I've used the Internet for a long time, and I haven't had any problems with Kardashians. Shit, I don't even really know where Kardash is.
661 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
I've used the Internet for a long time, and I haven't had any problems with Kardashians. Shit, I don't even really know where Kardash is.
> Why should what you enjoy or even tolerate dictate what we all must put up with?
Votes, Trev. Votes. If there's more of them than there are of you, they win.
> manages to complete the entire sequence of motions
> about several thousand other files
Just out of interest, I used find to locate all the setuid files on this Kubuntu 14.04 machine. There are 21 setuid root executables in directories in my $PATH:
04755 root /sbin/mount.nfs
04755 root /bin/mount
04755 root /bin/ping6
04755 root /bin/su
04755 root /bin/umount
04755 root /bin/fusermount
04755 root /bin/ping
04754 root /usr/sbin/pppd
04755 root /usr/bin/passwd
04711 root /usr/bin/wodim
04755 root /usr/bin/pkexec
04755 root /usr/bin/gpasswd
04755 root /usr/bin/chsh
04755 root /usr/bin/mtr
04755 root /usr/bin/sudo
06755 root /usr/bin/X
04755 root /usr/bin/traceroute6.iputils
04755 root /usr/bin/chfn
04755 root /usr/bin/lppasswd
04711 root /usr/bin/cdrdao
04755 root /usr/bin/newgrp
I can see the point of most of those. But wodim and cdrdao ... ? The wodim manpage recommends setuid root, because of driver issues (in summary). Ah, well.
Whereas a commenter above writing
> I'm sure considering how long this investigation has been going on, they wouldn't be moving on him unless they were sure they had enough for a conviction.
is an equally disturbing remark.
A jury should never be looking at the person in the dock and thinking "... yeah, must be guilty, the prosecutors wouldn't have brought the case if he was innocent...". The jury is there to test the evidence, and reject the "is guilty" hypothesis when they still have a reasonable doubt. Weakening this protection for the accused (and any of us could be accused) is damn dangerous.
Of course, I know that the Earth's axis does have a tilt (23.4° from the plane of the ecliptic, according to a fine information source). However, I don't think that's the source of the unconventionality: at Northern hemisphere midsummer, the north pole would be tilted towards the Sun (and thus towards L1), and the photo was captured on July 6th, only two weeks after the solstice, according to the caption on NASA's press release. At the equinoxes, DSCOVR's view of the Earth ought to be tilted like this: maybe someone has made a decision always to depict the axis this way...
... the Earth is not depicted with the North pole at the top. The west coast of Ecuador and east coast of Florida are roughly on the same meridian, so the axis of the Earth in this photo is tilted by 25-30 degrees . The North polar icecap is at the top left - is this just artistic presentation, or did somebody hang up the DSCOVR camera with a bit of string that's stretched?
 Estimated with NATO Standard Eyeball
If I'm being honest I dislike hearing software development referred to as “coding”: to me the “coding” aspect – actually bashing the code in and debugging it – is relatively straightforward compared with the design function that should precede it.
Yes! What he said! I've been moaning for ages that all these 'teach kids coding' initiatives miss the point: any fule can bash out some code that will compile, even some that will produce meaningful results for a range of inputs, but nobody teaches kids how to understand a user requirement... or select/design efficient data structures... or build test harnesses to test code using unexpected or corrupted inputs...
A coder is not a software developer, the coding bit is essential but not sufficient, and exposing young minds to the fine detail of specific languages too soon can (in my opinion) limit their later ability to think outside that language's limitations.
> However, someone who has committed no major crime - or merely done something embarrassing - should usually be allowed to have it forgotten at some point rather than having the incident follow them around on the internet forever.
This, I think, is the nub on which nobody has put a definitive finger. The BBC, and other news organisations, including El Reg, collect personally-identifiable information as part of news stories. They process that data, store it, and reproduce it on request, which is just how the WWW is supposed to work. Some of that information will be more or less embarrassing to the data subject, but the news organisation has a continuing need to process it. 'The "Right to be Forgotten" only applies where personal data storage is no longer necessary or is irrelevant for the original purposes of the processing for which the data [were] collected.' 
Where it goes wrong is when another party, say a prospective employer, or an insurance company, retrieves the data and misuses it. Then, that other party is at fault - not the news organisation. At that point the data are being processed *by the other party*, and that must be done in compliance with the Data Protection Act. If the data are irrelevant for the purposes of deciding a work appointment, or issuing an insurance policy, then they cannot be used by the employer or the insurer for that purpose.
I will admit that preventing the misuse of retrieved news is harder than suppressing the news, but I'm in favour of the former, and firmly against the latter.
> divide each passenger between several cars going down all the lanes
Yay! Quantum lane discipline!
> what will happen... when Uber finally get rid of their drivers and have Google driverless cars
One or more former taxi drivers will walk in front of each of the driverless cars with a red flag, reducing its speed to about 6 kph. Of course, the passengers in the driverless car will be powerless to retaliate: they can't drive it, and opening the doors on a moving car would be *much* too dangerous, so they'll be locked.
TFA said "it's possible Philae will still be operational to send back data on what happens to the comet's surface when it gets really hot"
and a self-styled idiot wrote: "Philae was not designed to handle direct [continuous] exposure to the sun for extended periods of time"
I still don't get this. Perihelion of the comet is *outside* the orbit of the Earth and the Moon. How hot can Philae get? I never heard that exposure to the Sun on the surface of the Moon was a problem for the Apollo missions (although come to think of it there was a lot of crinkly golden Mylar involved...). As for Philae not being designed for sitting in the sunshine, I should think that was sine qua non for a solar-powered device...
In any case, I'm glad that the mission has been extended, and I'm looking forward to all the science data being written up in due course.
I'd eat canned chicken like that for the rest of my life rather than be in the same building as Surströmming. There is video evidence of the totally revolting nature of this Swedish delicacy - or Weapon of Limited Destruction - on YouTube.
Disclaimer: I punched 'Pause' on that video about two seconds in, before the guy even picked up the can. You have been warned!
> Late 80s dialup speed
Aye, well, that were nothing. I remember 'aving acoustic couplers, and gettin' 300 baud ...</yorkshire_grumble>
>Important documents should be kept in a version controlled repos[i]tory
When I joined the Civil Service, shortly after God got out of short trousers, the relevant bit of the relevant Manual (definitely capital M - Manual) said something very close to "The state of public business shall be ascertainable at any point in time by reference to the Registered File".
Certainly we used to send memoranda and notes that didn't make it into the registered files, but anything that supported a decision made by the Service in the administration of public business had to be filed.
Soon thereafter, colleagues started to use email on the internal network, and we made an explicit decision to print and file anything that seemed to be a record: it helped that our business was scientific and technical record-keeping, so awareness wasn't really a problem.
When I left the service, there was a huge and ongoing effort to identify and retain electronic records, the paper variety having all but disappeared - remember when we thought The Paperless Office would be such a good thing?
I suggest that the story is about politicians trying to avoid leaving a trail, and I expect that their civil servants don't like and don't want a blanket deletion policy.
> I found it impossible to tell the phone that it was in my home location. So the feature went untested.
If anyone is interested in location-based settings for an Android phone, see whether Llama [play.google.com] fits the bill. It determines location based on cell tower IDs; you have to teach it which towers belong in which zones. The process of teaching location, and fixing the settings for different times and zones is a bit fiddly, but I've found the app to be quite efficient.
> ...the robots he tends will conduct a magnetic survey of the wreck site.
> If either vessel finds signs of bronze on the sea bed, that's where divers will be directed.
Magnetic bronze, wozzat? Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, neither of which is magnetic, and neither is the alloy, of course. Something doesn't quite add up in this story.
OK, the number of times that I'm going to be chased through an indoor sports hall by a mechanical predator is (very hopefully) exactly zero, but it's not too soon to be thinking of ways to defeat robotics of this sort. I would expect that one could blind the LIDAR with a handheld laser, for example, and it'll be a while before robo-boffins have a struggle-out-of-a-polypropylene-net algorithm.
This is definitely deep in the Uncanny Valley.
Edit: I would also observe that this mecha-cheetah does not have the essential feature that makes a bio-cheetah able to hit such high speeds, viz. a very flexible spine. I would observe that, only I don't want to give the blighters any ideas.
It worries me that the definition of idle includes 'no mouse or keyboard activity detected'. How do they know that, then? Clearly the Hola-running node must report to the network on keyboard and mouse actions. What does it report, and how often? Personally, I wouldn't touch something like this with a very long barge-pole; the opportunities for coming unstuck seem practically limitless.
Within a synchronized (using that word literally) system, there is no problem even if $LOCAL_SECOND takes 3.14 UTC ISO validated kosher seconds. The problem comes, surely, when one is comparing timestamps between systems which think they're synchronized, but aren't. If that is so, then programming constructs such as IF (T1 >= T2) THEN GOSUB sumfin , where T1 and T2 are expressed in high-precision time units, but (for whatever reason) are referred to different time standards, are the ones that are at risk. This must, I imagine, represent a class of bug vulnerabilities right up there with memory allocation errors and buffer overruns. I'm sure there must be cloudy applications which will reference more than one of AWS-time, Azure-time, and UTC. Should be interesting.
> if it is all GPLd then there is no need to sign a licence is there
I don't think that Canonical is trying to put a (sub-)licence on the *code*; from the tone of the CC statement in the link, I guess that they wanted Mint to sign a formal licence to use the UbuntuTM trademarks and other "intellectual property" (yuk).
Vic is quite right: the GPL forbids adding further licences to GPL-ed code, and Canonical will know that, and they really won't want to go there!
> get those in prison camps to walk a lot
It's been done. An on-topic quote with respect to the power output of the human body follows:
Sir William Cubitt, a noted 19th-century civil engineer, offered a solution. He designed a treadmill for English prisons. Its aim was to generate power for mills. It looked like a very wide paddle wheel. Workers held on to a bar and climbed the paddle blades. It was like walking upstairs for hours on end. They had to keep lifting their legs. Gravity gave them no choice.
A typical treadmill shift lasted eight hours. Workers spent 40 percent of that time resting. That's a lot worse than it sounds. It meant raising the lower half of their bodies 11,000 feet per day. And yet, hard as it was, 200 men and women could hardly match the output of one water wheel.
19th-century America tried treadmills, but they didn't catch on. For a while Charleston slave-owners could rent one to punish runaway slaves. But labor was too precious to waste that way in an expanding land. We preferred to let prisoners do ugly jobs that had some purpose -- picking cotton, or breaking rock.
Cubitt's treadmill may have originally had a productive purpose. But a pound of coal could soon do the work of five men working all day on a treadmill. And labor-wasting was a serious crime in its own right, in the mind of 19th-century America.
PS Chris made the same point while I was cuttin' an' pastin'
>>iBeacons would be useless to advertisers
> Perish the thought...
And this is it, isn't it. No longer do designers  of consumer electronics design functionality for the use, convenience and life-enhancing purposes of the people who buy them, they design with a view to extracting ongoing revenue streams from those purchasers, mostly by selling their location, movements, information-consuming habits, health data and anything else they can lay their virtual hands on, to advertisers. 
Perish the thought, indeed, that one might build a Bluetooth device properly designed so that it communicates securely with only the paired device it is meant for. Or a browser that reads a web page without blabbing on the reader. Or a watch that sits on one's wrist and just, I don't know, tells the bloody time to the owner of the wrist.
 Well, designers who have a paying job
 Sorry, that sentence was too long. Take a breath.
+1 thanks for the link! The funniest thing I've read in some considerable time. If Verity Stob can be persuaded to have his babies...
>> Intelligence agencies are (or should be) the hand that creates or utilizes a tool to do a job specified by the head (politicians).
I see your point. My (probably simplistic) view is that intelligence agencies should create intelligence tools, and the branches of the armed services should create tools which affect conflicts (also widely known as weapons). For sure, the expertise may exist in the intelligence agency, but blurring the lines between that an offensive operation is not helpful.
I am not sure that you're right that intelligence agencies wouldn't be steering their own course, choosing when and where to intervene without sufficient political oversight. In the UK context, vide Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who firmly believed that the British MI organisations were actively plotting against him.
> The intelligence agencies reasoned that in such a situation then it needed to be able to put out software that could influence actions on the ground. [emphasis added]
Offensive... not just in the whole 'invasion-of-privacy+breach-of-trust' sense, but once an intelligence agency starts to think that it should "influence actions on the ground" it has ceased to gather intelligence and has inserted itself into active operations. This may be uncontroversial, but it means that equally offensive counter-operations are much more likely, i.e. it escalates the conflict. To what extent do governments have oversight when their "intelligence" agencies fan the flames of conflict? Discuss.
Is it me, or is the phrasing of that mSpy statement a bit off? If I received text like that in an email, I'd be checking the headers; it just reads like something knocked off in a Lagos internet cafe rather than a statement from a reputable company, on a serious matter, to a widely-read news organization. Consequently, it's anything but reassuring (though I am not one of their customers)>
> Inkscape recently released version 0.91 of their eponymous open source vector graphics application.
jonathan@Odin:~$ inkscape --version
Inkscape 0.91 r (Feb 12 2015)
Version 0.91 release was announced on January 30th. It was as recent as 2015, though, to be fair.
Good morning; you do not know me but I would be grateful if you would send by return email the usernames and passwords that you use for oil trading activities.
> the best guide that the content will be paranoid gibberish
Also, a spelling mistake in the title, and two instances of 'could of' in place of 'could have'. >Sigh<
What's more interesting about the shiny (i.e. reflective: I guess nobody thinks they're actually luminous) spots is not that there are so many, but that there are so few. Ceres must be collecting dust all the time, and that dust must be shoved around by micro-impacts. One would expect an ice surface to be covered rather quickly, so what is it that causes these uncovered ice regions in those specific places?
> There must be ways.
Yup. For urban traffic taking fixed and heavily used routes: trams and (for big enough cities) underground. For inter-city traffic: trains. For very short journeys: travelling walkways and escalators (e.g. Hong Kong).
I remain to be convinced that the effort to make car driving safer using autonomous-driving technology is viable. The object should be to move the people to where they want to be; to assume that the object is to make safe cars misses the point. To do the former, there exists under-exploited and established technology. Trains are already 27 times safer (in terms of fatalities per passenger-mile) than cars, and airline flights are safer still, though flying is out of scope for this discussion.
The figures are specifically for European railways. Source: The Guardian
It all depends on who is in control of the images, doesn't it. If they're taken with a camera which is an integral part of a car owned by an individual, I can't see any reason why the images are not the property of that individual, and the only way one could be made to cough them up is by a requirement of a court to produce evidence. I will not be buying or driving a car which uploads imagery to any second or third party without both my permission and my positive action to make it happen.
As far as the privacy on the street notion goes, one has no expectation of privacy on the street. Many cars already have dash cams, although maybe fewer in the UK than elsewhere. All in all, I think they're a Good ThingTM, because the imagery they capture is not, for the time being at least, being borged into some Big Brother database. Hell. I really hope that the Home Secretary doesn't read these comments.
> turn England into a tax free zone (like the channel isles)
Leaving aside that you probably mean the UK, not England, that doesn't sound really practical. Who do you think pays (out of taxes) for the defence of the Channel Islands, for instance?
> [T]he assumption ... seems a little misplaced.
Indeed it does. In my limited experience of both Australia and New Zealand, they see themselves very firmly as Pacific nations; they don't need to ship their goods halfway around the planet to trade with the UK, they have markets galore in south-east Asia, Japan and China, not to mention the trans-Pacific Trade Treaty negotiations with the US. For better or worse, the UK let go of those trade links when we hopped inside the EU tariff barrier, and we can't expect them to be magically re-established if we hop outside again and shout "Coo-ee - here we are. Guys! Guys...?"
...further to my last, I'd like to point out that leaving the EU does not, of itself, change the regulatory regime that Mr Worstall seems to find oppressive, by one iota. EU Directives are issued, and then member states implement them (to whatever extent) in their national laws. The day after an EU exit, the UK would be faced with a huge legislative programme to roll back EU directed legislation, to the extent that we wanted to do that.  In the current situation, where Scotland will vote as a block NOT to distance the UK from the EU, the currrent (10 May 2015) administration will find it pretty hard to make that work.
 As an example, I give you the Data Protection Act(s). Would we really want to sweep all that aside in some Act of Parliament which says "All EU directed legislation is hereby repealed."?
 I see that Graeme, above, has beaten me too it. What he said, too!
> However, having the domestic economy continually subjected to competition from best practice in the rest of the world does spur on the continued advance in production methods.
It certainly creates an incentive to change production methods to be more competitive: it's the choice between that and sinking into a miserable decline. Both options are available, and the "continued advance" path isn't inevitable. It needs investment, leadership, innovation... and no I don't mean the latest wizard wheeze out of Hoxton. I'd also like to point out that some of that "best practice" includes things like environmental protection compliance, and that if I'm buying, oh, I don't know, an electric bicycle, I'm more likely to buy one made in an environmentally friendly way in Germany than I am to buy one made by dumping toxic waste in Yorkshire (even if it is "only ten tons").
> more efficient is a synonym for the people getting richer, for GDP rising
Define "the people". Unless you have a government willing to redistribute the wealth, it could very well be a very few people getting richer.
> was not Zaphod Beeblebrox shagging Trillian
Possibly not. Dialogue from Fit the Second at 21:47
Trillian: Zaphod, please take your hand off me. And the other one. Thank you. And the other one.
Zaphod: I grew that one specially for you, Trillian, you know that? Took me six months but it was worth every minute.
Doesn't sound too hopeful, does it?
I always wondered about the Trillian character; all the other elements of the story were woven into the fabric of the Universal Improbability, but Trillian just seemed to drift away, having contributed only the phone number of her Islington flat.
> media outlets chase the prejudices of the audience, they don't shape them
Yeah, right. That's why billionaire newspaper owners buy these "media outlets", is it? Because they enjoy chasing audience prejudices? Of course newspapers shape their readership's opinions: that's the very reason for the editorial column in every freaking newspaper on the planet! Your initial premise was so outlandish that I didn't bother to read past it, sorry.
A case to go around the first case, which will harvest another 21% (30% of 70%) of your precious battery power. Now you're close to doubling battery life! Working title for the Case Overcase: Faraday Cage.
jonathan@Odin:~/tmp$ file /bin/sh
/bin/sh: symbolic link to `dash' [emphasis added]
This caught me out a little while ago when I expected /bin/sh to be bash.
Does counting the :( items make me a bad person? Or just sad? Rhetorical question: no need to answer. Maybe the author of carlyfiorina.org is being extremely correct. Did HP publish the number of redundancies to five significant figures?
> Wrong on both counts
Well done, I hope your godson enjoys the Pi. What you generously bought him, though, was a Pi, together with a number of accessories, including the SD card with the OSs on it. That's not included in the Raspeberry Pi itself, so my point was that one has to make a positive effort to buy Win10 for it.
Also I agree that the GUI in some of the distros is a match for many of the Windows versions; I've never used 8 or 10, so I can't comment. I still think it's a stretch to call a Raspberry Pi a "desktop computer", though. If your godson is working with Python, a good IDE will be a boon: I've had short but good experience with Komodo Edit on Kubuntu, but I haven't tried installing it on my Raspberry Pi.
> One wonders how much of that rise in Linux is the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B coming into use...
Hardly any, would be my guess. These are figures for desktop computers, which the Pi (in any guise) really isn't, so if they're counting it, they shouldn't. And, of course, when you buy the Raspi, it comes with no operating system at all. Few people are going to go out and buy Windows 10 for it, when there are shedloads of free, well-supported and established alternatives.
Over 100,000 downloads at the time I snagged it, circa 1100 UTC.
> It is expected to break up in the atmosphere in the next ten days.
Nice pass over southern England and several western European nations on the morning of 12th May, if it makes it that far. And perigee is at the northern extension of the orbit, too, according to Ben (above). Faites vos jeux, messieurs et madames.
That bar chart is abominable. The first bar is for an interval width of 400K. There is no information for the |500K -1M| class; and then the next bar is 4M wide - ten times bigger than the first one, and the third one is 5M wide, just because consistency is so bo-o-o-ring, I guess. My reaction on seeing research presented this way is to think that the 'researchers' don't have enough good data to construct a proper histogram.