* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2617 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

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Re: Background Check Did Work!

Mr McGinnis demonstrated that he could not be trusted with a gun. He tried to buy a gun and was refused. He made a gun and was sent to prison. So far he has not shot anyone that we know about despite being violent to at least one woman. Gun laws will continue to make it difficult for him to shoot anyone.

Gun laws are a mixture and a mess and not a complete solution but keeping guns out of the hands of violent morons is still a step in the right direction.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

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In other news

Three Pandas recently survived a terrifying encounter with a human. A determined human climbed over a fence ready to savage a group of pandas but was fortunately unable to traverse a protective ditch. The pandas clearly had no idea of the danger they were in and approached the human to find out what was going on. Humans have eradicated dozens of species of animals and pandas are clearly on their hit-list. All animals are advised to keep away from humans and leave them to be dealt with by trained combat hippopotamuses.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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GPS is not this day and age

The encoding was selected over forty years ago. It pre-dates the ZX80 which had 1KB RAM - including the video RAM. The CPU could just about add and subtract 16-bit numbers directly and could not really hold two 32-bit numbers in registers at the same time.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

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Re: Rich to poor

The traditional method involving fast ladies and slow ponies was quite effective.

After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself

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Re: Dodging the accusation

US law includes provisions for legally sending blackmail and extortion demands. You need a qualified lawyer to write the demands in the form of a settlement agreement and you cannot ask for money or something decisively equivalent to money. AMI want Bezos to stop investigating and to make a public statement that AMI's coverage of Bezos is not politically motivated. AMI's lawyer appears to have followed correct legal procedure to just barely avoid a criminal charge of extortion. Details are here.

AMI broke campaign financing law. They contributed to the Trump campaign buy buying and burying stories about him without declaring the contribution. This information comes from their own signed statements (and is corroborated elsewhere). They currently have immunity from prosecution because of the evidence they gave against Trump's lawyer David Cohen. The immunity depends on them not breaking they law again after signing their immunity deal.

Bezos is not the only one investigating AMI. To me their response to the failure shut down these investigations is of the form: "We are going to evade prosecution by throwing one of our employees under the bus".

The lesson to be learned here is that if you really want to work for shit-bags make damn sure you have quality dirt on them first.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

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Re: Used toilet paper based economy ?

We have so much to look forward to.

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

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Re: Ah, capitalism at its best

Hating Google does not make everything they say wrong. The claim that link taxes hurt the businesses they were supposed to help has been tested and found to be true - twice. News sites in Spain spent years trying to get such a law repealed because it did them so much financial damage.

By all means hate Google with almost every waking moment so it drives every possibility of enjoyment from your life but please consider the collateral damage to other people. Google can promptly stop linking to any site demanding money. Think of the smaller sites, having to check every hour to see if the target of any link has started asking for money. Please take a two minute break from your hatred each day to think of something that will actually do some good.

There are other search engines. Pick one.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

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Re: Will of the people

Irrelevant to anyone in power.

Pixaaaarrrrrrghh! Mars-snapping CubeSats Wall-E and Eve declared dead (for now) by NASA bods

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Or: 3.2Gigametres

But a hard disk sales brochure would call that 3.44Gm and an ISP would call it "up to 4gM".

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

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Re: Yep

Got a low health insurance premium? Someone with genetic markers for susceptibility to heart disease or cancer can send a sample to FamilyTreeDNA labelled J J Carter and fix that for you.

Ever left your hair brush where someone else could get to it? A couple of hairs at a crime scene and the rest to FamilyTreeDNA will give you an interesting time.

Smaller tech firms just aren't ready for a no-deal Brexit, MPs told

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Re: Incompetence

It is tempting to think our politicians are acting stupid because stupidity is more easily forgiven than malice but after decades of them consistently 'acting' stupid I am convinced they are incapable of anything else.

Chang'e 4 wakes and Yutu 2 stretches its solar panels for another day... on the friggin' MOON

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Re: Winter on the Moon

The article mentions seasons for Mars, not the moon. As the moon's axial tilt is only 1.5° seasonal effects are small but two weeks of sunshine followed by two weeks of darkness make the lunar day cycle so extreme that they need nuclear power to scrape the frost off the windscreen.

Sad relics of UK launch capability returned to Blighty while NASA fiddles with Boeing crew

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Re: Galileo

British overseas territories and crown dependencies include some equatorial sites with a handy ocean to the east. The second biggest problem would be getting a bunch of frequencies useful for positioning. (The biggest problem is that if frequences fell out of a packet of cornflakes the government is so clueless that they would be buy a promise at a price that sounds reasonable then the price would double every year until cancellation.)

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

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Flag matters according to the bible

Apparently the rule is a good person who has never heard of Jesus can go to heaven but people who have been told and reject the teaching go to hell no matter how good they are. For some reason it is fine for missionaries to send good people to hell but naughty them to send Christians to heaven.

As I am an atheist I believe I cannot send anyone to heaven. Is it really wise to try to convince me otherwise? I would really love to sell tickets for an eternity in paradise - dated after the purchaser's death. I am convinced such behaviour would be fraud. If I got found guilty who else would need a good lawyer?

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

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"Failure" can be more profitable than success

Alexa: It is your 8:15 alarm: time to leave for work.

Me: Alexa, unlock the front door.

Alexa: Would you like to upgrade to Prime?

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

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And Ken White has a pony ...

Bet it is not RICO.

Spektr-R goes quiet, Dragon splashes down and SpaceX lays off

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Several things happening

SpaceX must have about 10 Falcon 9 boosters by now. Enough for 800 launches (assuming 1 Falcon heavy booster). The production line still has to produce second stages but those only need one engine each. Until now, block 5 boosters has been disassembled and reassembled for each re-launch to prove they do not need to be disassembled and reassembled for each re-launch. Dropping the launch cadence and reducing the amount of taking things to bits is going to hit those staff requirements twice.

BFR has changed. The booster is still carbon fibre composite but the space ship is now stainless steel. SpaceX no longer needs to work out how to re-apply ablative heat shielding on Mars so the space ship can get back to Earth (Stainless steel will not need the ablative coating). Different skills will be required to make the shiny new space ship so some staff will no longer be needed an SpaceX has about 400 job openings.

There is some actual money stuff. SpaceX can borrow loads of money but the interest rates are bad. The new plan involves borrowing less money to keep the interest payments manageable. Musk does decimate his staff every couple of years. This did not damage SpaceX last time.

What a cheep shot: Bird sorry after legal eagles fire DMCA takedown at scooter unlock blog

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Re: Legal question

Stealing is a criminal offence. Hiring a scooter is legal. Leaving it somewhere it is certain to be impounded is certainly naughty - ask a proper lawyer (not the internet) about possible legal consequences. Bird should know whose smart phone hired the scooter and their terms and conditions should include passing the impound costs back to the hirer, but if that happens it has not made the news. Getting a scooter impounded with the intent to buy one at auction sounds naughty and may cause the local government more costs than they are likely to get back from auction. If they had a clue they should be able to pass the excess costs back to Bird.

Other companies set up legal hiring and drop-off points for their vehicles. Hopefully Bird will come to see the value in this.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

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Re: Just an idea

Any senator: "My assets are frozen. Bribe me with cash."

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Re: Vultures

In your example, the opposition got their votes in part because they opposed a wall and have a duty to their voters to oppose the wall. If the vultures can get enough votes from the DUP to fund their wall from UK tax payers then the wall gets funded from UK tax payers, not France. The fact that the vultures did not get a majority is also a decision from the electorate showing limited support for a wall - perhaps in part because they are unhappy about being asked to pay for it.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

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Re: Citation

There are so many to choose from. Just ask you search engine, but here is a good place to start.

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Re: Easily solved

There were articles based on interviews with construction company executives back when Trump got nominated. The result was the most cost effective solution involved using a cement factory in Mexico and building roads to and along the Mexican side of the border to get materials, equipment and Mexicans there to build it.

Re-elected: Mexican citizens cannot be President of the USA.

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Easily solved

First Trump should beg the Mexicans for money to build his wall like he promised. When that gets nowhere Trump and his supporters should apply for Mexican citizenship and pay for it themselves.

US trade watchdog, mobe makers queue to smack Qualcomm as antitrust trilogy opens

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Re: Patently ridiculous?

Many standard bodies require participants to declare patents that would cover a developing standard. The penalty for lying about submarine patents is a harsh scolding and lots of royalties.

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Re: Patently ridiculous?

The most obvious dispute is about patent validity. Mathematics is not patentable. Software is a branch of mathematics so software patents should be invalid. The US courts are slowly getting this bashed into their heads with a clew bat but only if the case reaches SCOTUS and then only the minimum possible precedent is set. In the EU you can patent software if you call it a "computer implemented invention".

As far as I know, patents are abused at every opportunity no matter what the domain. The default 20 year term has not been sane for decades. In some domains you can find an alternate solution but for phones you need compatibility for a modem to be useful.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

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Re: html in email...

If there is an excellent reason not to simply delete .doc attachments, try antiword (.doc -> .txt converter) which is available for RISC OS. There are dedicated text browsers: lynx, links and w3m (none of them appear to have a RISC OS port).

I have had a Mac user who could not modify a plain text email and send it back. Is this PEBKAC or are Macs really that bad?

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

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Re: Just like buying a magazine.

Whether or not their is a problem: Plenty of parents do not care. Clearly they think there is not a problem worth spending time on. The nudity taboo is relatively modern. Pre-Roman Britons used to boink in public.

"There must be some way to do that?": No there does not have to be a solution that is not far worse than the problem (assuming you think there is a problem).

Apparently threatening to view the router logs is a solution that works for you - excellent. The government's proposed solution is a disaster. I want perverts and pedos at home looking at dirty pictures till they fap themselves unconscious. Take that option away and they will hang around near schools instead.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

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Re: Worst one I've heard of

I'm confused. I can see the necessity of wearing briefs to a debriefing but why attend a briefing if you are not going commando?

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

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Re: Ban science!

It is vital that we go back to the good old days of determined ignorance and lying about the effects of tobacco. Smokers pay a hefty tobacco tax and the cost of their end of life treatment is more than made up for by their short short life span. As long as there is a reasonable balance between smoking and non-smoking areas, non-smokers can avoid the smell and take an unfair share of the NHS budget during their abundant retirement years.

Ban the research! Cheaper nicotine and a lack of reliable data on the health consequences mean more taxes (on other people) and better NHS care (for me)! My grandfather lacked the endurance to move himself from his wheel chair to the loo because he smoked so much. This is a fate I happy to inflict on others because I am far more evil than a health nazi.

Silicon Valley CEO thrown in the cooler for three years, ordered to pay back $1.5m for bullsh*tting investors

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Re: Bigger Fraud is Safer

Lose a million and your have a problem. Lose a billion and the bank has a problem. Trump's real business skill was the ability to work with one bank to move the problem to the next bank. The last two banks in the chain were Deutsche Bank and Alfa. Now he can sell an end to sanctions he should be back in credit but given his outstanding skill at losing money I will wait for evidence rather than take that on trust.

Apple yanks iPhones from sale in Germany – and maybe China, too – amid Qualcomm spat

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Re: What I don't get is...

Qualcomm have been working hard at strangling any competition for years. I have no idea if Qualcomm or Apple is more guilty than the other but I think the bulk of the blame belongs with the patent system.

ICO has pumped almost £2.5m and 36 staff into its political data probe – but only 2 are techies

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Plenty of ways to interpret this

My favourites are that one part time tech is worth 17 lawyers or that software documentation is seventeen times clearer than the law.

Boffins don't give a sh!t, slap Trump's face on a turd in science journal

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Not bad, but the last one was better

Typing idiot into Google and getting pictures of Trump was funny the first time I came across it, but the fact that congress had to ask why is still hilarious.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20

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Before you laugh too loud

The publishers claim to have sold over 900 million copies.

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently

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Re: Cookie permission screen

I prefer a solution along the lines of "treat all cookies as session cookies" because it is a setting the user can control by selecting a functional browser rather than relying on the state to hunt down and fine people who continue to track users who tick a "do not track" box on an html form.

There is still an advantage to the EU version. If the "I agree to cookies even though I do not want them" button covers the entire screen then I take it as a signed statement from the site management that they are a bunch of arse holes. I simply close the tab and try the next link down on the search results.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

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Back before my beard went grey ...

The Russians could word out what was being typed on an electric typewriter from a recording of the sounds it made.

My first thought was that this tech could show an advert for a loan when you type your internet banking password - but there will not be any need for adverts. The next day you will find you took out a loan at 2400% APR and bought everything you never wanted.

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

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Re: make the .co.uk news for some reason

There is this magic trick: If the link contains the word "American" or "FCC" do not click on it and much of the US news will not appear on your screen.

NASA names the date for the first commercial crew demo flight

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Re: more of a crumpet man

Watch out or version 2 will be based on 790.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

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Re: the NHS will be paperless by 2020

The paperless NHS project is amazing. It has been going on for years. When it gets excessively late and over budget it gets cancelled and restarted a year or so later. Total deforestation and the complete destruction of the NHS will not end the stream of paperless NHS projects.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

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Re: @ toilet duk

Ms James you say? Can you show me you ID card please. That picture does not look like you. Let me take a closer look. Whoops... it fell in the shredder. Sorry - I cannot help you unless you have an ID card.

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Re: Here we go again...

and block chain.

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal

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Re: Administrators

This bunch of administrators do seem to be a bit lax. Apparently they failed to spend £600,000 and some of that may reach the creditors.

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

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Re: An optimistic cynics take

The fairings are aluminium honeycomb surrounded by a carbon fibre composite. Inspection of the first fairings to be recovered from the sea showed that sea water had got between the carbon fibres. The design has changed to include some sort of waterproof coating.

Dragon capsules land in the sea and get re-used. One of them has been to the ISS 5 times.

Pencil manufacturers rejoice: Oz government doesn't like e-voting

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None Of The Above stood for election in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

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Re: Security is not the issue

I vote a thousand times using randomly generated codes. Either you can turn those codes back into names and addresses - so you do not have a secret ballot or you can't and you cannot remove only my fake votes.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Re: possible terrorist threat this Christmas

FISC: What!?

NSA: Santa Claus is a person of interest and a terrorist. Every year he violates US airspace, causes financial mayhem to our economy, drops packages containing god only knows what and ...

FISC: Yes?

NSA: He's got a list... we want it.

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Re: Gets popcorn

Revealing the existence of a TCN is illegal. Prosecuting a company for failure to to comply with a TCN will reveal the existence of at least one. Presumably this is legal and the court's ruling and sentence will also be a matter of public record and will be required to show up in SEC filings.

Next year phone adverts will include "already fined for not complying with a TCN".

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Re: The BS is strong with this one

This one is easy to understand. The actual deadline is before the next election.

Here's the list of space orgs big and small sparring to send next NASA gear to the Moon

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Re: Parachutes

IIRC the actual problem is with the second source of line cutters.

The parachutes open in stages so they do not get ripped to shreds when the capsule is falling rapidly. At least one of those stages involves cutting a piece of string. There was only one source of line cutters. Demand for these parts was approaching the supply limit so SpaceX found an second source. NASA is part way through deciding if the second source is reliable enough.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

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You have clearly only met consultant version 1

Version 1 consultant does not need any time to understand a new customer's business because he has already selected the solution. The solution is the one that the consultant gets the most commission on.

Version 2 consultant does exist and a few of the more competent PHBs are able to hire them. Version 2 spends the morning listening to various employees until he works out which employee actually understands what is going on and how to fix it. He then listens to that employee and puts what he hears into a report for the PHB. The PHB then announces the content of the report as his plan (stop preventing the skilled employees from doing a proper job).

I was lucky enough to meet a version 2 consultant early on and so discovered the technique required to get PHBs to listen: increase your hourly rate.

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