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* Posts by Paul Renault

84 posts • joined 30 Jul 2009

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Two in five Brits cough up for CryptoLocker ransomware's demands

Paul Renault

Bad Headline Writer! Bad! Down boy!

"Around two in five people who fall victim to CryptoLocker" <> "Two in five Brits"

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Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

Paul Renault

"Enterprising French chap"? Missed opportunity..old chap!

I would have gone with "Bauphin".

Sacre bleu!

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Eggheads give two robots vodka and tell them to text each other FOR SCIENCE

Paul Renault

Really?

..You couldn't work the 'bender' or 'bend' into the article anywhere?

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Paul Renault

..in the real world...

Yay for hardware that's make to last, to be repaired, and upgraded.

Yay for manufacturers who provide parts lists and service manuals.

Definitely not a Apple fanboi.

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Behold, the MONSTER-CLAWED critter and its terrifying SPIDER BRAIN

Paul Renault

Behold, the Mighty Craw!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftgAG3Vnif8

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Paul Renault

No kidding! Just this morning I was thinking: "Why doesn't anyone implement WordPerfect's oh-so-useful "Keep Text Together" command?

(I don't know if it's in Word, but I know it's not in LibreOffice.)

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Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

Paul Renault

Re.: ..."let's make it look good but play like on-rails shit"

Came here to say the same thing. Maybe Mac users, who weren't used to playing big complicated games as were available on PCs, were impressed, but Myst left me very bored and frustrated.

Take a step, wait for the CDROM, take another step, wait some more... I don't know how I managed to not blow my brains out, waiting for another frickin' chunk of code/data to load....

And all the eye-candy, and you can't explore. It was sooo boring. Maybe for Mac users, used to Apple's "You will do as you are told" policies, didn't mind, but I hated it.

Then, at the point where my feeling was that I was about thirds of the way through the game, it was over. Whaa? Not a very good puzzle, but yes, it was pretty. But you couldn't really play Myst. When Riven came out, I gave it a pass.

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Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

Paul Renault

Re: The one way this could work properly

... he can't turn himself in for the rape charges because he will then get spirited away by USA

Um, there haven't been charges. Accusations, but no charges. Your recollection of the details may be hazy. He's already been interviewed once by the Swedish Police. At the time, they decided that there was no case. See here:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

The article is longish, but worth the read.

There's a question that Assange (among lots of other folk) has asked, over and over: "Why won't the Swedish Police come to the UK and interview him there?" This is allowed by Swedish law. Because of the cost? The UK government could save millions by paying the Swedish Police's expenses, no?

I think that Assange's suspicions are entirely reasonable.

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Boeing batteries back under spotlight as 787 burns at Heathrow

Paul Renault

Maybe it was one of these cigarettes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6psWFGYPHO8#t=05m30s

(I couldn't find a 'Mercan language version of Superagente for this episode.)

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US public hate Snowden - but sexpot spy Anna Chapman LOVES him

Paul Renault

Re: Propoganda

Came here to say roughly the same thing: The American public isn't immune to NSA cointelpro, eh?

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Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works

Paul Renault

Re: Nice... no mention of how the very first Bitcoins were minted though?

Not strictly true either. The difficulty of mining Bitcoin doesn't increase exponentially. The difficulty of mining is automatically adjusted - either up or down.

Essentially, the next hash is computed from, amongst other things, the hash of the previous block's transactions - which can't be predicted ahead of time - so work on mining the hash which comes after the next one can't be done ahead of time.

That 'next' hash which is being mined needs to have a specific number of leading zeros. The number of these leading zeros that is required varies depending on, essentially, how much world-wide computing power is dedicated to the task of mining. If the protocol detects that megatons of computer power is applied, the number of leading zeroes is increased, making the mining operation much more difficult, and keeping the rate at which these hashes are found constant (at about one every ten minutes.

If the amount of computing power which is mining was decreased (meaning that it would take longer to stumble upon a hash that fits the requirements), then, after a while, the protocol will decrease the number of leading zeros required in the 'next' hash - making the mining operation easier.

All that effort/time/money people put into mining simply makes the mining difficult and much more expensive. The rate at which someone can find Bitcoins remains relatively constant. The number of Bitcoins found each time will be reduced as time goes on. After a while, mining operations will produce no more Bitcoins.

At that time, all these mining operations will stop, and the hashing requirements will be relatively easy.

Copy'n'pasting from the Bitcoin FAQ at https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

== How does the proof-of-work system help secure Bitcoin?

==

== To give a general idea of the mining process, imagine this setup:

== payload = <some data related to things happening on the Bitcoin network>

== nonce = 1

== hash = SHA2( SHA2( payload + nonce ) )

==

== The work performed by a miner consists of repeatedly increasing "nonce" until the hash

== function yields a value, that has the rare property of being below a certain target threshold.

== (In other words: The hash "starts with a certain number of zeroes", if you display it in the

== fixed-length representation, that is typically used.)

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Jailed Romanian hacker repents, invents ATM security scheme

Paul Renault

Re: Chip n Pin

Came here to say the same thing. I believe that the near-100% prevalence of chip'n'pin cards in Canada has made skimmers obsolete.

Now, if we can just get rid of white label ABMs...

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Don't bake your Raspberry Pi - now you can WATER COOL it

Paul Renault

I shudder to think what the coolant used here is.

Y'know, 'cuz it's a Raspberry pi.

A Raspberry PI!

Oh, don't you know anyone who speaks Greek? Ask them how to pronounce that letter.

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BlackBerry 10 passes US defence department tests

Paul Renault

Re: Imperative

"Submitted..for the same certification"?

Is that like Ken Brockman's 'Emmy-submitted' Six O'Clock News?

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Want to know what CIA spooks really think of spy movies and books?

Paul Renault

Re: Reminds me of...

One of the late-night talk shows on Radio-Canada used to get a classical music reviewer to review the heavy metal rock albums - all in good fun. Generally, the reviewer would draw parallels with opera.

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Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know

Paul Renault

No, no, no, that's not what it looked like.q

I distinctly remember that page when I first saw it: It had glowing amber phosphor letters on a black background. No, really!

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

Paul Renault

...What's to stop people from using reflective paint?

...note that the delta-shaped plane in the video is painted matte black.

/While we're at it, why not fly smart drones with mirrors?

Y'know, so that the beam can be reflected back to the ship? Heh...

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Kissinger and tell: WikiLeaks scrapes 1.7m US diplomatic reports from the '70s

Paul Renault

Re: Mostly harmless

From The Register, just a few days ago:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/04/assange_extradition_unlikely/

Justice Stefan Lindskog, a senior judge from Sweden’s supreme court, has told an Australian audience..

...snip, snip, snip,...

[/That] his personal view,..., is that Assange has done good works.

“At the end of the day Assange will be thought of as someone who made public certain pieces of information,” Lindskog says, adding that he feels many of Wikileaks’ leaks “were good for society and should not be punished.”

“The good made by leakage of such information cannot be underestimated,” he says. “It should never be a crime to make known the crime of a state.”

Me, I'm from the "You are what you do, not what you (or others) say you do" school... On the whole, IMHO, Assange's contributions have made the world a little better.

Now, if we can just arrest Bush and Blair and drag them to the ICC...

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Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

Paul Renault

Any bets that despite that 10% bump...

..thestudios still didn't quite make enough money to pay anyone any royalties?

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120531/07313919143/darth-vader-is-most-successful-star-wars-character-ever-still-no-return-jedi-residuals-actor.shtml

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Shatners talks space, acting with fellow Canuck on ISS

Paul Renault

Barenaked Ladies, not Bare[space]Naked Ladies.

Boy, if I had a million dollars for every time THAT happens...

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Ten... tech stocking stuffers

Paul Renault

Re: Yikes!

You have to remember that El Reg's reporters' salaries start at a quarter million plus.

To them, £200 is chump change.

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DNS servers filled with wrong Kool-Aid, big names waylaid in Romania

Paul Renault

DNS servers filled with Kool-Aid?

Weren't they supposed to use Fluorinert?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-2

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Bradley Manning to speak in public for first time in two years

Paul Renault

Actually,

In Canada, you get a double credit for every day you spend in jail pre-trial.

If you ask me, they should give him a week's credit for every pre-trial day he spent in solitary confinment.

/not an anonymous coward

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Girlfriend 'tried to MURDER ME with her AMPLE BREASTS'

Paul Renault

Re: 'Deadly Weapons' ; Was: I blame Holly wood

Some friends and I saw that film in the theatre(s) when it came out. We walked out at about the 2/3rd mark, we couldn't take the boredom.

At the time, the local newspaper interviewed her. "They're real," she asserted to the reporter. "Hmm," he thought, "there's not that much silicon in the whole world."

If memory serves, she was married to a referee in the NHL.

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Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'

Paul Renault
Unhappy

Re: Higher temperatures =

D'oh! Those are Glasgow's figures... My bad.

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Paul Renault

Re: Higher temperatures =

Damn you, boltar! I came here to say the exact same thing! It's no surprise.

The Antartic is also known as a desert, at an annual precipitation of about 165mm - the extreme cold makes the air extremely dry. A rainfall of less than 250mm per year qualifies it as a desert. For comparison's sake, London's annual rainfall is 1,480mm.

The poor sods in Crib Goch, have to suffer through 4,473 mm. Maybe Rob McKenna lives there...

Most people who live in snowy climates know that when it's really cold, it tends to not snow much.

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iPhone senses you typing on table, bit of wood etc, turns vibes to text

Paul Renault

It might be more accurate than..

..the bloody keyboard on the iPhone's screen.

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Sellafield's nuclear waste measured in El Reg units

Paul Renault

Sheesh!! It's not pronounced 'kilometers'...

It's 'kilometers'!

Next thing you know, you'll be pronouncing that planet 'Uranus', instead of, well, you know.

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Young Frenchwoman desperate for fat pipe tumbles out of window

Paul Renault

So, she took it on the chin, eh?

I mean, if you're going to use Scottish words and all, and if Scotland's second language is STILL French...I can't believe I'm the first to say it.

/sigh... Look up 'menton'.

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That horrendous iPhone empurplement - you're holding it wrong

Paul Renault

Idea for a new iPhone accessory:

A tripod for when you want to be in the group shot, but with a little 'cupping flag' to shield the delicate iPhone mechanisms from the harmful effects of light.

Really. Crappy. Products. Really!

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Inphi: Don't skimp on memory for those virty servers

Paul Renault

LRRRDIMM?

Is this what used on Omicron Persei 8?

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Ten backpacks for tech-heads

Paul Renault

I have an old Targus CLC1 Leather Convertible Backpack.

I've packed this pack completely full (Toughbook, portable Canon BJC-50 (sigh, since discontinued), spare printhead, the very nifty IS-12 Scanner printhead, inkjet paper, notepad, pens, mouse, plus all the other usual paraphenalia. The zippers still hold well.

The leather is good quality and the pack looks good. I've gotten compliments about it (and the Toughbook) from the Commissionaires at airport checkpoints. The dividers and pockets are all handy and useful. And the price was reasonable - in 2001, I paid 169$CDN. Bonus: it holds up to 9 floppy disks!

I guess that's why they had to discontinue it.

It'll be a long time before I get another Targus product - their 'lifetime replacement warranty' policy replaces your 'I finally found a case/back/pack that has everything that I want' with a clearly inferior model... (Even when you'd accept having it repaired. When this one breaks, I'll find a good shoe/leather cobbler. Or perpaps get a Rush 24.

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Global strategic maple syrup reserves hit in Canadian mega-heist

Paul Renault

Re: Burn the heretics!!

Maple Syrup is also good on 'Oreilles de Crisse', baked beans, ham, sausages, and eggs. Y'know, all the 'lite' fare usually served at sugar shacks in March or April, when the maple sap is running.

Good times...

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Why the Apple-Samsung verdict is good for you, your kids and tech

Paul Renault

Can here to say "THIS!"

From the Groklaw article - you'all really should read it:

The foreman[Patent Holder Velvin Hogan - http://patents.justia.com/2008/07352953.html ] told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions.

I wonder if Mr. Hogan's patented method was ever used to D/L video without permission...

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Going viral 9,500 years ago: 'English descended from ancient Turkey'

Paul Renault

A more important question, IMHO...

Are the Linguiboffins Pastafarians?

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Size does matter: Outlook.com punters want meatier passwords

Paul Renault

Re: And if the password is hashed

To all: I think my math is OK here, but pls forgive me. I didn't use billion, as the meaning changes depending what side of the Atlantic you're on.

AC: I don't think you understand just how large a 128-bit number is, let alone a 256-bit number. 128 bits works out to around 3.40 × 10^38 different numbers.

Humor me here: Fit 3 x 10^11 (three hundred thousand million) hashes in a cubic millimetre...

A desktop HDD has an outside volume of 386,022 mm^3. At the same storage density as above, the HDD would have to be able to store 115,806,600,000,000,000 128-bit hashes or 1,852,905,600,000,000,000 bytes (1.9 million petabytes - 1.9 zettabytes) of data to match the storage density of that cubic mm above.

To visualize just how much data that is, think how big a pile nearly two million million 1TB drives would be. The annual HDD production of any sized-storage by the three largest manufacturers is 200M - so that'd be 10,000 years' production.

Last year, IBM announced that it is building a 120 PB HDD data repository - an array of 200,000 HDDs. That 1.8ZB HDD would represent 15,834 of IBM's arrays.

The volume of the Earth is roughly 1.097 x 10^27 mm^3. That's a thousand million million million million.

A planet-Earth-sized pile of 1.8ZB HDDs would be needed just to store all possible 128-bit hashes. (Seagate expects to use HAMR to produce 60 TB+ 3.5" hard drives within the next ten years - you'd still need 31,666 of 'em for ONE 1.9 ZB HDD.)

At current rates of manufacturing, you would need every HDD produced for 2.6 x 10^21 years just to store all possible 128-bit hashes. That's 1.8 x 10^11 times the age of the universe...

Oh, it gets worse, AC.

To store all possible 256-bit hashes, you would need 3.40 × 10^38 Earth-size piles of 1.9 ZB HDDs.

THAT, my friend, is sufficiently large haystack to hide a needle in.

Password hashing IS good practice. Best practice is salted hashing, with individual, random salts (assuming the salts aren't stored with the hashes) and a slow, or a memory-intensive hashing algorithm.

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Netflix scores $1bn own goal after company shoots off mouth

Paul Renault

Re: Really?

Actually, Netflix took the 20 year old (Actually, 40 year old) BBC series off of the Canadian pipeline a few months ago. I called to ask them to put them back, please! I was halfway through a few of them, and I'm jonesing...

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Scottish cloud abacus gobbled by control freak RightScale

Paul Renault

I'm confused...

Shouldn't that first guy in the photo be wearing a shirt that says "Left Scale"?

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Boffins demo passwords even users don’t know

Paul Renault

Re: Heck, I don't know most/nearly-all of my passwords.

I wasn't concerned when the 'breach' happened. (At the time, Lastpass wasn't sure that whether some/all of the database had been stolen - but reported suspicious activity.)

No big deal: Within a day or so of the announcement, I changed my master password and in the next few days, I changed (and muchly strengthened) all of the critical passwords, and some of the less-than-critical ones. This was relatively painless - as it was handled by the Lastpass software.

And, no I don't know what most of my passwords are. Heck, I've even displayed some of the 100plus-character passwords to friends - warning them beforehand that this was their ten-second chance to steal a password of mine. (It always elicited a laugh, once they saw the completely-impossible-to-memorize passphrase...)

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Paul Renault

Heck, I don't know most/nearly-all of my passwords.

And they have much more than 38 bits of entropy.

Lastpass, FTW!

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'Biologically accurate' robot legs walk like an Egyptian

Paul Renault

Not 'biologically correct' at all!

The hips move up and down too much - the repeated shock on the spine and brain would eventually disable you. Even when running, the body keeps the head the same height off the ground, so that the brain doesn't bounce around in the skull.

In walking, the forward (not under your hips) leg puts the heel down first - which does two things: provide shock/energy absorption via the Achilles tendon, and lengthen the leg so that it can reach the ground. The rear leg does something similiar; lengthening the leg by angling down the ball of the foot, and kicking off via the calf muscle.

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Sozzled Americans nagged by talking urinal cake

Paul Renault

No, no, no, this is actually a good idea!

'Cuz there's not enough e-waste in the world, eh.

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Multimillion-pound hoard of 50BC GOLD PIECES found in Jersey

Paul Renault

If only...

...that had been a multimillion-pound hoard, instead of a multimillion-pound hoard... It would really have been a sterling find!

Oh well.

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Review: Raspberry Pi

Paul Renault

Just to pick a nit on a totally unrelated detail...

It's not Summer yet.

Nope, not for another month. That's why the weather's so dreary there, right now.

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Ten... mono laser all-in-one printers

Paul Renault

Brother MFC-7460DN - £239 ? Ouch!

I purchased a MFC-7860DW about two months ago - for $250CDN.

It's the MFC-7860DN plus Wifi interface - you can D/L a free app to print and scan from iOS devices. Very happy.

Actually, I've had a few Brother printers over the years, they're great value. And work as advertised.

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Hitachi GST lays 4TB Easter egg

Paul Renault

Re: imagine the rebuilding time

Don't use RAID 5!

Use RAID 10. You don't even notice it when it's rebuilding.

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iPhone outsells RIM's BlackBerry in Canada for the first time

Paul Renault

Re: Not a happy (Canadian) camper...

Thanks!

I asked three fanbois, none of 'em knew how!

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Paul Renault

Not a happy (Canadian) camper...

Aaargh! My employer just switched me from a BB to an iPhone.

Double-aaaaaarrrrggggh!!!! The iPhone is driving me crazy:

Lack of a proper Keyboard - I have to type in lots of alpha-numeric information (the iPhone feels like a Telex machine which uses Beaudot code);

It doesn't know how to handle email conversations (hit 'Reply' on email you've sent on a BB, it correctly assumes you are not 'replying' to yourself';

I haven't figured out how to copy'n'paste a selection of text - I can have ONE word or ALL words, nothing in between;

Why, oh, why, would I want to use the same gawd-dang signature, all the time, no matter which email acccount I'm using?

I'll stop now, I need another drink.

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