* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space

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It is people like this (who pay their people little) that cause loons like Nancy Pelosi cause to celebrate with silly comments. I also note that he supports such causes all while keeping the $$$.

Well in some cases, yes crumbs (*SIGH*).

Let's be Frank: Bloke drags Google to the US Supreme Court over $8.5m privacy payout

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Stating the obvious...

The only people who actually make out in a class action lawsuit are THE LAWYERS. Perhaps something should be done about this. Maybe the lawyer's fee out a single class participant. So, they get 33% of the $1.00 settlement. That would work for me!

NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede

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Computing power...

Of course, one might try using a Raspberry Pi for the computing, as it has close to the same power as an original VAX.

The prices for computing power have come down a bit over the years.....

As for data, good old nine track tape in 2400 foot reels works on just about any reader that can mount the tape.

Failbreak: Bloke gets seven years in the clink for trying to hack his friend out of jail

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He forgot the most important thing...

He should have printed up a "Get out of Jail Free" card and mailed it to the guy inside. People have been let out for less.

Sadly these don't work for stays in the "Big House", they look at ALL the paperwork.

if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

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There should be a few rules for SO


2) Have you tried a search engine

3) Think about it for a day or so.

4) Did you look at old answers in Stack Overflow?

5) You might have a reasonable question, so ask it. Please be brief and concise. Check your spelling grammar as well.

You're Welcome.

LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

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Dual use??

Maybe the beer should be only dispensed in the afternoon (for various times of "afternoon"). Then it might produce coffee and crumpets (doughnuts in USA) in the AM hours.

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

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I wonder what the proper procedure for elevator phones is. My parents house has a small (two story) elevator, and it has a nice phone inside the elevator car. There is NO WAY I'm going to have anything other that a proper POTS line serving the phone. If power goes out (the elevator gets stuck), you will need to summon help to get "rescued". My 99 year old mom can easily reach for the phone and call for help. A VoIP phone WILL NOT DO! I refuse to put one in for this service. I have my doubts about others in this circumstance would wither.

Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

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Promises, Promises...

Elon Musk needs to start a Broadway Play. Given his hype he might even make money if it fails. Or not.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

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Yes, there is video...

It is all over the local news here. Yes, every local channel that has a news organization (at least 5) has it on the air. Lots of cop cars visible in the coverage.

More at 6 & 11 pm (as they say).

Then I bump up one channel and get Jerry Springer. What a contrast.

Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

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Maybe someone should...

Continue the trend and setup a DNS server at and publicize that...

Super Cali goes ballistic, Starbucks is on notice: Expensive milky coffee is something quite cancerous

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This reminds me of...

A conversation I had with an early Intel employee (before he went to Intel). He said something along the lines of "I was all for that healthy food stuff, but when they said that a barbecued steak was bad for you, that when I gave up".

Hi, meh (jr).

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

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Re: Spell Checkers...

Let's see:

C - H - E - C - K - E - R - S.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Software gremlin robs Formula 1 world champ of season's first win

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Health and Safety...???

I'm a bit surprised that H&S hasn't invaded. They might limit the speed to 80 kph for the entire track just to be "safe".

On the other hand, if you want to go "full computer", just give all the drivers an Xbox/Playstation and let it go from there. Animate for TV coverage.

Probably not, but it could happen. Lots of reasons one might be "for the environment" or something as silly.

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Follows old adage...

To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer.

Looks like this was a classic foul-up. Augmented by really too many computers.

I long for the days when cars didn't have such things (like the 60's).

How do you make those darn code monkeys do what you want? Just give 'em a little nudge

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You will get desert.....

When you eat your vegetables.

(or something similar)

Toyota to flog 10,000 aaS wagons to Avis Budget rentals

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If you don't know who the sucker is...

...It is probably you.

This applies in Poker as well as online stuff. One must be very aware.

Note to self: Don't use the self service checkouts unless you get a discount.

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

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Lesson learned...

This is a general comment about lessons learned. If the "cost" of the failure is large, it is a lesson learned quite thoroughly. If the "cost" is minimal, you gloss over it and learn it many times before it sinks in. When it comes to backups, the initial "cost" is quite small and the lesson isn't learned, but when it becomes "large" it is like being hit on the head with a 2x4.

So goes human nature (*SIGH*).

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"To hoover up the data?"

To "vacuum" up the data, I think you'll find.

This being a UK site and all shouldn't it be "Dyson" up the data??

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

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Power frequency off??

Looks like it is more than a few cycles off. The correct frequency for power is 60 Hz. So, they are a bunch (10 Hz) off according to my calculations. They should be spinning faster (3600 RPM).

Get with the program!

Will the defendant please rise? Utah State Bar hunts for sender of topless email

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The real question(s)...

How long did it take to discover the problem?

Which begs another question:

What took them so long?

Inquiring minds need to know!

Buffer overflow in Unix mailer Exim imperils 400,000 email servers

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There are alternatives...

Postfix comes to mind. Of course sendmail doesn't.

All of this comes to "pick your poison".

Mail IS difficult, and is best left to what some call "experts".

Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

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Obvious solution...

Require all employees to wear (bicycle) helmets when near the building.

Me? I would have the helmet concession at the entrance. A 'third party opportunity".

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor

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All this talk of monitor resolutions...

Has me thinking of people comparing their anatomy to each other, or at least bragging about it. Sure my monitor isn't that big, but for most things it really doesn't need to be.

My last job, I used a very nice iMac that allowed me to have a nice 50 lines with 80 characters on each nicely displayed on the monitor. For programming that is pretty good, and a long way from the 24x80 CRT terminals I used many moons ago.

I guess for the most part it is all relative. Lots of people want "bigger" even if they don't use it. In fact those that want it the most are usually the ones who don't actually use the big expanses of screen real estate (like many PHB's).

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

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Don Martin reference...


As for a BOFH production, wouldn't there be a different "boss" each episode. Kinda like _The Prisoner_ with interchangeable #2's.

As for beer, I remember a lunch break where four of us went to the local road house and we went through 3 pitchers of beer. I remember that I was the one that drank the least, and my head was spinning and the others "appeared" to be sober. Thankfully for all of us said road house (which is no longer there) was walking distance and they don't give WUI's (Walking under the influence) out.

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

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Thankfully, I live in sillycon valley...

Sure Radio Shack (Tandy) has all but disappeared, but we do have Fry's Electronics (they also sell refrigerators) and a couple of surplus stores that actually sell components.

Many moons ago, we did have Zack electronics (Palo Alto), but they went away in the early 80's just when Fry's was taking off. Sadly with the way things are built these days, we all strive for "instant gratification", and it is never soon enough. We buy and discard on a daily basis, and don't have time for the act of putting something together. That knowledge is hidden in the macro items we buy.

Such a shame.

TVEyes blindsided: Fox News defeats search engine in copyright spat

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Ten minutes??

I'm surprised that anyone here in the USA has an attention span that long. Perhaps that is why news stories (and commercials) are short. I remember back in my youth that commercials were ONE minute long, and we could take breaks from TV watching to use the facilities. Now we have five second intros to YouTube videos that are all pretty short.

Yes, our minds are turning to mush.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

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Re: Two stories:

Voltages on microphones...

Well unless you are using phantom voltage, the voltages in a microphone are usually VERY minimal (less than a volt most of the time). The typical mic has a small dynamic element and not much else. Yes, the phantom circuit is 48 volts (sometimes less) that provides bias to electret microphones need biasing and amplification.

Yes there is a problem around water, and I wouldn't go near it with audio equipment.

We all hate Word docs and PDFs, but have they ever led you to being hit with 32 indictments?

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Just remember...

Lying in and of itself doesn't get you in trouble.

Getting caught lying usually does.

Then there are BOFH disciples. Neither applies.

Audio tweaked just 0.1% to fool speech recognition engines

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Pay no attention...

...to the man behind the curtain.

Speech is noise if you don't understand it. And Vice-versa.

Wanna gobble Google's custom chips? Now you can – its Cloud TPUs at $6.50 an hour

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Begs the question...

How much does it cost to mine bitcoin? Can it be done at a profit?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

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On AC and condensate

Many moons ago, I was traveling (for work actually) with a work companion in of all places Tyler Texas, where the motel rooms had occupancy sensors on the thermostats to "economize". Of course this was totally unacceptable as we wanted to return from our outings to a reasonably cool room rather than sweat it out while the AC attempted to cool things down in glacial time.

Our solution was to open up the thermostat and "bypass" (I believe it involved a screwdriver adjustment) the motion sensor. This meant that we slept comfortably at night and came back to a nicely cool room after the days outing. When we did come back, we noticed that the condensate which drained from the AC onto the exterior walkway looked like a river for our room, but the other rooms had barely a trickle. We just smiled and carried on.

Yes, Tyler Texas in the summer is both hot and humid.

No need to be part of the gunpowder plot, this was back in the 80's and the company is long gone.

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Re: @Chris King -- Aircon Leaks

Of course, Boris said to Natasha "Stroke, stroke, stroke".

Why is Bitcoin fscked? Here are three reasons: South Korea, India... and now China clamps down on cryptocurrencies

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Soon parted. To me it seems that fools are the ones who dabble in Bitcoin. Given a chance, it can be rigged, and the mining is mostly a zero sum game when you consider energy costs (at least in the USA).

Sorry, I'm not using my machine to heat the house, especially since it is a nice balmy 65 degrees (F) outside. Winter is over.

Maybe that is the reason the value tanked. Winter is over (mostly) and nicer weather is around the corner, and soon we switch on the air conditioning. Sounds as good as any other excuse for the value of Bitcoin.

NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

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Re: Funding?

"I doubt ground stations would need to be *rebuilt* they just need to tune in to the correct frequency and position..."

This depends... Sometimes the receivers need special hardware to receive the data. If said hardware is lost/scrapped you need to re-create it.

Also the deep space network can get pretty busy looking after things, as there are bunches of satellites outside of earth orbit (quite a few in or about Mars).

Ghost in the DCL shell: OpenVMS, touted as ultra reliable, had a local root hole for 30 years

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Wasn't VMS...

The pattern used for Windows NT. It was my understanding (I could be wrong though) that the head of VMS development went on to Microsoft to do Windows NT development.

Of course this explains Windows problems, etc...

$14bn tax hit, Surface Pro screens keep dying – but it's not all good news at Microsoft

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Just waiting...

For one of the fondleslabs to go "total inability to perform usual service" right in the middle of next Sunday's Super Bowl. You will see a vivid demonstration of frustration with said device. If this happens, the words "extreme prejudice" will be the least of the problems.

If it happens to more than one on the sideline something close to a volcanic eruption will take place.

To mitigate this I strongly suspect that the fondleslabs will be very well tested. Then again, you never know.

Good news, everyone: Ransomware declining. Bad news: Miscreants are turning to crypto-mining on infected PCs

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Then there is another way...

I recently got a nice email that said that the people sending it have my keylogging and know that I have surfed porn. They won't tell if I send some bitcoin.

Thankfully I just ignored it as I knew it was untrue. On the other hand I suspect there are people out there who have fallen for it. At least there are no infections to deal with. Of course given the amount of infected email I come across (and ignore), it is but a small blessing.

Intel alerted Chinese cloud giants 'before US govt' about CPU bugs

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Possible word to wise...

El Reg is really on top of things. Be well advised to monitor it closely.

Look, if Vulture Central is being noted in the WSJ, it must be doing something right.

Can't say much for Chipzilla Intel or others. Some genetic diversity in chip designs might be something to strive for. Of course I long for 68k processors, but that is another story.

Newsflash: Car cyber-security still sucks

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Where's my car...

Not far off, as one might think. We will soon have autonomous vehicles, and after you "park" and go into the pub, you whip out your smartphone app and ask the vehicle to meet you at the front door. I see all sorts of problems here, including getting the wrong car (probably the same make).

Of course if it is the boss's car, there are all sorts of BOFH scenarios available (sorry about that cliff/river).

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

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You forgot...

The cup holder on the big box.

Blockheads changing company names to surf crypto wave get a warning from the SEC

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Crypto currency FRAUD?

Well, you could have blown me over with a feather.

When something bounces up and down by 50% in one week or so, one needs to be VERY suspicious. Somehow I would short the security about a year out, and probably make money. Then again, some people think the lottery is a good investment.

(*SIGH*) Not me!

'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

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All of this makes me long for...

68K architecture, which I read somewhere doesn't have this problem. Unfortunately they stopped with the 68060 and didn't go farther. All in all a MUCH cleaner architecture. Probably slower, but WAY more compact in instruction count. Yes it was very CISC, but when memory was more expensive it was the way to go.

Now we have these problems, and with very little genetic diversity, I suspect it might not be the last.

You get a lawsuit! And you get a lawsuit! And you! Now Apple sued over CPU security flaws

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But will it get fixed?

Given the amount of sueballs thrown, I suspect the the only "fix" to the problem will be in lawyers pockets. Little (if any) money will be put in the pockets of people who were harmed (assuming they were).

Answer to the joke "A good start". Joke supplied upon request.

Wanna motivate staff to be more secure? Don't bother bribing 'em

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Front doors?

"Do you keep your front door unlocked?"

Well, when I was growing up, that is exactly what we did. Of course it was in simpler times (the 50's and 60's), but if you knew where, there was an unlocked door in the house that only got a lock (mini deadbolt) when the selling realtor put it in.

Yes, much simpler times. I compare them to PC's with no networking in locked offices (usually on some "executive's desk rarely used").

Times have changed.

Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

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Needs to pay the bill for all of this. Whoever this is will need to build things to make it work. You have several technologies that vie for this, cable, wireless, DSL, etc. When we use the broadband internet, for whatever price whatever company provides the service must not do it at a loss (or it won't last long). All of this costs $$$ (or whatever your local currency is today), and the money comes from two sources, a government, or individuals. Take your pick. For the most part government money comes with a spaghetti mess of "strings attached" that some politician (or group of them) has put in place to accommodate someone. Private money wants to be paid for, so I pay for my DSL.

Do you get what you pay for? I really don't know, but I do get DSL for a few bucks a month, and it seems to work OK. Yes, I wish it were cheaper, but life goes on. (*SIGH*).

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

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Getting clost to being explosive...

As batteries get more "efficient", they approach being explosive devices. The problem is that the batteries are self contained energy devices, whereas common fuels (diesel, petrol/gasoline) need to be supplied with oxygen form the air to be useful.

Another way to have self contained energy sources, is to use hypergolic fuels (rockets use these). At least they are binary in nature and need both parts to generate heat.

This is the reason that batteries catch fire/explode all by themselves. Not fun.

US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

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Wonder what would happen...

If you had very descriptive names of random number data. Put in a directory/folder labeled "encrypted".

I really don't want to try this though. I like being "free". I leave it to those who are suitably endowed with lawyer like skills on tap, as well as time to spare.

Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

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Note to Nvidia:

Look guys, you sell HARDWARE. Let anyone do anything to it. You might even sell more.

Even better would be open source the software so we could all improve it.

Will it happen? I doubt it.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

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Genetic Diversity?

Given that a major share of the CPUs out there are from one vendor, this is what you get. A hardware bug that permeates over several chips. Nice to see that AMD (minority report) doesn't have the problem.

Maybe Chipzilla Intel is too big and needs to be sliced and diced.

Thought experiment: What would Intel be if IBM had picked a different processor for its PC back in 1981 (Motorola 68000?)?

Long Island Iced Tea Corp renamed itself to Long Blockchain – and its shares went bananas

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Names change opinions of lots of people.

Just remember that MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was once called NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). The name was changed because of the bad vibes that anything with the name "nuclear" in it.

So now you know the rest of the story.

Yes, there was a company that changed its name from "Apple Computer" to "Apple, Inc.". If it changed to "Apple Blockchain" I might be a multimillionaire.

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