* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1273 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Hawking, Musk, Woz: ROBOTS, the 'KALASHNIKOVS of TOMORROW'

Allan George Dyer
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It's already too late...

We've seen video of a quadcopter-mounted handgun recently and facial recognition software is freely available. How difficult would it be to release a van-load of quadcopters programmed to "proceed to beach, shoot faces" and drive quietly away before the carnage starts? A bomb would be much simpler, but the terror effect of murderous drones on shaky cameraphone video would be much greater.

The limiting factor is the availability of guns. A drone can't be the "Kalashnikov of tomorrow" until you mount a Kalashnikov on it.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The Designation of needs to be down graded

Upvoted, not because I agree, but for your chutzpah. If you start a trend, we might be re-designating Mercury as a failed comet.

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YOW! Pluto STUNS boffins with HAZY, SHRINKY atmosphere

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NIST in suspected 'meth lab' blast: US Congress is demanding answers

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: lamar looks up

@Yet Another Anonymous coward - Can you ask them to put the glassware in a box marked "Gun Parts" or "Ammunition"?

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Choc Factory research shows users just don't get security

Allan George Dyer
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Useful conclusion...

They "recommend security advice should be comprehensible, effective, and contain limited drawbacks", but don't give an example.

I recommend that studies like this should make recommendations that are easy to apply in the real world. There, that fixes everything.

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Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

Allan George Dyer
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What about the firehose option?

It occurs to me that a high-pressure hose is more aim-able than dropping water, and can be used without manoeuvring above the drone. Also safer than firearms, and I imagine the effective range is at least as good as a shotgun. Not to mention that it is normal equipment for firefighters, the ammunition does not explode when heated and there is plausible deniability in use.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Allan George Dyer
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A long way behind Robert Liston...

He achieved a 300% mortality rate in one operation: the patient, an assistant and a bystander all died!

​The Legend Of The Surgery With The 300% Mortality Rate.

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Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: US of NRA

So Skynet and the extermination of humanity is going to be a public/private enterprise?

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Evil computers sense you’re in a hurry and mess with your head

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: Printing theses and dissertations

"All being different models - and not the exact same O/S and update level."

But then you get caught by the "it only prints correctly from THIS version" bug. If it's a long document, the problem will occur on a page in the middle (you know, the one with the complicated diagram) subtly changing it so that it is complete nonsense, but you don't notice until after the document is delivered...

And the page numbering on the table of contents is messed up.

They've got us. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: No manhole covers involved

Surely a manhole cover is defined by function? Sounds like they drilled a shaft, lowered the device down and covered it. No mention of a man (or other person) entering the shaft, so it's a shaft cover or hole cover or lid, not a manhole cover.

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Toyota recalls 625,000 hybrids: Software bug kills engines dead with THERMAL OVERLOAD

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Toyota, Ford and Land Rover are building a car together...

You can't turn the engine off, it overheats and the doors now stay locked, so you can't escape the fire.

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The best bit is....

@ Trevor_Pott - Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? The advertisement houses want to buy the ad space. If a major news site stopped supporting flash, the ad houses would fall into line.

Also, I don't think the BBC are using flash because they want the ad revenue.

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: I hate pictograms.

Perhaps we could use a limited number of pictograms, say 26, and give them short, standardised names. Hmm, but there are more than 26 things we need buttons for, so perhaps we could use combinations of pictograms to symbolise things, and derive rules for combining the short names for the pictograms so they become pronounceable groups of syllables. But someone is bound to mess it up, breaking the rules and adding extra bits above or below the pictograms to change their names a bit...

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Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: You Think You've Got It Bad?

"Och. It doesn't matter..." That sounds sooo familiar. Have an upvote, and a beer.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: You Think You've Got It Bad?

It could be worse. Does she interrupt halfway through any question intended to clarify the situation, either blaming you for not having already solved it, complaining you are being too finicky, or shouting, "Stop shouting at me, I just want to get my work done!"?

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Download Festival face scan: You’re right to be annoyed, said UK surveillance commish

Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Re: Really Stupid People Do Really Stupid Things

@Evil Auditor -

1. How do you know you weren't targeted?

2. What makes you think they've destroyed the file?

3. Were you called Evil Auditor back then?

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

Allan George Dyer
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Love the gadgets but...

I don't see the use-case for bring-your-own-supercomputer-appliances. If I drop my smartphone in the cradle on the washing machine, I have to wait until my shirts are clean before I can cook my dinner and listen to some music?

The option of upgrading my stereo by giving it last-year's smartphone is attractive, but I can't imagine manufacturers giving up build-in obsolescence easily (yes, the cradle is an industry-standard, but you can't use new feature X without upgrading this bit).

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Hacking Team: Oh great, good job, guys ... now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

"Before the attack, Hacking Team could control who had access to the technology"

"Before the attack, Hacking Team could claim to control who had access to the technology, now we have been exposed as liars and have been forced to rely on misleading PR to maintain our business model."

FTFY.

They knew their job included defending against "terrorists and criminals", and they failed.

Who's for making knowingly concealing a vulnerability from the developer concerned a crime?

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KILLER! Adobe Flash, Windows zero-day vulns leak from Hacking Team raid

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Bring the popcorn! I'd expect Adobe and MS to counter-sue for breach of their EULA - you know, the part where it forbids reverse-engineering? You did read the EULA, didn't you?

So the ongoing security of users depends on which company can afford more lawyers.

Hell, no popcorn icon, nevermind.

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Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

"You can prise my iPhone from my cold, dead hands."

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

Re: "but it's ethically wrong to do this from an evolutionary perspective"

@Fibbles - true, nicotine production originally evolved as protection against insects, but this doesn't invalidate Arnaut's point, "the only difference is we know we're doing it".

Should we do it? Depends on the risk analysis, but it is probably easy to wipe out a large, slow-breeding species like mammoths than something that works on humans like myxomatosis works on rabbits if things go pear-shaped. (icon - "Take off and nuke it from orbit...")

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Hold my vodka, comrade – I got this: Ruskies blast supplies to the ISS

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

"Pass my vodka, comrade – I got this"

FTFY. Everyone knows vodka is rocket fuel.

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Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Aiming Error

@AC - Are you sure the Chinese wanted an early takeover of HK? If they were impatient, they could have turned off the water supply and walked in any time fromthe '60s. AFAIK, the issue was brought up because local businesses wanted assurance about land leases when Britain's 99 year lease on the "New Territories" ran out.

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Did anyone else read the headline and think "The Prisoner"? I suppose these are better for indoor use; isn't miniaturisation wonderful.

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BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Allan George Dyer
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Windows

Re: One big problem

@Richard 45 - I think they were more common in the 1970's, at times, once a week. But that was more for political reasons.

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Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Fast track to offense

@asdf - and the phrase is "beyond the pale", referring to the fence delineating the extent of English rule in Ireland, so could be considered offensive too.

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Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Next question...

Yes, with a special emphasis on discrimination against motherhood. It can be seen in many of the comments here, where changing jobs from paid employment to pregnant is described as "leaving work". In our past, childbearing has been a very dangerous occupation, modern medicine (handwashing) has improved this but it is still not without risk. If you love your job, it doesn't make it any less deserving of pay; parents are making a long-term investment for Society.

Doing something about it is complicated, involving a fine line between overpopulation and rising retirement ages.

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Google: Help us! Our search engine is STUFFED FULL of your 'revenge smut' pics

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Silly question

"Of course Google would have to keep copies of those"

And employ people to look at the photos and verify the match. Google's HR department could become a very lucrative revenue stream.

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Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

I'm guessing the paint's from the performance-art "The Seduction". Don't worry if you missed it, I hear there will be new pieces in 9 months.

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Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

Allan George Dyer
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Re: How can you trust...

@Dazed and Confused - You're thinking of Ken Thompson's "Reflections on Trusting Trust", https://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf

but apparently there's a fix for that by David A. Wheeler, http://www.acsa-admin.org/2005/abstracts/47.html

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NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Popcorn time!

@wolfetone - You're definitely looking red-faced.

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Did climate change scare off vegan dinos for millions of years? 'Yes'

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

I must be a dinosaur...

I also find that temperatures of about 600° Celsius put a real crimp on my love-life.

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Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: El Reg was unable to contact Mossad for comment

"El Reg did not receive a comment from Mossad." FTFY

Come on, they're a spy agency, saying "I wonder if we can get a comment from Mossad?" in a moderate voice is probably enough to get their attention.

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Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Might even help with sales...

Top-left corner... if you buy the dead-tree version, you get a poster about the Magna Carta. Is this to remind readers of the rights they've lost?

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Limited edition Iron Man S6 sells for $91,000 thanks to ... serial number

Allan George Dyer
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WTF?

Re: 69 more lucky?

And 6 ("luk") sounds like flow, 9 ("gau") sounds like long lasting...

Where's the NSFW icon when you need it?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Bit confused

It gets complicated... 0, 6, 8 and 9 are considered lucky. 4 ("sei") sounds like death, so stay clear, but 54 ("ng sei") sounds like no death, so that's good. If you're creative enough... who knows what explanations you can invent.

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INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

Allan George Dyer
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Temperature?

Wouldn't sensing UV be more useful? The occasions when the wearer finishes a swim and there's a nice, cooling breeze comes to mind.

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US Navy wants 0-day intelligence to develop weaponware

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

0-day intelligence?

All they are lacking is a day...

They are going to pay someone to provide lists of vulnerabilities in software that they themselves use. Then, instead of fixing the vulnerabilities, or paying someone to fix them, they are going to pay for live exploits. What could possibly go wrong?

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Paper driving licence death day: DVLA website is still TITSUP

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Another mess up with the DVLA paperless scheme....

"only country silly enough to obsess over personalised number plates"

Hong Kong is also keen on them. The plate "1" is reserved for the Commissioner of Police, and "1 L0VE U" was sold at auction for HK$1.4m.

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Power your temperature sensor with this BONKERS router hack

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

I bet I could get a lot better that a 10-foot range if I cut a hole in the side of my microwave oven...

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ROBOTS in sinister public-relations push ahead of coming WAR ON HUMANS

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

$3.5m?

I'll go for that.

Can someone help me on with this Tin Man suit?

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Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

Woman Owning an Unshielded Nuclear Reactor Inundated with Damage Claims for Radiation Burns

I thought I was standing at a safe distance, but got terrible sunburn on the back of my neck.

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Ed Snowden should be pardoned, thunders Amnesty Int'l

Allan George Dyer
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Knew?

Knew that it was technically possible, yes, but had proof, no. Suspected that it was going on, yes, but the scale of the indiscriminate slurping was a big surprise. Or am I one of the clueless?

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Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Have I missed something?

"Both also record small upticks for Windows 81"

81? They're going to be re-releasing Windows 95 soon!

What? You say I missed the "send corrections" link? OK, I'll do it now.

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Mag-safe

You mean the ones where the cable fails from the bending whenever it is pulled off, so that you have to buy another overpriced power adapter?

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Case for drone usage now overwhelming as Enrique Iglesias concert almost stopped

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Here..

It was shocking, all I could hear was cries of pain!

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The Nightmare

@Charles 9 - Taken to the extreme, this omnipotent God has created everything, including my current thoughts, and memories of my past joy and pain, and so already knows the result of the trials inflicted on me. Backing off from that a bit, this omnipotent God created a parasitic worm that made many generations of children blind, presumably so that, once we developed modern medicine, some doctors would have the opportunity to create a cure, don't worry about all those suffering children of earlier generations. Whichever way you look at it, this God created a lot of suffering; couldn't this omnipotent God have thought up some better way? This God is an omnipotent sadist, and certainly not the kind of intelligence we should revere or worship.

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Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: The Nightmare

"it will be a nightmare if their views become part of kids education"

Yeah, it's bad enough with these human nutters, if goats start espousing creationism, we're all DOOMED!

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Chap mines Bitcoin with PUNCH CARDS and ancient mainframe

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Next challenge

No, no, no... you can't do that with the antikythera mechanism, but it will tell you when high tide will be and how soon to plant your wheat on the day the 1401 finishes*.

* Warning: results may be inaccurate if the optional "Sun explosion and Heat Death of the Universe" module has not been installed.

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Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Four beers?

Pass me two phones, I'm going to get smashed!

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