* Posts by Neil Barnes

3087 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

New UK aircraft carrier to be commissioned on Pearl Harbor anniversary

Neil Barnes
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Disapointed.

Did no-one suggest 'HMS Queeny McQueenface'?

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Neil Barnes
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Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

>> Ye Gods! When lightly loaded they'd give sports cars a hard time!

Try a normal tractor unit in a straight line, some time. 600BHP or more, in a three tonne tractor... they can shift.

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Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

Neil Barnes
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Dear Sir.

We have been analysing your social media activities and find that you are vituperative, abusive, and bullying in more cases than not. The Emily Bronte virus[1] has not had a noticeable effect on your behaviour.

It is therefore necessary to advise you that your survival rating has been set to 'very low'.

Be careful in traffic.

[1] David Brin

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Neil Barnes
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Tax the robots?

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Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Neil Barnes
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Will the last person on the internet

Please turn out the lights?

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Your attention has value, personal cryptocurrency will advertise it

Neil Barnes
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Oh dear

I fear my supply of BAT will remain forever zero...

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Boffins on alert: Brace yourselves for huge gravitational wave coming within a decade

Neil Barnes
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Coat

That process could take longer than the current age of the universe,

I'll get some popcorn. And perhaps some marshmallows; could be a long wait.

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Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Neil Barnes
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Playmobil

Lester would have had such great fun with this one.

Of which, I note that Playmobil now sell a glider with pilot... lacks the fun rocket engine, though.

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Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: Pushing people up the ladder

Well of course. I also wouldn't want to work for a company who employed people with such a poor grasp of grammar.

"To which Golf Clubs do you belong? ..."

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Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Neil Barnes
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FAIL

Re: NoScript ?

Looks like uBlock Origin is working, but noScript isn't (yet). That's a deal breaker.

--> Icon for Firefox, not for the noScript developers.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Neil Barnes
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Emily Post

Dear Net-Mail User:

Your mailbox has just been rifled by EmilyPost, an autonomous courtesy-worm chain program released in October 2036 by an anonymous group of net subscribers in western Alaska ([]ref: sequestered confession 592864 -2376298.96534, deposited with Bank Leumi 10/23/36:20:34:21. Expiration-disclosure 10 years.] Under the civil disobedience sections of the Charter of Rio, we accept in advance the fines and penalties that will come due when our confession is released in 2046...

In brief, dear friend, you are not a very polite person. EmilyPost's syntax analysis routines show that a very high fraction of your net exchanges are heated, vituperative, even obscene.

Of course you enjoy free speech. But EmilyPost has been designed by people who are concerned about the recent trend toward excessive nastiness in some parts of the net...

Of course, should you insist on continuing as before, disseminating nastiness in all directions, we have equipped EmilyPost with other options you'll soon find out about...

----

courtesy David Brin, Earth

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Boffins: We can identify you by your typing, and we're gonna sell the tech to biz, govt – yay!

Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

or governments "to identify their customers more accurately

Governments have customers? I thought I was their employer. That's the way the money flows, so I must be, right?

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Neil Barnes
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Whatever happened to

"I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that"?

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Astronomers find bizarre 'zombie supernova' that just won't die

Neil Barnes
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Alien

A type II Khardashev civilisation?

That perhaps got something a little wrong?

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Google's answer to the Pixel 2 XL CRT-style screen burn in: Lower the brightness

Neil Barnes
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Re: Cure for crt-style display burn-in

Well, Star Trek vintage, anyway.

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Dashboard pushers: Dark here in containerised server land, innit sysadmins?

Neil Barnes
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log-gregation for short

I'm not sure the replacement of a space and two letters with a dash is a sufficient shortening to make up for the slightly nauseous feeling immediately engendered by the new phrase.

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Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: Curious...

USB drive full of secret data goes in to cage full of monkeys.

Wait (long enough).

USB drive comes out containing complete works of Shakespeare...

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Atto, boy! Eggheads fire laser for 43 attoseconds, fastest Man-made spurt

Neil Barnes
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I'm thinking...

you'd need a bloody quick shark.

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Slashing regulations literally more important than saving American lives to Donald Trump

Neil Barnes
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Aye, but there's a neural network in there and surely that has to count for something.

(Except in the premium brands, of course.)

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First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: Apple...

Couch potatoes. Obviously.

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Bored 'drivers' pushed Google Waymo into ditching autopilot tech

Neil Barnes
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I have an odd psychological response:

If I'm in a vehicle for any length of time - plane, train, or car - and I'm not driving... I go to sleep. I seem to have no control over this reflex.

I don't have any issue if I'm behind the wheel, but if I'm not in charge then it's as if I'm hypnotised. I'd hate for that to happen on the driver's side of the car, with a robot telling me 'wake up and take control, meatsack... oh. Oh well.'

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Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

The adjusted pixels

are hardly unfindable in the presented illustrations.

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Iceland's Pirate Party loses four MPs in new elections

Neil Barnes
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A party whose line is more privacy

And a Government that fell because things they wanted privacy for were exposed... I can see the voters point of view.

I suspect that what many want is privacy for themselves and transparency for those who set themselves up in public office.

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Neil Barnes
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Cheer up, Geoff, you're not along in your unsmart delight... I'm so twentieth century I'm still watching terrestrial channels over the air. In real time, often.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: 3D?

3D pops up every twenty or thirty years. Give a while and it'll be back, just as crap as the last times, all the way back to 1840...

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Neil Barnes
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Ah, possibly not. I also - some years back - ended up in a rental Vauxhall with the same situation. I eventually discovered that the solution was to flick the *same* way to turn it off. However, as it also had the three-flashes trick it took a while to hold it long enough to trigger the 'on' as opposed to the 3-flash, with further off-pushes actually turning it on again.

As I recall, the wipers did something similar: a single push for intermittent, second push for on third for fast - can't recall how that turned off, but I recall it was much more sensible a year later.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Possible Solution

@Dave 126 - remember the Nissan Arna? Alfa engine, Nissan body... it was not a wonderful mix.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

Neil Barnes
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Er, these are patients who no longer need to be in hospital, but who cannot yet look after themselves again.

I'm not convinced that random b&b is the place for them, mind, but I've wondered before why the NHS and, say, Premier Inns can't do a deal at forty quid a night...

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Your shoe, chewing gum, or ciggies are now your extra password

Neil Barnes
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I lost track somewhere

Is this software saying photograph a trinket, and then requiring a further view of that trinket to identify you? Or showing you a number of random trinkets and saying which one is yours?

Neither seems spectacularly helpful: the first requires you to have the trinket to hand for all future login attempts (ok for a tattoo I suppose) while the second doesn't seem to offer great numbers of choices.

Or am I just confused? It's early...

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Sick burn, yo: Google's latest Pixel 2 XL suffers old-skool screen singe

Neil Barnes
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Apologies; my no-script/ublock just let the page data through. Sorry guys.

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Neil Barnes
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You need the proper BBC tool UNI/515, mate: nice solid thing made on a carved wooden frame with a power connector in the middle.

http://nibroadcast.co.uk/BBC-uni-515-12inch-degaussing-coil-/prod_1805.html

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Google: We don't have a quantum computer yet, but we have a compiler

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Hello world?

Hello, many worlds interpretation, surely?

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Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops

Neil Barnes
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For decades now

A hardware reset took the program counter to a defined memory location and started executing code there (or from a vector there). This read directly from memory - usually prom or eprom, or more recently on-board flash.

Thence (for a desktop system, as opposed to an embedded system) one ran a minimum code to the hardware to read the first sector of the first track of the disc; that contained enough code to load the rest of the OS.

Why has this basic operation suddenly become no longer sufficient? Hiding a separate co-processor just to boot the thing is no different in concept from a tiny eeprom bolted on to the side (or even internally) but without the option of the user/end manufacturer reprogramming it.

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Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

Neil Barnes
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Re: Childish Name

Could have been worse - wasn't Herschell's first proposal to call it 'George'?

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So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

Neil Barnes
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Linux

You do, but you have a tiny working space for other software with most of the tiny storage on most chromebooks; 16GB flash /4GB ram is a practical minimum and even then you're probably better off patching the bios and installing linux as a single OS.

But that is *not* a task for the casual user.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

Neil Barnes
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Re: Interesting tussle coming up ...

Which is, rather interestingly, exactly why the national language in the general area of the USA isn't Choctaw, or Navajo, or...

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Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

Neil Barnes
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Re: Protecting commercial revenues.

This is more about protecting commercial revenues, setting a precedent for that (paid aerial drone photographs), than any real safety issue.

It's good to see how many people who actually fly are chipping in and making sensible comments here.

Oh, wait: I'm guessing the AC who started this thread isn't a pilot.

Every time something like this comes up, we get the same arguments... nothing happened so there was no issue, plod being plod, just let people do what they want, little thing like that couldn't hurt a nasty great steam engine, or a plane, blah, blah, blah...

Those rules are there for a reason. Safety - of the pilot in command, of other airspace users, and people and objects on the ground. In this case, there was no *direct* safety issue - but so what? It takes a moment's inattention in *any* aircraft to get into trouble; sometimes that trouble is painful, crippling, or fatal. It matters not one whit that "it's only a little thing, a couple of kilos or so"; trust me; meeting one of them mid-air will ruin your whole day. So will one falling on your head, or coming through your window.

Sure, most of the rules are just common sense: keep your distance from people and things. Drive on the right if you're following a feature like a road or railway. Maintain your altitude. Keep a good lookout for other stuff in your airspace. Turn right to avoid a collision. Doesn't mean that's a reason to scorn them...

Non-commercial pilots from model planes through foot-launched to GA stuff are exempted from the majority of the provisions of the ANO, but as soon as you decide to operate commercially, then the appropriate considerations apply. Airspace in general, and UK airspace in particular, is complex and busy. A glance at an air map will show you that; on the south-east UK map, somewhat under half the surface is class G. The rest of it - you can't fly there without making the appropriate arrangements. Do you know where they are? If not, why not?

My friend: if you're going to be sharing airspace with me, I want to be bloody certain that you both know and follow the rules. Because flying is fun, but also highly risky.

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Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Neil Barnes
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Re: Why the upset?

I'm not sure that's the right way round. He accessed a system to which he was unauthorised by using a password he shouldn't have had. As I read it he was jailed because of the access, not the method he used to get that access; his defence was that because the original user of the password had access then there was no issue with him using the password.

Which is clearly a ludicrous argument; having the password does not imply that you are authorised to get access - a particular person is authorised and given the password to permit the access. Not the same thing at all.

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Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Neil Barnes
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Back of the envelope calculation suggests that the amount of energy used in fuel by domestic vehicles alone is approximately the same as the National Grid currently generates.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Brave New World

Surely a long term installation would include its own meter. How else will HMG be able to charge the higher VAT rate and fuel duty? Because one thing you can be damn sure of: they're not going to give up the £28 billion a year they currently get from petrol and diesel sales (pushing 60p/litre, according to an article in the Guardian).

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

Neil Barnes
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More of a plugh, really.

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Neil Barnes
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You are in a maze of little twisty passages...

all alike.

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Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

Neil Barnes
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Terminator

"Taking over the world? Why would they want to do that?"

Well, what would be the point of inventing them otherwise? Sheesh...

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US Senate stamps the gas pedal on law to flood America's streets with self-driving cars

Neil Barnes
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Re: A dangerous hands-off approach to hands-free driving

It would certainly be interesting to see how *any* of the current crop of (semi) autonomous cars could handle the roads in, say, Sicily: a combination of locals either overtaking on blind corners or moving at 20mph, and roads in the mountains which are narrow, twisty, and suffer from frequent surface slippage makes for fun driving even for we mere meatsacks.

Until an automatic can make it on its own and in one piece along, say, the old Targa Floria and back, in daylight and in the dark, I'm not getting in one.

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Developers' timezone fail woke half of New Zealand

Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

"tectonically tenuous"

Just wanted to see that again.

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Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

Neil Barnes
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Coat

...and presumably will form a tail.

Though it will of course be cloudy in the UK that night.

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Harvard, MIT boffins ink up with health-monitoring 'smart' tats

Neil Barnes
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Go

I don't do tattoos...

but I'd sign up for trials on that one - I've been crying out for a non-invasive continuous blood sugar measurement for years, and this comes pretty close.

I wonder how long it lasts?

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Ancient fat black holes created by belching Big Bang's dark matter

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

So...

The scientists used industrial magic to calculate the velocities of something that can't be seen; deducing thereby that the stuff that can't be seen clumped together into something else that can't be seen, which promptly collapsed into a third thing that can't be seen?

Truly we live in an age of wonder.

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Dome, sweet dome: UAE mulls Martian city here on Earth ahead of Red Planet colonization

Neil Barnes
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Lemme see...

Desert planet, check.

Water shortage, check.

Religious society, check.

Paging Paul Atriedes. Paul Atriedes to the red planet phone, please.

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Out, damned Spot! Amazon emits Echo ball with screen, inevitable ever-listening mic

Neil Barnes
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Alert

That reminds me

my old clock radio with the red 7-seg leds on the front is getting a bit tired. Probably a good idea to get a spare while I still can.

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