* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

1108 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

The 1920's called

They want their temperance movements back.

The trouble with all this nanny state stuff is: The people who are easily dissuaded from abusing alcohol (or whatever) by high prices, taxes and regulation aren't the ones who suffer the worst consequences. The people who are really hooked will ruin their lives regardless of the costs.

Moscow's speed cameras 'knackered' by MYSTERY malware

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Virus, or ...

... logic bomb?

IntechGeoTrans may have inherited a system that the previous maintainer, SK Region, didn't want to let go of.

US insurer punts 'bestiality' to wide-eyed kiddies, gasp 'mums'

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

One Million Moms

I've seen some of them. And their husbands. So their aversion to bestiality is understandable.

And probably based on personal experience.

Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

Its all about muzzle velocity and energy. I'm not certain what sort of weapons various people have available to them. But I could probably make short work of most siege robots with a 25 kg sledgehammer. No background check or waiting periods required.

Canonical unveils fondleslab-friendly Ubuntu 'experience'

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Yes, but ...

... does it run Linux?

Satanic Renault takes hapless French bloke on 200km/h joyride

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

No neutral position? That's been available on every auto or manual transmission I've ever driven. I will admit to never having driven a vehicle with paddle shifters, so perhaps this feature is missing.

A paddle shifting arrangement would seem to be a common adaption for a handicapped driver. Two buttons that could be relocated to any location suitable for that driver. So this raises another point: When adapting a vehicle for handicapped use, are various combinations of control inputs that might be needed in an emergency required to be implemented? What sorts of certifications are required to ensure that the combination of driver and adapted vehicle will be safe under normal and abnormal conditions?

Ask Google this impossible question, get web filth as a reward

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Makes sense actually

More than once, I've watched one of those videos and said to myself, "No! That's not possible!"

Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

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My car keys

I found them, honey. You can stop searching.

Huge rock-hard marble erection shocks Japanese kiddies

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RE: Japanese Censorship is weird to us...

"... for instance, 2 armed guys ..."

Better pixellate out those guns in the USA!

Ethernet at 40: Its daddy reveals its turbulent youth

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Won't work?

Back in those days, I can remember the 'Ethernet won't work' pitches. I also remember the TCP won't work, HTTP/HTML won't work, Windows-OS/2-Unix-whatever won't work. Blah, blah, blah.

The most interesting thing was that it was always the same group of people at my company that ran around with these pitches. Some sort of anti-marketing shills that vendors knew would take a few bucks to spread their propaganda white papers around. Pretty soon, the smarter folks started recognizing them and, whenever they came around, there were always coughs of "Bullsh*t!" behind our hands.

Some of them are still around and at least one major prominent company appears to be dealing with the fallout of bad engineering decisions pushed down from the MBA crowd. Some people never learn.

Why you need a home lab to keep your job

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

I agree wholeheartedly. I design anti-tank artillery for the US Army.

Mine is the Kevlar jacket.

How to destroy a brand-new Samsung laptop: Boot Linux on it

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So, there's no 'Restore Factory Defaults' option from the boot screen?

I'd walk away from any hardware that didn't have that. Its inevitable that a BIOS update will hiccup sooner or later.

You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

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Feral cats

My neighborhood has a solution: coyotes. Keep your pet inside or lose it.

YouTube's hilarious cat videos could soon cost you $5 a month

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This explains ...

.... why my cat is on strike. He's holding out for a percentage of the gross.

Who ate all the Pis?

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Re: The vi thing

Trouble with the vi UI? I don't believe it! What could be simpler?


Disclaimer - These opiini^H^H damn! ^H^H ^Q ^[ .... :w :q :wq :wq! ^d exit X Q ^C ^? :quitbye CtrlAltDel ~~q :~q logout save/quit :!QUIT ^[zz ^[ZZZZZZ ^H man vi ^@ ^L ^[c ^# ^E ^X ^I ^T ? help helpquit ^D man quit ^C ^c ?Quit ?q CtrlShftDel "Hey, what does this button d..."

Apple 'dismayed' to find over 100 kids building its iDevices

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100 Children?

That's terrible!

Can't we cut that back to 50 and just work them longer hours?

Silly gits upload private crypto keys to public GitHub projects

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Re: Simple github filter

Point taken. Once the change is checked in, its probably too late to do anything. I still like the auto-generated "Idiot" e-mail. At least that will give the user an opportunity to revoke his keys and maybe add a line to gitignore.

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Simple github filter

Crawl through user's accounts looking for "BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY" followed (after the appropriate string length) by "END RSA PRIVATE KEY" and delete the file. Maybe even triggered by an upload.

And then sent them an e-mail, Subject: You moron!

Boeing 787 fleet grounded indefinitely as investigators stumped

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Baffled inspectors

I predict that once they pull ALL of the LiON batteries out of service (along with their histories stored in NVRAM), they'll figure it out pretty quickly. With two out of a hundred batteries having gone up in smoke already, I'll venture a guess that there are a few others out there with internal damage, but not to the point of runaway yet. And that damage will be easier to spot if its not in the middle of some melted goo.

The problem is: How to get the used batteries back to the NTSB lab. Show of hands for any cargo carriers willing to load one of these into their hold. Better to put them on a slow boat from China (Japan?).

Victims of 'revenge pr0n' sue GoDaddy, smut site

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RE: A salutory warning...

It gets worse than sexting. And it boggles the mind as to how many people think that its just their partner picking up their cell phone to answer 'Just one important text', when they are in a compromised position.

Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

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RE: Well, I work with computers

"but computers really like me and want to please me."

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.

Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

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Re: ...eyeroll...

Side effects are why we write code. If not for them, execution of a program would have no observable effect in the outside world. On the other hand, side effects don't tell you all there to know is about the internal state of an object. So debugging (or optimizing) based upon side effects alone is incomplete.

Pubic louse falls victim to eager Brazilian strippers

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
Paris Hilton

RE: Endangered Species?

No doubt its time for the United Nations to take steps to protect their habitat. I, for one, will do my part to patrol for areas of deforestation.

Paris, wondering why the inspector is taking so long.

Titsup Windows Phone 8 orders user to cram 'boot disc' in mobe

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"some have spent their entire careers coding the NT kernel."

Sisyphus comes to mind.

Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

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I think I'll pull out my "Enemy of the State" DVD and give it a watch this evening.

It's a shame Swartz didn't have Edward Lyle to help him arrange a little payback.

'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge


I think you've misspelled the name of the one character with whom Microsoft could contract to turn their prospects around.

John McAfee the Belize spymaster uncovers 'ricin, terrorist plots'

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Its sad

I've known a number of people who have moved to a little cabin deep into the woods (one on the beach in Belize will do as well), lost touch with society and have gone over the edge. Paranoia, conspiracy theories, etc.

ProTip: Maintain contact with society. Its good for your mental health.

Ancient Mars: Covered with life, oceans, clouds, and imagination

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Next picture ...

... the night sky with city lights.

US Patent Office seeks public input on software patents' future

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Software Patent's Future

Nasty, brutish and short, to paraphrase Hobbes.

Delay climate mitigation, escalate the costs: study

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Missing options

Pay $500 in 2030, or $2500 in 2040. Or .....

How an Amazon engineer's slip-up started a 20-hour Netflix cock-up

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Change processes themselves have to be tested and controlled. That errant maintenance process should have been run against a test environment prior to being used on production sites.

And then a test suite needs to be included and run to ensure that the test/production sites are still up and running after the change is applied.

Merde! Paris Apple Store in €1m armed raid on New Year's Eve

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

'The French press is now reporting that "initial estimates were of 1m euros of goods stolen, but some boxes thought stolen were just moved". Says a lot for their stock control!'

Could be a smart move. If they can't figure out which serial numbers were stolen or just moved around, that could delay their being entered in the stolen device database. For just long enough to unload the goods onto some unsuspecting buyer. Yeah, the iPhone works. For about another week.

'Apparently the robbers waited until a cleaner opened a service door, then pushed in and tied up the cleaner and security guard.'

Smart move. No alarms are set when the cleaning crew is mopping the floor. This gang sounds like it might be pretty organized.

Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

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I'm tired of liver and beets.

[Mum was a lousy cook]

Major new science: Women more nude, more often online

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Some interesting research to be done

In discussions with a few psychology experts, there appears to be some interesting dynamics involved with nudity and attraction. Men like looking at (attractive) naked women. Women like looking at (attractive) naked men. Women also like looking at other women. Men, however, fall into two groups. For most of us, there is a built-in 'threat response' involved with the view of a naked man. This has been demonstrated by fMRIs in several studies. The second (smaller) group of men lack this threat response and may also find another naked man attractive. This group may correspond with Kinsey's research showing a (startlingly) significant minority of men that have some level of attraction towards other men. Even those that identified themselves as straight. Kinsey found this to be about 35%.

From the point of view of 'acceptable' naked images (avatars, game figures, etc.) it would seem that, given an unknown audience, the naked female form offers the least chance of triggering a negative subliminal response. With naked male figures, that possibility increases.

The interesting research would be to strap a cross section of the population into an fMRI and compare their responses to their answers to Kinsey's survey and other issues of sexual identity. It may turn out that the lack of this threat response trigger is genetic. And it might be a necessary, although not sufficient condition for bisexuality or homosexuality. It might also be tough to do, as many gays don't like being poked and prodded (scientifically, that is) as if they suffer from a disease.

Divorce lawyer spots increase in Christmas 'text message bustings'

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

There's an App for that

A friend (female) sent me this link a while back:


So now there's really no excuse to get caught in flagrante delicto digitally.

A few observations. According to the above article, women (or at least those that identify themselves as such at the purchase) make up 70% of the market for this product. Possible conclusions: Women cheat more, or are better at the logistics of it than men. My anecdotal experience indicates that this might be true. Alternately, leaving the phone lying about with lovers messages in public view is a marriage exit strategy. That's sort of a wimp's way out, and expensive too, if your jurisdiction allows for the aggrieved party to collect damages. Since the tradition is that the man has the property and income, giving the outgoing wife just cause isn't a smart move.

£3 is cheap insurance.

Facebook tests feature to let strangers pay to message you

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

My plan

1. Create a few hundred phony Facebook accounts.

2. 'Friend' each other, making it look like one big (lucrative) pool of users.

3. Wait for the marketers to notice and begin their messaging for $$ (or ££ if that works for you).

4. ????

5. Profit!

MIT boffins demonstrate NEW form of magnetism

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Magnets, how do they work?

Opposable thumbs for FISTS, not finesse, say bioboffins

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Re: broken metacarpals... Next Evolutionary step...

Humanity will split into several evolutionary branches. A claw-like appendage with one, two or three spare digits for gripping a mouse, depending on whether one follows the OSX, Windows or Linux paths. Or the requisite number of tentacles needed to perform the (patented) touch screen gestures of either the iOS or Android subspecies.

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Re: I used to box as a yoof as well as playing both codes of rugby.

"But I'm pretty sure I'd have come off a very poor second in a fist fight with any of the other great apes who don't carry these supposed fighters' fists."

That's just a matter of a large mismatch in strength. Although the average human outweighs a chimpanzee, the chimp has several times a man's strength and could do much more damage with the same moves. However, if you should find yourself pinned by a larger animal and not yet eviscerated, your best move would be to punch said animal squarely in the snout. That's a sensitive spot and not the sort of pain they are used to when combating those of their own species, so it could scare them off. If not, odds are you won't live much longer anyway.

North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

A dud? Perhaps not.

They've got us all looking up while they sneak ashore.

Naked Scarlett Johansson pic snatch bloke gets 10 YEARS

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Next photo series

Chaney releases his next set of photos, including:

(NSFW) http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/www.ign.com/11331/2011/04/Its-a-trap.jpg

'We are screwed!' Fonts eat a bullet in Microsoft security patch

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vi unaffected

vi is my shepherd, I shall not font.

Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

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"Lies - it's near impossible to reload a weapon's magazine/chambers while driving"


Police use 24/7 power grid recordings to spot doctored audio

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Re: Well that's a relief then, we can all sleep soundly now.

I think the frequency of either the police or defendants doctoring the evidence is pretty low. But this technique is a tool with which the evidence can be validated.

The problem is; it appears that the baseline data is in the hands of the police. So they will be able to validate their recordings as required. But one can only hope that the data will be made available for the use of the accused as well.

iPhone 5 launches in China, late and expensive. Chinese say 'meh'

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Apple, make up your mind

Now, you want the Chinese to buy them. Yesterday, you didn't:


What's "Don't Taze me, bro!" in Mandarin?

Cassini spots Titan ‘mini-Nile’

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Moon river

wider than a mile

I'm crossing you in style


NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge


The camera is detachable and has a self timer. Curiosity simply set the timer, detached the camera, set it on top of a Martian post box, rolled back into frame and waited for the shutter to go click.

Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Oh, no!

If these become widespread, we could run out of gravity!

In reality, these run off of carbohydrates. The muscle energy you put in and store as potential energy in a gravitational field.

Girl gang targets Microsoft's Seattle stores for $5,000 theft spree

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RE: 6 women and a man?

"When this gang is caught, I've got 20 bucks that says the man's sentence will be longer or more severe than any of the womens'"

Not taking that bet. Its possible that the man is providing security for the women picking up the merch. In fact, he might be armed.

Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

Is Microsoft going to count these as part of their sales figures?

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