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* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

701 posts • joined 23 May 2011

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Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Its fixed but it took some time

There was a lot of fun, but you also got to see how nasty, combative and self-important some people are. My sympathy for help desk operators increased.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: BCC

Yeah, they did. But any message sent to the list was forwarded to the entire list. Which meant X would reply, complaining their email address had been compromised, and thereby ensuring every virgin subscriber knew X's name and email address.

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

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Joke

Re: Security risks

Content-Warning: This posts deals with armed assaults, nuclear armageddon, child abuse, ocean waves, sharks with lasers, some mild nudity, and prehistoric puns.

The platform is armed with a nuke. So if terrorists attack, they just detonate. It's the paedophiles we've got to worry about; how do we stop them, given all the seamen there's likely to be?

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Red Hat bets on 'Project Atomic' for its container-loaded server future

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: What's the added value

"Why would we want another product doing the same thing?"

I take it you're new to this capitalist market ideology?

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Akamai scoffs humble pie: Heartbleed defence crumbles, new SSL keys for customers

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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If they had contributed this patch when they first made it, then someone might have spotted the defect before the heart bleed bug was discovered...

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

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Re: What? Dates and times still a problem?

@Len I was with you all the way until you said UTC and GMT. I thought I had a good grasp of TT vs TDT vs TDB vs TCB, UT1 vs UTC, MJD vs JD, etc... and AFAIK GMT and UTC are the same (and I've just googled). So what's the difference?

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: code examples

Changing year to +1 is not enough if you're doing it on the last day of February on a leap year.

Most routines I've used will adjust it to the 1st March; both libc's mktime and javascript's Date constructor have this property.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: The weak link...

We didn't cross a centennial year, so I don't think that comes into it.

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Death of data retention directive: What it means for OTHER data laws

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Re: Not sad at all... @Warm Braw

We could, for the sake of argument, replace it with our own constitution and local judges (cf. the country across the pond) but the ECHR seems to serve us fine and, I would argue, is more resistant to political manipulation than a supreme court would be.

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Murdoch says Microsoft needs 'big clean out'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Unfortunately The Sun really does shine out of Rupert Murdoch's arse.

I was going to go on to talk about "old chestnuts", but it's too early in the morning to go full frontal.

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Snowden lawyer PGP email 'crack' flap: What REALLY happened?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Hey, if we're speculating wildly...

A working Quantum Computer?

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VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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VAT regression

It's regressive because a poor person pays bigger share of their income in VAT than a stonkingly rich one. And that's because consumption doesn't scale in proportion with income; e.g. a CEO on £10,000,000 doesn't use 1000 times more energy than someone on £10k. Or if the car example was more realistic—a £2000 second hand car—then the CEO would only be paying 100 times more for the car, rather than 1000 times more. This is also true for clothes and everything else that attracts VAT. And while a CEO might buy more luxuries, they still end up with heaps of left over money which are put into investment vehicles that don't attract VAT.

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One Win 8 to rule them all: Microsoft talks up 'universal apps' for PCs, slabs and mobes

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: For Fart Apps

I broadly agree, although I'm not sure that a big phone is different to a tablet. Nevertheless, I think it is possible.

Our app allows swiping between screens but also has icons that allow you to move between screens at a tap. This neither-fish-nor-fowl strategy wasn't my choice but it works quite well. Even on phones ~50% of people tap the icon and ~50% people swipe. And on the PC you just click the tabs.The app may qualify as "trivial" since its mainly data display. However I'm now addding serious data input and I don't think it will be a problem. It's certainly harder; every time you add an element you have to think "How will this work on PC? How will it work on a phone?" But with care and consideration it's possible to come up with a UI that feels natural on each device without feeling compromised. And provided you set out to do that, it'll be fine. However scaling down or scaling up a UI will fail every time.

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Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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The first sentence of this article was "Windows XP usage on the web..." I presume the local theatre group aren't surfing the internet and reading their emails with your laptop. (And if they are, and it does get infected, then it can be replaced because it's not a bespoke controller for an MRI scanner and doesn't contain data people will miss.)

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Deep desert XP-ocalypse averted as Reg man returns

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Well done, Simon! (And I hear the Australian Antarctic Survey need their computers updating...)

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'Hello, is that the space station? NASA here. Can you put us through to Moscow?'

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Re: Isn't this just the plot from 2010?

The trouble was in South America: ships and other planes flying round each other like angry hornets. Very bad.

Now, it is getting chilling here and that is very bad for my asthma. I have enjoyed our little chat. You are a smart man, you will know what to do.

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Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

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Trollface

I want every one of these XP stories to come with a quote from Trevor Potts. :) Thnx.

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US Supreme Court Justices hear arguments in game-changing software IP case

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Re: Similar programs

"Until I do, I am very reluctant to release any of my software under a GPL License."

<IANAL>The degree of similarity would be a matter of fact for the court to rule on. So if you somehow stumbled onto a licence violation, and were in a position to enforce it, then it would come down to the relative merits of the lawyers and the expert witnesses they (or the court) hired.

Or am I reading it wrong, and you've copied other people's code and want to know how much you have to change it before you can release it? If yes, then in principle no amount of changing will be sufficient, since it's conceptually a derivative work. In practice, if you can argue with a straight face that it's independently derived code, then you're safe.</IANAL>

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Hardwired crypto certificate FAIL bricks Juniper router kit

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: FAIL everywhere

"This is not unique to the IT industry."

Filed under "When accountants rule the world and profit is the only metric that matters..."

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Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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I suspect we'd get more jobs from £35m if we spent it paying people to dig holes and fill them in again. Or just paying them to fill in the handily pre-created holes in the roads - allowing us to credibly stage GTA: Race to the Bottom.

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Judge throws out lawsuit lobbed at Facebook for using kids' pics in targeted ads

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Presumably some people at Facebook are at least smart enough

So what happens when a minor signs up, in violation of Facebook's T&C, and Facebook then exploits their image?

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Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Thief

How about the story? Is the narrative any good?

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Inmarsat: Doppler effect helped 'locate' MH370

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Truly astonishing amount of information stored

@alannorthhants A really nice summary that should be in the article itself. Thanks.

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NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

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Joke

Re: Simple, logical and exactly what any computer criminal would do.

@James Micallef

It happened to me the other day. I turned her down because she wasn't a red head.

ARE YOU READING ME NSA? I WANT A FUCKING RED HEAD!

With apologies to Guardian readers for the misogyny and the sexist implication that all sysadmins are heterosexual adolescent virgins who are just gagging for it. But, y'know, there's no joke without that. And after reading the comments on this place, I'm pretty certain it's true.

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Keep your quinoa, hipsters: Boffins back healthy slabs of choc

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: What chocolate?

Tesco's "Plain Chocolate contains Cocoa solids 40% minimum." Not that I happened to have a bar handy, you understand.

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: “faggot” and “bitch” @TheBigYin

Abort. Retry? Fail!

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: ISIS Security

Let's hope the queen doesn't pop her clogs in the next three years, too. ;)

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit ?

@garden-snail Seconded. And if the hardware is broken, linux will pin down the problem pretty quickly. It's a really good tool for hacking around.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: gawk

In this context, gawk was being used as substitute for vgrep. But they sed nothing and they didn't finger(1).

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Don't stare: SHRUNKEN Mercury lost 7km, but only 'cos it's COOLING

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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They picked a bad day to announce it. #BICEP2

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O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Friday is Pi Day

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Coat

This is why we keep trying to ban leap seconds. It starts with a leap second here and a leap second there, and before you know it we're having leaps days every four years and then someone decides to insert two whole leap months.

Mine's the one with IERS Bulletin C in the pocket, thanks.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Boffin

Pretty amazing about never being 6ft away from pliers...

They're a leading dark matter candidate.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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You've made me renew my subscription.

I think we need a regular listyrical feature - nails should be coming into season soon. And nails mean nail guns!

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Slash tuition fees for STEM students, biz boss body begs UK.gov

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Open source or closed source funding?

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is demanding that the government take action on the skills shortage in tech and engineering, proposing lower tuition fees for courses and new training for existing workers.

Yes, we can fund training from government spending, if you like, boys. (And I bet they are boys.) But in that case, you and your corporations will have to pay higher taxes. Deal?

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Twittapocalypse! Twitter implodes, locked out tweeps around the world

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Trollface

"Back to work...Twitter has got off its knees..."

That, sir, is trolling of the highest order. Kudos.

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Boffins build bendy screen using LEDs just THREE atoms thick

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Headmaster

"No. It makes them very short 3D objects..."

No, it makes them four dimensional as they begin and an end at a point in time. There's also an outside chance they have more dimensions; it depends which God TOE you believe in.

Alternatively, you could accept that for all intents and purposes a couple of atoms thick counts as two dimensional.

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'Hacked docs' prove MtGox has 1 MILLION Bitcoins, claim blog-snatchers

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: "Satoshi Nakamoto" = "Free Lunch"?

If you break the metaphor, you're paying for it.

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X marks the... They SAID there was a mystery planet there – NASA

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: A-Ha!

Define "medium". SGR A* is about 6 order of magnitudes more massive than the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit. That would make "medium" ~3000M.

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: "electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals"

Innovative hackers will root Smart Meters and write software that does this for you. It will become widespread. There will be arrests and prosecutions but the numbers of users doing it will keep growing because it's easy and it saves money. Eventually, it will become so pervasive that it's legalised and regulated.

I'm not sure whether multiple suppliers could survive in that environment so perhaps the market would collapse consolidate into one. Perhaps we'd buy from power stations and wind farms directly, with a fee going to the network (where the "network" is one of the old suppliers).

That's optimistic. The transition would be painful. The solution would not be a utopia. But it's not implausible.

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FCA drafts new rules to protect crowdfunders' lenders

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Where?

They could probably stop them taking money from UK customers (by prohibiting UK regulated financial institutions transferring money to them).

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

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Re: Only if...

I'm sure you could wire up a mobile phone doing voice recognition to aMfM and it'd make as much sense as anybody.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Flame

And where do I click to register my disinterest? Never has the tombstone icon been more sorely missed.

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Blimey! ANOTHER Bitcoin bleed brouhaha

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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IT Angle

Re: poor security

I'm a sceptic; however I concur this is poor coding, rather than an inherent flaw in bitcoin. But is the real "inherent flaw" the type of cowboy developer bitcoin attracts?

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Or . . .

Basically, we're saying you need to control for people taking the piss. (I guess you ask a couple of non-software related questions and removed anyone who gets them wrong; e.g. Who is the President of the United States: (a) Bugs Bunny, (b) Howard Stern, etc...)

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Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Coat

You pleb!

And that sound you can hear is me back-pedalling rapidly.

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Boffins say dark matter found with X-ray

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Paranoia

That's a semi-rational position; cf the Singularity or Tipler's take on the Omega point. And if we're running inside a simulation, then the system might have "bugs" At which point you become a crackpot looking for miracles and the supernatural.

But how you get to all that from these papers, I'm not sure. I read the first one a while back, and it's coquettish but will probably turn out to be misunderstood astrophysical process. :(

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PayPal row heats up as eBay chair calls Icahn claims 'false and misleading'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Can we stop calling him an activist investor?

GreaseMonkey will do the job just fine

Proving that even a GreaseMonkey is superior to an activist investor.

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OpenID Foundation launches XML-free ID handler

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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If I had a hammer....

Have you ever had to use an XML parsing library? Most schemas use attributes and that makes processing and storing the data horrendous. And even if your schema doesn't, you have to put in place code to handle and reject them; ditto processing instructions. Processing XML robustly produces a lot of boiler plate and a lot of overhead for simple message passing.

Most message passing is best done with key-value pairs. However there is always the odd value that needs more structure than plain text and so, before long, you end up like like HTML, where every value needs a custom processor.

JSON is in the sweet spot: it offers enough flexibility that there shouldn't be an explosion of custom parsers, without offering features that are overkill for message passing (if great for representing complicated documents).

@see YAML

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

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Black Helicopters

As if, in the middle of a crisis, you waste several hours making your document look as first rate as possible, just in case it's leaked.

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Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

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Re: Character assassination doesn't change anything

Manning is a hero. But I'm sure she could have found another way to get it out.

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