* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

2559 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

The case for ethical ad-blocking

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: When is ad-blocking ethical?

When the advertising industry starts considering ethics in it's offerings I might allow that there's room for a discussion of the ethics of ad-blocking.

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NASA saves Kepler space 'scope by turning it off and on again

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I don't believe it

Planets drifting through the interstellar void would be completely undetectable with current technology, surely?

Not if they drift in front of a star that's a long way off. (OK, everything in space is a long way off, but you know what I mean)

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

Phil O'Sophical
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Bit pointless, though

Even if he got Norway to agree, what's to stop "someone" phoning a bomb threat in to the airline while he's somewhere over the Baltic, resulting in a diversion of his plane to the nearest airport in, say, Sweden or Finland?

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'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Excuses.

two competent researchers assessed the system, one of them reported what he found to us and got a good bounty,

The other slurped internal identities and passwords and sold them for more than we offered as a bounty.

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Utah declares 'war on smut'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Sex Education

pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms

Maybe they should try vaccination?

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Netflix's $1.81 billion Q1 disappoints markets

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Huge Bandwidth Hog

all of the BBC content which the license suposedly covers is included in the Sky subscription

None of the BBC content is included in the Sky subscritpion, that would violate the terms of the BBC charter which forbids it to charge UK viewers for content.

The BBC broadcasts free-to-air from a satellite that's in the same place in orbit as the ones used by Sky, so a Sky receiver can pick them up. So can any subscription-free digital satellite receiver.

The Sky programme guide carries info on BBC programmes for convenience, that's part of a separate deal between the BBC and Sky.

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I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Read it till this point

"ad naseum" - what kind of app is that?

Who nose.

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Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon

Phil O'Sophical
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reuse?

SpaceX has its autonomous recovery barge I Still Love You But I Think We Should See Other People on standby

I'm not sure I'd plan on reusing anything that's been marked by 1000 angry or scared cats, although I guess Elon Musk would definitely count as nominative determinism.

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

Phil O'Sophical
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Facepalm

Re: I remember some years ago..

correct ladder for each situation

Like this one:

http://www.highfield.co.uk/x/i/hoh/health-safety/equipmemt/ladder7.jpg

The others at http://www.highfield.co.uk/house-of-horrors/health-safety/index.php are worrth viewing as well...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: More than reported here?

Is it really OK to say "he brought it upon himself"?

Of course not, but neither is it OK to say "someone has to pay". Sometimes all you can do is recognise that processes need to change in the future to stop it happening again.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Phil O'Sophical
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If someone draws a cartoon featuring pastafarianst icons, is that offensive?

I suppose those meatballs might bother a vegetarian pastafarian. Is there a tofu sect?

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Phil O'Sophical
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@ wolfetone Re: Can't We All Just Get A Long?

I think you are confusing Religion with Faith,

I have no trouble getting along with people who have a particular faith in a deity or otherwise, even when I don't share it (as long as they don't try to stuff it down my throat).

I have no time whatsoever for organized religion, which is an abuse of faith by parasites interested only in their own self-satisfaction.

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Phil O'Sophical
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it's hardly surprising that Cavanaugh has a poor grasp on the key texts, when he's being denied access to study those texts!

The Pastafarian Reformation is nigh...

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

Phil O'Sophical
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Any parent should be aware of keeping important stuff out of a three-year-old's reach.

Any parent should know that a three-year-old's rreach is much bigger than you'd think...

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Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 198,000

But surely the appeal of a Tesla is that its

- Exclusive

- Expensive

Isn't Musk shooting himself in the foot if he's planning on selling 500,000 cheap battery cars a year? It's like selling a $50 iPhone (through Amazon), who is the market?

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You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Phil O'Sophical
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I'd think that filters fitted in front of all openings in the casing (and in front of the fans) should normally do the trick.

Problem is that in many (most?) PCs the fans are mounted to suck air out of the case, so the entry is via all the little cracks around CD drives, memory card slots, etc. Filtering input air there is almost impossible. I think you'd need to have a fan that pulled air into the box through an easily-changed filter, to have much hope of success.

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Microsoft's bigoted teen bot flirts with illegali-Tay in brief comeback

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "intent that conflicts with our principles and values."

Our official purchasing channel is locked into a Dell configurator that won't let you customize the build beyond a choice of i5 or i7, 8Gb or 16Gb and a SFF or nano case

Ah, that's a bit different. In work we have the same kind of lock-in with Lenovo. In my case I got the shiny new W7 system with all the crap, and the first thing I did was reformat & install the Unix that I needed. The W7 license now lives in a virtualbox instance. It's a PITA, but we can't really lay the blame on Dell or Lenovo, it's what our in-house IT department negotiated (well, maybe 'negotiated' is giving them too much credit, but...)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "intent that conflicts with our principles and values."

I've just lost another layer of follicles trying to order a PC from Dell without all the Windows 8, Office trial versions, trial anti-virus, crapware and sticky labels.

Where are you? I just bought a PC from Dell, fully-configurable meant just that. No trial versions, no sticky labels, just tick/untick the relevant boxes. Maybe it's different here in Europe?

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'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Maybe the lazy in us expects...

And when a vulnerability is found in one of them, you update all the local copies on all the machines you have ever used it on?

Well, good practice would suggest that you pull one copy from outside to an internal location, test/verify it, and let the rest of your development folks pull a known good copy from there. Any fixes then get the same treatment.

Within a coupe of seconds?

I would hope not, even a cursory security analysis will take at least a few minutes. Why would you need it it seconds anyway?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Are these dynamic dependencies really a good idea?

Point taken, but that's what version numbers are for.

That's not the same thing. If you develop against, say, v0.3 and download a copy of that to your development environment, then anyone can put any changes, good or bad, into v0.4 and it wont affect you. You will always have your known trusted copy of v0.3 which you have tested.

The problem here seems to be that at build time your environment goes off to search for the dependencies. It doesn't matter if you ask explicitly for "v0.3" or just for "latest version", if it isn't there, you're hosed. Even if it is there, can you trust it? Say your build environemnt pulls over v0.3 as you expect,. but that v0.3 has been hacked by a miscreant and isn't the same code you tested. Too many people take the attitude "don't be silly, why would anyone do that', but the simple fact is that they do do that, and it creates security holes.

Dynamic dependencies like this are a security nightmare.

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iPad bricked by iOS 9.3? Don't worry, we'll get through this together

Phil O'Sophical
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Maybe Apple should introduce a frogged iPad?

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Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

Phil O'Sophical
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Found most of a pack of bourbon biscuits and a custard cream wedged in the print head, as well as various soft drinks that had been dumped into it. She claims her children were never let near it.

I'll bet they were the sort of kids who fed matchbox cars through the flap on the VHS recorder "garage" as well. Amazing how many cars you can get in before one hits something essential. Like the spinning video heads...

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EU ministers to demand more data access after Brussels attacks

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: But surely...

It's not more Info they need, it's more Cops!!!

Sack half the politicians and civil servants in Brussels/Strasbourg and use the money to hire cops. It would help much more, but eurocrats are as likely to vote for that as turkeys are to vote for Christmas.

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Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The first mistake

When I saw the title I'd assumed that they hadn't admitted it was a 'bot, and had found it was getting "groomed" by old pervs. Can't win either way, I suppose.

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French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: This hard on the news that students are protesting...

All of these impose certain rights and obligations on both parties, which rights and obligations are known so their relative merits can be judged and their cost can be fairly accurately estimated and budgeted for since day zero.

That's sound theory, but in practice market success is difficult to predict, so that any such budget needs to allow for the potential costs and risks of eventual failure, to make sure that one failed product doesn't bring the whole company down. In a country with rigid, old-fashioned labour laws (like France) such costs tend to be much higher than in more flexible countries (like the UK or Ireland).Fixed-term contracts for aren't going to interest people looking for a career, they do tend to send the message "we don't expect this to last", can be a self-fulfilling approach.

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Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Well I gave old Boltar an upvote

It wouldn't add much to the incovenience to move bag checks there.

It wouldn't add anything to the protection, either. The next bombs would just be in the queue outside waiting to get into the airport through the checks.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: getting close to home

Really makes you think...

Think what, that you'd be far more likely to die in a car accident during that 2 hour drive than to be killed by a bomb? Because that's the reality.

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Phil O'Sophical
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I could accept increased levels of physical searches on or near transportation hubs if it meant less chance of being killed.

Which it clearly doesn't. Look at all the security theatre in airports already, so what did the terrorists do? They put the bombs in an area where people are queuing before they got to the security check...

They could strip you naked before allowing you out of your front door and this sort of attack would still happen. You can't prevent this sort of attack by repressive security, it can only be stopped (or, at best, limited) by the people inside the communities where these criminals hide deciding that they've had enough, and throwing them out or informing on them. That, unfortunately, will take time.

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True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Haters gonna hate

Hvaing recently attempted to setup a Debian Jessie system that was inflicted with systemd (which I'd never used before) my biggest gripe isn't what it does, but that there no fscking way to find out what it thinks it's doing and how to change it. Crap docs, inconsistent command lines, lousy logging. It should not take an hour of Googling to figure out how to debug a Samba installation.

Even Googling for systemd help is dangerous, since most of the solutions will be posted by people who've simply poked around until they got something which seems to work. They then write a nice "howto" blog which explains how you "only" have to hack 13 system files to achieve your aim, after which a dozen other things are borked after the next reboot. If you're lucky you'll eventually find the right way to do it, which is likely to be one simple change in a file you've never heard of and which has no manpage. If you're really, really, lucky you'll then be able to untangle all the faulty changes and get back to something like your initial starting point.

When the best solution the web can offer to NFS startup dependency hell is to add "sleep 30" before looking for rpcbind, you know your system startup is in a bad way. And I thought Solaris SMF was bad...

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Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Phil O'Sophical
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Facepalm

Re: Ads suck

True. A month ago I bought a new keyboard for my wife's laptop.I ordered a very precise spare part for that laptop from Aliexpress.

Now any time I go to their website I am bombarded with ads for laptop keyboards of every make and design. "Based on your shopping history you might be interested in these".

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Bloody Danes top world happiness league

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Of course the Danes are happy

Sandy Toksvig too.

That's what you get for spending too much time on the beach.

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UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

Phil O'Sophical
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It's early days yet, the House of Lords has a pretty good record on pushing back on such things. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next stages, and if Laybour/LibDem peers are as shy as their Commons counterparts.

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Hey Windows 10, weren't you supposed to help PC sales?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Hmmm, but I thought ...

I have seen comments from Microsoft that indicate Windows 10 will actually work faster than the other Os' from MIcrosft and will therfore invigorate an older PC.

Pewrhaps because W10 sends all your data into "the cloud" where it can be pilfer^H^H^H^H^H^Hprocessed faster?

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Cisco says CLI becoming interface of last resort

Phil O'Sophical
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And the one that's secure...

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HPE's CloudLine gains some weight – blows up from 72TB to 640TB

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 640TB?

African or European?

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Knackered Euro server turns Panasonic smart TVs into dumb TVs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Not very smart

It's why the IoT is doomed to fail, at least as a domestic idea. Everything needs to be connected to some remote server, and even if the servers work they'll be decommissioned in < 5 years as the devices they serve are declared obsolete (even when they're still in use) and replaced with "new improved" ones. People won't tolerate being asked to replace a TV every few years, and will soon get fed up even with replacing gadgets. One new chinese Android stick every 5 years is one thing, but when it's a TV this year, remote next year, two TV sticks the year after, set-top box every 3 years, etc. it all adds up to "I've had enough of this crap".

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Microsoft joins Eclipse Foundation. Odd thing for a competitor to do

Phil O'Sophical
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Trollface

Wait for the offer you can't refuse...

How long until Eclipse on Windows starts offering to "upgrade" you to .NET ? Embrace, extend, extinguish...

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Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 2 solutions to your gripes.

Software installation is insane. Why is it still so hard?

Because it's designed by developers who can't get their head around the idea that 95% of customers don't need to customize every parameter and so there's no need to offer a knob for each one. Pick a default and maybe 2 or 3 useful alternatives, and write a whitepaper that explains how to change the intricate detail for the 2% who really care.

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French parliament votes to jail tech execs who refuse to decrypt data

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I see a new C-job opportunity

Given French unemployment numbers, they could probably offer such positions at minimum wage and still get takers...

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Charging...

For now, focus on the road journeys the electric vehicle *can* realistically address. As well as the vehicles doing tens of thousands of miles a year, there are many doing a few thousand miles a year,.

This is the classic spurious argument, assuming that if 90% of journeys can be done by electric cars, then 90% of cars can be electric. It's false.

My daily commute is 50km round trip, with a need fot heating in winter and sometimes AC in summer. My wife's is something similar. My car is garaged at night right beside the main electricity distribution board. I could indeed use an electric vehicle for 90% of my journeys. Except that once or twice a month I have a 250km round trip to an airport, maybe twice a year a 600-100km holiday trip, and usually one 3000km+ longer trip.

The only practical approach for us would be two cars, one electric for the short trips, but not only would that only work for one of us, my wife is quite attached to her sporty two-seater and isn't likely to react well that I replace it with a Leaf or similar.

Clearer now?

It's been perfectly clear for a long time, thanks.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Fossil religion?

But at least they didn't leave the streets ankle-deep in shit.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Hot swapping

"Just" requires standardisation as the main hurdle.

No, that's the easy bit.

All those swapped-out batteries have to be stored somewhere they can be charged, ready to be swapped back in again. Work out how many cars a typical petrol station refuels in a 24-hour period, and then calculate how much space and electrical power you'll need to store and charge that many batteries, while venting off the surplus heat so your charging station doesn't go up in flames like an apple charger.

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Phil O'Sophical
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less than $10 – a fifth of the price of gasoline

Only because gasoline for road use is taxed much more than electricty. At present.

a matter of how quickly you could get the energy into the car

Which is one place where flow-technology batteries might actually be useful. If recharging became simply a case of draining the used electrolyte and refilling with fresh, refuelling could be as quick and easy as it is today for gasoline vehicles. Small filling stations could be refilled by tanker using a similar system, larger ones with good grid access might have on-site electrolyte recharging facilities. It would be interesting to see numbers on fluid quantity versus range.

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No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I have a local library ...

I have a local library

Can you get it in your suitcase for an extended vacation?

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Greybeard monobrow baldies rejoice! Boffins comb out hairy genes

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dr Evil

I highly suggest you try it

Be careful...

http://www.amazon.com/Veet-Hair-Removal-Creme-200ml/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK

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Windows 10 claimed another point of desktop share in February

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Forced upgrades distort stats

clicking on a button where you don't read the details

That would be the button that says "click here to upgrade", where there is no button that says "No, thanks" ? Sure, if you know enough to realise that closing the window acts as "not now, nag me again later" you could argue that it's not forced, but without a "Just STFU and leave me alone" button it most certainly does seem like a forced upgrade to must of its victims.

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NASA funds new supersonic airliner research

Phil O'Sophical
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A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! ?

I'm not sure I want to be in a capsule belting along supersonically in an evacuated tunnel underground across seismic fault zones, thank you very much.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Now if there was a way to talk to people in far away places...

Supersonic does nothing to address the key constraint in air travel. To put it bluntly, the sky is full.

Other than immediately over airports like LHR the sky is pretty empty. The key constraint in air travel is the time it takes to get to the airport, park, faff around for an hour's checkin/bag drop delay and two hours security theatre, all for a 1 hour flight.

Supersonic transport is never going to be a replacement for 4-hour holiday flights, but for 10-18 hour business longhaul flights there's a definite market for something that can shave a day or two off a business trip.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Supersonic flight

I'm not convinced the bird will be any more a money-maker than its illustrious predecessor.

Operationally Concorde made money, it just couldn't recover its development costs because there were so few viable routes because of the boom. Fix that so that US West coast and Middle East are in range of Europe, and they could potentially sell many more. With 150 seats or so it could be comparable with current subsonic business class prices.

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Blind-sided?

Some of the subways in Nürnberg, Germany, are driverless.

As are some in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Turin, and other european cities.

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