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* Posts by Primus Secundus Tertius

265 posts • joined 31 Oct 2010

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Breaking News!!

@Trevor Pott

It's also the Canadian monarchy, you might have added.

Whereas others, arguably stupid as per other comments, seceded.

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Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!

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What story?

As I recall it, that story was about a DEC VAX/VMS machine. Unlike modern stuff, they did not need patching every week.

Not an IBM 360, they needed mere humans permanently in attendance.

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Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

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Re: Fascinating@ Psyx

Nonsense.

I've been doing the UK lottery for 20 years - odds 1 in 14,000,000 - and am not yet rich.

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Just upgraded the last of my xp machines,

Last year, I put the Win 8.1 Trial onto a vintage 2007 Lenovo Thinkpad T60, 2GB ram.

It ran fine, with good hardware detect, but I did not like it. It's back to XP, with the red MSE icon I complained about in an earlier comment.

Tip: never access internet from an admin account. That one measure greatly reduces risks.

The biggest remaining risk is if a usb memory stick passes infections to my other machines.

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Re: I agree entirely...but Norton?

OK, Norton is not the answer. But MS said that Security Essentials would continue to be supported, at least for a while. However, last week they turned its icon from green to brown, and now it is red. Surely if MSE is working as it should the icon should be green?

Since MS are being deliberately difficult, they deserve an obstinate response.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

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Re: Get what you pay for.... - Barclays

A kind assistant at Barclays Bank recently phoned Barclaycard for me. Even he could not get any sense out of them, and that was talking to people.

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Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Synchronous Power Grids

I always understood that when you connected a new AC generator to a power grid, that if it was already almost in sync the grid would pull it into a fully synchronous state.

But what if the UK grid were running at 49.99 Hz and you wanted it ti be 50 Hz. How do you tune the frequency of the whole grid?

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

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Re: But why ?

@TW, ca 18:00(*)

So the commission the big boys pay is down to .002%. But if I buy £1000 of a unit trust the margin between bid and offer prices is still 5%. If I buy other products there is not the explicit bid/offer margin but there are other restrictions.

So all this "efficient market" guff is solely for the big boys, whether it is HFT or any other racket, er, market facility. Whether that is in the public interest is debatable.

(*)Dear Reg: I hate the relative time stamps on these comments. Please use absolute times.

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

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Special pleading by publishers.

It is grotesque special pleading by publishers to complain about limitations on the terms of their contracts. In many other areas of ordinary life there are similar limitations, to protect consumers.

There is an English tradition of anti-authority behaviour, under which it is perfectly reasonable to crack DRM for personal use. Think again, Mr Orlowski.

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Publishers Special Pleading

It is a grotesque piece of special pleading by publishers to claim it is unconstitutional to outlaw unreasonable terms in contracts. There are already many similar examples in other laws, designed to protect consumers.

As to the legality of cracking DRM, the reasonable man would not object to cases pf personal use, whatever UK, EU, and US laws may say.

Think again, Orlowski, especially about the traditional anti-authoritarian rights of a private Englishman.

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

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Re: Are you insane?

By all accounts XP was a rats' nest of bodged code. In particular, concepts of layered software were repeatedly broken in order to get a quick "solution".

That's why after about three years the developers came back to Gates to say, "sorry, old chap, we can't keep this software upright and pile ever more goodies onto it". MS has had to redevelop cleanly layered software to get to Vista and Windows 7.

So if XP were open sourced it would require an even bigger rewrite than the transition from Netscape to Firefox, another notorious example.

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Inmarsat: Doppler effect helped 'locate' MH370

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Re: It's got a beat!

El Reg used to report scientific stories much better than the national or local press. But their standards are slipping.

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Re: Gatso

The Gatso takes two pictures a short time apart. You travelled 5 feet in 0.1 secs in a 30 mph area? (As measured by the markings in the road.) That'll cost yer!

But yes, it is triggered by Doppler radar; and the reflected signal has a shift representing twice the speed of the reflector.

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Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

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Re: Not being a tax lawyer or accountant...

Could your mate Razor Eddie give people some advice?

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Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

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Re: Backup XP?

For backup of My Documents I use a program called WinMerge. It can compare directory trees of the backup and the original, identify the differences, and add the latest original files.

So it can verify backups.

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Re: How much of a challenge is re-installing XP?

It is aggro from beginning to end.

XP does not install on modern machines with SATA set to AHCI mode. Use the BIOS to alter that setting to COMPATIBLE. When you come to install an AHCI driver (e.g. Lenovo) there may be a procedure where you end up in AHCI mode.

As Bert 1 mentioned, MS Update does not work; but you do a few things first as advised by MS and eventually it gets going.

It can be hard to find device drivers for post-2001 hardware. In my experience Dell and Lenovo have most of what you need for their machines. But third party sites these days just want to stuff you with crapware.

Some hardware seems to have no drivers until you have XP SP2 or SP3 installed.

It will take all evening if you have a good broadband connection.

Windows NT4 used to be as bad near its end. You needed SP3 before you could put in SP6a, then there were updates after that.

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Re: Linux? @AC

Quite right!

The prime way of avoiding serious trouble is to work as a pleb user, not administrator - especially when using the Internet. This is far more important than using antivirus or keeping patches up to date.

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This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

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Re: this sounds like a deal

"...icing on the cake ???"

More like icing on the road, waiting for the unwary to drive over it.

Yes, I have tried it - the free test version MS released last year. Good hardware recognition BUT how do you properly switch the b#st#rd off? My workaround was to reboot, and hit the off button when the power-up screen appeared.

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Google's Larry Page: DeepMind 'discovered CATS on its own'

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Can't hear

Page was spot on that voice recognition is poor: it shows in so many newspaper reports and other publications.

There are three categories of documents these days:

1. Those full of typing errors.

2. Those with OCR errors, though modern OCR is pretty reasonable.

3. Those full of homophones: words with the right sound but the wrong spelling.

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A sysadmin always comes prepared: Grasp those essential tools

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Cover ups

A relative of mine worked for a FTSE 250 company. One day there was a problem; then there was a problem with the backup; and all their accounts were lost. They had to write to their customers saying, "be reasonable and cough up, chaps; this could easily happen to you".

Cost them a fortune, but I never saw any report of it in the finance pages of the mainstream press.

No, it was not HP nor Autonomy.

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Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch goes nuclear: Claims HP 'misleads' its own shareholders

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Re: @ ac "he should shut up"

But he emerged from the takeover with about 800 million in the bank. Most of us could manage on that for a while.

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Spend zero notes to take all notes with OneNote: Microsoft makes app free, builds it for OS X

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Not for XP

I use onenote under win7/msoffice for drafting documents. Its sections and pages mean I can gather ideas in scatterbrain mode.

I then see this article and think, yes this would be nice for my other machines running XP. But no, the MS web site says the free one is for Win 7 or 8 only (or for mac, or "telephones").

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WTF is … the multiverse?

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Software Implementation

The multiverse is a software implementation of a universe. Just like we have multiple versions of Unix, and of Unicode.

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

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Benn's chaos

Benn's successor at the Ministry of Technology was the subsequently infamous John Stonehouse(*). JS in his memoirs described how he had to sort out the awful mess that Benn had left.

(*)Stonehouse later faked his suicide on a Miami beach. Ordinary people were not concerned at the loss of a minor politician, but he owed big money to various people who did care, so he was found in Australia, brought back to Britain, and eventually jailed for fraud. His memoir book is a vast exercise in special pleading, but I did sympathise with him at that one section about Benn.

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Re: RIP

Churchill, of course, was the Chancellor of the Exchequer who raided the Road Fund.

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Got a Netgear router from Virgin Media? Change your admin password NOW

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Unexplained reset

I use a VMDG480 hub, yes routing as well as modem. I assume it is an earlier version of the gear described in this article.

The other evening it reset itself to factory defaults, I don't know why. But (after a "pin-in-the-hole" reset) I have reapplied a set of passwords etc., different from my previous ones.

No, I have not contacted the Helldesk either. Better to just get on with things.

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Hundreds of folks ready to sue Bitcoin exchange MtGox

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Re: @Pascal M

A4 office paper is worth about 1p per sheet. The paper in banknotes is special quality, so is probably worth 1p,, not 0.01p.

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MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?

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Angel

Singalong

"where have all the Bitcoins gone?"

Sung to the tune of "Where have all the flowers gone?".

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Make cyberwar a no-no equal to nukes, bio, and chemical attacks, says RSA headman

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Beware homophones

The sub-heading should read "...while you're at it...".

Looks like the report was dictated into a computer. But these things do need to be checked, even if it costs time and money.

Sorry to put this in the comment area, but there did not seem to be a 'report errors' button.

Sorry again. Just seen a 'report errors' button, but it was on the comment page, not the main article page.

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

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Re: Cant we just bring back EDI?

Just to clarify, do you mean Electronic Data Interchange, as described in Wikipedia?

After just glancing at all that, I need a G & T.

At first, I had confused it with the EDT text editor on VAX/VMS and its 16-bit ancestors. That produced plain text, but had a word wrap function so you could produce or alter a sensible document. There are worse standards to choose from.

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Re: "wrapper around a closed binary blob"

@Oh Homer

That all sounds a bit too technical for the modern, managerially focussed, British Civil Service to begin to comprehend.

They should all be sacked, and replaced with a corps of Reg readers!

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Re: It's not DOCX we're worried about

I am involved with three voluntary groups. In such groups, you find computer systems ranging from Windows95 to Windows8.1, some with old versions of MS Office and some just with wordpad. And, of course, the occasional Mac user. So you go for DOC format as the most generally acceptable.

The government dreams that all these people will do whatever business they do with government using their computer. This ranges from renewing the tax disk (or just paying the equivalent after tax disks are abolished, as mooted) to filing income tax returns.

So DOC and XLS (as in Office97) are de facto standards which we the people will continue to use, even if government uses ODW and ODC.

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South Korea green lights Stuxnet-like code weapons to nark NORKS

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Who else?

Stuxnet-like weapons could be used against various nations: Japan, China, Australia ...

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Big 20 cash hoovers: Slurp. Floop. Darn. Sluurrrp. Where's our public sector IT dosh?

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Storage / IT

Do you really mean, in the first sentence, software, hardware, and IT services?

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Office Online rises from ashes of 'confusing' Office Web Apps

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Re: Improved what exactly?

Huh? I've been using Office 2010 since, er, 2010, and am very pleased with it after defecting from Open/Libre Office. OLOFF are good products, but MSO is better.

If I really want to clean up a document, I export from MSO to "HTML without the crap", then use an html editor. In my case, Namo Web Edit, a poor man's Dreamweaver, but still WYSIWYG; supports lists, tables, image handling. Even has a maths editor.

I have detested having to hand-create markup documents since the days of Digital Standard Runoff, via Latex, and on to Wiki formats.

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European Space Agency: PLATO will seek out 'ADVANCED LIFE forms'... 'SLIME'

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Re: Relative distance?

As Einstein noted, that depends on how fast you are going.

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Google moves to silence critics - whips out EC search settlement deal

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Re: The link obfuscates any genuine URL?

Thanks for the genuine link.

However, I stand by my comments about no TOC etc., notwithstanding all the downvotes.

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Awful document

I am deeply unimpressed with the document and with Google.

Firstly by the access to the document. The link in el Reg is to a file edit.htm, which contains javascript gobbledegook which obfuscates any genuine URL that the document might have. That gobble... whinges at the version of Firefox I am using. When I hit the save button, it offers me only edit.htm. But then I hit the print button, and that offers gibberish£$%^&*.pdf, which seems to be a printable pdf.

Secondly, the document itself. No table of contents, no introduction, no executive summary. For a document of 90+ pages we expect some help. The document radiates the legal expertise that went into it, but there is just no editorial expertise.

It would be nice to see Google defeated, as punishment for that awful document.

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MtGox takes heat as reasons for Bitcoin FAIL surface

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Re: This would be a good moment

@chairo

I stayed out of bitcoin after the Winklevoss twins moved in. Then we are finally told something serious. It would take a lot to make me sorry for the Winklevoss twins, but this incident is nearly there.

Its time for a lot more disclosure before anyone puts a serious amount of their wealth into bicoin.

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Nudge Unit flies into Nesta's arms: Is the hype justified?

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Re: @1st 2nd 3rd

There has been a misunderstanding here. When I typed in my comment "Yes, it does", it was meant to appear under the original comment "Does it matter?"

But there was a delay in my comment appearing on this website, and it finally appeared under "Means justify the ends?"

I share your opinion that the ends do not justify the means, and sympathise with your comment.

But I do agree with the basic premise of the original article: that the "work" of the Nudge Unit is pseudo-scientific nonsense. On that basis I expect it will waste a lot of my taxes before it is finally killed off. Its future demise will probably be because a different fashionable thought has caught the minds of the essay-writing classes, rather than any scientific reason.

Well done, the Reg, in publishing the article.

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Try again, re Does it matter?

Yes it does. If the original result was due to chance, the next attempt will probably achieve nothing. A waste, therefore.

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Try again

David Willets, Oliver Letwin and Danny (now Lord) Finkelstein. All essay-writing arts graduates, nobody with a solid grasp of numbers and statistics. PM Cameron is equally unqualified.

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re Does it matter?

@AC

Yes, it does. If the results were due to chance, further spending in that direction is likely to achieve nothing. Wasted, in other words.

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Innumerates

Willets, Letwin, Finkelstein. All essay-writing arts graduates, nobody with the remotest grasp of statistics.

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How bad WAS the parking situation in Middelfart* in 2013?

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Re: Middelfart

It amuses Germans to wish their English guests a safe journey: "gute Fahrt".

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NSA, GCHQ, accused of hacking Belgian smartcard crypto guru

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Late of Moscow?

What is all this about "one E. Snowden, late of Moscow". I thought he was still alive and living in or near there.

Mind you, his temporary asylum runs out sometime this summer. Where does he go then? When nobody actually wants him.

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Boffins tell ALIEN twin-sunned planets: You're adopted

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Essential binary

It has been reported that planets exist which roam the galaxy, not orbiting any star or multiple star. It is thought they have been ejected from multi-star systems in three-body manoeuvres. They cannot be captured by a single star because they need to lose energy. But they could be captured by multi-stars.

One would expect this to be improbable, though. So we ought not to see many such systems.

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Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

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Re: the general public is largely in favor of the government

The Secret State Police knew how to deal with your sort.

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Re: Didn't ask me

The Conservative Policy Forum did ask me and others.

OK, mostly they asked about policing matters such as CCTV surveillance and stop-and-search. But inevitably, as a free people, we discussed Snowden.

Yes, average age 67, but poking our political bugles into public forums like this one, our consensus was as Cameron stated.

As to what Conservatives think of Cameron, is that fit for the esteemed Register to print?

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Snowden: Canadian spooks used free airport WiFi to track travellers

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Rainy words

Do the Canadian people reign, or do they rein in their government.

The reign it reineth in the just / And unjust folk together / But reins more tightly in the just / The rest escape the tether.

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