* Posts by Neil Barnes

2845 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Neil Barnes
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Re: Cool effects and animations

Spot on.

Anywhere there's the option, irrespective of OS or software, first thing to disable is the graphics effects.

It's amazing how much this improves the user experience, for those who want to *use* rather than play with their computer.

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Asteroid nearly gave Earth a new feature, two days after its discovery

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

So close?

I'd best take my hat off, then.

btw - doesn't 'velocity' include a direction, not just a speed? And surely the quoted 11km/s isn't a constant differential? Just askin'...

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TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

Neil Barnes
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FAIL

Alexa, Tea, Earl Grey, Hot

When the system is as smart as me, able unambiguously to identify me, able to correctly understand free-form speech without error, and never allows any signal out of itself without confirmation and permission, it will still get it wrong.

Proof? People living together for twenty years or more, such as me and Mrs Barnacle, can still have massive misunderstandings from a misheard or misunderstood word, or even a misinterpreted tone of voice. There's an awful lot more to speech communication than knowing what the words are.

But it's not going to happen. Why would any sane person leave a live microphone connected to a sales machine? No microphones, no cameras Chez Barnacle.

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Puny galaxy packs a big punch: A gazillion joules' worth of radio bursts

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Re: Obviously it's going to be dim...

Well I'd hate to be snarky, but in the original error-strewn post, it was an apostrophe that was misplaced, not a comma. But it would be uncivil of me to point that out.

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Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: Obviously it's going to be dim...

Mea culpa maxima - I was still asleep when I mistyped the errant punctuation. I shall report myself to the Association for the Abolition of the Abberant Apostrophe immediately.

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Neil Barnes
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Coat

Obviously it's going to be dim...

All it's energy is going out as these bursts.

Ah yes, the one with the lead lining, thanks --->

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NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Job advert?

Wanted: liguist competent in Trailing Trojan Recent. Fyunch-click!

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

Neil Barnes
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Re: Not only in America

I recall a case where a previous employer was successfully sued under the H&S at work rules, by a burglar who fell down a hole in a construction area. And another where a person, caught in the act climbing out of a sixth floor window after a series of thefts, sued on grounds of racial discrimination. I don't recall whether he one that one, though.

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My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

Neil Barnes
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Four kilos in a fortnight?

That's an extreme amount of weight-loss, I feel. Isn't this stuff supposed to provide all you need? It seems somehow lacking...

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Those online ads driving you bonkers are virtually 'worthless for brands'

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Not sure how they would promote it though..

Well duh, online advertising. Obviously.

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Ruh-roh! Rick Ruhl rolled out of Ham Radio Deluxe in software kill-switch aftermath

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: Low blood sugar

Um, turns out you *can*, actually.

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The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Neil Barnes
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Re: Thank you

Mr Brown, my own 'hewn from the living glass' LOHAN tankard is a thousand kilometres from me at present, so please be diligent on my behalf also!

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Neil Barnes
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Pint

The reminder we needed

I knew him beyond the comments pages only once he roped me into the LOHAN project; he was kind enough not to sneer too much at my designs for high-altitude altimeter tests and we followed a few balloons up and down...

And then there was the whole 'quid a day' thing. Triggered, I think, by his adventures in Darien, it was a cause that he really pushed - and persuaded me and a handful of others to join in, raising significant funds to the benefit of Malaria No More over the years. I trust that El Reg will be running the event when it returns next year, perhaps as Lester's memorial?

Sadly I never met his family other than Matt and Katerina; several attempts to meet at his house in Spain came to naught on synchronisation errors. Aye well.

ad astra tabernamque, Lester, and here's one from me.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Neil Barnes
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Re: Grunts

"This one's split..."

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Neil Barnes
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Trollface

Grunts

I'm waiting for the book that does for the stormtrooper what Grunts did for Orcs... Maybe I should drop Mary 'death of trees' Gentle a line...

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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

Mass surveillance?

Nah, we're targeting.

Targeting everyone...

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What gifts did ol' kitten heels May get this year?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Checklist

Yes, yes, but it's all right! We've *got our country back*.

Or so I am frequently told...

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No Soylent for Santa after key ingredient supply is choked off

Neil Barnes
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Remind me...

What is the point of this product?

Are people so divorced from life that they willingly consume this instead of, say, food?

Why?

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Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: I remember when ...

Glowing valves? Luxury... I recall, as a child, cat's-whisker point contact diodes and miles of wire all over the garden...

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Ancient water found in Canada is two billion years old – giving hope to Mars colony dreamers

Neil Barnes
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Re: Mars Colony Dreamers

Surely Mr Jeltz would should support moving humans off Earth, just in case of a sudden outbreak of bypass-building?

Don't put all your Basques in one exit...

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

Neil Barnes
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didn't want to be shown up by a bunch of foreigners

@Nick Ryan

The shade of Lester is in there somewhere...

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Amazon's first live drone delivery flew last week in Cambridge, UK

Neil Barnes
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In an urban environment

It's hard to see how the drone complies with 'not below five hundred feet above the highest near object' and 'fly under four hundred feet'.

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'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

Neil Barnes
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Sometimes I despair...

We have around a million perfectly good - dare I even say 'cromulent'? - words in English.

It's four or five thousand years since we moved on from hieroglyphs and pictograms.

And yet the illiterati seem incapable of using the words and want to return us to ancient history.

Oh the embarrassment! I die of shame. My body, rotting, pollutes a water table. Disease is rife. Hundreds die. Oh, the embarrassment...

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Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

Neil Barnes
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The rest...

he just frittered away.

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Japanese robot space maid will incinerate Earth's dead satellites

Neil Barnes
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Re: James Dyson

Prior art: Spaceballs.

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Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

Neil Barnes
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Bluetooths?

Blueteeth? I dunno...

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RIP John Glenn: First American in orbit – and later, the oldest, too

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Another raising of the glass here.

Though there is of course the obligatory 'world is round' link: http://dilbert.com/strip/1989-10-10

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Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

Re: HackLabs' Manly office

Please. Womanly office.

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Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: 98%

Making things foolproof simply means more fools breed more fools.

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Neil Barnes
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Just a thought...

what animal-based lubricants are used in the production of plastic credit cards?

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Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Neil Barnes
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Re: Low casualties ....

"I hope there is an upsurge in interest in Geology as a subject/career choice."

Or perhaps in rocket science; not much sense staying on a planet that doesn't care for you...

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Hey techbros, make an airplane mode but for driving for your apps – US traffic watchdog

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

So what you do is

if you see someone using their phone while driving, simply use your phone to take a photo for evidence and forward it to your local traffic police.

Oh, wait...

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Visa cries foul over Euro regulator's stronger authentication demands

Neil Barnes
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Flame

While it is still possible

That some miscreant, under the unsuspecting eyes of my wife and presumably using a commercial card reader, can skim her card and that the resulting fake card can be used to withdraw cash in the USA, there are deeper problems in the system.

I'm assuming that this is a magstrip copy and that it works because many (all?) US cash machines don't insist on the chip being present in a card.

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LAKE OF frozen WATER THE SIZE OF NEW MEXICO FOUND ON MARS – NASA

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Re: McMars Distillery

You're not really trying. I get water for *my* whisky only from the rings of Saturn...

(Actually, I should get around to nudging a few icebergs Mars' way; a few gigatons of water arriving at escape velocity should improve the climate no end).

Signed: the Brennan Monster

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Helping autonomous vehicles and humans share the road

Neil Barnes
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a strong preference for choosing to save more people

I've got news for society.

I'm not getting into any autonomous vehicle whose prime tenet isn't 'protect the driver'.

All the ethical questions are mine, to be considered in the instant that the autopilot alerts me to them. They are *never* to be the province of people who aren't there, making rules for situations they may well not understand.

It's questions like this that made Isaac Asimov famous...

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TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

Neil Barnes
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Re: switch off your Wi-Fi...

I thought that it would start from the device end. So presumably, by the time the device has noticed a network and talked to it to decide it's not one it wants to connect to, the MAC address is already logged.

Bugger.

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Neil Barnes
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switch off your Wi-Fi...

Can someone a bit more au-fait with the technology than I am point me to a primer for the handshake/negotiation that takes place between a device with wifi turned on but only connecting to known hotspots - i.e. not the open spot on the underground?

Does the connection request start from a device which notices a live network or does the network poll? Or...?

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Firefox hits version 50

Neil Barnes
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Re: I like GUIs to be obvious

Got it in one. An address bar is for typing address; a search engine should be obvious and separate.

The search bar is the first thing I remove from firefox (the second is the pocket rubbish).

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Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Neil Barnes
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Re: Genius of a different stripe

Curses, I got up too late and you beat me to it!

Have an upvote.

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Twitter rolls out troll controls

Neil Barnes
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Sturgeon's law holds:

90% of everything is crap.

It's probably just that Twitter and the other social platforms make that 90% so visible.

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Neil Barnes
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The question I have seen neither asked nor answered:

Where did the money *go*? Surely there is a transfer record?

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IoT worm can hack Philips Hue lightbulbs, spread across cities

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

I wonder...

if it's too late to patent the mechanical light switch?

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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

Neil Barnes
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Coat

So it's bound to be cloudy then.

And possibly raining or snowing as well.

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FBI drops bombshell, and investigation: Clinton still in the clear

Neil Barnes
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Re: Bingo

I'm sure he's married the model only once...

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Google makes it to third base with Home digital assistant

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Re: Kitchen interface for Spotify

But it has to be an earth-shattering kaboom box...

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Twitter trolls are destroying democracy, warn eggheads

Neil Barnes
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Re: I hope nobody is paying for this "research"!

That's my point: you can't. And with the political situation as it is - both in the US and here in the UK - there is no obvious way to dispute that spectrum.

But even if there were, the way that the questions are presented removes even the concept of a continuum; it's always a yes/no, us/them question without any consideration that there might be a grey area.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: It isn't only Twitter

DNA: “Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.”

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Neil Barnes
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Re: I hope nobody is paying for this "research"!

With the added observation that both Twitter and Facebook help in the current obsession with reducing every question to two points - basically, agree or disagree. The fact that there may - and I would suggest in most cases *is* - a continuum both of opinion and of options on pretty much everything rather gets lost in the noise.

One is expected to vote for one political party when one probably, if one should happen to think about instead of voting as your parents did, prefer some of the policies of one party and some of the policies of the other. One is asked whether one wishes to be a member of the EU or not, and not on which conditions, or whether things might change without such a major political split.

Outside computing, most things don't have binary options - but people are led to believe they are.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Trolls - living, breathing, people or Bots?

Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun...

(c) Alfred Bester

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Re: £80,672-£161,345 (€90,000-€180,000).

Mea culpa; lazy writing. Gives the subs something to do.

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