* Posts by Simon Harris

2309 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

Simon Harris
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Having to put up with the smell of dog toffee...

the man's neighbour complained "Heaven knows, I'm miserable now"

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Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

Simon Harris
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100,000 individual video clips...

Did anyone else read that and instantly think 'My god! That's a lot of porn!' ?

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iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe

Simon Harris
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Happy

Danish Pastries...

a much better use for the change than 'something wrist mounted'.

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Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

Simon Harris
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Re: Bah!

The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town.

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Simon Harris
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Sex with a ghost.

Do you experience la petite mort ?

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Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

Simon Harris
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Re: Can I get....

The trolley problem in theory:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfIdNV22LQM

and in practice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWb_svTrcOg

From The Good Place, Series 2, Episode 5.

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Simon Harris
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Re: The most hated people in society.

"I notice that dogs came out more valued than criminals."

Cars will interrogate the Police National Computer, cross-reference with Facebook profile pictures and actively go in search of criminals to mow down.

Of course, you will be able to pay a premium for your car to prioritise taking you where you actually want to go over random acts of carmageddon. Be careful though - if your car doesn't make its criminal quota you may be marked as a bad citizen.

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Break out the jelly and ice cream! Microsoft's Small Basic turns 10

Simon Harris
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Small BASIC?

I still remember the 70s and Tiny BASIC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-Chen_Wang#Palo_Alto_Tiny_BASIC (There's a link to 8080 source code for Tiny BASIC at the bottom of the article)

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SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Simon Harris
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Logical Conundrum.

"...love chastity... nor sleep with your colleague's spouse"

What if your colleague's wife is called Chastity?

I'm in an ethical pickle.

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Happy 60th birthday, video games. Thank William Higinbotham for your misspent evenings

Simon Harris
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Re: Yeah although that wasn't a _Video_ game as such

I'd say that what defines a video game is the real time representation of players' characters on a video device that respond to some form of real time control device along with other game features (e.g. balls, aliens, missiles, etc) rather than the exact technology used to render the video image.

I've seen Asteroids rendered both on a vector display and on a raster display - essentially the same game on both in terms of the user experience, but by your reasoning one would not be considered a video game, and the other would. While the rasterising process may be used to detect collisions between sprites when it simultaneously tries to rasterise two or more, collision detection can be done in software (or in the case of the original tennis game with analogue comparators) instead where hardware sprites are not supported.

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Simon Harris
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re: my last post...

Bahhh - awaits incoming from the apostrophe police - oops.

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Simon Harris
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I remember playing the one in the Science Museum.

It's ability to learn new animals may have been turned off though - that might have attracted plenty of humorous additions to its menagerie.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Tanks

Based around the the AY-3-8700 I suspect. There were quite a few AY-3-8xxx chips around back then with different game selections hardwired into them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZWlirjdNoM

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Party like it's 1989... SVGA code bug haunts VMware's house, lets guests flee to host OS

Simon Harris
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A standard dating back to 1987?

I remember plain VGA being introduced as a standard in 1987, but back then I seem to remember every manufacturer going "Pah! 640x480 in 16 colours? We can do better than that" and everyone found their own way of building on top of VGA to create a mess of different SVGAs and lots of display drivers that came with every piece of software that wanted to use them. It wasn't until the 90s with the VESA VBE video bios extensions that things got a bit more standardised and even then there was no guarantee that a mode you'd used on one card would exist on another.

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Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

Simon Harris
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Maybe every copy of Windows should be sold with a removable media device, and any system updates are locked out of changing anything in the OS until the media device has been plugged in and made an image of the OS partition.

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Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

Simon Harris
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Re: Does nobody ever read Larry Niven?

I thought the idea was to look for life on the moon, not to turn it into a ready-meal.

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Simon Harris
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NASA is planning to send Europa Clipper spacecraft

They're sending a clipper?

Maybe they should be sending an ice-breaker.

... and shouldn't ESA get first dibs on a moon called Europa?

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Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

Simon Harris
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Re: ... / as a path separator and - as a switch character...

I seem to remember there was a simple hack round about MS-DOS 3.mumble that allowed you to change DOS separators and switches to Unix style ones.

It's too long ago now to remember now whether it was changing the value of a constant flag or changing the arguments of CMP AL, '\' and CMP AL, '/' (or some-such) instructions somewhere in the executable.

Another hack (more a prank than anything useful) was to edit the built-in command table to change one command to the name of a program that a colleague used a lot - the built in command then takes priority in parsing over looking for the executable.

Watching the look of confusion when they were going to have a lunchtime game of LARN and instead get...

c>larn

ECHO is on.

c>

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

Simon Harris
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Orifices.

This isn't the first time this illustrious organ has reported on insertable audio devices.

At the beginning of 2016 the much missed Lester Haines reported on the BabyPod - a vaginally inserted loud speaker.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/07/foetal_streaming_service/

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Simon Harris
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Re: Oh, go on then

3-4mm - that's nothing.

My first robotic surgery project was for automated prostate surgery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCZjktHxgw4

For that a resectoscope is passed up the urethra through the only natural keyhole. Not only does that contain the 'scope (which could be swapped for an ultrasound probe) but also the cutting equipment and irrigation channels. The whole assembly was housed in a stainless steel tube approximately 10mm in diameter.

And don't ask about the trans-rectal ultrasound probe (which goes in the other, larger, keyhole) used to guide a needle for prostate biopsies - that would put a lot of Ann Summers products to shame.

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UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

Simon Harris
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Re: does the landlord refund you all the money you gave to pay the rent? @Jess

I'd say more like 'the new bathroom you started to have fitted'.

You'd expect to enjoy your new bathroom if you stay in the house after it's completed, but lose any rights to it if you move out.

If you have a good relationship with your landlord you might get some sort of recompense for the work you've put in. Good luck if you've spent the last 40 years complaining about the house and how mean he is.

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Simon Harris
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Stop

Re: Have fun!

"I'd signed some paperwork that would let me be jailed if I made them available."

I could tell you my password, but then I'd have to kill you.

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A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Simon Harris
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Re: Ironic, isn't it?

"I thought Maplin always had a store in Westcliffe-on-sea in addition to the mail order"

I think the store opened slightly after the mail order business, along with another one just after in Hammersmith.

One of the problems with their mail order business, I think, was that when it started up it would sell to anybody, while companies such as RS and Farnell would only sell to companies with a business account. When RS and Farnell started selling to anyone with a credit card and had a larger and more competitively priced range of components than Maplin, I suspect Maplin couldn't really compete in the mail-order component business any more and the tat content of their shops increased to compensate.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Ironic, isn't it?

"The problem is that the only things I ever need from Maplin are small items that I suddenly realise I need"

I found that the things I suddenly needed from Maplin would often appear in the on-line search as being in stock, and then would mysteriously not be in the shop when I got there, even though the shop assistants could still find them on the computer.

My closest Maplin was a short walk from home, so if there were in my hand in 30 minutes and I could get on with a project, I didn't really mind if they were a little bit more expensive than waiting for a delivery.

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That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Simon Harris
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Front page picture

Feeling nostalgic for the days when things were big enough to solder without needing a microscope.

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UKIP doubled price of condoms for sale at party conference

Simon Harris
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Coat

"Supplies started to run dry"

So not the lubricated version then.

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Simon Harris
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£2 for a condom...

So that's the 'price worth paying' for Brexit.

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UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

Simon Harris
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Farage condoms?

Surely brexiters use the withdrawl method.

Mines the one that doesn't have a pregnancy test kit in the pocket ------->

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Curiosity's computer silent on science, baffling boffins

Simon Harris
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But does Curiosity count its birthdays in Earth years or Mars years?

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Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

Simon Harris
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Re: Obligatory "IT Angle?" Post

The story is in the BootNotes section.

Although it might be more appropriately placed in BootieNotes.

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UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Simon Harris
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Re: TL;DR

"Only if you work in a tiny specialisted field."

Except that the situation is mirrored across many other fields.

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Martian weather has cleared at last: Now NASA's wondering, will Opportunity knock?

Simon Harris
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Candle in the Martian Wind.

I see an Opportunity for an Elton John come-back.

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Card-stealing code that pwned British Airways, Ticketmaster pops up on more sites via hacked JS

Simon Harris
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Re: I wouldn't call it 'lazy'

Indeed - to prevent CPU security problems, we should follow in James Newman's footsteps and build our own out of transistors.

http://www.megaprocessor.com/

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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Simon Harris
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Still count it as one of the best recoveries ever, but all I got in return was something along the lines of "I suppose I'll have to re-type that [document/spreadsheet/whatever] will I?"

She could at least have made you a hot chocolate.

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Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

Simon Harris
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Headmaster

Re: Obviously...

From the misplaced apostrophe I assume you are in charge of recruitment for a grocery store.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Small Basic

I used BASIC on a PDP8e back in my school days. That one was much closer to Dartmouth BASIC.

For a more traditional PC BASIC experience than QBASIC, there's GW-BASIC - extended to make use of PC hardware, but syntactically closer to the spirit of the original. You will, of course, need a DOS emulator to run it now.

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Simon Harris
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"But what I was going to say was WTF have MS done to the PRINT command."

And EndFor? What's going on there? If this is supposed to be BASIC, the correct word is NEXT.

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BlackBerry, Sony, Honor and LG flash their new phones for all to see

Simon Harris
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Re: My next move...

... is to keep using my old phone until it dies.

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Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom

Simon Harris
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Re: Slight numerical error.

I remember those days when radio manufacturers would advertise the transistor count like mechanical watch manufacturers would advertise how many 'jewel' bearings the watch had.

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Simon Harris
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Re: The best cable of any kind in 50 years

Depends how many times you run over it with your chair.

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UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!

Simon Harris
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Re: Cash on the barrel head

My local kebab shop does very good kebabs and takes both cards and cash.

I always end up paying cash, even if I have my card with me, as the change gives me something to leave in the tips jar.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

Simon Harris
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Re: "1 business day after dispatch"

Unless I know the vendor my heart sinks when I look for something on Amazon and find it's from a Marketplace supplier. I trust them about as much as random people on eBay.

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Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Simon Harris
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Have you tried turning it off and on again?

While the robot begs not to be switched off in a way that seemed like a small child not wanting the light switched off at bedtime, I suspect most people know that if you switch something off, it will normally work again when you switch it on.

Would there have been a different response if the participants were put in a situation where their action would actively wipe the software or destroy the device?

I remember years ago a website 'Temple ov thee lemur' set up a page with a big red button that if pressed destroyed the site (or gave the impression of doing so). I wonder if they ever collected stats on how many visitors to the page pressed that button.

http://totl.net/HonourSystem/

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Simon Harris
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Re: Dave

At least HAL didn't lie about eating pizza.

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Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

Simon Harris
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Re: I'm struggling to think of any black androids in film or television

I just had a thought that some of the Battlestar Galactica (remake) Cylons were black and Asian, and looking through their numbers, I see that there were some:

"Simon" - played by Rick Worthy

"Boomer" - played by Grace Park

"Tory Foster" - played by Rekha Sharma

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Simon Harris
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Re: I can see where this will lead

"I'm struggling to think of any black androids in film or television"

Of female black androids, I can't think of any off-hand. Male ones, the most recent I can think of were a couple of the main characters in Humans.

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Build your own NASA space rover: Here are the DIY JPL blueprints

Simon Harris
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Re: I'm daydreaming ...

... although at 1/6 scale I don't know where you'd find the 1' tall astronauts.

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Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

Simon Harris
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Unhappy

Sobering thought...

I'm not far off the upper age limit that they considered middle-aged.

Have to get my mid-life crisis in fast.

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Simon Harris
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Joke

An electromagnetic concentrator the size of the Great Pyramid...

... and they still can't get decent EE reception.

Even the icon has a picture of a pyramid ---->

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

Simon Harris
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Re: No Excuses! @HKmk23

Except for the possibility of your law abiding citizen becoming reclassified as an undesirable under a future government.

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