* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Aussie carbon tax in actually-makes-sense shocker

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ALL sources of CO2...

...should be taxed alike. Including the CO2 that the human body produces.

Oh, but that would tax everybody. There is a solution, though. It was thought of by Swift a long time ago. He called it a "Modest Proposal".

I'll let others look the reference up.

BOFH: Drunken Time Lord

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Must Not...

...stay up late on Thursday nights to 4am in Silicon Valley...

To get a comment in the first page.

US Supremes to hear warrantless GPS tracking case

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Scott Mc Nealy quote applies here

"You have no privacy, get over it!"

Web search will confirm this quote.

US patent reform jumps through second hoop

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Prior art

If you do "invent" something and DON'T patent it, the guy who files the patent on your thing needs to know about "prior art". The problem here is that the USPTO thinks that the only prior art is the patents that THEY see. A trade magazine that I read publishes lots of "design ideas" that are cute little things that look neat, but probably aren't worth the effort in filing a patent, much less actually getting a patent. I seriously doubt that the USPTO actually looks at such things, or a modern CS book (or Knuth's series). One can only hope that if the USPTO is given a bit more $$$ they might get some "knowledge" in such subjects.

All patents can't be like those of Telsa and three phase power!

Man says he lost $500,000 in virtual currency heist

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Weight of gold and other things.

"On the other hand, carrying away $300,000 in gold, even at today's prices, will require a fair bit of work."

Not so fast...

Today's quote of gold is: $1526 (and some change)

So, $300,000 is 196.5 troy ounces.

Troy ounces are 31.1 grams (plus a bit)

A little math and this comes to 6,111g (or 6.111 kg). A bit more math and one gets 13.5 lb.

In my book, this is a bit heaver than a laptop (probably an old one) in a backpack. In my book, not much "work"!!

Of course if this were back in the 60's, when gold was $35/oz it would be a bit heaver! (40 stone heaver!!)

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... "protected by anything like the Windows operating system"

No, sorry, I don't think so. More like wide open and vulnerable like the windows operating system

The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

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Language syntax??

Look, if we didn't have the C-like syntax, we would be stuck with something like Fortran or (god forbid) Cobol (try that for a systems language!). Even Algol-60 is bad, and try to implement Algol-68 (has anybody really done this?). Sorry the C-like syntax is here to stay, or else you get "significant white space".

As for C++, why bother. I defer to someone more expert on the subject: <http://harmful.cat-v.org/software/c++/linus>.

When I look at C++ vs. C, another thing I look at are the volumes written by the "authors" of the language. K&R is about 1/2 inch thick. Bjarne's book on C++ is about three times as thick, and really doesn't describe the language as it has lots of: "// ..." comments, and incomplete "discussions" of the language. C you can understand from what you are looking at. Look at C++ source, and the code you need to understand the code could be many modules away, for the "+" operator even!

Lastly, a famous quote: "The thing about standards is that there are so many of them."

3D-printed bikini goes on sale

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I prefer...

...the black model.

So how do I scan in my female companion to get one of these over here in California?

Interesting application of "connect the dots"!!

Apple purges drunk-driving apps

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Am I missing something here??

Don't you need to be somewhat sober to USE the application to find the checkpoint? Can you operate an iPhone when you had a few drinks?

It seems that one of these field sobriety tests might be "use your iPhone".

I leave it to others (the Register might step in here with some research!) to do the research on how much alcohol it takes before you are total thumbs in using an iPhone. Say, on a Friday afternoon over at the pub?

Here comes the zettabyte, says Cisco

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yotta yotta yotta...


(I couldn't resist!)

4G interference will knock out Freeview

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At one time...

We had WIRED telephones, and WIRELESS television. Now we have WIRELESS telephones and WIRED (cable, etc) TELEVISION. Of course, one can also have point to point television using all the bandwidth to cover everyone's "instant gratification", instead of a broadcast medium, but that might be wasteful (so we should promote it for income streams).

It is all silly. Most of the 4G crud is "broadcast" or streaming video anyway (big data hogs), and should be done as group addresses, but that would be too efficient. So everyone is happy that they can start THEIR TV program on a wireless connection at 7:03 PM, instead of 7:00 like everyone else.

Do we need to be THAT connected?

Biodegradable products are often worse for the planet

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Just remember...

People are "biodegradable" as well! Much as society attempts to not make this happen. They even go into "specialized" landfills all sealed up.


Ballmer: Time up for 'stuck in the past' Microsoft CEO?

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Uncle Fester does it again...

Look, the Munsters got canceled after a few seasons, why not Ballmer (Uncle Fester!). At least they didn't throw chairs at 1313 Mockingbird place (as I remember it).

Linux kernel runs inside web browser

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Reminds me of the story...

...of a TECO contest a (long) while ago. All sorts of entries, but when the last guy got a PDP-10 emulator running (under TECO!) everybody else just gave up and awarded him the prize. Kinda equivalent.

As everyone says: Not very useful, but an interesting exercise, and possible benchmark!

Microsoft claims Windows Azure appliances exist

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More names...


Those old fashioned "cloud appliances" ASR33 teletypes.

Fast forward 40 or more years, and they are called iPad2's

Some things never change.

White House warns El Reg over kitten-killing content

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The weather is nice in Hawaii this time of year...

So: "All your base belong to us". Enough said!

HP's beloved 12c calculator turns 30

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For the true calculator geek...

Only an original HP-35 calculator will do. As one who bought one in 1972 at full retail ($395.00 as I remember) it was wonderful. It originally had the goof in it (exp function), but I did get it fixed. Alas, I sold it when I got my next calculator (an HP-45).

It DID get me a 100% on a thermodynamics quiz when the next lowest grade was in the 30% range. Those were the days!!

Revealed: Secret security plan should Kate leave Wills at the altar

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Ratings Bonanza??

Where can I buy the ad space? It would be worth zillions.

Now where is that viagra web site!

Short domain land-rush coming to .uk

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Wrong place

fc.uk is wrong... It should be in .xxx:


XXX domain names go live

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This does beg the question:

Why didn't they call it .nsfw?

It would have been interesting to say the least.

I do like "theregister.xxx"

Feds indict poker sites, seize domains

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And as I pass the time...

I'm watching "High Stakes Poker" on TV. The irony!

Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense

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This just in: Microsoft announces NATIVE Windows 8

Coming soon to a theater near you.

From the looks of it, they just saw "NATIVE" as the latest buzz word. Makes everyone feel good, and impresses people.


Judge flips $625.5m Apple patent payout

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All software patents MUST have workable source code published. In the form used by the patent holder, not some obfuscated churned output. Also an explaination of the code is needed as well.

So, simple Unix code won't work, you need something like the Lyons book in addition to the code to get a patent.

That would brings these things down to a halt quite quickly. Once you see the code, you can easily code around the "bad parts". That is if you want the world to see how you actually do your task.

Single-patent lawsuit hits Apple, Google, Amazon, Priceline...

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Prior art?

The biggest problem with the US patent system is that the patent examiners only think that "Prior Art" (the basis for allowing claims and such) is previous patents. In the case of software, there is LOADS of "prior art" that exists that is NOT patented. The patent examiners don't deal with this at all, and something that is unknown to the examiner, but is common knowledge to us computer guys, is treated as "novel" and a patent is issued.

While not the cause for the problem, the court of the eastern district of Texas is a nightmare. Wonderful courts to be a plaintiff.


Google to NASA: Open source will not kill you

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It goes back a LONG way

If you remember the 60's (if you were there, you might not), the spooler for OS/360 was HASP (Houston Automatic Spooling Program), developed by NASA ans spread all over the world.

Those who forget history are bound to repeat its errors.

Maybe Google should open source its ranking algorithm? (Fat chance!).

Chilean clock-cooking could cause computer chaos

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Just remember...

The clock in most PC type computers has a clock chip that has DST built in. The design is based on the Motorola (at the time, I don't know who sells it now) MC68HC18 clock chip. The original IBM PC-AT has one of these chips, and most modern computers have the core in a bridge chip. It has DST starting on the last Sunday of April, and ending on the last Sunday of October (which was the rule when it was designed). In the USA we first changed the rule to have DST start on the first Sunday of April (it was done at the behest of the Barbecue industry). Now the latest change is to start in March (second Sunday) and end on the first Monday in November. The saying we use around here is "Spring forward, Fall back", but the advance date for what others call "summer time", is now in the WINTER. STUPID government.

If you want to change your hours for the summer, then simply do it!

Open sourcers urged to adopt dancing poultry license

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Adult supervision?

Wasn't this covered on Sesame Street in the first episode when they introduced Big Bird?

I seem to remember that they also had a song.

This license brought to you by the letter Q and the number 6.

Steve Jobs screws my wife (out of $944)

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This just means that...

...when my wife gets her USED iPad (1) it will be that much cheaper. Of course, for all those purchases, I just wonder at the price of Apple stock (I think my basis is around $7/share).

Keep on buying those iPad2's

Judge to music industry: 'Worth trillions? Forget it'

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Maybe they need a new calculator

Theirs seems to work in Octal, getting that high a number.

P.S. I had a friend that did her checkbook in octal (too much PDP-8 programming). It was a big boo boo at the time.

RUSTOCK TAKEDOWN: How the world's worst botnet was KO'd

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One thing that can be said...

Microsoft actually did something useful.

Of course, they needed help doing it, and some incentive (Hotmail), but at least they have some good things to do. Now if they would direct some of this energy to other tasks, we would ALL be in a better world.

Pr0n domain approved by ICANN

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Of course the alternative...

...is to have your "ordinary" site in the "xxx" domain. There you will probably NOT be subjected to all sorts of phishing, and spam attacks. It might even be peaceful.

Of course, what about those domains that are dutifully registered in ".com". Who will register "theregister.xxx" for example? Then again, it might host the NSFW content we see here anyway. At least I'd assume that what is going on.

Woman fingers ex in 15-foot strip pole theft mystery

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Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, IT.

Where to start. Isn't Friday wonderful!

Make streaming a felony: Obama

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Look, it is very simple. When they get spam cleaned up, then they can go after the other stuff. Spam costs REAL money (bandwidth, human resources, etc...).

First things first!!

Data-mining technique outs authors of anonymous email

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Now if they only could...

...run this on various SPAM goodies.

I'm sure that tracing these back to their authors would be beneficial to all. We can only hope.

p.s. Does El Reg do this with "anonymous coward" emails?

Apple iOS 4.3 cracked

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Why does Apple even bother?

To "secure" iOS anyway? Maybe they should sanction a reasonable jailbreak (unofficially) and let that be it.

Of course, it could be as secure as WP7 (and given Microsoft it probably isn't)

p.s. I don't even have a smart phone, which is probably more secure than any other thing.

'Wrong amount of snow' caused Heathrow chaos

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They nead a "Snowbine"

I saw Top Gear last night here in the USA, and they had their version of a snowplow. It seemed to work OK in Norway, plowing a road. The problem is that they didn't understand the fine points of building a snowplow. To eradicate LARGE amounts of snow, one uses a rotary snowplow which takes the snow and throws it over the edge of the road. The simple plow (and the snowbine demonstrated) just push stuff out of the way, and just delays the problem for a while.

While snow doesn't happen too often in the London area, those who do attempt to handle it might want to look at a place that deals with it yearly (we here in California have nice mountain passes to try out schemes!).

Sony wins subpoenas revealing visitors to PS3 jailbreaker site

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IP addresses??

We don't got to show you no stinkin' IP addresses.

But if you want some, here they are:

Feel free to give these to Sony.

Microsoft rallies IE6 death squads

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Software really NEVER dies...

It just gobbles up more and more money in its support.

I remember talking to someone who had to write support for WebTV (another Microsoft product) for their web site. He noted that given the user population that used WebTV and its cost to support it, he could GIVE those users who had WebTV a modern computer while dropping support for WebTV and STILL be ahead in his costing.

Yes, IE6 will be around as long as stupid web sites REQUIRE it. Wonderful that a standards based implementation works SO well.

Suggestion to Microsoft: Kill off IE7 and IE8. You will save a bunch of money and let everyone use Firefox, which is much more secure.

Apple cures iPad buyer's remorse

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Now if I could get $$$ back from Microsoft???

Fat chance I could return my UNWANTED windows software for a refund. No slack in THAT system. It would make some PC's pretty attractive to use Linux on. In my dreams, of course.

Self-erasing flash drives destroy court evidence

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Data Recovery?

Has anyone with a "reasonable" budget (like a law enforcement agency, NOT NSA) EVER recovered data from a disk drive overwritten with zeros? I think that there is a challenge on some web site for this. Extrapolate this to SSD's and the story continues.

Yes, just "marking for deletion" as most of us do doesn't do much, regardless of which media we use. Flotsam and Jetsam of the digital variety.

Cobol cabal will take over THE WORLD Australia

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Have 72 columns...

Will code Fortran for food (or nice US greenbacks, with pictures of presidents or other elder statesmen).

Of course, I also have C skills and live in Silicon Valley as well (*SIGH*)

America spared Top Gear Mexican quips

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We americans still do insults as well...

Back a few years ago, we had the "Frito Bandito" (complete with drawn in handelbar mustache). Nobody really complained about that characterization.

Look humor IS legitimate, get over it!

Of course, if this were some tirade about a certain religion, those who spoke bad would be under a death threat, even for drawing a cartoon!

HP rocks Redmond with webOS PC play

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Soon computer vendors...

won't need to buy licenses for 100% of their machines for Windows (needed or not!). When THAT happens, sell your Microsoft stock, its going downhill.

Currently the 100% price is cheaper for a hardware vendor, but as they migrate to other platforms, it won't be, so we then will have "choice" (what a concept!).

Not soon enough!

DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

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First pdp had how many bits?

If one looks up the history of DEC and even further looks at the pdp-1, they might find that it has 18 bits. Yes, there were DEC machines that were 12 bits (pdp-5, pdp-8, pdp-12), but the first one had 18 bits. Some of the DEC machines that had 18 bits were pdp-7, pdp-9, and pdp-15 (there may have been more).

Of course, one can also look to non-S/360 machines of IBM -- 36 bit 709/7094, and of course the IBM 1130 - 16 bits.

Real people used IBM's "personal computer" of the 60's: The IBM 1620. A marvelous computer to learn on.

Google to Microsoft: You're stealing our search results!

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Google V. Microsoft

Works for me. I'll sit on the sidelines while they go at each other. Exciting watching if you ask me. It will be quite entertaining. As they say here in the USA (or at least they did at one time) "Film at 11" (it refers to the late news!)

India calls RIM's bluff on email access

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The next thing you know...

The Indian government will want to have a tap on my two tin cans and a string. That is where this is going.


I'd put up a "Joke Alert" icon, but as things are going it doesn't seem that way!

Mac daddy predicts all-knowing, all-seeing UI

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Yes, but...

A talking/listening interface is SLOW. You can type, point, and click MUCH faster. This is easily demonstrated by trying to talk to someone who is in front of the computer and being TOTALLY frustrated by trying to do it.

The only thing that really is fast enough is probably a Vulcan mind meld, and we just don't know how to to that (yet!).

The controlling thing is that absorption via the optical nerve is a VERY high bandwidth device. By comparison, the ear is much slower. So, until the Vulcan mind meld happens, we will need some Borg like interface covering up one of those two high bandwidth interfaces we use everyday.

Labour moots using speed cameras to reward law-abiding drivers

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26 years late?

1984 is coming, and if things like this goes through, it just solidifies the prediction.

The future is here, some not as fast as others, but it is coming!!

BOFH: Who's been naughty and who's been nice?

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Can't wait for New Years...

When the transfer test will be complete. Maybe a vacation in the Cayman Islands to greet the banker in person.

Cheer to all as the year comes to an end.

ASSANGE ARRESTED in London - in court later today

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"By appointment"?

Can you do this like the doctor's office? In by 9:30, out by 4 (or so)?

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