* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Lithuania hits off switch on nuclear plant

Herby Silver badge

Maybe just build a containment vessel??

Most of the hardware in a power plant is pretty common even for nuclear and steam power. It may take a bit of time, but a nice new "good" reactor (from France?) might plug like a new CPU on a motherboard.

P.S. Pipe fitting extra. At least they turned off the engine before it seized now they need to do a heart transplant! Hopefullt there is no immune reactions during the transplant!

US feds squeeze bloggers for posting TSA orders

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Security Theatre

That's about all it is. No more, no less. Give everyone a gun before they board, and let it play out as it goes. It ought to take care of itself.

The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

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Some of these things exist already...

The conference phone "interjection" idea is already covered. Doesn't anyone know about the "mute" button. On the "other" end it gets pressed and in that room, there is a running commentary of the blowhard's speech on the other end. It is usually more enlightening that the "naked" speech anyway, and much more fun.

As for shoe tactile feedback, they already did that one. Way back when there was a blackjack computer that used a method of shaking the toes to indicate stand/hit and the other toes were used to enter the card count.

As the saying goes: Everything old is new again, and then it is patented just to make sure! (*SIGH*)

Microsoft issues wipe clean Word tool for OEMs

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Open Office?

I have a good friend that is using these "docx" files (I don't know if he uses the infringing things or not), and I have been pointing him to OpenOffice. I understand that Version 3 DOES allow the use of these "docx" files (actually a zip file with lots of stuff added in!). The big question I have is: Does OpenOffice have this "patented" capability? and will i4i sue them as well, getting an injunction to remove it?

Inquiring minds want to know!

p.s. Tomorrow's headline: Microsoft announces the acquisition of a Canadian company based in Toronto called I4I. Details of the agreement were not announced at press time.

Ofcom proposes squeezing £4m out of airlines

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And I thought the FCC (US) was bad!

Gee wiz, charging for mandated frequency use? Nice try.

I like the part about charging for WiFi, force everyone who buys a wireless router to pony up a few Quid/Bucks to get one.

I suppose the next thing would be Microwave Ovens, as they also radiate at 2.4GHz!

Trucks driving by to see if you have the proper license for the Microwave oven, pulling over to stop granny from heating up a scone or some such. What a joke!

Tiny TV could make billions for FCC

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Do you REALLY think that the $$$ the government will make selling out the frequencies will go to pay for the TV stations upgrade. I have my EXTREME doubts. Once the government gets its hands on any amount of money (all governments are this way!) it is VERY reluctant to give anything back. More than likely they will stick it to the TV stations and mandate (just like the Digital TV mess we now have) they do the job themselves. And that will go over how well??

The cell phone people should just add digital TV receivers to their cell phones and off load the "Broadcast" traffic from their cell networks. Look why should there be any more than ONE stream of bits for a TV signal to any number of cell phones, not one for each as it is now, chewing up LOADS of bandwidth in the process.

CTIA should pound sand!

Oh, and analog TV worked MUCH better that the junk compressed bad signal stuff we have now. The only "feature" is wide screen and a not bery good one at that!

P.S. Just make it work in the SF bay area (loaded with mountains and LOTS of dead spots!

Software fraudster 'fooled CIA' into terror alert

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And so it goes... Now find the hidden messages in...

The Bible. There has been LOTS of work in thes area, by taking letters and puting them in nice neat rows and reading the columns. All sorts of "messages" were decoded. Of course the Bible mess was made easier by using Hebrew, and the "no vowel" version.

Nothing new. finding something where nothing exists, been done for ages.

Wait I heard a voice that said.........

Publisher asks Google, AT&T to unmask network intruder

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Pretty simple request if you ask me.

Look the IP address is

Go ahead, trace it!

Intel staff 'fired' in ring piece stunt

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Those notes...

Why is it that EVERY time I hear the intel notes (sung, or played on a synth), I want to repeat the phrase:

Bong...A Piece of S***

It just fits (and quite well I might add). Unfortunately, I can't seem to get Microsoft into the notes (Oh, well...)

Honeynet research lifts the lid on spam trends

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Spam persists. Everyone will deal with it.

The only way SPAM will die out is when it proves to be unprofitable. Until then, we will all have to deal with the consequences.

Oh well, live and learn.

Why is USB 3 so slow?

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So slow? Because it isn't Firewire!

Instead of USB-3, Intel should have promoted Firewire as the better alternative. I really don't need a 100Mbit.sec data rate for my keyboard or mouse.

The better alternative was Apple's ADB bus. IT was designed for the small number of input devices (keyboards and mice) that were in use. USB is just another mish-mash that started out reasonable, but got more and more involved. Look, it even gave a blue screen for Bill Gates in a televised demonstration, so it didn't do its job when it was first implemented.

Enough said.

Of course, I could go on about the IDE interface vs. SCSI, but that is another kettle of fish (*SIGH*).

ICANN condemns registry DNS redirection

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Return to sender...

Address unknown. No such number...

Looks like they want all ill formed DNS lookups to go back to Elvis, or something. Need a postage stamp with his picture to do that!

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

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What Me Worry?

I'll just wait for Fedora 12 which is due out sometime this month. Typically it will get released, and be followed by a bunch of updates. Then all is right with the world.

Of course I don't update that quickly, as I am currently using a Fedora 8 machine to write this with (it has the 2.6.26 kernel).

US gov warns banks on money mules

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Now if the government would free up funds of the law abiding...

I have a friend that has had is bank account frozen by the government for over TWO years. He was the victim of the identity theft, but that almost pales in comparison the what delays the government has done. He has been mooching off of me to the tune of over $100k and I hope that the government will "let his money out of jail".

Then again, if cashing a LEGITIMATE overseas check wouldn't take THREE weeks, it might restore my faith in the banking system we have here in the USA! (Don't get me started on this!)

Novell aims SCO tussle at the Supremes

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Maybe SCO should file under Chapter 7 (liquidation). Then we can all chip in 2 cents (in total) which ought to cover what SCO is worth and GIVE it to the public.

Until THAT happens SCO is on life support (and brain dead) waiting for the plug to be pulled.

Governator in acrostic 'f**k you' outrage

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Remember that the object of the veto message...

...comes from the same city as the Botox Queen (Nancy Pelosi). Well deserved I might add from a nice distance about 40 miles to the south.

Tesla Roadster travels 313 miles on single charge

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...Down hill, with a tail wind. Most likely on cruise control at a walking pace. Wind resistance goes up as the square of the speed.

The other alternative is that they stowed it in a truck (Lorrie) for the trip, and drove it for the last 5 miles.

Me? My nice SUV gets about 350+ miles on a tank of gas going over 70mph down I-5 in the central valley (of California), and it hauls a bunch of stuff while I'm doing it and the air conditioner is just fine thank you.

Greenpeace wags finger at eco-laggards

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And the question all are asking...

What is ElReg's score?

What is a "good" score?

Free download turns BlackBerry into remote bugging device

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Easy to do...

Hey Bob, can I borrow your phone for a bit. My battery is dead and I need to make a call/email.

Simple if you ask me to install on a "victim".

Not that I'd do that mind you.

Telcos double down on netbooks with Windows 7

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But where is the...

...babe like the Asus EEEPC has. Of course if it has W7 maybe it can be re-purposed to have a "better user experience" with an operating system with a smaller disk/memory footprint. Oh, it might use a better browser (one that meets standards) than a stock W7 pile of #$%@#.

All anybody worries about in something like this is the browser anyway, and the fact it is "mobile".

NASA moon-bomb probe strikes rich seam of fruitcake

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Gives new meaning to the word "Lunacy"

Enough said.

Then again, we don't have a "man from the moon", just a "man from mars"..

It demonstrates the level of education we have in the USA. (*SIGH*)

Coin-sized nuclear isotope battery minted

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Mr. Nuclear??

Just scale it up a bit, it might need to be a bit bigger, and there you go. No more AlGore inconvenient lies and all that.

Works for me!

Microsoft howls as Google turns IE into Chrome

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Google Vs. Microsoft

Kinda like being the Swiss in WW2. Make money from both sides and pick up the pieces after the bad guys expire. Wonderful concept.

Sit back and watch from the sidelines.

Texas Instruments aims lawyers at calculator hackers

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Go back to HP-35's and start over!

Now that was a wonderful calculator! It did cost $399 in 1971, and since I was an engineering student at the time I paid it. It is a wonderful thing, not a silly graphing thing that can't print out the result. It proved to be invaluable. It simply wasn't a chunky "four banger" calculator, it did scientific stuff, and had a STACK. With suitable knowledge you could actually do complex stuff on it.

And I did. Once in Thermodynamics we had a silly day test in the fine art of interpolation. At the beginning of the class I specifically asked if I could use my calculator (it was approved!). I slugged it out and had the answers to the four problems done at the end of the "hour". Others in the class were attempting to get addition and accuracy from slide rules (still in use at the time). The results were wonderful (at least for me!). I got 100%, and the next lowest grade was in the 30% to 39% range. The instructor had interesting comments for that class (and I was in Electrical engineering), That day I was not "looked up to" very much.

What would happen if PC required a signed operating system, and only Microsoft had the signing key (I shouldn't speak too loud, as it could happen!). No freedom for you! This is a similar example.


Undead COBOL celebrates (another) 50th birthday

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Yes, Fortran is still alive and well

Having done Fortran programming since the "Fortran II days" I can attest that it is alive and well. My last position had it well ingrained in the functionality they were using, and while I did leave a year ago, they had more Fortran lines than could be converted so they must still be using it. Yes, it was mostly Fortran 90, but the code base dated back to the Fortran 66 (Fortran 4) days.

As for Chokes on automobiles, what was usually required was a couple of pumps of the gas pedal before engaging the starter. That was the "automatic" part of it. On VW's if you took out the "automatic choke" (which usually didn't work anyway) the engine ran a few RPM faster, which on a 1200cc (later 1400cc) engine helped!

Look in a few years, we will celebrate Fortran's 60th!

Warning: Showers can seriously damage your health

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Life IS dangerous. Deal with it.

Yes, life is a very dangerous thing. But, we all deal with it in many ways. I suspect that the daily showering and the like (I do use soap and water!) is probably healthy for me. The running water DOES generate a small static electric charge that yields ions that make me feel good. It was noted in the study that PLASTIC showerheads had more of the silly bacteria that metal ones, and thankfully I use one of those (I see a law here!). For the most part, we need to understand there are tradeoffs in EVERY action we do. Sure I can walk for 1/2 hour to the drug store (which I just might do today), or I could drive. At the moment, my time isn't worth much, being unemployed, so I might walk. Were I employed, I might not have as much time, so I could drive and emit all those nasty green house gases (I suppose that breathing doesn't do this, as it is never discussed by Al Gore and his friends). All a tradeoff.

Just remember this: LIFE IS A TERMINAL DISEASE. No amount of work will change that AT ALL!

We now return you to the regularly scheduled program of comments.

Ballmer garnishes Bing 2.0 with iPhone 'stomp'

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Promises, Promises...

"Bing 1.0 arrived in May, and Microsoft has promised two Bing updates a year."

I can hardly wait. You know all about Microsoft's promised updates to Windows back when the version after XP was promised in oh, 2004 or so. Only to be delivered a few YEARS late.

Now if they did operating system updates at a two-a-year pace they might keep up with the bugs (just remember, Windows doesn't have bugs!).

Dream on.

Apple yanks C64 emulator from App Store

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@Brian Miller (again)

Apple's hangup on Basic being included in the C64 image is probably due to the fact that some company in Redmond Washington (USA) holds the copyright to the Basic interpreter. They supplied almost all the Basic's for 8 bit machines (there were exceptions, but VERY few). Of course they don't supply Basic interpreters any more, but they STILL hold the copyright!

Ofcom fails to sweep away power-line networking

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It just doesn't work!

PLC systems usually are of limited range. Here in the USA we have these X10 devices that allow houses to flip lights and outlets on & off. These work quite well, as the bit rate is probably a bit les than 100 bps (yes, one hundred bits per second). With these rates, they can time the transmissions at the zero crossing of the power line, and they work quite well with limited range (inside the house).

The PLC people (it is called BPL, broadband over power line) here think that they can use power cable (14 gauge wire 1/4 inch separation) like we all use Cat-5 wire that is tightly twisted for multi megabit transmissions. It just doesn't work. What happens is that the power line acts like a nice antenna (the adapters would probably work better if they just had an antenna connected instead of trying the power line as an antenna).

The other problem is that they think that they can get broadband signals to work. Guess again! the aggregate data rate of a bunch of users is WAY beyond the published capacity of the system. It just dies on the vine.

So, it is neither broadband, or over power line. The interference happens everywhere, and the more users that are there, the worser it gets. The limited tests here in the USA have all gone bust, and our FCC (you call it Ofcom) has all but pulled the plug (pun intended!)!

The sooner this dies, the better!

Firefox to warn users of insecure Adobe Flash

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Now if it also warned...

...that your version of Windows is also out of date and a security risk that might be an even better improvement.

The problem with that is the message is probably redundant, as all version of Windows probably have security flaws.

Oh well, nice try.

NASA orbiter snaps Apollo 12 landing site

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It might be convincing idea if...

...They detonated a nice A-Bomb on the surface and told everyone here on earth when it was going to happen. Then we could all look up into the sky and watch "from a safe distance". While it wouldn't do much, it sure would be a nice show. It might even get rid of some "waste" if done correctly. The problem is that I'm sure there would be lots of people objecting to it (exercise: Name the groups/whackos). Maybe when a lunar eclipse comes about and the "green cheese" is dark it would be an interesting demonstration.

Ah, to dream.

p.s. I did have the occasion to shake Pete Conrad's hand, and that is about as close as I'll get to the moon's surface (*SIGH*).

Microsoft pimps bogus Windows 7 'launch parties'

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After the install...

Do we have a contest on how long it takes to install some version of Linux. Everyone take a new W7 and a Linux distribution (of their choice). The winner is the person who goes from W7 to Linux in the shortest amount of time. That would be a contest!

As others have said: "Free bling!!"

US Dems fill inboxes with 419 scams

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I'm from the government and I'm here to help you

A typical response. Maybe they should have written a law forbidding it, and then not enforce it at all. That is the typical way it is done.

New trial means Unix ownership still up for debate

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It is too bad....

...that "Cash for Clunkers" ended on Monday (yesterday as I write this). We could have paid $4800 (or so) and then put some of that "engine sieze" fluid in SCO's veins. It would have been appropriate.

Only then would we SCO vanish into the haze.

Now they have to clog up the courts with this silly act. The only saving grace is that this was NOT decided by the 9th circuit.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard First Look

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I guess I have to stick...

...to my Quadra 840AV running 7.6.1 and leave it at that. Back in its day it was a "smokin" machine. Too bad Apple abandoned the 68k for the PPC only to abandon that for intel. Just think what would have happened if IBM hadn't picked an intel processor for the original PC 28 years ago. We can only dream. (*SIGH*)

GSM connectivity now enjoyed by 4 billion

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CDMA is probably a better technology. In addition, CDMA phones don't make funny sounds in AM radios when they broadcast system inquiries. Of course here in silicon valley, the CDMA coverage is a bit better. One of these days AT&T will get a few more towers planted (over peoples objections, ill founded as they are).

As the commercial here says "Its the network!" (then adds "Can you hear me now!").

What really needs to be done is to have the cell phone providers actually publish their DETAILED coverage maps so we could decide better. None of this map with various sized of red dots.

Microsoft goes Darwinian with evolutionary tree patent

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Why not get a patent for the multiplication table

It seems that somebody might soon, you never know. You know using it to compute products and the like. Seems VERY patentable to me.

Oh, prior art? Somebody mention an IBM 1620 which had a multiplication table. Sorry, never mind. (For the interested the Model 1 of the IBM 1620 also had an add table.)

How to set up your HDTV like a pro

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No setup will cure pixelation

That seems to appear on some sets. Recently I visited a nice motel in Southern California. They had a nice LG wide screen "hi def" television. If you didn't look too close it was "OK", but with a little closer inspection, all the pictures were very pixelated. Downright terrible. I don't know what they had at the other end of the cable feeding the TV, but whatever it was, it just didn't do the trick. I saw better quality transmissions on a 5 year old CRT TV in 4:3 aspect ratio.

Just remember, no adjustment can cure bad quality source material, or a bad transmission path (even with good quality source material). The analog TV signals we used to have here in the USA were actually quite good in comparison to some of the signals I now see (*SIGH*).

Just because you have a nice wide screen doesn't mean it is "hi def".

Communist car given electric overhaul

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But will it have a rear window defroster?

To keep your hands warm while you are pushing it? I think the Yugo had something like that.

Oh, do I miss my 1964 VW beetle. Got its engine up to 1400 cc and it moved a bit quicker, finding less hill. Yes, COOL.

Microsoft banks on Windows 7 double holiday hit

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With a C: drive...

It still is MS-DOS under an assumed name. As long as there are drive letters it will always be that way. Maybe a 32 bit version but still MS-DOS.

A rose (a stinky one at that) by any other name is garlic to me.

Hacktivist vuln still plagues UN.org

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Just put in a message about global warming

and add that it is all bogus. Do it every day and it might make a point.

Of course you could also add a message that there is $20 if you write to the Secretary General and include coupon code #64327.

Cat awarded online high school diploma

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Why not issue a MCSE from the same place

For $199.00 it is probably worth the same amount of money. Included with "hints" and four chances for the correct answer.

Sounds like a deal to me.

Dell: Linux v Windows netbook returns a 'non-issue'

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Need a "sticker" on the computer

Much like vehicles. Itemized list of things included AND their prices. When everyone sees that "windows" costs around $100 or so, and then "office" costs another increment, it might change the landscape. Until then, I don't see a change.

Of course I'd like to see one of those "I'm a PC" ads finish with the customer saying "I'm going to wipe windows off of this and install Linux" (like that would happen).

Wishful thinking.

Les Paul dies at 94

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Then others are ruined the sound

By converting the nice full range audio tracks to MP3s or compressed (to always sound loud) CDs.

The lower bit rate MP3s just muddy up the sounds, and the "always sound loud" CD have absolutely NO dynamic range, and are almost as bad.

Yes, Multi-track was a great "invention" and in these days it might even be granted a patent. Even more so if it were a computer program.

Things were simpler in the 50's.

US appeals court cans CAN-SPAM suit

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The 9th circuit does it again

Really mucks things up. Now if congress DID something well like they should have, we wouldn't be in this mess.

And you thought they could do health care? Dream on!

Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID

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Today Cows/Steers/Bulls

Tomorrow humans? The way they are talking about government health plans in this (USA) country, it may come to that!

Then again, I would like to be able to trace my food (*SIGH*).

Meter insecurity raises specter of free parking hacks

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Free Parking??

If it were me, I'd just look between New York Avenue and Kentucky Ave. Of course if I were in the UK, it would be between The Strand and Vine Street.

Then again, I've got one of those remote transponders (called FasTrak here) that does parking now at the local airport. A nice man-in-middle attack ought to work there!

Landlord sues tenant over moldy Tweet

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Maybe Horizon is derived from Al Capone?

And they enforce things in a different way. Yes, this is an OBVIOUS display of the Streisand effect, probably in ratio more so than the original.

Selection 'A' is most likely the best option (do nothing).

Watchdog bites Mattesons saucy sausage ad

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Two more words

Girly Men

Words taken from our esteemed governor when he refers to such things like ASA.

NZ nude mum snap auction a hoax

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Lying in advertizing?

Why I'm shocked!

But wait, there's more. See store for details, your mileage may vary, manufacturers suggested retail price, void where prohibited!

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