* Posts by Bertieboy

38 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Sep 2019

Ofcom proposes ban on UK telcos making 'inflation-linked' price hikes mid-contract


Price rises

I know they've never been the cheapest but I pretty sure I've never seen a price rise from A&A since 2014. In fact, last month the price dropped by £10 as I've migrated to FTTP.

From Joaquin Phoenix to Rowan Atkinson, we enjoyed your Musk movie casting calls


Basil fawlty surely.

Musk in hot water with SEC for failure to comply with subpoena


Does he not understand the word ? Even though my school Latin is over 60 years ago Sub Poena translates IIRC as Under Penalty. Fail, and the penalty should apply.

Palantir lobbied UK pensions department for its software to tackle fraud


Is it me? The concept of allowing our private data into the hands of a foreign power smacks of treason!

Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes


Re: 4G or ADSL backup

A&A all the way, no problems (except when a BT engineer was ham-fisted inside a cabinet) excellent tech backup ; you can talk directly with their tech team without having to navigate a call centre; low contention lines; fixed ip addresses and as for prices, they have not changed my monthly rate since 2014 although they did offer a reduction to £37 a month if I wished to upgrade to FTTP.

Service desk tech saved consultancy Capita from VPN meltdown, got a smack for it


Re: "brought the company name into disrepute."

Mud is a polite euphemism for Crapita's (SIC. Private Eye) representational standing !

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


Long weight

We once had a new apprentice who had been forewarned about long weights etc. but eventually got caught by being sent to the stores for a box of 17 thou clearances!

Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing


Re: Meh!

D'accorde! Still the daddy as far as I (an un-reconstructed number cruncher) am concerned but I must admit C is all I use these days. Now where did I put my pension book?

SCOTUS judges 'doxxed' after overturning Roe v Wade


Re: This data storage thing..

Please return to your barrel and nail the lid on shut after you.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer


Re: Next time

Does not the cupboard need to be on apha centauri for maximum security?



The mention of guard dogs reminds me of one of our colleagues who's idea (albeit 30 years ago) of the ultimate automated plant control system comprised the control system, a man and a big dog.

The man's job was to feed the dog;

The dog's job was to bite the man if he touched anything.

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth



This brings back memories of the old rt11 systems I used to operate - I still drink my coffee from a DEC Rainbow mug replete with the Basinstoke support telephone number.

Climate model code is so outdated, MIT starts from scratch


Re: I just have to LAUGH at the level of cluelessness here...

When I left school in the early 60's, we were taught that atmospheric CO2 levels were of the order of 0.03% not 0.04% - i.e. a 33% increase. Stable?

Deere & Co won't give out software and data needed for repairs, watchdog told



Bearing in mind the problems of trying to bust in on this obscenely entrenched market, perhaps the business opportunity is in developing an aftermarket wiring/ sensor system to replace all the nasty locked down stuff on the existing mechanical beast. Let people own their own stuff!

A time when cabling was not so much 'structured' than 'survival of the fittest'



A little off topic but still remember an amusing incident regarding a cement factory. Scenario; the kiln is down but due to be re-lit later that night. The daywork Electrical crew were tasked with doing routine maintenance on the starter gear to a fully isolated 3kV induction fan, located several hundred feet away from the kiln floor at the back of the kiln. Cue keen young shift manager (yours truly) who did not want a repeat of the last attempted light-up of this particular kiln where the aforementioned fan motor arced over owing to excessive dust in the motor. Said shift manager dispatches shift electrician (normally lazy bugger) to blow the motor out and check all was well with motor - we all wanted a quiet night. In a completely out of character move, the shift electrician goes over and beyond required duty and decides to megger out the cables as well - the screams of terror from the sparks working on the starter were really quite impressive!

Don't touch that dial – the new guy just closed the application that no one is meant to close


Re: Assume

Close! some nice gentlemen from a "government department" suggested I did a sponsored PhD at Imperial then worked for them at an old disused airfield in Cornwall. I declined their generous offer.



From the days when I was a tyro chemist making novel OP's (organo-phosphorus compounds for the uninitiated) the phrase was "minimise assumptions - live longer!"

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


two separate comments

1) If you think the problem is bad with cars, consider that the powers that be, in their infinite wisdom has declared that all boat engines will be fitted with the necessary software to minimise pollution - a very laudable aim BUT having been stuck at sea with a small boat and engine failure (not fun in iffy weather), I wish they would understand that in extremis, all you need for an old diesel to run is fuel and compression. That will get you safely home as these things are normally fixable at sea. Engine sulking and refusing to operate owing to a software/sensor failure is another thing entirely.

2) Seems to me that the software "lock-in" market favoured by obscene businesses, is in fact a potential opportunity for (preferably open source) after-market kits which sling out the encrypted sensors and MCUs and replace with parts under the users control. In most cases, the actual sensors are pennies each.

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed


Re: He needs to migrate to Andrews and Arnold (AAISP)

+1 for Andrews and Arnold - been with them years, the price has never gone up and the service is exemplary!

And for bonus - any problems/questions of a technical nature, just ring up and talk straight to a highly competent teccie.

One good deed leads to a storm in an Exchange Server


Probably a bit silly but....

He should have remembered that no (intended) good deed goes unpunished!

Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page



If you pass a switched off Apple device to a repairer (of any description) how does the repairer get access to your private data without the unlock code? I'm assuming they require the owner to supply it which in itself should be a very large flag as in most cases (new battery, screen etc. ) just switching on should be sufficient to validate the repair. Sorry if the question seems to be a silly one but I am genuinely interested whether these repairers routinely seek the unlock code.

Conflicting messaging overshadows NHS Digital's attempts to inform public about patient data slurp



How does this square with GDPR which deals with personal data (and data does not get more personal than this)? In my naivety, I thought all data requests had to be opt-in not opt-out so surely this drives a coach and horses through GDPR! Perhaps this appalling data grab should be brought to the attention of the EU data commissioner - it may be that this egregious theft of user data influences their decision on UK data adequacy and whether the UK can still operate data transfers to and from the EU.

Belgian police seize 28 tons of cocaine after 'cracking' Sky ECC's chat app encryption



Hmmm... 27.64 tonnes - that's not to be sniffed at!

'No' does not mean 'yes'... unless you are a scriptwriter for software user interfaces


Grumpy old pedant says

And don't get me going about the misuse of "due to" and "owing to" - seems only the UK government website gets it right these days! (surprisingly)

A word to the Wyse: Smoking cigars in the office is very bad for you... and your monitor


Clogged Computers

Those concerned with the detrimental effect of environmental contaminants should try running a computer in a cement plant raw meal production unit ( basically a system for creating dust) I recall Philips ( yes they did make computers in the 70's) taking one mainboard away for their black museum which, although still working, was so coated in raw meal that there were no recognisable components on the board. In another instance, we operated a PDP11/23 in another laboratory that, despite it being in a cabinet with filtered air and being stripped down and completely "cleaned" prior to the arrival of the DEC engineer for it's routine service eventually lost Service support. Suprisingly, the only main issues we ever had were excessive wear on the surface of the floppies.

What a time for a TITSUP*: Santander down and out on pre-Bank Holiday payday



I recall a colleague of mind whose main task was to maintain and "continuously improve" a DEC based real time 24/7/365 control system. Above his desk was a large notice reading "NEVER NEVER NEVER update this system on a Friday" Over the years I have come to learn the wisdom of this advice.

Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo


Perhaps the time has come to bring in an "abuse your trademark and risk losing it" rule.

Obscene bullying on the part of Apple (or any other megacorp) should have real consequences.

Bricks and mortar chemists take down Indian contact-tracing website


Pedant note: Pharmacists not chemists please, us former members of the Royal Society for Chemists are keen to maintain the distinction.

Whose side you on, Nominet? Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains


Forsooth! I'm old and grumpy - old enough to remember the introduction of the Unsolicited goods and services act (1971) - if truth be known, I was quite old then! Is there no chance that Nominet have transgressed this act in any way and can be taken to task? - seems to me they're sales techniques are "iffy". Just asking.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears


Three years free board and lodging courtesy of HMG - bad but it could have been worse, I seem to remember that in previous times, sabotage of vital infrastructure in times of emergency could carry a suspended sentence (assuming the police/army failed to shoot him at the time).

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle


Clouseau lives!

Announcing the official Reg-approved measure of social distancing: The Osman


Reg converter

Could the powers in charge of the reg converter please explain why according to the converter a mile is not exactly 8 furlongs or 1760 yards etc. as historically defined?

Dixons fined £500,000 by ICO for crap security that exposed 5.6 million customers' payment cards


Try never to use them now, I remember the fights I used to have with them when buying stuff when they insisted on me giving them a post code/house No. even with cash purchases. I always decline (similarly requests for email etc) and have walked out the shop on more than one occasion rather than submit to their rapacious data grabbing practices.

UK Info Commish quietly urged court to swat away 100k Morrisons data breach sueball


Perhaps it's just I'm a grumpy old fart but in a criminal case, going directly to the judge to try and influence the outcome could be construed as attempting to pervert the course of Justice. Personally, I feel the same rules should apply in these type of cases. If you have material evidence, then present it to the court and allow the judge to decide, otherwise just do the job we pay you for and apply the unbiased judgement.

237 UK police force staff punished for misusing IT systems in last 2 years


Contrary to popular opinion the police are and as far as I'm aware always have been civilian.

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice


Sometimes it works the other way - I once checked into my room in the Marriott North Charleston ( I think) only to find it already occupied by a young lady who I vaguely knew. She seemed to think it was obviously pre-ordained so I stayed.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry


Just bought a cheap HP - slapped it onto my linux desktop and let the OS deal with it - no problems. Haven't used a crappy driver disc for many many years!

Like a grotty data addict desperately jonesing for its next fix, Google just can't stop misbehaving


Only a naive moron who does not understand how all the (mainly tax free) money generated by these obscenely intrusive habits is used to buy politicians and eventually adversely effect us all could consider no harm done!