* Posts by Negative Charlie

107 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Apr 2019


Boss broke servers with a careless bit of keyboarding, leaving techies to sort it out late on a Sunday

Negative Charlie

Re: Bosses shouldn't touch stuff...

"I've never owned nor used a PC with a 5¼" floppy drive."

Who let the kid in?

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech

Negative Charlie

Re: "the dream of a cross-platform voice-assisted future"

"it's just weird when you have six different devices all called "Alexa" that appear in different places and you interact with in different ways."

It's even weirder when you have a daughter named Alexa and have to remember never to refer to her by name whenever Jeff might be listening.

(Before anyone suggests it, she pre-dates the Amazon version and is consequently unwilling to change her name. We did ask.)

Multi-factor auth fatigue is real – and it's why you may be in the headlines next

Negative Charlie

"If the user is in California but the device is in Europe, that should raise a big red flag."

That makes perfect sense, because nobody legitimately uses a Terminal Server or VPN to access services from overseas.

No, I will not pay the bill. Why? Because we pay you to fix things, not break them

Negative Charlie

"Our core audience is in America, Asia-Pacific, and the UK. We also have readers hailing from Canada, northern Europe, India, and beyond."

I'm confused. Isn't Canada (along with the USA, Mexico, Peru and a few other places) already in America? And looking at a map it seems that the UK might be in Northern Europe too.

Is this deliberate double-dipping or just house-standards-compliant US-centred poor geography?

Negative Charlie

"Plus, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the Winter Equinox, etc..."

Winter Equinox? What planet do you live on?

Around these parts the Summer Solstice happens in December, and we don't need a special holiday 'cos we're all at the beach anyway.

Northern Hemisphereanism - the last acceptable prejudice.

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess

Negative Charlie

Re: Manual is optional,

"It's next to the ellusive ANY button. But, that's harder to find :-)"

It's right there, next to the elusive ANY button.

YouTube loves recommending conservative vids regardless of your beliefs

Negative Charlie

Re: It is all a conspiracy I tell you...

"... Donald in charge of Truth Social (soon to die so good riddance to him)..."

You got my hopes up for a moment.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron

Negative Charlie

Please note that this pun violates Register house standards as it doesn't work with US pronunciation ("sodder"). Shame on you!

Is it time to retire C and C++ for Rust in new programs?

Negative Charlie

Re: "in our copious free time"

(c) Tom Lehrer, 1959

Can reflections in eyeglasses actually leak info from Zoom calls? Here's a study into it

Negative Charlie

"But I agree, of so many "Americanisms", eyeglasses feels more jarring to this Brit than most others. "

Worse than the use of "shined" in the subheading? I hope whoever writed that is ashamed of themself.

Trump and Biden agree on something – changing Section 230

Negative Charlie

Re: Publishers and platforms

"I suppose math forums might be safe."

As any fule kno, any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out is incomplete; i.e., there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F.

So no, the maths forums would be full of true but unprovable statements and would have to be the first to go.

Using the datacenter as a dining room destroyed the platters that matter

Negative Charlie

Isaac Asimov. Who else would it be?

(The Message, 1956.)

Meta offers $37.5m to settle location tracking lawsuit

Negative Charlie

"Facebook would lose about eight hours of annual profit."

And how exactly is this different from losing eight hours of its daily profit?

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up

Negative Charlie

Re: From Mssrs Pratchett & Gaimain

"Volts don't kill you. Amps do."

I'll take my chances with a 12V 600A battery over 240V 13A of good old British mains any day, thank you very much.

My current (sorry) personal best is around 6,000V at less than a milliamp. I didn't like it at all.

We were promised integrated packages. Instead we got disintegrated apps

Negative Charlie

Re: When?

Around the same time the kids started referring to a program as "a software".

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

Negative Charlie

I have one that's synchronised to local sunrise, so I get the benefits of quiet sunny mornings in summer and toasty-warm lie-ins in winter.

It's called leaving the curtains open.

Leave that sentient AI alone a mo and fix those racist chatbots first

Negative Charlie

Re: Do androids dream of electric sheep again?

"Ultimately mankind's one legacy in this Universe may be to spawn AI"

*Homo sapiens* is the biological equivalent of Internet Explorer? That explains a lot.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Negative Charlie

"I ran the website for an international search and rescue team..."

Hmm. I bet I know which email client you used.

US won’t prosecute ‘good faith’ security researchers under CFAA

Negative Charlie

Re: "That's breaking and entering"

"In some US states, the home owner can shoot and kill you if you are in their house without prior permission."

That's true in *all* US states. The difference is that in some states the homeowner might be prosecuted afterwards, but the result from the intruder's point of view is exactly the same.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

Negative Charlie

Re: So what should a a 21st century UI look like?

Sorry to interrupt the quibbling but LibreOffice is actually written in PascalCase, not camelCase.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

Negative Charlie

Re: Effect as a verb

Immortalised in Carry On Up The Jungle, with Terry Scott as Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy: One... two... three... four... five...

[grins lasciviously]

Jungle Boy: ... sex.

June: [as Jungle Boy picks her up] I wonder if we'll ever get to seven?

Apple patched critical flaws in macOS Monterey but not in Big Sur nor Catalina

Negative Charlie

Re: There is an official update available from Apple

Sorry to burst your bubble but I have a 2014 MacBook Air which supports Catalina and Big Sur but not Monterey, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Fortunately, in an idle half-hour last week I upgraded it from Big Sur to Mint 20.3 (which runs very nicely indeed) so it's not a problem.

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

Negative Charlie

Re: Single input/output port

"No it didn't have a fan, just a heatsink"

Mine did. Being 12" wide and running off 240v it was a bit big to fit inside the case, but it was still an essential component and Speccy wouldn't work without it.

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'

Negative Charlie

Y'all is singular.

All y'all is plural.


Negative Charlie

Easily remembered because I is for 'im and E is for 'er.

What came first? The chicken, the egg, or the bodge to make everything work?

Negative Charlie

Re: Where are the instructions?

"...the last thing you should be doing during such a restart is making a cup of coffee."

Well, perhaps. In many cases the safest thing to do first actually is to make a cup of coffee.

Or as an old flying instructor once told me, in any emergency you should immediately wind your watch. Things are unlikely to deteriorate much in the few seconds it takes and it'll stop you from reacting instinctively, which can make things very much worse very quickly indeed.

A tiny typo in an automated email to thousands of customers turns out to be a big problem for legal

Negative Charlie

Re: Not is such a tiny word

Of course, the culturally-correct choice would be to rename the dog "Nigel".

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Negative Charlie

Re: It's not quite a Jag-you-arr

Madness, sheer madness.

Microsoft engineer fixes enterprise-level Chromium bug students could exploit to cheat in online tests

Negative Charlie

Re: "you are not spending enough time on the question"

"We complained to HR, saying we are professionals with degrees, and did not have the reading age of a 5 year old."

Ah. You must be in Management.

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

Negative Charlie

Re: French toilette

Which is still much better than the other way around.

Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?

Negative Charlie

Re: Recent CCTV footage from a laundrette in France...

That would never happen in Britain:


Linus Torvalds admits to 'self-inflicted damage' with -Werror as Linux 5.15 rc1 debuts

Negative Charlie

Let me get this straight. You wrote some bad code that the compiler didn't like, so you then wrote some worse code to get around the warning but the compiler didn't like that either. And it's the compiler's fault?

Not criticising, just trying to understand.

Windows 11 will roll out from October 5 as Microsoft hypes new hardware

Negative Charlie

Common sense & Norton? I think you're allowed one or the other, but not both.

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Negative Charlie

Re: Engineering approximation

A real engineer can approximate anything to 3.

Jeff Bezos names the fourth person for the first New Shepard flight: Wally Funk

Negative Charlie

Look at it from Bezos' point of view - no matter how careful the employee screening there's bound to be someone involved in this launch with a relative who's been injured in an Amazon warehouse. That's a risk that has to be mitigated.

Putting Funk on board is nearly as good anti-sabotage insurance as taking a nun with a basket of kittens.

Cross-discipline boffin dream team issues social media warning: FIX IT NOW!

Negative Charlie

> But how do you harden up something so ephemeral as a supposed science built on something as fickle as human nature?

You set up two Foundations at opposite ends of the Galaxy.