* Posts by Dr Patrick J R Harkin

790 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

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Judge makes minor tweaks to sex ban IT man's order

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

What are the options?

Do: damned.

Don't: damned.

He has not been convicted of carrying out an offence but a group of suitably qualified people are sufficiently worried about his personality that they judge him a risk to other members of society.

If he never commits an offence - the judge gets it for imposing this order.

If he does, the judge gets it for not locking him up (previous offence or no).

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Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Quis sysadminiat ispos sysasminodes?

But I must ponder on why the final miscreant got a suspended sentence but no community work order. Obviously, it can't be her gender which made a difference in sentencing, could it?

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

If I lived in London...

By now I would be stood at the entrance to Kings Cross tube selling "PISS OFF AND LEAVE ME ALONE" badges for a quid a throw. I reckon by the end of the rush hour, I could retire.

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Complaints against cops down 93% thanks to bodycams – study

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Perhaps it's time to issue body cams to alll...

...football managers. And politicians.

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Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: This is outstanding.

It could of course be that people don't make baseless complaints when they know the police have video evidence which would refute them. You can interpret this either way - but frankly I'm happy with the result, whatever the mechanism is.

Either police or behaving better or the public are behaving better or (gasp) a bit of both. Win/win/win.

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ZX Spectrum Vega+ will ship on time, developer claims amid doubts

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

ZX Spectrum Vega+ will ship on time

So, not full emulation then?

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It's Pablo Pic-arsehole: Turner Prize wannabe hits rock bottom

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"£20,000 in one-pence coins"

I'm going to submit a totally different exhibit next year, using one-penny coins.

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Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I want to see

PassiveAggressiveBot vs GrammarNaziBot

"I couldn't being myself to automatically change someone else's text."

"The use of the split infinitive is not good style - you should write 'to change someone else's text automatically'."

"I'd be very happy if I was as confident as you in correcting grammar."

"The conditional takes the plural form - you should write 'if I were as confident as you'"

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UK Science Museum will reconsider its 'sexist' brain quiz

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

[Ignores main issue]

They've got the Venus/female symbol the wrong way up on their feedback page.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

And that, ladies and gentlemen...

....is why I have chosen to resign from my position as Member of Parliament for Witney.

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Phoney bling ring pinged by Tolkien's kin

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Coat

Re: He represented himself over the phone ?

" He represented himself over the phone ? Is that some local specialty ? When you're summoned to court, aren't you (or your lawyer) generally supposed to be there ?"

One does not simply walk into Oz court.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Building a barrier around an entire star?

Who knew aliens had Trump too.

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Swede suffers shrinking penis after dentist fits mouthguard

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Having recently given up my GMC licence to practice, I shouldn't diagnose, but...

...this article might be worth reading while considering this case.

Just saying.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koro_(medicine)

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FBI electronics nerd confesses: I fed spy tech blueprints to China

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I'm surprised the structure of the FBI is secret.

If you took a photo of our organisational map it'd be out of date before you got to the door.

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Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

But it's hard to change passwords...

...once they've been written down in the Laminated Book of Dreams!

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It's 2016 and your passwords can still be sniffed from wireless keyboards

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Lots of mentions of TEMPEST...

...but surely that only works on CRTs and now (nearly) everyone has LED/LCD screens it's obsolete.

I'm more taken by the claim that it's possible " to .. “sniff” all the keystrokes of wireless keyboards from ... up to 100 metres away." Now, I appreciate "up to 100" includes "a maximum of 5" but this MS3000 won't do more than about 10 feet. Or is that a limitation of my receiver and they're using Arecibo-size kit?

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

His leg?

They seem terribly upset about a little thing like a broken leg considering he then got run through with a light sabre and dropped off a bridge. And did you see how few handrails there were round the enormous drops in the Evil Base? Health & Safety gone to lunch, if you ask me...

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Oz boffins cook quantum computing out of mothballs

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So...

We store the data in chlorine [www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/18/smallest_hard_disk_drive_stores_a_kilobyte_of_memory_in_atoms/] and process it in carbon. When did Computing become Chemistry?

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Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Brighter than expected. Beyond the orbit of Pluto.

It couldn't be Mondas, could it?

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Scientists want you to know how to have sex with a hyper-long dong

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Boffin

Re: Hyper-long and quick

From memory of A-Level Biology (in the days when the main text was Ye Origin of Fpecief) there are fish with left * right handed genitalia and a male "leftie" can only mate with a female "rightie". Ah, here's an example - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-eyed_fish#Reproductive_organs

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Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Obviously a fake. It uses a mixture of cases and the punctuation marks are mostly in the right places.

And it didn't offer to upgrade my PC to Windows 10.

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NASA firms up Space Launch System nanosat manifest

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Why has the last picture...

...got WALL-E's head in it?

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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Some Department of Commerce weather alert systems use Fortran

There was a conference in this building only last week on "Modern FORTRAN". It surprised me, as we are a medical school but our top floor is a biomedical "big data" research institute.

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Theranos bins two years of test results

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I don't quite understand how it happened, even in the US, but in the UK, machines which had not been validated wouldn't be licensed for clinical use.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Re: Because why not indeed

Valves? I spit on valves.

I want to see it done using dominoes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpLU__bhu2w

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Hmmm, where should I dump those unencrypted password files? I know - OneDrive

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

The solution is obvious.

There are characters which you can't have in a file name. Just add "p", "s", "w", "r" and "d" and

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Art heist 'pranksters' sent down for six months

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"tend to shoot first and ask questions later"

If they bother with the questions at all.

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Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Coat

Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

And that's why I always fly Bee A.

I'm here all week, try the fish.

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Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

They're fixated on the smartphone screen so...

....they don't see the kerb (International sign meaning "YOUR BIT ENDS HERE. WATCH OUT FOR BRMMM BRMMMS")...

...so why do we imagine they'll see a light?

How about making smartphones where the screen doesn't illuminate as you move at walking pace? Fine in the car. Fine while stopped. But if you're walking DON'T LOOK AT THE PHOINE!

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Revealed: How NASA saved the Kepler space telescope from suicide

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

So the fix was -

Turn it off and reboot in Safe Mode?

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Your mother has a smooth forehead, Klingon language lovers roar at Paramount

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Essential late night listening

Drving through the night once, I pulled into services and wanted something NEW to listen to. I rummaged through their sale bin and got a Buffy audiobook narrated by Charisma Carpenter (worth the 99p just to hear her attempt at Gile's accent) and "Teach Yourself Klingon". The wrapper said it was aimed "at the tourist planning a holiday or trip to the Klingon empire" but cautioned that if you wanted to trade with the Klingons, you needed the companion tape "Business Klingon for Beginners"...

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Could be eviller....

The wait time is always 3 seconds. It should start at 5 minutes, then get less with each repeat until with 30 seconds to go - it resets back to 5 minutes

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China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

In the TV version of the Dalek invasion of London...

...they disabled Daleks using soup cans on elastic over their eyestalks. A quick spray with a paint and these guys are going to have problems, surely? Failing that, they don't look very topple-resistent, especially backwards.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Here is today's forecast:

Iowa: Windows 7, rising to 10 later. Linux imminent.

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Tracy Emin dons funeral shroud, marries stone

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

" wearing her father’s white funeral shroud,"

Um, if he wasn't actually buried in it, does it count as his funeral shroud?

And if he WAS buried in it - yecch! (Apart from the grave-robbing implications)

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"158 of which are Category 1"

"– classified as those that could cause death, severe injury, or severe illness."

"Death." Check. Understand how bad software in a plane could do that.

"Severe injury." Got that too.

"Severe illness." Eh? Are we talking diabetes here? Rabies? Leukaemia? Just what sort of software is this?

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FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

See foot! Shoot foot! Shoot!

So Apple have gone from "We didn't want anyone to see we could break iPhone security with our proprietary knowledge in case they thought our phones were insecure" to "Actually, you don't need to be Apple to crack an iPhone. World+Dog can do it."

They'd have had rather less security egg on their faces if they'd cracked the phone.

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London cops hunt chimpanzee in top hat

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

That's quality detecting, that is.

Detective Constable Edward Bird (yes, really) said: "This was not a random crime, the burglars had came prepared and well equipped."

He worked that out just from noticing that they'd STOLEN A GIRAFFE!

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Go No! Google cyber-brain bests top-ranked human in ancient game

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

All hail!

I for one welcome our new surrounding your opponent on a 19x19 grid overlords.

I am reminded of a comment by Trevon Truran, developer of the Discworld game Thud - a loose equivalent of chess/go which recreates the Battle of Koom Valley, where the Trolls and Dwarfs each claim they were ambushed by the other side. It's based on the Icelandic (Nordic, anyway) game hnefatafl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafl_games which is unusual for board games in that it is asymmetrical and a match involves playing two games, one as each side.

In an photo accompanying an early article about it, Trevor is shown staring intently at a game in progress and the caption is "At this point, the best move for the Trolls is to kick over the board and run away". Perhaps that's the best human move here.

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FBI says NY judge went too far in ruling the FBI went too far in forcing Apple to unlock iPhone

Dr Patrick J R Harkin
Black Helicopters

Surely the NSA reverse-engineered iOS long ago?

They should be able to roll their own custom iOS. Perhaps they can, but want us to think otherwise!

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Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

If both pilots have passed out...

...how do I get into the cockpit?

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China wants to bring home moon rocks in moon vacuum

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Hang on - if they take vacuum containers with them

Won't our earth vacuum contaminate the lunar vacuum? Couldn't they take the container there in kit form, assemble it on the moon and fill it with the (easily available and cheap) lunar vacuum?

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Eurovision Song Contest uncorks 1975 vote shocker: No 'Nul point'!

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

I used to watch every year.

Not the acts, they're rubbish. It was Terry Wogan's commentary during the voting that I liked. Norton is better than I thought he would be - but he's not a patch on Tel.

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Boffins' 5D laser-based storage tech could keep terabytes forever

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Not sure I understrand the number of dimensions.

Length, depth, width and polarisation as independent dimensions I get but surely size must be defined by some function of length, depth and width?

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FBI iPhone brouhaha sparks Apple Store protest in San Francisco

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Surely NSA reverse-emgineered the Apple firmware long ago?

Can't they just copy the encrypted data onto a custom phone or emulator?

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Reports: First death from meteorite impact recorded in India

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

"This is President Obama calling from the White House."

Mr Willis, your government needs your skills for a very important assignment.

What? No, of course I know that was a movie and we haven't got the technology to do anything about the planet killer headed our way. I need you to appear in some TV footage which makes it look like we do. We're calling it Project Apollo Eleven Part 2...

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Face, meet book: Zuckerberg plans to dabble in AI this year

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

He wants to create Jarvis?

He has SEEN Age of Ultron, hasn't he?

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Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

Bollocks.

I'm going to have to buy a new shower curtain. http://www.lightinthebox.com/periodic-table-of-elements-shower-curtain_p1359738.html

I assume the 91% price cut is due to this model now being obsolete.

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

He won't need to reshoot any footage to make it longer.

Just stick in some slow motion sequences.

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NASA palms off blunder-bot Valkyrie for top US universities to fix

Dr Patrick J R Harkin

They've sent Valkyrie to university?

Well, if it can fall over and flail around on the ground while being unable to get up, it'll fit right in with our freshers.

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