* Posts by Long John Brass

673 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007


MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

Is the driver licensed? Imagine the fine for going several thousands of km/h over the speed limit.

Don't be silly; It's a Tesla they can drive themselves!

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: It's the Stig!

Some have speculated this is a foolproof way to dump a dead body.

Anyone seen Amber Heard lately?

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

Oddly enough the Delta-V to get to the sun is 24.0m/s vs. 3.6m/s for Mars. Gotta burn off all that orbital momentum :)

*Numbers are from the oft slightly wrong WikiPedia and the more often wrong understanding I have when reading it

NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Funding?

Well, There seems to be a chap with a laptop and an RTL-SDR that may be able to help. Why not hire him?

So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...

Long John Brass Silver badge

Hey boss...

8:00am: Hey Boss; not coming in, I've always thought you were an utter bastard; Take this job and shove it!

8:30am: Yeah I'll be in by 9.

On yer bike! Boffins teach AI drone to fly itself using cams on bicycles, self-driving car

Long John Brass Silver badge

I for one welcome...

Our crotch height robotic overlords

Fella faked Cisco, Microsoft gear death – then sold replacement kit for millions, say Feds

Long John Brass Silver badge

faces a theoretical maximum sentence of 1,029 years in prison

Being a techie type crime; Shirley it should be 1024 years in prison?

Or 1023 if you start counting at zero like all civilised people should!

UK's iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory nominated as World Heritage Site

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: This place has ****ing had its day

the Register and its commentards as I believe they are called, are just a bunch of dicks

Yes! ... yes we are; Welcome to the club by the way ;)

Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

Long John Brass Silver badge

There is a quote from the Bene Gesserit about that...

“Technology tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. People generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.”

FYI: There's now an AI app that generates convincing fake smut vids using celebs' faces

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Another Brunner prediction comes to pass

There was an SF story; Sorry can't for the life of me remember the Author or Title...

But there was a scene where A random person gets killed via robot/drone, the robot/drone then scatters forensic evidence about the scene and on the body. a scrap of cloth, hairs and other DNA evidence etc.

The mark then gets arrested, tried and convicted on the above evidence. The trick used in the book wasn't high-tech but left a deep impression on me; I never bought into DNA evidence as a rock solid proof after reading that book. Thing is the book pre-dated practical DNS evidence testing by some margin.

Upshot? Anything can be faked. Always be sceptical. Engage brain before feelings.

Long John Brass Silver badge
Paris Hilton

FFS people get a grip

Oh noes they can make fake videos of peoples. Que Shock, Horror and outrage; We can't believe anything we see on the TeeVee anymore! Really? You only *JUST* came to that conclusion?

IMHO this is a good thing, The less people automatically trust what they see on the internet & main stream media the better; Engage your rational logical mental capacities. Killery and the great orange one would never get it on. The Great orange once and Mr Pence on the other hand :)

*Film at 11*

President Trump turns out the lights on solar panel imports into US

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Sunshine needed

let the domestic industry whither, or subsidise the domestic industry

Which is why the global price for solar panels cost/watt were at rock bottom and the glut in the global market for US manufactured solar panels was at epic levels....

Or just perhaps; As the Chinese manufacturing levels increased, that has driven down the cost/watt to a level where they are actually becoming a viable option for some domestic supply?

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Sunshine needed

neither the words "subsidy" or "dumping" appear anywhere

Sorry I don't understand why this is an issue; If the Chinese Govt wants to subsidise panels to the rest of the world how is that a bad thing? Just buy up the cheep Chinese panels and go hog wild installing em everywhere. One of two things happen; Either the Chinese government go broke or they don't; Either way we all get cheep panels.

Who exactly looses here? US manufacturers of solar panels? Are there a lot of those?

Still on the bright side; If US sales of imported solar panels drops, the reset of us might get an even bigger discount :)

NHS OKs offshoring patient data to cloud providers stateside

Long John Brass Silver badge
Black Helicopters

On the bright side

When the inevitable happens and the great, the good and the powerful find all their medical histories published in a poorly secured S3 bucket they will understand why people were making such a big fuss over data security.

Would T. Mays mammogram be considered NSFW?

US govt shutdown lobs spanner in SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: I told Elon he would regret...

Evil lairs may work well in comic books, but in real life they just attract superheroes.

You could always use the super heroes has a test launch mass :)

Long John Brass Silver badge

I told Elon he would regret...

Not buying the Evil Lair from EvilLairs.com

Then he could be launching the Falcon-Heavy from his very own "Secret Base"(tm) in a burned out volcano!

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Exploding chips - not fun

I had a similar experience with a home brew EPROM burner; The first clue that the circuit I had built was faulty was the silicon under the little window in the package was do a rather good impersonation of an LED.

The thing that surprised be was the damned thing worked after... Erase, re-program to whole 9 yards.

Never trusted it enough to use in an actual machine; but kept it around as a scratch EPROM and good luck charm :)

China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

Long John Brass Silver badge

So its all gone a bit...

Pete Tong?

1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

I say let's start pushing blind hiring practices. Applications without names, races or sex

This has been tried and then hastily scrapped as it only made the perceived imbalance worse. The claim then became the blind hiring practices were themselves discriminatory

Long John Brass Silver badge

this burden of guilt

Yes; Everything you said times a million. Wish I had more up-votes to give

Have a pint mate; you earned it.

Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

Long John Brass Silver badge

The truly scary thing is...

We might just be the first Intelligent life in our local cluster...

Ponder that for a second; That means if we fuck this up there might not be anybody along for quite a while to try again! The universe is give ot take ~13B years old and we are only about ~0.1% of the projected star forming period. Earth formed ~4B years ago and yet "intelligent" life has only been around ~1M years.

Maybe life is common as pond scum, but if there were ancient civilisations banging around we would have seen signs of their interstellar civilisations by now; Just from the waste heat.


How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

Long John Brass Silver badge


If there was some way to insert a random fuzz on the RDTSC instruction (which I imagine is the only timer with sufficient resolution to measure a cache miss)

Except for the fact that RDTSC is a very useful profiling/debugging tool; Cripple it and you open a whole different can of worms.

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Pigeons on trains

I too have seen this behaviour in London; Only it wasn't a lone pigeon but a sizeable number. ~12 or so sauntered into the carriage, some parked themselves, some had a sniff about for food scraps; The whole flock stayed on for a couple of stops and waited by the door & exited at "their" station. It was the weirdest most surreal thing I have seen.

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Fascinating

Doctors != Scientists

In my experience most saw bones are not even close to Scientific. The guys with the really sharp knives are usually pretty competent meat mechanics, but most GP's are little more than well trained voodoo acolytes

WD My Cloud NAS devices have hard-wired backdoor

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: It is all ODM by someone working to a minimal budget somewhere in South East Asia.

I loved that series. Have a pint for bringing back happy memories :)

Space.. the fi, er, New Frontiers: NASA to hurl space robot at duck comet – or Saturn moon

Long John Brass Silver badge

Atomic tank

Given the much colder temps, wouldn't an RTG be much more efficient on Titan than on Mars?

If you could stop the damned thing melting its way though the ground.

The CPU's could be over-clocked as well :)

This week in 'Bungles in the AWS S3 Privacy Jungles', we present Alteryx – and 123 million households exposed

Long John Brass Silver badge

Oh for fsck sake

It will later be announced that the engineer responsible has been found and scapegoated

The fact that the poor bastard will have had orders from on high to do it and an e-mail chain querying the sanity of it all. After all, manglers never get *THEIR* hands dirty.

Jesus wept.

How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you

Long John Brass Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: People unfortunately aren't diligent fact checkers

There are people out there, right now, splicing up CRISPR sequences and stabbing themselves with it. I can only imagine how CRISPR's inventor feels looking at these idiots.

Hey I glow in the dark now and have gills! You are going to be laughing out the other side of your face real soon now (tm) ... Literally :)

Once I figure out how to add Photosynthesis; I will rule the world *Bwahahaha*

Facebook: Who needs millennials? The cops love us more than ever!

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: At the A/C, ""It's a mystery why it's failing.

I was applying for $Something and had to give the counter lady all my PII in order to open the account. She asked for my...

How and why is this even a thing? I had the unpleasant experience on when during the last round of applying for a new job, they asked for a look though all my social media accounts. I asked if they were serious (Yes they were). If it wasn't for the fact I was desperate for a gig I would told them to go fuck themselves.

There needs to be a law...

Now get the hell off my damned lawn.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Long John Brass Silver badge

RIP the internet

No worries mate; The rest of the world will be just fine ;)

Enjoy your hunger climbing for dollars games

Which distant Mars-alikes could we live on? Ask these Red Planet data-sifters

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Duhhhhhhh... Cosmic radiation, idiots.

My cyborg body sneers at your cancer :)

Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Lambda functions much be completely composable. No exceptions.

Sounds time consuming

Yes and amazon Et al all charge by the second.

Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Long John Brass Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Expect better than this from the reg

women are just as capable as men (not more capable, but as capable) only gathered around 50 down votes

What was the context? I would guess that very few commentards here would argue that their fellow female pointy heads were any more or less (in)competent that any other.

But; There has been a rash of won't someone think of the women oppression Olympics style articles that quite rightly gets on peoples nerves.

SpaceX to try reusing both rocket and spacecraft for historic ISS mission

Long John Brass Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: ZBLAN is reckoned to be the a product that could be made at profit in space

Yes. You need a tech priest to say the appropriate prayers and spring the holy oil & light the incense

You have to keep the machine spirits happy :)

YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

Long John Brass Silver badge
Black Helicopters


Not only do they know you are a dog. They have the licence plates of all the cars you have chased.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Long John Brass Silver badge

Murderous machines

Two stories...

1: Overkill

Working in a machine room with a PDP11 and a MV8000. The dog had 2 x 250MB top load style removable packs and a 500MB? Winchester for the OS (AOS/VS?). The removable packs were user data. One fine spring day a strong smell not unlike burning insulation pervades the machine room and the dogs console barfing up errors; Disk errors. Shut down the machine and call an engineer. Turns out one of the packs had head-crashed. Engineers dismantles the entire thing including the very large permanent magnet now sitting on the machine room floor. Then starts on the second drive. apparently the dust is so fine that there was a good chance that the other drive would have sucked some up.

Now he placed the two head magnet assemblies at either end of the machine room stopped by a tile lifter each. I thought this was overkill until a little while later there was a very odd noise from the machine room. A low pitched scraping noise that very quickly rose in pitch followed by a very large ***WANG***

One of the tile lifters had come unstuck and the two magnets were now fused together permanently.


Got a ticket from the hell desk. A secretary had complained that her PC was trying to kill her. A bunch of us decided to visit said homicidal PC. We asked the secretary to demonstrate the fault. She refused, handed us a cdrom disk and fled the room. The PC was one of those mid tower machines sitting on her desk. Head height for her and about neck height for me.

Upon loading said disk into the drive. running though some quick checks all seemed well; Until I ejected the cdrom. The tray opened and at first I didn't notice anything wrong. It was at that point the disk, still pinning at a high rate of knots did a very neat VTOL takeoff from the now open tray, wobbled a bit, nicked the PC case and promptly zipped off past my neck I felt the draft as it passed. It then ricochet around the cubical a few times (still at neck height) until it came to rest.

Replaced the drive, but the secretary in question never quite trusted that machine gain. Next time I saw that machine the cdrom drive was facing away from her, towards a nearby wall :)

Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

Long John Brass Silver badge

Stack Overflow

I kind of just have to know vaguely what's possible, and then I find the specifics on Stack Overflow.

Wow.... The devs on my site are all AI's :)

Quentin Tarantino in talks to make Star Trek movie

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Well Discovery has the occasional swearing

I watched the first 3 episodes and gave up.

Unless they put a bullet phaser beam through that bloody awful first offer's head; I'm not interested. Would much rather they killed her off instead of her captain.

That 70s Show: Windows sprouts Sets and Timeline features

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: the 70's? *ANYTHING* but the 70's!

the most tasteless decade in the 20th century, from hideous polyester patterns to disco "music".

I think I'm gonna hurl...

Yup; Only people who never experienced the horror would ever be nostalgic for it.

Accused hacker Lauri Love's extradition appeal begins

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

"It's about revenge."

Well, SOCIETY's revenge, yeah. But what's MORE important is DETERRENCE.

There is an interesting argument to be made here. Once upon a time when we were roving bands of hunters and gatherers, "justice" would have been met out internally by the family/tribe. Inter tribe this would have meant killing off the other guys. eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

The ability for us as a species to form larger social units meant that at some stage we needed a way to break the inter-personal revenge cycle by saying "No you won't take personal revenge for X. We will do that on your behalf". Later we added a process to make sure that the person(s) accused were actually guilty.

This is why justice systems have this idea of justice must me seen to be done and justice being blind to everything other than the facts of the case.

It's this that has allowed us to build bigger and bigger cities and nations. In short making civilisation civil. So revenge definitely was part of the equation. The public safety and rehabilitation stuff came later. The burn the witch trial by media we see today is a regression.

Surveillance Capitalism thinks it won, but there's still time to unplug it

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: 'Surveillance capitalism, that’s on us'

it means that if you don't want to be spied on, you have to go to extreme efforts to avoid it

No if you do that then you stand out in the data-sets! Do not ever be the outlier. You want an data profile that says; Utterly normal, nothing to see here.

Otherwise you get a knock on the d0383,.cxn &*^&^0908



Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords

Long John Brass Silver badge

users are stupid

By saying users are stupid, you perpetuate a stereotype that people are the problem, according to Dr Jessica Barker.

I suspect a few weeks at the coalface in the hell desk (Or any actual IT role for that matter) would help disabuse her of the notion that users are not stupid. Or even human for that matter.

Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Presumably, Danny 14 ...

@Hans 1

Imho, the people who buy guns need to be locked up, never mind big or small

Lots of farmers in prison in your perfect world? I'm not suggesting that some sane form of firearm control that limits the number of nut jobs with automatic firearms is a bad thing; But! Firearms are a valid and useful tool in the hands of someone with the requisite number of genes and a little training.

Knee jerk reactions like ban em all is just as bad

Exim-ergency! Unix mailer has RCE, DoS vulnerabilities

Long John Brass Silver badge

survey bollocks

Many shops run a Linux MTA(s) in front of thier MS Exchange servers to save them from the spam, viruses etc.

Implementing grey-lists and tar-pits on internet facing machines is great fun :)

Summit for the readers who are hot for petaFLOPs: Server nodes flashed at SC17

Long John Brass Silver badge
Paris Hilton

10+PB of RAM

I feel funny in my trousers :)

Sci-Hub domains inactive following court order

Long John Brass Silver badge

arXiv etc

Don't understand why Universities and research labs don't get together and build out something like arXiv for a wider range of topics. You could build in a peer review workflow to boot. While we are at it a linking mechanism to referenced papers that would allow things like if a paper is discredited then any linked papers would also get "down voted"

If everything on such a site is creative commons style licence; Then the dead tree journals would have to pay to reproduce. This way the "arXiv" style site could get some funds to keep the platform running and maybe a few pennies to the authors and reviewers?

Royal Navy destroyer leaves Middle East due to propeller problems

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Less is more?

Do we need state of the art warfighting ships to deter a group of Somali's armed with a couple of AK47's?

The UK govt could always ask the NZ govt for some help. We don't have much of a navy but have some pretty awesome rowboats. Maybe in exchange you guys could buy some of our lamb, butter etc?

Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

Long John Brass Silver badge

Re: Proof...

More like proof that Linux developers have the sense of humour of a ten year old boy.

And that's a bad thing how?

Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Long John Brass Silver badge


Userland should never ever ever cause the kernel to panic.

Sure kill a badly behaved process. But the rest of the system should keep trucking on.

There was an interesting discussion years ago as to the correct failure mode of web-browsers.

The argument went it's better to render something broken than nothing at all or worse, kill the browser. OS kernel failure modes need to be thought of in the same manner; Unless something is really broken, clean up & carry on.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019