* Posts by Petrea Mitchell

411 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

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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
Thumb Up

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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GALACTIC YO-YO: Doctor Who’s trips to Earth... and beyond

Petrea Mitchell

Re: Lack of ambition

The episode count was typically 4 episodes in the Tom Baker and later eras, but typically 6 before that.

I do remember watching movie-style edits of some Baker stories, with opening credits only at the beginning, and closing credits only at the end, on my local PBS station-- they'd run individual episodes on weekdays and then the movie versions Friday or Saturday nights. IIRC, when BBC America first came into being, part of their programming was a seemingly random rotation of the movie edits.

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What a plot of nonsense: Ten Master master plan FAILS

Petrea Mitchell
Happy

The Claws of Axos

Simply because it contains my favorite Delgado bit ever: Having finally schemed his way into capturing the Doctor's TARDIS for his own use, the Master looks over the decrepit equipment and the state of the Doctor's haphazard attempts to get it working again, and finally mutters, "Might as well try flying a secondhand gas stove!"

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Who’s Who: a Reg quest to find the BEST DOCTOR

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Forgotten Doctors

Indeed, there's no way to reconcile those movies with the series...

OTOH, when I say I like "all the classic Doctors", I do include Richard Hurndall and Michael Jayston.

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Petrea Mitchell
Happy

Re: Your first doctor is YOUR doctor

Yeah, you're always going to have a special place in your heart for whichever Doctor got you to keep watching.

I was 5 when the local PBS station started airing it, and the very first episode I saw was the start of "Robot". I didn't fully understand what was going on, but it looked like fun...

Least favorite classic doctor: I don't like the McCoy era as much as the rest, but I don't have any problems with McCoy's portrayal, more with the writing during that time.

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DE-MON-STRATE! How a DALEK SAVED AUSTRALIA from a Dr Who drought in 1977

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Fandom was not so nascent

I can't tell if the "nascent" fandom is supposed to mean DW fandom specifically or Australian science fiction fandom in general. If the latter, Australia had hosted its first World Science Fiction Convention, which requires a well-established and organized local fan community, in 1975.

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Are you experienced? The Doctor Who assistants that SUFFERED the most

Petrea Mitchell
Unhappy

Re: Tegan

It hadn't occurred to me that Tegan would be one of the top scorers, especially, in comparison to the much less stressful lives of her contemporaries! No wonder she eventually ran off saying "I've had enough!"

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Eric Schmidt joins board of weighty biz journal The Economist

Petrea Mitchell
Alert

Not the way you were expecting

"Technology is supposed to be destroying the traditional media, but tech gurus can't seem to keep their mitts off the sector."

I for one am willing to believe that this is much more likely to be the death of traditional media than any other mechanism yet proposed.

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PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more

Petrea Mitchell
Stop

Re: Time Lords as foes?

"[T]he other time lords aren't enemies except that the Doctor stole the Tardis"

...well, other than the Rani... and the War Chief... and Omega... and Borusa that one time...

(Unless this all got retconned in the new series, which i've never watched.)

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Petrea Mitchell
Unhappy

Re: No programming required

Isn't it the approach in most college subjects to start from the beginning, as though the kids have learned nothing in their previous decade-plus of schooling? (Bitter comment about the quality of schooling in your home country left as an exercise for the reader.)

Anyway, assuming that no programming had been learned beforehand was certainly reasonable with most of my college classmates (US, late '90s).

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Planet hopper: The Earthly destinations of Doctor Who

Petrea Mitchell
Boffin

Closing scene of "The Hand of Fear"

IIRC, Sarah Jane's remarks in that scene made it pretty clear at the time that it wasn't Croydon. (Though the information about exactly where it was did come much later.)

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