she reposts stuff from Britain First or whatever replaced them, 'AllLivesMatter' type things, the kind of social media stuff that is from hard right groups, but carefully crafted and toned down to try to appeal to people on a more traditional or patriotic level.

I used to think that maybe a lot of racists would change views if they only knew a few non-white people and realized they were no different, and could be perfectly nice people. But even when they do, it does not seem to change their underlying view that somehow all the non-whites they don't know are a problem, and just use the fact they have some black/non-white friends to argue they are not racist.

When Facebook says you're not a good 'culture fit', it means you're not White or Asian enough – complaint


race or class

Undoubtedly there is racial bias, but it's not just about race, 'culture fit' is a broad term used to discriminate on a whole bunch of factors, including schooling, accent and class. There are some companies which may not be racist or sexist, but may still discriminate based on your background etc.

I went to a couple of selection procedures for jobs in my 20s where after acing the first days initial selection (which was a series of exams and aptitude tests), I got invited back for final selection days. Only to turn up and realize nearly all the existing staff running the events were private school and ex-Army officers. One even pointed this out in her introduction as she obviously noticed all their intros suggested similar background, joking it was not a requirement.

It seemed clear to me the 'culture fit' aspect is more about people being able to select 'people like me'. You still need to pass the initial selections, so they are still hiring on merit in that respect. It's just that when they've got that group, they naturally interview them and have a bias towards people with the same background as themselves. I imagine racial and gender bias is more visible, but quite possibly the black or asian candidates being rejected are done so not because of their ethnicity, but because they also don't share the preferred middle/upper class background.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea


Re: Training data?

Yes, probably their shell suit collars were visible in the pics.

Reminds me of when I was a student. One day the cops came in to our mess hall and were going round apparently randomly talking to people, then they came over to me. Turns out they were doing an ID parade that evening, and wanted people who were roughly a certain age, height and colouring to take part alongside the suspect.

When we turned up, the guy's solicitor, with the suspect were allowed to pick which of us they wanted in the parade. The suspect had turned up in a nice suit, obviously trying to look as uncriminal as possible, then gets put in a parade against a bunch of scruffy students. When asked if he had any objections, he did say that he stood out because we all "look like a bunch of fucking students".

I remember getting 20 quid for couple of hours doing nothing except sitting round and standing in a line briefly, and the police station had a bar so we got a couple of rounds in between performances and had a great time.

The three different witnesses all picked the suspect out. He was definitely guilty, because when he was standing next to me and they were about to bring in the last one he whispered "this fucker will get me for sure because he's an ex-cop".

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview


Re: it ain't json

This is one of the reasons I just don't get this obsession over the last few years to adopt JSON everywhere for config files. Microsoft is at it in .net too.

Technically comments aren't in the spec, and config files without comments is absurd.

There was nothing wrong with XML. This whole JSON thing is just because it's fashionable.

JSON makes perfect sense for Web API stuff, returning data in a format ready for client side use by javascript. But using it for terminal stuff or server config files makes no technical sense at all. I wish Microsoft and others would stop just chasing the latest thing and don't just change stuff for the sake of it.

Meatspace meetup Web Summit reckons you'll be ready to revisit the world in November


A lot can happen

I am in Portugal, half hour south of Lisbon. Generally the virus has been dealt with fairly well here and hasn't been anywhere near as bad as in the UK.

The country is reopening now, and focusing on the critical July/August tourist season. I get the impression they know it will likely cause some virus spikes, but the importance of those two months for the tourist industry is so high, they're just going to do it and deal with any problems later once the people have left. Which could mean more restrictions later in the year, again.

But even if it does go ahead, they need to start selling tickets etc now... how many people are going to be buying tickets, booking flights and hotels now in the current circumstances? Even aside from whether it runs or not, would I really want to be getting on a plane and flying anywhere unless it is absolutely essential, let alone attending an event with people from everywhere all in close proximity?

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


To be fair, the stupidest thing I've seen today is southern NASCAR fans who are outraged over BLM protesters taking a knee during the national anthem (it's unpatriotic!) now being even more outraged because NASCAR has banned them from bringing the Confederate flag to races.

I mean, nothing says "True Patriot" like turning up with the flag of the losing side that fought the United States in the bloodiest war in its history.



As an old white guy (which I suspect is the main demographic on the Reg), I really don't get the outrage.

Watching a video of a cop standing on a guy's neck until he dies... that I can understand people being outraged about. Everyone should be outraged about that.

But if those people running software projects decide to rename certain terms, especially if the sentiment is good, then what's the problem? Why all the anger? Let's say for example that they decided to rename something in honour of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams... I am sure everyone would be fine with that. So what's the problem here?

If you don't like it, fork the code, put in all the white supremacist terms you want.

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets


Re: Foot in mouth

Probably true, for human spaceflight.

But let's be honest. Human spaceflight is a waste of time at present. What the hell do they do up there for months on end? Going round in circles, convincing us they're researching the long term effects of spaceflight, so they'll know more when the next couple of guys go up for another 6 month stint.

If we as humans really wanted to expand our knowledge, and potentially find places worth sending humans to, we'd be doing robot missions to some of the moons of jupiter and saturn, sending submarines or airships or whatever and maybe looking into the more exotic proposals to get miniature probes to the nearest star. That would really be interesting.

Instead we get to marvel at the unquestionably impressive technical achievement of humans going into space (first done 60 years ago), and then the less impressive spectacle of them floating around a space station doing fuck all useful or interesting stuff for 6 months except 'inspiring' us.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen



My mrs has just bought a Bimby. It's basically a cooking pot, food processor and scale combined. It has a little screen where you can search for recipes, then it tells you what to do step by step, it weights the ingredients as you add to the main pot and sets the timer and temperature for each step then tells you what to do next. I doubted we needed such a thing, as we're quite capable of cooking the old fashioned way. But she insisted.

So far, it's made awful overcooked but liquidized scrambled eggs, undercooked rice, and soup that we could have easily done in a pan on the hob, and then liquidized with the handheld thing we have.

I know at some point it's going to have problems connecting to the internet or the recipes it relies on will all disappear, but more than anything, I don't think it's saved us any time, or cooked anything we could not have easily done the old fashioned way without finding any recipe.



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