* Posts by Natalie Gritpants Jr

338 posts • joined 18 Sep 2018


HDD Clicker gizmo makes flash sound like spinning rust

Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

What disk-access LED?

Here's how crooks will use deepfakes to scam your biz

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Re: Hard to Understand

You're lucky you haven't worked for a shouty boss then. There are plenty and it's sometimes hard to spot them in advance.

Good news for UK tech contractors as govt repeals IR35 tax rules

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Re: Good news and a triumph for common sense

Finding contractors who are really employees should be fairly easy, just ask them for a list of contracts for the past 5 years.

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Re: Bad for permie's

It will be when the employers figure out they only need that 6-digit worker for 6 months of the year, and they can save 10k in NI

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Bad news for the umbrella companies, good news for small local accountants.

Teams of aerial drones might one day help to build houses

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If you're planning on retiring to a house you build, you should not be planning on it being remote or hard-to-reach for ambulances.

SWIFT to trial blockchain – but not for its core payment service

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Re: evolution?

"grammar no longer being taught in school" - now known as grammargate.

Dead people could be designated authors of Atlassian Confluence docs but that can't be changed

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Maybe there are other ways

like adding an author section at the top or contact details at the end.

USB-C to hit 80Gbps under updated USB4 v. 2.0 spec

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Re: 240 volts?

And the thing that gets moved around between plugs in a house the most is a hoover, or possibly a hairdryer. Good look with a 12V hoover.

T-Mobile US and SpaceX hope to deliver phone service from space

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Re: I am very dubious about this!

1. agreed, probably trying to raise SpaceX share price so he can afford Twitter.

2. AST satellite mobile has a system in development. The sat is the size of a basketball court, divided roughly into 100 individual antennae, each of which is beam steerable in two dimensions. Those are much bigger antennae than your average base station.

3. No idea, but as they use mobile phones at normal power rather than sat-links at high power, I'm guessing the regulators won't have a problem in sensible countries, probably will be a problem in countries that don't like information moving freely.

4. Not when it's overhead.

I would think acquisition would be a challenge as you can't use a narrowly focused beam, so the signals will be very weak.

Smartphone gyroscopes threaten air-gapped systems, researcher finds

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Here's how to overwhelm the receiver

Garage rock from the noughties

Flashing lights and laser beams

People dancing like a robot from 1984

Think I'm in my happy place.

Scientists use dead spider as gripper for robot arm, label it a 'Necrobot'

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Rise of the machines?

I'm not worried. I have a cat.

Russian ChessBot breaks child opponent's finger

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Re: Questionable Explanation

With a suitably strong reverse polarity for removing pieces from the board.

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Give every player an angle grinder.

Cruise self-driving cars stopped and clogged up San Francisco for hours

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Re: Does it really need to be AI?

I'm confused. Does that mean you can't be taller than the opposition?

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall

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No economic sense

To include hardware and not charge the customer, but hope they subscribe later. DEC and IBM's go faster switch was ok as it didn't cost much and they couldn't make a slower CPU any cheaper, but heated seats and aircon cost.

These centrifugal moon towers could be key to life off-planet

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Bonkers video

Why would you want a yacht on the moon. Not like you can go anywhere with it. Also stupid is filling the thing with water which will make the entire building unstable. The minute everyone moves to one side for a party the extra mass will result in the building leaning that way and then tons of water will shift their too and drown everyone before the thing falls over and spills their corpses over the moon's surface. I think that's a good sequel to The Poseidon Adventure.

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

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Re: Reciva Radios

Stopped using mine when I found it was using 20W in standby, and startup time after powering off at the wall was a couple of minutes.

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Re: Hands up all those who did NOT see this coming

There are open source home automation systems out there. I use Home Assistant (https://www.home-assistant.io/). Sometimes things break, but they usually get fixed quickly. My Hive thermostat stopped working with HA recently, but was fixed in a couple of weeks (and I could have rolled back to a working version if I could be bothered)

The open source home automation systems are a good source of information that can be used to choose which products to buy.

Qualcomm, Ericsson, Thales are working on delivering 5G from orbit

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AST already doing this


Not sure how authoritarian regimes are going to view this. Starlink base stations are easy to find, but these just use the latest smartphones. China will threaten to shoot the birds down, so don't expect any signal there.

Logitech Zone Vibe 125: Weightless comfort on the ears that won't break the bank

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Re: Bluetooth in windows is terrible

I disable the Bluetooth headset device, so it uses the headphone device. For calls, I just use the inbuilt laptop mic, and then I can have background music playing that doesn't get fed back into the video conf.

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The computer running the Nostromo is called a MU/TH/UR 6000.

First steps into the world of thought leadership: What could go wrong?

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So what is an actually useful website to replace LinkedIn now that it's turned into social media shit?

SpaceX: 5G expansion could kill US Starlink broadband

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Surely if you can get interference from a Dish signal, you can also get a signal from the same Dish network and not bother with Starling.

Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents

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Re: Honestly, guys

I'm not sure that legalizing racism would get you very far. Your enemies would just have to work a bit harder and spend a bit more money to recruit nice WASPs, and then you would have a harder time spotting them. We've been through this in the Cold War with all those nice, respectable Oxbridge types that were Russian spies. And, yes, the Russians are still operating an ex USA president.

Nothing says 2022 quite like this remote-controlled machine gun drone

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Re: Cutting the cable

Or just shine a really powerful laser back down the cable and look for smoke.

Not a GNOME fan, and like the look of Windows? Try KDE Plasma or Cinnamon

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Is this even remotely discoverable? Four finger swipes! What about accessibility? KDE used to be good at that.

Atos, UK government reach settlement on $1 billion Met Office supercomputer dispute

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Correct, I guess it's somewhere between zero and $1b. Bit premature to call it another mismanaged procurement fiasco. It might well have been Atos chancing a few attack lawyers.

Even Russia's Evil Corp now favors software-as-a-service

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From what I've seen in the movies

The genius hackers behind all of this are either on a beach or dead.

Experts: AI inventors' designs should be protected in law

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Re: I wonder if...

Their job title is professor of law and AI. Without the laws they propose the job has no reason to exist.

UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules

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So these government departments have been employing contractors outside IR35 and now have to stump up PAYE+NI+NI. Not really a problem as the money goes to the government, which can hand it back as an increased budget (+ bonus for the department heads).

If the contractor is smart, they will claim back the taxes they paid. Net result is a loss for HMRC instead of what they claim is increased tax revenue from their enforcement actions.

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Re: False information

If you're actually spending significant sums on equipment, there is no way you are inside IR35 and you should not be in that contract. If you're inside IR35 you don't need an accountant.

Outside IR35 I was taxed at a lower rate by being able to employ my spouse as a director (they don't have another paid job). That effectively doubles all the tax rate thresholds, and makes a big difference. I'm now forced inside IR35 and have put my rate up by 36%. Luckily this client has agreed, but the next one may not.

Bing! Microsoft tests search box in the middle of Windows 11 desktop

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I assume you don't get a choice of what account to use with the search.

Apple scraps 3-day return to office amid COVID-19 cases

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Re: "not everyone is yet ready to return to the corporate altar"

I can't imagine that Apple or Google would design those headquarters now. Sure, they need a shiny castle to impress big investors, government officials etc. The fact they built these very large and expensive buildings is a mistake in hindsight (but maybe not at the time).

The problem they have is that they have these shiny castles, but they can't use them to show off if they look deserted (not to mention the ego problem of the C-levels needing to lord it over the troops).

It's a shame they don't sub-let bits to other companies, I hear the infrastructure is very good.

Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus

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Both Apple and Google pride themselves on having the smartest employees on the planet. No surprise that those employees have found it easy to adapt to successfully working from home and resent being told to come back to the office for no other reason than "because I said so".

September 16, 1992, was not a good day to be overly enthusiastic about your job

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Re: "Everyone had to leave" knee-jerk reaction

They obviously had not heard of hedging, pretty basic stuff in their line of business, what with them agreeing to buy/sell stuff in the future in foreign currencies. Bit like all those energy companies that could offer lower prices (mostly by the saving you get when you don't hedge like a pro)

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?

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Re: Figured out what THAT meant

My largest media disk is still mounted at /bfd in tribute to my time at HP when some of their disks were known as BFDs (big fixed disk was what we told markting).

Google Docs crashed when fed 'And. And. And. And. And.'

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Why isn't the grammar checker not in a thread?

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout

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Re: 10b2 aka Thinnet

This used to happen all the time in a lab full of engineers with scopes etc. If they felt like moving stuff they would just grab a T-connector and scope leads and just extend the cable. worked OK for the first few.

Starlink's Portability mode lets you take your sat broadband dish anywhere*

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Re: "If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service"

They are not cubestats, and they are not built to support mobile. You'll have to wait a couple of years for AST to get their sats up, and then sell a kidney before they will let you connect to them with your 5G phone.

Sina Weibo, China's Twitter analog, reveals users' locations and IP addresses

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Re: Where does your 'bot live?

Sorry, meant CCP, but CCCP would be inetresting too.

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Re: Where does your 'bot live?

Hopefully on the PCs of CCCP officials.

Almost two-thirds of SMIC's Shanghai employees are living at work

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So, are they homing from work?

Debian faces firmware furore from FOSS freedom fighters

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It doesn't have to be the OS that loads firmware. It could be a service that does it, and that means you could separate it from the OS if the OS does not do proprietary.

Robots are creepy. Why trust AIs that are even creepier?

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Plausible deniability

I'm sending my face to as many of these services as possible. Let's hope they leak like a colander.

ASML CEO: Industrial conglomerate buying washing machines to rip out semiconductors

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Re: Interesting

It's a good story, but why doesn't the conglomerate just offer a barrow load of cash to the washing machine vendor for their chip inventory. The washing machine vendor's pipeline is no worse affected than by having their retail stock hoovered up, and the conglomerate is not left with a pile of shiny crap metal.

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options

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I think I prefer series that only have one or two seasons. Some long-running series just seem to add seasons for the money instead of genuine story reasons, see Supernatural or How to Get Away With Murder. I can't see anyone wanting to watch 10 seasons of Squid Game.

Elon Musk's latest launch: An unsolicited Twitter takeover

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Re: Funds?

Pretty sure it was: "Oh dear. How sad. What a pity"

Vital UK customs system outage contributes to travel chaos at its borders

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Bit late to blame brexit

As mentioned above, the vote to leave happened 6 years ago and was never going to go away. That should be long enough to figure out what has to change and pay for the systems to do it. Intransigence and incompetence are the things to blame.

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"Her Majesty's Customs & Revenue"

Is that a rebranding exercise for HMRC? Do they have a nice shiny new logo?



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