* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

1442 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

PIGS IN SPAAAACE: HAMS send porker to 25,927m

Peter Simpson 1
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Piiiigs in Spaaace!

// we just need to get Satan on skis and wonderful things will happen, right?

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US military personnel investigated for splashing $96,576 on strippers

Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

Re: Young stupid kids with a company issued credit card.

Whatever happens, don't audit the US Congress credit cards...

// will make these expenses look like chump change

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BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: For the nice people across the pond

Knowledge is Good

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

As with most things

A very little goes a long way. Except, I suppose, with lighting power cords...

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Gold bugs, concrete bog roll holders and frolic-friendly furniture: What IS it with designers?

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Have to admit...

I predict the varnish on the wooden tub will start peeling within two years, and the tub will develop a crack (and therefore, a leak) within five.

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Happy birthday to you, the ruling was true, no charge for this headline, 'coz the copyright's screwed

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: How long is the copyright?

As long as Disney wants it to be, apparently.

// Sen. Sonny Bono

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Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

Re: now... what about those rings...?

Never mind the rings.

What are you going to do about those four calling birds?

They sh*t all over my coat...

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Ex-HP boss and US prez wannabe Carly sings about her dog on TV

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Sings about her dog...

Hey, it worked for Nixon...

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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: New Dawn

Is thewe somthing humowous about my pwoduct's name?

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Peter Simpson 1
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Linux

I use Linux Mint on the desktop, and it works just fine for me.

// doesn't suck any worse than Windows.

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Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: just a question

Here's the problem: the device was harmless. He showed it to a teacher who realised this. In spite of that, he was detained, arrested and suspended from school, AFTER it was clear the device was exactly what he said it was.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Nerd radar

You might assume that police officers would get training as to the basic characteristics of an explosive device: timer, detonator, power source and explosive material.

I'm all for caution, but one look at the device tells you that two of the required items are not present.

Yet the police on scene, instead of smiling, patting Ahmed on the back and telling him "best not bring any more of these to school, someone might get the wrong idea", decided the best course of action was to arrest him for "posessing a hoax device".

The stupid is overpowering. With, it's pretty clear, just a touch of "we're going to make sure you never step out of line again"

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Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Nerd radar

The school administrators could have defused the whole thing by calling in the engineering teacher, to whom Ahmed showed the clock when he first got to school (thereby fulfilling any requirement that he notify school authorities). Instead, they convinced themselves that his device was a bomb...wait for it...because it "looked like a movie bomb". It's difficult to comprehend how people in this day and age -- professionals who must have had some kind of training -- could be so damn stupid.

However, they chose not to listen to Ahmed, not to speak with his teacher, and to railroad him. This is not "zero tolerance", this is hammering down the nail that sticks up. When they realised they'd "f'd up", they doubled down, published a press release and had a 14 year old student, who had not committed a crime, arrested on trumped-up charges of "possessing a hoax device".

The school administrators and the police department deserve to be sued for this, and I hope Ahmed and his family can find a lawyer to do this. I read this morning that he's planning to transfer out of the school. Smart decision. Clearly, there's very little education to be had there.

// the FAIL is for the school administration and the police in Irving TX.

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Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

The former.

// I believe JADE HELM 15 ended yesterday

// Sorry...my country is populated by idiots

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Murder suspect alert? Nah: Scammers fling cop-style malware

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: And the non-stop emails from Transport For London

And the new one 'from' PayPal - We Need You To Help Us.

"F" PayPal, and the horse they rode in on.

// not a chance of me ever "helping" them

/// except over a cliff edge.

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'I promise you I will win', says completely sane presidential candidate John McAfee

Peter Simpson 1
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Trollface

Re: McAfee -v- Trump smackdown

As long as Palin (either Sarah or Bristol) is the VP candidate, I'm supporting the winner!

// Vote Cthulu...why settle for a lesser evil?

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Cuffed Texan woman holsters loaded gun IN VAGINA

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Out of the fog, into the smog...

// I wonder where Ruth is...

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Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: Shift to paper?

$10 for the Kindle version, $3 plus $2.99 shipping for the used paperback?

I'm buying the paperback.

Guys, this doesn't make sense.

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Is John McAfee running for US president? 'My campaign manager told me not to comment'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Shame Hunter S Thompson is no longer available

And Trump has already claimed Sarah (or is it Bristol?) Palin...

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Brit school claims highest paper plane launch crown

Peter Simpson 1
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Alert

Re: No more Paris articles

"There's less jurisdictional issues down there and no FAA."

[bad Mexican accent]

Si, but the desperados down there, they have mucho artillery! Is perhaps not such a good idea to mingle with them, senor...they don' like strangers so much.

[/bad Mexican accent]

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Peter Simpson 1
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Nice job. Congratulations to the team on a tremendous accomplishment!

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Stench of confiscated dope overwhelms Catalan cop shop

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: general malaise?

Sweet dreams are made of these.

Who am I to disagree?

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Earth wobbles on axis as Google rebrands

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Sans serif

>> who the f**k cares what a logo looks like on tiny screens?

marketing people do.

who the f**k did you think decided new logos were needed?

I knew there was a use for them.

// first against the wall, etc.

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Spaniard claims WWII WAR HERO pigeon code crack. Explain please

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Leo Marks' code?

Cyanide. "Between Silk and Cyanide"

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Ob:

BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE

// all caps and no punctuation for authenticity

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Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Is it April the 1st?

I thought that Canadians were quite an intelligent bunch..

Well, they seem to be intelligent enough to get $168 for a can of pure Canadian air.

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BOFH: An architect and his own entirely avoidable downfall

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Going soft

Have an upvote for the Bored of the Rings reference!

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The most tragic thing about the Ashley Madison hack? It was really 1% actual women

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: So the crackers were correct - it was a scam

They were selling a dream...

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Google Translate? It's actually useful/usable if you know what you're doing

Now I know how Chinese manufacturers generate their English documentation.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Joke

Re: Everyone does it

...the Americans laugh at Polacks...

Not any more. We laugh at Florida (yes, the entire state), Texas and Trump now.

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Peter Simpson 1
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Linux

@ MrXavia

If you switch to Linux, try Mint MATE. Has been working well for me since I ditched Ubuntu over the UNITY interface (tiles, like Win 8, non-starter)

For those Windows apps you just can't live without, I've been using VirtualBox. I run XP in it, because I have install media for it.

I have found, that a spare HDD is handy. Unplug your Windows HDD, install the new spare HDD and install Mint on it. Now, you can play with Mint all you want, and always go back to Windows by moving the plug to the other HDD. Should you decide Mint is for you, you can mount the Windows drive as a secondary drive, and access it as a slave drive from Mint.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Turbo-blast from the past

Marketing named it.

The choice was between "Turbo" and "Sluggo"

// first against the wall...etc.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: @Roger

My moment of revelation came in 1994, when I downloaded (Slackware?) Linux, installed it on a second drive and used it solely as a remote Xterm to our Unix system. The contrast between the speed of a remote Xterm and local schematic editing software under Win3.1 was enough to convince me that Linux and not Windows was what was going to be on my home PC.

Took a few years (!) before I got god desktop apps, but I'm quite happy with Mint 15.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Windows 3.1 was awful

Windows 3.1 was fine...unless you actually wanted to DO anything with your PC. Like edit a document more than a page or two long, or work on a multipage schematic.

Remember QEMM? Worked fine until you really needed it to manage memory, then it fell on its @ss.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Linux

Re: ".....your product is not a choice, it's a necessity."

Well, it's a necessity if you didn't buy an Apple product :-)

// there's always Linux...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: A)

Shit I feel old.

Me, too.

// Linux user (on and off) since 1993

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Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

We (the public) will tolerate user interface improvements, but not changes, for change's sake (unless we have the option to retain the previous UI).

Microsoft doesn't seem to "get", that users make an investment of time and effort in learning how to efficiently use a UI. They do this, not because they enjoy learning a new UI, but so they can efficiently do... whatever it is they are using the computer for. Often, this is Real Work, the kind they get paid for, or yelled at if they don't do it quickly enough.

Hey! Microsoft! I have some news for you...your product is not a choice, it's a necessity. People need to have it, in order to use their computers at all. We don't enjoy it when you make us re-learn the UI. We enjoy it even less, when you do it EVERY G*DDAMN YEAR!

Pick a UI, and stick with it. And take those tiles and that ribbon, and shove it where the sun don't shine.

// and your "Clutter" folder, too

// didn't ask for it, don't need it

// spent the better part of an hour figuring out how to turn it off

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Home Office seeks advice on Police Radio omnishambles

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Several issues here

1. Anything you build will get overloaded at some point. Murphy's law. Nobody designs a system like this for the maximum possible load (think 9/11 in NYC), it's just too expensive to pay for capacity you don't use daily.

2. Agree that it will probably be digital, but digital doesn't degrade gracefully in low SNR conditions like analog does (which, among other reasons, is why ATC comms are still analog AM), and encrypted digital does even worse (because you need to recover crypto sync as well as voice codec sync after a dropout)

3. My fault...by "GSM", I meant "wireless telephone infrastructure". If there was a way to piggyback onto that, you'd have a readymade network available to you. Prioritize police traffic over civilian mobile calls. But they'll probably end up building a complete new nationwide network...the best you can hope for is colocation on existing towers.

The system will be late, WAY over budget and will be found to underperform (perhaps badly). At least, all the ones built in the US have been. The sales people will over promise, the engineering managers will assure us that everything will be fine, and the odds are still that the system will fall on its face when the first really heavy load hits it.

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Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Several issues here

1. System load (variable, but must degrade gracefully under full load)

2. Analog vs digital (advantages to both, but the messages MUST get through if at all possible)

3. Infrastructure cost (leveraging GSM infrastructure is attractive, independent infrastructure more secure but costly)

4. Profit must be made

5. We need it yesterday and for free, please.

Good luck. I predict it will be late, unsuitable for purpose and several times over budget.

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Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

This is what happens

When the salesmen, lobbyists and consultants have more power than the engineers.

When fielding something very complex, where the consequences of failure include people dying, it is important to design and test it well. Only engineers can do this, and they need to be good ones. There are probably several hundred of them in the UK.

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The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: so why can't

Taking away the permission in US law would be a "taking". Something that they must compensate for at full value.

Uh...true, except they define "full value" as the value at which the property is appraised for tax purposes, which is often significantly lower than the market price.

// this does vary by state, though

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High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Silicon Valley

Looks more like Silicone Valley in this case...

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And it begins: Ashley Madison bonk-seekers urged to lawyer up

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

The 5%

Ashley Madison's closest kept secret seems to have been the male (95%)/female(5%) ratio of their subscriber base. Either those 5% are awfully busy (!!!), or there are a lot of unsatisfied men paying money in the hopes that one of those 5% will pick them. Now, how many of the 5% are "women of negotiable affection" has yet to be determined...

Some sociology postgrad is going to mine this database for all it's worth and get a PhD out of all this.

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Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Notably absent...

...any photo of said captured marine mammal, or its equipment.

// slow news day in Palestine?

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Act of God damaged data on Google cloud disks

Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

Mark Twain

"Thunder is good. Thunder is impressive. But it's lightning that does the work."

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Colossus veteran flies a drone over Bletchley Park

Peter Simpson 1
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89 and flyng a drone

Good on her!

// not there yet, but well on my way

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Surprise! World stunned to learn that AT&T is in the NSA's pocket

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Not voluntarily...since 2003

(and probably WAY longer than that)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

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Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

Re: Actually been there ...

REAL Rocket Scientists!

Impressive. Although, we've done this once before with Saturn V.

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Nah - carpentry is where its at

Mnemonic phrase for the resistor color code.

So politically incorrect, I can't type it here, but it starts off: "Bad Boys..."

I am so glad resistors do not have colors on them any more (they're barely visible at this point), and that I do not have to teach this mnemonic to incoming engineers (female).

// vestige of a former time.

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Peter Simpson 1
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@ Phil O'Sophical - I (male) have been asked the same question by a female engineering intern. It was one of the few times I was at a loss for words (anything I could think of saying had undesirable consequences).

After what seemed like several minutes, I replied with something innocuous and the tension was diffused. Can't for the life of me remember what I said.

// "give it a little more thought, it'll come to you"

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