* Posts by Neil Barnes

3292 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

"...and potentially nudge users towards healthy behaviors..."

Because I always do what teddy says...

Harry Harrison thought of it first, if I'm not mistaken.

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Neil Barnes
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Alien

Oops.

Just when we were beginning to think space travel was getting boring.

Very glad to hear that the crew survived ok.

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Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

Neil Barnes
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According to Mirriam Webster

Penitente noun

Pen·i·ten·te | \ˌpenəˈtentā, -tē\

plural Penitentes\-ās, -ēz \

Definition of Penitente

: a member of a religious society of Flagellants in Spanish-American communities of the southwestern U.S. (as New Mexico) who practice self-whipping and other forms of penitential torture particularly during Holy Week

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Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

How can I put this?

Pictures... or it didn't happen.

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Google now minus Google Plus: Social mini-network faces axe in data leak bug drama

Neil Barnes
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Re: "sunsetting" ... lol!

Well, while we're quoting Shelley, this extract seems apposite:

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

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What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

Neil Barnes
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Isn't that the one that comes with a toolkit? A hammer and a sickle...

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UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

Neil Barnes
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Go

Excellent news

Does this mean the SPB can get back in operation with LOHAN?

Surely Lester's memory requires this.

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

Neil Barnes
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FAIL

But, but, but...

What's the point of being obnoxiously rich if you have to follow all the same laws as the little people?

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Volkswagen links arms with Microsoft for data-slurping cloud on Azure

Neil Barnes
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I have an old Fiat which has a bluetooth/phone system controlled by MS. Sometimes I have to stop and turn everything off at the ignition before it will behave.

So far, I have not yet had to close all the windows...

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Swedish ISP spanked for sexist 'distracted boyfriend' advert for developer jobs

Neil Barnes
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Poison Ivy

Well you can look but you better not touch...

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Working Apple-1 retro fossil auctioned off to mystery bidder for $375,000

Neil Barnes
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Re: Jobs

Don't tell that to Babbage, or Lady Ada. They may take a different view.

What might be difficult is implementing software which executes quickly in the absence of electronics, but software can and does exist quite happily in the absence of anything to run it on. For example, checking an algorithm by stepping through it with pencil and paper.

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Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins

Neil Barnes
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Centrifugal force

Centrifugal force, space borne weaponry, hmmm.... I sense a white cat being stroked.

https://xkcd.com/123/

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New theory: The space alien origins of vital bio-blueprints for dinosaurs. And cats. And humans. And everything else

Neil Barnes
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Alien

I, for one,

Welcome our new phosphorous alien overlords!

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Fuzzy logic makes a comeback – in picking where Earth sticks its probes into alien worlds

Neil Barnes
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the fast marching method

That would have been handy for Matt Damon.

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Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Neil Barnes
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Coat

...with some users still complaining...

Mis-spelt 'happy' there, I think.

Alexa, get my coat --->

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Fat chance: Cholesterol leads boffins to discover world's oldest animal fossil – 558m years old

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Re: Just one thing I don't understand...

What I don't get is this: how the hell did he know where to look?

Obvious. Look at its picture. Fingerprints everywhere.

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UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

Neil Barnes
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Re: To be honest...

Fair point, well made.

And anyway, surely they mean a 'hard brentry' even though that's possibly a little off-message for the brexiteers...

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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Neil Barnes
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I don't drink coffee

and therefore *never* frequent coffee shops... but as understand it, in such emporia one requests a coffee, one pays for the coffee, and at some indeterminate time later one is handed a cup of said beverage.

WTF is the purpose of the tip jar?

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Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: "California two-spot octopus"

Easy plural:

One octopus.

Another octopus.

A third octopus...

(I can only assume platypus pluralise in the same way).

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Bouncing robots land on asteroid 180m miles away amid mission to fetch sample for Earth

Neil Barnes
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Pint

A pair of tiny hopping vampires...

would have been more fun, and probably culturally correct, but nonetheless the traditional reward is indicated.

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Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: I exploit my vocabulary. It is a slave to my whims.

Uptick for the 'English as she is spoke' reference.

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Neil Barnes
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Sometimes, I despair...

That's all. Go and fix a bug, or something.

Or consider Houseplants of Gor: http://www.rdrop.com/~wyvern/data/houseplants.html

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

we...

shouldn't let vaguely formed notions of political correctness shape other clear uses of plain English.

This.

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SpaceX dodges lightning while storms keep Japan earthbound

Neil Barnes
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Pretty pictures here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSSjcFJsYpA

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Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Neil Barnes
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Re: 3.6AU per year

But it's been decelerating since it was going its fastest. Didn't it pick up Jupiter's and Saturn's orbital velocity on a couple of slingshots?

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Strewth! Aussie ISP gets eye-watering IPv4 bill, shifts to IPv6 addresses

Neil Barnes
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Perhaps it's time

For a current explanatory article, for those like me who grew up on IPv4 but don't deal with networks on a daily basis?

As a domestic internet user, who doesn't run any network facing servers (like I suspect the vast majority of domestic users?) it strikes me that all I need is a modem/router that can handle either a v6 or a v4 connection and a NAT that will deliver v4 or v6 on demand. The rest of the issue is my ISP's, surely, or am I missing something blindingly obvious?

Neil

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Thunderstruck: Azure Back in Black(out) after High Voltage causes Flick of the Switch

Neil Barnes
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Re: Those engineers.

Engineers yes, watchmakers no.

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

Neil Barnes
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Re: Pedantic Alert

It's very clever adhesive. It knows how to stick to one side of the kapton tape, but not the other!

Kapton - the best tape in the universe (apart from gaffer tape, of course!)

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No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Neil Barnes
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Re: Yay!

What? He isn't doing it already? Then who the hell is?

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Smut slinger dreams of AI software to create hardcore flicks with your face – plus other machine-learning news

Neil Barnes
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Re: Porn

Porn has been at the front of an awful lot of technology... why do you think the dreadful VHS format was chosen over two technically superior formats?

And... photography became practical around 1846. 3-d photography, same year. 3-d images of naked ladies... same year.

For some reason, humans have a deep and abiding interest in sex. Can't think why, it's not as if it's a survival characteristic or something... oh, wait...

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Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

Re: Oh No! not Oh yes!

Indeed.

Partner has wandering eyes? Possibly.

Partner does something about it? Possibly.

Partner does it with a highly attractive person? Possibly.

Partner changes physique? Unlikely.

Partner does all of the above, in a professionally lit multi camera studio? Pull the other one...

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Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

Neil Barnes
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Re: A microwave link to populated areas?

>> Vulture stew?

Not even as high-tech as that... the LNB was mounted on a bent bar with a bit of a dogleg in it, so there was a slanty-uppy bit and a flattish bit where the vulture perched. Turned the whole mounting round so the slanty bit was still slanty but the vulture perch became almost vertical...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: A microwave link to populated areas?

I once had a problem at our Delhi office, which would randomly lose connectivity to a 64k satellite link (it was many many years ago). After trying everything I could on the actual hardware, I had the bright idea of sitting outside in the sunshine... turned out the problem was caused by a vulture which had taken to perching on the rod supporting the LNB of the dish, pushing it out of the focus point.

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Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

Neil Barnes
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This needs some input from the DVLR

When a car is sold, scrapped, or disposed of to a dealer, (in the UK) the DVLA must be informed.

Dealers have access to the DVLA database.

Some way of linking the DLVA owner change event to a scrub it clean event ought not to be beyond the bounds of possibility...

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What happens to your online accounts when you die?

Neil Barnes
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Re: My carefully curated online presence

There is the issue of occasional contacts and social groupings whom you would like, perhaps, to be advised of your death.

In t'good old days it was often a question of delving through the deceased's possessions[1] to find an address book, and then get busy on the phone/letter writing (had to do that a couple of times) but in the absence of email/whatever passwords that could become a lot mode difficult.

[1] Strictly, I don't think you have any possessions once you're dead. But I'm not a thanatalogical lawyer.

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Google bod wants cookies to crumble and be remade into something more secure

Neil Barnes
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But how many people realise that? And how many people simply leave the browser on all the time?

I'd love a 'clear all cookies set by this page' which operates as soon as the tab is closed to be in a browser by default. An exception list, of course, for those few that are required to e.g. maintain a login.

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Visual Studio gains some go-faster stripes for Android emulation

Neil Barnes
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A Real ProgrammerTM

Does not need to write code. He merely arranges the starting conditions of the universe such that when he needs a program, it is already there.

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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

you may stop seeing helpful recommendations based on the apps and sites you use

Helpful to whom?

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: They need a lesson in grammar too.

The OED need reminding that all this verbing weirds nouns.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

Neil Barnes
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Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

Built a radio studio in a flat in Bangladesh once. Turned out that the habit there was (is?) to distribute the three phases coming into the building by lights, sockets, and aircon... but instead of rotating between flats they rotated between rooms to spread the load. Made for some interesting hunting down of earth loop hum.

(as an aside, they would frequently black out one phase - not always the same one - to save power, which also made things interesting.)

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Need a facial recognition auto-doxxx tool? Social Mapper has you covered

Neil Barnes
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matching a photo of your face to the selfies you used on each of the account pages

What photos? What social media accounts? Good luck with that...

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You can't always trust those mobile payment gadgets as far as you can throw them – bugs found by infosec duo

Neil Barnes
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There's a lot to be said for cash...

as title...

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Facebook insists it has 'no plans' to exploit your personal banking info for ads – just as we have 'no plans' to trust it

Neil Barnes
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Re: No wiggleroom to be given

Whatever the advantages of online services, there are times when there is no real option other than going to a place of business and banging a fist on a table.

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Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push

Neil Barnes
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Re: Survey...

I have a long-time satnav gripe relating to their insistence on trying to get me onto toll roads - even when I'm already on a perfectly good parallel or close trunk road already. This seems to be irrespective of settings like quickest vs nearest or even 'avoid toll roads'.

I largely gave up on satnav years ago - dead tree 'n' ink for me, thanks - except for the tiny bit at the end of the journey, if I'm unfamiliar with it. If I must use it, I have found Navigator generally excellent with the free maps of Europe - loaded locally, so there's issue with connectivity.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Neil Barnes
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Re: a question to ponder

"And then Hulk smash them into tiny bits!"

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Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage

Neil Barnes
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Linux

19H1

Isn't that one of the bird flu family of viruses?

---> A bird. Possibly with flu.

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ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

Neil Barnes
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Re: Try out the UI

>> ... or you can use Linux Mint with the effects switched off like I do... ;)

Upvote for that - the first thing to do on *any* UI is to find out how to turn off the time-wasting and distracting fades, slides, semi-transparencies, and other animation crap. Mint[0] makes this easy to do, for which kudos.

Yesterday MS updated the work W7 machines, and removed the register setting that disables the creepy slidey cursor animations in outlook and its friends.

[0] for complicated reasons I'm running Ubuntu with a Cinnamon desktop at present, and it keeps tripping me up where it's not quite like Mint, and rarely in a good way.

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Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Neil Barnes
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But also the old saw concerning the gentleman, naked with a group of his friends in a changing room into which walked a woman. When asked by his wife to explain why he had covered his face and not, as all the others had, his genitalia, he pointed out that he knew how he was recognised around town...

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Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

Neil Barnes
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Coat

If the Atlantic is so narrow...

how come it takes six hours to fly across it.

Someone is lying to me!

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

Neil Barnes
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Re: Luckily

The same way I've done it for years: follow the diversion signs for the closures and listen to local radio for traffic updates.

I notice (casual anecdotal observation) that with GPS system users, there tends to be a disconnect between location and route for the driver; they're quite happy to follow the instructions without knowing where they actually are until 'you have reached your destination'. That situational unawareness seems to make it, um, interesting for many drivers when the road the GPS wants them to use is unavailable for whatever reason; the concept of looking at the road signs seems to have passed them by, possibly because they no longer have a spatial sense of where places are in relation to each other.

The one with the A-Z and the Bartholomew in the pocket, please: it might rain. -->

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