* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2781 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

BOT AN ABOMINATION: Mechanical DRONE VAMPIRE spreads wings

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: So now we've got...

Victims would perhaps be less terrified of the robo-vampire if it wore a black ribbon

I'm going. The one with Carpe Jugulum in the pocket please

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

"MSHTML Trident engine that’s been the bedrock of IE."

I know some web developers who would argue it is not so much bedrock as quicksand. Bergholt Stuttley Johnson seems to have been involved according to some.

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Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

In situations like this, I find it useful

to consult this book I have, with some large, friendly letters on the cover.

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Latest menace to internet economy: Gators EATING all the PUSSIES

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Send in Mick Dundee!

He'll sort those crocs out, no worries!!

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OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Sky surveys

They would be very faint, and move VERY slowly with respect to the stars. Most big surveys are looking for faster-moving objects (NEOs will mmove a lot faster than trans-Neptune objects)

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You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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OS wars are so last decade

I personally do not care. I have worked on (and fumed at) very many versions of Windows, Linux, Unix, Android, and OS-X. I am old enough to have worked on VAX-VMS, RSX-11 on PDP-11 and CDC Cyber NOS (nicknamed either No Operating System or Nasty Operating System), CPM (2.0 and 68K), and more DOS version than I care to mention.

I just want a tool that works. Android works nicely on my HTC phone, and ASUS transformer pad, Windows 8 (with classic shell) works for my kids and missus, and for me in data acquisition behind me telescope, and Linux works on many (non-mobile) machines I need to get my work done. Try processing some of my image and volume data on a mobile device: giga-pixel and tera-pixel range (single images, not a database that size). On the other hand, I don't do web browsing on a cluster. I have considered getting a MacBook Pro as a replacement for my ancient Sony Vaio (lack of nVidia card on their 13" bothered me, not the OS). Different tools for different tasks.

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Earth-bound exoplanet hunter's eyes blink open

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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WTF?

Re: So they can see planets so far away but no high quality Moon pics ?

Unless a tinfoil hat got in the way, I really do not understand what you are getting at

There are plenty high quality moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus pictures about and have been for decades. The resolution just gets higher and higher.

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Australia tries to ban crypto research – by ACCIDENT

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Possible solution from a place which is not Australia, but very, ... well, Australian

They really should go for the Ecksian solution: put anybody who becomes PM in jail instantly (saves time, after all). Could be extended to any political office.

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$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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What odds will the bookies give on

The baby ...

1. throws it out of the cot/pram/playpen

2. manages to break it within a day

3. has it stolen by an elder sibling so it's never in the right place

4. consistently holds it in the wrong way

5. is terrified by the glowing heart

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NSA: SO SORRY we backed that borked crypto even after you spotted the backdoor

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

Well ....

"... In truth, I can think of no better way to describe our failure to drop support for the Dual EC DRBG algorithm as anything other than regrettable,"

I can think of better ways, in fact we are spoiled for choice:

"Cynical" immediately springs to mind

"Amateurish" given the way they handled it

"Wannabe Machiavellian" because it blew up in their faces, as was always likely

and many, many more

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MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Positioned as the badass mainframe to put in your office

"At least you will know how to operate it, contrary to that darn espresso-monstrosity that nearly cost as much and now only collects dust while you suffer the humiliation that is Nespresso."

How hard can operating an espresso machine be? Does yours have black buttons labelled in black letters on a black background with little black lights that light up black to show that you have done it? We have a pretty swanky espresso machine at home, and even I can operate that.

And I don't even drink coffee (to me coffee is to my taste buds like Vogon poetry is to my ears, and no, that is not due to how I make coffee)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Do the USAF want those?

Clearly designed with stealth technology for low radar footprint. Could be useful to a BOFH

Beancounters footprint not so small, I would guess; they would be alerted by big budget hole, but no visible kit to show for it

OK, I'm going

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HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Narcissism goes hi-res

New keyboard please!

Love the sub-title, just love it to bits

BTW, have an M8, and love it to bits. I have had several HTCs before, and always got on with them, but the M8 is the first I really like a lot.

Whatever rumour says, I do not call it my precioussssss,

don't I, my preciousssss?

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I might well want a 4K screen

But mostly for images I make myself, like this moon mosaic. I do not need "Holland/UK/Lapland has got no talent" in even higher resolution.

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Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I have spotted it with binoculars and with small telescopes in the last couple of clear night (including tonight). Even managed to snap an image before clouds rushed in. Weather forecast not good for the coming days

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Anonymous vows to avenge Charlie Hebdo massacre by blitzing jihadist sites

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Intelligence

Empathy and compassion might also be nice, not to mention self mockery; all traits that fundamentalists of all persuasions seem to lack.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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What might be fitting

Is to plaster the jihadist sites with Charlie Hebdo cartoons, over and over again.

Just a symbolic gesture, but fitting, I think

Je suis Charlie

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IBM hastens END OF HUMANITY with teachable AI 'brain'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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No, but it might make a cup filled with a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea

Doffs hat (nice new black fedora today) to Douglas Adams

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Fancy a .trust domain? How's $150,000 sound?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Any interest in

moist.von.lipwig.trust ?

OK, OK, I'm going. The one with "Making Money" in the pocket please

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Hack hijacks electric skateboards, dumps hipsters in the gutter

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: ".. you could also just hit them with a car."

16 ton weight will also do nicely

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Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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WHEN WILL THIS END??????

Like Reg Shoe I have nothing against zombies, but like him I hate it when they lurch and groan, and lurching and groaning is what the SCO group are doing.

...

I am getting my coat. The one with Night Watch in the pocket please

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Strange to see NATO back down from vague NORK threats

OK, I'll get me coat

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Crossbar says it's 'one step' from delivering miracle RRAM

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Very interesting read

We live in exciting times. It is great to see many different groups of extremely smart people trying to create breakthrough technologies to make impossible things possible

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It's whiff, Jim, but not as we know it: Curiosity sniffs ORGANICS on Mars

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: Spikes in the methane can only mean one thing.

Would that be a MAdRaS curry

I'll get me coat

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El Reg's mighty rocket spaceplane Vulture 2 arrives in US of A

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Westmalle or Duvel

Westvleteren is also great. I live close enough to Belgium (the country, not the swear word ;-) ) to have access to a wide selection, and regularly sample ones unknown to me.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Looking good, and looking forward to launch!

Good idea! I have just found 3 in the city of Groningen itself, but am not sure about the quality (experimental validation called for). Another is nearby in the village of Peize (quite a nice brown beer, in character similar to Palm). Of the others, two seem to be lagers, and one very small one has a porter and an AMerican blond beer

I'll still have that Westmalle Tripel, but that does not mean I won't try the others

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Looking good, and looking forward to launch!

Certainly a reason to raise a glass (as if we need one). Mine will be a Westmalle Tripel or a Duvel (no microbreweries here, alas)

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France says 'non' to UberPop

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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So Uber says a small fee is involved, but it is not commercial?

Mr. Spock would find this illogical

I tend to agree. Uber is all about cost-cutting. This is fair enough in commercial ventures, but they seem to want to weasel their way through, avoiding (not entirely unreasonable) rules and regulations.

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Senator: Backdoor for the Feds is a backdoor for hackers

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Hooray for progress!!

Pleasant and rare surprise to hear this level of sense from a politician (of any nation, I hasten to add)

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: 24 the ultimate answer

Agreed: 6 bits is perfect, as 6 is the first perfect number

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Deep question with more than one mystery

The CPT and similar symmetries in quantummechanics are so neat, and then entropy comes along and immediately everything gets messy

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Ah!

You mean UKIP consists of Auditors?

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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So is 24 the ultimate answer in that universe?

I'll get me coat

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Rosetta beams back colour pics: 67P shades of grey are SO HOT right now

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

So on the next mission they will bring a vacuum cleaner?

Alternatively, the colour scheme was dreamed up by the same designer who labelled the black buttons in black on a black background, and when pressed a little black lamp lit up black to show that you had done it.

Only this time they used dark grey, probably chosen from one of those colour selection pages which has 24 identically coloured squares in them (at least to my insensitive male eyes, my wife swears they are different, and only number 42A matches the drapes)

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Better title needed.

You are missing an important rule in journalism: Never let facts stand in the way of an alarmist headline. Indeed, the Reg missed an opportunity to call hysterically:

SCRAP METAL SHOULD BE BANNED!!!!!

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!

as the Daily Wail might have done

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: "Ponce"

"Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, that's the best know Ponce."

By now Ponce da Quirm might be more famous to much of the Reg's readership

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Lenov-OUCH! 500,000 laptop cables recalled in burning mains cock-up

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

Strange: how much power must a Lenovo laptop draw (I have one) to overheat a mains cable. Even a mere 0.75mm^2 cable (uncoiled in the open) is rated to 6 amps. At 230V that is 1.380 kW. They may have used 0.5mm^2 rated at only 3 amps (only 690 W), but even that kind of draw seems a bit high (toasted genitals high, even). At 110-120 V the issue is different, of course.

Icon, well, obvious, innit?

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Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Is it just me

or is that Ford trying to look like an Aston Martin, by the look of that front grille.

Nice try, but given the choice I would rather get an Aston Martin for Xmas ( wouldn't mind getting a Ford, and then of course neither are very likely, but a man may dream).

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

"The future is HUD.

Like on a fighter jet.

I already want one."

Me too. An F22 would be nice for X-mas

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Cool technology: Submerged blade servers escape the heat

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Interesting and humorous read. I will point my students to this whenever they complain about difficulties in the computer lab (which is computer heaven compared to what you need to go through)

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Did rock-hard aliens turn young Earth MOIST? New probe data emerges

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Some may be further away

Ah, but everyone knows a million to one chances succeeds nine times out of ten.

That time already? Mine is the one with "Small Gods" in the pocket

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Frankly, I am not too surprised by the results of the study, but thumbs up to the scientists for putting in the hours to debunk this mallarkey. This is of course all part and parcel of the scientific method: do not dismiss someone else's theory because it sounds stupid, prove it wrong. Do not forget not all alarmist ideas are wrong. Many people long believed X-rays were just a useful tool (or even a nice fairground attraction), and were harmless. Now people treat them with a lot more care for good reason. So whilst there are a lot of idiots crying wolf, in some cases they might be right. What is tiresome is that certain people will not listen to any amount of scientific proof. Unfortunately, there is no "ignore" button you can press in real life, so they no longer bother you.

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Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Well obviously

If the document is a legal one, it is very likely the DNA makes more captivating reading

The effect is even more pronounced in the case of accountancy

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Lakes of methanol and ethanol

Have a lakeside holiday on Titan, OK it's cold, but you can get blind drunk for free once you get there (ethanol will see to the drunk, methanol to the blind).

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No NAND's land: Flash will NOT take over the data centre

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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If it is a disk world .....

DOES THE PERMANENT ERASE FUNCTION SPEAK IN CAPITALS ONLY?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Mine's the one with "Thud" in the pocket

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Home Wi-Fi security's just as good as '90s PC security! Wait, what?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Plus ce change, plus c'est la même chose

Ah, reminds me of an old BOFH episode

"But I like the word Maggot!"

"And I like the words Grievous Bodily Harm, but I don't use them as a password. Not any more, anyway. "

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NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Beep, beep, beep ...

Or should that be "brain the size of a dwarf planet"

Runs for cover

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Thumbs up to NASA

Great news. Looking forward to the results, and my eldest son will be chuffed the closest encounter is on his birthday.

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BOFH: Santa, bloody Santa

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nice one. It has a nice recursive feel to it.

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