* Posts by ChrisBedford

164 posts • joined 27 Feb 2012

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

ChrisBedford

Re: Maybe

A country [Americans] mostly populated by the descendants of people 'fleeing religious persecution'

Religious persecution? Really? So starvation, wanderlust, adventure, or anything like that played no significant part in the population of the country?

Seriously, dude, that's like saying Australia is "mostly" populated by ex-cons.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Most of the creationists I know also believe in evolution!

Or maybe they just prattle on with no idea of what the theory actually is.

I think that's the more accurate assessment. Evolution is probably the least widely understood theory amongst the general public. Lots of people have the idea mutations happen to individual specimens, but that is probably only the grossest mistake. The "I was not descended from an ape" argument probably sums it all up quite well.

I think more people have a better idea of Relativity than they do of Darwinian evolution.

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ChrisBedford

Re: frog becoming a giraffe - is it just me?

...or does anyone else find this incoherent?

[...]basically I accept the possibility of time dilation with an expanding universe, where some of the universe has experienced illions or billions of yaers of time while the Earth has not despite all being made at the same time. I cannot accept that God made light of a supernova only as light from that where the nova did not occur, if we see it then it happened.

I re-read it a few times but couldn't make head or tail of it. Not just this but pretty much the whole post just reads as a confused rant to me.

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Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

ChrisBedford

They seem to have no idea wtf they are doing

I think it's more like the person who wrote the article had no idea wtf they [the hackers] were doing, and wrote a dumbed-down version of the story as s/he understood it. Resulting in making the whole thing incomprehensible, but it's hardly the first news article I've read that is guilty of that.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Push The Button To Exit

What I'm wondering is how they safeguard against someone sneaking in through these doors DURING a fire, hiding

Huh? With a human guard of some type stationed at said door?

Security sections aren't all complete idiots. I know the average rent-a-cop walking around with an ill-fitting uniform is a minimum-wage, minimum-IQ drone, but any company worth anything meaningful has somebody with a bit of brains in charge of the loss control department.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Push The Button To Exit

rotating doors with single person sized vestibules that would turn just enough to allow one person through

Unbelievably annoying to try getting through this type of door (let's just call it what it is: a turnstile) with anything larger than a Tupperware lunchbox in your hand. Totally forget a substantial toolbox. Cue up the just as annoying bureaucratic process of getting clearance to bypass the turnstile and use the large (fire escape) door, after security has overridden the alarm, blah blah blah yawn...

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

ChrisBedford

Re: Witless idiots

I think the problem is risk avoidance.

It's called an SEP* field. Can be driven by a single torch battery for up to 2 years.

*HHGG

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ChrisBedford

Quite how the screen *definitely* had a green light and *definitely* had a "C:\" prompt is still a mystery 20 years later!!

No mystery. Users say yes if they think that's the 'right' answer.

Answer to that one is never to put words in their mouths, or ideas in their heads. Instead of 'can you see a green light' ask 'what colour light can you see'. Make *them* describe things to *you*.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Always kill switch it?

You haven't used Windows for a while, have you? It's far more resilient to power interruptions now

Exactly, and if the user can't find the 'Power' button, how in the came of anything you hold dear is anyone going to talk her through opening Task Manager, let alone finding the rogue application and shutting it down?

Puh-lease.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Can you hold down the power button

US car companies. Who like to play the Microsoft UI game with their controls...

Mercedes, anyone? Although I suppose that's a US-owned company now so they caught the same fever. Where's the parking brake? Over there? Oh, I see. And to release it? Somewhere else? OK. Where the hell do I select the gears? Oh, on a stalk. Yeah, makes perfect sense, not. The last time I was involved in a MB rental I had to go back inside and find someone who could come out an explain the controls. And even he - a professional driver with Avis - couldn't explain everything correctly.

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Brexit? We have heard of this, says Dixons Carphone CEO

ChrisBedford

Re: Hang on. ...

We've not left yet...

Yeh but the point is, the fear-mongering Remainers spent as much time howling about a post-poll economic crash (as well as all manner of other bogeymen, including but not limited to riots in the streets, meltdown of all nuclear power stations, and earthquakes) as a post-Brexit crash.

But apart from a small currency correction, which *HELPED* Britain's exports and from which the country is now rapidly recovering, NOTHING HAPPENED.

Strewth, as of this writing every comment here that deals with Brexit is uniformly negative about the country's economic chances following actual exit. Come on, do you think Germany and France are going to say no, we'll stop selling motorcars to Britain if you want favourable tax rates? I can't believe you support the concept of a "parliament" of smarmy underworked, overfed EMPs chauffered around in Mercedes Benzes, dreaming up 32-page documents that define what a banana can or can't look like, and overriding decisions by the High Court.

PS *NOT* a Farage supporter, he's the smarmiest twat of them all. In fact I'm quite surprised he gets even gets it.

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Crashing PC sales don't stop HP Inc releasing two new ones

ChrisBedford

Re: As long as

I meant Windows 7 or maybe 8.1

7 goes out of support in less than 4 years

8 has that horrible "charms" bar that pops up every time you get near the right-hand side, and other inexplicable popups when you are scrolling around

10 with Classicshell FTW. Huge improvement on 8/8.1, I don't know what your objection is (apart from the still-kludgey mishmash of Control Panel / PC Settings screens, but 8 has that too. Worse.)

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Surge pricing? How about surge fines: Pennsylvania orders Uber to cough up $11.4m

ChrisBedford

Re: Bootnote

until Trump gets voted into office - then the whole country will just be in one almighty state

...of chaos. God help us all if he does get elected.

Slightly off topic here

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ChrisBedford

@ Dan 1980: TL;DR

I don't think anyone is saying or even implying that using Uber makes it legal.

But unquestionably, using Uber *does* send a message to the relevant Administration that it is a service that the citizens want.

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BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail

ChrisBedford

Re: I don't understand why people are running ad-signs on Windows

Agreed, especially when I see the awful video performance of computers that should handle Windows at least "OK". A local national chain pharmacy shows some of those "Just for Laughs" candid camera prank videos in amongst the ads, and the jerk-jerk-jerkiness is sometimes too painful to watch. Certain a stripped-down Linux with the right drivers would handle it much better.

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False Northern Lights alert issued to entire UK because of a lawnmower

ChrisBedford

Unfortunately the University doesn't know what an aurora is

Unfortunately, auroras (Northern Lights) aren’t the only thing

...mmm only there's an identical, though weaker, effect over the Southern polar region known as Aurora Australis so you can't call auroras "Northern" lights can you.

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ChrisBedford
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Well...

Nearly and auroraful mistake

Not nearly as auroraful as that joke.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Intermittent interruptions...

spark transmitter cleverly disguised as a Weedeater

Many years ago I heard a report (may be apocryphal) of a LAN that worked only in short bursts, which turned out to have been affected by the pulse of an electric fence. Can't imagine who would be so dim as to run a LAN cable (and we are talking RG58, here) so close to the HT line of an electric fence, but I guess... early days + ignorance = dimness...?

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ChrisBedford

Re: Lawnmower man

The thing that disturbed me the most was how long it took to find out that it was the cleaner who was disrupting their services

Umm yeah except that is a reference to one of the hoarier urban legends.

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'Flying Bum's' first flight was a gas, gas, gas

ChrisBedford

It even beats the Antonov AN-225's 84 metres, but the Airlander's helium-based lift is only 10 tonnes (the Antonov is good for about 250 tonnes)

I'll bet it also falls a fair way short of the AN-225's top speed of 520+ mph.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Hindenburg

This is heavier than air

No it's not! No wings or other lifting power. Why would the body need to be so enormous if it was HTA?

In any event, the statement was "largest aircraft" not largest "lighter than aircraft". And the Hindenberg was indeed 245 m long, so the flying bum is a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g way short of the largest or longest aircraft ever made.

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

ChrisBedford

Re: quality..

I mean who would ... how? why?

I have long since maintained there is no snob like a self-styled audiophile, but the stringing together of so many meaningless buzzwords in one short review has to take some sort of prize.

People who can talk like this aren't listening to the music, they are listening to the sound equipment. You have to pity them, really. SEVENTY NINE DOLLARS for a small handful of little plastic stick-on feet that you can get at your local Builders' Mart for probably $3... I guess if you are forking out that kind of cash you'd better expect that "Improvements in soundstage dimensionality and image clarity" would be "readily apparent", as and as for the removal of "harmonic smearing", ooh well now.

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

ChrisBedford

Re: Quick Release or build it like it is in my head

The steering wheel could have a unique serial number that hardware in the steering column could detect

Or in other words, exactly like the immobiliser chip in the key currently works? I have to point out, a key is a lot more convenient to carry in your pocket than a steering wheel.

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Nobody expects... a surprise haemorrhoid operation

ChrisBedford
FAIL

Re: Alls well that ends well

Alls well that ends well

Apostrophe Sheriff here.

Should be "All'swell that end'swell"

all's well yes, but

end's well <-- where did you get this from? Or was this a joke i didn't get.

Seriously, if you are going to appoint yourself the apostrophe sheriff surely you should get your facts straight. I end, you end, he ends; we end, you end, they end. Straight verb conjugation, which has never taken an apostrophe and only now gets one in "Grocer's English".

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

ChrisBedford

Re: Eh? What?

Ford, best known for playing CSO Jack Stanfield in the 2006 cyber-thriller Firewall...

Really?

My reaction exactly. Best known by whom... that was one of the more mediocre films he made. I think "Best known" for playing - well, Han Solo in the 1979 sf-thriller Star Wars perhaps...?

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ChrisBedford

Re: Eh? What?

Apparently your attention span is comparable to that of the guy who was operating the door, because if you had bothered reading the next paragraph, you would have read...:

"The door was remotely operated by another person..."

- also, there's no mention of compensation. This is a criminal case, not a civil one.

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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

ChrisBedford

Re: Mew Sick Television is old hat, we use the Internet to watch cats throwing up now...

> MTV wasn't an entire waste... they gave us Beavis and Butthead.

> Er... hmm... nevermind.

'The Maxx', 'Drawn Together'...

And who can forget "Pimp My Ride"... erm... well yeah, OK

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ChrisBedford

Street corners and cheap cider when I were a lad...

Aye well of course we 'ad it rough. We 'ad to get oop at 4 int' mornin', lick road clean wit tongue...

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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

ChrisBedford

And what's wrong with putting a spoon on the saucer?

Indeed, I was wondering the same thing. If you don't put it on the saucer where do you put it? On the table, where it leaves a milky tea-stain? Seems daft to me.

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ChrisBedford

What weird accent do you speak that gone rhymes with fawn and pawn

Hmm, possibly some affected upper-crust one? There is a memorable exchange in one of the G&S operettas (Pirates?) where "orphan" and "often" are pronounced the same. And and didn't the two Ronnies (?) lose a French "horn" that was "gorn"?

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ChrisBedford

Re: “tea before milk”.

This has divided my wife and I for a considerable time

Yes well there's something that shouldn't divide *anyone*. This has divided my wife and ME, please.

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Would YOU start a fire? TRAPPED in a new-build server farm

ChrisBedford
Pint

Re: Done the reverse before

a pat on the back and a full night of overtime

You sneaky rat. I'd have done the same ;)

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ChrisBedford

threw a swivel chair through the larger of the windows

Nowadays, of course, said plate glass would be bulletproof (or at least chairproof) so at best you are going to cause a few small cracks...

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ChrisBedford

Re: Design flaw

simple push to exit button would be more than sufficient

Indeed, and when carrying notebook, toolbox, other toolbox, miscellaneous flyleads, and sundry hardware having to fumble around with a swipe card can be, umm, the last thing you need.

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ChrisBedford
FAIL

Re: stern words warranted

starts beeping if you havent moved for over 60 seconds

There would be a constant chorus of beeps if you implemented this at any given South African government office

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ChrisBedford

Re: sounds like the site operator couldhave been fined really

sounds more like some 1800's factory not a data centre

Huhm or some 20-teens sweatshop in China or Bangladesh or the Philippines. Or South Africa.

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Geek's Guide to Britain – now a book. Permission to geek out granted

ChrisBedford

Re: You had me up to...

I thought about Sky, but there is even MORE advertising as WELL as a subscription

If Sky is anything like the satellite provider in South Africa, the majority of its ads are *for* the provider, and go on for two minutes at a time.

Never seen the point of advertising to customers you already have. Preaching to the choir, isn't it?

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The least stressful job in the US? Information security analyst, duh

ChrisBedford

Re: reporter worst job, not so much

never done the job. I have, and while thoroughly stressed at certain times, enjoyed it very much

Unclear which job you are talking about, reporter or soldier, but I'll assume reporter.

Also it's important to note that stress and enjoyment are not related. Otherwise there would be no soldiers and everyone would be queueing up to be a - what was that one again? Information security analyst, whatever that is. Some poeple love being stressed, others fall to pieces. Some love the quiet life, others go spare. It's all about the individual...

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

ChrisBedford

Re: @ac

"IF they had made the GUI like apple or android or ???

y'know small icons, with a pretty picture behind it, make a 'floating picture' one that can be re-sized, with the small icons round it????

then it would have 'taken off'...."

Uh, then it would have looked like Android or IOS and it wouldn't have been unique. Nowadays, if you see a smartphone screen you have to look for (small) telltales to know what type of phone you are holding in your hand so you can know how to proceed. The big differentiator with WP was that it didn't look like anything elese.

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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

ChrisBedford

Re: Addendum

"For me, at least, that first PDF copy seems to be corrupted - many of the pages from #3 onwards are blank."

In fact the first page is blank, followed by the two frontispiece photos on 2 and 3, and then blanks on every page from 4 onwards.

I found a couple of other sources of PDF versions of this book, some more phishing-oriented than others ;-). Eventually I had to use usenet, which turned up a page-image version, not text. Not great, but readable.

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

ChrisBedford

Re: Read it till this point

"Clearly, whoever wrote the AI which looked for "symmetry first" has failed to do the most basic research in his field."

Yes well maybe that line was shortened for simplicity. Acutely assymmetrical faces are (much) creepier than the perfectly symmetrical (e.g. Charles Laughton's Quasimodo) so the algorithm is *probably* looking for *near* symmetry. I'm guessing someone just didn't feel like explaining all the detail - and he obviously didn't need to, the commentards have certainly taken care of that chore.

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Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

ChrisBedford

Re: Also, web sites don't help

"the front page doesn't have a "downloads" link and the Support link on the front page takes you to a page of FAQs, one of which might say something along the lines of "Where do I find updated Drivers" which will take you to a link that says "Find your product" which will take you to a link that says "Support" that takes you back to the FAQs"

Oh thank God I thought it was just me. There have been times I have wanted to scream with frustration at websites like this. Sometimes in desperation I just click links at random and find the download I am looking for under a totally unlikely heading like "troubleshooting" or worse.

More than once I have ended up throwing away the widget in question and buying one from a competitor.

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Guilty! Trump delivers orange justice to Amazon

ChrisBedford

Re: Dump! Dump! Dump!

"He is now the presumed Republican candidate. And this just scares the holy crap out of me"

I wouldn't be too concerned. As I understand it, there is a significant section of the population that is not a member of either party, leaving a huge, so far untested, vote available to dump him on his orange arse. A 'swing vote', I guess that's called.

Add to that the number of Republicans who haven't been turning out at the primaries or caucuses because they figured the conclusion was foregone, and I'm calling November in favour of the Democrat who wins that party's nomination. Trump is too far off to the right to get a majority of the population behind him - at least I hope to God that's so, because, as bad as he would be for America it would be that much worse for the rest of the world.

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NZ hotel bans cyclists' Lycra-clad loins

ChrisBedford

Well that was an incredibly rambling comment

"[...]enough of them learned (the hard way) that Mrs WolfFan has been known to be in that area, accompanied by Redrum the Attack Chiuhua and his BFF, Maragret Hilda the wolf[...]"

(and so on). Sorry, dozed off. Umm, your point was...?

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This headline will, in part, cost pepper-spraying University of California, Davis $175k

ChrisBedford

"cop [...] repeatedly told the students that they could either let the cops go or be sprayed"

Doesn't matter. (a) the armed side of a confrontation can't use excessive force against the unarmed side, and (b) don't write cheques you can't honour.

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ChrisBedford

Re: While you are spewing cash...

"The original source of Pike pepper-spraying 'activists' was largely fading into the background before this latest round of misbegotten thinking was aired"

Barbara Streisand Effect, all over again. I wonder how many times someone has to try this before it becomes a "known thing" that people try to avoid?

Given the average intellect on teh interwebs, I'm guessing it will never happen...

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Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

ChrisBedford

Re: Any news on laptop resolutions?

There is a big problem that major vendors, such as Dell, Lenovo and HP will announce systems (laptops/desktops/etc.) who's **WHOSE ;) spec sheet outline the availability of a range of supported CPU's, Screen resolutions, Memory, HDD/SSD, built in 3g, OS's etc. yet when you come to purchase they will only sell you "this months" configurations for your country

Exactly. Which is why I started fuming when I read this article. I am currently trying to find a halfway decent notebook PC for one of my clients - who typically buy between 6 and 10 new machines a year - and every time I have to go through a process of contacting 3 distributors to see who has stock of what g*d-awful models this week. **EVERY TIME**. If I'm really lucky one of them will have something halfway to acceptable somwhere in the country, then I'll have to wait two days (or three if I order after 3:00 pm) for the thing to arrive.

And the model: will have a VGA port, a 1366x768 15.6" screen, a 5,400 rpm hard drive, and a DVD. I have no idea where all these high-spec ultra-high-res machines are that the article talks of, but unless you are talking Apple prices we aren't really seeing them.

See Alistair Dabb's article elsewhere on El Reg for "what not to look out for in 2016" - this article is basically exactly that. Stuff we won't see this year, irrespective of Dell's marketing department's opinion.

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Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

ChrisBedford

Re: They did their dash with me

Because things like YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs and Google Voice have been so transient? There are plenty of Google Services that have suck around.

YouTube is only a Google service because The Evil Empire bought it out as a going concern - it was highly successful long before Google got involved. Also note they have carefully not altered the branding in any way...

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

ChrisBedford

Re: Running 24/7

operators would 'speed up' disk swaps by opening the enclosure before the disk had stopped spinning and use their hand to stop the disk.

Classic design flaw. The creators of the machine couldn't conceive of anyone being so stupid, so they didn't integrate some sort of interlock to prevent this kind of abuse, but anyone who designs something like this today deserves a solid smack to the side of the head. And that includes USB hard drives that can be (and often are) unplugged before the last write is complete.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Old IT joke

Turns out, this vendor (not mentioning any names: Compaq) distributes ALL their power supplies the same way, with the voltage switch set to 110v regardless of destination country. They forgot to tell us about it, didn't have any warning labels on it, so it took two techs to kill two supplies.

Which is presumably why, decades later, power supplies tend to be universal now. Eventuallly the feedback got through to the factories? (I think you'll find "used to distribute" would be more accurate)

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