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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2490 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Now that's real science: CYBORG MONKEYS with PROSTHETIC ARMS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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For some reason

I am reminded of words I heard ever so often in my childhood:

"Steve Austin, a man barely alive..."

Am I the only one?

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WhatsApp crypto snafu drops trou on users' privates

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

Hey, guys! There is this thing called TLS!

Let's not use it and develop our home-brew crypto. That's bound to be safer

Encryption 101: don't think your roll-you-own solution is going to be better than strong ones others have already thought about; 999 times out of 1000 you are dead wrong. Sure, there may be weaknesses in existing crypto, but who says there aren't worse weaknesses (not to mention gaping holes) in yours. When you develop something new, it is up to you to prove it is better.

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Gates, Zuckerberg to deliver free coding lesson

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: @jake @WhoaWhoa (was: One hopes ...)

Old git 1: What's all this talk about newfangled ideas such as programming languages?

Old git 2: When I was a lad, all we had was assembly

Old git 1: Luxury! All we had was machine code, and we loved it!

Old git 3: Machine code! We would have loved to have access to machine code! We had to wire up our computer correctly to get anything done!

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Snowden: NSA whacks US in the WALLET, slurps millions of contacts books

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Re: Thanks NSA, you're smashing

Doronron, that is brilliant! I raise my hat to you (the roo-leather Barmah today)

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: @LDS (was: Yes, Word is the worst word processor....)

LaTeX indeed

I was forced to use Word for a scientific conference recently. I sent two colleagues the last version I edited, and all equations are promptly scrambled (by saving from Office 2010 in .doc format as required by the conference). I then import the file in an old 2003 install, and save again, my colleagues now get the whole thing more-or-less right. I submit, and various bits get screwed up in the publishing process. AARGH!

I now bin any request to write a paper in Word instantly. With LaTeX, I can collaborate with people all over the world, and it just works! The typesetting is also WAY better. For version control (also for ASCII) use Subversion or any source-code version-control tools you like.

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Twitter-mad twits trade 14 million shares in BANKRUPT zombie biz

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: "BANKRUPT zombie biz"

no, No, NO!!!

Zombies like people with BRAINS!!!!

Twitter likes people without

as do many salesmen

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COMET DIAMONDS from SPACE found in Libya's glass desert

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I call hypegasm

Agreed, collecting pristine cometary material is far removed from stuff that entered our atmosphere and was subjected to a tremendous pummelling.

After all, scientists want to do the pummelling themselves. Much more fun (and you can control the pummelling).

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Wheels literally FALL OFF solar race contender

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

No wonder the Dutch know how to make the most of sunlight

They have to make do with so little at home

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Holmes

Re: Getting rid of UTF????

Hmm, EBCDIC

Now that takes me back

Back to the days of our CDC computer with its 6-bit bytes organized into 60 bit words using A STUPID FORM OF ASCII MORE-OR-LESS BUT WITH ONLY CAPITALS

Bliss? no, not at all. At least we no longer had to work with punched cards

Icon? Closest thing to "old git in reverie mode" icon

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: ... their half dozen terminal sessions.

HALF dozen? HALF dozen??

I trust you mean half dozen on each desktop!!!

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BOFH: Welcome to Helldesk, ma'am, may I take your bags?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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"

summary execution as the preferred method of sorting out paper jams,

Ah, if only...

"

You mean, there is another way?

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You put up with CRAPPY iOS 7. You can put up with Obamacare too, says prez

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Brilliant, Velv!

Darn, do I have keyboard insurance?

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Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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No 3D Gestures in Wayland?

Why is the first 3D gesture that springs to mind a two-fingered salute.

Maybe something to do with that short message from Intel to Canonical about Mir

Just maybe

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Bang away – just not 'with friends', Zynga tells naughty hookups app

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Can you be voted "Best Bang since the Big one"

or does that title firmly belong to Zaphod Beeblebrox?

Icon, well, because I like things that go bang

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So sad about the NSA web-spying bombshells - but think of the MONEY!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Puts a whole new spin of the Trusted Computing Platform

doesn't it

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NASA's search for habitable planets maps ALIEN CLOUD-WORLD

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The stable cloud patter might be due to some form of tidal locking of the planet, so the same side always faces the star, but maybe that does not work on "hot Jupiters" as they are known (I thought Jupiter was always hot (or should that be "had the hots", given his mythological exploits with the opposite sex).

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LIVE, my beauty, LIVE! Nokia revives dead phone with LIGHTNING powered Frankencharger

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Devil

BOFH time

Let the boss blow up his mobile phone by assuring him that the cattle prod (beefed up) is the latest charger. Ultra-fast on the go for busy executives who cannot afford to wait for their phone to charge

Darn, still no BOFH icon.

Oh well

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'Modern warming trend can't be found' in new climate study

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

May be we should not blame CO2

Hot air emissions by politicians might be far more hazardous!!

Maybe the Eastern Mediterranean and European Lowlands have suffered from this type of emission for longer.

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Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Re: Regarding the efficiency (or not) of the rough surface...

It turns out that what you really need is a tiny layer of turbulent flow, that more-or-less acts as a layer of ball bearings for the laminar flow layer above, to lower drag. Getting the layer thick enough to work, but thin enough not to cause severe turbulence which may lead to much worse resistance is indeed not trivial at all, and the correct roughness also depends on speed. You would probably need extensive (and expensive) wind-tunnel testing to get it right.

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ZERO-G DINOSAUR made from bits and bobs by space station flight engineer

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: Next project...

Sounds like a job for dr. Bunsen Honeydew

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NSA in new SHOCK 'can see public data' SCANDAL!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

They could use Lord Vetinari's argument

He stated that it makes more sense to spy on friends than on enemies, because you already know what your enemies think of you. By contrast, understanding your friends better by spying on them makes you even better friends.

So really, the NSA want to be your friend

Really

Honestly

We are only spying on you for the best reasons possible

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LOHAN rocket motor igniter goes pop at 20,000m

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Love these reports

Great stuff from the special projects bureau

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WET SPOT found on MARS: NASA rover says 'high percentage'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

I might consider going

If they find Martian beer (or vodka)

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Douglas Adams was RIGHT! TINY ALIENS are invading Earth, say boffins

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Diatoms, its full of diatoms!

That picture is definitely a diatom. We did a project on automatic identification of diatoms together with a number of diatomists, and I have seen loads of these creatures. The specimen is too damaged fr our software to handle, but I bet the people we worked with could tell you which species it is.

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Cold-blooded, INHUMAN visitor hitches ride on NASA moon rocket

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

"Likely to be injured"????

Likely to be toast, with that amount of fire.

Poor fritter, I mean critter!

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Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Hatstand

Great word, isn't it. As an alternative, you could use the Dimwell Street expression "cup and plate", as in

"He is a bit cup-and-plate in the head" (attributed to senior postman Groat)

Mine is the one with "Going Postal" in the pocket

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

I watched its launch on TV, followed its progress past the planets, had a whole set of NatGeo magazines devoted to Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager probes. Great days, and still these probes carry on. Hats off and raise our glasses to all those people who made this possible

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Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Her actions so far have lowered my bill considerably, while using more data abroad. If she keeps up her track record, she gets my thumbs up!

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Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Childcatcher

Hmm,

So admirers of hobby hawks are suspicious.

Deary me, what has the world come to.

If you ban innocuous words which are used by some as code words, they will simply use other code words. Ban those, and you will iterate the whole English Dictionary away very soon

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Brit and Danish boffins propose NSA-proof crypto for cloud computing

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: For All of your Secret Intelligence Service Security Needs and Feeds ......Ab Fab Fabless Seeds

I think you're hiding something

;-)

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Big Brother

We have ways of making you speak Chinese

I bet you do

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Kamikaze Moon mission on track as NASA grips its tumbling LADEE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

PLEASE

Don't let the tinfoil-hat brigade now say that the faint glow on the horizon spotted by astronauts can be seen on images and proves that the moon landings were faked.

I nagged my parents at age 7 to be allowed to stay up late to see the landing on the moon. They allowed me to see it, and it was awesome to see it. I positively loath the deniers, despite all the evidence from non-NASA sources (ask people at Jodrell Bank and others). It is so annoying to hear these narrow-minded idiots deny one of mankind's greatest achievements.

</rant>

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Five SECRET products Apple won't show today

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Next

the iCannotBelieveItsNotAnApple

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Vulture 2 autopilot reports for duty

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: Reprogramming

Methinks somebody forgot the tinfoil hat

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Exciting times

Looking better and better.

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Beat the UK's incoming smut filter: Pre-censor your grumble flicks

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: bzzzt!

No, a lot goes

>>KZZZEERT<<

According to Simon

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

And now for something completely different

Sorry, couldn't resist

Mine is the one with Monty's Encyclo Pythonia in the pocket

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Science fiction titan Frederik Pohl dies, aged 93

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Sorry to hear of his death, but he has had a very good innings, and a "batting average" to be proud of. One of the greats indeed. I shall raise a glass of finest malt to his memory this evening

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Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Pint

'Successful products are created by normal people who just follow their intuition'

Very true, but many a failure is created in the same way

On the other hand, failures may be produced much more efficiently by committee

And, yes, I too have many a fond memory of cassettes. One favourite one was when a friend and I, after crossing many borders in Europe, and never getting stopped (when they still had border control between France and Germany (yes I am that old)), we decided we wanted to get stopped at least once. We stuck an AC/DC tape into the portable player, and as we approached a particularly humourless-looking German border guard, we had "Highway to Hell" blaring out of our old VW Beetle (a 1300). It did not work, we were simply waved through imperiously. Our faces must have looked so honest.

So I will join in raising a pint to those brilliant people who made the cassette possible

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Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

Crypto key written down!!!!!!!

Crypto key written down!!!!!!!

ID 10T error code

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Facebook strips away a bit more of your privacy – but won't say why

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Big Brother

Re: Facial Recognition

This is why my kids are not allowed to put a photo up on Facebook, or alternatively should post this one.

I myself will not join (or if I join, it is only to see what the kids are up to). If I do, the obvious mug-shot is the icon beside this post

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Revealed: HUNGRY frosty Arctic cleft that could eat 2 Grand Canyons

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

Nah, clearly Atlantean architecture, or my name isn't Von Däniken

....

Hang on

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Vulture 2 spaceplane rises from the powdered nylon

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Great work. Looking forward to the rest of the saga

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NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: In response

The NS did it lre dy to my workst tion

De ry me, time for me co t

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Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Were are DOOOMED when they find

element 666 of course

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Google plonks down cash for Foxconn's head-mounted display patents

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: I'm sure I saw

Several planes have similar head-mounted displays linked to the look-down/shoot-down radars and the like.

Usually slightly (or even) less fashionable than google's glasses, however.

Black helicopter for obvious reasons

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Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: local media

That mantra should read:

The Cloud exists. We have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. You have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. They have need for working broadband

The Cloud exists. I have need for working broadband

....

Not so nice when the broadband connection has multi-hour outages as on my vacation in Italy. Long live my local media.

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Known and used (differently) in Pioneering days

The Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes (1972 and 1973) each had a plaque indicating the position of earth relative to 14 pulsars, s the principle is well known

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Ballmer's emotional farewell to Redmond: I LOVE THIS COMPANY

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Say what you like about Ballmer...

Say what you like about Ballmer...

<stands back with hands in ears for several minutes>

.....

Finished? Good

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

He will be missed for his bouts of .....

unintentional comedy

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