* Posts by Petrea Mitchell

421 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

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Stop the music! Booby-trapped song carjacked vehicles – security prof

Petrea Mitchell
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Coming soon: Ring

With a little more technological advancement, it's only a matter of time until someone can create a DVD with a virus that haunts you for seven days...

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SciFi and fantasy titan David G. Hartwell passes, aged 74

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

Thanks for mentioning him. I didn't know Hartwell personally, but I know a number of people who did. The sf world has been flooded with tributes.

Unfortunately, I need to point out a typo: His widow's last name is Cramer, not Kramer.

And she's asking for donations in his name to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital so that it can get a mechanical respirator. Explanation why here: https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.cramer/posts/10153923650809853

And actual donation link here: http://www.ech.org/make-a-contribution.html

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Help! Handwriting to text on Android?

Petrea Mitchell

Thanks for the details-- I'll pass them along.

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Petrea Mitchell

Re: Help! Handwriting to text on Android?

"I am very disappointed with the build quality, and warranty service, to the point that I don't even consider Samsung products anymore."

Okay, that's definitely a warning flag. What exactly broke?

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Petrea Mitchell
Paris Hilton

Help! Handwriting to text on Android?

I have a family member who is eyeing the Galaxy Tab + S Pen for the following workflow:

1. Enter text via handwriting

2. Export said text to a PC (via Dropbox or somesuch would be okay) as text

3. Do final polishing in a traditional word processor

I've having a suprising amount of trouble locating a suitable app. There are a number of apps that mention handwriting recognition, but I've yet to find one that will export files in some obvious format like plaintext or RTF. Anyone know of a good one I'm overlooking?

Alternatively, is there some other device/software combination that would be better suited to this process?

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Why is there sound in space?

This was actually explained in the radio version of A New Hope-- the weapons system computers on the ships are generating the sounds to help the pilots and gunners visualize what's going on around them.

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Cat discovers GNOME desktop bug

Petrea Mitchell
Coat

If this bug-finding approach could be scaled up somehow...

...this could bring a new meaning to the phrase "tiger team".

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US Navy grabs old-fashioned sextants amid hacker attack fears

Petrea Mitchell
Go

"But you can't hack a sextant, or the planets"

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

How do you know that your sextant is accurately marked, and your ephemeris is correct? There was probably software involved in creating both of them. And they've both probably spent some time sitting in a cabinet that multiple people had access to, and a supply depot before that.

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PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Petrea Mitchell

Swipe is still the rule

This article gives the impression that most US businesses have duly complied with the deadline and only a few lone luddite holdouts are sticking with swipe terminals. Nope. In the entire metropolitan area where I live (Portland, OR-Vancouver, WA), the only chance I've ever had to use NFC is when using the fare machines for the light rail system. Most of the readers I commonly encounter don't even look like they have ability to read a chip.

I seem to be ahead of most US-based commenters in this thread, though, in that all but one of my cards *have* chips at this point.

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The remote control from HELL: Driverless cars slam on brakes for LASER POINTER

Petrea Mitchell
Unhappy

What could possibly go wrong?

1. Autonomous cars become common in an area which depends heavily on fines for municipal revenues (e.g. St. Louis County-- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty/ )

2. Cars behave in predictable ways reacting to something that's invisible on cameras

3. Profit!

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Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?

Petrea Mitchell

Re: JMcA obviously!

Of course McAfee. Not that he'd be able to fix it retroactively, but it's all about "a good fit for the company culture" these days, isn't it?

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

Petrea Mitchell
Flame

Re: "...it happens a lot earier than college"

"This is then reinforced at school - teachers offering different praise to girls than boys"

Or just offering flat-out bigotry. When I was in grade school (primary school, elementary school), the teachers were very clear that only boys were supposed to be good at math. Luckily, I hated that school and thus felt no need to conform to their expectations.

(The teachers were equally clear that only girls were supposed to be good at spelling and composition, with equally predictable results.)

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I cannae dae it, cap'n! Why I had to quit the madness of frontline IT

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Well said

And timely! I'm sending this link to anyone I see questioning the point of Sysadmin Day.

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Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Kudos

I wish to nominate this for Headline of the Week.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Re: Attractive girls don't make me buy stuff

A/B testing supports this subject line. One example: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/13/booth-babes-dont-convert/

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Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Booze in games

One of the most essential game bars I recall was the chain of identical bars in the Bard's Tale games, where the only way to recharge your bard was to take them to the local bar and get them a drink.

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Apple's Beats, Google, and Sony hammered with unpaid royalty claim

Petrea Mitchell
Stop

Re: Copyright law only

*Federal* copyright law does not cover sound recordings pre-1972. However, those sound recordings are still subject to *state* copyright laws, which vary hugely (part of the reason sound recordings were brought under federal law). Some of those state copyrights are actually more stringent than the current federal ones.

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Pick a superior Christmas No. 1 from El Reg's computer crooning compilation

Petrea Mitchell

Re: Obvious missing entry:

Another couple: "All About the Pentiums" and "Virus Alert" by "Weird Al" Yankovic.

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This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

Petrea Mitchell
Megaphone

Come to Portland, Oregon!

The Silicon Forest has your startup culture without the insane rents, decent mass transit for the US, PLUS the ability to handle rain, thanks to a climate every bit as drizzly as the UK.

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Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Amen!

"For what it’s worth, I think it is that all true hackers (no matter how that trait manifests itself) love problem solving. Whether those problems are manifest in code or engineering is essentially immaterial."

Or science, or any human technology or process. I loved reading this, and I don't even drive.

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MOULDY DICK: France aims to snatch EXPLODING WHALE crown from U.S.

Petrea Mitchell
Mushroom

Whale? How about a ship?

Yes, France may beat us on exploding whales, but Oregon has long since set its explosive sights on much larger beach debris. Put "New Carissa" in your favorite search engine for all the details.

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Amazon wants YOU to LOOK OVER its BOOKS – its slush pile, that is

Petrea Mitchell
Go

Something missing

As a fan of MST3K and Thog's Masterclass, the feature I'm looking for is a way to nominate especially entertaining bits of bad prose for the delectation of my fellow readers.

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Auntie hires API firm to manage new online BBC Store

Petrea Mitchell
Go

Re: Fact alert!

I believe it's BBC America that actually cuts it up and inserts ads.

Either way, I for one would also welcome a way to watch it just as it appeared in the UK. Maybe even, dare I hope, just after it airs, instead of waiting for some arbitrary period for the news to get stale?

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El Reg Christmas Lectures to span space, big data and GCHQ

Petrea Mitchell
Unhappy

Re: Webcast please?

Same here! Never mind what planet we should be on, I can't even manage to be on the right continent on this one...

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Cable guy, Games of Thrones chap team up to make Reg 'best sci-fi film never made' reject

Petrea Mitchell
IT Angle

Expect the best, prepare for the worst

I really liked this trilogy, even though I haven't been able to enjoy any of Robinson's subsequent books that I've tried. Done properly, it would be a genuine epic. Done badly... eugh.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Economic sense isn't enough

"But as a rough guide, a UK yearly household gas and 'leccy bill is some £1,400. So, if anyone comes along with a piece of kit that works for 10 years and costs, say, £5,000, then people will buy and install it."

Having learned a fair amount of situational psychology, I feel confident asserting that far fewer people than you expect will rush out and buy it. The slow adoption of more-efficient light bulbs may be instructive here.

Thumbs-up anyway because I'm always happy to hear about new advances in cheap energy.

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LOHAN's stirring motto: Ad Astra Tabernamque

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Zero-g brewing?

It is obligatory at this point to mention Duane Elms's song "The Terrific Centrifugal Still".

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

Petrea Mitchell
Coat

So what...

I want The App That Says "Ni".

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Oregon hit with federal subpoena over failed healthcare website launch

Petrea Mitchell
FAIL

Re: Oracle?

"Does anyone know if Oregon is at least suing Oracle?"

Nothing's been filed yet, but various officials have been dropping hints that it will.

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IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers

Petrea Mitchell
Go

Re: Go boffins!

Isaac Asimov said it best: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Petrea Mitchell
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NA-Asia link

Proposing a rail link across the Bering Strait gives me two knee-jerk reactions:

1) The person who thinks this would ever actually get built is insane.

2) THAT WOULD BE SO COOL

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

Petrea Mitchell

What it really sounds like

It sounds a lot like their early stages of the English-language version of Alteil, which I enjoyed a great deal. Later on Alteil underwent adjustments that made it basically impossible to play for free.

The deck-building mechanism for the Arena, relying on random cards rather than the ones you've collected, sounds very promising for keeping things balanced for non-paying players. Which is why I'm suspicious that it won't stay that way forever.

Anyway, this sounds like something I'll probably check out regardless.

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Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott

Petrea Mitchell
FAIL

Speaking of the law...

I've seen a lot of assertions about what should or shouldn't be allowed, but this, the one commentary I've seen referencing actual California employment law, hasn't gotten nearly enough attention:

http://www.vtzlawblog.com/2014/04/articles/discrimination/termination-of-mozilla-ceo-likely-violated-california-law/

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

Re: I think people here are missing the point

"This basically pulls the rug from under the feet of the 'think of the childrenz' game-censoring crusaders, which is a good thing."

Nah, it only says they're choosing the wrong reason for censoring games.

Next up, a usability rating system! Sorry kids, you can't play this one, it's labeled AO for Awful Organization...

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MtGox allows users to see a picture of their money, but not have it

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

Goon Show moment

This makes me think of the Goon Show, with the characters' habit of paying each other in pictures of money.

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

Petrea Mitchell
Paris Hilton

Re: A company full of gits?

"If there is a genuine claim of sexual harassment and intimidation, then the employee presumably has the avenue of an industrial tribunal, or whatever the US equivalent is [...]"

Do you mean something like this?

http://www.employmenttribunalsni.co.uk/index/employment_tribunals/industrial_tribunals.htm

There's no US equivalent. If a court gets involved, it has to be through a plain old lawsuit.

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MtGox: Yup, we're pretty sure your Bitcoin were stolen. Sorry about that.

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Re: Weird dates?

Yes, it's currently Heisei 26.

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

Petrea Mitchell
Windows

Re: That's one ugly sculpture!!

Exactly what I was thinking: it's what Bill Gates has always wanted!

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From 0 to ERUPTION in 60 days: You thought that volcano was COLD?

Petrea Mitchell
Alien

Re: Laser beams

Or alien death ray strike, if I remember _The Lathe of Heaven_ correctly...

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El Reg preps relaunch of Cash’n’Carrion online merchandise emporium

Petrea Mitchell
Thumb Up

Re: LOHAN Airfix kit...

That panic button sounds like a useful gadget. May have to get myself one of those.

I'd expect an El-Reg-branded one to take me to the BOFH archive, of course.

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Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

T-shirt I'd like

I'd love to have a T-shirt featuring this "geek" comment icon, with size and placement similar to the large logo in the survey. Because people around me could use the warning...

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

Naming patent trolls

Great article, but I have a nit to pick with: "When I was first involved in this sort of thing, it didn’t have a name."

I recently read a book from 1934* which makes reference to "the special vehicle for exploiting patent monopolies", which seems to be about the same thing as a patent troll. Only briefly, though, apparently expecting the contemporary reader to be fully aware of the issues involved.

The same book also bewails what's now called a patent thicket (they don't seem to have had a specific term for it at the time), mentioning for instance a mechanical loom which had to license 80 different patents.

*Technics and Civilization, by Lewis Mumford

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Parents can hide abortion, contraception advice from kids, thanks to BT's SEX-ED web block

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

That's nothing...

...here's a report that HMRC is blocked:

http://sf-encyclopedia.co.uk/?p=blocked

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John McAfee punted from Portland party pad

Petrea Mitchell
Go

Montreal, eh?

I'd've thought he'd fit right in in Toronto.

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Doctor Who: From Edwardian grump to Malcolm Tucker and back again

Petrea Mitchell
Happy

Re: The Goons, really?

Wow. Thanks for the link.

The only way this could have been even cooler is if the TV adaptation of "The Canal" had had the same cast as the radio episode it was based on-- which included guest star Valentine Dyall, the future Black Guardian!

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Petrea Mitchell
Paris Hilton

The Goons, really?

Is the massed mainstream media all incorrect in reporting that the program bracketing Who's initial slot along with Grandstand was something called Juke Box Jury?

The idea of Doctor Who scheduled right next to Telegoons is too wonderful for my mind to comprehend.

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Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Re: Why is this a surprise?

"Genes don't record who raped who."

...unless they're in mitochondria or Y chromosomes.

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Petrea Mitchell
Facepalm

Re: Modern Europeans weren't...

Argh, I mean "...headed EAST for new lands across Beringia...". Muphry's Law [sic] strikes again.

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Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Modern Europeans weren't...

...at the time. Keep in mind that the ancestors of most of today's Indo-European-speaking European inhabitants didn't actually arrive in Europe until at most 3-4000 years ago. What we're talking about here is a population where one part headed west for new lands across Beringia, and another part just kept bouncing around inner Asia for the next several thousand years.

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Hot digital dog: A man’s best friend is still his... K-9

Petrea Mitchell
Megaphone

Robots of renown

"No robot in TV history has enjoyed such renown as K-9"

I dunno, if you can remember K-9's heyday then you can also remember KITT, and there were way more people watching Knight Rider back in the day.

K-9 is probably more recognizable to today's young 'uns, though...

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