* Posts by Terry Cloth

245 posts • joined 7 Feb 2011

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Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network – and a fight is brewing

Terry Cloth
Joke

``agency [...] would directly compete with private companies''

Since the private companies aren't competing with each other, _somebody's_ got to do it! (I only wish that was a joke.)

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EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

Terry Cloth
Flame

Save the landlines

Here in the U.S., companies are selling their landline service, in my case from AT&T to Frontier Communications, and I suspect it's only a matter of time before they try to phase those old services out. You'll have to pry my landline from my cold, dead hands(TM). Why? Because I can get crystal clear connections, never dropped (except when a tree falls on the lines...), always in range. I can understand the convenience of a mobile phone, but until they can match the service, I want my wires. Cellular is simply inferior.

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Stanford boffins snuff out li-ion batt blaze risk

Terry Cloth
Coat

"This strategy holds great promise for practical battery applications."

Unless your application requires continuous power. :-) Of course, the power is more effectively/permanently removed by a battery fire.

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Fan belts only exist, briefly, in the intervals between stars

Terry Cloth

Remember the library!

I've reserved it at my local library. Actually, at my local consortium of libraries. When you've run out of bookshelf space and money, as I have, the library is a marvellous place, especially now that they've got online catalogs. Check something out, it encourages them.

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The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

Terry Cloth

Nipple mouse not perfect, but better than any alternative

The trouble with the Trackpoint is that it responds to force, not motion, and the human nervous system is rotten at calibrating force. That notwithstanding, it means that a touch typist needn't move the fingers from the home row, and as a programmer, I'm all text all the time. The only improvement I can see would be if they could figure how to replace it with a trackball.

[Speaking as the owner of a T60, currently down, waiting for a replacement motherboard.]

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

Terry Cloth
Joke

Why they're doing it

The 2015 financials must be shaping up to be disastrous if they have to stoop to this level to get revenue.

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Launch embiggens Galileo satnav fleet

Terry Cloth

Turning off GPS is reasonable

because it ups the ante for determining where you are. The cell towers can coordinate to specify your (much-less accurate) location, but the bad guys need to have an in with the mobile provider to get the info. BUT, if your phones knows your position to a meter or three, it can well be broadcasting the info to the world from any app that's registered for GPS access.* Shortsighted downvoters.

--------------

* Assuming the OS really limits access as advertised.

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1

Software defined? No no no, it's poorly defined storage (and why Primary Data is different)

Terry Cloth
Thumb Up

Thanks for the clarification

As someone whose main interest in ``software-defined'' is radio (and whose network comprises two or three computers and an ADSL modem), I've always been fuzzy on SDN, and now SDS. Your explanation shows that it's just another layer of indirection. Thanks for making it as clear as I need it to get on with my life.

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WDC's shingle-free stocking filler: A 10TB helium disk drive

Terry Cloth
Coat

Not to be picky, but how much do they cost?

I recognize that the industrial price will differ from the consumer price, but just out of curiosity, could you mention it? (But that's my wallet I'm getting out of my coat.)

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Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant

Terry Cloth
FAIL

& Won't Be Until...

...we become the ``Home of the Brave''. So long as a majority of us (see recent polls) are scared of what ISIS could do to us, we're just the home of the weak-kneed.

[And we still suffer something like 30k deaths in traffic each year.]

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How much do containers thrash VMs in power usage? Thiiiis much

Terry Cloth
Thumb Down

It would be nice if they weren't ``Gee Whiz'' graphs.

A ``Gee Whiz'' graph is one designed to exaggerate the difference, and is usually done by starting the relevant axis (here, Y) at something other than zero. Here they start at 160/165 for a maximum reading of 200/205, thus turning a 10% savings into (for the unwary observer) a 50% savings).

I suspect this wasn't el Reg's doing; I expect they picked the graphs out of TFA.

(The ``Gee Whiz'' name comes from How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff (1954, and still worth a read).) [Note: I know nothing of the identically-titled book by Jordan Conner, out this year.]

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Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Terry Cloth
FAIL

No listen-before-talk?

Ridiculous! That's based on an estimate of few competing devices---how can it work otherwise? If LTE-U gets popular based on early results, it'll soon shoot itself in the foot as the airspace becomes so crowded the effective bandwidth drops.

It'll be an interesting experiment in finding what the punters will accept when they've been promised no limits.

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LG uses sucky logic to force Dyson admission its vacuums suck badly

Terry Cloth
Boffin

There's a limit to vacuum power

All a vacuum cleaner does it pump air from the nozzle to the exhaust. The limit is atmospheric pressure ~14.7 lbs/in2. The only question is how fast the motors can move the air to make room for more air. That's why the keyboard cleaner attachments don't work---when the nozzle's small enough to get into crevices between keys, it's only got 0.01 in2 area, assuming the nozzle's about 0.1 inch in diameter. Thus, you get 2.3 ounces of suck.

A vacuum cleaner can only make it possible for air pressure to blow stuff into the nozzle.

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American robocallers to be shamed in public lists

Terry Cloth
Coat

``Robocallers to be Shamed''

What good will this do? Anyone who'd make robocalls has no shame, by definition.

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Virtualisation blog 'of interest to Interpol'

Terry Cloth
Big Brother

It's quite a ``clerical error''...

...that sends him back whence he came.

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ICANN chairman loses mind over his domain-name privacy shakeup

Terry Cloth
Paris Hilton

You beat me to it

I was just preparing to suggest the same thing. Charles 9 raises some pointed questions, but, is there really much evidence that we could do worse than ICANN without actively working at it? Certainly ISTM that the U.S. taking its ball back and trying again would be an improvement, even with the Congress in gridlock. Could the IETF actually take over? Maybe Paris H.?

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New US cyber laws will hit privacy and security, says Homeland Security

Terry Cloth
Go

Re: Sad...

Jon Stewart for Senate, anyone? He'll be at loose ends shortly....

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Researchers make SHODAN of the skies to probe internet-of-things

Terry Cloth

War-flying?

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Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

Terry Cloth
Go

One advantage: reliability

Of the blockchain, not the devices. As the number of miners expands (exponentially?), it becomes that much harder for a well-funded opponent (one of the G7, for a less-than-random example) to put enough mining power into service to corrupt the blockchain. (See, e.g., the discussion of trends toward centralization. A sufficiently-large swarm of mosquitoes out-masses an elephant.)

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So, EE. Who IS this app on your HTC M9s sneakily texting, hmm?

Terry Cloth
Stop

Anti-fraud = denial of service

To be effective, an an anti-fraud system must have a way to shutdown the ``fraudulent'' service. So if someone a) hacks the anti-fraud software, or b) the software generates a false positive, your phone dies. No thanks.

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Licence to chill: Ex-CIA spyboss Petraeus gets probation for leaking US secrets to his mistress

Terry Cloth
FAIL

Also cf. Aaron Swartz

n/t

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That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Terry Cloth
Headmaster

``between June and July of 2014''

It didn't happen, then? After all, the time between June & July is precisely the time between 2014-06-30T2400 and 2014-07-01T0000. (Reading the dictionary for fun and clarity can be a profitable pursuit.)

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European Parliament mulls law on use of blood metal in tech

Terry Cloth

What they're up against

The Fairphone blog post “The search for responsibly sourced gold for the Fairphone” talks about one of the roadblocks: roughly all the electronic gold in the world gets routed through the Shanghai Gold Exchange, then distributed to manufacturers. (Scroll a bit over halfway down to “The gold route: All roads lead to Shanghai”.) Try tracking your bit of responsible gold through that—the U.S. Department of Commerce has thrown up its hands. [PDF: see p. 3, ¶ 3]

(That PDF, it happens, is Commerce‘s response to the Dodd-Frank requirements.)

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Is hyper-convergence a good thing? Ask a mini computer veteran

Terry Cloth
Joke

The pendulum swings back

Sounds as if someone hacked a quivering slice out of the living cloud and delivered it to the customer's site. I wonder whether Amazon will now just sell subsets of its AWS kit and blow away the competition.

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Kia Soul EV: Nifty Korean 'leccy hatchback has heart and Seoul

Terry Cloth
FAIL

Don't they teach children to look both ways before crossing the road these days?

Not if they're blind, they don't.

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ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

Terry Cloth
Pint

“I don't know whether they need that money to continue operating”

@100113.1537:

Erm...remember that ICANN replaced one guy.

Interestingly, the author of that paen, Vint Cerf, seemed to forget the point when he joined the ICANN board.

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Google, Microsoft and Apple explain their tax tricks in Australia

Terry Cloth
Devil

Don't worry, this sort of thing will stop soon.

When the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ratified, the corporations will be grilling the legislature.

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The Internet of Stuff is a gigantic ultra-perv robbery network – study

Terry Cloth
Unhappy

Not at all ridiculous

All it takes is a competitor to take a leaf from NSA's book on Oracle...

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Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

Terry Cloth
Coat

Get your citations right!

That's Miss Anne Elk to you (and everyone else).1

1A colleague used to tell us that in her case ``Anne is a four-letter word.''

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Terry Cloth
Pint

Too bad about Stephen Jay Gould

Who wrote an essay arguing that giving Apatasaurus the nod for nomenclature priority was shortsighted. He also used it to name the book in which the essay was collected. And the book jacket even used the same illustration our esteemed editors chose, so there!

Too bad he didn't live to see his vindication.

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FTC: Hey, Network Solutions, time we had a chat about 'refunds'

Terry Cloth
Stop

That's nice, but are any of the customers actually getting their money back?

NT

3
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Aw, snap! How huge HTML links can crash Chrome tabs in one click

Terry Cloth
Stop

Crash or page replacement?

By the look of the error screen, it seems to just suppress the booby-trapped page, but the browser soldiers on—able to reload or link to the list of hints. So, yes, it can DoS a page, but hardly crashes any part of the browser.

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Samsung persuades US watchdog to review Smartflash legal dance over patents

Terry Cloth

``Texas-based patent licensing company Smartflash''?

Did someone yank your chain over calling spades spades, and patent trolls likewise?

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Liberal MP threatens journo with metadata probe

Terry Cloth
Unhappy

He's too honest

He obviously got the memo about metadata availability, but overlooked the ``Confidential'' classification.

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Crack security team finishes TrueCrypt audit – and the results are in

Terry Cloth

FUD? ``Everything in Truecrypt is completely legal.''

True. But I think what s/he means specifically is "... will have to be done by people living in nations lacking warrants with attached gag orders, it seems.."

Not so FUDdy.

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Cybercrim told to cough up £1m or spend years in chokey

Terry Cloth
Meh

Re: double je[o]pardy ?

Don't know about things over there, but here in the Colonies criminal fines and restitutions are not dischargeable. Even if you've gone bankrupt, you still gotta pay the man.

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FCC supremo slams big cable in gridiron Robin Hood metaphor mash-up

Terry Cloth

For the ugly box, just disable Javascript

I use NoScript. I can now move my cursor to the top of the page and be able to read everything I could before it got there. Don't know about the clunky interface---I can still read what I want, easily.

Hey, Register---get rid of the box, I'll turn it back on. I want to see the ads, but not that much.

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ZTE's stealthy Nubia: China-made Google-free Android mobe

Terry Cloth
Thumb Up

Here's for truth in labelling

Reminds me of a product I seriously thought of buying solely for its UI attitude. (It was a long time ago, but it may have been ImageMagick.) When it put up a failure dialogue box, the button to dismiss it read ``Bummer''.

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'Virtual nose' makes VR less dizzying, say boffins

Terry Cloth

Cockpit frame prevents nausea?

Well then, have the virtual participant wear some armor. Say, a hockey mask? Those bars should be just as good as a cockpit, much better than a nose. (Please let me know whether this pans out. I'll limit my share to 1% of the gross.)

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When cash is King, mobile money means economic freedom

Terry Cloth
Thumb Down

Oh, great! So now the gov't will know every penny I spend

I treasure cash. It's nobody's business (except maybe my spouse's) what I rent down at the local black-window video purveyor. (Said as I get the folding money to pay for my auto's bodywork bill....)

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Caught on camera: ICANN CEO slams the internet's kingmakers

Terry Cloth
Thumb Down

[T]he risk it could be "captured" by the industry itself[.]

It hasn't already happened?

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Ancient SUPERNOVA EXPLOSION contains enough dust for 7,000 EARTHS, say boffins

Terry Cloth
Boffin

What, precisely, is the news here?

The discovery allowed the boffins to float the idea that huge quantities of dust spotted in distant young galaxies may have been produced by supernova explosions of early massive stars.
The idea that roughly everything in the universe (other than hydrogen and some of the helium) was created by supernovae is a given in some geology books from the 1970s I'm reading, and is probably older than that (but I'm too lazy to look it up).

Is the real takeaway that we now know that the stuff doesn't rebound when it hits the outside world? Or that we didn't know how much dust was produced? Or that we didn't know it was already happening in young galaxies? Or something else?

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Boffins FOAMING over a Nickel's worth of hydrogen

Terry Cloth

Re: Hydrogen is not a fuel, dammit!

Any chemical which burns in oxygen in an exothermic reaction is a fuel[.]
True, in the narrow chemical sense. But, in the overall picture, it's no more than a mechanism to transport energy (input elsewhere) to a vehicle (for use there), just like electricity. So far as the contemporary energetics go, it's a net loss, as opposed to petroleum distillates.

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Terry Cloth
Mushroom

Hydrogen is not a fuel, dammit!

Until we find underground hydrogen, or snag a hydrogen-slush comet, hydrogen is a power-delivery system,1 same as electricity. Gasoline takes some input to get raw materials and to refine, but the end result is more power than went into producing it.2 For the forseeable future, we will have to put as much energy into producing the H2 as we get out of burning it.

So don't compare hydrogen to gasoline, compare it to electricity.

1 As discussed here. Fusing hydrogen is a whole different story.

2 We're ignoring events of a few million years ago, of course.

(Icon represents possible future of Kawasaki's H2 tanker. :-)

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Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

Terry Cloth
Coat

I Suspect Jon Postel would approve

So can we call it ``going Postel''?

Mine's the one with snail mail in the pocket.

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Debian on track to prove binaries' origins

Terry Cloth
Linux

Re: What a complete joke

@ A Known Coward

So this work 'proves' that the source they built with was the source code they include in their source packages, but it doesn't prove the code in their own source packages matches up with the original source code released by the application developers.
Well, actually, it does. Back in the early days they patched the source to their specs, and distributed the patched source. Somebody noticed the very point you bring up, and now Debian source packages include
  • precisely the upstream source (in files named <package_upstream-version>.orig.tar.gz,
  • Debian's patches (named <package_upstream_version-revision>.diff.gz), and
  • other control information needed to generate the binary.
So yes, you can prove their build is based on the upstream source. And their changes are available right there for your review.

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Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Terry Cloth

Is this limited to UK bods only?

Or can I, an Amerian, sign up with PI to find out whether any of my stuff (gathered illegally by the NSA) was sent (illegally) to GCHQ?

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

Terry Cloth
Boffin

Webpioneer my left eyetooth

Mr Cerf is an Internet pioneer. Robert E. Kahn and he were inventing the Internet when Mr Berners-Lee had just decided on a college.

Now get off my bandwith!

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'Giving geo-engineering to this US govt is like giving a CHILD a LOADED GUN'

Terry Cloth
Paris Hilton

Interesting graph you've got there

Where'd the last couple of hundred years go?

On my screen, 500 y = 4.4 cm. After 1500 we only get 2.2 cm of chart, meaning it's missing from 1750 to present, 265 years. I'd love to know how it comes out.

(Icon for the question mark, not the bimbo.)

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ACHTUNG! Scary Linux system backdoor turns boxes into DDoS droids

Terry Cloth
Thumb Down

So, El Reg wants to redefine `backdoor'?

This is the second article in a few weeks with `backdoor' in lights, when it's nothing of the sort---just another piece of malware wanting to get in.

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