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* Posts by John Gamble

311 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

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Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen

John Gamble
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Re: Is it just me…

"Who on earth uses anything other than cash to buy low-cost items like icecreams?"

Possibly someone who is buying more than one? Like for a family, or a softball team?

Or possibly someone who is reserving their cash for emergencies instead of a frozen treat?

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

John Gamble
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Re: Personally ...

I can imagine that you might do some scripting with VI but 250 pages of Sci-Fi novel sounds a bit dubious.

Seriously?

First: Look up "typewriter".

Second: Do a page count of Brit Sci-Fi author John Brunner's novel Stand On Zanzibar

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Echopraxia scores 'diamond cutter' on the sci-fi hardness scale

John Gamble
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Re: "the tone is rather unremittingly despondent"

The exact quote

"Whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong, I read Peter Watts."

—James Nicoll

is on Peter Watts' website.

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

John Gamble
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Re: *whimper*

Vernor Vinge had a scene like that in Marooned in Realtime, although "group mind" wasn't necessarily there.

J. G. Ballard had a spider whose web had usable neurons in one of his "everything's going to pot" short stories.

For what it's worth.

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

John Gamble
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Coat

Re: Beer glass - excellent idea ...

Hurrah! The will of the unwashed mob of commentards people has triumphed!

Now, about the option to put the logo on a Tesla Model X...?

(Mine's the one with the LOHAN patch on both shoulders.)

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

John Gamble
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By the way, I'll be trying to get both a Europe-view and North America-view patch. Will you have your Kickstarter rewards set up to handle this?

I only ask because this sort of thing often gets asked on KS itself, at which point the project owner starts to realize they need to do special tricks. I thought I'd maybe save you some effort.

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John Gamble
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Alien

A Very Special Project

I'm in.

So... just how close to Area 51 will your launch or landing site be?

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John Gamble
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Re: **** the European badge

Downvoted for failing to check if the poster was an American. And possibly missing a point.

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Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

John Gamble
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Boffin

Instead of Javascript

...why are we taking the one of the most irritating languages around and putting it on the server rather than dedicating some effort to picking one of the many excellent languages that exist already and making it run in the browser?

Because Ryan Dahl got there first. Less flippantly, because it's easier to write a language for a server than it is for a browser, and even if you manage it, there's still the question of getting the browser makers -- a dwindling number, but still more than one -- to adopt your language.

We're sort of approaching your scenario -- if you view js as something to compile to, instead of a language to develop in, then emscripten is doing good work, and my current programming interest, coffeescript, has cleaned up a lot of js flaws (although not the '+' operator flaw, alas).

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John Gamble
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Re: Perl ... that actually is the sourcecode

I always understood Perl to be write-only? ;-)

Sigh... yeah, Perl "golfers" have a lot to answer for. Like any language (well... maybe not COBOL), it's possible to write readable, well-commented code in Perl.

For that matter, I seem to recall the write-only charge being leveled at C (not surprisingly, this was usually said by Pascal's adherents -- back in the day, they were quite numerous).

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Lenovo posts an INCREASE in desktop PC and notebook sales

John Gamble
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Re: Would be even better

"...not sold with windows."

Well, that raises a question: how easily do BSD or Linux systems install on Lenovo machines? Searching the web tends to get me disorganized lists with little useful information.

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Stanford boffin is first woman to bag 'math Nobel Prize'

John Gamble
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Re: Professor??

Not real qualifications. I got my physics gigs at Cambridge through sheer hard work. SHE BOUGHT HERS!

Err... so she didn't have to do any work? The Fields medal just dropped in her lap?

Honestly, do you not understand the qualifications needed to receive the award?

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

John Gamble
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Happy

As The Saying Goes

LOHAN Electronic Anti-Forest system.

Because the aircraft obviously can't see the forest for the ... leaves.

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Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

John Gamble
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Re: Anonmalous Cowshed

James O'Shea just wrote a fairly comprehensive response above: yes, it was mostly coincidental.

Jefferson was an influential figure of course, and his phobia of freed slaves remains a blot on his character, but no, he didn't have the influence necessary to re-work trans-Atlantic economics, even as president of what was then a small country more concerned with the interior of its own continent..

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Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

John Gamble
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Re: <shakes head>

"Living in Chicago, I see a lot of ereaders on the El (commuter trains), but very rarely a tablet."

Heh, I may be one of those ereader holders you're seeing (Red Line traveler). Given the occasional chaos of commuting, having a device that I can shove in my bag and forget about for a week, yet still have it charged when I retrieve it again, makes it the ideal device for close-quarters reading.

I can read off a tablet too, but that's at home using the EPUBs stored on my NAS. It's too heavy and awkward for commuting reading.

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Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

John Gamble
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Re: hmm

"Granted its stability is legendary but after seeing the horrible hacks the VMS team basically forced on OpenSSL for all platforms (granted the core OpenSSL team should have pushed back a lot harder)..."

I put the blame for that squarely on the OpenSSL team. It is possible to have VMS and UNIX code exist peacefully in the same code base (I've done it), and it is possible to do a code review of submitted patches to make sure the patches don't interfere with working code (I've done that too).

VMS code didn't break OpenSSL, the OpenSSL team broke OpenSSL.

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

John Gamble
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Re: Errrr?

"It's my fault for surprising the Reg subs..."

They do seem to startle easily.

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

John Gamble
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Re: Incremental versions?

You do realize that that's a Google Chrome "innovation", right?

I grant you that doesn't excuse Mozilla from copying such a blatantly bad idea -- it smell of marketing hype.

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

John Gamble
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Re: Outstanding

Through the pub to the stars?

Sometimes those back doors don't open to the alley.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

John Gamble
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Re: Blocking

Install Noscript

go addthis.com (any page)

now on Noscript you can block addthis.com permanently

Blocking in NoScript is the default. You don't have to do anything (beyond not make bad default choices) to block addthis.com.

You do have to be careful as a long-time user to be sure that you didn't allow it in the past.

[checks NoScript "allow" list in my browser...]

[oops...]

[removes it from the list.]

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HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Dictionaries Still Exist

"What makes him a "forensic scientist"?

"He analyses how iphones work, hacks banks, does pentests, etc."

Forensic:

adj. Relating to, used in, or appropriate for courts of law or for public discussion or argumentation.

adj. Of, relating to, or used in debate or argument; rhetorical.

adj. Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law: a forensic laboratory.

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MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Bleeding obvious ?

"Is there anyone reading this who *didn't* think this?"

The impression I get is that the temperature swings had not been considered -- you can't just have a quantity of water in your planet of lakes to sustain life, you need to have a truly deep ocean to handle the heat flow.

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

John Gamble
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Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

"Not only was it complete and complex it came with its own language."

Appropriately enough, since it was created by the linguist M. A. R. Barker.

If he had been a slightly better writer his works would be compared to Tolkien.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Why?

LED Lights are supposed to last... well forever...

An LED (and the bulbs made from them) will age over time, getting dimmer. Last I checked, a bulb was officially (U.S.) considered "dead" when it dropped to 70% of its initial illumination.

So far the outdoor lights, which are on continuously at night, are still doing fine, but they've only been in operation for two years so far. I think I can realistically expect another three years out of them, but we'll see.

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John Gamble
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Re: Stuff this..

Ah, interesting (I've never seen a bulb like that before, thanks). All I can say then is good luck -- it took manufacturers here years to get around to making the PAR16 equivalents that I needed, but they finally did, so presumably something similar will happen with your R7s.

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John Gamble
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Angel

Re: Stuff this..

All I want at present is a way to replace existing 78mm 80/100W halogen bulbs with an equivalent LED

Yeah, the size equivalents are available1, but the brightest that I see from my supplier are 60W equivalents (heat build-up is definitely the enemy here).

Having said that, you may want to try to swap out one of your halogens with an LED anyway, just for the sake of comparison. I've found that halogens are not always as bright as claimed, and sometimes the bulb is brighter than necessary for the room or hallway anyway.

---

1. Assuming a reflector type, the North American equivalent would be a PAR20, with half an inch to spare.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

John Gamble
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Thumb Up

Re: Terror Bird

They actually changed the headline! That was unexpected.

Must... not... let... power... go.. to... head...

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John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Terror Bird

It looks like they do have colloquial names ("bony-toothed birds", "false-toothed birds", etc.), but I think that's boring. How about using another word from the headline, and call them "Dragon Birds"?

I expect a letter-writing campaign to begin immediately.

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John Gamble
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Boffin

Terror Bird

Hey there, headline writers, there's only room for one Terror Bird in these parts. Come up with a different adjective, or we'll peck you to death.

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Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

John Gamble
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We can call them anything we like. It's the pre-trial bias that the judge is trying to limit (pointlessly, in my view, but then I'm not a judge).

(Likewise, the headline grossly misstates the situation, but that's par for course here.)

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Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Re: @Trigun "meh" Whilst I entirely agree that Redmond do not seem to be handling.....

You've mis-read the article ...

No, they didn't. You do seem to have mis-read the comment though.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Ancient technology

I had to look Susan Parker and Zeus Amplifier up (the up-to-date site seems to be at Audiophonics.com), and to my limited ability I'm impressed. Pity there are only so many project I can handle at a time.

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John Gamble
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Re: Improving your reproduction

Indeed, one of the benefits of the CD (and therefore digital) revolution in music is that albums were remastered without (or at least with less) compression.

But it also depends on the artist. If you create your music using digital instruments with deliberately limited timbre, then all the speaker improvements in the world won't help make the music sound better than it would with earbuds.

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SPACE: The FINAL FRONTIER. These are the TEN-YEAR images of star probe Cassini

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: nothing-to-lose end-of-life mission

I like this. If NASA could put Cassini in, say, the A ring, as close to the Cassini Division as possible, we could get some pretty spectacular shots before the probe's end of life.

And I'm sure the spectacular shots could be justified as a scientific mission.

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MIT and CERN's secure webmail plan stumped by PayPal freeze

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: No they don't

PayPal is not a bank; it is an outfit that lives from people transferring money through them

Caveat: Wikipedia entry, albeit a sourced Wikipedia entry:

In the United States, PayPal is licensed as a money transmitter on a state-by-state basis. PayPal is not classified as a bank in the United States, though the company is subject to some of the rules and regulations governing the financial industry including Regulation E consumer protections and the USA PATRIOT Act.

In 2007, PayPal Europe was granted a Luxembourg banking license, which, under European Union law, allows it to conduct banking business throughout the EU. It is therefore regulated as a bank by Luxembourg's banking supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

In Australia, PayPal is licensed as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) and is thus subject to Australian banking laws and regulations.

Executive summary: yeah, they have to obey some or all (depending on the continent) of the banking regulations regarding transfer of money.

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Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

John Gamble
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Re: If gravity bends light...

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."

Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

John Gamble
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Thumb Up

Good luck with your future career, both in music and in overturning Citizens United (and let us know if you decide to give blues in Chicago another try).

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

John Gamble
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Happy

Re: I wonder if today will be

"I had to. Even before I finished the article."

Hmm, you mean I could send invites to both Dabbsy and Pottsy1?

...nah, I have more self-control than that.

---

1. Sorry about that2.

2. Not really though.

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Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

John Gamble
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Re: Rockets use liquid fuel?

Once again, I have to point out that using the Joke Alert icon doesn't save you if your joke is no good.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

John Gamble
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Re: A cheaper solution...

Samuel Clements ("Mark Twain") said to kill all the lawyers, ...

No, he didn't.

This isn't the weirdest mis-attribution to Twain I've seen, but it has to have been the easiest to have checked. It's not like Google couldn't find the quote.

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PoW! Academics KO Bitcoin mining mammoths

John Gamble
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Re: Think about it

They apologized on their way to the bank, so that makes everything copacetic.

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

John Gamble
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Re: "So, where do the doughnuts come in?"

They found a nearby doughnut shop by making use of the Ham Sandwich Theorem

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Microsoft 'Catapults' geriatric Moore's Law from CERTAIN DEATH

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Re: A troupe of boffins?

"Undignified? But some of the best boffinry comes from monkeying around ..."

An indignity of boffins. There you go then.

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

John Gamble
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Childcatcher

Z-Man

Hmm. I wonder how the game company feels about DARPA using their name.

(I recommend Pandemic. Which does sound DARPA-like, now that I think of it.)

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HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE

John Gamble
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Re: fuck HP, here's why

"They've delayed the memristor for business reasons (see Hynix).

Those bastards. And I'll bet they're the reason practical fusion is still thirty years in the future too.

Or... sometimes new technology is hard to launch.

On a more practical matter, the new-everything-running-together claim is a little over the top. I'd be happy enough with memristor technology working on a FreeBSD-based machine.

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Remember Control Data? The Living Computer Museum wants YOU

John Gamble
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Re: Port That Job!

Ah, I'd forgotten about the load/store via the A registers aspect. Thanks for the reminder.

Huh, it occurs to me that I may actually still have a matrix multiplier that I wrote in CDC assembler all those decades ago (I was pleased enough with it that it survived the Great Home Paper Purge of the nineties). I need to look it up.

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John Gamble
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Re: Unrealistic job requirements

"...but if they are up to the CDC requirements, they will be seriously lacking in IBM/DEC/etc."

Seeing as my classmates and I worked on CDCs, PDP-11s, and Vaxen (that's the plural of VAX)... yeah, not so much.

Honestly, we're not so inflexible as that.

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John Gamble
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Port That Job!

Heh. If I recall correctly, we used University of Minnesota languages and Purdue University operating systems on our CDCs. I have very fond memories of programming them in MNF (a Fortran compiler), but that was over forty years ago, and I'd probably need a refresher course on the tricks of programming with 60-bit registers.

Maybe we could fork Node.js to it.

(We need a "not entirely joking" icon now.)

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

John Gamble
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Hmm.

The big news in the NFC mobile payments world is a switch from the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) – which put the secure element in the SIM card and gave the operators control of payments – to Host Card Emulation (HCE), where the secure element is in the handset and gives the control to piggyback (over-the-top) players, most significantly the banks.

So... who's responsible for the encryption? How easily would either system have allowed us to upgrade encryption if/when a weakness in the encryption is discovered?

And how much of a surcharge would we be hit with for the privilege of saving the banks from handling filthy lucre?

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You'll never believe it: Apple stock is going for CHEAP

John Gamble
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Stock splits are fairly common (although 7:1 splits aren't, I'll grant you), and are usually a sign that the stock (and presumably the company) is doing well. As the article alluded, it's to make the stock more accessible to the average buyer, as opposed to the institutional buyers who can buy hundreds of shares at a time.

It's reverse stock splits (e.g., your 30 shares of stock become 15 shares) that are usually a warning sign.

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