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* Posts by Stoneshop

1490 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Stoneshop
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Pirate

More shock

That's what I did, last week when I was in London. As the hotel's WiFi had the stability of a drunken elephant on roller skates, and glacial speeds during those brief moments it managed some bytes to pass in AND out, I connected to one of the BT-FON networks that were visible, and, after duly logging in, enjoyed a stable and not at all slow connection so that I could indulge in the despicable activity that is reading El Reg

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: I have to defend the police here...

How exactly were the police to have established more facts?

By establishing whether the matter reported was something that required taking action on in the first place.

To which the answer is a resounding no.

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

All of the above

obviously.

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Re: Eek!

Making content is a costly commercial enterprise, and the content creators have the right to determine and control how they recoup their costs, just like any other manufacturer.

But once the content has been created, artificially limiting sales to particular regions would result in lower revenue.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Eek!

And midget porn

Availability again.

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Cave pits, ideal for human bases, FOUND ON MOON

Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: One Giant Leap... Downward?

that can mean only one thing: emmental

Well, the moon is already made of cheese* **, so there's bound to be holes in it. Which means that for a human population we only need to get crackers up there. And mustard.

* So sayeth Wallace & Gromit

** Leicester? Tilsit? Caerphilly, Bel Paese? Red Windsor? Stilton? Emmental? Gruyère? Norwegian Jarlsberger, Liptauer? Lancashire? White Stilton? Danish Blue? Double Gloucester? Cheshire? Dorset Blue Vinney? Brie, Roquefort, Pont-l'Évêque, Port Salut, Savoyard, Saint-Paulin, Carre-de-L'Est, Bresse-Bleu, Boursin? Camembert, Gouda? Edam? Caithness? Smoked Austrian? Japanese Sage Darby? Wensleydale? Greek Feta? Gorgonzola? Parmesan? Mozzarella? Pippo Crème? Danish Fimboe? Czech sheep's milk? Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?. Cheddar? Ilchester? Limburger?

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Stoneshop
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Happy

Sir Not-Appearing-On-This-Stage

But he still was integrated into the Galaxy Song, as the not-quite-foot-like Pythonesque Foot to Brian Cox, who was picking nits with the physics involved.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Quick way to check for infection

:~> locate humans.txt

That will just tell you whether you have a file 'humans.txt' on your system, and only if the locate database is up to date. What you actually want to do, and what the poster you replied to did, was looking through Apache logging, whether there was a http request for said file located on google, so checking whether PHP allows requesting a remote file.

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Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

Stoneshop
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Re: No one ever heard of risk analysis?

After all, these events are rare - the best I can find is that this has happened 7 times since 1943 (happy to be corrected).

Depends a bit on what you're counting; en-route incidents at nominal cruising altitude like this one, I get 7 too. Most of the remaining incidents involving civilian airliners had them flying in or out of airports near (or even in) active insurgency zones, where one would be happy not being shot at.

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

Stoneshop
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Black Helicopters

Say, Lewis

could you perhaps compare how this attacker would stand up against the F35-whatevers that the Queen Liz is currently not equipped with, and which appear to be catching on fire for as yet undetermined reasons? Both their actual intended role, and related stuff like cost, maintenance, etcetera?

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

Stoneshop
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Flame

Re: Is this really Apple gender discrimination rubbing out

The clit, or is the iPhone engraving software just designed to reject really, really poor verse?

OK, then it should coredump or even catch fire on being fed some Vogon poetry.

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Give an exoplanet a new name: Fill in this form and hope these astro-boffins pick your $input

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: I humbly submit the following name...

$ units

Currency exchange rates from 2012-10-24

2585 units, 85 prefixes, 66 nonlinear units

You have: 22753291487000 miles

You want: brontosauruses

* 2.6479985e+14

/ 3.7764372e-15

You have:

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Stoneshop
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Alert

Re: Asymmetric laws and asymmetric justice

else we could find that an innocent typo means something completely blasphemous (to take an example) in some place we've never heard of

"I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle,"

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Stoneshop
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Flame

Re: Turn off the computer, then turn it on again...

I don't have to deal with lusers anymore, but when I did (briefly, and only indirectly as I needed to fix whatever the helldesk punted upwards), I wished for error messages that a) filled the entire screen, b) could not be closed, except by entering an unique code, given out by the problem tracking tool, that depended on the error message being read out correctly, verbatim, and not FOLDED, SPINDLED AND MUTILATED INTO OBLIVION by vague and incorrect recalling by the luser, then loosely transcribed by the helldesk.

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Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

Stoneshop
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Windows

Too much sex and violence on TV?

How do they even manage any at all, with today's flatscreens? At least those big CRTs offered a fair amount of space, although it wasn't exactly easy either, back then.

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EPIC FAIL, FACEBOOK: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed

Stoneshop
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Think about those charity adverts on TV which talk about suffering children in Syria or sick children in Great Ormond Street Hospital:

In most cases those are recognisable as adverts. News items, with footage (partially) provided by the organisation that would benefit from heightened awareness, less so. News providers themselves (sites, newspapers and broadcasters) can and do filter in accordance with their worldview, but one could say that the viewer has the choice to select their news provider, or use several to get a less biased view.

Facebook surreptitiously manipulating exposure of certain messages to certain viewers is something not at all like the above.

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SUPER EARTH possibly home to life FOUND in our 'solar backyard'

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Solar backyard

There ought to be a shed around there as well.

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Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: "Facebook are prepared to distort reality"

Just look at the distorted reality. If it has rounded corners, it's Apple's.

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True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: "Everything else we tried failed"

"Urine sample" .nes. "Taking the piss volume".

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: Perhaps Predictable

How do you get a Tiger to pee in a bottle?

Put the tiger into the bottle(*) and don't let him out before he's done.

(*) or your tank

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

So familiar

There was one contract job that was absolutely brilliant. Just two questions in the intake meeting: "Can you start tomorrow, and do you always wear those silly clothes?" Lots of leeway, they knew what I was capable of and that I would get things done.

But there have been others.

Manager: "Why is the backup still running when people come in and need to start working?"

(logins are disabled during backup)

Me: "Lessee, <poke, poke> oh, it could start right when the database extract is done, but instead it starts at $fixed_time, which is well over an hour later, usually. That's easy to fix. Then we could tweak some backup parameters to speed things up. We can also make sure the important files get done first so that in case we have to kill the backup for still running too long, we'll just miss a few odds and ends."

Manager: "Right, take your suggestions to $permie for approval"

Me: "OK"

Me: <type, type, print>

Permie: "I'll look into it"

[time passes]

Manager: "The backup is still running into office hours. This is unacceptable"

Me: "I handed my improvements to $permie, but he hasn't given the nod yet."

[more time passes]

Manager: "The backup is still running into office hours. This is unacceptable"

Me: "I handed my improvements to $permie right after we discussed the problem the first time, but he still hasn't given the nod yet."

[even more time passes]

Manager: "The backup is still running into office hours. This is unacceptable"

Me: (inner voice) "Then let me fucking FIX the problem, or get out of my hair"

Me: "Let's ask $permie what he thinks of the modifications."

Permie: "Your script is incomprehensible. We can't maintain it when you're gone"

Me: (inner voice): "WTBF? They're YOUR OWN backup scripts, with a handful of lines to start the actual backup right when the extract is done, plus a watchdog that tells it to wrap things up ten minutes before people need to log in again. And the actual backup now consists of two steps, Important and OtherStuff"

Me: "Sorry, but that's just the way these jobs can be synchronised. It's a standard mechanism exactly for this kind of problem, provided by the OS itself. Nothing unsupported or undocumented"

Manager: "You need to do it differently, in a way that we can maintain when you're gone"

Me: "Sorry, if you think that using $OS_provided_method is unmaintainable, I can't help you"

[exit, stage left]

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Intel, Ford: Project Mobii will harpoon unsafe, unauthorized drivers

Stoneshop
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Alert

full-face helmets

Owner's smartphone: <bleep> "Someone is requesting the use of your car.

Allow [ ] Decine [ ] Limit [ ]?

The person requesting is identified as The Stig"

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Jet is the database

And like the real thing, it sucks and blows at the same time. Also, when something other than air gets sucked into it, it either comes out again totally shredded, or it causes the engine to explode.

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iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Next project

failed to locate any clues at all

This calls for ClueDeliver: for a modest fee* I will deliver Clue to backers** of ClueDeliver.

* Does not include travel expenses, accomodation and hospitalisation.

** A Pre-Delivery ClueResistance check must be completed on enrollment, to determine the optimal forcemethod with which the Clue will be delivered.

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Error in project title

Tech-free money finder would be more like it

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TIME TRAVEL TEST finds black holes needed to make photons flit

Stoneshop
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Uncertainty

and Heisenberg's uncertainty theorem, except this poor hack doesn't quite understand why – can all break down

This is clearly related to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Broken Things: one can not simultaneously know the way something is broken, and what is needed to fix it (both in parts and labour).

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Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: How about an anti-drone drone system ?

Just have your drone crash into the offending drone,

Furrfu, just dangle a few strings from your drone and fly over the target.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Try this then

Paintball gun

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One amazing reason why NASA boffins are celebrating Curiosity's 687th day on Mars

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Call me a science fangrrl if you will

Only because dolphins don't have opposable thumbs

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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

Stoneshop
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Re: Can't see it catching on widely enough

I'm in the middle of automating my house, and while I haven't decided on a particular heating control system, I'm making sure that I can easily control every radiator valve, and measure (and set) the temperature in each room individually. There's a fair chance there'll be a Pi or BBB supervising, with control over sun screens, ventilation etc. as well. For general absence detection I will probably use Bluetooth: as long as one of the designated phones is around the house, it should consider the house occupied, else it'll set temperatures based on (learned) usage patterns. And with a GSM interface that takes a few commands like "I'll be home in half an hour" or "Don't bother, I'm staying over elsewhere" you don't need DDNS, firewall holes etcetera.

And whatever is used, it won't be exposing my data to outsiders.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Soon

the literary prowess of the target audience will have degraded to the point that there will be separate apps for each of the words in their entire vocabulary (17, by current estimate) so that they can send that particular word by selecting the right app. For the not-quite-terminally-retarded there will be a single app that offers these words in a radio-button menu.

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: Losers

That's a definition of "decent" of which I was not previously aware.

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Stoneshop
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Devil

Google Plus

First read that as Google Pus, and found it quite appropriate.

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Stoneshop
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Thumb Up

Re: “Fuck off and die” button

LIKE!

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KA-BOOOM! Boffins blow up mountain to make way for telescope

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Re: Actually it was engineers and technicians who blew the mountain up; not boffins

Boffin: We'd like to have an Extremely Large Telescope on top of <points at map> this mountain. Can you do that?

Engineer: How large?

B: Umm, 285.71429 linguini

E: That's just the 'scope, right? So the building would be <scribbles on fag packet>, hmm, and you want a bit of space to walk around it, park the Landy, so, say, <scribbles some more, whips out slide rule> 18.270745 by 32.54149 doubledecker buses.

B: Extrapolating from the size of my shed, yes, sounds right to me.

E: Now, mountain tops are rather pointy, although this one's not as pointy as quite a few others. Of course we could build an Extremely Large Platform for your telescope, but there's another way. Mind if we simply lop off <scribbles again> about onepointthree brontosauruses, to flatten the top?

B: That's 0.17949511166 percent more air between us and space, but I think we can manage. Okay.

E: Right, I'll be off now. If you need me, you'll want to call my Iridium number; I don' think we have GSM coverage there yet. <pulls out phone, speed-dials the Dyno Nobel representative>

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: A boffin is ...

some mental dislocation when a boffin explains their work

There must be a way to measure this dislocation, and expressed as distance (in linguini) times (IQ/100)^n [1] it could be worked into the boffinry formula. But because it's friday I'll take the formula home, expose it to some C2H5OH over the coming 48 hours, and see what develops.

[1] Exponent to be determined. It'd be easy dislocating a Gumby's mental facilities over several decalinguini and up to two doubledecker buses, using run-of-the-mill everyday science. But truly baffling a fellow boffin should weigh more heavily, even if the mental dislocation is way less in absolute distance.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Ownership and proper use of an HP-65 calculator or similar device

s/HP-65/slide rule/

It was only introduced in 1974; and this condition would thus exclude such eminent boffins as Barnes Wallis and Oppenheimer. Scientists from the 17th century and further back, such as Da Vinci and Archimedes, do not need to meet this requirement to qualify. Other ways of identifying boffinry may be equally hard for this pre slide rule era, but at least Archimedes has been reported running through the streets stark naked. How's that for dress sense?

There, fixed that for you (where's the duct-tape-and-zipties icon?)

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MIGHTY SOLAR FLARES fail to DESTROY CIVILISATION. Yes!

Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Stone Age?

Not just the Internet. A fair lot of power generation will be down due to failed electronics, including the inverter for your rooftop solar panels (and quite likely the panels themselves will be fried too, given a serious enough belch). Telephony will go titsup, and transport and logistics with it. Traffic control, including trains. Vehicles themselves, unless they're sufficiently vintage that they don't rely on electronics.

In other words: a Whole Fucking Lot more than "just internet".

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Whatthefc.uk

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies

Stoneshop
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Re: MAC collisions are not an issue

Perhaps there already is a "public" OUI

There is. AA:00:04 is one such range, but IIRC all addresses that start AA: are locally-administered.

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Stoneshop
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@David Walker

It's the general case of the Birthday Paradox.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Alternative Title

It could eventually proliferate where a MAC collision would occur.

Hardly. The scrambled MAC address needs to be locally unique only, so over a range of, say, 100m. And there are ranges for locally-administered MAC addresses, so if they stick to that there's no chance the chosen address will collide with one the iDevice can't see, but the access point can, like its upstream port or that of its upstream switch or router. Those are 3-byte ranges, so even if every device within those 100m (let's say, 1000, at a gathering of iDevice users) would be using one of those addresses, and every address is chosen at random, you do have an address collision probability of

1-(16,777,216!/((16,777,216-1000)!*16,777,216^1000)).

You need to fill about 1% of the address space to have a non-trivially small probability of collision.

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Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Stoneshop
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Holmes

MC 1260 "Электроника 60М"

http://www.leningrad.su/museum/show_calc.php?n=257

If that's not a copy of a DEC PDP11/03 or 11/23, I'll eat my hat.

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Plucky Playmonaut bails out of smoking Vulture 2

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Hot Zeners

Quite. Although in this case it wouldn't really need to regulate, just spring in to action when the voltage on the servo rail would be spiking, so a nominal zener voltage anything from a few 100mV to maybe one volt over the nominal servo feed voltage. But a TVS (Transient Voltage Suppressor) is actually the part you want there.

But I doubt that a brief voltage spike can kill a servo motor. You need a fair bit of excess voltage over several seconds to be problematic, and at that point a zener will have already lost its magic smoke, or its bonds with the circuit (I've had that happen: underspecced MOSFETs in a heating controller would themselves get so hot that they would melt the solder on their legs and drop out of the circuit board). I'm with Don Jefe that probably something was restricting the servo travel.

Capacitors are a better solution than that zener anyway, a couple of low-esr electrolytics (1000..2200uF) with a 100nF ceramic parallel each.

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Amazing never-seen-before photo of colourful hot young stars (Thanks Hubble)

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: "Sun on Trail" video by Dr Pierre-Marie Robitaille....

Our dear Sun is NOT a ball of Hydrogen gas

Indeed it is not. Just 70% or so, and it is plasma, not gas

But that's about the only thing in your CME[1] which can be said to be correct

[1] Clumsy Moronical Ejection

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Ultraviolet?

To have UV radiation redshifted to IR, the wavelength would have to more than double (from less than 400nm to over 800nm), which would mean the star in question would have to be speeding away from us at over 0.5c. Which is, as far as I know, far beyond the speed at which the Universe was expanding at the time that star was emitting the radiation we're now picking up.

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German server lockbox scores MEELLION dollar seed-smashing record

Stoneshop
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Re: And the clients?

And at which point you become rich by doing that?

Depends. If you're actually selling those Draytek routers, it's pretty straightforward.

If you would have to pay someone to build and configure that Linux box, you're getting rich by saving whatever that would amount to over the stipulated 200 quid.

If you do it yourself, you're denied the possibility to work on someone else's problem during that time, even if it has nowt to do with IT, like lawnmoowing, and bill them for your effort.

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Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Stoneshop
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Re: Is that a portable access point in your pocket, are you ...

That would block any and all mobile calls and data, including, I presume, emergency calls. Fair enough.

Serious question: why would blocking cellphone reception in specific public areas such as theaters and cinemas be the problem it's made out to be? Why should everybody and their dog need to call emergency services from their seat, when there's functioning communications infrastructure just outside, which you would have needed to get to first anyway, thirty years ago?

The thing that gets me the most though is the picking on Glass specifically, when any mobile device can do what Glass does.

Technically, yes. As inconspicuously as Glass, no.

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Stoneshop
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Re: I wonder what this does...

Trap doors and alligator pits sound hilarious, but the upkeep on alligators will eat you alive.

Just put a kiosk next to the trap door, with a banner "Free $enticing_illegal_product here" and instructions to enter some personal data[1] and accept the EULA[2]. The problem you'll now face is Alligator Obesity, though.

[1] for striking entries off the Missing Person's list, to keep unnecessary searches, anxiety by next-of-kin etc. to a minimum.

[2] Eject User as Lunch for Alligators. Nobody reads those, as we all know.

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Feds crack down harder on 'lasing'. Yep, aircraft laser zapping... Really

Stoneshop
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Distance

Some time ago I had occasion to test a green laser, 100mW IIRC, at night, on an industrial estate. One of those modules you could buy from DealExtreme until some five years ago or so. Pointed it at a building 250..300m away. Got a nice bright crisp dot, not as small as it would be at several tens of meters or closer, but maybe just a centimeter across, if that (compared it to the size of the lettering on their facade). At a kilometer it would be maybe illuminating a disc the size of a CD

The big problem with lasing airplanes is the gazillion tiny scratches in their windshields, causing dispersion in every which direction, including straight at the pilot's eyes. Not good.

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