* Posts by M. Poolman

131 posts • joined 19 Mar 2007

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Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

M. Poolman

Also I think from the place where the bloke took some platinum mesh home to make a trellis.

M. Poolman

Yep,

I heard that story too. You didn't live in accomodation with the initials RCH by any chance?

It's now 2019, and your Windows DHCP server can be pwned by a packet, IE and Edge by a webpage, and so on

M. Poolman

Re atril seems to work for me,

Okular is well worth looking at if you want something more featurefull than atril.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

M. Poolman

Never assume soon means less than lifetime of Universe

Likewise always assume that temporary means permenant.

This includes locations of downloaded files that have been placed in a temporary directory until I can think of somewhere better, temporary one-off scripts to fix an imediate problem, and the temporary location of last weekends curry that I was planning to reheat.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

M. Poolman

By a funny coincidence the tld for Sudan is "sd" (Sicherheitsdienst)

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers

M. Poolman

Re: Surely some mistake

Many zeroes dropped, I make it ~160THz

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn

M. Poolman

Mass of Mercury = 3.3x10^23 ( https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/)

3.3x10^23 / 2x10^4 = 1.62x10^19

So at 1.54 x 10^19 kilograms, they’re slightly less than 1/20000 the mass of Mercury.

Or a fraction more than 10^16 skateborading Rinoceri

Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church

M. Poolman
Thumb Up

Re Lost in translation

Two thumbs up if possible - one for the comment and one for the Master and Margarita (even if it was an Amzon link)

Found yet another plastic nostalgia knock-off under the tree? You, sir, need an emulator

M. Poolman

And Dizzy.

And Lemmings

Influential cypherpunk and crypto-anarchist Tim May dies aged 67

M. Poolman

Re: Tilting at Windmills ..... is the Old Way They Jousted with Ghosts

Ye Gods! why all the downvotes for aman ?

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

M. Poolman

Re: Not my idea of sport

I eat some venison in Portree and it was *very* gamey

Just as long as it didn't come with its own disco rice you'll probably be OK

M. Poolman

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

RE : "Erm I don't think that bears prey on deer"

Grizzlys do.

Really? I thought that a deer would probably be to quick.

M. Poolman

Re: Not my idea of sport

Actually I think shooting a deer in the wilds of Jura (an area I know quite well) does take quite a lot of skill, you'd need to be a pretty good marksman to get a clean kill at half a mile regardless of your rifle (and you'd have to be able to demonstrate your capability before the Ghillie would let you take a shot).

I absolutely agree with the sentiment of "don't kill it if you won't eat it" but carcasses from trophy hunters will end up in local restaurants on Islay or the main land.

M. Poolman

Re: Cruel and Unnatural punishment

Cruel and Unnatural punishment is exactly what I thought when I heard this on the radio. I also thought that there is possibly no better way to inculcate a permanent and psychotic hatred of deer.

But maybe, just maybe, the judge has a sense of humor. I reminds me of the story a few years back about the young Sudanese(?) goat-herd who was sentenced to marry the goat with whom he'd be caught in flagrante.

M. Poolman

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

Erm I don't think that bears prey on deer

Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier

M. Poolman

Re: Controlled experments: thats the ticket

...including but not limited to: ... Zappa

Doubtless featuring Suzy Creamcheese

M. Poolman

A rare bit of amusement for a Monday.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

M. Poolman

Re: Oh-Oh-Whoah-Oh-Oh @ Michael Strorm

Beat me to it!

M. Poolman

Re: Oh-Oh-Whoah-Oh-Oh

Not sure which song you're refering to but the song of that name in "Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters" is pretty good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1gUnXFb9yM

Good news: Largest, most ancient known galaxy supercluster is spotted. Bad news: It's collapsing on itself

M. Poolman

Re: Fascinating stuff

Sad to say it, but this schemes funding this sort multidisciplinary, multinational project(EU2020/Marie Curie) will shortly no longer be available to UK boffins, and there is no sign the government is planning (or even able) to provide a substitute.

Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

M. Poolman

Re: Ah, Enlightenment...

I remember it well, a very nice WM it was too. I'm tempted to give Elive a spin just for the nostalga.

Drones Bill said to be ready for world+dog's crayons 'this summer'

M. Poolman
Holmes

"the bill has been noticeably absent from Parliamentary schedules – ****perhaps because of the ongoing Brexit kerfuffles**** that are tying up the Lords and Commons."

By George, you might be onto something there!

US prison telco accused of selling your phone's location to the cops

M. Poolman

That's all citizens, by the way, not just prisoners.

Shurely you'd kinda hope that you don't need cell phone location data to know where the prisoners are.

(There's going to be a jail break, somewhere in this town)

Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen

M. Poolman

Re: Sense of humor

@ GruntyMcPugh

That's a pretty grizzly joke.

M. Poolman

Re: Sense of humor

Yeah but you missed the pedantry icon, which makes me furrious.

M. Poolman

Re: Sense of humor

Yeah, can't see why they needed the extra clause in their permit!

Score one for the bats and badgers! Apple bins €850m Irish bit barn bid

M. Poolman

Evidence?

Can you provide any evidence for these assertions?

M. Poolman

Re: I feel a song coming on...

Beat me to it! Have an upvote.

Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended – and that's not even the worst news for them today

M. Poolman
Thumb Up

Re: That Hideous Strength

Good call.

For those that don't recognise the reference it's one of a trilogy by C.S.Lewis. Highly reccomended.

M. Poolman

Re: Shame.

I've never really seen the point of Godwin's "law" - is it really suggesting that any mention of the 3rd Reich automatically renders an argument invalid? If not, why bring it up?

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

M. Poolman

What I don't understand

is how, given that this is the result of a flaw at the level of the chip design, how it can affect chips with different architectures. Even if all these chips have speculative execution, surely the in silico implementation must be quite different for the different chips?

Cloud-building alien space rays altered Earth's climate – boffins

M. Poolman

Re: In what universe is this hard science?

I think that that is a rather simplistic view of the way in which scientific ideas develop. The reality is more nuanced, and indeed the authors of the paper state that:

"The mechanism could therefore be a natural explanation for the observed correlations between past climate variations and cosmic rays, modulated by either solar activity or caused by supernova activity..."

Furthermore, there was a degree of hypothesis testing. The authors, after having used some nifty mathematical modelling, raised the hypothesis that cosmic rays could increase the size of cloud condensation nucleii, and tested this experimentally, and in doing so failed to disprove the hypothesis.

Very few things are absolutely (dis)provable in science: hypothesis are put forward, tested and evidence accumulated. This leads to a "best current view" of the world, although what "best" is is rarely uncontentious, and most scientists would anyway acknowledge that their "best current view" is a best incomplete, and very likely incorrect in some aspects.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the data centre temp's delightful

M. Poolman
Flame

That's rock and/or roll for you!

Probably best not to turn all of them up to 11. Flames, obviously.

FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

M. Poolman
Thumb Up

Re: Black arm bands for everyone

OK you got there first - have an upvote!

M. Poolman

Re: Black arm bands for everyone

May I be the 93rd person to point out ...

"Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut."

Funnily enough, it was almost exactly that scenario that led to autoamtion of telephone exchanges in the first place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strowger_switch

Amazing how what goes around comes around (with maybe a few extra clicks and beeps)

Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

M. Poolman

Re: Hmm

Well I've looked hard but can't see anything, go on give us another clue!

Intel's super-secret Management Engine firmware now glimpsed, fingered via USB

M. Poolman
Pint

Re: Tanenbaum?

Me too! Obviously a few commentards of a certain age on here.

I often think Andrew Tannenbaum is one of the most overlooked pioneers in computing history and deserves a lot more credit than he gets. IIRC correctly, he never really "got" the open source thing until much too late and MINIX had been eclipsed by Linux.

Anyway, I'll raise a glass to him

Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

M. Poolman

Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

You sure do live up to your name bombastic bob!

Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

M. Poolman

Re: Turtlenecks, boybeards...

The Bible also mentions people living hundreds of years - like Methuselah at 956 years.

New testamant, written mainly in Latin and Greek: 3 score + 10 or if you're lucky 4 score.

Old testamant, written in ancient Hebrew: 956 for Methusala etc. Almost certainly mistranslation/misunderstanding by translaters whose knowledge of Latin and Greek was better than Hebrew.

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

M. Poolman

Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

" All Linux is "PROPER"!

Unless it's been infected with systemd that is... "

Yes of course, absolutely, have a thumbs up. It's something that I tend subconciously blank out and hope it will one day go away.

M. Poolman
Linux

Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

"put a PROPER linux on it?"

Whadya talkin bout? All Linux is "PROPER"!

Ex-Harrods IT man cleared of stealing company issued laptop

M. Poolman

Re: Eh? "it has his National Insurance number on it"

Erm, I think you'll find that HR and/or payroll very likely know your NI number already (how else does your NI get paid?).

Biochem boffins win the Nobel Prize for cryo-electron microscopy

M. Poolman

Re: really?

Beat me to it!

Dimensions of proteins are at the nm level, human hair is about 100 um: a difference in scale about 10^5! C'mon el Reg. we expect better of you!

UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

M. Poolman

Obviously this is very much "Oh god think of the children!" territory, buuut...

I don't think that's an unreasonable point of view.

Firstly the technical difficulty doesn't absolve the big social media players from all responsibility for what is put out on their systems. In any event, solving difficult technical problems is supposed to be their forte.

I'm also not entirely convinced about the level of difficulty involved (although IANAE): YT and FB both have "no pron" policies, and it's hard to find much on those platforms (or so I'm told).

Python explosion blamed on pandas

M. Poolman

Re: Execution speed...

@ BeakUpBottom (At some point ...)

That is an example of the social problem I mentioned. When I teach short course to non-programmers (for very secific tasks), the first thing I say is along the lines of "you will be learning to use a programming language, but this is NOT going to turn you into programmers" (and repeat several times thereafter!)

M. Poolman
Boffin

Re: Execution speed...

is it a "game changer"?

For me absolutely, for at least a dozen reasons, including resource management, the ability to use it interactively and the fact that you can easily interface to C (or other low level language) libraries. Although it's probably true that there's nothing you can do in python that couldn't be done in C, and the C would ultimately run faster, the development time in python is orders of magnitude faster, which in a scientific, especially research, context is far more important. Consider, for exanple, some real world data set which could be represented by nested dictionaries in which keys can either be real numbers or strings. This is trivial in python and can be taught to science students without a programming background, doing it in C would probably be a 2nd year undergraduate programming exercise.

Yes, there are potential drawbacks to Python, but in my view they are mainly social (untrained people tend to try run before they can walk), not technical

Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

M. Poolman

Re: Re. storms (can hurricanes be diverted)

DDT applied to that bloody butterfly?

What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu

M. Poolman

Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

Do any come with a choice of systemd or not ?

I don't know, but Qt based desktops might well make it easier to get away from systemd. Gnome depends on it but Qt doesnt (iirc),

Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

M. Poolman

Why 'so-called "escort" warships' ?

They are escort ships, pure and simple. This isn't ISIS we're talking about !

DUP site crashes after UK general election

M. Poolman

Re: Conservatives + DUP = IRA?

It's not all the nasty foreigners that means a hard brexit will lead to a hard border, it's smuggling. If there's a difference between tax regimes between NI and Eire, then the one or other govt will have to prevent tax avoidance by imposing import duties. People not wanting to pay them (or see a lucrative opportunity selling duty-free imports on the other side of the border) will simply avoid the official border posts, if the soft border remains.

A hard border was a massive bone of contention in the bad old days and did a lot to fuel the violence. Please don't let's go back there.

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