* Posts by Annihilator

3166 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Five-storey Blue Screen Of Death spotted in Thailand

Annihilator

WfS

I don't think anything can top the "Windows for Submarines" thing that surfaced (ahem) a while back:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ukgovernment/tag/windows-for-submarines/

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NASA to begin first asteroid sample mission: Seeks 'pristine' specimen

Annihilator

Genesis-style fiasco

Genesis has become a galactic controversy. Until the Federation Council makes policy, you are all under orders not to discuss with anyone your knowledge of Genesis. Consider it a quarantined planet... and a forbidden subject.

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Annihilator
Alien

2010

ALL THESE WORLDS

ARE YOURS EXCEPT

BENNU

ATTEMPT NO

LANDING THERE

USE THEM TOGETHER

USE THEM IN PEACE

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Annihilator

Re: Not IT, but a similar experience

In fairness I doubt satellites suffer from much oxide build-up on the battery terminals :-D

Your story did give me a flashback though - remember when RAM used to get an oxidation build up and introduce random memory failures? Re-seating RAM was one of the first tricks I would perform on a dodgy PC but don't think I've had cause to do it for years.

Was that a real thing that doesn't happen anymore, or just a placebo effect we used to experience?

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Annihilator
Happy

Re: Pournelle's law, well one of them anyway...

"the coiled wire thingy"

Woah, slow down with all your technical jargon! :-D

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Linux on PS3 white flag

Annihilator

Rather difficult to prove

How on earth do you prove whether you installed an OS or not in the past? My PS3 has been through about 4 hard drives since I last saw the "Install Other OS" option included in the firmware...

But regardless, I hope everyone who bought a PS3 applies and absolutely rinses Sony. Was atrocious behaviour at the time and the fact it's taken over a decade to resolve is an embarrassment.

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Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Annihilator

Confused

"Why does a smartwatch need to have a local cache of MP3 files? Well, the use case put forward is that the owner goes jogging, but still wants to hear some music, but doesn’t want to take calls. So the Apple Watch can store music locally, but your calls go back to voicemail, on wherever you’ve left your iPhone. "

The article seems to contradict itself throughout... The above was meant to be (I think) an example of how there were too many features, yet then basically yells "HA!" and criticises it because it doesn't have enough features like taking calls? Baffling.

I completely understand why a fitness tracking device, in fitness tracking mode (jogging), only does music and fitness.

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Lenovo cries 'dump our support app' after 'critical' hole found

Annihilator

Re: "no manufacturer has ever tried to store programs in either BIOS"

"Of course there is the WTF? question over Windows supporting this sort of 'feature' in the first place."

IBM/Lenovo have had "anti-theft" software on their laptops for at least a decade that I know of. It works by checking the primary boot drive for a certain files in the windows directory, and modifies the boot files to launch it.

Technically, yes,it's exploiting a windows feature to make it easier, but it could just as easily inject it onto the HDD in the appropriate places and Windows would be none the wiser. Hardware level access to the boot drive, which a BIOS has, = all bets are off!

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Annihilator

Re: Clean install Windows or Linux

"if you fry your motherboard and get a replacement, it is considered a new computer, please purchase Windows again"

Think that's the case regardless with OEM keys.

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Annihilator

Re: Clean install Windows or Linux

"It's worth shrinking down your Windows system partition to the smallest it will go and installing alongside on a new partition. That way when there are missing drivers you can get them from your old Windows partition."

If you just install it over the old installation, it should move your current copy into windows.old and you can retrieve the drivers that way - worked for me in the past. I just pointed the "add hardware" wizard at C:\windows.old\drivers and it found most of them by itself.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Annihilator

Re: Windows 10 Pondering

"You still own the hardware. If Windows chooses to commit suicide, you still have the hardware and are free to install the OS of your choice"

I also own the software, or at the very least, a licence to use the software - including support until 2020. At this point, MS are effectively revoking the Windows 7 licence and replacing it with a Windows 10 licence.

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Annihilator

Re: Windows 10 Pondering

"I bought a PC that I chose to run Windows on ... How do you guys feel about it?"

I feel like I'll "choose" to run something else on it in the future.

I didn't realise when MS said last month that "the nagware will go away from July", that they meant "we'll have nuked all Win 7/8 installations so won't need it anymore"

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ISS pump-up space podule fully engorged

Annihilator
Coat

Hope he's not a smoker

"NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams spent around seven hours gradually introducing air from the ISS into BEAM in short bursts"

Poor chap must be exhausted! I got a bit light-headed inflating 20 or so party balloons at the weekend.

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Hooves in spaaace: Goat Simulator goes galactic

Annihilator
Windows

Llamasoft

Amazed it's not a new Jeff Minter game... Clearly influenced by him!

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Three UK: Our MMS prices are up. Get around us with WhatsApp or Skype

Annihilator

Re: Makes perfect sense

Also, cost of having MMS capability will be relatively static (presumably all down to maintaining an MMS gateway plus a little bit of wooden dollars representing network capacity), call it £x.

Let's say there are y MMS transmissions per year, cost of each one is nominally £x/y. As y goes down, £x/y goes up.

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Africa poses for 7,000 snap mosaic

Annihilator

"I blinked, can we take it again please?"

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Help! We're being crushed, cry billionaire cable giants

Annihilator
Go

Awesome picture choice

Paddlin' the school canoe? Oh, you better believe that's a paddlin'

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Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?

Annihilator

Fast thing quicker than slow thing

Is this the summary of the article? That a device with a greater bandwidth will shift data around faster than a device with less?

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Annihilator

Re: Concorde

"This also allowed it to travel rather a lot faster than a Hyperloop, take off and land all over the world"

It was only faster than Hyperloop where it was allowed to fly supersonic, ie over oceans. The sonic boom carpet for Concorde was around 20 miles wide and meant that flight routes were rather limited sadly. It's why the Singapore route was discontinued.

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Annihilator

"$6bn and that needs government money to fund it? The second biggest technology project of the 1960s was the IBM System/360. IBM totally bet the company on it... bringing it to market cost IBM $5bn - and that IS in 1964 dollars! $35bn in today's money..."

Yes, but IBM would have been confident in there being much more than $5bn in direct benefits to IBM.

The problem with big infrastructure projects like this is that they don't usually generate benefits back to the company that builds the thing (particularly once you factor in running costs). Infrastructure projects generate economic benefits (well, they're meant to) which usually points at the government to fund.

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Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

Annihilator

Re: 1920x990

"space sausage"

You mean like a currywurst? Oh, wait, sorry, that's a spice sausage. People in Birmingham may have trouble hearing the difference.

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Windows 10 build 14342: No more friendly Wi-Fi sharing

Annihilator

Re: Good

"This is the OS changing, not our BIOS/secure_boot code(the firmware), and in any event some third party devs can now jump in and provide a solution to this removed feature"

Perhaps, but consider the option of Microsoft deciding that third party software not supplied via the Windows store is too much of a faff to look after, and removes the "feature" of installing any .exe of your choosing. Basically turning it into a walled garden like the PS3 or an iPhone.

Extreme, perhaps, and an unlikely example, but still a precedent now that Windows 10 isn't a product you buy anymore and expect to work/be supported, but a service that MS can chop and change at will.

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Annihilator
Black Helicopters

Re: Good

WiFi key sharing may well be stupid, but consider this - the rolling Windows 10 updates mean Microsoft are now disabling features on products you own a licence to use.

You're happy now, as it's a feature you weren't keen on, but this implies that anything they can't be arsed with in the future they'll remove, leaving you with no choice but to lose the feature or have an unpatched version of Windows.

Rather ominous... and reminds me of when Sony started removing features from the PS3 (ability to run Linux for example - you had the choice of keeping it, sure, but a non-up-to-date PS3 isn't able to connect to the PSN)

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Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

Annihilator

Re: If I upgrade to windows 10 and I don't like it

"I still have my Genuine XP disc and the license key that goes with it. That means that I can install XP if I wish - and have hardware that can run it."

Or at least while MS keep the activation servers running...

The more interesting debate (and the reason I haven't upgraded) is the unclear scenario of when you try and transfer your "free" Windows 10 installation to a new PC. The best answer I can find is that MS will reject the authentication but a friendly agent would be able to activate your new installation over the phone.

If I buy Win 10 (likely case), I'll end up with a product key I can use how I like, similar to the 95, 98, XP and 7 keys I still have.

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Revealed: How NASA saved the Kepler space telescope from suicide

Annihilator

Without an emergency mode, the story would be "Foocraft suffered a bar failure and its game over. Thanks for playing.".

More accurately it would be "Foocraft has gone silent - we haven't heard from it since last Tuesday. Missing, presumed dead"

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Annihilator
Coat

Re: Self organising team

"In my whole career, I have never once met a manager who has learned the trick of the second part."

Well, no, if you had a manager who stayed out of the way when they were unable to help, you'd pretty much never meet them.

Unless you checked under a table leg to see if they were stopping it from being wobbly, I can't think where else they would be...

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30 years on, Chernobyl wildlife still feeling effects of nuke plant catastrophe

Annihilator

Exclusion zone

"The reactor is now surrounded by a 30-kilometer (19-mile) exclusion zone and it has provided a unique experiment for scientists studying the effects of radioactivity."

Weirdly it's not exactly a strict exclusion zone though. A community of people live there who refused to leave, and it's worth remembering that Chernobyl continued to operate the remaining reactors for 15-odd years after the disaster.

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URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

Annihilator

Re: Beware Pron ahead

"You don't know where they go to, and you can't go to say bit.ly's website put one in, and find out"

You really can. Put a + symbol at the end of the URL and see.

http://bit.ly/1WvyY1j links to the Reg story we're commenting on.

http://bit.ly/1WvyY1j+ shows you the details of the link.

What would be more helpful is if all the URL shorteners were consistent with that approach though. They usually have different mechanisms.

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Would you let cops give your phone a textalyzer scan after a road crash?

Annihilator

"The telcos wouldn't know if you were writing a text message or email but hadn't yet sent it. Or if you were reading a message you'd received earlier."

I'm not sure that a road-side analysis of the phone would reveal that either. I'm not even sure a lab-analysis of the phone would reveal that - I'd be surprised if it logs when a text was read for the first time, let alone a subsequent time. Or when a text/email started to be composed.

Either way, in my view it's an illegal search/seizure and would be protected by the constitution (in the US anyway).

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'Bring back xHamster', North Carolina smut watchers grumble

Annihilator
Boffin

Better option

Keep the site live, but only serve up non-straight-fapping-material.

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: Really?

More specifically, he's a bus wanker...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1V_qz9I1Nk

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Florida weed suspect cuffed after hoverboard pursuit

Annihilator
Unhappy

Hoverboard

Never have I been so let down by a product description. Marty McFly wouldn't be caught dead on a swegway.

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Hi-def ExoMars launch vid lacks volcanic lair vibe

Annihilator
Meh

Re: That poor bird...

Presumably the ones that didn't get out by 9 seconds into the video, didn't get out at all..

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'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Annihilator
Terminator

Self-modifying shell scripts

"“How far ahead do sh and csh read their script files so I can have them edit themselves safely while they are running?”"

I'm pretty sure that's how Skynet got started...

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Good eye, Hubble! Space 'scope spots furthest-ever object

Annihilator

Re: "though it has been given significant hardware upgrades over the years."

"Webb will be totally unserviceable (also being at a Lagrangian point...) "

It's unserviceable *because* it's at the L2 point - nothing we're planning to build would be able to get there. Trying to come up some Shuttle alternative that can get to L2 and return to Earth is pointless, and a whole lot more expensive than building a replacement for JWST when the time comes.

It also *has* to be at the L2 point to work. It's a sensitive instrument that wouldn't work in the same LEO as (say) Hubble.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 3

Annihilator
Coat

Re: PCs fading away...

"The PC ought to disappear into the monitor."

So... an iMac then?...

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What we all really need is an SD card for our cars. Thanks, SanDisk

Annihilator

Re: Copy Protection

[car detects minor accident]

[ad appears in place of the speedometer]

"Been injured in an accident? Call 1-800-LAWYERUP!"

Why bother? They seem to skip the first step before phoning me.. Best example I've experienced:

"Hello, I understand you were involved in an accident? No? Oh, maybe it was family member? Hmm.. ok, has anyone you know been involved in an accident?"

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All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'

Annihilator

Re: I must be missing something here, what's to stop Appple encrypting the data partition..

Nothing, I think the point is they already do. But most phones (presumably including this one) have 4-digit passcodes. With brute-force they could crack that in a little under 3 hours with a measly 1-try per second (and they could do faster - they're emulating the iTunes USB interface to do this I suspect).

The thing they've asked apple to do is disable the "pause after too many retries" so they can actually attempt 1 per second.. After 6 tries, it makes you wait a minute before getting another go. After 10 attempts it's 1 try per hour which rather puts a dent in their brute-force attempts.

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Annihilator

"Please explain how you prevent three big uniformed guys armed with tasers from puting your finger whenever they please, including your iPhone*."

Because it's not three big uniformed guys. It's 3 months after the arrest/seize under a court order that you'd be "forced" to do so. And you could just decline and end up in prison for contempt of court.

I'm not a fan of "if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear" but in this case I suggest the paranoia of them forcing your thumb onto the phone is slightly unwarranted. Or if it is the case, you're already in a blacksite unlikely to see the light of day again.

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Annihilator

"When Judges have ruled that forcing you to place your finger on the reader is legal and forcing you to enter a code number isn't."

Have they? Even if they have, just stall. The power will run out on your iDevice. Whenever it's switched on for the first time, it demands your passcode before it will enable the fingerprint reader (first boot from cold anyway).

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UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?

Annihilator

Re: Stupid or lying?

Presumably they'll be installing barriers with card payment machines around every bush in the UK to prevent children from stumbling across a copy of Razzle wedged between two branches. Or guards in every forest.

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Annihilator
Unhappy

Indeed. Take it even further, do we really want to be training adults to supply credit card numbers "for verification" to any website that asks? We promise we won't take a payment, we're just confirming it's you...

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Firing a water rocket to 1km? Piece of cake

Annihilator
Headmaster

Re: "uses only water and air – very environmentally friendly"

"The water rocket competition is very exciting, as it uses only water and air – very environmentally friendly"

Technically speaking, the Space Shuttle Main Engines only used water (well, its component parts anyway). Wouldn't call it environmentally friendly though.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

Annihilator

Re: Any chance of a solution?

"it should say: while(status == SUCCESS) {"

I was half expecting it to be a case of "while(status = SUCCESS)", the classic schoolboy C-style error of assigning a variable, not testing. Why I was always taught to have "constant == variable" as the test, so that any missing = would throw an error.

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The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Annihilator
Go

Re: But...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaCaEcMF86o

Or the 8th house of aquarius...

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Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

Annihilator

MTBF is a nonsense statistic anyway.

What's rather odd is that Seagate don't even use MTBF anymore, they use Annual Failure Rate

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/174791en?language=en_US

Quite how that extrapolates into subsequent years, I don't know.

Your 6 years is rather good though. More often than not, the drive failures I get are Seagates

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Annihilator
Coat

Hmm..

A more serious version of the Register? Isn't that what the Inquirer is for?

Seriously though, who are the writers that have moved on and what are the changes made to date? Can't say I've noticed much? But I can take from this that the Yahoo! headlines! will! stop! having! exclamation! marks! now! So that's an improvement anyway :-)

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UK ISP Sky to make smut an opt-in service from 2016

Annihilator

Re: Ambivalent

"Which is all Sky is asking you to do - decide to open up a certain class of content, or decide to leave it blocked."

No, they're providing a stunted Internet connection and then asking you if you want to unblock it.

They emailed me a while ago saying it was there if I wanted it, I politely ignored it. But now they're forcing it onto new users and giving them the choice to undo it.

"Opt out" effectively assumes you want this switch on. It should be my choice to select something, not my choice to not select something. Email spam sign ups are exactly the same.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Annihilator
Coat

Excellent, looking forward to this extending the range of their planned drone delivery service. Falcon 9 landing in my back garden to drop off a book would be quite exciting..

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EE Power Bar recall: Telco will waive £5 fee for laggards

Annihilator

2nd hand battery?

"When your EE Power agreement expires or terminates (for mobile or broadband customer this will happen automatically if you choose to cancel your agreement with us for mobile or broadband services), you must return the Power Bar to an EE store within 60 days"

Why? What on earth were EE going to do with presumably well-used rechargeable batteries? Give them out again?

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