* Posts by davcefai

112 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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BLAST-OFF! BOAT FREE launch at last. Orion heads for SPAAAAACE

davcefai

Project Name

Isn't it a shame that they called it "Orion"?

As far as I am aware "Orion" was the name given to the concept of nuclear pulse propulsion where a rocket would be propelled by small nuclear explosions "pushing" on a plate at the back of the craft.

Has anybody read Larry Niven's "Footfall"? An Orion craft spearheads the best space battle I have ever read.

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'You have no right to see me NAKED!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

davcefai
FAIL

Wrong Target?

Why are they targeting the search engine? It simply tells us WHERE the information is. To me, this seems analogous to instructing map-makers to leave out the shadier streets in a town.

If people want to remove embarassing information they have to get the website to remove it. I know that this is impossible but frankly getting Google to censor information makes me feel uneasy.

Somehow the terms "security by obscurity" and "start of a slippery slope" spring to mind.

16
4

Flies WANT beer booze and now we know why - yeast

davcefai

The importance of yeast.

I don't know who decided that the importance of yeast has been underestimated but it certainly was not a brewer.

Breweries go to great lengths to "protect" their yeast. This includes maintaining cultures at two independent laboratories and growing up a new culture from a single cell every 8 to 12 generations and maintaining "backups".

In emergency procedures manuals it is not unusual to find yeast preservation as a priority. During normal production yeast quality is monitored more carefully than the average baby's health.

(I am both a father and a brewer)

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Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

davcefai

Regression

I can only state this from a personal viewpoint. Systemd appeared out of nowhere and suddenly I felt I was thrown back 20 years. My systems are more difficult to maintain and stability is not a fact of life. This guy has the cheek to complain about his treatment. Yes, he has reduced a large number of previously happy users to nervous wrecks!

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Rise of the Machines: FIRST HUMAN VICTIM – 2015

davcefai

Why?

Is "the internet of things" another fad like cloud computing?

I can understand linking a fridge to the web, so that it can order stuff I might not want, but why on earth would anybody want their car management system linked to the www?

Or, even even worse, a pacemaker. You really need to have absolutely no enemies to do that safely <g>

Please note, I assume a difference between "connected to the web" and "accessible under controlled conditions".

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Music-mad Brits drive up hardware sales too – claims BPI

davcefai

Missing Data?

Granted that Brits spend more than others on music, what is the price per song/track whatever?

Are the British buying more songs or paying more per song?

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

davcefai

Incorrect

Panadol + Codeine + Caffeine preparations work a treat on me. I know that codeine is addictive but as my consulting surgeon put it, it doesn't matter 'cos I'll always need to keep taking it.

All of which makes me wonder how well the test was conducted.

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Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

davcefai

I remember something called a "sense of humour". Has this been filtered out of the gene pool?

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The Internet of Things helps insurance firms reward, punish

davcefai

Spelling and Grammer

"incentivize" on a supposedly English web page?

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'We don't use UPS. If we did we'd have huge UPSs and tiny computers'

davcefai

Re: Coolers on the roof?

Quite possibly a cooling tower(s) is part of the system. This needs to be in the open. Also compressors generate a lot of heat so it is normal practice to put them on roofs, even in hot countries. They can always be shaded by a lightweight panel.

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LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from, errrm, NOW

davcefai

VNC?

I've never used, or even seen, LogMein but wouldn't TightVNC do the job? I have have controlled Windows PCs from a Linux one using Tight VNC over a phone line or a VPN.

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Want to be a better CIO? Get a twenty-something to show you the ropes

davcefai

What's New and What's Different Here?

In any field, senior personnel age and need to "bring up" their successors.

You start by training them in the basics - reality rather than what they learned at University.

"Do it my way" should be the first approach. Then you give them more leeway as they grow into the job. It works - it has worked for me (NOT in IT) and it's a poor pupil that cannot surpass his master.

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World's OLDEST human DNA found in leg bone – but that's not the only boning going on...

davcefai

The meaning of "Theory"

My father used to say of evolution "After all, it's only a theory".

To many people theory does not even mean "hypothesis", more "wild guess".

The best reply I've found to people who pick on "theory" is "So music probably doesn't exist does it? We study the theory of music!"

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Can't stand the heat? Harden up if you want COLD, DELICIOUS BEER

davcefai
Pint

The original story

I am old enough to remember when this started. (That's not a brag, more of a rueful comment.)

New Scientist carried the story in the early 70's following a letter from the teacher involved.

Mpemba was late to class, when they were making ice cream. The process involved boiling the milk. After the cooling down period Mpemba's batch was noticably hotter than that of his classmates but it got put in the freezer anyway.

To everybody's surprise it was the first to harden. The beauty of this phenomenon is that every time the subject is raised the reactions are similar to these. My mother's comment when I mentioned the Mpemba effect was "Everybody knows that it happens that way"

Sadly I have never got around the testing the phenomenon in practice.

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'Modern warming trend can't be found' in new climate study

davcefai

Shurley not Sho!

Obviously rubbish. This does not contrbute to "Global Warming" hysteria and must therefore be wrong. Don't these people know that science works by stating unfounded opinions and not by careful measurement and study?

32
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Delta Air Lines makes mass Windows Phone 8, Lumia 820 buy

davcefai

Security!

This announcement comes on the same day that the German govt announced that Windows 8 devices have Trusted Computing backdoor.

So MS or the NSA can change my order of coffee to tea and record my subversive eating habits.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/leaked-german-government-warns-key-entities-not-to-use-windows-8-links-the-nsa/

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Steelie Neelie: One cloud contract model to rule them all

davcefai
Boffin

Puzzled

I may be naive but would appreciate a PRACTICAL reason for going to cloud data storage.

Are the cost savings that great? And is the security risk that trivial?

I would have thought that most potential cloud customers could "get away" with a decently specced server, thereby retaining control of their data.

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Boffins develop 'practically free' sulphur-powered batteries

davcefai
Flame

Temperature

The article mentions "at 60 deg C". If that is a requirement, not "extreme" conditions then there could be a problem commercialising the beast.

Do you really want to insulate your phone, MP3 player etc?

No icons available. Please imagine "Doubting Thomas"

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Good news: Debian 7 is rock solid. Bad news: It's called Wheezy

davcefai
Flame

Debian Flavours

Please remember that Debian comes in Stable, Testing and Unstable flavours. Frankly I have fewer problems with Unstable than I used to have with any version of Windows.

There is also "Experimental" but i would recommend safety clothing before playing with it :-)

The way Debian works, Unstable is cutting edge (for Debian anyway). Packages then drift down to Testing and finally to Stable. With Unstable you always have the latest and greatest - at a slight risk of course. Version numbers are irrelevant here. I installed debian once, over six years ago, and have had a relatively pain-free (almost boring) experience ever since.

Interestingly, I twice unsuccessfully tried to install Ubuntu on clean machines - Crap! Now I won't touch it - it has gone "commercial"

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Forget value-added broker jokes: Could YOU shift nuclear plant scrap?

davcefai
Thumb Up

Excellent article. I suppose how interesting one finds it depends on ones kind of work. Have you ever tried to find a buyer for one million obsolete bottles (the product failed) or wanted 4 RS232 cables for an HP95, 20 years down its lifetime?

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Lucy in 3.4 million-year-old cross-species cave tryst

davcefai
Alien

Pak

Obviously a Pak breeder...:-)

If you haven't read Larry Niven just move on.

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Megastar personalities are intellectual property in draft law

davcefai
Joke

Paper Planes

How does this affect the PARIS (retroactively) and LOHAN projects? Will the Reg have to ensure that LOHAN does not pass over Guernsey? I can imagine Guernsey scrambling fighter planes to intercept LOHAN :-)

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Space soldiers save satellite from FLAMING DEATH

davcefai

@AC: Geostationary - Geosynchronous

AFAIK Geostationary is a special case of Geosynchronous and can only happen if the orbit is exactly over the equator. In other cases the satellite returns to the same spot once a day.

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Japanese boffins crack arse-based ID recognizer

davcefai

The system was unable to identify your arse.

Will a failed login result in the user being ejected? Padded ceilings anybody?

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Solar winds are blowing away the Moon's topsoil - NASA

davcefai
Joke

How come nobody has claimed anthropogenity for this phenomenon?

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Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

davcefai

Only a first step.

OK, so this "proves" that the earth has warmed up by 1 degree since 1950. Now the following questions need to be answered, just as rigorously:

1. Will this trend continue and haw far will it go?

2. Is the warming athropogenic? Or, possibly, what proportion of it is athropogenic?

This is NOT a victory for the climate sensationalists, just a conclusion that the earth is, indeed, warming up.

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Boffins fear killer gamma death blasts from space

davcefai

A Couple more points

1. Bouquets or Brickbats (can't decide which) to the author for avoiding "global warming" and "climate change" in the article.

2. If we send out spaceships, which direction should they go? Frying pan -> fire anybody?

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Ellison: 'There'll be nothing left of IBM once I'm done'

davcefai
FAIL

Will History Repeat Itself?

Many years ago Larry Ellison promised to show Microsoft up for the "purveyor of second rate software that it really is" (or words to that effect).

So having acquired the tools to do so with (OpenOffice, MySQL) he proceeded to destroy his side of things!

Even money says he'll now do the same with hardware.

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Dinosaur-murdering space boulder family found innocent

davcefai

I don't know if it applies to all Baptists, but the few I know reject Evolutionary theory. Is the name of the asteroid just a coincidence?

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Intel goes virtual to root out rootkits

davcefai

Linux?

How about non-Windows users? Will this adversely affect our systems (Speed, stability.....)

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Spamhaus victorious after 5-year fight with mass mailer

davcefai

Another Aspect of this Case

Most commenters seem to be assuming that the US legal system actually works.

Going by what we read about IT and Patent related litigation this seems an unjustified assumption.

Personally I consider that any system where judges are elected is flawed. Think about it. You have judges elected by Americans trying a case between an American (electing) company and an overseas (non voting) one.

No-brainer anybody?

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Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'

davcefai
FAIL

Window Insanity

I can only speak about KDE. 3.5 was a small step down. 4 is insane. It has massaged the developers' egos at the expense of the users' experience.

Don't developers talk to their users any more? I am waiting for when I have enough free time and inclination to try something else.

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Murdochs won't talk to MPs over phone-hacking scandal

davcefai

Why Not?

"It remains unclear if the News Corp boss can be forced to testify at the inquiry as he is a US citizen."

Why not? He's doing business in the UK. Of course he could elect never to enter Britain again.

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Chinese coal blamed for global warming er... cooling

davcefai

Another Summary

Could this be summarised as:

The globe should be warming up, but it isn't, but it should be.

Therefore we'll assume that it is, that way we get to keep our research grants.

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Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

davcefai

Fallen Angels

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle seem to have seen this coming a few years ago.

Earth is in an ice age (real, not mini) but burning fossil fuels is not permitted. A good (fictional) read for those who haven't read it.

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Evil flash cookies easier to delete with new Adobe player

davcefai
FAIL

Vulture LSO

So why does the Reg deposit a flash cookie every time I visit?

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FTP celebrates ruby anniversary

davcefai
Thumb Up

In Brief

It almost always works, you can type "ftp" into just about any shell on any machine and there is nothing else to challenge it.

Happy Birthday FTP!

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AdBlock Plus man disputes Mozilla add-on tests

davcefai
WTF?

Resource Utilisation

To all those worried about CPU cycles and RAM usage.

On my relatively modest 2 core AMD + 2GB RAM I have to work hard to max out my resources. Surely it's easier to have enough resources and then concentrate on the work, rather than the engine's rpm?

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Debian 6: Have your Debian and eat your Ubuntu too

davcefai
Thumb Up

Debian for ever.

Addressing a couple of points made by different people:

1. Installation. I installed Debian once, six years (maybe more) ago, on 2 PCs. I hardly notice that I'm running a new version when it happens. Incidentally it even copes with a motherboard change, the only problem being that, for some weird reason, it bumps up the eth<x> number and I have to painfully edit the networks file by hand. :-)

2. Ubuntu.. I have tried installing Ubuntu 3 times in the past 3 years. Each time I end up with a non-working system.

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Assange fights extradition in court

davcefai

This is a little bit fishy.

I recall reading that the Swedes stated that they will subordinate their claims to any that the US may make.

If so Assange's rendition will be almost assured.

In the meantime the Swedes are attempting to extradite him first and charge him later. Does anybody smell a rat?

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Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

davcefai

Allow / Authorise

The judge made the interesting point that the act says "authorise", ie not just "allow". This could really upset some applecarts.

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Linux bug bestows attackers with 'superuser' powers

davcefai

MS Fanboy Fun

Oh Goody,

The MS fanboys can pass the time commenting on this while waiting for the latest BOFH episode to be posted (we hope).

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Stuxnet worm slithers into China, heralds alien invasion

davcefai

@ D.M.

Unfortunately Siemens only produce Windows based software. The PLCs themselves run their own OS but you have to create the software with Windows PCs and then use Windows PCs as the operator interfaces to the plant.

Security then depends on what operations are permitted to the logged-in user.

Maybe now Siemens may have a change of heart.

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Linux kernel purged of five-year-old root access bug

davcefai
Linux

Yawn

Anybody care to count the number of Linux and Windows problems? And then count the number of successful exploits?

Hint: set a high width for the Windows column if you use a spreadsheet. :-)

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PARIS skins up with Rizlas and dope

davcefai

Model Aeroplane materials

In my distant youth I used to build balsa wood planes skinned with tissue. The tissue was somewhat stronger than the stuff you buy at the newsagent and there was a special solvent based dope for it.

You skinned the plane, sprinkled a little water on the tissue to shrink it and then doped the skin. The result (most times) was a tight, tough, wrinkle free skin. The dope added a lot of toughness.

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Kaspersky blocks BBC News over false phishing fears

davcefai
Thumb Down

Redesign

The problem with BBC News was that it was excellently laid out, easy to navigate and comfortable to use.

Can't have that lads, can we?

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$11.7m judgment against Spamhaus slashed to $27,000

davcefai
Flame

No Victory!

How can this be considered a victory for Spamhaus? They are still being penalised for protecting world+dog from these bottom feeders.

Victory would have been e360 to pay all costs.

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Google mocks Jobs with Flash on Android

davcefai
Linux

Choppy Playback?

I have not noticed any choppiness not due to the download speed on both an AMD 2700MHz and a Twin core AMD (4800 I think). Maybe it's time you tried again.

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El Reg insults 'millions of Irish Catholics'

davcefai
Coat

Doing Business

"One can "do business" with The Register?"

Well, yes, sort of. They have in the past published their rates for posting good reviews of a product .

Or I suppose one could buy advertising (which could then be filtered out by adblock).

Have I got time to get my coat? Please note: green icon)

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Cisco makes up term 'dark web,' fights it with appliance

davcefai
Joke

But for how long?

"But we're cool, right Cisco? Totally a productive website."

Only for as long as you say nice things about them. :-)

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