* Posts by The Serpent

207 posts • joined 11 Jun 2008

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Screw Internet-of-Things: Boffins build Internet-of-Sound UNDERWATER

The Serpent

Re: Modem

Sod the comms, the Octonauts' most impressive kit is their power generation and energetic projection technology. Fine, you could imagine a shaped force field projector, mounted in a vehicle, providing the underwater equivalent of a windscreen, but they fit the same device into one side of their collar for use as a diving helmet with one of these physics defying radios in the other lapel and all without so much as a triple A battery in sight

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Cisco email accidentally sent to 1000s of employees causes message list MAYHEM

The Serpent

Re: Brings back memories

"The guy was fired for that? "

He used his privileges to set up a facility which was specifically banned by the company he worked for. That is very dodgy ground even on the limited information given in the original post. There may be additional circumstances such as lost business due to lack of the email service. Round my way such an arrangement would result in many, many breaches of the data protection act. All of which would probably justify a short, sharp trip across the car park.

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Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs

The Serpent

The advert for it was amusing - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHqVLhpAjkg

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Microsoft waves goodbye to Small Business Server

The Serpent

Re: @AC 11 Jul 2013 10:45

"I wouldn't recommend cloudy service to *anyone*." The use of the word "anyone" in this context is an absolute which might lead a reader to believe your opinion is that nobody should use cloud services.

"Blanket statements are usually wrong." The use of the word "usually" in this context allows for an alternative outcome which might lead a reader to believe that blanket statements are sometimes right - not ironic at all.

Also, opinions can be wrong. Someone may hold the opinion that I am typing this whilst drowning in jam - they would be wrong. You seem to hold the opinion that the phrase "Blanket statements are usually wrong." is ironic - it isn't.

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Human error blamed for toxic Russian rocket explosion

The Serpent

No no no. You reverse the polarity of the neutron flow

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Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

The Serpent

Re: Them were the days..

Also back in the nineties I worked for a company with, amongst many other things, a machine test lab. The company was in the phase where it was getting sensible to put a PC on everyone's desk. Bearing in mind it was about 1998 and so uptake of internet access was still very far from universal and even the presence of an actual computer in the home wasn't a foregone conclusion.

The lab guys had their own little world in which they lived and the only computer they had regular access to was an Apple 2 which ran one of the test machines. Even then all they did was run the same control program routine.

Apparently they had no experience of other types of computer, which became evident one day when I was doing my compulsory helpdesk stint. They'd had their new Compaq delivered but not installed and were fed up stepping over the boxes so they attempted to set it up on a table themselves. They said they were happy with the job they'd done expect that they weren't sure where the foot pedal should go.

Obviously I was momentarily struck dumb, but after some questioning it became apparent that they did not know what a mouse was and thought it was some device analogous to the foot switch on a sewing machine.

I love it when I can roll out that story..!

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US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct

The Serpent

Re: The new "Nintendo Effect"....

Why not? It worked in Formula 1 with all this KERS bollocks - I'm just amazed they didn't make them drive over some kind of 'superturbopower' icon painted on the track. What used to be a steering wheel now looks more like a dual shock controller - the playstation generation is established and inflicting their ideas on us right now!

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Boffins create tabletop ANTIMATTER GUN

The Serpent

Re: "doesn't actually risk the earth-shattering kaboom of a matter-antimatter annihilation."

I refer you to the post made by the right honourable commentard some moments ago (on Wednesday 26th June 2013 08:03 GMT to be precise)

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Julian Assange: Google's just an arm of US government

The Serpent

Re: Last time I checked

What about 'downstairs'

*vomiting face*

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Ecuador: All right, Julian, you CAN stay on our sofa - it's your human right

The Serpent

Re: What really bugs me

"Can't they just shove a CCTV camera somewhere that can see the Embassy and leave it at that?"

Fail within a fail. Two coppers hanging around the embassy are replaced by a camera - who is going to deal with the output from this camera??

That's right, a copper (or other payed employee) which negates any savings and, wow, another copper who is required to be very near the embassy anyway in case Assange makes his move.

That's just the most favourable outcome of your 'suggestion'. In order to have favourable odds of capturing him, they'd probably want two police ready in addition to whoever watches the camera screen. Which is, of course, more expensive.

And of course you are assuming that the Met have access to a suitable location for the camera - as they probably haven't they would probably have to pay for that facilitly too. And as you're not very good at thinking these things through I'll point out that if they site the camera in a police vehicle near the door there is no advantage over their current on-site watch - unless they trust a single officer to watch the screen and not get distracted at all over their entire shift.

Or perhaps you think they could just skim a recording later? Could make for an interesting maths question in one of Mr. Gove's new o-levels - if Julian Assange escapes an embassy at half past eleven at night at an average speed of 15 miles an hour, how far away could he be by the time PC Bob Smith finds out at nine o'clock the next day? Show your working out.

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1,000 O2 staff chose redundancy over Capita

The Serpent

Re: What happens when....

There's a lot to be said for the attitude I've seen amongst continental Europeans whereby if you have been, say, a waiter for many years, people are happy to think you obviously work merely to cover your life costs and have interests elsewhere. If you want to be judged by your job, then that's fine too but it isn't for everyone.

It takes all sorts to make a world, very few people can be a billionaire rockstar astronaut and some people actively don't wish to be one.

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Planetary Resources may upgrade crowdfunded satellite into alien-finder

The Serpent

Re: Gravitational lensing

Would it not be much, much larger than star-sized? The useful surface of such a structure would probably have to be built at a distance equivalent to the orbital path of a planet in the "goldilocks" zone.

It wouldn't be worth visiting any stars for a vast distance around such a structure as any resource bearing planets would probably have been stripped bare to supply the incredible demand for buildng materials.

I don't know if I'm a fan of the Dyson sphere/shell idea. It seems to me that if a civilisation can build such a thing, then they probably have energy requirements beyond the ability of a single captured star to repay.

If they did require such a thing, then they probably have radiation manipulating capabilities to reduce the observable footprint of the structure and so stop it advertising itself as a target. Or perhaps it doesn't matter as anything of that size made out of a substance which can support its own mass would surely be largely invulnerable to harm.

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Al Gore: Stop using the atmosphere as 'AN OPEN SEWER'

The Serpent

Re: Straight up and out in 10 minutes??

There's always a balance to be head. Consider the water in your taps; it has already gone through all the energy consuming processes of storing, cleaning and pumping it back for delivery. If it is there right behind the valve in the tap, surely it is just as wasteful not to use some as it is to use it to excess?!

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The Serpent

Re: Straight up and out in 10 minutes??

Though I'm in favour of everyone playing their small part, ultimately it won't make a difference to your utility bill. Now matter how little we use, the utility companies keep putting the bills up to retain their profit levels, er, cover increased costs I mean..

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IT staff clamouring to pay for their own BYOD kit, says survey

The Serpent

Re: Actually

Surely your company should suffer the consequences of under-equipping employees, not the other way around. They will almost certainly loose 200 quids worth of productivity from you with a crap laptop, but how would you see that £200 of your own expenditure back if you bought yourself a better one and used it for their benefit?

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Nicked unencrypted PC with 6,000 bank details lands council fat fine

The Serpent

Re: I did not cost the council one penny

You would use the Data Protection Act to find out specific information about yourself - it is called a subject access request.

The Freedom Of Information Act is for more general, non-personal requests unless it is of an environmental nature in which case it is much the same process as FOI but under the guidance of the Environmental Information Regulations

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Interview: Steve Jackson, role-playing game titan

The Serpent

For some reason whenever I think of fantasy authors/artists I can only ever picture a very short, very bald, hugely obese man in a hawaiian shirt sporting a streak of beard which only serves to mark the otherwise indefinable point where his face ends and his gut begins

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Thirty-five years ago today: Space Invaders conquer the Earth

The Serpent

Re: Pole Position go the same way:

I vaguely recall some game which involved taking into account spinning round what might have been a black hole. I seem to think that if you took your mind off that task long enough to think about shooting your opponent, you instantly died.

I think I had to wait for Outrun and Roadblasters before I trusted driving games of that display perspective again.

For overhead ones like Spyhunter was, I don't think I ever found anything better than APB. Still love that game. Maybe Antique Code Show can take that one up some time?

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The Serpent

Re: "and The Ridge Racer in 1982"

All attempts to play Pole Position go the same way:

Insert coins, foot down, 8-bit engine noise 'eeeeeEEEEEE', change gear, 'eeeeeEEEEE', Game Over

All in about the time it took you to read that

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Huawei: 'trust us, we are being transparent'

The Serpent

In my experience, anyone going on about how clear and transparent they want to be is interested in anything but clarity and transparency

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Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile

The Serpent

Re: British Intelligence

+1 for Reginald Victor, there was a guy to admire

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FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

The Serpent

Never look a GIFt horse in the mouth

I always thought it was pronounced 'jif', but I learned I was labouring under a misunderstanding as I was first told it stood for 'General Image Format', so it made sense to me to pronounce the G as J (i.e. Jeneral, not General)

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Brit adventurer all set to assault ex-Reg haunt Rockall

The Serpent

Re: Rockall Times

The shenanigans following that escape are still hidden on the web, accessible by a bit of googling. I must admit from the tone of those conversations I'm surprised to see this article. I suppose what happens on Rockall, stays on Rockall. I do wonder what happened to 'exciteable office girl Jemma' though, I rather like the sound of her!

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Retro-tech fan seeks cash for Commodore 64 clones

The Serpent

As an earlier poster wrote, "The bloke has none of the skills necessary to make this happen, and no intention to get the rights to make something that even looks like the machine he want to emulate."

So, a career in marketing middle management awaits. The earnings would be determined by how much of a slimy backstabber he can bring himself to be.

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Think enterprise software is complex? Check out the licences

The Serpent

The SAP licence site

is the worst thing I have ever used. I used to be a Business Objects admin a few years ago and when it came to re-licensing the installed products each year, well, I think it would be quicker to be beaten to death with a balloon on the end of a stick.

Their descriptions of the various bits of Business Objects didn't match those in the software, the number of licences they had on record was always different to the number we had bought, almost every new page demanded you sign in again and if you happened to stumble on a likely looking combo, the licence key was generated by a member of staff who emailed it to you - so what was the point in the website? Why couldn't I just contact the staff directly? SAP don't allow you to do that unless there is a technical issue or complaint. The site being unfit for purpose isn't viewed as a technical issue.

The one time they did try and help me, they told me our product combination was impossible and so it couldn't be licensed - despite the fact it was unchanged from the previous year and they were able to do so then! In many ways I miss Business Objects, but I don't miss SAP!

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Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness

The Serpent

Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

That always jarred me about the criticism of Star Trek The Motion Picture. 2001is credited for its lengthy, majestic space scenes with classical music score. Star Trek The Motion Picture is deplored for its lengthy, majestic space scenes with classical music score.

A previous poster was right in that it could have done with being shorter - half an hour would have been fine, but then I think that about 2001 as well.

As for 'The Motion Picture' in the title, judge it by the eyes of the audience of the time who were not so used to the 'successful TV show jumps straight to film' formula.

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Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

The Serpent

I like blink

It reminds me of teletext. Now press reveal.

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Stephen Fry explains… Alan Turing's amazing computer

The Serpent

Re: "Most influential tech-tweet of 2011" title on the tweeter's site

Once I particularly enjoyed the hatchet-faced dwarf's explanation of how eating green plants is good because their cholorphyll oxygenates your blood.

I'm sure I could hear Herr Krebs cycling in his grave.

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Universe gains an extra hundred million years

The Serpent

Why not? I suppose it depends on your real aims. It's almost certainly how government think tanks keep on the gravy train when working out things like demand for air travel.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

The Serpent

Re: "balls to do it under his real name"

A well-pitched bitch, sir

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OpenSUSE 12.3: Proof not all Linux PCs are Um Bongo-grade bonkers

The Serpent

Re: @Nvidia vs. AMD

That has been my experience too. I can recall hours jiggling nvidia stuff, often in vain hope (mobile chipsets in particular), but no real problems with ATI/AMD

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The Serpent

Re: Nice upgrade but.......

One the one hand... "I have Nvidia on other machines because their Linux support is brilliant"

On the other hand... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/18/torvalds_curses_nvidia/

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Boffins build robo-CHIMP for DARPA challenge

The Serpent

Re: I want one!

Although I'm sure everyone would appreciate it if they changed the design from that of Johnny 5 - specifically so the tools don't look like are stored in his cock

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Curiosity succeeds – Mars was wet enough for life!

The Serpent

Re: Silicon-based life

"As a result, all life in the universe is either carbon-based, or is artificial 'life' "

That's so corporealcist! Won't someone think of the organised energy patterns?!

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Intel's Centrino notebook platform is 10 years old

The Serpent

Re: Not sure why downvoted?

You must be new here

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Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

The Serpent

Re: well hold on there pardner...

Make that a 20 year old OS - I just tried those things in a Win 3.11 VM I forgot I had.

Win+r didn't do much though..!

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The Serpent

Re: well hold on there pardner...

Glad you find it to be better than expected. However I think your examples are, if anything, illustrating the point that many people put forward - namely that 'Metro' is an unnecessary step in the proceedings on a non-touchscreen computer.

Win+r works on my XP machine, cmd has given me a command prompt since NT4 days and I'm not sure how those examples are relevant as they aren't Windows 8 features. Neither is the easy location of and handling of documents - that's a bread and butter task for any OS. You didn't need two user interfaces to accomplish those tasks.

Any of those things work fine on a 11 year old operating system (XP) and, if you drop the requirement to press Win+r and allow 'command' instead of 'cmd', you can get the same results from Win 95. (For all I know, Win+r might work there too)

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Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

The Serpent

Re: It all depends on the water!

Yes

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The Serpent

Re: It all depends on the water!

"I drink old women's piss nowadays"...

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SimCity 2000

The Serpent

Re: It needed extra stuff on Amiga too

Later memory expansions had more than just 512K on board. An Amiga 500+ is supposed to have 1MB (but Commodore didn't always agree..!) so with one of the later expansions that would be (barely) enough. But the 500+ was just a warmed over version of the 1987 original - SC2000 was released in 1994, so expecting a fundamentally 7 year old design to keep up is asking a bit much. Commodore did have the solution though - it was called the Amiga 1200 (or the 3000 or 4000 if you had money to burn)

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The Serpent

I also played this perfectly well on my 486 DX4 100, but it did also have a Vesa Local Bus graphics card with a whole 256KB of dedicated memory. A mate of mine ran it on a 486 DX66 but with a better S3 Virge card to make up for it. The game itself ran the same, the difference was in the scrolling speed as your moved around the map.

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The Serpent

I sunk so much enjoyable time into SC2000. I've been known to play it long after 'the day', but not done so for a while.

I noticed the comments about hydro power earlier - they are excellent at first as they are available fairly early on but the difference between them and any other power station is that they don't need renewing. Build a hydro and it lasts forever. However you do need a lot of them and they are quickly outclassed in cost efficiency by the later power tech.

I also saw something about not hitting the 120K population for arcologies. Unfortunately in that regard you are rewarded by having the least interesting city - stick to absolutely nothing but completely flat land with a wall to wall grid of roads at 90 degree angles which mark out 6x6 spaces for your zones. That gives maximum density for the most part of the game while you building population and money. Once the 8x8 arcos are available they don't fit the grid well, but they don't have to as it has already done its job of getting you to the endgame.

I rather enjoyed the use of the newspaper as a means of communication by the game. A lot of the Miss Sim stories were quite amusing - I remember the one where someone wrote in and said they were worried by a dream they had where nothing was real and they were just living in a computer game..!

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Squillionaire space tourist offers oldsters a holiday to Mars

The Serpent

Re: Older Couple

I didn't say they would lack imagination of any kind, just that they might be less inclined as a group to play zero g football with their lunch. Military/academic life encourages a disciplined outlook which ought to make for safer capsule inhabitants than sitting any other random bugger in the driving couch

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The Serpent

Re: Radiation roulette with the goolies?

Ah, the first fuckwit raises their head. At what point do you expect the a male human to be beyond child-bearing age? Downvote for a gaping hole in your supposed intellect? Wouldn't bother as I hate the upvote/downvote system

I admit I am assuming the couple will either be a male and a female, or two males. Men can remove themselves from the gene pool at any time up to death and are therefore candidates for a Darwin Award for life unless they remove or disable their nads.

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The Serpent

Re: Radiation roulette with the goolies?

3 thumbs down? Either some people have odd sensibilities for me to offend, or they are fuckwits who don't understand how the Darwin Awards work

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The Serpent

Re: Older Couple

I've long held the belief that almost anyone who can climb into a rocket and sit down can go into space with no trouble whatsoever. The reason they use people from academic and military backgrounds with half a dozen degrees and a doctorate or two is that those people are inclined to do as they are told, and unlikely to have the imagination to break stuff doing the things you or I would wonder about doing in zero G

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The Serpent

Radiation roulette with the goolies?

Sounds like a chance for the most ambitious Darwin Award ever

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Trekkies detect Spock's Vulcan homeworld ORBITING PLUTO

The Serpent

Re: not any more...

An even better place for the 'word' "snuck"

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