* Posts by GDM

19 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Jul 2018

Rear-end crashes prompt probe into Amazon's Zoox self-driving cars


Do a YouTube search for self-balancing motorcycle and you'll find there's a lot of progress on this already.

Microsoft hikes Dynamics 365 prices by around ten percent or more


Having modelled what they might lose from unbundling Teams, this is how they've decided to recoup the revenue. Plus "admin fee". It's not like anyone is going to rip and replace Dynamics for Salesforce overnight, so they're probably pretty confident people will just pay up.

Police ignored the laws of datacenter climate control


Soggy Bottom

I once got sent out to a site I'd never been to before to deal with some server issue. It wasn't dead, must have been something else. Despite being in a small 'where everything gets dumped' cupboard it was on something where it wouldn't get knocked off or have stuff piled on it. It was also very well cooled, by a small portable air conditioner. On a chair. One of those metal frame ones with thick foam seat and back, such that the air con unit didn't quite sit up straight. This might have been fine it it had automatic evaporation via the hot air hose (which did go out of the room) but instead the tilt meant the level sensor in the water tank didn't notice the tank getting full, overflowing so it soaked the seat foam it sat on, then dibbling down the chair leg and soaking the carpet tiles. The squelch when you walked in the room was a giveaway.

Near Field Communication to get longer, stronger – better at contactless


Re: been known to accidentally pay with my default card

For travel, I always prefer to tap with physical card and leave my phone tucked away somewhere, on the grounds that I can disable the card from my phone but not the other way around.

(People, you're coming up to a barrier, have your ticket or method of payment *ready*, don't suddenly act all surprised...)

Puri.sm puts out LapDock for its Librem 5 smartphone



Let's see if it does better and lasts longer than the Palm Foleo... I suppose being able to actually order it is a good start and hopefully, given they've not started completely from scratch, it can continue to serve the niche that might want it.

NASA: Mars rocks won't make it back to Earth until 2033


I do wonder, in an uneducated way, if it wouldn't be better to build in some flexibility to return the samples to either some successor to the ISS, or moon base if the timescales for this slip more than that, rather than returning directly to earth. But I've probably read/seen too much sci-fi where doing that sort of thing goes horribly wrong.

PowerShell pusher to log off from Microsoft: Write-Host "Bye bye, Jeffrey Snover"


The only person(s) I'd ever root for at MS...

Is whoever came up with eseutil

Not perfect but has been my friend more often than I care to think.

Once upon a time NetWare was rubbished because everything was command line, whereas the new and shiny Windows was all GUI, despite the fact a lot of things were better done in a command prompt, something I remember bringing up in a few Windows admin courses at the time.

Microsoft unboxes Exchange Online certification in bid to push customers off-prem


Outlook 97? Pah! We could gateway between MS Mail, WfWg Mail, cc:Mail, Fax, Telex and that weird RFC822-based stuff hardly anybody used then. All written in Visual Basic. I probably still have the code somewhere. I should find a big bonfire / volcano to cast it in to...

Psst. Hey kid. Want a lipstick? Huawei slips new earbuds into cosmetics case


Re: Still surprised

There are some which are pretty close to that size. The biggest issue with the one I had (very cheap, similar models now are still about £8-£10) was the appalling bluetooth range - it was lucky if it managed 30cm. Even with the phone in a right chest pocket and earbud in right ear, looking right could lose the connection. This was a good few years ago and hopefully with the latest BT versions they're a bit better.

The actual audio listening quality was pretty acceptable, the microphone pickup was poor but just about understandable at the far end.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done


Re: I can help but think...

Simon Stålenhag has helpfully visualised all this for us - http://simonstalenhag.se/es.html

Better late than never: Microsoft rolls out a public preview of E2EE in Teams calls


Wait, hang on...

Wasn't there a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth a while back that Zoom didn't support E2EE so everyone should use something else like Teams instead. Which also didn't support E2EE and only nearly sort of does now but that's fine because [hand waves]. Good, just checking.

Fix network printing or keep Windows secure? Admins would rather disable PrintNightmare patch


Re: What is affected?

We use something, forget what, that sits on top of Windows printer sharing to allow 'walk up to any device and swipe your ID card' printing, rather than having to set up individual printer mappings for every device someone might possibly want to print to especially when they haven't first checked their nearest is not churning out a few thousand pages already.

Electrocution? All part of the service, sir!


Where's the Kaboom!?

I once changed the power supply in an Amstrad 2286, onsite, in front of a customer. That involved taking the machine completely to pieces, removing the power supply, opening the cover for that, remove PCB, unsolder mains cables, solder cables to new PCB, re-install and put back together. Not a particularly hard job, only took a few minutes and the gas powered soldering iron worked nicely. It was only when I went to plug it back in, I discovered the mains cable had been live the whole time.

IT management biz Kaseya's VSA abused to infect businesses with ransomware


Re: It appears that attackers got onto Kaseya's servers

How do you think small IT support companies manage their clients? They use things like Kasaya (or Labtech, Autotask, etc.) otherwise they'd be wasting time and money doing everything manually. Everybody automates as much as possible if they want to stay in business.

(Yes, I have implemented both Kasays and Labtech for a small IT support company)

Lego bricks, upcycled iPhone lenses used in new low-cost, high-res microscope



While these aren't going to replace the Stemi Wi-fi equipped microscopes + iPads in our training room, the relatively low cost could mean much greater take up for our remote surgical training - we already send out about £25-worth of materials to attendees, who then have to juggle laptop and phone to be able to connect both into a Zoom-based training session. Adding an optional £85 kit of parts for those who need it could be feasible, especially for some of our less well-equipped international students who are effectively largely excluded at the moment.

Gov.UK taskforce publishes post-Brexit wish-list: 'TIGRR' pounces on GDPR, metric measures


Re: The UK political sphere has been so overtaken by Brexit

I got to the end of the second paragraph and had to scoot back up to the top to make sure it wasn't a 1st April article that had come through a time warp. I'm still not sure...

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING


Backpack Nirvana-ish

Add a small variety of essential first aid stuff, spare t-shirt (also useful for padding) for when something inevitably gets spilt at an unfortunate moment and lunch, snacks and water bottle. The number of times I've popped to a client in the middle of nowhere for "just a quick job" and ended up there all day, I soon learnt to have something with me.

My current favourite backpack is from the uninspiringly named Kaka via Amazon, a 50l "3 in 1" thing which whilst not without minor quibbles has stood up to lugging huge amounts of stuff about really well, much better than some of the "big name" bags I've tried at various times.

Civil rights group says Oracles, Tapads and Experians get let off for wanton info-sucking


Re: And their response?

My next exciting diversion is dealing with that fact that at least two of the credit reference agencies, work off the Postcode Address File which lists delivery points and omits sites with multiple households but a single mail drop point (37 households in our case). So, whenever I try and do anything which requires a credit reference check, it's a toss up what the result is going to be. Royal Mail do have a multiple-occupancy database, which I am on, but that costs extra so the obviously badly cash-strapped agencies don't bother with it.

Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere


West Yorks Police seem to be finding a use for it - have been following https://twitter.com/WYP_IanWIlliams and there's a lot of good stuff going on to stop officers spending quite so long on paperwork / in the office. Options for using the phone when out and about then popping it into a docking station when in a car or back at the station.