* Posts by Neil Barnes

3036 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Weird white dwarf pulsar baffles boffins as its pulsating pattern changes over decades

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

a teaspoon ... would weigh 15 tons.

Surely, that would depend where you weigh it. If you weighed it *here* it might weigh 15 tons, but if you weighed it where you got it, it'd probably weigh a damn sight more...

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Verbing weirds nouns.

That's all.

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Government lab that gives a crap pushes open source

Neil Barnes
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Thumb Up

more than 150 pounds of manure every day, and that's without access to social media.

Kudos!

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Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Neil Barnes
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Linux

The important question is:

Is it yet the year of the bathrobe?

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Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC

Neil Barnes
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Linux

Re: 'I just wipe the disk and install Linux'

Many do; most don't see the need. Their choice.

Personally, the first bit of research I do on a new laptop is 'how easy is it to install Linux?'.

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Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

Surely this is all backwards

Don't drones gang up on queens, in the mating season?

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Robocall scumbags already target Hurricane Harvey victims

Neil Barnes
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A 48 hour sentence is sufficient for these types

Chained to a rock on the low tide line... head down.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Neil Barnes
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they should produce white light when switched on, and not produce light when switched off.

Bravo. Somebody gets it.

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Samsung keeps the smartwatch alive. Just

Neil Barnes
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Flame

Does this watch

also offer hand-warming as one of its functions?

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Some positive news: LG, Hitachi, NEC charged $65m in li-ion battery price fixing shocker

Neil Barnes
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So does that mean

that lithium iron phosphate cells will soon be dropping for their currently ridiculous price of around a grand per kiloWatthour?

Nah, didn't think so.

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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

Neil Barnes
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Re: The power of advertsising

Von Braun: "I aim at the stars, but sometimes I hit London."

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How the CIA, Comcast can snoop on your sleep patterns, sex toy usage

Neil Barnes
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Re: "smart" like in "smart, my ass"

The Machine Stops: http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

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Neil Barnes
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Big Brother

I suppose it would not be considered friendly

if one, in the absence of any actual IoT items, were to generate fake requests to the known servers?

Nah, that would be like fake news. Bad.

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Boffins bust AI with corrupted training data

Neil Barnes
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Re: Really ?

At 15 it's adequate to survive out in the wild, if it's lucky and it can learn.

Think of it as evolution in action...

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Neil Barnes
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It takes a human intelligence at least fifteen years

Before it's adequately trained to be let out in the wild... why expect an artificial intelligence to be any faster?

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Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

Neil Barnes
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Boy being meets girl being beneath silvery moon

which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.

Thanks DNA/Disaster Area

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So thoughtful. Uber says it won't track you after you leave their vehicles

Neil Barnes
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Dear Uber

The only data you need from me is

- where I am

- where I want to go

- er

- nothing else

The phone doesn't know where I am, except by triangulating towers, so you're going to have to take my word on that one, and the other's on the map. Once the journey is over and paid for, so is our relationship. You don't talk to me, ever, and I'll talk to you if I want another ride.

Come to think of it, that applies to just about every other transaction either over the net or on the high street... I'll call you when I want you.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

Neil Barnes
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A closely linked collection of container trucks, all moving at the same speed, coupled together, and controlled by a single driver? Wasn't the train invented in the 1800s?

Or even better - given the absolute need to get containers full of tat across the country - get them on the canals...

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Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

Neil Barnes
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Re: I'm an old fashioned guy

And another. My TV is 'smart' but only because I couldn't find a non-smart one... its smarts are limited to turning it on and turning it off, and very occasionally selecting an input other than DVI-1.

All the off air stuff happens through a Humax PVR.

Neither are connected to the network, except on very rare occasions (usually for iPlayer - I don't do Netflix and the like, though of course others' usage patterns will vary.

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ASUS smoking hashes with 19-GPU, 24,000-core motherboard

Neil Barnes
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But...

Can it run Crysis?

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Did ROPEMAKER just unravel email security? Nah, it's likely a feature

Neil Barnes
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Re: "E-Mail is a TEXT medium"

You are not the only one. Text is sufficient.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Err,

A: NO

Q: Is top posting ever correct?

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Boffins blast beats to bury secret sonar in your 'smart' home

Neil Barnes
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The simplest ways are best

Don't allow these 'helpful' devices into the home.

I'm reminded of a scene from 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' in which Mycroft is complaining that he can't eavesdrop due to a primitive brute force switch...

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

Neil Barnes
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Hothouse

Not one mention so far - that was the book that started me on science fiction, lo those many years ago. I am rather fond of the Helliconia series too.

Regarding other UK authors: I'd agree with the short lists above, though Baxter is not greatly to my taste, but I hate to point out to YetAnotherAC that he missed the words 'the late' from 'Iain M Banks'.

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Neil Barnes
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Re: Something I cannot understand

I have a theory that there's some combination of genes that gives people this unreasoning and uncritical acceptance of royalty (inherited or self-proclaimed) and gods. I don't seem to have it.

I suspect it's something to do with being evolved similiarly to other primates, most of which have strongly defined 'bosses' leading the troop.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: It adds a whole differnt meaning to the phrase "terminal security" does it not?

FWIW: my uncle is the son of a Navajo codetalker, and himself a decorated veteran of both the US Marines and the DEA. He takes a certain amount of pride in the USA.

(And me from Yorkshire :)

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Neil Barnes
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Re: R V Jones

Second recommendation for 'Most Secret War' - but also for the way things were dropped chaotically after the war ended... too many power games.

Another one to try: 'Between Silk and Cyanide' by Leo Marks.

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Samsung's bantam SSD makes WD's 'passport' drive look passé

Neil Barnes
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Re: Deflation

My first hard disk - for an 8088 Amstrad system - was over three hundred quid for 30MB. Early-mid eighties, I think.

A couple of years before that, an extra 512B of memory for a Sinclair MK14- on two chips - cost me around half a week's take-home...

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Taken a while but finally here's the first proper smart-home gizmo

Neil Barnes
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One day I will perhaps understand

Why it is that house interior designers and their shills on TV and in the glossy magazines seem to think that lights are for 'accent' and 'hue' and 'mood' and *not for bloody well seeing things with*.

</rant>

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US prosecutors demand data to unmask every visitor to anti-Trump protest website

Neil Barnes
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Re: The clue is in the domain name

Indeed.

One of the defining characteristics about many of the places I don't consider fit for living is that they have laws on the books criminalising criticism of the ruling party (while often including 'democracy' somewhere in their name). (As an aside; add places where 'blasphemy' is on the rule books, for exactly the same reasons - the only difference between a king and a god is that you have a chance of getting rid of a king.)

Which sounds wonderful for the mythical 'honour' of the country - hey, we don't like people who are rude about the king, do we? - but is more practically an admission that every member of the government's opposition, or anyone who even expresses an opinion that they are not living in the best of all possible worlds because of some government decision, is fair game for trail, arrest, incarceration, or death - not necessarily in that order.

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Internet addict sent to an anti-addiction boot camp is no longer an addict. Because he's dead

Neil Barnes
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And yet no-one has mentioned...

The issue here is not what he was allegedly being cured of: it's that the 'caring' place where he was sent to be 'cured' took him in fit and healthy and killed him with violence in two days... for his own good, of course.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Neil Barnes
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Re: Over my dead body!

He's trying to turn back the tide. Surely that makes him a Cnut?

I suspect he's following the usual approach of 'what's the point of being rich if you still have to obey the little people's laws?'...

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We all deserve a break. Pack your bags. Four Earth-like worlds found around nearby Tau Ceti

Neil Barnes
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The high-energy impacts could destroy the delicate chemical processes needed to kickstart life.

Or alternatively, be providing the impetus to start it. Though what develops may need rather impatient chromosomes...

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Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Neil Barnes
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A chap in the Morrison's line

found a thing in his hand all sublime

just a foot of pink meat

in a crust fit to eat

and the girls found it all rather fine

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Gov workers told their social posts are more believable than politicians' statements

Neil Barnes
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Re: Document's author in breach of code of conduct

by implying that the employee does not have a *high* level of knowledge...

I'd read that differently. The majority of employees will not be policy makers, but the people who actually get the work done around the place. They know what to do but not necessarily why they do it. The concern is that their posts will be seen as if they know the whys and wherefores.

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Particle boffins show off 'cheap', cute little CosI, world's smallest neutrino detector

Neil Barnes
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Re: "You can't observe them directly"

The experiments Ray Davis performed down in a mine

Sounds kinky...

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To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Doubtful. I think comments like "ur so gay you faggot" already tell us more than enough about the young cretin who wrote it.

Am I the only person who, whenever encountering the word 'ur' thinks first of the Chaldees, and wonders why it wasn't capitalised?

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Clever

And not only that; it has changed the fundamental meaning of the phrase.

In the original, the writer has pride in him/herself. In both modified versions, he/she has pride an a mysterious 'them'.

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Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

Neil Barnes
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I, for one,

welcome our giant flying space duck overlords.

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This surf-and-turf robot swims using ribbon-like fins. And it's floated for US Navy approval

Neil Barnes
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They remind me of...

Spanish Dancer flatworms... though perhaps not yet as pretty.

http://www.deepseanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/sapnish-dancer.jpg

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Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Neil Barnes
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Same issue...

The BT termination point is half a mile away, while the Virgin fibre cabinet is at the end of my garden. Previous experience suggests that the Virgin (mostly) works, while the BT basically doesn't.

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Dark web doesn't exist, says Tor's Dingledine. And folks use network for privacy, not crime

Neil Barnes
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Re: "Or so my sources tell me"

Are you sure? *I* heard it was notched quanta, powered by giant mutant star goats.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Neil Barnes
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBBWuypBZc

Bacon: dry cured, smoked or not to taste.

Eggs: fried, hard white, soft yolk.

Beans: Sainsburys', full fat none of your reduced salt and sugar tasteless pap.

Fried slice: A bit yuppie, I know, but sourdough makes a damn good fry.

All else is optional. And a cup of lapsang souchong... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/15/cuppa_round_up/?page=2 :)

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Astroboffins discover that half of the Milky Way's matter comes from other galaxies

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Since the distance between galaxies often stretches over many light years

Why, galaxies are almost as far away as the stars are!

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US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

Neil Barnes
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For what it's worth

a) we use the chips to decide whether to allow cats in/out of the house, or to feed

b) they don't cost anything *like* $300, even retail

c) they're strictly short range

d) multiple chips in an animal screw up the detection something wicked

e) what's wrong with implanting it in your watch-strap?

f) we get free soft drinks at work...

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Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

Neil Barnes
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Re: And STILL incredible value for money

And once again: you do not pay the TV Licence Fee to watch the BBC. You pay it to watch broadcast terrestrial TV, all flavours, and recently, BBC iplayer live shows.

The BBC is funded from a negotiated agreement some years in advance of the receipt of the license fees by the government, and is merely the body appointed as the agent to collect the licence. I strongly suspect - though I haven't worked there for years - that they really don't want to be the collecting agency but have had it forced on them.

You have the choice, as we all do, not to pay for the service and to disconnect your TV from the aeriel. But as the original poster stated - I do believe that the BBC offers sufficient gems among the dross and repeats to make it worth the money. None of the alternatives have yet presented a sufficient reason *for me* to change to them - your mileage may vary.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Neil Barnes
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What do we want?

A time machine.

When do we want it?

Doesn't matter...

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Having had Dengue Fever,

Anything that annoys Aedes aegyptis is fine with me,

But I do worry about the knock-on effects: there's an awful lot of other life out there in the food chain, and a lot of it starts with either the mosquito or its larvae. I wonder what they'll do a couple of years down the line?

I'd really like to see this process used to create something slightly different: either a mosquito that can't carry those diseases or better, one that doesn't like the smell of people and will simply choose not to bite me.

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Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Neil Barnes
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Re: Dodgy Picture

Come now: you have to drown them to get spice. The harpoons are just for, er, persuasion...

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Nothing could protect Durex peddler from NotPetya ransomware

Neil Barnes
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So this is what happens

if you don't practice safe hex?

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