* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

China churns out homemade aircraft for global travel DOMINATION

Herby Silver badge

Just one more letter in the alphabet..

We have 'A' planes: Airbus

We have 'B' planes: Boeing

Now we have 'C' planes: China.

We had 'D' plane: Douglas (now part of Boeing!)

Then there is a saying a friend of mine has (he works for United maintenance): It's Boeing, or I'm not going! (He didn't like Airbus much).

Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

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This just in.....

For release in 2013, Windows 9, Internet explorer 11. Preview to come soon. Marketing splash next. Now word on Office 2013. Should have improved interface.

Cloud altitude changing with climate: NZ study

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Reminds me of cartoons

Where they shot an arrow against the wall, THEN draw a target around it, indicating a bulls eye.

So, modify the model to get the desired results in the future, but fail to correct it when the future doesn't turn out the way you had hoped.

Wishful thinking all!

BOFH: Moon landings, Pong and the case of the smoking server

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Now I understand why productivuty is up in the USA

We here run at 18% faster than those 50Hz power people in Europe.

Of course that doesn't explain Latin America. Japan on the other hand can go either way, as they do both 50 and 60 Hz.

BOFH: The Cloud Committee Calamity

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Cloud Computing??

Isn't that where computing is run by people in clouds (waiting for the pearly gates and St. Peter)? If so, he has it all set up!

Coming to a continent near you: America

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Reunite gondwanaland?

Of course, man made global warming will start "any day (or whatever they use for measurement of time then) now". We should reduce the CO2 right away to prevent this "immediately pending" disaster.

Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 DNA splice is on - report

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Note to Windows phone vendors...

Be VERY sure to include LOTS of memory in your designs. You will need it for the bloatness that is in your operating systems. Be also sure to include good power management in your hardware since it will consume lots of kWh! Make sure that the display has good blue pixels as they will be used often on those "blue screens". Add control, alt, and delete keys for rapid reboot.

Zuckerberg's 2012 personal income tax bill: $1.5 billion

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Why can't I...

...be so lucky?

Look, I'll settle for a measly 1% of the proceeds.

Now of course, I've got this unclaimed bank account and I need a little money for a fee, but that is another story. Write to me in Nigeria, address to follow.

MasterCard joins Visa in pushing PINs into America

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To pin, or not to pin, that is the question...

Yes, there are some sorts of cards that work as both debit cards (requiring a pin), or as a credit card (needing a signature). While the cost to the consumer is the same in both instances, and the money comes from the same account (a demand deposit account or checking account), the difference to the merchant is quite a bit.

You see cards that are treated as "credit" cards (signature) get a discount fee (around 3%). Cards that are treated as "debit" cards (PINs) are charged a fixed fee (no more than $0.25, after a silly bill passed in congress a while ago). So, if you have a bill over $8.33 (or so) the merchant gets nicked for more. In addition, you can't get cash back from ANY credit card (signature) transaction.

Nicely for consumers, there ARE benefits for having a credit card, like the bank paying you 1% more more on each transaction (they still make $$$ by charging 3% to the merchant).

This "signature" stuff goes back to when the signed chits were returned back to the consumer (back before the 70's).

For the curious, the original slips that were signed were the size of either 51 or 80 column IBM punch cards, and when returned back actually had holes in them.

As for me: Signatures are enough, pins are a pain!

Mickey Mouse Whois ban threat sparks privacy fears

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All you need to do is...

Make the lookup process "expensive" (in relative terms) AND record WHO does the lookup. Then make the data on your own WHOIS record "free".

This eliminates much of the problems. If someone IS looking my records up, I should be able to know who is doing it, even if it is law enforcement.

Of course, I'm dreaming, but there might be a white Christmas here in the bay area (it did snow here about 40 years ago) some day.

Newt Gingrich wants Moon to be 51st US state

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As for the 51st state...

I believe that Canada thinks that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the USA (or is it the other way around). While I can't speak for Australia, or New Zealand, but they are nice states "down under", and they use dollars as currency.

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No problem...

As was once said "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard". Some president said this about 50 years ago, or so.

So, it works for me!

Disclaimer: I did serve Newt an "adult beverage" once a few summers ago. He seemed like a wonderful guy.

Intel issues dividend, Apple sits on $97.6bn

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As for acquisitions...

I understand that there is a company in chapter 11, kinda "old school" that is in the "picture business" that could be picked up for a "song". Now days they do a lot in the printer business. But I still like the Paul Simon song "Kodachrome" (nice bright colors and all that!).

Shatner faces final frontier as Priceline.com spokesman

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I can only assume...

That the warranty ran out on his hairpiece. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Sikorsky plays killer copter sim on SGI Altix UV 1000

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dream on, you can't have one

And by the way, unless you are Bill Gates, you probably can't afford it anyway.

Of course, you CAN build a chopper yourself, kits are available. On one of the satellite channels here in the USA they even had a series on how to do it. While something like the kit will go quickly, it probably won't break any speed limits, and will take a couple of minutes around Top Gear's test track (assuming it follows the road course).

Windows 8 hardware rules 'derail user-friendly Linux'

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But there are OTHER boot methods which will be screwed up!

In current systems (ones that have shipped for about 10 years), there are network boot procedures (PXE boot). Will these be "signed" as well. Now there are the floppies (if anyone uses these anymore), CD/DVD's and (as mentioned above) thumb drives. Lots of these will be broken if this goes through.

So, this is generally a "BIG FAIL". What else is new?

Two PROTECT IP sponsors drop support for their own bill

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So maybe this "internet" thing does work

Funny how these protests (when done) seem to have a great impact on our country's legislation. Sure it is a "big stick" but it appears that those in congress only hear money ($$'s) or a "clue-by-four" properly placed.

Note to congress: Listen first!

Germans increase office efficiency with 'cloud ceiling'

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Don't we have a solution like that?

It is called Windows. Or in rare circumstances the later invention called a SKYLIGHT.

No, I'm sorry Microsoft doesn't make them and it doesn't need to be licensed.

Steve Jobs action figure set for shop shelves

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Voice of the living dead...

Or as was commonly popularized:


Microsoft celebrates the death of IE6

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A small comment...

It is about time. Of course we need a "nice virus" that kills off ALL instances of IE6 (and even those before). The sooner the better!

Maybe Microsoft should offer a bounty or something like that! Wishful thinking, I know!

Verizon retreats on ‘convenience fee’ for online bill payment

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Convenience fees and all that

Convenience fees in general are the the convenience of the person writing the bill. Often companies (telco, bank, etc.) want you to do things that save THEM money, and then they charge you for the privilege. An example of this is tone dials: It turns out that tone dials encourage faster dialing, which means that you can have cheaper switching equipment. Of course, they charged you for having tone dials. Fortunately, they stopped doing this locally over 10 years ago. My bank also wants to stop issuing mailed statements, for MY convenience (not the banks). They won't even give me a break if I stop the paper.

Then again, what is the difference between fully electronic payments through an ATM card, or the cost of processing a physical check. One wonders these days, why the "cheaper" method is charged for.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup easily unlocked by security flaw

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Shades of the crack for TOPS-20 passwords

You could setup the check password system call to be at the edge of allowable memory. If you got the character correct, you would get a memory fault. If you got password incorrect, the character at the edge was wrong, and you tried again. When you got a character correct, you moved everything over and attacked the next character. It was short work to get the correct password.

Of course this was before hashed/encrypted passwords and all that.

Moral of the story:

1) Absorb the entire password before checking it

2) If you have incorrect passwords, delay the response exponentially for each bad attempt.

Anti-piracy laws will smash internet, US constitution - legal eagles

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As the saying goes...

Nothing is safe while Congress is in session!

Not much else needs to be said!

El Reg's life of Steve Jobs - now available on Kindle

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I want a paper back book that I can read on a south seas island under the setting sun in a hammock where no power cord will reach!

Her Majesty's £444m court IT system can't even add up fines

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It goes on and on...

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

Of course even more damage can be done with overpriced consultants and their government minions, but I'll leave that for another day.

Feds charge eight former Siemens officials with bribery

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The $1.6 billion is just...

...a bribe in another form, payable to the US government. Will it reduce my (I'm a nice citizen) taxes by the requisite $5.33 (or so) spread over the 300 million people in our fine country? I doubt it, but somebody needs to get paid, it just won't be me (*SIGH*).

Mexico shuts down drug gang's antennas, radios

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Obligatory crass comment

"Can you hear me now?"

For those of you outside the USA, this is the slogan for one of our wireless carriers (Verizon).

Globe slowly warming, insists 'Hansen's Bulldog'

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This proves it:

There are only three things in life:

Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics.

Then there are people who promote ALL THREE!

Baby-kissers battle over what to do with White Spaces

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Pretty efficient, if you ask me!

Sure a 6 MHz chunk (at least here in the USA) of spectrum is used for broadcasting, but how many multi-megabit streams would be used in its place, each taking up a considerable chunk of bandwidth (a previous commenter mentioned 10,000 as a factor which seems proper).

It just seems silly for the "on demand" streams that will inevitably clog up both wired and wireless point to point transports. And I thought spam was a high bandwidth activity, compared to streaming video, it is but a minor player.

Further reading: The tragedy of the commons.

Besides I want my wireless mics to work without interference.

NASA wants space washing machine for ISS, Mars bases

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On three to four days...

My brother in law says:

Inside, outside, frontside, backside. Sounds about right.

UK Met Office: World temperature back down to 1997 level

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"Man made AND natural"??

Yeah, right.

Kinect 2 said to read lips, sense mood

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The TV commercial I just saw

Only said something about "responding to your voice", and not much else. I believe that "reading lips" is a bit out of the question. Of course, given technology, I don't know what to expect, I just don't expect it from Microsoft.

Phobos-Grunt 'crippled by US aurora station', 'is a bio-weapon'

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Conspiracy theory #5

They used a pirated version of Windows, and it needed to get the activation key. It took a while to get it sent up after they found (it is Russia after all) a legit license key.

US Martian nuke-truck launches without a hitch, but...

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But even better is when...

The beast lands on Mars sometime in August. Hopefully it will be as advertised and the first pictures will be wonderful.

If my connection comes through, I may just be there at JPL when it happens. Maybe the six wheeled SUV can do a wheelie, who knows.

Office 15 beta ready for fondling by early 2012

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And in February...

Service pack 1, 2 and 3 will be released. Probably on successive Wednesdays, after the corresponding patch Tuesdays.

I would have used "joke alert", but I suspect that it won't be.

How Apple beat IBM in Steve Jobs' first retail war

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I guess that's why...

1984 wasn't like _1984_.

Now we have the internet and the prediction was a few years early (*SIGH*).

Bloke pays inked tribute to Top Gear

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As I wonder...

Why did the guy pick "Captain Slow" as the presenter to embellish on his body. Makes little sense. Of course, I don't see much sense in tattoos any way. They only make a growth industry for removal in later life.

Huge PDP-11 in a lorry: How I drove computers into schools

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But one has to learn somewhere...

Back in the 60's I did some work on both IBM1620s (I had access to several) and an IBM1130. Both were programmed with punch cards, and I became VERY familiar with IBM keypunches (both 026's and 029's). Since the IPL sequence was normally reading a specific "cold start" card for both machines, knowing the sequence wasn't commonly done. An exception was if you wanted to control the IBM1620 via its console typewriter (one had a old model b electric typewriter, the later model had a modern Selectric). In that case keying in the IPL sequence was easier than getting out of the chair and going to the card reader to put the card in. I still remember the sequence:


The things you remember from high school.

FCC slips dagger into AT&T, T-Mobile merger

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Isn't AT&T...

...a modem test command?

I don't know what T-Mobile is. Both do use GSM for their data transport, which doesn't do too well with close by AM radios.

World population's appetite TO DOUBLE by 2050, boffin warns

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Wasn't there a solution to this a century or so ago...

It was called "a modest proposal".

Superhero oil-burping algae will save the world

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Synthetic fuel is actually quite old.

Some countries used it back in WW2 (I'm from the USA, figure it out). Given that it is known that synthetic fuel can be produced, all we need is a nice big energy source. Those were also produced back in WW2, and even supply electricity in some locales.

Mix, match, stir a bit and we have energy for a long time. It even is in a portable form (like gasoline/petrol). Life goes on.

Apple sucks porn domain names from squatters

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Maybe Apple WANTS the domains

Of course then they would need something like "itunes.xxx" to sell things. It could be a lucrative market.

Remember: "Jocks only think about sports, geeks only think about sex".

Buxom soul diva to show a real use for NFC at last!

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Big "red" buttons have been missed for many years.

When they finished the transcontinental railroad, they wanted to make a telegraph signal when the golden spike was driven. Turns out that the guy (it may have been Leland Stanford himself, but I'm not sure) missed the spike. The telegraph operator closed the circuit anyway. The saying "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" has been around for a a long long time (it was in the 1860's for the railroad!).

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Mysterious sat-pic China desert markings - EXPLAINED

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I am reminded...

Of a building nearby (where they monitored spy satellites) that was printed on the top of the buildings. It said "If you can read this, you are 10 years behind us". It was written in Cyrillic and was originally a few feet high. It was reduced each year. I have no idea if it is still there after the fall of the Soviet Union.

My guess is that the Chinese are just getting started.

BOFH: The day the office budget bombed – literally

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In the woods (camping) we call diesel...

By its proper term: "Boy scout fluid". Pour a bit on a stack of wood, and it lights up quite easily. Keeps the soul quite warm when the fire is going strong.

A finely atomized spray would make a great flame thrower. Then again, isn't that what they used?

US nuclear aircraft carrier George Bush crippled by toilet outages

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Insert your own joke here.

Open source team creates apocalypse survival kit

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I once heard a song about something like this...

"If I had a hammer".

Enough said.

IBM reveals secrets of Watson’s Jeopardy triumph

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Then you get real bizarre stuff...


Category: Hotel Chains.

Answer: The TV show Maverick won this Emmy award the only year it was given.

Question: What is Best Western.

Go figure.

Virtualisation: just a lot of extra software licences?

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Seems that the real problem is that...

...just about any maintenance on a Windows box REQUIRES a reboot. Time how long it takes between actual reboots and you have a reasonable metric. There have been reports of non windows boxes going over a year between reboots.

Of course, using a VM adds another layer, and that layer adds both complexity and overhead. This makes things less efficient, which adds cost. You pay your money, you take your chances. Your choice.

Swearing doesn’t help pain if you do it too much

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I remember being told in a place far away...

...To remember that the word F*** is NOT a comma just before returning to civilization.

Of course, just about any word will work in its place.


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