* Posts by Dale 3

312 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Dale 3

Minesweeper

I always presumed Minesweeper and Solitaire were educational games. Minesweeper taught accurate mouse pointing and clicking to a generation that had never had to do things like that before, and Solitaire taught drag and drop (or double-clicking, once you figured it out). All skills that we now take for granted.

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Dale 3
Coat

Re: The power of backspace

Upvote, simply because it's 2016 and you're posting BASIC code. Which is fun.

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Dale 3
Facepalm

Re: Who ever designed..

Indeed. Does the USB spec not include short circuit and/or overcurrent protection, or did the expensive hardware not implement it?

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Patent and trademark troll stung for £500k after fake renewal blitz

Dale 3
Megaphone

EHIC too

(Public Service Announcement)

Renewal of your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card - which replaced the old E111 form) is always FREE. I say again, there is NO CHARGE to renew your EHIC, ever. Any website which charges you a fee to renew, for any reason, is ripping you off.

They just pocket your money and pass on your form to the proper, free NHS site. They may claim to "check your application for mistakes", but really, how would they know if you wrote your name wrong on the form? It will just take longer because it has to go through them first before it reaches the genuine NHS site; you might as well send it directly for free. And don't fall for the "fast track" or "express" scam either. That just means they sit on your form slightly less before passing it on into the exact same NHS processing queue.

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Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Dale 3

Cara Delavigne

I stopped reading the Evening Standard and Metro because it was getting so tedious with Cara Delavigne showing up in every issue. Went back a few weeks ago thinking their annual pass must have run out by now, but no, there she was on page 28.

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Skype founders planning non-drone robodelivery fleet. Repeat, not drones

Dale 3
Trollface

Entertainment

Heh, could be quite entertaining building little obstacle courses for these things once they start roaming your neighbourhood regularly.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Dale 3

Windows 10 finally levels the operating system playing field.

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UK's Lloyds Banking Group scrambles to patch account-snooping security hole

Dale 3

Re: You say bug he says feature

It's not a technical bug, it's a problem with the process. Technically it worked as designed, just the design wasn't so well thought out.

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It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Dale 3

WiFi

Just be thankful they hadn't invented WiFi when it was installed (presumably), or you'd likely still be looking for it.

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Hate noisy jets above you? What if they were charging your phone?

Dale 3

Windmill

Would be more efficient to just put the windmills at the sides of the runway - like you sometimes see along train tracks - and catch the air blast directly from the engines. But there's probably safety issues with having structures on the sides of the runways. Hmm, how about a ground-based cable launch assist to help get aircraft up without having to wind their engines up so much?

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Pioneer slaps 80s LASERS on cars for driverless push

Dale 3

Re: "I will welcome"

I would welcome a car that is driven by a human properly and securely at all times, but alas, that most likely wouldn't happen either before I retire.

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Nigerian prince swaps the sweet talk for keyloggers and exploits

Dale 3
Headmaster

Re: non english-speaking countries?

"its quiet possible"

Surely.

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SpaceX drone hovership ROCKET LANDER BURN: Musk to try again

Dale 3

Re: Ran out of hydraulic fluid?

"A closed system isn't that much more massive."

And yet, the billionaire aeronautical engineer and Chief Designer who has just successfully launched his own rocket into space, says that it is.

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BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

Dale 3

'theoretical penalty is £1000 per instance'

Heh, they must have the ASA enforcing that one.

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Hang on a second – Time Lords have added one to 2015

Dale 3
Joke

Push

They are, but they need our help. Everyone, find your nearest East-facing wall, and give it a push.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Dale 3

Free-standing ATM

Gotta love the concept of a free-standing ATM. No need to break into the machine, just nick the whole machine and open it at your leisure. This was done a good many years ago in South Africa, involving an ATM inside the police headquarters of all places. I imagine a couple of guys with yellow jackets walked in and wheeled it out without anyone asking any questions.

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Dale 3

Why the mirrors?

Why does the car with no controls have wing mirrors?

Yes, I suppose to go with the backup controls in case of manual intervention, but I would have expected little cameras or something rather than the big old sticking out cycle-slappers.

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Dale 3

Pop-up kid

If the self-driving car can't stop in the time it takes to detect a kid popping out from behind a parked car and apply the brakes, neither can a human driver even with lightning reflexes.

Possible caveats:

1) Humans might be able to see the kid through the windows of the parked car. So could the G-car sensors.

2) Humans might anticipate the kid before he was a threat and slow down. G-car could do the same in software.

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Dale 3

Re: The best weather forecasting...

The trouble with the elderly-neighbour-as-a-service model is that they're good individually for local forecasts, but weaken considerably at national forecasting. Then of course there is the rising cost associated with maintaining aging hardware.

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Dale 3

Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

Oh alright then, I'LL click the corrections button.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Dale 3

Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

I didn't get the roller coaster thing at first, then realised Tesla headquarters is in Palo Alto, just south of San Fransisco. The hills out there are insane enough (think any 1980s movie with a cop car chase flying over the tops of hills) that roller coaster would be entirely apt.

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Forget bonking, have ONE OFF THE WRIST with Barclaycard's bPay

Dale 3

Card clash

To avoid card clash, you'd better make sure you don't wear it on the same arm as the Oyster/contactless card that you decided to use at the tube gate instead, or you may be charged twice/on the wrong card.

If you wear it on your left arm to avoid the above, make sure you don't accidentally go too close to the card reader of the tube gate to the left of the one you are going through, or you might end up paying for the chap next to you too.

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Airbus developing inkjet printer for planes

Dale 3

Re: Forget 'Hello Kitty'

This one is my favourite, airline Kulula in South Africa. I've travelled on it once. Another pic here.

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Memory troubling you, Android? Surprise! Another data slurp vuln uncovered

Dale 3

I do not install anything asking for this permission

Being able to understand what all those permissions actually mean, I suspect you are in the minority. For the majority the logic goes, more or less, "if I say No it won't install, so I guess the answer is Yes". The noble idea of app permissions is flawed by not being able to revoke them individually at install time or afterwards.

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Teensy card skimmers found in gullets of ATMs

Dale 3

Wipe the magstripe

Krebson says that most European cash machines are only accepting chip & PIN, and banks issue cards with magstripes for compatibility with the rest of the world (mainly USA it would seem).

Maybe banks should start issuing cards without magstripes, for use at home and in Europe, with an option to order a duplicate with a magstripe if you want to travel beyond.

In the mean time, as long as you're sure that cash machines don't need the magstripe, you could just wave your bank card over the back of a speaker magnet so it wipes the magstripe content.

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Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

Dale 3

Microcell

That wouldn't stop someone from going into their phone menu and manually choosing to connect to a different network.

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Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Dale 3

Re: Alternate Email Addresses

Unfortunately it is also easy for people selling email addresses to simply remove everything from the '+' to the '@' sign in a gmail.com address.

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You're 30 years old and your PIN is '1983'. DAMMIT, biz mobe user

Dale 3

Re: Technology Which Should Die

Just like the studies which tell us the large proportion of people who use easy-to-guess PINs, I would be interested to find out what proportion of people using swipe unlocks are using simple easy-to-guess swipes (like a straight line in some direction, or an L shape or something). Although there are lots of potential swipe shapes, I wonder how many are almost never used because people favour a simple across-and-up pattern.

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Elon Musk's Grasshopper tops 300m, lands safely

Dale 3

Camera

Why can't NASA have cool footage like that for their launches? Instead of, or in addition to, the usual long distance point and tilt perspective, seeing the launch vehicle whizz by would make it interesting again.

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New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

Dale 3

Re: mmmmm....

There are a few credit cards that don't charge a fee for foreign denominated purchases. Two that I know of are the Post Office Mastercard and Halifax Clarity card. I have the Post Office card primarily for holiday use and the occasional offshore purchase. They charge the "centre" rate, and no additional fee.

There used to be one or two debit cards that also charged no fee (e.g. Nationwide Flexaccount), but as far as I know none are left - they all now charge, typically around 2-3%.

A good place to find out which cards are best (and worst) to use is to look for "holiday spending" on the MoneySavingExpert website.

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Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

Dale 3

Re: One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

A problem that robots will always have is that they (or their operators) do not have a reasonable claim to self-defence. If police officers go in and get shot at, they can reasonably shoot back to defend their lives. If a robot gets shot at, they have no "life" as such to defend, so they (or their operators) are less likely to shoot back unless they become aware of an actual threat to a life. The robot is mainly going to end up being used for reconnaissance, trying to talk the guy down, or at best a tasering. Taser vs bullets, I'd bet on the bullets.

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Baby-boulder bowling burglar breaks Boulder Apple Store's $100k glass door

Dale 3
Pint

@Bankrupt the company through replacing glass doors

Apple has over $100 billion in reserves, and about 363 stores worldwide as at January 2012 (apparently). If each door cost $100000 to replace, and you smashed the doors of every store, every day of the year, and they were able to replace them every day too, and they didn't notice this rather obvious pattern of misfortune, and didn't post a few security guards to stop it, it would still take 7.5 years to bankrupt the company. That doesn't take into account additional cash they raise through sales over those 7.5 years.

That is how much money they have.

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Heroku cops to poor tech performance for last THREE YEARS

Dale 3
Holmes

Growth

It's funny that they should suffer scalability problems; according to Wikipedia, "bamboos are some of the fastest-growing plants in the world".

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Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

Dale 3
Happy

Internet cleaning

Fortunately we don't ever get crossed lines on the Internet because of the annual cleaning day:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bltune-up.htm

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Canadians nab syrup rustlers after massive maple sap heist

Dale 3
Go

Re: "...strategic maple syrup reserve "

Oh that is awesome!

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Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Dale 3
Happy

Re: Tesla coil, bitches!

No that would be Facebook.

If Yahoo, it would be Tesla! coil!

But today it is iTeslacoil

Or perhaps pr-iOr art.

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Plastic screen outfit teams with Epson to offer screen on your plastic

Dale 3

Supermarket shelves

Just back from South Africa where a couple of a the big supermarket chains have now equipped their stores with LCD price tags on the shelf edges instead of good old printed paper tags. Not sure whether they are updated wirelessly at a distance or by a person running around the store with a handheld programmer. I thought it was a bit of an overengineered solution but they must have found some benefit to warrant rolling it out. This plastic display and/or e-ink solutions I would have thought a better technology, not least because they would be easier to read than the blue-on-transreflective-LCD. You're also looking at tens of thousands of units per large supermarket, which could provide economies of scale quite early on.

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At last, a bionic arm that passes the Beer, Egg and Looks Cool tests

Dale 3
Headmaster

At its strongest setting it has a grip strength of 140N and weighs about half a kilo

I wonder how much it weighs at its weakest setting?

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Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD review

Dale 3

And yet

still no mention of power consumption.

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Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!

Dale 3

In other news...

... burglars have announced their intention to ignore "do not rob" signs on people's homes. A police spokesperson said "keeping one's doors locked is more effective than putting up a sign."

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Tumblr and Google App Engine down as US traffic plummets

Dale 3
Alert

Hurricane Sandy...

...when cloud services go bad!

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Password hints easily snaffled from Windows PCs

Dale 3

stored obscured with the addition of zeros

So, that would be stored as UNICODE plaintext then.

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Virgin Media's 'bye-bye to buffering' beardy Bolt boast BANNED

Dale 3

£52.6m on marketing costs

Most of that went on mailshots through my door.

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USB charges up to 100 watts

Dale 3
Flame

Re: How exactly are they doing this?

RTFA. The article provides the information, but you do have to actually read it..

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WTF is... Li-Fi?

Dale 3

Doors

Too bad it doesn't work from one room to another, unless you leave the door open.

(Or it's between your kitchen and dining room, and you have one of those serving hatch things.)

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Why can't ICANN just 'get s**t done', ask dot-brand hopefuls

Dale 3
Trollface

Tickets

They should have involved the people* responsible for London Olympic ticketing. Look how well that is being managed.

* Probably best not to mention the company name

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London's Oyster card website still down after 12-hour outage

Dale 3
Boffin

Re: Unexpected error

In the old days, an "expected" error was, for example, the user ejecting the floppy disk prematurely. The error was "expected" in the sense that the designer or developer spent some time thinking about what sorts of things could possibly go wrong, and coded against them. The most likely response would have been an error message - hopefully one more meaningful than just a coded number.

An "unexpected" error, on the other hand, is one that they didn't think of. But they still had the good sense to catch it, and display a coded number which could be reported to customer support to aide diagnosing the fault, so that in the next release it could be turned into an "expected" error and handled properly.

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Met plod will use 1980s software to police Olympics

Dale 3
Thumb Up

Re: I'd worry more...

Well I was also expecting a paragraph announcing some new Big Government IT Project, and was astounded to see this instead:

"The Met is also considering adopting software currently used..."

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That steady diet of EastEnders IS turning her into a shrew

Dale 3

Control group

So where's the control group of women who didn't watch the soap or the violent show before having their level of aggression measured?

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Judge nixes Apple's bid to patent-bash bankrupt Kodak

Dale 3

"previews of a digital image on an LCD screen"

Which part of 19th century photography involved digital images and LCD screens? Just askin'.

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