* Posts by Joe Gurman

376 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007


Eggheads want YOU to name Jupiter's five newly found moons ‒ and yeah, not so fast with Moony McMoonface

Joe Gurman


Harpo and Chico ride in a (trash can) chariot at the end of Horse Feathers? That could qualify them as Greek or Roman heroes. And by extension, Zeppo, Gummo, and of course, Groucho.

Accused hacker Lauri Love loses legal bid to reclaim seized IT gear

Joe Gurman

Innocent, guilty not relevant

This was a civil action, not a criminal one. And one brought by someone with an admittedly unfocused personality, whose friends and admirers can spare the time (off work? not working?) to attend the hearing and make obscene comments, but not to sit down with Mr. Love and advise him to seek legal counsel.

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

Joe Gurman

Re: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

What's the good deed?

Joe Gurman

Sorry, but....

....this is a remarkably poorly informed set of statements about US criminal law.

Someone who exercises his or her 5th amendment right not to testify can certainly be convicted in a trial.

Statements over prison phones and even hearsay overheard by other prisoners is usually allowable as evidence. (In the latter case, it would be up to defense counsel to challenge the witness's trustworthiness.)

As for "bragging, attempting to intimidate, or who knows," of course its evidence.

The operative dictum here is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That holds in the US for everything but tax law (which is considered too complex for there to be a reasonable expectation that humans who aren't tax attorneys can understand it). Yes, even citizens of other countries: they are treated exactly the same way residents of the country are. Well, as to opening their mouths. Immigration cases, as we all sadly know by now, are treated as though every immigrant coming across the southern border is a member of MS-13.

Chrome devs attempt to slip muzzle on resource-guzzling browser beast with 'Never-Slow Mode'

Joe Gurman

Ironic or just anachronistic?

That one of the characters in the comic is reading a, you know, physical.... book.

I know, I know, they could be hipsters, and even own vinyl records.

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

Joe Gurman

Re: is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

And the US DOD used to be a War Department plus a Navy Department. I guess the US Navy only waged peace.

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

Joe Gurman

Re: "avoid unexpected showdowns."

Particularly Black Bart, who hails from Autocorrect, TN.

Sorry, Samsung. Seems nobody is immune to peak smartphone

Joe Gurman

Excuse me, Mr, Orlowski....

....but where is the explanation of Samsung's "laziness and greed?"

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

Joe Gurman

Re: Ré China hitting the buffers.

Erm, using the pound as an international standard may be just a wee bit dodgy, particularly since sterling took a nose dive after the Brexit vote.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

Joe Gurman


The pogo effect recurred during Apollo 13's launch and ascent; Saturn engineers at Marshall mad some mods to eliminate the problem before th eApollo 14 launch ( https://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4204/ch22-7.html ).

Joe Gurman

Compare and contrast

The Argon-11c computer (for the "Zond" 4 and 5; actually, Soyuz spacecraft modified for lunar missions) and the Apollo Guidance Computer.

You can find descriptions at the Russian Virtual Computer Museum site and Wikipedia, respectively.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Joe Gurman

Niggling correction

Wustl stands for Washington University of St. Louis, a private uni in Missouri, while the University of Washington is a state uni in Washington state.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

Joe Gurman

Can't imagine why I couldn't read much of Mr. Gassée's blog posts

Could it have something to do with his being part of the group of bungling fools who very nearly flushed Apple down the toilet, or his amazingly high self esteem, or his "organizing" an outfit that couldn't produce an OS for an architecture that was crying out for it, despite sizable chunks of VC cash (just not the 3x evaluation he was asking)? Or could it be because his one Apple product was that 21 lb.+ "Portable?"

In hindsight, Mister Gassée has been a sleeping policeman on the path to modern personal computing.

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Joe Gurman

Of course not

Of course you wouldn't use a news site that actually made you pay for the contents published by its reporters, editors, web designers, &c., because their work is not worth a salary, as is whatever you do for a living.

No reason to pay for commercial software, when one can pirate it. Likewise music, video, &c. There's so much free tuff out there, everything should be free. And no doubt produced by slave labor.

FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

Joe Gurman

Re: Do it again, but harder!

The 2001 - 2003 era plan for Solar Probe included a perihelion pass (over one of the solar equator) at 2 solar radii (~ 1.5 million km) above the solar surface and somewhat more distant passes over each solar rotation pole (N and S). No one in the science community believed the spacecraft would survive until the second polar passage.

It's worth noting that toward the end of its planned lifetime, PSP will be orbiting at ever greater inclinations to the ecliptic. The hope is to obtain measurements at up to ~ 30° N and S of the ecliptic.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Joe Gurman

It wasn't that long ago

Michael Faraday was on the £20 note.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Joe Gurman

Really, Mr. Orlowski

A quick trip to Apple's Website would tell you that the current (2017 vintage) iMac models offer a headphone jack, 4 x USB-3 ports, 2 x USB-C ports, and a Gbit Ethernet RJ-45 port — and an SDXC card slot. Admittedly, no HDMI port, but with an inbuilt Retina display that's better than anything standalone display of the same size you can find....

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Joe Gurman


But I disagree with every false point (that is, every point) in your argument. Apple has said it remains committed to the Mac, and will never try to merge mobile and desktop/laptop OSes (despite their considerable shared code heritage), unlike the dubious "success" of other outfits in attempting to do so. I see no reason to disbelieve them on this score as (1) they make more money this way, and (2) they insure continued goodwill of more users this way. And oh yeah, they also keep introducing new hardware in both product lines.

Sorry, this was plain silly.

Britain's rail ticket-booking systems go TITSUP*

Joe Gurman


Wasn't he/she the shipboard computer avatar in Red Dwarf? That should have been a tip off, right there.

That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

Joe Gurman

Wasn't Steve Ballmer....

....also responsible for the Zune?

Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

Joe Gurman

As Woody Guthrie wrote....

As I went walking I saw a sign there

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”

But on the other side it didn’t say nothin’

That side was made for you and me.

— This Land Is Your Land

Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress

Joe Gurman

Re: Beta?

I'd wait for the reviews of the latest Pixel and iPhone cameras and decide whether you want to continue to make the assertions in the last paragraph.

Joe Gurman

Re: Conspiracy theory.

What you write makes eminent sense. And has nothing to do with the business of selling phones.

Even with the recently increased emphasis on security and privacy, odds are that 99.99% of smartphones buyers don't care about such issues unless it affects them directly, no matter how much the makers tout such capabilities — so they don't.

Be happy that you're in the sensible 0.01%, but don't expect anyone to be able to sell phones a t a profit on that score alone. Nice camera, pretty case, Qi charging, stupid Animoji — those, mores the pity, sell fondletoys.

Android Phones are 10: For once, Google won fair and square

Joe Gurman

Define "win"

If you mean giving all the Android fondletoy-floggers other than Samsung a chance to lose money every quarter, break out the party hats and crackers!

If you mean establishing an experience that's bewildering for users who try to find the best deal every time the buy a new phone, start dancing.

If you mean provide a platform that's proven to offer an opportunity to make some money for hardware makers whose name is not Samsung.... not quite time to celebrate, is it?

WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

Joe Gurman

As a foot (not boot) note....

.... the 4-rotor bombe was built for the US Navy to handle messages encrypted the the four-rotor Enigma put into service by the German navy in 1942, in parallel with the British Mammoth. By the end of the war, 160 had been produced by the National Cash Register company in Dayton, Ohio. Most were located at the IS Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

Joe Gurman

Re: A new Dickens novel?

Called himself Nemo, didn't he, in Bleak House?

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

Joe Gurman

Re: Shrug

In my case, because we develop Web content and have to test whether it works on all common Browsers. Otherwise, practically not for anything.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Joe Gurman

Re: DevOps?

.... or buzzfeed.

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Joe Gurman

Re: Great stuff

Could be apocryphal: the standard joke is that academic politics are so vicious _because_ the stakes are so small.

FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

Joe Gurman

Ajit Pai....

....a whole owned subsidiary of US Big Comms.

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Joe Gurman

Re: Apple ecosystem

Pretty much everything Apple makes plugs and plays together. For those who like them, being able to display that mobile game on your TV via an Apple TV or play music on any speakers that support AirPlay(2) and so on and on, without any user configuration, is a plus and, yes, a selling point.

I know its a hard sell to people who regularly read this site, but most punters really do not want to be bothered with fiddling with configuration.

Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Joe Gurman

You do know....

.... that's not just NASA, but NASA and Roscosmos that operate the ISS jointly, don't you?

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

Joe Gurman

I must be missing something

....not that that would be unusual.

This is still 2018, right? When world + dog carries a vibrating, light-up Internet fondletoy with them at all times? Is there any airline passenger who cannot consult their airline's app for a check on flight status, including gate? Or, if their phone was stolen during security screening, ask another traveler politely if they could use their phone to check?

In the last three months, I've been faced with at least on instance with the larger flat-panel displays now at every gate (in US airports, at least) displaying hilariously incorrect information that conflicts with the information on the display at the gate 10 meters away. The app always had up to date correct info.

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Joe Gurman

Standards for cables and connectors

....are great for consumers if they fully define owner, data, insulation, &c. Where they’re not so great is in the inning variety n department, as they can’t ever know what the next, best thing is. You know, the innovation brought to market bit (as opposed to owning a patent). Then the consumers get to decide: FireWire? Nah, don’t think so, thanks. Thunderbolt 3? Ooh, shiny.

IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

Joe Gurman

Re: "the world is clinging stubbornly to IPv4"

Erm, is there any reason all those shoddily (or not at all) secured IoT devices should be directly on the Net, rather than behind a NAT gateway?

Joe Gurman

Re: Have the businesses forgotten that the Internet was created by academics

ARPA (now DARPA) doesn't do research. They pay other people to do it. Such as academics and researchers at private industry labs.

Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

Joe Gurman

The Chief Magistrate

Hit the proverbial nail directly on the proverbial head.

If you were a firm-swallowing storage giant, how WD you digest them all?

Joe Gurman

Re: SanDisk brands have more market presence than WD flash brands

Funny, that's how I perceive WD's own hard drive offerings. Given the widespread respect for HGsT's product line, perhaps they should just drop the WD hard drives entirely.

HPE supercomputer is still crunching numbers in space after 340 days

Joe Gurman

Maybe not the most convincing of tests....

....for a Mars mission.

The ISS orbits the earth at a relatively low altitude (just above 400 km) that means its protected most of the time from all but the highest energy solar/cosmic ray energetic charged particles by the earth's magnetosphere. The inclination of the orbit (51.6°) means the ISS spends little if any time near the geomagnetic poles, where those charged particles can spiral down the earth's magnetic field.

For what it's worth, spacecraft like SOHO, which has spent almost 23 years around the L1 Lagrange point (1% of the stance between the earth and the Sun) has a solid state recorder of late 1980s/early 1990s vintage that has corrected every single event upset over an entire solar magnetic cycle (two solar activity cycles) just fine. The technology to provide digital electronics that can survive a ~ 3 year expedition outside the earth's magnetosphere is not exactly, er, rocket science at this point.

If you're serious about securing IoT gadgets, may as well start here

Joe Gurman

Re: Good idea in principle

Nice to know I’m not the only one who still thinks MAC ID ACLs are a useful tool, despite their deprecation when any computer OS can spoof them. Now, if we could not get IoT manufacturers to put the MAC ID on the devices.

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto

Joe Gurman

Re: Paranoia and hot pockets

I thought the meant Boris Badenov, always foiled by moose and sqvirrel.

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

Joe Gurman

Re: "Two choices"

s the article pointed out, you (in theory) had a lot more than two choices, but was there anything compelling enough about Windows Phone or Lineage OS or any of the smaller efforts to make them likely, under any conditions, able to achieve significant sales? This is what Americans find strange about EU competition regulations: basing enforcement actions on mere hypotheticals, rather than actual market conditions. Or in other words, there's really no point in trying to protect the consumers against their own decisions, no matter how dim.

iPhone 8 now outsells X, and every other phone

Joe Gurman

Re: And?

I tend to agree, or I would, if people all around me in one of the more down-market areas in the 'burbs here weren't walking around (and, sadly, driving around) with their noses stuck next to those beautiful OLED screens, notches and all. When you pay (at essentially zero interest) over two years, a thousand simoleons is just over US$40 a month. Divide that by the 8 hours or so a day most of the locals appear to spend with bowed head, and they're really bot spending very much. And who knows, perhaps all the facial stitching you do for animojis is good for you health somehow. Somehow.

Maybe those clever capitalists in Cupertino have figured out that at that rate of financial pain, punters really do think they can afford a little high-end bling in their lives. Ya think?

Joe Gurman

Re: @AC It's had its day.

You may well be right. As things get commoditized, why should people pay premium prices? I don't know; maybe someone at Rolex, Mercedes, BMW, and lottos yachtmakers could answer that question. It doesn't change the fact that no one is making money (indeed they're all losing buckets of it) selling downscale smartphones. The only profit is in the high-end kit.

But I would suggest the Mr. Orlowski has perhaps let his stomp-on-Apple zeal carry him away a little this time. Read this article about the Counterpoint release: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/07/05/apples-cheaper-iphones-are-not-the-volume-sellers-pundits-predicted-iphone-8-x-are , admittedly from a true fanboi site, and decide for yourself what the news is here. The way I read it, ignoring how various models (and their putative margins) are ranked, Apple sells 50% more high-end (read: profitable) smartphones than Samsung, who in turn sell twice as many as Xiaomi, while BKK and Huawei battle it out for the rest of the profitable part of the market.

While there are rumors that Xiaomi has had some profitable quarters, pretty much no one but the fruit company and Samsung are making money selling smartphones, integrated over all price points they offer. Other companies may be using downscale models as loss leaders, hoping to grab market share and then raise the price of entry in classic capitalist style (way to go, People's Republic). But those two firms have already gotten there. Maybe that's the news?

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Joe Gurman

I realize this is the Reg

....and therefore, er, apples to apples comparisons are unlikely, but when you start ragging on the differences between this massive monster and Apple's last year products, you could at least point out that Apple estimates the maximum battery charge lifetime, while for these machines.... or that the display even on 17 inch Dell laptops is hardly comparable to a Retina-like display. 1920 x 1080 does not cut it if you're doing graphics work these days, but I doubt that's the target audience for these machines.

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Joe Gurman

Re: Isn't he supposed to be ...

Sorry, Buckwheat, but the local prosecutors are simply following the law, as defined in Virginia, which is, you know, kind of east you'd like district/state's attorneys to be doing. Breaking and Entering to Commit A Misdemeanor Other than Trespass or Assault and Battery (Va. Code §18.2-92) is a Class 6 felony, punishable with up to 5 years in prison, but if the offender was armed with a deadly weapon, the offense becomes a Class 2 felony, punished with 20 years to life in prison. There is no lesser to which he can plead, but it may be (I'm ignorant) that the jury is asked to decide whether he intended to commit a serious offense, and if so, then separately determine whether he was armed with a deadly &c.

That, at least, was the way it worked in a trial in which I was a juror in a neighbo[u]ring (but culturally very different) state on charges of assault: first, did simple assault, a misdemeano[u]r, take place; if yes, then was it aggravated assault, a felony, which could bring s much stiffer sentence. The state's attorney wanted a conviction on the latter charge, but that required the jury first finding the defendant guilty own the lesser charge. There was no volition or piling on charges; it was a simple if b then a first.

And the defendant was already behind bars on other corsages at the time of trial, so it was not as if she were a present menace to society.

Joe Gurman

I'm guessing....

....that when the drugs wore off (and I don't mean the ones supplied at the hospital), he might have felt a sliver of remorse.

Joe Gurman


....I disapprove of the use of firearms because, as Danger Man John Drake put it, "They tend to be messy," but I'm pretty much OK with this one.

Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Joe Gurman


"IBM allowed the 1981 PC to be an open system...." For software, yes, but it wasn't really open until, ten months after the PC debuted, that Columbia offered the reviser PC clone with a reverse-engineered BIOS.

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Joe Gurman

Re: Tim Cook...

Rather decent hardware, actually, and it's the FBI and local police departments who are throwing the hissy fits. Despite all the bad-mouthing here, Americans actually do have civil liberties, one of which has repeatedly been defined by the courts as privacy.


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