Feeds

* Posts by xperroni

498 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Page:

The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause

xperroni
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Basically RACHEL with a update facility?

Maybe they just never heard of it? I hadn't.

Also I found no straightforward way to download anything. The main content repository seems to be a Dropbox share but you cannot download any sizable part of it (say the English subfolder) from the web, you'd need to install the desktop plug-in for that. Wikipedia for Schools includes a "download" link that actually sends you to a page stating (halfway through a lot of unrelated topics) that "[t]he full Wikipedia for Schools 2013 edition will soon be available to download via BitTorrent. Watch this space for updates..." I didn't find any indication that other resources (say, Khan Academy videos) could be downloaded separately, but given that dead end I didn't look much.

Then there are rather misleading instructions on how to install "RACHEL servers" that are actually just web servers with the project's content loaded, but how to get the damned content in order to put it in the server isn't clearly explained anywhere... Compared to this sorry mess Lantern does seem like a rather tight proposition: order it, turn it on, connect to the wi-fi hotspot, start reading, mind the updates every now and again. So not so much reinventing the wheel as getting it right the second time around?

2
1
xperroni
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: Eh?

How, exactly is that going to work then?

They expect that since it uses satellite transmission, it wouldn't be possible or at least practical to block the signal. Of course a real dictatorship could just as well ban the things, but then again smuggling exists for a reason.

2
0
xperroni
Bronze badge

Seems legit

Despite the touchy-feely and somewhat patronizing crap about teaching kids, supporting democracy and otherwise spreading Western greatness to "remote corner[s] of the world", I kind of like the idea of an offline web cache that dubs as a satellite receiver. And it seems far more doable than the "cubesat" nonsense they were touting earlier. Let's see how this one plays out.

2
1
xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Another first for Simon and El Reg's revision desk

Why the Hell the link purportedly leading to a previous story about Outernet actually sends us to a piece on an RBS and Natwest titsup from 2012? Is it some sort of practical joke non-Brits aren't supposed to get?

The original Outernet story is here, by the way.

Really, there's no need to rush stuff this badly, I doubt anyone would have bothered if it took another couple hours to hear about this.

0
0

MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Expert opinion

No. Shit.

My thoughts exactly. I wonder how many years of Bullshit Studies do you need to land an "expert consultant" job at one of those think (such as it is) tanks?

9
0

SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS

xperroni
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Ahem...

And I am sure there must have been a shepherd who fucked a sheep and then ate it.

Lies, and also slander.

0
0

The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose

xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

What's an 'wristwatches'?

It's a mechanical device people used in centuries past to take care of their wrists. You know, to ensure they don't wander away unnoticed and the like.

19
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

U no get it

It was a pun, a roundabout way of saying they don't know what it is. I "no know", get it?

Surely there's no way El Reg's revision desk could ever get so lax as to let slip such a glaring mistake right at the subtitle!

6
2

It’s PAYBACK time as HUMANS send a PROBE up ALIEN body

xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

That refreshing anal angle

We might as well ask for a custom icon, for the off chance of Lewis not writing about violating someone else's behind.

Oh, and I don't think this was addressed to Scotland's team, oh no.

0
2

Chinese coder's got 99 problems and getting hitched is one: Huge iPhone woo plot FAILS

xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Was the young lady a smuggler or something?

You obviously never had to work with Huawei software.

I did work with some Taiwanese developers during the glorious days when feature phones were prominent, though. They'd get this wrong the other way around, trying to cram into compile time customization features that were better left to be done at runtime.

Alas, poor boy. All his money could buy him no love... Or taste.

0
0
xperroni
Bronze badge

Re: Was the young lady a smuggler or something?

You'd think a software developer of all people would understand creative resource usage beats over-provisioning any day. But no...

4
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

But... Why?

I am no stranger to the concept of spending lavishly to woo a significant other, but how were 99 iPhones supposed to do the trick? For that kind of money he might as well have bought a crazy-expensive engagement ring, rented a sports car and taken her to a fancy restaurant, then proposed over some unreasonably priced food and drinks. Go figure...

11
0

Japan: Land of cheap booze and slippers in the office

xperroni
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: Japanese wife

I heard that Japanese women prefer to marry foreigners, as the Japanese salarymen have no work/life balance.

It's... Complicated.

On one hand there is this folklore about white guys becoming instant chick magnets the moment they set foot in Japan. On the other, there are the not-so-subtle jokes with Japanese women shrieking in panic at the prospect of getting engaged to "a foreigner". And then there are the stupid gits running amok, making a bad name for everyone.

That said, from what long-staying friends and acquaintances I have, it does seems that marrying a native is a common path to settling on the isles. Not that I would know it myself, I was already married by the time I got here...

0
1

Got a STRAP-ON? Remember to TAKE IT OFF at WORK

xperroni
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: The case for a smartwatch

It's obvious that very few people nowadays walk dogs in the rain

And that is just one reason I'm a cat person.

Seriously though, there are of course a number of activities where a wristwatch is a more convenient timepiece than a pocket gadget, which might explain why they're still around. But for many people, me among them, they provide no added value. By all means, though, if you have cause to wear a wristwatch, or just like the things, buy them to your heart's content, I won't judge.

3
1
xperroni
Bronze badge
Windows

The case for a smartwatch

I lived The Time Before Cellphones, and I was pretty much used to have a wristwatch on me except during a bath and after going to bed. At the time I liked them a whole deal more than mobile phones, for which I felt no desire or need when they first became mainstream; in fact at the beginning I actively resisted owning one, only giving in after repeated (and more than a bit pushy) offers from my parents.

For years after that I tried to keep the habit of wearing a wristwatch, but ultimately failed to find any justification to have a second timepiece, given the phone I was forced to carry already could tell the time, wake me up at set times, remind me of appointments, work as calculator etc. The couple extra seconds it would take to fish it from my pocket didn't prove to be enough of a bother, giving I was never in such a hurry to know the time, and for most of my day I would stand in front of a computer screen with a clock right there in the corner anyway.

You see, it's not that I didn't like wristwatches, or never had the chance to try one and see how nice they are. It's that as long as I own a reasonably-sized smartphone that fits well into my trousers' front pockets, the economic case for a wrist-mounted device will remain pretty weak. Maybe if smartphone makers commit themselves to only marketing oversized monstrosities that can only be carried on a briefcase, backpack or man-purse (an oxymoron?) I might be swayed back, but until then my wrist will remain a no-device's land.

1
0

3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: 3D barrel with pretend rifling

Crumling's offering does look kinda cute in its own way, though. Of course I mean the cartridge, not that horrible plastic contraption trying to pass itself off as a gun.

0
0

KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

xperroni
Bronze badge
Windows

Re: just like the good old days.

Ach, you young people do not remember how it was, back in the the beginning.

I do remember, but technology is supposed to move forward, yes? I mean, just as if I were to launch a new computer application today, and it came out filled with bugs and security holes

Ah.

24
0

FBI impersonated newspaper to finger school bomb threat suspect

xperroni
Bronze badge
Big Brother

"significant collateral damage to the public trust"

But it was all made in the name of freedom security, so it's alright.

7
0

Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Robotics programming in Javascript

Yep, that's just what I have been waiting for... Before I topple myself from the nearest building.

0
0

Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

xperroni
Bronze badge

Re: Try hunting down that NASA quote

I did [look for the NASA quote on E-Cat] ages ago. It was something like "If it works, it would be great". No-one from NASA has said "It is not a scam", which leads me to ask: Why do the E-Cat guys need to publicise a miss-quote?

Uh, NASA was publishing designs created on the assumption that E-Cat works as late as this year.

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft

http://nari.arc.nasa.gov/node/259

The objective of this project was to explore the use of LENR as an energy source for aircraft. This report includes descriptions of different LENR propulsion or energy conversion systems, synergistic missions, and some aircraft concepts. Brief discussions of constraints that are removed by LENR and new constraints that arise are also included. This report concludes with potential research areas to infuse LENR aircraft into NASA research.

Also this piece from early this month quotes NASA's Michael Nelson as saying:

I was impressed with the work that was done to insure the measurements claiming a 3.2 to 3.6 COP were accurate. Aside from the fact that this could not have been produced from any known chemical reaction, the most significant finding to me is the evidence of isotopic shifts in lithium and nickel. Understanding this could possibly be the beginning of a whole new era in both material transmutations and energy for the planet and for space exploration. This is an exciting time to live in and this is an exciting technology to witness come about.

Unless the quote was mis-attributed and/or made up through-and-through, I'd say it's quite hard to misread it.

Mind you, I'm just as skeptical as anyone. But some people not usually taken for fools seem to think this might be the real deal, so perhaps we should give it the benefit of the doubt? After the latest report it is expected that the E-Cat team will apply for a patent for their method, and then we'd be able to get more details on it.

0
3
xperroni
Bronze badge

Re: 10 years

10 years from now?

They'd better run, the E-Cat guys have a working prototype now*, where will they be in 10 years?

* Assuming it all isn't a scam, but some NASA people seem to think it's not, which is better recognition than LM got.

3
11

What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

And there's a lot less hand-eye coordination involved in using a keyboard compared to using a mouse or touch. Better for the eyes, better for the hands.

When I started on my last corporate job one colleague caught eye of my rather widespread usage of keyboard shortcuts. So he came to my desk and asked, "Did you taught computer training classes?" When I answered negatively he remarked that "only computer class teachers use keyboard shortcuts". I had the distinct impression he was being derisive, as if knowing how to efficiently use my main everyday work tool was something to be ashamed of.

So apparently it's not that people just don't know the benefits of keyboard-based interfaces, they actively resist it as an "uncool" activity. Go figure.

3
0

Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ?

A wedgie eating roadkill can ruin your whole day. You come over a crest at 100km/h, the wedgie takes off but it's big so it doesn't rise fast enough, and the next thing you know the massive eagle has smashed through your windscreen and into your face.

I bet the eagle's day wouldn't fare any better...

2
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ?

"Wedgetail eagle" you say? Never heard of it, let's look for some pics...

Aye, I see what you mean. Feathered legs and rather long tail feathers, alright.

WTF! Look at the size of that, did that eagle just kill a... a... Wait, what is that? A kangaroo?!

Ah, so it's Australian. Suddenly it all makes sense.

3
0

ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial

xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Point of Order

Every rock found on Mars is extraterrestrial.

Beaten me to it. Of course the title is obviously exaggerated / misleading for humor purposes (or so we hope), but we can still wonder whether this particular misuse of "extraterrestrial" was intentional or accidental.

0
0

LIFE on Titan: If there's one thing aliens HATE, it's a SALTY BALL

xperroni
Bronze badge

Re: Not Quite Dead Sea

except that the microbes are only found near fresh water vents in the floor, the rest of the area is dead.

Granted, but at first we didn't know about those either. Who knows what might be hidden under Titan's surface?

0
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Boffin

Not Quite Dead Sea

[T]he ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon Titan is as salty as Earth’s Dead Sea, making it an unlikely location for alien life.

Then again, there is some life to be found on Earth's Dead Sea...

7
0

Cranial RAM cram plan aims to restore memory

xperroni
Bronze badge
Gimp

Déjà vu?

Hadn't pretty much the same thing been done more than ten years ago? Get on with the scalpel already.

0
0

Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

xperroni
Bronze badge
Windows

You can't kill a myth, period

"I don't think this finishes the Bigfoot myth at all.”

I agree. No amount of evidence can ever kill a myth, because the people upholding it are not trying (however awkwardly) to make sense of the real world in its own terms. In their minds the truth has already been found, all they need is to produce some proof, so "they will all see". Hell, 20% of Americans still think the Sun goes around the Earth!

7
0

REVEALED: The sites blocked by Great Firewall of Iraq

xperroni
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Shirley you can't be serious!

But I thought the Americans had brought DEMOCRACY&FREEDOM© to Iraq! How come they have blocked news websites? Surely this can only be some sort of International Jewish Communist Soviet Jihadist Conspiracy!

1
0

REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Yahoo is about to launch their video website

[Yahoo] got a good opportunity right now to do the right thing.

So the future of independent music rests on My Little Pony Marissa Meyer's Yahoo! not fscking up?

We're all gonna die.

7
0

EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

Ah, the V600. My one-and-only clamshell cellphone, really digged it. Then one day it slipped off from the holster and into the ground. Wasn't quite the same ever again.

0
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: Hacking Team?

Also, I take issue with using "murder" as a collective for interns. This is derogatory to crows, which are smart, praiseworthy creatures.

6
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: Hacking Team?

Not sure whether psychotic attack or trying to make sense?

Psychotic breakdown apart, he does have a point. The company is called "Hacking Team", for the gods' sake. They don't make the slightest effort to disguise what services they offer, either – here, just take a look at their website, which by the way is Google-indexed. Kudos to Kaspersky for mapping the C/C servers, but really, these guys couldn't be more conspicuous if they stuck an "EVIL SCIENTIST LAIR" written sign in their offices' front lawn.

4
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Windows

Re: Warrantless search for $500?

Either one of those defenses might invalidate an assassination. It's hard to say really, but if you find yourself facing a judge on charges of attempted assassination either one of those defenses is probably worth trying.

No.

Sorry, but I'd rather take my chances with "it wasn't me", "I didn't do it" or "but I have an alibi". Which one would depend on the circumstances, I'd have to play it by the ear.

PS: That thing on the walls isn't chocolate, it's mold. Stop eating it.

4
0

Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

xperroni
Bronze badge

Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

No it isn't.

Fine, bit of hyperbole. The Chromebook FAQ does say that "[f]or the rare times when you’re disconnected from the Internet, you can use offline-ready apps to stay productive." Still it's clear that a working Internet connection is very important for the thing to work properly.

3
1
xperroni
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

On the other hand, I have 200MB on my mobile phone contract which is usually enough to cover traveling between wifi spots during the month...

Except not all carriers allow wi-fi tethering from a handset, or charge for it as a separate service. And even where that's not the case, or can be circumvented (which is, at best, trying to get two wrongs to make a right), that's beside the matter: buyers were told they'd get two years' worth of free service. Verizon (with or without Google's tacit consent) cannot go back on its word now. Really, it's an open and shut case.

But what I find really disturbing in this episode isn't so much that the free plans are seemingly being terminated without so much as a warning message, before or after the fact; it's how many people here seem to think it's alright for big companies to screw their own customers. Surely you don't believe you're "safe" from corporate malice just because you know a thing or two about computers?

2
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

On the other hand, if it's such small fry that people shouldn't have the right to complain, why not live up to what it says on the tin web page? I bet many a user have a faster wi-fi network at home, but relied on the LTE connection while on the run. Remember, without an Internet connection a chromebook is dead weight, so to suddenly find oneself without mobile support is very likely a big deal to them.

4
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Conditions apply.

Unless they had a condition that read "lies" or equivalent ("void at provider's discretion", perhaps?), I don't see how they can explain away an entire year's worth of coverage.

2
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Err...

The problem is that the "promise" wasn't vaguely vented in a press release or some such – it was put down in writing, at the product's page. This is not so different from a lie about the device's specs, for example – buyers were told one thing at the counter, and delivered another after payment. There are laws against this kind of thing, you know.

12
0

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

xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Fools, money, etc.

But I have to admit, this brings the concept to a whole new level.

2
0

DON'T PANIC: Facebook returns after 30-minute outage terror

xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

"longest service disruption in living memory"

How far back is that? Please give your answer in Olympic pools.

16
0

Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Are you seriously comparing an ARM dual core to an Intel Dual core?

A bad example perhaps, but he has a point.

What is so great about Macs today that justifies the hefty price tag? Surely it isn't the specs.

7
3
xperroni
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

The reality distortion field is still on

Those looking to get a desktop Mac for under $1,000 will still need to look to either buying an older refurbished model or the bare-bones Mac Mini at $599.

Yet fanbois all over the 'net are weighing in on the new "cheap" iMac. Where in this day and age is a $1,000 desktop machine "cheap"?! It could at best be "good value for money" (though I doubt that as well), but "cheap" it isn't.

9
7

Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Welcome to the cloud

I don't have a problem with the cloud per se, I do have a problem with the bizarre faith in it that seems so prevalent.

But you see, "safe if properly handled" is just as true for handguns, yet we don't allow everyone to have one, correctly inferring most people won't.

Cloud hosting services are the same – a reasonable proposition for a world where people can be relied upon to not be goddmaned stupid, which unfortunately isn't ours.

4
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Welcome to the cloud

Where your entire operation can disappear overnight and being a paying customer guarantees nothing whatsoever.

9
2
xperroni
Bronze badge

And that is not unique to the cloud either.

True, but shouldn't we then be advancing towards making these kinds of criminal mismanagement harder, rather than easier?

3
0
xperroni
Bronze badge
Coat

And the "understatement of the year" prize goes to...

"On behalf of everyone at Code Spaces, please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this has caused to you (...)."

I can only imagine these people getting to work one day, finding the whole company building burned down to the ground, and then sighing with typical British detachment, "well, that's going to be inconvenient".

23
0

Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

xperroni
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Can you even doublespeak?

That's not to say Musk sees himself competing with the space agency. He paid tribute to NASA, saying that without that agency's pioneering work, SpaceX couldn't have got as far as it has.

Translation: "move over have-beens, we'll take it up from here". Some tribute...

0
0

'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

xperroni
Bronze badge
Windows

Punter, meet bus

(...) [W]e've been loyal, so why hasn't Microsoft reciprocated our loyalty?

Because for Microsoft, throwing under a bus the fools who dare to trust its goodwill isn't merely a sport, it's a way of life.

3
0

Page: