* Posts by SusiW

37 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jul 2021

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean AI's not after you


Re: Horses *did* protest

"Soylent Green is people."

Joke. I hope!

Apple exec defends 8GB $1,599 MacBook Pro, claims it's like 16GB in a PC


Re: Insult to injury

Thanks! I didn't know that.

Apart from being able to deposit an old item of the same type that you have just bought from them, regardless of size, you are entitled to do the following - -

According to the regs, if a seller of electrical goods has a floor space of greater than 400m2 and sells a type of goods, you can dump an item for free of said type that has a dimension of "less than 25cm on its longest side."

You *DO NOT* have to have bought anything from them!

I'm going near PC Currys World later today. This could be fun.

Bing Chat so hungry for GPUs, Microsoft will rent them from Oracle


Hey M$, save yourselves $$$s by turning off bing in Skype!

I have to use Skype for communications within our company, and to be honest, it's occasionally useful elsewhere.

However, bing in iOS Skype two days ago would not let me send a message until I'd sent it to Skype first!

Options were something like "Ask bing" and "Maybe later."

"Maybe later" option just went back to the Send button which... yup, brought up the same dumb Ask bing screen again.

Rinse and repeat.

Turning off bing, blocking bong, reporting bang as spam, doesn't work for long, as it reinserts itself after Skype/phone is restarted.

Bing, something we don't want. Something we're paying for. Nothing is free.

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


Specialist Movers...

Again not IT-related, but it just shows that 'specialists' are not always what they are supposed to be.

Back in the late '80s I was working for the MOD. Our branch engineering shop had recently had several new Colchester Student 1800 lathes installed. Two weeks after they were wired in, we got orders to up sticks and move our department to another building. We were located in an old blast area, and it seems the mice were using the cable blast-gullies to get into the computing suites and chomping on the also-new mainframes. Ergo everything had to be ripped-out, de-infested, and moved.

Eventually the time came to move our precious new lathes.

Along came the muppets from our on-site "SPECIALIST" crane and forklift department - known as "The Heavy Gang." (Was never really sure if it was due to their equipment lifting capabilities or the size of the huge bellies)

Anyhoo, if you don't know, this version of the Colchester lathes has no central panel under the lathe bed.

Enter our forklift hero, who then carefully slides the two forklift forks under the lathe bed and lifts it into the air. Big-Smile-No-problem...

He then reverses and the incredibly top-heavy (and unsecured!!!) lathe does a perfectly executed somersault off the forks and onto the concrete floor - smashing the speed selectors, switchgear, carriage and cross-slide.

It was then a HUGE engineering site so it's not like they'd never moved a lathe before! To make matters worse, as the Heavy Gang was also an MOD department, the replacement parts and engineer fees cost **us** almost as much as the bloody lathe did in the first place!!

Moral: "Specialist Movers" are often just idiots who don't care about your gear as much as you do. If you can, and it's safe to do so, it's often better to DIY. (We dismantled and moved the mainframes ourselves!!)

Startup wants to build a space station that refuels satellites by 2025

Thumb Up

Oh PLEASE make this happen!

Ever since I saw the moon landing as a kid I have been waiting for our Glorious Flash Gordon Space Future to happen. Waiting desperately for Humanity to finally leave this asteroid-target before it's too late.

It's constantly been held back by shortsighted self-serving politicians and, well... idiots.

Anything that helps get us Out There a bit farther or assist the devices already in-flight is a massive plus.

"andy 1??", et al, the floor is yours... <yawn>

Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub


Happy Days

Well, that nugget of good news has really made my day.

I truly love it when certain companies get slapped-down. Trouble is that it's HP(E?) that's getting the cash.

HP: Once a lauded maker of superb lab instrumentation and devices. Now when I see the name "HP" all I can think of is them bleeding customers dry (in my opinion) of their hard-earned cash by using anti-consumer "security chips" to 'encourage' us to buy their overpriced printer inks. Allegedly.

Now if they can only nut-up and face that they royally screwed-up the purchase of Autonomy, that it was their lack of due diligence and avarice being at fault, then I might look at them in a kinder light.

Nah. That's just silly thinking. :D

Off the grid, Day 10: Yandex's only datacenter outside of Russia still running on diesel


We need to send some of the ER and IB dolts who enjoy blocking UK fuel distribution points over there to block fuel supplies.

That way they can still feel good about themselves and upset the Russian propaganda mill.

Oh wait though, that would actually mean they were 'making a difference' instead of being a nuisance.

As you were.

Thinnet cables are no match for director's morning workout


Re: Full names please.......

About 15 yrs ago, my sister worked with a guy with the surname of "Flay." He then married a lovely lady with the first name of Susan.

I kid you not. I didn't believe the story until I met them at the company fête.

And no, I resisted the temptation to talk about it. Just.


Thin Ethernet? You were lucky!

I wonder how many of you are old enough to have come across the old single UTP network cables?

I lost count of the times we had to patch them up after being "extended" with random bits of mains flex after a some PHB decided it was time to move the long-suffering drones about à la Chinese Tiles. The cables would work, mostly, but everything would go to pot if someone dare use a vacuum cleaner or power tool within a half-mile radius!

And yes, I'm looking at you, "Keith." The once loathed ex-overlord of our 6 drawing offices!

I miss messing with that old Sperry mainframe.

BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office


Ahh. The old Youf Training Scheme.

I remember our department having a seemingly non-ending stream of PFYs foisted upon us by gubmint stooges.

I also remember them leaving almost as quickly when they discovered they actually had to "do stuff."

Good times.

US Space Force unit to monitor region beyond Earth's geosynchronous orbit


Re: For those

As someone who worked in UK defence research for 22yrs, I can factually state that idiot managers were promoted-out to other departments, and the only "dead wood" that was ever cut were the poor buggers actually doing the work!

We produced the best kit we could, despite the huge inverted pyramid of bean-counters and dolts above us. It was soul-destroying. We would then be lambasted by the same idiots, the Press, and the public for the piss-poor decisions they made.

The best thing that ever happened to me was getting knocked off my motorbike and smashed to a pulp by a careless driver on the way home from work - I got out, I was medically retired.

What really stung for me, was the useless sod who got an OBE off my work. Git.



Re: For those wondering "Why?"

Wow! A sensible and cogent reply from Bob with no ranting or SHOUTING. ;)

Nicely done Bob. Upvoted. XX

ZX Spectrum, the 8-bit home computer that turned Europe on to PCs, is 40


Re: Where it all began...for some

Ahh, the MK14... What a glorious piece of junk.

I had so much fun learning assembler on that board. It still serves me well to this day.

Good memories. Thank you. XX

Ford taking control of chip supply in Globalfoundries deal


Re: Better late than never

When I worked for the MOD, the bean-counters forced JIT upon us. Up until this point we had a Main Store on our site that serviced local specialised storerooms stocking parts that section was likely to need on very short notice. It was inefficient, but it worked.

The always-beloved bean-counters had 'negotiated' that companies such as RS Components, Farnell, Plessey, etc., (even Maplin), could supply urgently-needed components the same day if needed.

In research, some time you want to try a QAD (Quick And Dirty) fix to some problem. Local stores helped immensely. No delays.

These on-site stores carried everything from wire nails to Swarfega to carefully-selected 'universal' electronic components to metal stock, and so much more.

Enter JIT.

'The Falklands' happened. Everything went into overdrive. Including the 'car pool.' We spent more time driving to suppliers than doing the bloody work! What could have been done in hours, now took days.

Lives were at stake. Literally.

When JIT works, it's good. When one thing upsets it and the supply chain is interrupted, the whole thing collapses.

IT systems capacity planning. This is hard ... but how hard? Inquiring minds wish to know


Our planning ahead - until now.

The computers I am asked to quote for are used as general workstations and are expected to have at least a 5yr working life. (Applications range from basic coding to Autodesk CAD suites, and all stops in between)

As such, we go for systems that are not-quite bleeding-edge to avoid the massive premiums that attracts, but they will 'fly' on pretty much anything thrown at them.

Last purchasing cycle was 2016. Minimum of 64GB RAM, latest mobo support chipset, and minimum of 12 cores (6+6). A 'fast' enterprise 1GB spinning rust was the standard boot, with slower secondary storage. Graphics was whatever the fastest non-mental-priced card at the time.

The only upgrades we've done since 2016 is change out the boot drives for SSDs and give our users new video cards where required - intensive CAD users.

Win11 has put a bit of a downer on this long-term strategy, but as hardware scarcity and stupid prices have skewed the market, our poor users will just have to soldier on for now.

Pulling down a partition or knocking through a door does not necessarily make for a properly connected workspace


Re: Working on that..

Same here in the 'industry' for waaaay too many years, but qualifications stopped at 16th.

AND, the A-hole that previously lived here somehow managed to connect parts of the upstairs ring with the downstairs.

To make matters worse, a few years ago in the kitchen, I had the kettle on and the washing machine doing a boil-wash. I caught that unmistakable whiff of burning insulation. Looking around, I noticed smoke fuming from behind one of the kitchen cabinets.

Behind the cabinet I found a huge mess of smoking filler. Turned off power and inspected. This utter wanker had extended the downstairs ring by using a bit of 6A chocblock!! FFS!

I later found a similar fuckup on the other side of the kitchen where he had grafted in the cooker hood DIRECTLY into to the electric oven feed.

Oh, and let's not forget the screw he had driven through the cold water feed to the tank in the loft (while fitting the pan shelves). He also stole all the *included* light fittings and bodged the wiring for the kitchen light so that when it was turned on, it caught fire.

The final insult (so far...) was that he left the address owing over £24k and saddled this address with a 'debt warning' that took at least five years to clear. Bailiffs are not fun.

F***ing C**t.

UK's newly merged Foreign Office puts £40m on table for hardware, software, services


Free money for our pals!!

You can wave bye-bye to that cash then - as macjules said, it's nowhere near enough!

Another snout in the gubmint trough. Again.

SpaceX-powered trip to ISS grounded by 'medical issue'


Boeing version of a "medical issue"

News report:

"Today's first crewed test of the Boeing Starliner capsule has been aborted due to a minor medical issue with one of the crew.

According to our source, one of the test dummies crew escaped his bonds and was last seen running screaming from the launch site just moments before launch."

VMware's divorce from Dell is complete: Virtualization giant now a separate biz with $64bn valuation


Re: Bizarro world...

Thanks for the smiles!

I truly needed that. XX

Google lab proposes solar-powered moisture farming to provide water for billions


Ahh. Waterseer...


Bugger! Beat me to it!! lol

Especially as the 'final iteration' of the "Waterseer" turned out to be a repackaged cheapo Chinese dehumidifier sold at a HUGE markup - that did indeed produce water....... wait for it...........

That was "unsafe to drink!!"

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

Big Brother

Original Oculus Sponsor

I was an original Kickstarter sponsor of the OR. I still think it's an awesome idea.

Not only have FB and its Uncanny Valley Head Droid shat dissent and hate all over the Internet, they took the OR, lied about what they would do with it, and turned it into another insidious stalking tool.

Increasingly high-resolution headset environment cameras and powerful backend processing will give improving AR performance -

However, if you already think that FB tracking is a creepy stalkers' wet-dream, then just wait until everything you see around you, your family, house, sensitive paperwork, etc., is fed back, OCR'd, analysed and exploited by MetaCreep Inc.

"Your Whole Life™️" will become 'The Product', and it won't just be limited to the peccadilloes that they scrape (or you stupidly share!) online.

As others have already said, the adverts, the fucking adverts...




Who are shortages good for? The channel! World's biggest distributor forecasts tech price hikes from January


Re: No margin increase matters if no sales!

That's exactly where I am at now. Unable to afford anything decent. (Kitteh requires mucho-scrummy num-nums!)

Wanted to buy a top-end Ryzen proc and other 'goodies' last year, but those were scarcer than hens' teeth. This year, the best stuff is still hard to source at a non-silly price.

Along comes Windows10.5 with its silly minimum hardware requirements, thus making even more components hard to find as they are being bought up en masse to run "Windows 8 Vista2/ME™️."

Up goes the prices, again.

It now looks like my 8yr-old (then bleeding-edge) AMD proc is going to be kept grunting along at least for the next three years. (Especially as each patch seems to make Win11 run slower on AMD than the last!)

What with personal financial difficulties created largely by the fallout from Covid and Brexit, I've already warned hubby that my next CAD Beast is likely to cost him his left nut!

Icon: Forlornly searching hubby's jackets for spare cash.

'Father of the Xbox' Seamus Blackley issues Twitter apology to AMD over last-minute switch to Intel CPUs


Oh dear

So as XBone and newer Xboxes run on a butchered version of Windows 10 and have AMD processors, I wonder how things will go if/when M$ ports more of the "Windows 11" code to these machines?

They already struggle with some games.

3D printing site Thingiverse suffers breach of 228,000 email addresses amid sluggish disclosure


Not Surprised.

Sadly, since the sale of Thingiverse (MakerBot) to a certain company, this once hallowed site has started to suffer from a lack of funding.

Something like this was bound to happen. I'm just surprised it took so long to occur.

Saturday start for NASA's Lucy probe on its 12-year quest to map Jupiter's Trojan asteroids


Re: Beware!

@Neil Barnes

Much kudos (and a beer!) for mentioning my favourite characters from Larry & Jerry's God's Eye books.

Damnit! I'm going to have to read them again now!


England's Data Guardian warns of plans to grant police access to patient data


Re: Problematic At a Minimum

@Boo Radley

I see where you're going. Having known a few coppers, sadly that is not unreasonable conjecture.

Talking of Gay, non-gender-conforming people are going to be exposed as well.

For instance, people designated as "TS" by The System in the UK have the option of obtaining a new NHS number in their acquired/corrected sex/gender(whatever you prefer).

As a result, their health records are given 'protected' status so that it requires special permission to access the full record (or at least, it should...).

If the predators and bigots in the police get access to their personal information, that person could be subject to all kinds of targeted abuse.

It's exactly this reason that protected status is granted - bigots be bigots.

Giving open and speculative access is just the thin end of the wedge - whether you be CIS, LGBTQ+, or even from Mars, your medical information is YOURS and should NOT be available to all and sundry, and especially NOT the Gestapo police!

IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'


Re: Meanwhile in the IKEA bathroom....


Thanks for the interesting link. But wow - I hadn't realised just how bad my 1970's school-induced French had become!

Back in the early 2000's I worked on a concession (let's call it "Home of Boxer") in a huge department store that was selling certain Scottish crystalware. We had a sister-consession (same over-manager) in another rival department store ("Deborah Ham") at the other end of the mall.

It turns out that someone noticed that expensive goods (designer coats, electrical goods, etc) were being 'returned' sans-receipts to the 'Deborah' ScotGlass concession and cash refunds given.

All tills in both dept stores are run by the stores' accounting departments. All tills can process concession and store goods alike.

The aforementioned over-manager, had been running this scam that had cost the 'D' store many tens of thousands of pounds.

Cameras had been covertly placed above ours and the Debby concession tills. The Debby cam caught the O-M and cronies in the act. The dodgy O-M had till access at our store as well, but my awesome line manager (after I found junk substituted for our CrystalWare in our stock room), became suspicious of the O-M and never let the woman out of her sight when she was on our 'Mat.'

I get it, but if it hadn't been for the cameras over our till in HOB, we would have been tarred with the same crap-loaded brush. As it was, we came out smelling of roses, and the O-M and her mob got criminal records.

Cameras watching staff are not always bad. Just not in the areas like the bogs ffs!!!!

UK.gov presents its National Space Strategy: Space is worth billions to us. Just don't mention Brexit, OK?


Encyclopaedia Disgustica

Sounds like just another "de Pfeffel*" to me...

*(a "de Pfeffel" is an unpleasant release of irrelevant noise and foetid noxious gas from a disgusting type of parasite that is known to inflict members of the species known as "Humans." Further reading: see the entry for "Politicians" in the Encyclopaedia Disgustica)

Is it a bridge? Is it a ferry? No, it's the Newport Transporter


A Superb Article!

As Friday lunchtime 'dawns' here at Chez Susi - I am grubbing around on TheRegister trying to cheer myself up (after my nightshift in The Computer Mines of Boria) before facing the Horrors of what now masquerades as the National News.

Having looked at the weekly Dabbsy column (mandated-reading in this household!) and noting that at least I'm not the only one frustrated by the need to use 2FA to slow down the Twats™️ trying to Richard with my accounts. I was starting to feel a bit down with no prospect of entertainment or joy in sight.

Enter stage-left, one Alun Taylor with a well-worded and nicely presented tome on Transporter Bridges.

Thank you kind sir, from the top and bottom of my heart. I've always been interested in Olde Engineering solutions to problems of their age and how the innovative use of the (generally) inferior construction materials available at the time are combined to make incredible structures.

This includes creations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Beam Engines, Chain Booms (such as used at Portsmouth Harbour in the 1400's, etc), Steam Engines, Big Bertha, etc.

You made a potentially crap day so much better. I truly wish I could buy you many beers.

Thank you.

Dear TheRegister - more of these, please!! Xx

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS


Re: "two main reasons why the Royal Navy no longer uses [paper charts]"

Upvote for cool comment re: "The Immaculate Bowditch."

That man has saved a truly uncountable number of lives over the last century.

Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it


"Won't somebody think of the sysadmins..?"

I'm all for locking the child porn creatures up forever and cracking down on crims, but once again it's another twang of the Public Heartstrings being used to undermine the security and privacy of the largely-innocent masses.

The grey area around how they will force reluctant sysadmins to 'help' is an area of some concern.

Cloudflare says Intel is not inside its next-gen servers – Ice Lake melted its energy budget


Is Intel the new IBM?

I've never been interested in the pissing contest between Intel and AMD over whose processor is the best, I was just interested in there being competition to force Intel to innovate and reduce prices - Intel are acknowledged experts at milking the purchasers of its products. (Also not too great at 'fessing-up to flaws and compensating!)

I don't want Intel to fail as AMD need the competition for the same reasons that keep Intel on their toes.

I honestly believe that if Intel does not get its act together soon, this will not end well for the rest of us.

I've also noted that few of the companies I deal with now would buy IBM because they want to...

China starts testing tech to harvest solar energy from orbiting panels


Side Lobes?

Hmm. The thing about radio transmission (microwave, etc) is that Tx antenna/horns produce side lobes of energy out from the side of the main directed 'beam.'

There's a term in microwave (directed energy) weapons development called "Fratricide." This is where those side lobes fry your nearby brothers(and sisters)-in-arms and damage electronic systems.

Careful tuning of the Tx aperture/antenna can reduce this lobing, but never completely remove it.

Just wondering how all that other expensive SpaceTech will deal with the extra interference from these, <cough!> "Totally Peaceful" Power Systems?

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration


What about the "Battery Gigafactories..."

...that his Muskiness (and others) are proposing to build?

I've often wondered how fast a fire in one section of the factory would spread, and just how hard it would be to quench and make safe.

You'd need A LOT of firewalls and open spaces to ensure you do not get the indoor equivalent of a forest wildfire flashing from section to section as things heat up.

Sure, careful segregation of processes would help, but once it got going...


NASA warns Mars: We're about to laser your rocks and start stealing them


Re: Stop attacking the Mysterons

Ahhh. Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, and Stingray. Truly wonderful memories.

I recently bought the full FireballXL5 series on DVD. FXL5 got me interested as a kid in Science and Science-Fiction.

Has anyone else watched FXL5 as an adult? How bloody annoying is that fudging robot? Oh, and the misogyny, implied or otherwise, is just excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Moral of the story: Don't revisit the past - it's not as good as you remember. :D

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

Thumb Down

Some companies just don't seem to worry

As customers using Intel processors (other mfrs also have issues) have found out over the years, bugs embedded in the microcode, can be unfixable - if the manufacturer does not want to swallow the costs of replacing the faulty processors.

Costs of performance, maths accuracy, security, stability, etc., are usually incurred solely by the purchaser.

Mfrs can sometimes mitigate these bugs with patches, but again it's the customer who will suffer greatest.

It seems that some companies would rather not fix coding/hardware issues during development where it is potentially cheaper for all concerned, but continue to supply products that are *known* to have congenital faults anyway.

I now actively avoid Intel and Apple products due to their ongoing refusals to fix issues in their products and passing the costs, real and hidden, onto their customers victims. Especially in the case of Apple, when they will vehemently deny there is a problem and then charge customers for repairs to faulty designs. (Don't just take my word for it - have a look at Louis Rossmann's YT channel to see what sh*t Apple gets up to on a regular basis)