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* Posts by Stevie

5854 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

Perusing pr0nz at work? Here's a protip: Save it in a file marked 'private'

Stevie
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Le Bah!

Bleeding enfer!

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Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!

Stevie
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Re: Old news

My old Roland SH-101 had random noise for both signal generation and modulation purposes as I remember (though that might only have been available on the MC-202 microcomposer version; been a long time since I rock'n'rolled).

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Stevie
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If you give me six sentences

You're on! Your challenge: Any six lines from "Awaken" by Yes, on Going For The One.

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Stevie
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Bah!

So those gits who use soundbites responded down the phone in response to cold calls to fake up acceptance of slammer services can up their game a notch and now do really crim things?

I want this tech built into my phone so when I answer it I sound like someone famous like Arnie or That woman for The Weakest Link. That way the crims will be synthesizing a synthesized original that comes nowhere like being me.

Bogus long distance carrier: "This is a recording of you requesting our service and accepting the terms of service"

Me: "Can't be. That sounds like Michael Palin and as you can clearly hear for yourself, I sound like Hilda Baker".

Bank: "Here is a voice recording of you authorising transfer of all your funds to the Bide-a-Wee Home for Indigent Hackers in Grand Cayman"

Me: "Not possible. That voice clearly sounds like Little Jimmy Osmond and as you can clearly hear, I sound like Scooby Doo".

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SpaceX's internet satellites to beam down 'Hello world' from orbit

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

Spreadsheet or shenanigans called. NASA fishes stuff out of the sea all the time, or did.

None of the Mercury, Gemini or Apollo capsules that I have examined up close appears to show any salt water problems after spending time marinading. You can still see the scorch marks from re-entry on certain parts, but no salt corrosion to speak of. They only display the Liberty Bell 7 in semi-darkness, so it's difficult to tell what years resting on the sea bed did, but that of course is a completely different use case.

And I'll bet that being soaked in hydrazine vapour, rained on, baked in the Florida sun then smashed about at escape velocity through the air is a lot rougher on the materials than a bit of sea water for a few minutes.

But when you show me the figures I'll stand corrected in what was obviously intended to be a light-hearted suggestion in the first place.

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Stevie
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Bah!

They need to *fire* the net at the fairing and reel it in after both hit the drink. Four rockets where those posts are arranged to spin the net slowly as it hurtles at the skittish and uncooperative fairing.

Or they need a fleet of recovery mini-subs in addition to the boat.

Or something like Sky One that can fly up to the fairing and nab it in a net that the submarine part reels in and salvages.

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Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Stevie
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Re: you did the Star Trek communicator flip to open the phone

A possible hint that the device was not engineered for such "cool moves".

My faves for this particular blindspot are the Amazon reviews for the Slingfire lever action Nerf blaster, where people talk about doing "Rooster Cogburn" moves to cock it, then complain that the cocking mechanism failed two days after buying or the same thing with the Strongarm revolver, where they talk about Hellboy Flick moves to close the cylinder after reloading, then complain that the cylinder won't kick properly after a few days.

Like the bloke in our office who insisted on slamming a firedoor as hard as he could to "make sure it was closed", and ended up having it drop on him when the hinge welds failed after one slam too many.

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Stevie
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Re: And also some stuff you just can't put in an ad these days.

"Because some prudish, offended at anything, SJW snowflake, wet eared, Lilly livered liberal broccoli warrior tells us that we cant."

Dear me cornz 1, did someone suggest you shouldn't be able to buy a bumpstock for your bazooka today?

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Stevie
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Re: Two stories:

"I'd heard that too - the fatal voltage level can be remarkably low - something to do with the voltage spike being in sync with your heartbeat and causing some sort of resonance/amplification type effect."

DC Electrickeries.

No spike. No synchronisation.

And it's the amperage that kills, as any owner of a Van der Graaf generator* can attest.

A DC belt causes nasty skin effects that AC doesn't, but at mains frequency's AC's danger is in the peak-to-peak currents flowing back and forth, which is probably what your tale-teller was riffing on.

When you get to high frequency stuff like in a Tesla Coil, there are a number of other potentially lethal tricky physics things to beware of, like the electricity that everyone is telling you will roll harmlessly across your skin *actually* going for the blood in the capillaries, down Aorta Avenue, across the one-way system in Heart Crescent and th-th-that's all folks.

A radio frequency belt can come on like a burn.

I had a pal years ago who pulled the crystal from a transmitter while it was still glowing with the Juice of Life. When we turned up to take him down the pub, his desk had a hand-shaped burn in the varnished wood. He told us he'd caught the skin of the web of his thumb on a sharp bit of chassis as he was leaning in. Zapped across the chest. Almost over and out for good.

* The machine, not the band, though owning recordings from the band is a jolly good idea, especially Pawn Hearts or H To He Who Am The Only One.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Stevie
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Bah!

Not to make the case against, but isn't there language about not transferring the Windows license in the EULA?

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Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Stevie
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Bah!

A transcript of Mr Buso making the phone call reporting the supernova was captured by Alexa and follows:

"Arrgghh! Jesusf*ck my eye! Christ! Argh! Where's the f*cking phone? Argharghargh! Hello? Ambulance! I need an ambulance for f*cks sake! One with an eyebath. Argh! And I'd like to report a supernova. Where? In my eye right now! Arrrrgh!"

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

The Arduino and Pi prove my contention, being relatively expensive ways (in the case of the Pi) of reducing a circuit design to a coding problem.

I wanted to set up a simple pulsing green light effect. I was told "Oh, you need an arduino and some LEDs and a resistor or two" by the cognoscenti. What I actually needed was a 555 timer, a transistor, three resistors, three capacitors (one just to make the glow fade instead of just going away if someone cut the power) and however many LEDs were deemed proper for the maximum oomph.

Yes it took longer to test, but for the cost of the Arduino set-up I could get two to six of mine depending on source of components.

Plus, putting an Arduino in a "dumb" maker project "just because" is lazy.

Also: Get Rid Of Needless Computers In Stuff Now. (GRONCISN).

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Stevie
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Bah!

So, I'm gonna stick to my contention, loudly shouted down a few years back when I aired it, that the audience for DIY electronics has largely dried up in the wake of cheap computers, because All The Young Dudes (and Dudettes) are coding instead of soldering.

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Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

don't understand technical terms such as "variable" and "geometry"

From the article:

First, the glass is tilted to the perfect angle for the initial pour. At the midway point the angle of pouring changes to avoid an over-froth scenario. Finally, the glass returns to vertical and a last squirt of foam ensures the perfect head*.

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Stevie
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Bah!

A fucking variable geometry vending machine is not a bartending robot!

That would be either the half-man, half-segway thing from "Passengers" or a mobile Realdoll that would let you cop a look down the cleavage as she pours a pint from the beer engine using her deceptively strong arms.

Enough with this bogus goalpost-shifting and playing-field shortening! There's enough of that going on in the A.I. and Nanotech fields.

A robot is either an anthropomorphic machine indistinguishable from a human (or alternatively made of glass-like polymers) or a hulking bipedal death machine bristling with high cyclic-rate weapons of various calibres and fitted with chicken legs!

If it could appear on a clipboard checlikst owned by Rimmer or Lister, it's a bloody vending machine!

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A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Stevie
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Pint

Re: That photo...

ebeer for your joke which was very droll indeed.

Now leave Yes alone. They founded a genre of music still being created by da yoofs of 2nd gen prog rock, and their albums still sell enough to keep 'em in press even though some of their oil paintings have worn through in recent years.

Revere the Old Wild Men. There are damn few of them left in the world arguing about musical differences and becoming tired and emotional in airports.

#I_Miss_George_Harrison_And_Alex_Harvey_And_Yes_Dammit_Chris_Squire

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Stevie
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Bah!

"This feedback loop, done weekly or even daily, is what improves modern software"

Or, to state the more usual case; This is the process by which a fit-for-purpose utility (eg MS Office) can be walked through numerous less-fit-for-purpose stages (eg menu redesigns) until it becomes completely unfit-for-purpose (eg The Ribbon).

The process of "enhancing" something until it doesn't work for anyone not on the design team is as old as electronic computing.

And "unused functionality" isn't always "excess fat", it's often the new process waiting in the wings for the users to adopt. If you are constantly designing products with features that no-one ever uses, you don't know your audience or its business requirements half as well as you think you do. In that case the problem is behind the drawing board, not the keyboard.

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Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

Stevie
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Re: Drones dont move that fast.

Neither do dogs, deer, cats and squirrels, but they result in hundreds of car crashes every year.

Pilots are trained to AVOID collisions with anything, not just grit their teeth and see what happens.

It's a matter of training and reflex and thank Sikorsky for that. I don't want to be an a plane or helicopter driven by someone who wants to experiment.

Also, FYI Canada Goose (the most prevalent on the East Coast of the USA) typically masses more like 8.5 pounds. A twenty pound Canada Goose would not likely be in a position to collide with a helicopter, though it might threaten a Segway.

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Stevie
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Re: It's unclear how the handover of control from the student to the instructor was performed

Small helicopters have a double yoke. Each person in cockpit can easily reach and share the cyclic stick.

They also have doubled pedals, just as a dual control car does, so taking control of the tail rotor is a non-issue, basically informing the student "my aircraft".

The collective pitch control typically resembles an old-fashioned handbrake lever and sits between the seats.

So no real issue at all unless the student screams "NO! *MY* aircraft" and initiates a pissing match.

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Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

Stevie
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Re: Is lies! Lies! All lies!

Well it took Stalin long enough to react to the news coming down all those lines of communication if what you say is true.

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Arrrgh! Put down the crisps! 'Ultra-processed' foods linked to cancer!

Stevie
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Re:what has Coventry ever done for us

Well, it has been the Capital City of England a couple of times when London was inhospitable.

I rather like the place. But I don't recognize it now, and got hopelessly lost trying to "drive" around the city using Google Earth.

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

I grew up in a town made famous for Lady Godiva. Everywhere one went in the city center there were statues of naked ladies on horseback. What sort of statues did they show young boys where you grew up?

In that town center was Barnby's, the best toy shop ever. They sold awesome Pelham puppets and real chemistry sets (AND the bits and chemicals to expand them or replace the breakages) and Hornby train sets and Minic Motorways and Scalextric and everything Britain's made from model gardens to working field guns. Their Lego selection was incredible.

Virgin Records had one of their two stores only 18 minutes away in Birmingham, and in the early 70s opened one in Coventry anyway.

Coventry connected with the rest of the world by British Rail, which was inexpensive and reliable in those days. In the early 80s I commuted to London daily for a contract and they only cancelled one train the entire time I was doing so (and had another ready to go as a "special" shortly after).

Coventry produced some stellar musical acts during my youth, and had many venues in which they could be seen. I remember a particularly fine Gryphon concert as part of the University of Warwick's three day arts festival, though of course Gryphon were not a local band. Caravan were also playing that gig.

And by living in Coventry I could find and afford my TR6 and keep it running. Not a big deal in Coventry, roads were full of them etc, but I was then pulling contracts all over the south of England where the car was a rarity and a complete asset when it came to getting introductions to the southerners a young man *wants* to get closer to.

Also the Coventry TR6 scene was a total blast. Drive down a city street and soon you'd be in a convoy of five or six, all basking in the envy of the older drivers in their sensible saloon cars. I remember one guy had his done in midnight blue mirrorflake paint, and when it was illuminated by others' headlights after dark it was indescribably beautiful to look at.

I only exist because driving a bus or an ambulance in Coventry was considered as hazardous as front-line service during the height of WWII. My paternal grandfather (from Norwich) was given the choice and picked the civilian option, so the family relocated there, where my father met my mother after the Luftwaffe had failed to bomb the city flat flat as promised.

And there is good reason to believe that Coventry as such is one of England's oldest cities, with history dating back beyond the Cadfael era of Maud and Stephen.

So no, actually, I kinda enjoy the fact I came from there.

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Stevie
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Re:Except of course you can, in most supermakets.

Except of course you can't.

Robinson's have been out of business for many years.

Walkers use a hermetically sealed plastic bag that is by-and-large chew-proof. The Real Thing was a twist of blue, waxed greaseproof paper that was anything but.

Quite why you thought a different brand of crisps would be anything approaching an acceptable substitute is beyond me. Robinson's was a small, local firm, what would today probably be called a micro baker. Walkers is a huge conglomochippery. Other than the fact that the crisps in the bag* are slices of fried potato there is literally no comparison on any level between the two.

This sort of woolly thinking is what makes people say LibreOffice is a drop-in replacement for MS Office and Windows users would be better off with an Apple machine.

* : made of different materials too: Robinsons used greaseproof paper bags, Walkers the ecologically unsound plastic

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Stevie
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Bah!

As a five year old in Coventry, I were on three bags o' Robinson's Unsalted a week and it never 'armed me!

Apart from the bit where y' accidentally chewed into the little blue bag of salt hiding in t' packet o' course.

These days y' can't gerrem o' course. Y' can only get ready-salted. Bloody namby-pamby nanny state.

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Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancée's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke

Stevie
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Re: former coworker

Jewelry? Artwork?

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Stevie
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Bah!

Mistake number 3: Storing images in a third-party cloud shared by millions.

Mistake number 2: Using a permanently networked device to copy the image to another permanently networked device.

Mistake number 1: Taking the photographs on a phone.

You wanna do nortypix, fine by me. I enjoy looking at them just like everyone else (I just admit to it rather than screaming with fake outrage which is the fashion right now).

But for the love of Snowden and Man Ray stop doing it on a device that uses a third ) and a fourth and a fifth and who knows how many more) machines, each with it's own cache, to store and/or copy that image. If driven to celebrate your pride in you body pictorially, use a trad digital camera and if you must share your snaps, print them at home. Even then you are one scan or re-shoot away from World Fame.

There is no such thing as private information on the internet. All of it is just one ALT-PRNT SCRN away from being broadcast fodder.

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If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Stevie
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Bah!

Laptops.

Hmm. My workstation is hooked to a crap no-bandwidth network that is firewalled to the point that I cannot reliably download manuals from our two top mega-conglomo vendors. The addition of Office365 has crippled what functionality it had.

I have an old Inspiron 1545 lappy I've been using for nearly a decade to do development work, to which I added my own wireless hotspot for netty stuff. Naturally my building is in a dead spot, where connectivity is certain but bandwidth limited by low signal strength issues and also by a polytechnic next door hoovering it all away every time a lecture ends.

Even so I can now use google and get manuals from Snoracle and Big Blue. Plus, no reporting me to HR if a sidebar hops off to a firearms dealer (no I'm not a gun nut but when I googled Wff'n'Proof - a logic game from the 1960s - and it resolved to a university of Wisconsin link, that's what the sidebars filled up with).

But it is a tad heavy, and I got a back injury just before xmas making me want to stop carrying it around.

Unfortunately a few days sans laptop showed I had grown used to having the thunderously useful thing, especially when using "lunch breaks" for personal projects. The iPad was NBG for most, not all, of this.

A second machine seemed in order, but synching over the net would eat up my limited pay-by-the-byte bandwidth, and besides the latency would be horrible every hour or so due to WoWing and GTAing by students.

So I built out a second machine to be identical and I just carry the hard drive from home to work. Cost very little. The memory was expensive, being an older spec. Stupid in this cloudy day and age? Maybe, but very cost-effective.

In point of fact this was my third lappy build-out; I already built up an old Latitude as a database training machine too when years of asking for a lab LPAR resulted in so many restrictions on use it was unfit for purpose (what's the point in a lab machine you have no root access for? You can't crash it, recover it or do anything labby at all). 8 gig machine, USB3, Optical drive, 1TB HDD running Oracle Linux and Oracle 12c, less than $350.

I didn't like the keyboard on that one so I added a Logitech K120. Cheap but possibly the nicest keyboard I've used in 40 years in IT. I own three of them. (Because Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black, etc).

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Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs

Stevie
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Bah!

This article is interesting and informative.

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Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Stevie
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Re: simple solution

Simpler and cheaper: Newegg has 'em for $99, or did a few months ago.

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Stevie
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Re: Re:Figure out your next step... (4 toxicdragon)

"This is the one thing I am worried about. Come hell or high water my next machine WILL run a Nix variant because of this auto upgrade rubbish. If the worst comes to the worst I think I will have to run windows in a virtual machine just for certain programs."

Then I welcome you to the new world, where upgrades are not automatic unless they are, everything is easy to find out unless it isn't, things are intuitive unless they are opaque and all you have to worry about is systemd.

Been there. Done that. Have the T-Shirt.

Mint should be your first try in my opinion, though they will ask you to make decisions about *which* Mint that you are unequipped to make at the start. Just go for one and try it out. The installation is relatively painless, or was for me.

After that you may learn to approach software with the catchphrase "what new hell is this?" since everyone has their own axe to grind in the OS GUI world.

And good luck with the hosted windows idea. You may need it by the shovelful.

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Stevie
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Re: Don't forget to sue them for time lost... (4 ChrisC)

"if his PC was truly borked by the W10 "upgrade", then he wouldn't get very far trying to install anything else to persuade it to behave more like the PC he was used to"

Unless, and this is just a guess, part of the cost if for a new HDD or SDD on which to load the much nicer Windows 7.

60 dollars for a 1TB HDD, one hundred million times that for the hassle of trying to find all the little programs and drivers that make life so great with that particular machine.

Entirely reasonable.

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Iran: We have defeated evil nuclear-sensing Western lizards!

Stevie
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Re: Ah, those loony foreigners, eh?

Meanwhile in a room full of rich, white (well, mostly) industrialists a few thousand miles away: "All I ask for is a few newts with frickin' Geiger-counters on their heads!"

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Stevie
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Bah!

So is this general saying that there are nuclear materials or manufacturing plants that *weren't* disclosed to the monitoring, er, monitors?

Because a certain orange gentleman is eager for such news. Positively itching to get a piece of news like that.

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Mobile phone dealer boss faces 12 years in director limbo

Stevie
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Bah!

Hardly seems worth doing the crime for that amount.

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Crypto-gurus: Which idiots told the FBI that Feds-only backdoors in encryption are possible?

Stevie
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Bah!

Dear timewasting crypto-knownothings and climate change deniers:

These roses were red

But now they are dead

You’re talking bollocks

I wish you worms in your head.

With apologies to Opus and Berkeley Breathed.

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Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required

Stevie
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Re: Wow...

Ha! How about the freshly minted MCSE with a core-four not yet a month old who cannot set up local admin rights on an NT4 workstation?

Yes I carry grudges a long time. No, it wasn't my workstation, but I was the one who got the guy his admin rights while the MCSE was at lunch.

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Stevie
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Bah!

Data Scientists. Working day and night to give you more of what you already like and game a system you already can't win.

Thrrrrrp! Into the vat of BBC Gunge with them all!

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Stevie
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Bah!

To do *my* work on it I'll need it to stay propped up on my knees on a rocking train and not slip off to the floor or have the screen pop out of its slot and fold itself flat.

Does it do that? Don't worry, I can see from the picture it can't. The floppy bit that provides the spacer between the edge of the screen and the prop for it can't cope with this simple requirement. I know 'cos I have a case with much the same assembly.

I also need a keyboard that has no "apple specials" because I'll be needing it to use as a terminal on much non-apple kit and two sets of finger habits is one set too many.

And finally, I'll need the browser to run the Java thing that provides the remote connectivity I would be using the thing for work on the move in the first place. Can it do that?

Because if it requires me to put it on top of a laptop so I can do less than if I just used the laptop, it sadly isn't ready for my prime time nor that of my colleagues in the SA, SAN and DBA departments.

Which is to say, people who support infrastructure rather than "creating content".

Before anyone screams and leaps I would love to be able to use my iPad air for proper work, but it has been an uphill battle to get it ready for integrating with my lappy using Scrivener for play-work so I'm not sanguine.

It *is* a great way to do email, Twitter etc. untill you enter soft-keyboard hell (I know what you want to do better than you do, so either erase the whole thing and try again or live with my version, mate).

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Still not on Windows 10? Fine, sighs Microsoft, here are its antivirus tools for Windows 7, 8.1

Stevie
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Bah!

Prod people to move from 7 to 10?

Good luck with that.

Fit MS security products to other OSs?

Best of British with that.

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Military techie mangled minicomputer under nose of scary sergeant

Stevie
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Tape Reel Core

Yet another reason paper tape was and always will be superior to punched cards.

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Stevie
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Bah!

"Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer"

Or, to be more accurate, they did nothing of the sort.

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UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

Stevie
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Because no one has ever confessed under duress

"Good to see that mere facts are irrelevant "

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Stevie
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Bah!

Please tell me that part of the sentence was in having this idiot's email addresses and facebook and twitter handles sold off to each of the same spamfactories he had made sales to.

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Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

Stevie
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Re: They did exactly what I guessed they'd do

"I definitely wouldn't want to be the person that had to clean all the equipment, though"

*I* wouldn't want to be the one told to "fold all that sugar into the concrete with a shovel tootsweet!"

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‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

Stevie
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Re: Was filling the truck with diesel ...

John, you are being a tw*t.

In Alberta -27C doesn't include the windchill, and no you won't be standing outside in any amount of "appropriate dress" in that because even breathing is uncomfortable if you've ever actually done it at those temps. Which you obviously never have.

The hose-in drive-off is still depressingly possible with a manual-only pump gun as five minute browsing YouTube will show. I'll grant it is slightly more likely with a pump latch.

And in "Civilized Countries" (you started it) the pumps are designed to recover the vapor (no "u" because we are being snotty) so there is nothing to ignite with the static electricity you feel will be coursing around the forecourt.

Why you feel that a person holding the metal trigger with gloves graded for -27C and wearing waterproof rubber-soled boots good for -27C would provide any sort of reliable ground anyway is a bit of a puzzler. Which I suppose could be why the pumps themselves are grounded. Long shot I know, but that sorta works for me.

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Stevie
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Re: Multiple trips in to 'pay' for fuel is a crazy way of doing things...

What the flock are you talking about JR?

You either say "I want X amount of gas" or "I want X dollars worth" to the attendant (EXACTLY like it used to be in the UK back in the late 70s when "pay before you pump" was first initiated) or you use the almost ubiquitous pay-at-the-pump credit/debit card technique.

Where do the "multiple trips to pay" come in?

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Stevie
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a decent version control system like git

Me: Can I please have git installed on the Project Millstone server?

My Boss: What's git?

Me: It's a version control and software repository tool. Our vendors use it. I could use it to comply with your order to "stop using .old files to save stuff that gets changed, dammit!"

My Boss: No. Everyone must use the Microsoft version control tool we have.

Me: Okay. What's it called?

My Boss: Dunno. Microsoft something-or-other.

Me: Where's the documentation for it?

My Boss: Dunno. On a share somewhere. Maybe somewhere on sharepoint.

Me: Who owns it? Who's the SA?

My Boss: Dunno. One of the windows guys.

Me: Is there training for it? Can I have some please?

My Boss: No. The budget is all used up.

Time Passes In Month Chunks

Me: I've written my own version control. I run a script that just appends ".old" to everything of the same name before you edit.

My Boss: That's the opposite of what you were told!

Me: I know. I was faced with insurmountable difficulties in implementing your methodology.

My Boss: How in hell do you tell one so-called version from the rest? what happens if you need to reinstate a previous version?

Me: You figure out how many versions you need to go back and count the ".old"s.

My Boss: Whut?

Me: It works very well.

My Boss: It's stupid! And you've soft-linked this "script" to all the servers and filesystems, I'll bet.

Me: Of course not!

My Boss: Well that's something at least ...

Me: I simply copied the script into every directory on every unix computer we own.

My Boss: WHAT!

Me: Very quick and cheap, if a tad cheerful. Works though.

My Boss: Get rid of it!

Me: With pleasure. Can I have git please?

My Boss: No. Everyone has decided to use Toad's built-in version control. I don't know what it's called before you ask.

Me: I do. It's something called "git".

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Electronic Frontier Foundation chap John Perry Barlow has died

Stevie
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Bah!

"I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear," wrote Barlow

Then he attempted to get his modem to connect to AOL. Six tries and various connection string edits and he was in at a mind-blowing 28.8 kbs. He sent his email and went to bed.

Two minutes later his connection dropped because of a gateway timeout.

Next morning Barlow reconnected in record time and re-sent his memo just as a high school senior, busy adjusting his stereo while tootling at 75 mph along the road in the Merc SUV his doctor father and lawyer mother had bought for his 17th birthday two days before, smashed into the telephone pole outside his house and removed the internet from the great man for two days.

Barlow took a photograph of the wreckage with his blue Handspring Visor's Eyemodule and uploaded it to his computer so he could share his fabulous 78.8 kilopixel image of this event with his pals.

Pole reinstalled by a doughty team of Telephone Pole Guys, Barlow once more listened to the squeals and double bong of his modem connecting to AOL, but he couldn't type anything as his screen filled with annoying chatspam trying to make him visit dodgy websites to fix imaginary problems his computer did not have. The double bong had suggested a way to wait out the idiots, and soon the house was filled with Jerry's sublime guitar work and the smell of Special Smoking Mixture.

At around four AM the next day Barlow was able to connect to AOL and send his email. A mere two hours later it bounced because the mailbox he sent it to had more than twenty five emails in it. This wasn't discovered until the next next day due to connection issues brought on by noise on the telephone line induced by the reconnection of the cable when replacing the snapped-off pole.

A call to the phone company (almost inaudible due to the noise on the line) brought swift action and only a week later the line was replaced and the Internet was back!

There was the usual minute or so of modem connection antics, then the picture was attached to the email and Barlow pressed "xmit". Two nail-biting hours were spent watching to make sure this unusually large upload proceeded without let or hindrance, and history was made.

"You've got mail" said his computer, in a friendly female voice. It was a note from AOL warning him that large uploads would in future require the purchase of a business account, which would enable him to enjoy up to fifteen 128 kb uploads a week for the low-low price of $50 a month.

Any further abuse of the consumer-level TOS would be met with instant loss of AOL connection privileges, they wrote. AOL said they were sorry to be so abrupt, but they had been in contact with Compuserve and found that Barlow had a pattern of large, 5 kb+ up- and downloads on accounts properly configured for much lighter, consumer-level usage.

AOL thanked Barlow for his continued patronage.

A chat window opened informing Barlow that his computer had a virus and he would need to use his Netscape Navigator to link to a site that could fix it for a very reasonable rate.

Barlow closed down his computer in disgust and went to play Castlevania on his SNES.

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Stevie
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

Stihl saws are very nice. Smoke jumpers use them.

I bought the Poulan to cut up the sawn-off trunk of a 50-odd year old maple tree left outside my house after a 'misunderstanding" with a feller. Truth be told, I wanted the saw and was looking for an excuse.

After five minutes of cutting I was knee deep in tiny shavings. The chain made little plane shavings rather than sawdust/chips it was that sharp. Lost the edge abruptly after about an hour and I was never able to get it back with hand grinding. Had the chain skip the bar so destructively it buggered up a couple of teeth a few months after that, so had to replace the chain and bar (never got to the bottom of why; it was oiled properly and the bar was in what looked like perfect adjustment when cold. With the new chain I was seeing shavings again. Pure cutting joy.

Only bad thing about the Poulan (as an occasional use saw) is that it has no carb primer. You have to just keep pulling the string and chanting the Magic Start Words until it fires.

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