* Posts by GBE

262 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010

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Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

GBE

Re: ROM?!!

"At least in the UK national lottery, the numbers are chosen by an assured chaotic physical system in plain view."

And nobody has ever scammed the "ping-pong-balls in a machine" RNGs used by lotteries.

Oh, wait...

Yes they have.

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GBE

Re: $16.5 million

"$16.5 million for 10 years' jail time"

Except he doesn't get to keep the money, so it's $0 for 10 years' jail time.

[IIRC, he never got the money in the first place -- lottery officials refused to award the prize money because it was being claimed by an anonymous off-shore trust company or something like that.]

Oh, and it wasn't 16.5 million he never got his hands on, it was 14.3 million.

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Tesla 3 orders hit $14bn

GBE

Too big, too many doors.

I'll take another look when there's a smaller 2+2 coupe version. I hardly ever need 2 doors -- let alone 4.

How much is the mileage reduced when it's -20F out and you need lots of heat? Can the passenger compartment be heated using waste heat dissipated by the motor?

They did get one thing right: it's RWD.

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Don't – don't – install iOS 9.3 on your iPad 2: Upgrade bricks slabs

GBE

Re: And that ...

I usually wait a few weeks. Sometimes it takes a several days for more subtle borkedness to rear its head, get written about, and for me to read about it. Installing something like an iOS or Androind system update during the first 24 hours it's available is nuts. Not that I'm not grateful to all the beta-testers who _do_ install the updates without waiting a week or three.

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Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

GBE

Re: Sponsored content

Just look at El Reg. Keeps trying to sell me something called "DevOps".

Yea, someday I'll have to look up "DevOps" and find out what it is.

Or not. It's probably just another one of those fads that'll go away if you ignore it for a few years.

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Microsoft joins Eclipse Foundation. Odd thing for a competitor to do

GBE

I'll start worrying when MS starts to commit code to emacs

I've tried (and failed) to use eclipse a few times, and don't really see how MS could do much damage. If they start "contributing" to emacs or Python, then I'll worry...

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GBE

That's why it _is_ unexpected.

"It's hardly unexpected, [...] Just a good business strategy of diversification like anyone else would."

Ah, but you see that's precisely why it is _is_ so unexpected: it's a sane, reasonable, business decision.

It's just so far off from the Microsoft SOP of:

1. declare war on <whatever>.

2. load defective gun with wrong ammunition.

3. pull trigger without aiming.

4. blow off right hand and left foot.

5. limp home leaving a massive trail of red

6. declare victory!

7. repeat

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Third of US banks OK with passwords even social networks reject

GBE

What's a "thruway item"?

The article uses the phrase "thruway item". For the benefit of us left-of-pond types, can somebody explain what that means?

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Dead Steve Jobs owed $174 by San Francisco parking ticket wardens

GBE

Re: Thanks for not abusing "begs the question"

"The Oxford Dictionary of English states that the more general usage of the phrase has arisen "over the past 100 years or so" which begs the question of when exactly you were a philosophy undergraduate."

Let's just say it's been more than 1/3 and less than 1/2 of a century.

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GBE

Thanks for not abusing "begs the question"

"Another question begging to be asked:"

You have my very sincere thanks for not misusing the phrase "begs the question". The inappropriate use of this much-abused phrase has become so common that you'd think it would stop irritating me by now, but alas not. I suppose eventually we traditionalists will have to give up and concede that a language is defined by its speakers/writers and the meaning has changed since my days in an undergraduate philosophy class. But I'm still fighting on this one...

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SpaceShipTwo ready to slip the surly bonds of Earth for Virgin Galactic

GBE

Slip the surly bonds? Nonsense!

I hate to be pendantic (a phrase that almost always means the exact opposite of what it says), but a simple sub-orbital ballistic shot up to 100km or so isn't anywhere close to "slipping the surly bonds of Earth".

Yes, I know it's far from "simple", but it's also far from escaping anything. I'll allow a bit of poetic license and OK the use of "slip the surly bonds of Earth" for things that stay in orbit for a while -- even though they may be almost as far from escape velocity as SpaceShip Two.

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

GBE

What's all this I hear about arming coachloads of tourists?

[in my best Emily Latella voice]

What's all this I hear about arming coachloads of tourists? It's discgracful. That sounds like something that you'd hear about in Texas, not the UK! Sign up now for the 7-day fall coach tour sponsored by the local senior center -- every ticket includes meals, nightly lodging, a semi-automatic assault rifle, two sidearms, and 3500 rounds of ammunition!

What? Terrorists?

Oh.

That's different.

Never mind....

[Hostly, I mis-read "terrorist" as "tourist" multiple times while trying to figure out in what context outside of Texas coachloads of armed tourists made sense.]

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SpaceX breaks capsule 'chute world record

GBE

Deployment speed?

The voice over said the chutes deployed "just as they would" on a real mission (or somesuch).

That implies that the capsule is somehow going to slow to an airspeed comparable to a C-130 before deploying the chutes. That's around 300kts. That's _slow_. How is that phase (slowing from reentry speed to 300kts) going to happen?

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Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

GBE

Surprised?

"Facebook makes stupid argument for doing something sleazy!"

Just have the linotype room pop that onto an 18pt slug and and you can leave it on the front page permanently.l

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Google patents robotic 'mobile delivery receptacle'

GBE

Amazon is going to start caring about packages getting stolen?

"For example, leaving the package on the front porch of a busy street address may make it more likely that the package is stolen."

That's what happens to Amazon deliveries now, so why start worrying when it's tossed there by a flying drone rather than a truck-driving drone?

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

GBE

And he's _not_ from Florida?

I would've bet good money he would be from Florida. But a quick glance at Wikipedia says I'd have lost. He's from Georgia. Near miss.

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French say 'Non, merci' to encryption backdoors

GBE

Re: Bravo!

ITYM Brava!

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Spooks, spyware, Ashley Madison and Windows 10: What you read in 2015

GBE

No, the other "articles"

You misunderstood.

When they count "articles" they're counting words like "a" "the" and "an".

Because that's how the real pros measure journalistic output.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

GBE

No danger to New Orleans

"You can launch from Texas as long as you don't mind taking out New Orleans if the launch goes wrong!"

Hardly. You don't launch from Houston. You launch over the gulf from somewhere between Corpus and Brownsville -- that way the landing pad is straight East _over_the_ocean_. New Orleans wouldn't be in any danger.

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NASA books second Boeing space taxi

GBE

As enjoyed by passengers aboard [...] airliners.

"As enjoyed by passengers aboard [...] airliners."

Um, I think the verb you're looking for is "survived" or "endured".

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Windows XP spotted on Royal Navy's spanking new aircraft carrier

GBE

Re: how is this news?

> It was context sensitive and included samples.

And a very nice article about wombats complete with a picture which would display on graphics-capable terminals like a VT220/240.

(That may have been the help system built into one of the VMS apps -- I forget.)

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FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

GBE

For what definition of "workable"?

For one to define "workable", one must understand the goals to be acheived.

The goals in this care are _not_

1) To get anybody to register their RC aircraft.

2) To get anybody to stop doing stupid things with RC aircraft.

3) To prevent accidents or damage when people do stupid things with RC aircraft.

The cry has gone up in Washington D.C. that "Something Must Be Done!".

And the goal is to have "Done Something".

Something has now been Done.

I'm sure Sir Humphrey could explain it better...

There is a slight possibility that purely by chance the "Something" might provide a new club with which to hit people who do something particularly stupid with an RC aircraft, but in most cases existing tort law probably provides a better one.

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Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code

GBE

Tridge was his witness?

I thought rule number one for lawyers was never ask your witness a question if you don't know what he's going to answer?

Could this Cordover guy really be that incompetent?

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Enraged Brits demand Donald Trump UK ban

GBE

The guy is the hard-core Democrat's dream.

Though the fact that large numbers of people seem to like him makes one feel a bit ill, the hard-core DNC strategists must absolutely love him. He seems more and more likely to single-handely trigger the disintegration of the Republican Party As We Know It(tm) and hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton on a silver platter. The Republican party has been rotting from the inside for years, and Trump seems determined to blow the bloated carcass into tiny bits.

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Refined player: Fedora 23's workin' it like Monday morning

GBE

Google Drive is in the OS?!?!

"I know why OS developers put this stuff in but I'd rather have it as an application than baked into the OS."

The article said it was in Nautilus. Nautilus _is_ an application.

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Whitman's split: The end of Fiorina's HP grand expansion era

GBE

HP _was_ test equipment!

I always prefered Tektronix scopes over HP (HP's scope controls and UI never worked well for me), but for everything else HP was was always the go-to brand. Seriiously, everthing. DC to light. Bench power supplies and multimeters, audio test equipment, RF and microwave test equipment and even LEDs and laser and optical stuff. All that PC and printer stuff was just a bunch of generic "me-too" commodity junk not really worthy of the HP logo. Then they decided to ditch what they were actually _good_ at....

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Skype founders planning non-drone robodelivery fleet. Repeat, not drones

GBE

Not to worry.

Bah that's just math. No worries. It's not like servo control, routing, communications, networking, and robotics requires any knowlege of basic math.

Marginal arithmetic aside, I see severial problems:

1) Segways are illegal on most sidewalks in the US, so this things got little chance.

2) A lot of suburban areas of the US don't even _have_ sidwalks.

3) How many miles per disappearance can you get out of one of these things?

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Old, not obsolete: IBM takes Linux mainframes back to the future

GBE

Re: Just One Moment...

"So, while this little-endian feature may make little-endian purists happier about the POWER architecture, I'm mystified as to how this helps in converting higher-level language programs."

Same here. The article says something along the lines that "now all you have to do is recompile". Well, that's all you _ever_ had to do to "port" from little-endian-code to big-endian-code. It's the endianess of the _data_ that matters and sometimes requires source code changes to deal with. Like John said: as long you're not doing something stupid like writing self-modifying code, the endianess of the _code_ is irrelevant.

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

GBE

Re: Not so fast

"The Appeals court could easily rule differently."

IFF the prosecutor's office decides to appeal. I rather doubt they will -- their boss is elected by popular vote, and now that the prosecutor's office has gone through the proper motions so that justice has been seen to be done, the boss probably has little appetite for appearing to be the bad guy picking on some average joe who was "just thinking of the kids".

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Western Digital's hard drive encryption is useless. Totally useless

GBE

Cryptography is hard

Well, it is.

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Navy engineer gets 11 years for attempted espionage

GBE

Re: Just curious,

Is this espionage, or treason?

That depends on whether Egypt is legally consider to be an "enemy" of the US and whether he actually gave aid to that "enemy". If Egypt is not considered an "enemy" then he can't be charged with treason. Also he _didn't_ actually give aid to Egypt -- he just thought he was. It's not clear to me that the constitution's narrow definition of "treason" includes _attempting_ to give aid to the enemy without actually doing so.

A treason conviction also requires two eye witnesses.

Espionage is a much broader offense which doesn't require actual aid to an actual enemy and doesn't require two eye witnesses.

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Germans in ‘brains off, just follow orders' hospital data centre gaff

GBE

It was so cold outside the computer room overheated

I remember back in the 80's when it got so cold outside (around -20F) they had to shut down all the VAX and CDC 6600 machines -- because the computer computer room overheated. The computer room was in the basement (no windows or outside doors) and was cooled by water pumped through chillers on the roof five stories above. They didn't have enough anti-freeze in the coolant water, and it froze solid in the roof-mounted chillers.

No water flowing through the exchangers in the computer room in the basement, and temps got pretty high down there...

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

GBE

LED filament bulbs

A few weeks ago I put 5 of the LED filament bulbs (in the small "candelabra" style) in a chandelier that hangs over my parents dining room table. They are great. With the old 60W incandescent bulbs, that fixture put out so much heat that it was uncomfortable to have it on in the summer time. The 4W LED filament bulbs look great in that type of fixture, put out plenty of light, and don't make you sweat. The LED filament bulbs do have a pretty low color temperature (they're yellower than "standard" incandescent, I'd guess no higher than 2500 kelvins) so I wouldn't use them for a reading lamp, but they're great if you want an early 1900's look.

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RFID wants to TRACK my TODGER, so I am going to CUT it OFF

GBE

Re: Hate RFID T-shirt passports

"You can't wear the T-shirt with them on and if you cut them off you don't know how to wash the damn thing if it requires anything a bit special..."

Really? The Reg readers wear T-shirts that require some special method of washing? And if they did own such an item of clothing (presumably it was a gift from an overly optimistic friend/relative), they woud read the laundering instructions and follow them?

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US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

GBE

Re: Primaries, caucuses....

I really don't understand your Presidential Election system at all... :-S

I do -- and sometimes wish I didn't.

It's fairly easy to explain how all the individual pieces work (though the explanations

differ from state to state). Just don't expect the "big picture" to make much sense when you put all the pieces together. There is no big picture. It's just pieces.

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Long-memoried boffins re-invent 1950s ferroelectric tech

GBE

The name "FMC Corporation" has been taken for decades

If their choosing to go by the moniker "FMC Corporation" is any indication, this crew isn't too bright. If they're too dim to type type "FMC" into google and find out there's already a global, multi-billion dollar company with that name, then their prospects probably aren't good...

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

GBE

Because movie bombs look just like clocks?

I think we can also thank the hundreds of bad movies with incompetent prop-masters where the bomb always looks exactly like a digital clock with a big red display on it. Somehow I doubt that's what a real bomb looks like...

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The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

GBE

Re: "<whatever> – are people really this stupid?"

<whatever> – are people really this stupid?

The answer is always "yes".

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Boffins dump the fluids to build solid state lithium battery

GBE

Re: Another week...

Don't try to tell me batteries haven't improved drastically in the past 10-15 years. My first electric RC airplane ran on NiCd cells and could fly for 3-5 minutes if you didn't push it too hard -- and its max climb rate wasn't great. I recently upgraded that to LiPo batteries (and a slightly more efficient motor). Now it can fly for at least 4X as long, and it's so much lighter that it can climb straight up. Maybe 10-15% of that improvement was the motor. The rest is the batteries.

You do have to treat the LiPo cells with a bit more respect than you did the NiCd ones....

The first handeld cellular phone I used way back in the early 80's was the size of a large brick, weighed as much as a large brick, and had about 20 minutes of talk time. It ran off about a half-kilo of sealed lead-acid cells. IIRC, that model was sold in the UK under the Racal-Redac brand. The size of the electronics and transmit power requirements for cellular telephony have imporoved somewhat since then, but the increase in energy density of Lithium-ion over lead-acid is huge.

[The absolute first cellular phone I had before that wasn't handheld -- there was a radio unit the size of large cigar box that mounted in the car's trunk, with a cable as thick as your thumb that ran up to a control head and handset typically mounted on the transmission tunnel.]

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Stardock’s Start10 brings the familiarity of 7 to Windows 10

GBE

How much does an article like this cost?

I too am wondering how much StarDock pays for these adverts disguises as "articles".

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How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

GBE

Re: Not going to happen

"WOULD read and PROBABLY making a GOOD point if it were NOT for ALL those EVIL CAPITAL LETTERS."

His keyboard must have been out of green ink.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

GBE

Re: HOW IT WORKS *

'there are no language and educational barriers"

I'm not so sure about that. I went to dinner with a bunch of people during a world-wide sales organization meeting at a corporate headquarters in Minnesota (which is where I'm from). I could understand the folks from South America, Europe and Asia a lot better than I could understand some of the folks from Louisiana.

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Slippery, slimy find: LEGGY, WRIGGLY fossil shows SNAKES weren't legless. Or ARMLESS

GBE

bit wallahs

Or byte wallahs

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Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

GBE

Armed firefighting aircraft?

Or maybe issue 12-gauge shotguns to a few of the firefighters on the ground?

Or just drop the water on the drones?

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FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

GBE

Re: Not convinced.

"All this is already ancient news"

That was my reaction. We've known they are attacted to CO2 for ages. That's why people buy propane powered CO2 generaters to put in the far corner of the back yard to draw the mosquitos into traps.

http://www.amazon.com/Mosquito-Magnet-MM4100-Patriot-Trap/dp/B002RMBDIM/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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Neil Young yanks music from streaming services: 'Worst audio in history'

GBE

Neil's fooling only himself

I've been a Niel Young fan for decades, but he's just plain fooling himself if he thinks AM radio sounded better than even the lowest bit-rate streaming services.

A good song is still a good song regardless of the audio quality.

And a bad song is still a bad song -- even with a lossless megabit-per-second codec hooked up to thousands of dollars worth of amps and speakers.

Just write good songs, Niel. If they're worth listening to, they're still worth listening to through via a 9-transister AM radio with a 2" speaker or via an 32Kbps lossy codec.

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The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act

GBE
Thumb Up

Re: How does the barrier defend against heavy rains?

Thanks for actually answering my question rather than acting like a 9-year-old.

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GBE

How does the barrier defend against heavy rains?

I don't understand the refereneces to the wet winter and heavy rains. Isn't the barrier _downstream_ from London in order to defend against high tides and storm surge? In order to defend against heavy rains, it would have to be upstream from London to hold back the rainwater that's coming down the river.

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Canuck chump cuffed over helium balloon flying chair stunt

GBE

Re: They should throw the book at him

From http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/06/man-flies-balloon-powered-lawn-chair-over-calgary.html:

His airborne lawn chair crash-landed in a farmer’s field several miles outside Calgary.

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GBE

Why did he need "that altitude"?

"We couldn't find anyone who could get me to that altitude."

Why did he need to get up into controlled airspace?

Why was parachuting into the stampede from uncontrolled airspace at 5-10 thousand feet not sufficient?

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