* Posts by JasonH

37 posts • joined 8 Sep 2009

Apostrophe’s cause problem’s in e-health system’s

JasonH
Meh

Re: Too much sanitization

More likely no sanitisation at all, effectively interpreting the minus sign and apostrophe as valid programming language syntax and failing due to the resulting syntax errors. Easy enough to check, but to answer your point, sanitisation that falls over when the input is not valid is not good programming practice either.

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JasonH
FAIL

Security implications?

I'd like to see what would happen if they tried using the (in)famous Xkcd name in http://xkcd.com/327/

Because if they don't test for this, someone else will on their behalf...

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NASA tells Voyager 2 to save its strength

JasonH
Pint

Just under 13 hours..

.. to send a message to it (at the speed of light), and a further 13 hours to receive it's reply - one whole Earth day and a couple of hours on top to await each response. That's one hell of a round trip time. The latency on the console must be awful...

Nasa's web page on this project show it travelling at over 56,000 kph (35,000 mph). You won't get that kind of speed on the M25 during a busy afternoon, I can tell you...

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LOHAN deluged with Reg readers' interjections in REHAB

JasonH

One small problem...

It looks like you've just built yourself a rather odd thermos flask.

I'm no expert, but it strikes me that you won't affect on the internal temperature much once you evacuate the conductor (air) from within the container.

Therefore, I suggest a great simplification - leave the temperature probe in the flask until the correct temperature is reached, then withdraw the probe, seal the top and then evacuate the air. The end temperature will not vary much during this process.

The advantage will be fewer holes to plug, truer temperature readings and generally follows the KISS principle better.

BTW, how brittle will the metal container be at these low temperatures? Is this a safety or otherwise concern?

One final point worthy of consideration - the dry ice will create copious amounts of a mist-like low-lying cloud, which will hamper finding and reading valves and gauges unless this is taken into account (e.g. raise the unit on a stool, lengthen the hose between unit and gauge, add a fan to the mix, ...)

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Naked Honolulu bloke rescued from garbage chute

JasonH
Badgers

Hmm, and not just that, either..

.. we seem to be sleep-walking into the regular misuse of the English language: 'terroristic' indeed.

I thought 'verbing' of nouns was bad enough...

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Chinese bride sentenced to hard labour for retweet

JasonH
Thumb Up

Wrong song?

Surely it goes more like:

I've got your Twitter, I've got your Twitter

I'd like a million re-tweets of myself

I asked the government to take your Twitter

So I can look at you from inside the cell

You've got me tweeting up and tweeting down

and tweeting in and tweeting 'round

I'm anti-Japanese

I tweet I'm anti-Japanese

I really think so

Anti-Japanese

I tweet I'm anti-Japanese

I really tweet so

I'm anti-Japanese

I tweet I'm anti-Japanese

I really think so

Anti-Japanese

I think I'm anti-Japanese

I really think so

With apologies to The Vapors for ruining a perfectly decent song...

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Our PARIS becomes GLOBAL MEDIA SENSATION

JasonH
WTF?

And they call this 'news'?

So let me get this straight - humankind has reached a zenith of global communications and near-speed-of-light connectivity for the masses, allowing electronic content in the form of emails, blog posts, twitter feeds, not to mention pictures and videos, of the spectacular PARIS project achievements to be delivered almost in real-time to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere round the globe...

But it takes the great British press fourteen days (14 days?! 2 weeks!!) to publish this as 'news'. This is not news, this is 'olds'.

No wonder I read The Register - all hail our vulturine scoop messengers!

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Sod hedgerows and fields, build more base stations

JasonH
Paris Hilton

Shared infrastructure?

I'm certain the NIMBYs main complaint is not against the single MNO mast, but the half-a-dozen that follow from each of their competitors.

I've always wondered whether a shared infrastructure approach may the best solution in the future.

I can understand how we got here (after all, coverage was a major selling point in the mobile telco wars a decade or two ago), but surely it must be time to move on now that mobile connectivity is a vital part of our country's infrastructure and reasonably ubiquitous?

A little like differentiating the rail network from the train operators, a shared infrastructure would allow the MNOs to focus on differentiating themselves with the latest smartphone handsets, MiFi service or mobile data package. Reduced network costs (due to less duplication/triplication) should allow for better back-of-beyond coverage and continuous investment in newer technologies (increased land-based network bandwidth, improved over-the-air bandwidth: 4G/LTE, and so on). This also give the government a reasonable chance to deliver on their broadband-for-all commitments.

After all, MNOs are in a Red Queen position regarding bandwidth consumption: smarter handsets, greater content consumption, falling data prices, falling margins - yet they still have to keep spending more and more money upgrading their networks to cope with this extra bandwidth being demanded and consumed.

Whether they like it or not, MNOs have become utility companies. Time to separate the infrastructure from the service: we did it with gas and electricity, now it's time for the MNOs.

And Paris looking sad, as no-one has talked about mobile phone mast erections yet...

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Custodial offence for deliberate invasion of data protection? Forget it!

JasonH
FAIL

For crying out loud - this is not the issue!!!

This article has missed the point by miles, IMHO.

This debate should not be about the challenges of proving who committed the offence (i.e. method, intent, number of attempts and so on) or how to prosecute these 'private investigators'. These events are always going to be hard to prove without surmounting the huge burden of evidence collection and proving intent.

So the real issue is how are we allowing - as a society, under our current legal framework, etc - the mobile network operators to provide SIMs with a generic, default PIN? This is ludicrous! After all, cars and houses are not sold with the same generic key; credit cards do not have a default PIN of '0000' or '3333'...

Each SIM should be provided with a unique PIN, treated with the same security as credit card companies do with their PINs.

Most users are not technically literate enough to understand why or how to change their PIN. As a result, this is a major security hole that affects the majority of mobile phone users in this country. This issue is what the ICO and OFCOM should be shouting from the rooftops about, and this is perhaps where the government could introduce appropriate legislation and control.

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Boffins develop greenhouse invisible to night-vision goggles

JasonH
Joke

Ahem...

Nothing to see here, move along now, nothing to see now, move along...

Ahem. Sorry, I'll just grab my coat... :-)

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Apple ad-addled OS scheme resurfaces

JasonH
Jobs Halo

Hmm.

Or perhaps for the next (much rumoured) version of Apple TV perhaps?

This would make sense in a cloud-streamed TV service environment, where Apple could deliver highly targeted advertisements to victims^H^H^H, *ahem*, customers, in a powerful and granular way. One source TV program, but different adverts shown dependent on geography, viewing style and previous preferences/selections.

An advertiser's dream, giving Apple the revenue stream to bulk-purchase the content needed to differentiate themselves from other up-and-coming competitors in this market.

Or there again, perhaps not.

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Mac sales tripled since 2005

JasonH
Flame

Re: What a refreshing change...

Perhaps the Apple haters are still waiting for their PCs to boot up?

(If that isn't flame bait, what is? ;-)

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Job club firm loses thousands of details

JasonH
FAIL

Incredible..

"A4e said anyone worried about the loss should make a free call to .."

Shouldn't that read: "A4e said anyone worried about the lack of encryption on the laptop should ..."?

One for the ICO to investigate and fine?

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Russian spy ring bust uncovers tech toolkit

JasonH
Big Brother

LinkedIn

Turns out I'm three steps removed from Anna Chapman according to LinkedIn. What's your score?

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Brazilian banker's crypto baffles FBI

JasonH

Double encryption

"Even if you possibly could run through all the combinations before the sun cooled you'd have to KNOW that you had cracked the encrypted info. Either a human search ! or some smart search algorithm.

So to be really safe double encrypt with 2 different keys"

Bad idea. Really bad idea. With many encryption algorithms this can cause unexpected problems, often weakening the supposed strength.

For example, two rounds of DES encryption (with 2 x 56 bit keys) can be decrypted with a third, unknown, single 56 bit key. You won't know what this is, but finding it will only involve searching 2^56 keys, trivial compared to the intended 2^112 keyspace (~72 quadrillion times larger). This is why 2DES was skipped, and everyone used 3DES instead (one round of DES encryption, one of DES decryption and one more of DES encryption, each with different keys). The resulting strength of 3DES is considered equivalent to 2 x 56 = 112 bits.

Of course, remember you extremely rarely have to search the whole keyspace, as you have an even chance of finding it in the first half...

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Hoodies swipe bus for YouTube joyride

JasonH

3.15am

As a parent, what scares me the most is how on earth are two 16 year-olds out at three in the morning? I cannot comprehend this. It's not as if they sneaked out moments before - she's spent considerable time applying that make-up...

Garish make-up and a hoodie - mmm, nice look. Remind me not to go there.

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Naked Cowboy wrestles Naked Cowgirl

JasonH
Thumb Up

Sex vs. gender

You are quite correct, sir. I just couldn't bring myself to use the word 'sex' in a post about this article. (*Shudder*)

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JasonH
Happy

But I'm not the one running around NYC in a bikini ?!

If we are golden gods, would this mean you would not smite, you'd be smitten?

As an aside, isn't it curious that most who undress at nudist beaches are those who most need to cover up? Or have the most to cover up?

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JasonH
Stop

Warning needed

Wow Lester, you hinted at it in the final sentence but the link to the article with the embedded photograph should come with a warning written in letters 40-foot high. It's enough to make me feel quite ill (*shudder*).

For those who haven't been dumb enough to follow the link, don't. Just don't. Please, don't.

(@Sarah Bee: Before you smite me, understand I'd add this public health warning regardless of the photographed subject's gender. If you still want to smite me, look at the picture and consider that I am permanently scarred by the thought of the defendant lighting her breasts at a strip show)

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Flying-boat tiltrotor catamaran design wins NASA compo

JasonH
Thumb Down

Erm, bolox.

In open oceans, one typically sees long wavelength waves (sorry), of varying heights. Wave height usually isn't a problem, as the change is smooth.

Well, that is until you stick massively long wings on the aircraft and add heavy weights to the ends. The impact of a wave against this structure may be minimal, but the impact of cold water against a hot engine would not be ideal. The impact of a barely subsonic spinning rotor blade hitting the sea would be phenomenal: destroying blades, gearbox, engine, wing and most of the aircraft too.

Bring back the PBY Catalina - or the Short Sunderland...

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Microsoft closes door on 64-bit development for Office 2011

JasonH

Apple's excuse?

As the original article is all about Microsoft's backtracking on their many promises to deliver Cocoa in the next version of Office for Mac, I feel it is fair to refer to this lack of Cocoa within the forthcoming Office 2011 as a big Microsoft fail.

Anon is also right in pointing out that others haven't implemented Cocoa at times, including Apple themselves. I believe there is unanimous support in labeling iTunes one of the worst Apple software products currently shipping - and its lack of Cocoa support is partly to blame for this. I cannot comment on Final Cut Pro as I have not used this.

However, for many Mac users the main company in the doghouse for lack of Cocoa and UI guideline support would be Adobe, who even in CS5 is still trying to work around their filehandling and memory-hogging issues, e.g. redefining the beachball when opening large files rather than solving the underlying mono-threaded and memory-hogging methods they currently use.

However, as I am forced to used MS Office on a daily basis for work, so I tend to find their lack of file format interoperatibility, lack of consistent UIs (even amongst their own products) and lack of reliability the most painful to deal with.

Ho hum.

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JasonH
FAIL

The real story is not about 64-bit support.

64-bit support is not relevant to the vast majority of users. For me, the big story here is the failure by Microsoft to fully transition to a Cocoa interface - after all this time and promises to address this fully, this is an appalling state of affairs.

What's the big deal with Cocoa? Well, it helps provide the consistent Mac OS/X feel across all Cocoa applications, it massively improves memory management (speed, security and robustness benefits), as well as dynamic thread/module loading.

So without Cocoa, expect the next version of Office to be large, monolithic and crash-prone applications, just like their predecessors. Office applications are typically the applications most likely to crash on a Mac (perhaps with the exception of Adobe's Flash) and have an obvious non-Mac feel to them in keyboard bindings, UI layout and overall behaviour.

These were meant to be addresses as the main gains of a move to Cocoa for Mac Office users.

With this demonstrated lack of commitment to this version of Office, I wonder what implications this has for what was meant to be the definitive version of Outlook (finally to replace the inconsistent and proprietary-yet-different-again bag of nails that Entourage has been).

Sorry Microsoft, but - yet again - you've found a way to score a big FAIL.

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iPad queues worldwide

JasonH
Happy

Re: Re: Fanbois?

"Your post makes you sound very much like a fanboi, just like an addict that refuses to admit to his addiction." - My post does sound that way, and I understand your reply, but I can assure you I'm trying to be as level-headed as possible here.

Put it this way, thousands of people bought an iPad today in the UK, and many thousands more will buy one tomorrow, and thousands more again over coming weeks. Within a couple of months, Apple will have sold more iPads this year than the company has sold MacBooks and iMacs.

Two things spring to mind:

1. That's a lot of fanbois. Are the other posters suggesting that Apple fanbois somehow become fanbois before they buy an Apple computer/device? Are they replicating in the dark and only come out for these events? Why not for a new release of Mac OS/X, surely that's what a fanboi would do? Sorry, I don't buy it - one of the world's defining IT moments is happening under our noses: smartphones and PDAs are properly replacing/augmenting traditional PCs for many users. (Not all, and there are many limitations in these devices, but for the 80% of the masses who only need 20% of the power of the PC, this is an elegant solution)

2. Margin = profit. I expect that each iPad provides Apple with more margin than the sales of two or three iMac/MacBook products. The success of the iPad further strengthens not only Apple's revenues but profits as well. This from the company that has a tiny share (8% in 2009) in the worldwide phone market, but accounts for almost a third (32%) of that market's profits.

I'll leave you with a final thought - if it were just down to fanbois support, why haven't other companies that copied this model had the same success?

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JasonH
WTF?

Fanbois? Or excellent marketing for a great product?

If the queues were shorter, I would agree they were only populated by fanbois. I'm sure there are some in almost all queues, but the majority of these iPad customers are not fanbois.

People from all walks of life are flocking to buy and find out more about one of the most talked about IT releases in years - this isn't a fanboi masturbation contest, but one of the slickest marketing operations by an IT company we've seen in a long time. Think about the yards of newspaper and magazine column type, the reams of blog entries, and the cacophony of tweets - all covering the iPad. During this massive ground-swelling of public comment, feedback and desire, I only saw my first official Apple iPad advert a couple of days ago; this is a very sweet demonstration of how to do mass marketing in the 21st century.

Of course, it helps that the product is pretty decent too: it has a wide-ranging application base, intuitive UI, looks fabulous and 'just works' - it's a typical Apple product and the attention to detail shines through.

Customers (and shareholders, for that matter) love the innovation that repeatedly emerges from Apple. The aspect we need to recognise is that this innovation applies just as much to sales and marketing as it does to technology.

Love them or hate them, Apple and Google are pushing the boundaries of IT and they are making Microsoft look boring, old-fashioned and completely out of touch by comparison. Think about it: iPhone, Android, iPad, GoogleTV, ... versus just another rehashed version of Windows or MS Office. This is why shareholders are flocking to Google and Apple, and are deserting Microsoft.

ObDisclosure: I use Apple products, own Apple shares, but I don't consider myself a fanboi. And no, I don't have an iPad.

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X-51 ordinary-fuel scramjet to fly on Tuesday

JasonH

No ordinary turbojet?

Lewis writes: "Ordinary turbojets are limited to around Mach 2.5 in normal use, though they can beat Mach 3 if the user doesn't mind replacing them afterwards."

True for almost all turbojet aircraft, but don't forget Kelly Johnson's SR-71, a.k.a. Blackbird: officially Mach 3.2+, which most definitely did not require new engines (J58s) after each flight. To be fair to Lewis, Kelly's design cleverly bypassed the majority of the airflow at the higher speeds, reintroducing it into the afterburner stage (i.e. at higher speeds it was mostly working as a ramjet!). In short, Mach 3 and above can be achieved with traditional turbojets, but it is very tricky to do properly (plenty of documented history exists on the design and operational challenges of this aircraft, majority of which surrounds how the engines behaved at supersonic speeds.)

One interesting point to note is that fuel consumption (expressed as fuel used/distance covered) improved with the higher speeds. I have attended a lecture by a former Blackbird pilot who claimed that if they were running short of fuel, e.g. due to extra in-flight manoeuvering, they would accelerate the aircraft to ensure a safe return (and get back sooner to boot!)

I suppose similar consumption figures must apply for scramjets...

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Jacqui Smith and Charles Clarke shown the door

JasonH
Coffee/keyboard

Hahaha!

Hahahahahaha!

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

(Stop making me laugh, it's starting to hurt..)

Hahahahaha!

Oops - I think I've wet myself.

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Top exorcist says Satan at work in Vatican

JasonH
Thumb Up

70,000?

Why am I reminded of Eddie Izzard's mass-murderer sketch when I read this?

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFtkJd8w5UQ )

Exorcised 70,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning! Your diary must look very odd: get up, exorcism, exorcism, exorcism, lunch, exorcism, exorcism, exorcism, afternoon tea, ...

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Chinese tablet maven threatens iPad suit

JasonH
WTF?

Re: Hang on a minute

I seem to recall they didn't lose - Microsoft settled out of court (investing a tidy sum into Apple in the process) and agreeing to continue to develop and support MS Office for Mac.

One of Steve Jobs's first wins after returning to Apple.

Now, what you haven't commented on is Apple (allegedly) copying and building on the Xerox PARC work, but I'll leave that for the fanbois to argue over (to be fair, there are many versions of this story).

All from memory, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on this.

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More problems for Apple's top desktop

JasonH
Thumb Up

Alternative theory

Or perhaps this is one of the changes to be introduced in the upcoming event on the 27th January. Apple often add delays to products that are revamped in one of these shows - this could be such an occasion, in which case El Reg and I will duly take credit for having spotted the significance of this delay...

Just a thought.

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NASA plans robot rocket aeroplane to fly above Mars

JasonH
Alien

X-Plane

I think X-Plane has/had a Mars flight simulation built into it. Very awkward flight regime due to the thinness of the atmosphere (you have to fly very, very fast in true groundspeed terms yet with low equivalent true airspeed: minimum control action, else you stall the plane - a very odd combination).

Presumably the thinness of the atmosphere would also screw up attempts at lighter-than-air flight too, but I'll let others comment on that.

Personally I would rather a decent sized rover, or multiple rovers, to scout around the red planet. I mean, what exactly do they expect to find on Mars? Water? Life? Airports?

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Savage roo mauls Oz man

JasonH
Welcome

What's that Skippy?

"What's that Skippy? Uncle Chris has been mauled by a wild roo? Strewth, who would do such a thing? What?! You, Skippy?! No, Skippy, now put that gun down. No Skippy, no! Good Skippy? Please?"

I'd watch that series again if this was the new approach!

If for one welcome our new ... etc.

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Wall-punching Brit gamer foams (milk) at the mouth

JasonH
Paris Hilton

Posterity

I would like to sit in on his job interviews in years to come, when the interviewer has done his background research (i.e. Googled the candidate's name) and found this video. Whatever he tries to do, wherever he goes, this clip will haunt him for some many, many years to come.

And he made it himself. And posted it himself.

What a twat...

Paris, well, because she knows how to make a video clip...

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Palestinian network launches without spectrum

JasonH

Correction

@Karl. Fair point and I apologise profusely for my poor choice of word, no offence was intended to that demographic. I'd like to substitute the word 'fuckwit' instead.

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JasonH
FAIL

Wow - they're screwed then!

Launching a business on the say so of Tony Blair?! Christ, we went to war against Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction' on his say-so, and look what happened there!!!

I have some sympathy for the Palestinian plight, but these business managers must be retards. Epic fail.

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Twitter bans security maven for sharing naughty link

JasonH
FAIL

Why live filtering won't work

To be fair to Twitter, live filtering does not solve the problem - they need a system that can filter retrospectively.

Most modern malware can spread very quickly, often way before AV and URL-filtering companies have a chance to react. In other words, live filtering of Twitter posts will not work for a new, fast-spreading malware pandemic.

That said, it seems the best solution would be to combine live filtering (for known malware sources) with retrospective filtering (for malware sources *recently* identified).

On both counts, Twitter currently fails. Lack of live filtering creates too large a threat window for known malware, and a slow retrospective scan merely compounds the problem. Added to that, one or more levels of indirection (TinyURL and their ilk) can be automated and compounds the issue. This could be 'solved' by implementing a Twitter-managed URL linking system, but this could also present user acceptance, scalability and further redirection issues.

Not an easy one to solve, but you can't be seen to be ignoring the problem either.

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NASA iceberg-finder prangs into Moon's south pole

JasonH
Paris Hilton

Tut tut tut...

Women drivers, eh?

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Foxconn working on 'sub-£100' ARM-based Linux netbooks

JasonH
Coffee/keyboard

Exchange rate

*splutter* *cough, cough*

Which exchange rate are we using here? It's been almost a year since the pound traded at those levels. Current UKP/USD rates are between £1 = $1.6 to 1.65, so the $200 comes out as roughly £120 to £125.

I dream of the pound being worth two dollars and change again, but even more of the pound buying one and a half euros. Holidays and visits to the Eurozone are frankly scary at the moment.

P.S. You owe me a new keyboard, and that's a proper UK keyboard with £, $ and € signs...

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