* Posts by Primus Secundus Tertius

775 posts • joined 31 Oct 2010

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: It's simple

If they really are watching us they must be waving their tentacles in despair.

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Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

Thank you, Spacedinvader, for that clarification.

It is a pity the Reg could not make it that clear in the first place. They seem to have lost all their science-qualified writers who could examine critically a press release or abstract rather than just copying the words.

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Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

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"I'd have thought that any self-respecting data analyst would have done that before creating the tables. It's called normalisation, been around for about 45 years."

I would have thought that, too; then I had to deal with the systems I inherited. Created by ordinary office workers or business people, who do know a lot about their business but are not logicians and data analysts.

This is the "real" world, right; though a mathematician might say it is "complex".

MS Access makes it much easier to pick up the pieces and refashion them into your ideal normalised state.

[No, I do not work for Microsoft, never have, and am now enjoying my retirement so never will.]

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It is not just the relational database itself that matters, but also the facilities that come with it. I am thinking specifically of the way Access can move fields from large records into separate tables. This means, for example, that city and county names can be defined just once and used consistently. So if you are inheriting a clunky old data set, you can sharpen it up.

Libre Office database can do the relational joins, but not the data reforming.

Yes, Access is OK for one or two users but not an office with 20 users. You then use Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, ... I believe SQL Server does have various tools. Maybe the other products do: I look forward to further comments from Reg users.

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@arobertson1

I guess you did not use MS Access. Probably only serious data analysts really need it, but there is nothing like it in Linux. Libre Office database is a child's effort in comparison.

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Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

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Re: The real issue

@macjules

"cybersecurity adiser" is OK by MS Office spellcheck, the grand arbiter in these matters.

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Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview

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@Kobblestown

Or, as I have heard Australians say, "What a sod!".

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Rethink on bank cybersecurity rules might only follow major bank breach, says expert

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Re: Customer experience

In the "good old days" banks really did know their cutomers: they would recognise us when we walked in. Also, we could telephone our branch and they would recognise our voice over the phone.

One of the best security measures is still human recognition of voices over the plain old telephone.

Mind you, i remember inheriting a club/society account where the old bank statements were the legendary hand-written things.

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What gifts did ol' kitten heels May get this year?

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Ol' Jellylegs

America's Finest News Source, aka The Onion, once referred to the then Senator Obama as "Ol' Jellylegs". Some might say that was a good call.

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Testing times: Can your crypto-code survive the Google gauntlet?

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Ah, the conspiracy theory rather than the cockup theory.

But usually it is a cockup. I blame modern education, which tells children to be creative rather than telling them to check their work.

I seem to remember a recent celbrated case, possibly for SSH, where the offending code had been checked in at 11.30pm on New Years Eve. How to inspire confidence - NOT.

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Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

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Re: Collect Data Points Until A Statistically Significant Result Is Achieved

The people who work in the stock exchange soon recognise "strange" dealings. After all, it is money that is not going their way. Unless they are in on the racket, of course.

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Germany warns Moscow will splash cash on pre-election propaganda and misinformation spree

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Re: I can't wait!

@AC / I can't wait

I thought that was East Germany, before 1989 (substitute Soviet Union for US).

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Re: They're under our beds!

@Grumpy / 2

Pretty much everything political that I put in comments here makes me unelectable. My record is 42 downvotes, beating even the occasion I criticised Saint Snowden. I am gateful to the 4 who supported me against the 42.

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AI brains take a step closer to understanding speech just like humans

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Re: Context is everything

Some spelling systems, such as Gaelic, could be mistaken for a practical joke against English people.

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@Frumious

A good comment about subvoclisation. I do it normally, but when I am proof-reading I try to avoid doing it, as it is then easier to spot the typos, glitches, etc.

Edit: then I see Scott's comment below.

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

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@Kozicki

What depresses me is that I pay a fortune in tax for what passes for the education of those people.

Under the PST system of taxation:

1. The rich would pay for defence and foreign policy.

2. The middle classes would pay for the police.

3. The working classes would pay for social security.

Education would be paid for by private fees and charitable endowments.

That way each class pays tax for the things it needs most.

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How to confuse a Euro-cop: Survey reveals the crypto they love to hate

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Re: Voting for someone else?

@Dave 15

In 1933 Germans voted for the alternative, Adolf. It was a long time before they had another proper vote, especially in the eastern zone.

Politics is not as easy as it may seem, especially when you are deling with real people. If you think your opinions are worth so much more than those of current politicians, then offer yourself to the people.

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In the UK they can jail you for not disclosing the password whent they officially ask. No need for the heavy treatment.

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Capitally unreadable

1. So the report from Italy is in all-capitals. They could have used MS Word on the original document, see below:

Original: CAPS-LOCK ON.

Sentence case: Caps-lock on.

A bit more difficult with a pdf, of course.

2. Hopefully the use of hopefully at the beginning of sentence, which is a German-American mistranslation of hoffentlich, will be banned by the sub-editors at el Reg.

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New state of matter discovered by superconductivity gurus

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Re: Advanced science or gibberish?

El Reg's scientific reporting has become as vague and confused as that of the national press. The beancounters now running el Reg should be ashamed of themselves for what they have destroyed.

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AI is all trendy and fun – but it's still a long way from true intelligence, Facebook boffins admit

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Artificial stupidity

I suggest the phrase 'articial intelligence' be replaced by 'artificial stupidity'.

This would enable researchers to claim great successes when filling in their next grant applications.

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British politicians sign off on surveillance law, now it's over to the Queen

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Sense of proportion

Yesterday the big story was that some android phones ring home to China with detailed user information. Yet posters above whinge at the very limited measures sought by the British government to protect the nation from its enemies.

Yes,enemies; this is a wicked world and some people out there really do want to humiliate and exterminate our nation, for profit or for fanatical reasons.

Or to put in another way: the minds of men are not blank slates imbued with natural goodness.

Some people have no sense of proportion.

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Virgin Media users report ongoing problems delivering legit emails. Again

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Re: It's not just SPAM or not.

But I sent a .docx attachment the other day.

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Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

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Re: I'm not surprised...

I am fed up with "printer drivers" that only do A4 paper. I write lots of short letters in A5.

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Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself

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What kind of algorithm?

My initial thought is that a computer could analyse the neural network and produce an equivalent flowchart. If it then checks for consistency the results might be interesting.

But then I ask myself what kind of flowchart would be the result. Possibly full of decision boxes, each with many outputs: case statements rather than if-then-else statements. Such a raw flowchart would be impossible for most of us to comprehend.

So my next question is whether such a flowchart could be restructured into a form we can understand. If so, would it still be too big to be understood?

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Gov.UK goes TITSUP

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Re: Sign-up was broken earlier,as well

I had a similar problem when claiming Gift Aid for a charity.

Same front end, I expect.

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Password1? You're so random. By which we mean not random at all - UK.gov

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Reversed!

A certain UK government website told me that passwords containing 'password' were forbidden. But it accepted 'drowssap'.

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

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Computer blame and management credit

Why is it that when things go wrong, management blame the computers, but when things go right (or at least make a profit) management take the credit.

Management are entirely to blame for these events.

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Microsoft: Watch out millennials for evil Security Essentials

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: I know this is all based on user ignorance, but..

As I understand it, Windows 8 and 10 come with MS Defender, a descendant product of Swcurity Essentials. But in Windows 7 you have to go and get Security Essentials. Obviously best to go direct to MSFT, before some pirate screen recommends its own software.

Sec. Ess. is no longer supported in XP, so you need something else. Lots of legit products will do a single scan your machine for free, but for continuous protection against emails and websites you have to pay.

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Democralypse Now? US election first battle in new age of cyberwarfare

Primus Secundus Tertius
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corrupt pencils?

True, you can't corrupt a pencil.

But you can screw up the electronic registers of voters. At a recent(*) election in London early voters were turned away because their names were not on the list. This was rectified by mid morning, but not every early bird returned to vote.

That incident was regarded as cock-up, not conspiracy. But next time?

(*)2015 or 2016, I think.

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New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

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Re: Heard of this new thing called Proof-reading?

I fear the bank manager has also heard of it. Big problem.

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Re: So...

The earliest indications of dark matter related to rotation rates within our own galaxy and other specific galaxies, rather than the whole visible universe. So those dark masses must still exist.

[Edit] I have just seen the comment above from titter-ye-not, who actually explains it as opposed to my bare claim.

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The UK's 'Universal Credit mega cockup was the coalition's NPfIT' - Margaret Hodge

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Civil Service versus techies

The mainstream civil service hates techies. Look at how they killed off the scientific civil service. In 2001 there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which caused an election to be deferred. It was clear that there was nobody within government who actually knew anything.

Instead we have the curse of managerialism.

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Student software finds new Minor Planet found way out beyond Pluto

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Re: Numbers in the title and article look a bit off...

El Reg seems to have abandoned its former concern with scientific accuracy. If it is not careful its scientific readers will abandon El Reg.

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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: John Smith

@dwarf

So long as Mick does not get into a Paddy.

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'There may be no hackers' says Trump in Presidential Debate II

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Donald Trump is a plonker

But some people say the Vice-President debate offered hope for the future.

I'm British, I do not watch these USA things, I only pass on what I read.

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Internet handover is go-go-go! ICANN to take IANA from US govt

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Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein ICANN.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

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I did it once

I once talked to somebody on the tube. But it was an old university friend I had not seen for many years.

By coincidence, we met again the following evening on the tube - and had nothing to say to each other.

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Re: Ah, the French... Ou est le chat?

The same happened to me, a boy, in Germany.

"Ich bin voll".

They laughed, and laughed, ...

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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

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Messing people about

OK, he messed about with the airline, and the other passengers.

But they mess us about when it suits them. Let's see airlines punishes for overbooking, mislaying luggage, general delays, ...

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MI6 to hire another 1,000 bods 'cos of private surveillance tech

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Dangerous work

I have read the official history of MI6, which covers ca 1909 to 1946. The Germans caught an awful lot of our people in the first war and the second. Dangerous work.

Still is. The people we face today would kill us as soon as look at us.

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Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

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Re: What size?

@Dr Syntax:

"Linux can be run from a live CD. Good luck with infecting that".

Quite right.

BUT

A really malicious device subverts the BIOS. So do the initial usb wipe on a machine you can afford to lose. And then wipe your BIOS.

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Google buys startup biz, slurps up its NLP brains

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Better translation

If it really can 'understand' natural language, it could lead to translations that are much more reliable than Google and Microsoft currently are.

I am not holding my breath.

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Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

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Re: T'was ever thus

Reading that apocryphal quotation reminds me of an episode in Caesar's memoirs of the Gallic wars. He is describing an auxiliary legion, composed of allied tribesmen rather than Roman citizens: they were creating an impression of great activity, but actually achieving nothing.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

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Scope for competition

Perhaps el Reg could organise a competition.

Think of an ordinary object, e.g. a paper bag, and then imagine how it might be drawn and annotated by a patent lawyer.

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Google: There are three certainties in life – death, taxes and IPv6

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The real third certainty

In this modern world there are the two traditional certainties, death and taxes, and also a third: "Somebody will whinge at it".

Whatever it is, somebody will whinge at it. E.g. IPv4 or IPv6, in the discussions above.

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IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world

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Re: Awesome

Or, to put it more briefly:

THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY ALMOST BLANK

After reading a fewo of those, one's mind begins to feel almost blank.

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SETI Institute damps down 'wow!' signal report from Russia

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When Cambridge University discovered the first pulsar in the mid 1960s, thay kept it secret for six months. Subsequently they defended this by saying they would have been besieged by all the world's nutters at the prospect of an alien signal.

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Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

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Exactly right, AC!

Not insider trading, but shaking the market with irresponsible rumours and waiting for the money to fall out.

Happens in London as well, as I am sure you know.

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Excel hell messes up ~20 per cent of genetic science papers

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Re: My pet gripe is

@imanidiot

When I worked for the London branch of a US company, in my documents I would write 01-Apr-99 to avoid confusion with 04-Jan-99. But our software product used US dates (MM/DD/YY) on every screen, so I used US dates on any new screen.

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