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* Posts by William Towle

202 posts • joined 8 Jun 2007

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GNU security library GnuTLS fails on cert checks: Patch now

William Towle

Re: Goto considered harmful

> I've been at a meeting at one of the big interwebs companies where it was stated that their coding standards forbid the use of increment and decrement operators.

I've been at a company that insisted the same.

Admittedly, they weren't outright verboten; it was due to inheriting some platform-portable C code containing `array[index++]= expr;`, which the compiler/assembler had optimised badly (as if it had seen `array[++index]= expr;`), causing an off-by-one error. Hence these constructions were disallowed.

These things are almost always written from experience and then corrupted by Chinese whispers until people circulate some nonsensical bastardisation of what used to be sound advice :(

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

William Towle

Re: The director of 'year of code'

> Paxman asked her "So. What *IS* code?" He must be an IT Crowd fan.

He's read yearofcode.org - "What is code? Code is the language we use to instruct computers".

In my head, the voice I heard reading that bit out was Philomena Cunk's... ;)

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Mandela memorial. Yup, let's SNAP A SELFIE, say grinning Obama, Cameron

William Towle

Read All About It:

Funeral selifies endorsed by Cameron, Obama!

Sun headline in funeral selfie "gaffe" shocker!

Made my morning ;)

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BOFH: GOATSE? No, I said goat fetis... you know what, forget it

William Towle

...AKA "williamt"

I have worked at two small enterprise jobs where the scheme <firstname><initial-of-surname> was used for usernames and/or email addresses. It was only briefly policy in either case; in the former we had second thoughts about giving someone who came in at managerial level "christ@....".

// icon would be facepalm but selection mechanism is broken

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Psst.. Know how to hack a mobe by radio wave? There's $70k+ in it for you

William Towle

Re: Here. You've proven this is broken.

> So as a reward, they're given something they themselves have proven to be insecure

Quite, but then if I were inclined to enter then I'd probably appreciate a spare/new-and-interesting device for experimental purposes - plus the quality of advice on what to avoid* as a replacement for the old kit (or what to shield, if keeping it) would be unparalleled ;)

* sadly not on what to buy, as the closing paragraphs convey :/

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'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!

William Towle
Unhappy

Re: That's odd

> Yahoo e-mail hasn't been wrecked yet by NEO so no changes there, just in the groups websites.

I've seen recent changes to both Notepad and Mail (with /neo/ in URLs in the latter case).

Changes to Mail are just about tolerable on a small screen, but I find Notepad's new layout most uncomfortable when it gets just a small handful of lines. Notepad without the old right-click menu would benefit from tab handling such I now see Mail gets, except that Mail seems to open more of its tabs more often than I trust my system to deal with at its usual(ly high) load levels - I used to be able to choose to avoid that before. I have read that denying javascript permissions renders Inbox's message titles as links again, however the Notepad update breaks completely without javascript support and therefore can no longer be used to cut and paste email content into!

"Quickly spewed on to the interwebs with little testing before going live" - quite.

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Selfie twerks its way into the dictionary

William Towle
Coat

Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

> Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk : Are anyone of these "words" used by anyone over the age of 11 ?

I've only heard the former in context. I learnt of the latter at work, when a colleague was struggllng to describe a rather technical problem in terms other than "doesn't work". Later, I thought that asking my team "what are these twerks he had twelve of?" [IGMC, obv] might be funny ... and was promptly directed to Urban Dictionary for a schooling!

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Dalek designer Ray Cusick passes away aged 84

William Towle
Alien

Re: From somewhere behind the sofa

> Never was a sink plunger so terrifying

Someone* recently said it was about the voices, and I have to agree - they go about committing acts of atrocity in a completely calm manner, basically until the Doctor comes along - and suddenly there's an "angered" upward inflection that wasn't there before.

* not sure, but a sufficiently insightful comment to have been Nick Briggs.

// "Eggs eggs eggs"

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

William Towle
Thumb Up

Re: It's a very personal thing...

"It's a very personal thing...

...But my own preference is Earl Grey left to stew until it's almost cold. No milk or sugar. Great in a hot climate."

I wouldn't leave Earl Grey to go cold deliberately, but it definitely benefits from not being rank when left.

I also wouldn't add milk or sugar to any other tea as a general rule - it seems to me that the desire to do so stems either from inappropriate selection (I've normally got two or three varieties on the go at any time) or poor preparation.

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Hacker faces 105 years inside after FBI 'sexploitation' arrest

William Towle
Coat

Re: perilously close to thinking it's the 1950s and rape jokes are funny

> Some Rape, Barly, and Wheat went into a bar...

A feed line like that *definitely* deserves a punchline.

Preferably something ...seedy?

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Author of '80s classic The Hobbit didn't know game was a hit

William Towle
Thumb Up

Assembler

> For a lot of the old computers, a decent assembler was hard to get and we often had to write our own.

I remember that sort of thing. I typed in the assembler from INPUT magazine but don't recall ever getting it to work (it could have, in which case I lacked patience with it - and the commercial offerings we also had).

Ultimately, my machine code ended up finding its way into RAM courtesy of a short routine that read the target address/es and corresponding hex byte sequences from a BASIC program's REM statements ... and being small and simple, it ran from the printer buffer.

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Sex offenders need internet access, judge rules

William Towle
Joke

Re: Terrorists

"Encrypt the hard drive, and then the police probably wouldn't even be able to access restored data"

http://xkcd.com/538/ ?

// several icons applicable, but I'll take TWAJS.

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Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

William Towle
Thumb Up

Re: Procedures????

"Because line numbers are used, you can easily abuse procedures too - they use the subroutine stack like other handlers, so you could in theory jump in and out of them at will, without having to even call them. Not that I'd advocate that sort of code, but still"

I never felt restricted enough to need this, but did see it done. I liked the Spectrum 16/48K Othello game (CDS Microsystems, http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0003554) so much I had a go at porting it [to AMOS BASIC on the Amiga, for speed]. To save space for the 16K machine they had subroutines that were sometimes GOTO'd to in it - the routine to determine the computer's best move thus doubled as that for the player's help, except there was a priority order to check the empty spaces in the former case but no such favourable weighting for the latter. It took a few goes to get my head around the spaghetti, and I either I became very good at beating the game as a result or failed to port it sanely ... possibly both ;)

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It’s official: Google shrinks the world!

William Towle

Re: Are you anti-European and anti SI?

"It's all in the comma / dot difference between European and British / American number usage.

Also 11,190 km/s is good SI usage, 11,190 m/s is not"

That's as may be, but google.co.uk and google.com are using the same notation - you can't argue that Brits are seeing European notation because that's what they've deemed is appropriate.

I also note that "the speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s", which clearly demonstrates that their preferred thousands delimeter is the space (consistent with SI recommendation) but they're not using the prefixes as you suggest they ought...

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Ig Nobels 2012: Physics of ponytails, chimp arse-cognition and more

William Towle

Re: One of these was already invented

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_auditory_feedback

QI demonstrated this recently, which was particularly good viewing.

Stephen Fry was busy explaining the principle while they primed Alan Davies with a challenge to read something out ... only he wasn't fazed at all. Different panellists were affected by varying degrees.

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Jaw-jaw no more-more as calls fall down tally of phone tasks

William Towle
Facepalm

There is still something to be said for the simplicity of a phone that only makes calls.

Reminds me of the Stroustrup quote, "I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."

;)

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Users still slack about passwords: Trustwave

William Towle
Stop

Re: Sad but true..

One of our systems doesn't even allow *any* characters to be repeated ...as I found out on the third attempt to pick a password it would accept.

Really. Would a "full list of rules" link have been all that hard to put *somewhere*?!

...I kept a record of what these rules were to avoid the same rigmarole when I'm obliged to change it in future (most likely after I've had it reset because I can't remember what it made me use in place of what I originally wanted...)

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Moore's Law has ten years to run, predicts physicist

William Towle
Joke

Re: Chinny Reckon?

> "the first proper quantum systems won't come online until late in the 21st century"

> I'd give it 20 years meself, and I'm not known for my optimism.

And even then they'll be online and not online at the same time (...er, if I've understood it correctly?)

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Twelve... classic 1980s 8-bit micros

William Towle
Happy

Re: Tape errors

> One of the attractions of the Amstrads was that the built in tape deck took away all the hassle.

Allegedly. I remember a cousin having no end of trouble with the one in his Spectrum +2A, and ended up running wires outside the case to attach one externally.

Me? I had one of "Uncle Clive"'s original 128s and a WHSmith data recorder, complete with VU meter for instant feedback on whether the volume needed adjustment ;)

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It's game over for pinball pioneer

William Towle
Pint

Re: I don't think there are any tables around here

Very few tables around here too, for shame, but at least there are some. Notably a Batman: Dark Knight [Gremlin Solutions/Stern] on which I got 90mil -nearly as much as the second replay value- without really trying (pint in hand, mate's band on stage adjacent ... as much as you might think both would scupper your concentration levels!).

Would have been an excellent effort had I played in tournament mode :(

RIP that man.

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Gutsy golf-club granny collars crim in Flying Squad bust

William Towle
Pint

Re: Supergran!

No need to apologise.

Made me chuckle to have the following exchange in our local Fab Cafe:

Quizmaster: "Which TV theme is this?"

Me, to scribe: "Supergran"

Me, to team: "it's Billy Connolly singing this"

Quizmaster: "...and, for a bonus point, who's singing?"

Adjacent team: "they just said who it was. Did anybody hear it clearly?"

// Pint, 'cos we usually won.

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Chocolate weighed in Schwarzeneggers: Official

William Towle
Go

As I read once...

"Any noun in the English language...

... can be verbed"

Verbing weirds language.

// as in http://madshakespeare.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/calvin-and-hobbes.jpg

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Valve pushes Portal freebie

William Towle

@Clive

> When I go there I get a holding page - "Business profile for learnhwithportals.com".

> FYI learnwithportals.com is translating to 205.178.189.129 for me

I see a parked domain at that IP address too (did that result from your typo?), but learnwithportals.com (apparently 63.228.223.103, but doesn't give the same page) is OK.

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Ten years on from Nimda: Worm author still at large

William Towle

@Alfie

> MCSE == Must Consult Someone Experienced

I always liked "Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert".

// YIK, there are probably some for the the linux equivalents as well

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Nokia offers $10,000 for new ring tone

William Towle
Coat

Variant with "..., impending doom"?

Grande Valse for the first nine notes (since they want a variation of something they've done before) and then ... tack on the theme from Jaws?

// yeah yeah, going!

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appToyz appWheel

William Towle
Boffin

Re: Remember...

For the record, this was Formula One Simulator.

From http://zxspectrumgames.blogspot.com/2009/08/zx-spectrum-games-formula-one-simulator.html:

"Mastertronic (unwittingly hilariously) included this little gem in the instructions:

'Steering wheel - Use a sellotape tin or similar object, about 4 1/2" indiameter and 1" deep, hold it at the top and position it at the centre of top row of keys so that it nestles against the ridge at the back. Roll it to theleft or right with moderate pressure to steer. To begin with, a rocking motion on the wheel may help get the feel of the car.' - Priceless!"

See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Widh72v-Wfg

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Seven Dwarfs password gag declared Fringe's best

William Towle
Facepalm

Car parks? Pah!

Prefer the Stewart Francis feed line where it's about f*rting in lifts (see Mock the Week, ooh, ages back probably).

Of those, I think I like the Buress one.

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Google promises fix for jittery Usenet addicts

William Towle
Joke

Re: <waves dead chicken>

Chicken? After having "not killed its Usenet service, it's merely experiencing technical difficulties" it's *got* to be a parrot, surely?

// originally clicking through to "oblig. ..." the Dead News Server sketch (http://everything2.com/title/The+dead+news+server+sketch)

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Canon crossbreeds mouse with adder

William Towle
Linux

Re: Numeric keypad too?

If it works as a numeric keypad, then you could also use shift-ctrl-numlock to control the mouse pointer with it... ;)

// Tux: depending on your choice of OS, obv.

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Hitchhiking snails scoffed, pooped out alive by birds

William Towle
Facepalm

@N'n'G

+1 parable of the cow, the bird, and the cat (if I'm not mistaken)

...although my train of thought went via The Plan ("It is a crock...") first, d'oh! ;)

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Bug-Byte Manic Miner

William Towle
Boffin

@Allicorn

The top screenshot has the tree trunk rendered one character-cell wide (in red/yellow) with red/green cells immediately above and yellow/green below. There's no confusion here - look across to the garden and you'll see where the cell boundaries roughly lie.

Agree about the other one though.

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William Towle
Terminator

Re: Final Barrier?

I reckon it's from a Beeb from the look of the fonts used.

...and a quick google confirms this level was indeed one that was "introduced (or modified) by non-Spectrum versions of Manic Miner" on the Beeb: http://members2.boardhost.com/jetsetwilly/msg/1240870196.html

// Terminator because the icon reminds me of one of the baddies

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Intel teaches machines to build own device drivers

William Towle
Boffin

...possibly more appropriately:

"After very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your system sucks"

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Marathon Facebook scam targets Mac, Windows users

William Towle
Big Brother

Remediating?

"re·me·di·a·tion (r-md-shn), n.

The act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency"

...in the users.

How very BOFH. Speaking of which...

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Asus revamp adds tablet-phone dock

William Towle
Pirate

Decapitated ... or disassembled?

Could be - in which case the hands are on this one:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/03/students_build_rubik_bot/

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Submarine seized by pirates turns up in Vegas pawnshop

William Towle

Not the first time...

...what next, a bridge?

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Asus teases with MacBook Air-esque Eee PC

William Towle
Coat

...there's supposed to be a Mac?

I can't see it.

Oh wait, there's one here on this peg ;)

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Pippa Middleton in $5m grumble flick offer

William Towle
Alert

Re: ...brother

> Its young James they should be speaking to.

This morning's Metro said they have.

Online reference (albeit less confusing about whether it's in the same film*): http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2011/05/pippa-middleton-courted-by-vivid/

* apparently not

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Charlie Sheen explodes onto Twitter

William Towle
Thumb Up

Re: Blimey

Metro even captioned a vidcap to that effect (yesterday, I think, but don't have it to hand).

This article dithers between deciding which names to use quite "effectively": http://www.metro.co.uk/showbiz/857046-menacing-charlie-sheen-loses-twins-to-ex-wife-brooke-mueller

Quality research though :)

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Portsmouth redefines the Olympic-sized swimming pool

William Towle
Boffin

Defined depth?

http://www.prstubbs.btinternet.co.uk/olist.htm:

"An Olympic Pool must be 25m wide with a depth of 2.0m (min) at all parts of the course and must be 50m in length - between touch panels if they are used. The 25m width is to allow for 8 lanes to be 2.5m wide minimum with 2 spaces of 2.5m wide outside lane 1 and 8.

So this is 2.5 x 8 lanes = 20m + (2.5m x 2) = 25m in total."

Works for me.

(And raises the suggestion they don't use touch panels at this one, surely...?)

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Saucy spy Anna Chapman to design Russian space uniforms

William Towle
Thumb Up

Re: LOL

Not only that, but the "only one [...] to be both female and passably attractive".

I've not seen the others, but evidently it's not worth the bother googling.

<--- worth two thumbs up but not possible in one post (as in +1 per use of "attractive", pervs!!)

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Channel Five reborn as Channel Five

William Towle
Boffin

Channel...

...ling Thunderbirds.

<-- Brains, obv.

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419ers strip lonely heart mum of £80k

William Towle

Re: What if?

> Maybe SHE is the Nigerian scammer, wanting us to give her £80k, becuase a "nigerian scammer" ripped her off, or so she says...

It wouldn't surprise me if there was a scam along those lines at some point either, but I don't think this is it.

Metro's angle (http://www.metro.co.uk/news/854147-friends-reunited-love-scam-costs-mum-of-three-80-000) supports the "genuine victim out to help others" hypothesis better, elaborating "‘What I am most worried about is that I emailed him pictures of myself and my children,’ Ms Roberts, 47, told the BBC’s Inside Out – South programme. ‘I have no idea if those pictures are now being used by the gang to con other people out of money.’"

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IANA address space running on empty

William Towle
Boffin

Re: 200 days?

...at which point it'll be September, more or less, right?

Interesting coincidence, if unintentional!

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Aussies demand Poms cough up first 'Australia' map

William Towle
Coat

Re: May as well...

> the indignant tone of the quoted Aussies is a bit rich I think. Didn't they ever learn to ask nicely?

Maybe they did but the AQI made it impossible to tell(...?)

;)

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Yank fires up iPhone-controlled beer cannon

William Towle
Boffin

Re: I can't but feel a trick is beuing missed here

> Big Trak, need I say more?

I had one of those first time round. Bit disappointing looking back - it wouldn't turn by the specified angles on tiled floors, and it wouldn't turn by the specified by the specified angles on carpet. It's probably still packed straight back up in my parents' loft (unless my nephews have pestered my brother for one, in which case it's probably gone walkies).

I remember delightedly discovering that the trailer could be made to tip by shorting the connector with a paperclip, so maybe there is at least some mileage in the idea though.

// is it me or do the new ones look small?

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Windows 7 really was some girl's idea, rules ASA

William Towle
Paris Hilton

Re: Durrrrr

"TBH, that Ad just made me think rugby players are idiots"

Things don't bode particularly well for the girl either if spangly new laptop (plus data) ultimately suffers the same fate, does it? [hence Paris ] ;)

...not particularly convinced "to the cloud! [Windows logo appears Batman-style]" necessarily conveys the intended impression either, but at least it's passably amusing either way.

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Intel reveals 'the billion dollar lost laptop problem'

William Towle
Thumb Up

@umacf24 "Do you rinse it out between uses?"

It's been done. Not long(?maybe) after "don't die of ignorance" we had this: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/explore/sickness--health/topics/aids-posters/video.aspx?view=geronimo

Got a spectacular "ewww" from cinema audiences, did that - and was almost certainly all the more effective for it.

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Google ends 'do be evil, if you want a top ranking' policy

William Towle
Pint

Re: ...and you did exactly what he wanted:

"Why give the moron the oxygen of publicity?"

I'm not happy with him having the oxygen of oxygen!

// Linda Smith RIP

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Popular sites caught sniffing user browser history

William Towle

Re: Check yourself or friends...

> http://www.didyouwatchporn.com/ uses the same exploit...

I suppose it makes a very good test of how well private browsing works. Nice.

As one site wrote regarding the other image, "a little bunny! It's funny because it's the same motif Playboy uses" (http://roget.biz/sites-pour-savoir-si-vos-potes-visitent-des-sites-pornos)

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