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* Posts by Anomalous Cowshed

378 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: Idiots

Al Gore? Isn't he the one who invented global warming?

Oops.

I'll get me coat...no my swimsuit and suntan lotion...oh, no! A spade then, to dig myself out of a hole...

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Brit boffins brew up blight-resistant FRANKENSPUD

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Sainsbury laboratory in Cambridge

Meanwhile, scientists at the Tesco laboratory in Oxford insisted that they would be the first to market with a potato that resists blight AND is more oil absorbent to produce better fries.

But researchers at the Fotnum & Mason laboratory in down-at-heel St. James announced that potatoes were not fashionable and recommended that customers looking for a budget alternative opt for truffles, which go well with a grouse or venison dish.

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Modern spying 101: How NSA bugs Chinese PCs with tiny USB radios - NYT

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FUD

Incoming signal: "FUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUDFUD"

Oooh, matron, it's just interference!

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US BACKDOORED our satellites, claim UAE

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"FUD" by Anomalous Cowshed

Jones was sitting at his desk, smoking a cigar - a habit which he'd fought hard to preserve, despite the endless hints dropped by a number of ladies from the typing pool. But then Jones was a gruff individual, not the kind of man to give in readily to such female pressure. He also kept a bottle of bourbon locked in a drawer under his desk which he would bring out to toast a special occasion. Not today though.

The telephone rang. "Mr. Jones, it's Philips. We've finally cracked it!" said an excited voice on the other end of the line.

Jones grunted. The other man continued "We've got our universal transliterator. We've tested it on Chang, and it relayed the meaning of what he was saying in Mandarin, the exact meaning. You should have seen his face - I mean Chang's. He was utterly flabbergasted."

"Bring it in" said Jones, sceptically. He found these kinds of excitable claims made over the phone particularly annoying. If what Philips was saying was true, then he should like to find out at first hand. Jones took out the key to that drawer under his desk from his pocket and laid it on top of the desk itself, just in case. They'd been trying to develop the Transliterator for years. Yet no matter how many resources and manpower they threw at it, no matter how much processing power, memory, and clever programming they tried to incorporate into it, it was always a failure. A dismal failure which was diverting precious funds from other, more down-to-earth projects...

Ten minutes later, there was a sharp knock at the door, and before waiting for him to say "enter", two men dressed in lab coats erupted into the room. One was Philips, a gaunt, bespectacled scientist who today was wearing a most uncharacteristic enthusiastic expression. The other, a gentleman of Asian appearance. Chang, no doubt, thought Jones. The Asian-looking man was also showing signs of glee.

"We've got it" said Philips while his colleague nodded furiously. "It works, it really does!"

"Show me" said Jones. He grabbed hold of a remote control and switched on the huge, concealed flat-panel television integrated into the wall opposite. An attractive woman appeared, sitting rather formally at a magnificent desk. She was facing right into the screen, and appeared to be talking in a deliberate and solemn manner at the men in the room. It was a news programme. She was conveying weighty matters and it seemed that the very fate of the world hinged upon each word that flowed out of her lips.

“Run it” said Jones with a nod of the head towards the screen. Philips walked up to the desk, took something out of his lab coat’s pocket and set it down on Jones’ desk.

It was not at all what Jones had expected: a small spherical device, silvery all over, with no apparent connections, whether for power or anything else.

“It’s new technology, Mr. Jones” said Philips proudly, noting his boss’s incredulous glance. “We’ve manage to develop a thristor chip which demodulates reality in the quantic plane…”

“Just show me how it works” interrupted Jones, who wanted to avoid being swamped by what were to him incomprehensible technical specifications. “You can tell me about the innards later.”

“Yes, Sir” said Philips. He gently touched the device. The men in the room were silent, while the woman continued to talk at them / at the hidden camera in front of her.

Suddenly, there was a beep. The sphere on the desk glowed purple.

Jones turned the television off. Philips then touched the sphere again. There was an awkward moment’s silence.

Then suddenly, the sphere began to talk! At first Jones was amazed. However, he and the others soon realised that something was wrong. The machine kept repeating the same incomprehensible sound – a single syllable: “Fud. Fud. Fud…” Philips and Chang exchanged horrified glances.

“Fud. Fud. Fud. Fud.” said the little machine.

Jones took the key to the drawer which concealed the bottle of bourbon, and pocketed it with a tinge of regret. He felt slightly annoyed, but also quite amused at how disconcerted the others looked.

He gave them a look as severe as he could muster. “Back to the drawing book, gentlemen. Thank you for bringing it in”. They immediately caught the hint.

“Fud. Fud. Fud.” said the little sphere as Philips pocketed it in a hurry, trying frantically to turn it off, without success, and left the room with Chang in tow. “Fud. Fud. Fud.” it kept saying as they made their way down the corridor.

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Ross Ulbricht: 'Oi! Give me back my $34m in Silk Road Bitcoin booty'

Anomalous Cowshed
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The biggest seizure of Bitcoin in US history

Are you sure?

I seem to recall a previous seizure during the American Civil War, which was much worse than this one.

There was also Bitcoin Tea Party, before US independence, when all the Bitcoin aboard a ship got thrown into the sea in Boston.

Or have I mixed up my history a bit?

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Blighty could put a (WO)MAN on MARS by 2040, says sci minister

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Cooperation

It's nice to see that the UK is still able to do great things in the world.

We have the ability to mediate between great powers to encourage cooperation.

We have more managers per capita than any other nation, and our degrees in paper pushing are second to none. We can offer that too.

We also have the ability to make the reality TV show charting the progress of the negotiations over cooperation. That's not the same thing as the reality TV show about the actual Mars Mission itself. But it's a step in the right direction, and it shows that the UK is right up there with...with Tuvalu and other media-savvy countries.

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: Oh boy, another toy

or a community centre for the special forces community...

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

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What happened...

What happened to those hand-cranked or hand-squeezed torches?

They cost far less than this - indeed they were being given away as promotional gifts by companies - are far less cumbersome, and the way I see it, could achieve much the same outcome, if not better, with less hassle and outlay. I used to have one myself.

Wouldn't something like that be more convenient than this latest amazing contraption with its secret converter of potential energy into electric energy? And why isn't it in widespread use / or is it?

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Swollen Reg reader recounts FALSE WIDOW spider HORROR

Anomalous Cowshed
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Your mate

Your mate breeds urticating hairs? And then uses them on you as a fiberglass sponge?

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World Trade Organisation chief warns global deals are ABOUT TO TANK

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"Not a single human being living in poverty anywhere in the world will be better-off if we fail...

What turn of phrase! What scope for deniability! What outstanding mastery of cunning linguistics!

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Qatar whips covers off giant footballing vagina

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Bah - Catarrh

I would have expected them to build a stadium shaped like a giant nose, not a c**t.

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Meet the FOUR-TON DINO that made little Tyrannosaurs SOIL THEMSELVES

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WARNING!

He's escaped from his cage in Redmond, Washington! The 4 ton Balmerosaurus Microsoftii (DO NOT BE MISLED BY THAT REASSURING LATIN SOUNDING TERM) is on the prowl, he's out of controllllllllllllllllll!!!

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If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

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Other Google announcements which didn't make it into the global media

We programmed this loop, that's a thing which tells the computer to do something again and again, many times, and when we tested it, all of a sudden, the computer started going crazy...it refused to stop...it kept going, as though it had a mind of its own...luckily we were able to find the plug and we pulled it. It was terrifying! Imagine what could have happened if we hadn't been able to switch it off!

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'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem

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What a performance!

A Greekcapitalistic tragedy in 1 act

Billionaire CEO cultivates a brash and unsophisticated image, earning everybody's scorn and ridicule.

Years pass, the company appears to stagnate somewhat, the share price stagnates.

Billionaire CEO then announces resignation with tears.

The share price climbs sharply, predictably (which is what being a CEO is all about).

Billionaire CEO, who is a major shareholder of the company, makes huge profits as a result of the manoeuvre, so do all the other shareholders.

Billionaire CEO cries and says he is a "fat, bald buffoon" and he was "forced out".

Then he laughs all the way to the bank.

The end.

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Murdoch stands between your kids and filth with BSkyB network-level SHIELD

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Hey!

Hey, Murdoch, leave them kids alone!

All in all you're just another...[fill in as you see fit]

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BROADBAND will SAVE THE ECONOMY, shriek UK.gov bods

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Sarcastic, useless commentards!

You think you know it all! You will criticise anything, just to air your negative attitudes. And yet you haven't a clue what you are talking about.

Did you know, for instance, that Blighty has a HUGE cat video industry?

Did you know that this industry is carrying the hopes of a nation?

Do you realise how important high-speed broadband is to the development of this, and other similar industries?

There is enormous potential here, and if we are to tap into it, we need fast internet. Your government is working tirelessly to provide this Internet so that commentards like you can get rich from the comfort of your home, filming your cat, or someone else's cat (subject to acquiring all the relevant rights), and posting the video on Google, to generate advertising revenue, which is the crux of the new economic model.

So please, think a bit. (Not too much)

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The TRUTH about mystery Trojan found in SPAAACE

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Everybody: big meeting at the Yomama coffee shop room in Chong Ching at 1pm

"Ladies and gentlemen" said the head of Trojan-for-You to his motley crew. "I am proud to announce that we are the first malware house ever to get a virus into space. This is one small virus for space, one giant pain for ISS!"

Applause.

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Is it all up for LANDFILL ANDROID? BEHOLD, the Moto G

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Confusing

Isn't it confusing having a spokesman for Motorola who is called Soni?

Imagine a spokeswoman for CocaCola called Miss Pepsy

Or a spokesperson for Microsoft called Apul

Or a spokesman for North Korea called An Kol Sam...

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Want to BUILD YOUR OWN Tardis? First, get a star and set it spinning...

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: Doubts

I second the right honourable commentard in his opinion.

Relativity, quantum mechanics, etc. - are models designed rationalise the way the universe works or is expected to work. They hold water in that they are not contradicted by observable evidence to date. They are also not contradicted by observable holes in the model. But that is all. All the statements about going back in time, etc., are extrapolations which should read "you would appear to be travelling through time". The words 'appear to' are gradually filed away by generations of wishful thinkers.

Alternatively, such phenomena, although they fit in with the theory, might not necessarily materialise or make sense once you switch the frame of reference, as my honourable fellow commentard just pointed out. There is no reason why just because the equations of the model balance out, the phenomena of the real world should follow suit. It's all conjecture, based on a particular reckoning or way of seeing things.

There is still a distinction between empirical science and science fiction.

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

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Believe everything anyone says, provided it's relayed by a media outlet

See title

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'F-CK YOU GOOGLE+' ukelele missy scoops BIG WAD of $$ - for Google

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blimey

Until now I thought a ukulele was some kind of wind instrument - looking a bit like a cross between a potato and a flute. Now I know it's a string instrument. Thanks Register for unexpected side-benefits!

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BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

Anomalous Cowshed
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The problem with BT's attempts to buff up their brand...

...is that many people don't think much of their brand.

Maybe it's time they changed their name again, and chose something bold and daring and ever so slightly plasticky like so many other big, anonymous corporations. For instance:

Norwich Union -> Aviva

British Gas -> Centrica

What kind of name could BT go for?

What about something celestial, like the name of a star or planet...for instance: "Uranus"?

Or how about 'Bolloxa'? That surely sounds exotic and foreign, and in a somewhat strangely smelly way, remotely sexy. Or: ConArt? That name will have the advantage of being immediately recognisable across the channel.

No disrespect here - just a bit of fun.

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Right royal rumpus over remote-control 'RoboRoach'

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Not easy to 'comment'

One the one hand, some might say that the alternative for the cockroach would most likely be to be squashed by a slipper, i.e. killed, so it doesn't matter.

On the other hand, there is a difference between killing a pest and doing things to it which might be seen as showing a lack of respect and humanity to a living thing. It is perhaps not merely what is being done to the insect that is of concern, but also the impact on the mind of the person who is doing it. Since these experiments are not in any way scientific, the real reason for people conducting them, which may include likely varying degrees of sadism, may not be something that should be encouraged.

If many people are enabled or encouraged to conduct such experiments on insects, a small proportion of them might also eventually graduate to bigger subjects.

Doctor Mengele used to conduct vivisection experiments on death camp inmates and could surely have used the argument that they were up for the chop anyway, so it didn't matter - what with the people in question being non-Aryans and thus equivalent to rats and cockroaches in his country's mindset at the time.

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BLOOD KING of the TYRANNOSAURS, grandad of T-Rex

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80-90 million years ago, the Western part of North America was called Laramidia...and there was a huge inner sea channel and Utah had beach-front properties. This is an advert from an estate agent of the era (which was recently discovered fossilised, the advert, not the estate agent): "Beach-front property in Laramidia for sale - outstanding sea views. 50 metre high, 10 metre thick walls, no less than ten remotely operated 20mm, multiple-barrel Gatling guns and military grade steel nets overhead for guaranteed safety from the local wildlife. just around the corner from massive shopping mall with McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken (expected in a few millionyears).

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: Some rules do need to be tightened

The bit about sedating I would not be against, given how much I hate flying, especially the turbulence. Maybe they could set up a voluntary sedation service. They could have announcements in the airport along the lines of "Anyone wanting sedation please step over here" or "Please join the 'sedation' queue if you require sedation during your flight. They might sedate people BEFORE the 'security' checks, so that this way, with a special "I am sedated, let me through' card, and a fee of £10 (call it a tax or a bribe, call it whatever you want!) you could avoid having to go through the bogus security checks and just proceed at a stately pace on a mattress conveyed by a conveyor belt up to the aircraft, only to wake up at the destination at a 'de-sedation' station, completely relaxed.

Disclaimer: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY VIEWS ABOUT THE MAIN TOPIC OF ID, LET THERE BE NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS

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Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

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I'm proud of the legacy

When I behold the brave new world in the making at Stratford, with the magnificent concrete blocks, the windswept concrete plazas, and the romantic mountains of rubble, when I remember how proud we Londoners were to give up our main roads to exclusive VIP traffic, to give up some of our favourite parks for over a year to what at first glance looked like a campaign of unprecedented state-sponsored vandalism but was in fact definitely done in our interest, I am proud of the legacy of these Olympic games, which gave so many companiespeople so much cashhope and aspiration, and finally put London on the map, whereas of course it hadn't been there before.

Not only that, but the terrorist threats were kept at bay by cleverly positioned missile batteries, at a time when the average person, ever so trivial, was mainly concerned about laptop batteries, and no attacks took place, which is absolutely wonderful. Spare a minute, will you, raise your consciousness above your humdrum day-to-day concerns, and marvel at the tremendous efforts of the brave people and corporations that made all this possible!

All this is a testament to this great Lord and his generous corporate backers, and I wonder why the people of London haven't voted to erect any statues to their memory yet...

...And with this thought, I awoke from one of my weirdest ever LSD trips, feeling rather confused.

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Mars defends: HUMANS to SEND UFO to Red Planet by 2016

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Bloke says - if anyone needs to get something to Mars, talk to me

Oy! I want in on this bandwagon, before it's too late.

I plan to send a lander to Alpha Centauri come 2020. It won't get there in 2020. But the plan is to launch it in 2020.

I will need 10 billion pounds to fund this amazing mission, a first for mankind. So if anybody wants to get some stuff up to the stars, talk to me.

I know some governments have been interested in stars in the past, we could accommodate them. Toddlers also like stars - twinkle, twinkle! - so there are lots of parents out there who will be well advised to contribute a nominal donation, say £1000 per toddler, in return for which we will offer their sprogs a slither of immortality by entering their names in our Star Exploration Contributors database, a copy of which will be carried aboard the lander on a radiation-shielded USB dongle, hand-crafted in an exclusive workshop in Shenzhen, China. Entries in the "Premium Star Exploration Contributors Hall of Fame", an exclusive table in the database, will be available to rich mugsdiscerning philanthropists for £1,000,000 and above. For this you will not only have your name and status up in the stars, forever, but you will get your own copy of the entire database on a gold-plated USB stick, so you can see which of your mates have also contributed. Get in quick, before space runs out: the database we use is a super-secure, NSA and virus proof one-off edition from a leading software house called 'Maocrosoft' in Guangzhou and is specially designed to only hold up to 1 billion records.

To contribute, head to your local Western Union branch...

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Japanese boffins make a splash with bath-based touchscreen

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"allowing the user to move and object about wherever their finger goes"

I, too, dream of moving and objecting just about wherever my finger goes. It is a surreal way of expressing my freedom of speech and movement in a world where liberty appears increasingly constrained by legislation and wiretapping...

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Want to go to billionaire Sun kingpin's beach? Hope you're a strong swimmer

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Money v people

In today's world, the things that matter are money, fun, entertainment, 'respect', status, being in the newspapers, money, and...money. People, relatives, friends especially, community, live and let live, these things are no longer very relevant.

I pay 38 million dollars for a huge property near the beach. People have been using one of the paths for years before I came here to access their public amenity, the beach. I don't want this. I find a way to prevent them. I'm happy. They're not happy? Screw them. I have millions. I'm OK. They should work hard and make millions and do the same as I did, the lazy @!$?.

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Samsung is officially the WORLD'S BIGGEST smartphone maker

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Outsold every other smartphone maker combined? The figures quoted don't add up then...

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Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

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What's the big deal?

Mice have been working as spies and superheroes on TV for decades and have been scaring women and elephants for millions of years. What's the big deal about a scorpion or two?

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Surface Pro 2: It's TOOL-PROOF and ultimately destined for LANDFILL

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Dashed hopes

There were once hopes that the paperless digital world would save a lot of trees, ink, processing and transportation. But the fact that new machines come up every year, tempting owners of the old ones to upgrade, and the fact that the machines in general are not practical to upgrade or repair, probably means that the digital world has had a negative environmental impact in terms of resources, hazardous materials and landfill use.

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MoJ fined £140K for EMAILING privates of 1,000 inmates

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Fine

Isn't recursiveness fun? Case in point: the government fining itself...They must really hate getting a fine from themselves...and having to shift the taxpayer's money from the left pocket to the right pocket!

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Furious French choke on chardonnay over NSA's phone spying in France

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oh the outrage!

NSA spies on France, recording millions of phone calls.

How? With the connivance of whom?

Reaction of the French government - which we are being led to believe only found out about this outrage from a newspaper article (they would of course have no means of their own to find out about, aid or abet such activities): it is unacceptable"

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Extreme ultraviolet litho: Extremely late and can't even save Moore's Law

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A bit of history

The year is 2113 and Earth is still desperately trying to cling to Moore's law.

Intel yesterday unveiled its new wafer, far out in deep space, where the 100 km2 monster, which weighs 30000 tons, was apparently grown from a single crystal of silicon. A big one, admittedly. "The things we do so that people can continue playing Crysys on their Win 877.5 computers" sighed the Chairman of the company, wearing a space suit and wielding a pair of scissors with which he was about to start cutting the wafer into tiny silicon chips...

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

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This is a piffle

Messiah, Princess, King - these seem to you extreme?

It is nothing when compared with Brazil.

There are people there called Ricardo Nixon, Adolfo Hitler, Lynneeker, Disney Landia, e-mail, James Bond...

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PLEASE let us build Fruit Loop Central, Apple begs Cupertino City

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Asda v Apple planning applications

There is a difference between the two.

Most of the plasticky supermarkets and rubbish new mass-produced apartment / office buildings being put up in crowded Blighty are completely out of scale their surroundings and blight communities with their ugliness. Whereas this is looks like top quality stuff being proposed for a run-down lot in an office/light industrial zone in a small town which is the home town of one of the biggest companies in the world. So normally I couldn't see what anyone would have to complain about it.

However, since The Register requires a complaint, here you are:

The design is over-simplistic and a negation of intellectual architecture, being designed to appeal to the ignorant masses. The inclusion of trees is a clear attempt to pander to outdated populist mores that are out of step with the modern architectural canon. The lack of sharp angles and deterministic cantilevering shows a distinct lack of imagination which condemns this as an outrage to anyone with a cultured sense of intellectual aesthetics. It is, put simply, an abomination, a blot on the purity of the architectural profession.

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Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

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What's all this talk about Turkeys and boobies

Is it because Christmas is around the corner, so to speak? Or did I catch the wrong end of the stick?

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Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

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Re: Atheism is not a religion

It depends on your definition of 'religion'

If religion is belief in a god or in something else that 'doesn't exist' or whose existence cannot be proven scientifically, then atheism is not a religion, it is more a denial of the legitimacy of religion.

If on the other hand, 'religion' is a belief in anything in particular to an extent which transcends the bounds of rationality, then fervent atheism can indeed be considered a 'religion'. I suppose it depends on the person and the extent of their conviction or obsession.

You will note that as people become more 'rational', there are many other things that appear to be taking the place of traditional religions, some of which are quite strange: global warming; Apple the company, etc. But the anger with which some people defend their position on these matters surely causes them to become a virtual religion...to the people in question.

A better test of religion is this: whether your belief allows for the possibility and legitimacy of contrary views and opinions.

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Brit boson boffin Higgs bags Nobel with eponymous deiton

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Re: Question - please answer

Thanks!

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Anomalous Cowshed
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Question - please answer

What has been discovered at CERN? That there is a Higgs Boson? That it might exist? That the Higgs Boson is possibly the mechanism for transferring gravitational force? That it is definitely the mechanism whereby gravity operates? Please can someone enlighten me, thanks!

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LG starts producing flexible, curvy displays you can STROKE

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Cool

Extrapolating from this announcement: One day we may see small portable devices with unfolding plastic screen or many little screens superimposed and opening up like a fan, with no bezels. That would be a nice step forward. And then we will maybe find a way to produce amorphous devices capable of flowing into almost any shape. Then mind-machine interface. After that, Bob's your Uncle. Exciting but strange times beckon!

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NSA using Firefox flaw to snoop on Tor users

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I would like to post a controversial opinion. It's not the truth...

...It's just conjecture. Please therefore do not take it to heart or hold it against me:

One of the things that the 'intelligence community' is supposedly particularly good at is 'non-linear' behaviour. What I mean is: devious schemes, e.g. playing games. Yet in recent months it seems this NSA has been completely laid bare by a single, brave young man, now hiding in Russia after a highly publicised jaunt around the world, during which he successfully ran the gauntlet of all the naughty acronyms - NSA, FBI, CIA, MI6, GCHQ.

He's been telling us all about the NSA. Thanks to him, we know exactly what they are up to. Every day, there's something new. Some things, we now know, they can do (shock horror, better watch our step). Other things, we've found out, they cannot do (so it's safe for us to do these things with total peace of mind). It helps that the young man is able to leak to us PowerPoint presentations in which NSA operatives candidly inform one another about what they can and cannot do about this or that technology. These fall into our lap and we smirk, knowing that we've found their weakness.

But doesn't it sound strange to you that it's so straight-forward, even a teenager could outfox these guys? Or rather: that now, thanks to this young man they failed to catch and to shut up, anybody can find easy solutions to keep the NSA at bay?

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NSA justifies hacking world's digital communications

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Even we at the NSA are not whiter than white

Even we sometimes make mistakes, and there are people who work for us who have misbehaved in the past - 3 of them to be precise; but now it's OK: they've left the service. Now we're completely clean. What we do, we do for your own good. We need to catch the terrorists. That's all of youMohammed over there, the ugly looking shifty character in the photograph, the one with the funny turban and the massive bomb ready to blow you up in your homes. You're out to get usHe's out to get you and we must remain vigilant. So we need to understand how this Interstuff and all these mobile phoneys work, to get youMohammed right where we want you...ooops, I mean 'him'. And to make sure we understand all this technology, and can neutralise youMohammed over there, we're set up an amazing series of operations with fancy names based on your tax dollars and on these cool things called acronyms. Over here at the NSA, we love acronyms. We love America, tax dollars and acronyms. It means you can trust us.

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It's official: Steelie Neelie is a triple-triple-TRIPLE win digital woman

Anomalous Cowshed
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I once worked in an office in Paris...

There were 6 of us there, all IT pros, except for me, I was kind of an impostor, being more of an amateur. We worked in a small room, with desks strewn around, several smokers puffing away at will with the windows closed. 6 men, all rather unkempt and with relatively poor social skills, but getting on with the work. It was a web advertising agency. Very few people used to come into this particular room, which was not glamorous like the rest of the agency. However, for some reason, two women regularly came in for work-related reasons. One of them was a stunning, short brunette with an icy temperament, who used to enter the room briefly only because she had to, and would wear a sneer throughout making it clear that she didn't appreciate the experience, and woe to whoever might try to talk to her.

The other was a tall, beautiful, dusky brunette with long curly hair. She was the complete opposite in terms of character. She used to come in, say hello left and right, flash crafty smiles at us, and then she would head for one particular desk, whose owner worked facing the door, and she would lean low and seductively over it, so everybody could admire what an amazing creature she was, and all work and all talk would then stop dead.

All of us were watching. She knew it, of course. As for the one whose desk she was leaning on, he was so put out of sorts, he could barely stammer answers to her questions. He was utterly and hopelessly smitten, and completely in her power. All the other men meanwhile were wishing she would pick on us for a change, but she never did.

She needed to get or deliver a report to this guy, I don't remember which it was, but she made sure to turn this mundane obligation into such a seductive event, that it was the highlight of the day. She flirted shamelessly with the poor bloke while he desperately tried to flirt back clumsily...

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Profit healthy, sales up, 4,000 staff face axe. Cisco CEO, here's your pay doubled to $21m

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: to Johan

Frankly given the state of my income, I don't wish there was a treatment for these crazy people, I wish there was a treatment for me so that I could become one of them.

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Anomalous Cowshed
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Announcement of job cuts at Cisco

I get to see quite a few such announcements as part of my work, so here is a proposed one:

Dear Cisco Employee

As you know, our company hasn't been making the returns we anticipated. Earnings for the year are stagnant at around 10 billion dollars, which is a major cause for concern. We therefore find ourselves with no alternative but to make some painful choices.

At the moment, the company is looking to offshore production to China. This will enable us to cut costs while delivering value to the customer and to our shareholders. However, in order to achieve this major and important change in our organisation, we need to address the imbalance in our workforce.

At the moment, Cisco employs too many engineers and programmers and too few marketing executives and managers. We have hundreds of meeting rooms which are operating at barely 45% capacity, while considerable resources are expended on engineering and R&D which are superfluous and could easily be outsourced.

We therefore need to look at the breakdown of our human resources along functional lines and bolster the elements that we will require in order to ensure that we too can become a successful 21st century technology company, and are not left behind with an outdated 20th century organisational model.

Because of this, we are planning to make another 4,000 engineers and programmers redundant on grounds of economic hardship. You have been chosen to be among the 4,000. We believe that your sacrifice will enable Cisco to prosper and compete in the S&P 100 with industry giants such as Apple Inc and IBM.

We wish you every success in your future career.

Yours sincerely

The Management

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Anomalous Cowshed
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They have no choice

This year's profits were only around 10 billion USD. It is therefore absolutely vital to shed staff or it is most unlikely that the major rise in profits that is necessary to satisfy the shareholders and the senior managers' pockets will ever materialise. Other options to turn the company around include the possibility of raising prices or lowering quality and reliability by outsourcing production to China. This would enable Cisco to get rid of thousands of engineers and programmers who, let's face it, are just dead weight in this day and age. By saving on expensive US R&D and manufacturing (forgive my ignorance if this isn't already the case) and in-house engineering, and focusing on rebranding (like some other well-known US tech companies which for reasons of confidentiality we would rather not name here), Cisco could then recruit more marketing specialists to shift boxes and managers to shuffle paper, and still increase the profits paid to the company's long-suffering shareholders.

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