* Posts by Herbert Meyer

137 posts • joined 31 May 2007

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Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

Herbert Meyer
FAIL

plastic streamer

I hope there is a plastic streamer attached to the plastic cap over the pitot tube, that can be seen from the cockpit window, to ensure no plane tries to take off without removing the cap.

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FCC urged to pause its fight against America's $20bn cable-box rip-off

Herbert Meyer
WTF?

"harm small pay-TV providers"

There are no small pay-TV providers.

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What do you call an old, unpatched and easily hacked PC? An ATM

Herbert Meyer

through the wall

My bank has replaced free standing ATM with through-the-wall ATM because thieves with backhoes were demolishing the boxes around them, and craning the ATM onto a trailer and away for leisurely looting. Much less sophisticated than hacking.

Now, they are stalling on EMV cards, because they will have to replace the ATM again, or replace and upgrade the card readers.

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Aussie boffin turns up REAL root-rat

Herbert Meyer
Holmes

The Giant Rat of Sumatra !

Is REAL ! Conan Doyle was right !

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Peak Cable looms: One in five US homes now mobile-only for internet

Herbert Meyer
Alert

Lucky me !

I am lucky enough to live in an area with an independent broadband provider, I have a 5 gHz wifi antenna on my roof, pointed at a local water tower. I still have cable for TV, but have cut my bill in half by unbundling internet and phone service.

The cable company has responded by increasing basic cable rates. Good move fellas, that will make your remaining customers real happy.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Herbert Meyer

Look at Henry Kuttner

While you are going through the back issues, find the old Henry Kuttner ( you know, CL Moore's husband ) for a story about the Twonky, Or maybe the old film of it, starring Hans Conreid. The film was about a TV, but the story was not quite specific about the nature of the Twonky machine.

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Randomness is a lottery, so why not use a lottery for randomness?

Herbert Meyer

Re: It's all nonsense!!!

You could become rich by selling the spreadsheet to the bigger suckers out there.

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Louisville says yes to Google Fiber. Funny story: AT&T, TWC didn't want that to happen

Herbert Meyer

details, details

Unfortunately Louisville / Jefferson county does not have regulatory authority over utility poles, a state board does. So Gov. Bevin gets a chance to extort TWC and AT&T for bribes to block this. He has already killed a Ky Broadband initiative.

You need an Icon for a politician with his hand out for "Campaign Contributions".

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'Unikernels will send us back to the DOS era' – DTrace guru Bryan Cantrill speaks out

Herbert Meyer

Re: "Operating systems these days..."

"DOS was a retrograde step that should have been strangled as soon as the 80286 became the dominant processor, "

There was an attempt to do so. It was called OS/2.

Did you every try to write segmented code in assembler for Intel 8086/80186/80286 ? Oh, the horror.

Progress had to wait for 80386, with a big, flat memory model.

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Herbert Meyer
Pint

laughing too hard

I was laughing so hard my eyes teared up, and I saw "fictional languages such as Haskell".

When I recover, I will meditate upon Functional Programming in Fortran. Then I will get really drunk, and try to forget it.

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What did we learn today? Microsoft has patented the slider bar

Herbert Meyer

Re: People still use Microsoft products?

People still use Corel products ?

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Europe didn't catch the pox from Christopher Columbus – scientists

Herbert Meyer

Re: Unpleasant

And potatoes, adding chips to the obesity cocktail (don't forget the vodka) .

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Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station

Herbert Meyer
Go

ah, come on !

Alright, Space Cadets. If SpaceX was handing out tickets for a free ride, you and me and the dog would be standing in line, risk of death notwithstanding. Sour grapes.

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Badware in the firmware all over the place

Herbert Meyer

Not Fri afternoon code

The code usually has the quality of Sat morn at 3am, after the bars close at 2am.

Embedded pgmrs still think in terms of a hidden serial port, with a fixed password, that service will plug a rs232 cable in to tweak the gadget, every 3 to 5 years. Not IOT.

Somewhere, I have an old picture of a highway warning sign "hacked" with a serial cable, warning of "Zombies Ahead".

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US Military enlists radio hams to simulate fight with THE SUN

Herbert Meyer
Alert

early warning needed

Since these hams are the ones with the huge antennas and long cables, they will need advance warning to temporarily disconnect their antennas to prevent damage to their equipment. Most of them have lightning arrestors on their gear, but it may weld closed on arcing.

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Oracle Java 'no longer the greatest risk' to US Windows PC users

Herbert Meyer

because they cost money

"About one in 20 application installations on private US PCs are at their end-of-life, according to Secunia. That means the packages are no longer supported by the vendor and do not receive security updates."

The replacements would cost money, and require dogbrain users to re-learn how to abuse the product. So the old versions live forever, and tech support generates new virtual machines to conceal reality from the senile apps.

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THESE ARE THE VOYAGES of the space probe Discovery

Herbert Meyer

lucy

Because the most interesting dust collects in dead spots that never get vacuumed.

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Michigan sues HP after 'botched' $49m upgrade leaves US state in 1960s mainframe hell

Herbert Meyer

EDS ?

I suspect EDS - Perot's former company, later GM's has something to do with this. I can't remember if HP glommed onto any of it during Carly's reign.

I am surprised, I would think Michigan would have 1950's mainframes, not 1960's.

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Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

Herbert Meyer

Hitchcock TV show

I remember a gag he did, where he received a time bomb, and said "What I always wanted, a clock that runs on dynamite !". At the end of the show, he said "It ran down and stopped, so I put some fresh dynamite in, and returned it to sender."

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NATO gets a front-door to look for Microsoft backdoors

Herbert Meyer

Re: Microsoft's bug-ridden software is used in US Military systems?

No, but I will show you versions where bugs are publicly disclosed and quickly fixed, and no back doors.

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Giant sea scorpion which prowled ancient oceans revealed

Herbert Meyer

Re: Thank $deity

You need to drink more. It makes the spiders bigger.

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Ford's 400,000-car recall could be the tip of an auto security iceberg

Herbert Meyer

owners experience

I own one of the Ford CMaxes, and it has been recalled twice for software updates. It appears that Ford does not modularize or patch the car's software, just reload a large lump over a rather slow interface. It takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

Herbert Meyer
Thumb Up

with fru's and insecure boot ?

Then I can yank whatever crap hardware I don't like, install Fedora, and have a usable system. How much will it cost ? (fru is field replaceable unit for you non-wingtip wearers)

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Fedora 22: Don't be glum about the demise of Yum – this is a welcome update

Herbert Meyer

confirmation buttons

The confirmation and navigation buttons are on the top of anaconda because of nitwits like me, who have a netbook with a 1024 wide x 600 high display, who complained about an earlier anaconda, with the buttons at the bottom where esteemed personages, like you, think they belong. I complained because the buttons were invisible on my lowly system. I remembered what the interface guidelines said about tab order, what says, on linux systems, the 'OK' button is the second to last button, and worked by feel.

You, as an esteemed personage, have never read an interface guideline in your entire life, leaving it to lowly tech drudges as I, who view them as Holy Writ, and actually try to follow them. So uncreative.

You would, under such circumstances, would have unable to install the product, and written a scathing review.

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Robocalling Americans? That'll cost you $1.7 MEEELLION

Herbert Meyer

no executions ?

Isn't violation of the Do Not Call list a capital offense ? Or is it only at dinnertime, by a non-political agent. Perhaps this is what Randy should filibuster about.

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Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

Herbert Meyer

Re: the Amazing Randi

But, if he could collect it, all those nickels would be almost as much money as he makes pimping out his mother. Are you one of their Johns ?

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Herbert Meyer

Re: the Amazing Randi

If you are Anonymous, how are you going to collect your nickel for trolling from the Koch machine ?

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Herbert Meyer

the Amazing Randi

Is a pothead with stage fright. When he speaks in public or on camera, he tokes up a couple to quiet his nerves. So he is more or less stoned whenever he talks in public. After he straightens out, he has to try to reconcile whatever he babbled with some version of reality.

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Torvalds turns to Sir Mix-A-Lot for Linux versioning debate

Herbert Meyer

why not linux 10

level the version numbers ?

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

Herbert Meyer

a choice

Driverless cars or brainless drivers ? We now have the second, with 30,000+ road fatalities per year in the US. The first cannot be any worse.

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Pre-digital computer 'cranks out' Fourier Transforms

Herbert Meyer

Re: Wow

No, we are pompous middle aged engineers being pedantic. You too can be one, just learn tech deeply (as in science), and wait 40 years for some sucker to ask your opinion.

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Herbert Meyer
Boffin

be careful about calling it Non- or Pre-Digital

Without a serious analysis of the mechanism, I will not commit to "Non-Digital". Since I see gears, it may work by counting gear teeth, which would qualify it as digital.

I will immediately accept mechanical, rather than electronic or electromechanical.

Calling it Analog, rather than Digital, would require use of continuous (such as differential pulleys, or turntables), rather than quantized (discrete gear teeth) mechanisms.

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Consumer group SLAMS NASA for letting Google rent $1bn 'playground'

Herbert Meyer

Mythbusters ?

I think the Mythbusters have been using the facility for some of their experiments. I hope Google will continue to rent to them.

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Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Herbert Meyer
FAIL

Re: It's the programmers, stupid

Or maybe it's the stupid programmers. I always feel stupid when a typo kills a program. Misplaced commas, semicolons, misspelled names and keywords, etc. I usually shoot myself in the head (no serious damage, I was not using it), and go have a drink.

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KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

Herbert Meyer
Mushroom

just like the good old days.

Ach, you young people do not remember how it was, back in the the beginning. Vanguard ? Polaris ? "I don't know if it will work on the Russians, but it sure kills gators well."

Notify range safety, wait for the fires to go down, go out and look for dangerous debris: Thruster tanks, stage separation pyrotechnics, pressurization cylinders, destruct charges...

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City council thinks what we're all thinking: 'Comcast is terrible – and NOT welcome here'

Herbert Meyer

Re: There's a "New" in that England

We have a similar complaint about the merger in Lexington - the Lexington in Kentucky, not the one in Massachusetts.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Herbert Meyer

goto a live ACOUSTIC performance

As soon as there is a pickup or mic and an amplifier and speakers involved, we enter recursive arguments. Similarly, some recognition of room acoustics must be made.

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FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

Herbert Meyer
Big Brother

FTC can't find its fanny in a phone booth

If Americans ask the FTC why, years after the do not call list, we still get telemarketing calls, the FTC moans that the bad telemarketers spoof caller ID information, so they cannot be tracked.

The NSA is listening to every phone call in the world, they damn well know who the telemarketers are. The NSA could earn a few friends by exposing these parasites. Or maybe a couple of hellfire missiles from a drone would help.

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Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline

Herbert Meyer

Approve the merger and nobody gets hurt.

This is just a little taste of what will happen if the TWC-Comcast is not approved. They have ways of dealing with puny little regulators. And lots and lots of hostages.

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Facebook goes down, people dial 911

Herbert Meyer

Re: What can I say?

f'ing idiots ? Is that what they are doing instead of FaceBook ? Is there a queue ?

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MANUAL STIMULATION: Whack me with some proper documentation

Herbert Meyer

for the illiterate, by the uninterested

Remember RTFM ? My experience was the users (or the tech support drones) would call me up, and ask me to read the manual for them.

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Hypersonic MEGA METEOR pulled from lake, then Russians drop it

Herbert Meyer
Coat

Re: Aerobraking

Followed by windowbreaking ?

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Herbert Meyer

scuze me, microsoft breath.

"The average user" is abandoning PC entirely for phone and tablet, because they never understood PC in the first place. "They" made them use them. Now "They" (who must be obeyed) are using web-cloud apps that just talk to browsers independent of architecture, os, etc. Soon the only ones left with PC will be us nostalgic techs. And we can run whatever we damn please.

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Herbert Meyer

why am I bothering ?

Despite the fact I seldom use it, I have XP on a couple of dual booted computers at home. One is a "desktop" that I use for a file server. It has been rumbling lately that the pata disk that I use for a primary disk is failing. I have the pata because unpatched XP cannot run sata.

So I shopped about a bit, found a 1 TB sata disk, and an OEM 64 Win7, total cost under $180. As soon as the boxes arrive on the porch, and it rains (I have a driveway to seal), I will pull the pata, replace with sata, split in half for use with a linux fit for humans, and install the Win7.

I use the XP to run a TV tuner card, the linux DVB does not quite work yet. Unknown is what will happen to the data on a sata data disk in the chassis when I turn off pata emulation in the bios. Will sector mapping change ? I have backups, matters little.

I still don't know why I am bothering, the tuner is connected to a settop box for cable, I just use it to record the occasional movie. The other XP computer with is a netbook with a GPS nav application that I need once a year or so. Nostalgia ?

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Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me

Herbert Meyer
Boffin

Re: Thorium reactors and A-bombs.

Yes, it is possible to make weapons from U233, the US did it back in the 50's when they were not sure how much Uranium was easily mined. U233 is to Thorium as Plutonium is to Uranium, it can be produced in a breeder reactor. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-233 for sketchy information about two U233 weapons tests in the 50's.

My opinion is that the other uses of thorium are raising the price. Thorium is used in vacuum tube cathodes, and gas lamp mantles. There is a US patent 3692689 from 1972 about a Thorium Phosphor used in lamps of unspecified type. Perhaps a CFL lamp ?

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Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

Herbert Meyer

stream DVD from my computer ?

A quick read of the sketchy documentation for this wonder leads me to believe that I can use VLC to stream to it, from my computer.

Whatever it does now, the API and some code will allow me and my programmer buddies to do all kinds of interesting (at least to us) things. Being able to write code for it changes a lot of things.

Just wait until Amazon gets the next batch, and we register them.

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Surface RT: A plan worthy of the South Park Underpants Gnomes

Herbert Meyer

perhaps the chief gnome is named Balmer ?

Although using Gnome and Balmer in the same sentence is very difficult. But put Balmer in a cap and costume, and leave him out in the yard - your yard, please.

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Planet-busting British space bullet ready to bomb ice moon Europa

Herbert Meyer
Boffin

speed of sound ?

Only in Earth's atmosphere at STP. Try just MetersPerSec, do not be Terrocentric.

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What's the most secure desktop operating system?

Herbert Meyer
Big Brother

closed source is OUT !

Any closed source operating system can be, according to the martyr Snowdon, regarded as insecure, as they have back doors for NSA access. Unless each and every line of the OS source and toolchain can be inspected by suspicious minds, such as the Unix anarchists, and compiled from source, the OS will have a back door for NSA to insert its Iron Fist up the rectum of any system using it. Any back door used by the Iron Fist can also be used by third parties.

Further, according to the martyr Snowdon, other security holes can be unpatched and unpublic, until the Iron Fist allows them to be patched and publicized, because they are not being exploited by the Iron Fist.

My Finnish is not good enough to translate the response to "Please Mr Linus, can we put a back door in your kernel ?", It would start with "F no !", and contain a graphic description of your grandmother having sex with a reindeer. Similar responses would come, in various languages from the BSD authors.

I trust these boys a damn sight more than the sons of Balmer and Cox, even if the Sainted Jobs did not allow it.

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

Herbert Meyer
Go

Re: Pah

The instruction set and runtime libs are forever preserved as "C" language and the std C runtime library. Don't tell me that "C" is a high level language. It depends what level of abstraction you want to (or know how to) write at.

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