* Posts by Screepy

32 posts • joined 20 Mar 2018

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash


Re: Am I the only one

I have pondered this question for many years and I'm still not sure.

I think part of the answer to this is that once we humans produce too much of something we tend to start destroying our living conditions.

The sheer volume of internal combustion engines in the world all pumping out foulness means we appear to be doing some damage to bits of our life systems.

EVs don't generate the same foulness as ICE vehicles, but the do generate other foulness that we're only just starting to properly be able to monitor.

Once EVs become the dominant transport choice (and I suspect they will) we'll no doubt discover we're shredding some other critical support system and we'll need to find a solution to that.

One thing to consider is that the ICE method has really really been perfected (ok not perfect but they're very very good)- very clever people have worked on them for over a 100 years, so any efficiencies that can now be found in them are teeeeny tiny.

EVs on the other hand are relatively new, and certainly new to mainstream manufacturers/consumers so there are probably a lot more efficiencies that are waiting to be uncorked in the EV realm which may ease our rampage on the planets resources.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it


"I'll never understand either how they think they'll get away with it, or why they sometimes get responses"

Try living with someone who has early dementia :(

Father in law is slowly losing his capacity to work out fake/real etc.

He falls straight into those phishing traps. He's a kind fellow so he wants to help (and is time rich), so he spends ages replying to some total f****r about how he hopes they're doing well and here are his details, please do get in touch and he'll try and help..

I've got a delay rule set on his outbox so anything he sends is held. Then at the end of his emailing session, I quickly check the held mails and bin the 3 or 4 that were giving his life away.

Extremely stressful.

Millions of people with early dementia, those phishing b******s only need 10-20 successful hits from their spam and they'll get a decent lil payday.

It's truly disgusting practice.

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans


Re: re: It's not surprising......

Some of us care.

It's not much I know but I regularly ask our local Amazon/Ups/Dpd/Hermes/etc delivery drivers whether he/she needs a bottle of water/choccie bar/toilet break when they knock on our door.

The offer is rarely accepted but occasionally it is and hopefully I've made their day just a teeny tiny bit more bearable.

Rackspace considers selling part of business: 'Everything' on the table


They need to do something..

We've been with Rackspace for about 12 years.

They host our critical web infrastructure.

Over the last 3 or 4 years the support had just got worse and worse. Particularly around the NetSec stuff (firewalls, load balancers, IDS etc)

The London datacentre (LON) shed a load of the experienced techs as management pushed the support East.

I've had a couple of recent zoom calls with the newer NetSec teams where I'm correcting their iRule scripts/pointing out something they've missed, and basically helping them to sort out issues that we're paying them for.

Patience is wearing thin, I suspect we will be moving away from them once contact renewals hove into view - they just aren't good enough any more :(

Autonomous Mayflower to attempt Atlantic crossing, again


Re: Not the ultimate goal ?

There are probably some good uses.

A good example would be searching for wreckage on the ocean floor.

When the Air Malaysia flight disappeared off Western Australia a few years ago, ships spent days/weeks scanning the ocean floor.

If you could get a fleet of these automated ones to head out, scan an area and report back, I be think that would be pretty useful.

Ideally they'd run off solar/wind and not rely on fossil fuel (removing the need to return for refuel).

The fact that they're still trying to just get the ship to sail in a straight line between two points suggests we may be still quite a way off my example though - baby steps ;)

BOFH: The evil guide to upgrading switches


We very rarely updated our switches unless there was some really annoying bug that we had to solve.

However, a recent insurance audit indicated that in fact the unpatched switches could be grounds for the insurance company not to pay out in the event of something unpleasant happening.

We now have a remit to keep all switches up-to-date :(

We have a mix of old Ciscos, Extremes, and some newer Arubas.

The Arubas should be easy right? Just deploy from Aruba Central and sip tea while they all update seamlessly... Wrong! A good chunk just refused to update, some updated and rolled back, some successfully updated and then disappeared from Aruba central - never to be seen again. We now have a priority call logged with Aruba asking for them to get us visibility back on the switches (they appear to be running fine though).

Haven't even looked at the Ciscos, and the Extremes only get mentioned in hushed whispers.

Would be interested to hear if any other techs have similar remits...

Microsoft hikes prices for non-profit customers, ends on-prem software grants


Re: well yes, but...

"I hope they pay to do so as your a paying customer, so if they want good PR from that they should also pay for it!"

No, it's very rarely a payment, more usually an offer of greater discounts the following year or a load of training vouchers for the Tech teams (which can be very useful)

However, there are very very few requests we can say yes to as the charities remit and reputation means that it is quite tricky for us to align things with big corp.

Thankfully that's up to to our legal/pr/procurement teams to iron out ;) I just go on a nice MS course if they happen to tick all the boxes :)


Re: well yes, but...

I work for a large non-profit (+-2500 employees) and we'd be dead in the water if we had to pay commercial licensing fees. Our SQL instances alone would be enough to sink us if we had to pay full price.

We're an old organisation (+100 years) and when IT became a thing we were pretty good at getting on board with the tech. I wasn't around then but at the time MS and in particular MS SQL was the way to go for our org. Fast forward many years and we've pretty much trapped ourselves as an MS house. Now all MS have to do is charge us just enough to not cripple us and we'll stay.

On a side note, another reason the big corps like to attract NFP's (particularly the bigger more well known ones) is that it's good for PR. Whichever big cloudy company we've dealt with we usually get a friendly email at some point asking if they can use our logo on some presentation they're doing.


Re: Monkey see, Monkey do

Non-profit sys eng here - although I'm disappointed to see price increases I am slightly less peeved at MS who have at least given us a few months to plan on where we can raise the funds to cover the difference or at worst cut back on some services. AWS on the other hand adjusted their NFP pricing models in the background and gave us a disappointing surprise when they hit

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless


Re: Television repair

"The manufacturer saved all of about 3$ by using the crap capacitors, on a $1200 TV!"

To add, $3 saved per TV when you're selling squillions of them means the CEO gets another yatch this year instead of next.

Microsoft backtracks on lack of easy Windows browser choice


Re: Win11

Haha yes re powershell, and while you're typing up your script, MS are deprecating the cmdlet you need in the background.

So you run it and are met with a sea of red.

Back to the docs you go to find you need to download a new module cos the one you're using is soooo last 30 min ago.

I'm exaggerating ofc but I wish their docs would keep up with the cmdlet/module changes. I've wasted hours of my life (in particular with exchange online) troubleshooting previously working PS scripts which break as MS change bits behind the scenes.

BOFH: Gaming rig for your home office? Yeah right


Re: Every company!


Yes indeed. Our UX team got a new leader a few months back. He came from a predominantly Apple house and consequently demanded Mac Pros for his team of 8 designers (and one for himself ofc).

We've never had apple devices amongst our 2300 employees and yet somehow this guy managed to convince the department head that they would be essential.

Our Helpdesk now get calls from UX team complaining that, 'this doesn't work', 'or they can't access X share', etc..

To which the analysts then spend an inordinate amount to time troubleshooting things they have no experience with (because the Apple support training that was promised, hasn't materialised )

It makes my blood boil at the time/money waste this shouty UX manager has caused in his short time here.

Amazon cuts credit for charities to access web services


Re: Azure have a much better offer

Agreed. In the charity I currently work for, we review our main cloud supplier annually to check whether we need to jump ship.

For the last 4 or 5 years Microsofts discounts have been slightly better than Google and way better than AWS. Even Rackspace (who currently appear to be slowly crumbling) are still able to provide better pricing than AWS.


I've been working in the charity sector for 10 years now, I can say that most of them do have contingency plans.

I think the key gripe here is not that Amazon have cut funding in half but the fact that they appear to have done it without letting the charities know.

Charities are well aware that funding ebbs and flows all the time. What would be nice is knowing in advance if a current deal is going to end/change - last minute shocks are what really hurt charities as most only keep a few weeks worth of cash to stay running (they can't be seen to store/save members money)

Google to wind down pandemic work-from-home


Re: Depends a lot on how you work

Agreed, there are a couple of younger colleagues in my team who have basically perched on the end of their beds as they attempted to WFH for 2 years. That is a horrific way to work.

For them our office re-opening is a godsend.

What does annoy me is when management start saying things like, 'team X must be at office on Tuesday and Thursday' but then give no real reason why, other than it'll be good to sit together.

Er... no. Not for me it won't. I find it very distracting when working on a complicated problem and I've got Rob on the help desk repeatedly bellowing, "No, RIGHT-click on the desktop" sitting 2 desks away from me.

Our current senior manager wants the Tech Ops team to be in a couple of days a week to sit near the help desk so we can offer advice/help...oh you mean just like we've been doing on Teams for the last 2 years then?!


Arm's $66bn sale to Nvidia is off: Deal collapses after world's competition regulators raise concerns


Re cuckoo's - don't get your hopes up. Despite the efforts of some pretty good nature charities we are destroying their nesting sites as fast as we can in the name of leveling up :'(

I'm assuming you're UK-based - if you're on the continent then you've got a good chance, a fair few of them still manage to evade the wall of guns on the med islands every spring

Execs keep flinging money at us instead of understanding security, moan infosec pros


Sadly this.

Our IT department was delightfully reshuffled in a recent restructure.

We were moved directorate from Finance (how old school!) to the Fundraising and Comms directorate.

Er... What?!

So my director is now someone with lots of advertising and social media experience but knows sweet fa about anything in the IT world. And this person has to represent our requirements at the board level *sigh

God of War: How do you improve on perfection? You port it to PC, obviously


Re: I'm always curious about GoW's high ratings

I agree :-)

I didn't even get to the end of GoW. I happened to be playing it alongside Red Dead Redemption 2. And I found RDR2 draw me in way more than GoW.

GoW felt too linear particularly when playing it against the vast open-worldness of RDR2. I thought I'd come back to it after finishing RDR2 but never did. Uninstalled GoW a few weeks back as I needed space on my PS.

Loads of my friends and colleagues loved GoW with many saying it was one of the best games they'd played in years.. The fact that it was game of the year when released makes me think I've probably missed something... oh well

Info-saturated techie builds bug alert service that phones you to warn of new vulns


Re: Reader

Exactly this :(

This morning my 'Alerts' folder had 261 alerts, ranging from server down, system down, HA unavailable, latest vulnerability patch from Aruba, cert expiration warnings and so on and so forth.

Ops doesn't get say in 50% of how these alerts are set. Random project team sets up new system, creates alerts... not sure which ones they should use...*shrug...select all, assign to Ops team distribution list...

Been a sys eng for 18 years now and i just let alerts wash over me like a wave. No chance to review them, definitely no chance to deal with them, no chance manager layer will agree to more sys engs in my team..

So I just add a line to our Risk register every 3 months saying ' not enough resource, can't cover all vulnerabilities '

Management review register every 3 months and I never hear a thing back.

Oh well..

Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce


Re: Hmmm - Pis were being built in Wales

Not sure the were manufacturing the chips though we're they?

Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation



@David 132 - pigs stomach, not a live pig.

Microsoft's Teams Essential tier seems designed to coax people on to Business Basic


Re: Global warning

It's not 'everyone' I'm afraid.

However, we do have some clumps of users in our org where Teams seems to be CPU hungry, but certainly not all.

We have approximately 4500 laptops in the org, none older than 5 years, and a mix of specs, from boggo standard i3's(poor users) to i7's to some fancy Mac book pros ("I'm a UX designer it MUST be a Mac"), and a sprinkling of Ryzens.

There are a group of 'shouty' users that frequently report that their Teams is slowing down their ability to work - there are about 45 of these users from across the company. We've yet to bottom out why some are more affected than others. The users in question are from across the spectrum in terms of roles - from devs, to kitchen staff, to c-suite, to finance etc.

There is also probably a good chunk of staff who just accept that Teams seems to slow their machine down a bit but just shrug and get on with life without logging a ticket with the help desk - so we lose out on those data points.

Teams used to be total crap, now it seems to be slightly less crap (or people have just learned how to work with it better) but to say it smashes CPU on all devices is just wrong.

For a bit of balance, Zoom issues generate more help desk calls than Teams in our org

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes


Re: I had a somewhat similar problem

Not just carb'ed bikes, that trick worked on my fuel injected Yamaha R6 as well.

On the topic of 'annoying ways for a bike to cut out' - a sightly coroded safety switch on the kickstand is a real doozy. Switch doesn't deactivate when you put the stand up. Bike will start, but as soon as you put it in gear, bike cuts out.

Better yet, the switch activates at the traffic lights cos it's raining (I assume some sort of short?), sitting there idling in neutral, green light, pop it in gear... bike cuts out. Cue much honking and beeping of horns behind me.

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done


Re: Joysticks

+1 for the Stellar Forge used by today's ED.

I went to FX17 (Frontiers own expo) in 2017 where they had all the lead devs giving talks about various aspects of the game.

Frustratingly I forget the guys name who was lead on the stellar forge design but he gave a fascinating talk on the complexities of creating it.

He called himself the King of Fraud. Now this bot lord will reign in prison for years


Re: Wasted advertising

Exactly this. My sister is high up in a media conglomerate that has the advertising contacts for some huge car manufacturers and a number of the biggest banks.

'Just being visible' is one of the key threads in their ads. They don't particularly need to drive sales but our brains absorb patterns/colours/fonts/jingles etc. and annoyingly remember it.

The budgets her teams work with just to get the 'right shade of blue' for a certain banner is utterly sickening.

I frequently ask her how she sleeps at night knowing that she drives so much bilge into the eyes of millions. To which she usually just shrugs and goes off to get someone to redesign her kitchen in her Singapore penthouse for the 8th time this year because Miele have a new range of ovens (or something).


Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call


Re: The joys of the phonetic alphabet

Our service desk each has the NATO alphabet on their desks. During induction it is suggested that learn it of by heart as it really does help. It's surprisingly easy to memorize and we've never had a single analyst not learn it.

One click, one goal, one mission: To get a one-touch flush solution


Re: Thank you for drawing my attention to these devices

Precisely. Why the need for extra 'smart' bits that will go wrong within a few months (just after the warranty expires)

Our facilities team took the opportunity to revamp our toilets during office lockdown closure.

Nice one, they were looking a bit worse for wear but they still functioned.

We now have fancy new toilets with electronic no touch flush senors, but and here's the kicker, after installing them they realised there wasn't any power by the new cisterns so they had to use batteries to power the flush. Normal triple A's!!!

Pathetic! Now every three or four weeks the toilets clog because the sodding batteries have died.

To make it worse everyone is now petrified that it won't flush after they've used the toilet so everyone is flushing once before they use it to check it's still working!! Batteries run out twice as fast.

We clock what you're trying to do here: El Reg strokes a claw across the OnePlus 9 Pro


Re: Internal storage too small

Um... the 8GB refers to the RAM not storage.

My OnePlus 6 is brimming with apps/widgets and they all run happily on the 8GB RAM that it has.

As for whether 128GB of internal storage is enough, that depends on the user. If you are a snap happy mad person who never deletes or cleans out old photos/videos then yes you may run out of the 128GB of internal storage.

A lot of people find 128GB easily enough (me for example) - phone is 3 years old and is at 67% capacity.

Researchers find evidence that stress does turn your hair grey, and it can be reversed – you just need a holiday


Re: Its not the colour that's the problem

That's because baldness isn't really in illness and doesn't need curing.

Sadly, it has been monetised by big corp so we think it needs curing = huge piles of money for them.

Oracle cuts support for South African energy biz Eskom in long-running licensing dispute


Incompetent vs Greedy

I would add it's also best to never deal with Eskom either.

Having had to deal with them over the last 15 years I can honestly say I've never come across such a symbolic org (and I've come across some doozies in my time)

There are some excellent tech guys at Eskom but they're understaffed, under-paid and under pressure :(

On top of that the layers and layers of horrific management who don't have a shred of knowledge on anything technical is something to behold.

I have absolutely no doubt they are under-licensed but I bet you it's not because the DBAs haven't pointed this out on numerous occasions.

What we have here is an incompetent company facing off against a greedy one :(

Silence of the vans: Uber adds 'Plz STFU, driver' button to app for posh passengers using Black


I take it you're not an Uber user then? The app tracks your 'cab' so you can watch it's progress on the map. Plus it tells the make/model and number plate of the car your should expect. If you fail to check all these thing before getting into the car, then shame on you! Of course this won't stop an official uber driver turning nasty once you get in, but it should stop the random evil person just pulling up in his white van in the hope you'll get confused and just step right in.

Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45


Sadly, that doesn't work. Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa experimented with this in the late 90's and early 00's. Rhinos were sedated and had their horns removed. However, poachers still killed them because they'd spend a day or so tracking the rhino, only to find one without a horn. So they machine gun it anyway so that they didn't waste time tracking a horn-less rhino again by accident.


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