* Posts by albaleo

185 posts • joined 20 May 2009


Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true


Affront comment

"probably they thought hangovers were just annoying, rather than character-forming"

For Iain M Banks fans.

Diplomat warns that tech industry has become a pawn as politicos fight dirty


Re: National Champions

and in the winter of discontent in 1978 the country had a 3 day working week and only had power for parts of the day.

My memory is a little shaky, but wasn't the 3-day week an earlier event - under Heath's government around 1974?

It's the weekend. We're out of puns for now. Just have a gander at China's Moon lander and robo-sidekick snaps, videos


Re: El Reg grammar bonus

You mean they're tithing their staff of 10 percent of their income?

Yahoo! $50m! hack! damages! bill!, Russian trolls menaced by Uncle Sam inaction, computer voting-machine UI confusion, and more


Re: !Celebrated !Mac !Malware !Still !Requires !Manual !Installation

It's a bit of a giveaway if your malware opens with the question. "ALLOW SPI TO CONTROL YOUR NETWORK?"

I thought the same initially. But those dialogs appear in the context of another installation, so I guess there is the temptation to just follow the flow. (There's something about those dialogs that implies that if you say "no", the software won't work. And we're sometimes just too tired to think about what we're doing. There should be some info about the consequences of saying "no". )

I generally use a Mac without anti-virus software these days just to annoy Reg journalists.

Hardened Azure logins, softened containers, leaky encrypted images on Macs – and more


Re: Can somebody explain the iOS attack?

It seems he's not using a passcode check function but a keyboard input function, i.e. simulating typing from the keyboard. While that function is running, apparently the counter/data-erase behaviour won't run. The video shows it behaving as if data is being manually entered. It's very slow - a few seconds per attempt.

Apple debugs debugger, nukes pesky vulns in iOS, WebKit, macOS


Re: Why not scan properly?

Why can't it 'fail to scan properly', or 'fail properly to scan'?"

You're second example changes the meaning by having 'properly' modify the verb 'fail'.

In this case there are two infinitive verbs (scan and redirect) sharing the same 'to' and the same object. I'm assuming the author's intention was for 'properly' to modify both of those verbs. So something like ' fails to scan properly and fails to redirect properly...' But that would separate the object from the verbs making it difficult to follow. As we all know that parentheses can get us out of all kinds of problems, maybe the following is better:

"Because the camera fails to properly (scan and redirect) URLs from QR codes,..."


"Because the camera fails to (scan and redirect) URLs properly from QR codes,..."

(I don't really care about grammar rules, as long as things can be understood without too much effort.)

UK ICO, USCourts.gov... Thousands of websites hijacked by hidden crypto-mining code after popular plugin pwned


If there is something that you can't do in HTML/CSS currently, that needs JavaScript, then HTML/CSS should be extended to add that functionality, assuming it's valid of course.

It's Monday, so forgive me if I sound a bit dense. I'm charged with developing a web application that, among other things, has various fancy chart gizmos. These charts are expected to change their appearance at the touch of a button - switch from column charts to bar charts, provide popups for every data point on hover, change the confidence level curve when the user wants to switch from 90% to 91% to 92% confidence, allow the user to change the colors used, etc. The application basically loads all the needed data in the browser, and then the entire interface is controlled with Javascript. Is there any feasible way to do this kind of thing with html and css?

(Some of you may think this is not the appropriate use of a browser. I don't disagree. But clients don't want to install desktop applications. It's been this way for almost 20 years. Screamed at for using Flash, and I'm pretty sure I'll be screamed at soon for using Javascript. )

It's been 50 years since those damn dirty apes took the planet by storm


Re: Who doesn't like a talking monkey?

You bring political shit into a completely unrelated thread

Only if you think politicians are related to politics. It's debatable.

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


Pinning the blame can be tricky

Not so tricky. The proper approach is to blame the youngest person in the team for every mistake. It saves time and lets you get on with solving the problem more quickly.

Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf


@Vincent Ballard, thanks.


"Anyone extradited on a EAW cannot be further extradited without the permission of the original country."

Well that's nice to know. But I don't remember that bit of info being brought up when I asked a similar question when this fiasco started. Forgive me if I have doubts about the accuracy of your statement. Can you point me to the relevant law?

Assange may be a tosser, but he seems to get more flippant coverage here than other tossers. Why do I get the impression Assange has shagged one of the El Reg staff's girlfriends?


"he's far more likely to get extradited from the UK to the US than if he had gone to Sweden"

Do you have any good reason to suppose that? I think both the UK and Sweden have handled this badly. The UK for not requiring assurances from Sweden that he wouldn't be extradited to the USA. Sweden for not providing such assurances.

When they come for the tossers, maybe we should all speak out.

Causes of software development woes


I'm guessing architects get such requests all the time. They're perhaps a little luckier in that they can whip up a quick sketch to show some ideas, and hopefully they can produce an agreed design that forms the basis of their contract. And all this before a brick is laid. In my experience, we don't have that luxury with software development. We need to build some software first before we can test it out on some real data. And if you work in education like me, you can be pretty sure that the first real data you run it against looks nothing like the sample data you were provided with three months earlier.

Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad


Re: Disappointing ...

"It tends to prove the earlier comment that there are more Nazis here than in Germany nowadays"

Not just nowadays perhaps? I've often thought that the revulsion we Brits express at the Nazi atrocities is really a kind of relief. We know it could just as easily have happened here.

I have a German friend of my own age who likes to be updated weekly on whether Kraut or Hun is the current term of reference.


Re: I'm sure

But in this case, is that person the one who complained about the ad or the one who posted it?

If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers


Not much out there tech wise so I wonder what the reality of this really is.

I suspect you are more tech wise than the marketing folks at Nissan. (Visions of Nissan engineers groaning.)

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live


Re: Store is a Verb

As a kid in Edinburgh, "going to the store" referred only to the Co-op.

Japanese quadcopter makes overworked employees clock out


Re: Cruel and unusual

They don't really play the song Auld Lang Syne, only the tune. Robert Burns may have had a similar reaction to your own, most certainly about Michael Gove.

This is thought to be the tune when Burns was around:



Taisei, more than an office management company

Taisei is a large construction company. I'm guessing this is either a division or subsidiary.

I have one fond memory of teaching English to structural engineers at this company in the early 80s. Their head office is one of the large skyscrapers in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. When it was built in the 70s, there was much fanfare about how it was made earthquake proof. But these guy told me that one of the engineers had redone the calculations, and although they thought the main structure was still safe, there were doubts whether the cladding (window panels) would stay attached during a severe earthquake. So they very kindly offered the very nice window-side office space to the HR staff and other suited types. Meanwhile, they moved as far from the windows as they could.

Royal Bank of Scotland culls 1 in 4 branches, blames the interwebz


Think local

Instead of firing staff, they might think of piping in fibre, and giving the staff a headset so they could do the same job as those in the call centre 1000 miles away and still be around to help everyone's gran, and 'other stuff'. Why drive to a far-away call centre for work when you could pop down the local branch, which probably has a pub next door.


"the word decimation is derived from Latin meaning "removal of a tenth"

And I don't think it has ever been used in English with that meaning except by those fascinated by the arbitrary killing of soldiers. Look up "idiot" for similar cross-lingua transgressions.

That 70s Show: Windows sprouts Sets and Timeline features


Lower the barrier to entry

Lower the barrier to entry, and more crap gets in.

I don't recall crap Hypercard stacks appearing on my computer in the same way as crap web pages.

And isn't this idea more like OpenDoc than Hypercard?

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?


Re: Using a lot of CPU

Follow up.

By disabling some old and unused extensions, CPU usage fell back to expected levels.


Re: Using a lot of CPU

Well spotted.

But in my case, it's the Firefox process using CPU (25%) and not FirefoxCP Web Content (0.5%). With the same pages open (an interactive application), Safari uses 0.5%.

World Vasectomy Day: 15k men line up for live vent-blocking


men opting to take birth control in their own hands

I thought that made you blind.

Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang



If we have anti-matter, is the notion of anti-space (or anti-spacetime) feasible? I.e. the space that anti-matter had a preference for when it was created. A bit like men's and women's toilets perhaps - there is general preference for one or the other, but occasionally someone is in the wrong place.

Just wondering.

Culture, schmulture. DevOps, agile need to be software-first again


Re: Nice article.

"I can can tell you that Agile / Scrum / DevOps *can* work"

I was reminded of a couple of stories. (I'm past my fifties, but only entered software development seriously after I was 40.)

One story concerns the idea that "anything can work". It was prompted by a senior engineer at a Japanese steel company in the early 80s. At the time, Total Quality Control was the thing (Deming Prize, etc.). He frequently had to entertain visiting groups from the United States who wanted to pin down the the proper way to conduct TQC. He was badgered with questions about which method of TQC was best. He told me that it didn't matter which method you chose, just so long as you had a method, generally stuck to it, but had some notion of your objectives so you could break the rules when necessary.

Another story concerns the teaching profession, again in the 80s, when the notion of "Student Centered Learning" was introduced at a conference I attended. It seemed to many attendees that various "youngsters" were trying to formalize something that was taken as normal good practice among experienced teachers. And there was that dread feeling that by giving it capital letters , it was already doomed. (Another poster hinted at a difference between agile and Agile.)

I've enjoyed reading the comments here. I do wonder sometimes whether the different opinions are based around the different tasks we do and also our various backgrounds. Creating reporting applications for educational achievement and creating controllers for industrial machinery seem worlds apart to me.

Attention adults working in the real world: Do not upgrade to iOS 11 if you use Outlook, Exchange


Re: Works fine here

This article isn't written for people who have avoided the bug. It's written for people hit by the bug who want to know WTF is going on. And check the link - Apple admits there is a problem.

But not so helpful for people like me who are wondering whether to advise others to update or not.

Also, ppl saying their gear works - are you using the Outlook app? That app is crippled

That wasn't made clear in the article, which seemed to focus on server compatibility. And now I'm left wondering if the problem only occurs when using the Outlook app.

Ubuntu sends trash to its desktop's desktop


Re: memory failure

"On System 6 or earlier this meant that the file(s) would be deleted whenever you launched a program (in single tasking mode) or at shutdown (if multifinder was running for cooperative multitasking)"

Thank you. It's all coming back to me now. multifinder - yay.


memory failure

Apple kicked off the trash in the corner trend in 1983, with an easily accessible icon for storing junk on its Lisa computer.

I didn't have a Lisa. But my failing memory is that the trash can on my first mac (an SE in 1987, System 6.0.x) didn't store anything. It either trashed files or ejected disks. Am I wrong about that?

London cops urged to scrap use of 'biased' facial recognition at Notting Hill Carnival


*sniff* *sniff*

Sorry, but your comment reminded me of this:


The Telegraph has killed Prince Philip


In the late 80s, an English language newspaper in Japan published an obituary for the Emperor Hirohito, who was ill at the time. I remember reading it on my morning break and wondering what the folk in the news office would be doing right then.


DUP site crashes after UK general election


Re: "The black and decker catalogue is in the post to all posters besmriching the DUP."

Not in NI tems because they're still referencing stuff that happened several hundred years ago - or if you really want to push it, 1500

But never more than 4,000 years ago.

We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer


Re: @albaleo

Sorry, but I don't think twattery has anything to do with the law. I'm not breaking any law if I refuse to answer my wife's questions, but something tells me I ought to.

The article says Mitchell refused to answer an unsworn constable's questions. I've no idea about the circumstances or the questions. Perhaps the constable was a twat or perhaps he or she was new and nervous and/or Mitchell was behaving like an idiot and/or whatever. Not answering questions might seem a bit childish if the questions were reasonable and answering them would have made the police officer's life easier. (Then we wouldn't have to have this discussion.)

I accept that perhaps he was treated wrongly. But as the article seems to be judging the police, doesn't the innocent until proven guilty argument lie with them?


Innocent until proven a twat is a useful yard stick

Does that work for the police too?


Sorry Eddie, but some of us may be wondering how much you egged this along. Not saying you did, but my experience suggests there are as many dicks among photographers as among police officers. (i.e. most are not dicks) How do we judge?

RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive


Getting off games

Fourteen other military passengers aboard the Voyager – a militarised version of the A330 airliner, fitted with air-to-air refuelling equipment – were so badly injured or shaken up by the incident that they were unable to continue to Afghanistan, where they were due to deploy on military operations.

At school, we used to go to some lengths to get off things such as cross country running. But this is taking things to a different level.

Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung



"If you have single points of failure you deserve everything you get."

Are you suggesting that multiple points of failure are better? Maybe I'm being pedantic, but I've never quite understood the expression. I've had to deal with people who wanted to put part of our system on AWS and another part on Azure to avoid "a single point of failure". That the two parts are required for the system to operate and thus the chances of the system being down would increase didn't seem to cross people's minds.

View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income


It gives you the power to walk away

It gives you the power to walk away

I think this is the crucial part.

Microsoft's Edge to flush Adobe Flash in Windows 10 Creator’s Update


Re: Not possible to ban smoking in the office?

If you didn't smoke at all you'd be as effective as you are just after your siggy all day long

But then I'd be a non-smoker with all the attendant risks.

I accept there are benefits. For example, better physical health and knowing what's good for other people.


Re: Not possible to ban smoking in the office?

I've never understood why employees with a nicotine addiction get to use company time to indulge.

Because we're more productive that way. Gee. Is this the Daily Mail?

AI brains take a step closer to understanding speech just like humans


@John Woods

Thanks for the link. I also got a boring score - sightly on the low side. But I found the questions difficult to answer. And as the test progressed, I started to wonder whether what I was imagining was really an 'image'.

The article has a quote from one person:

"When I think about my fiancee there is no image, but I am definitely thinking about her, I know today she has her hair up at the back, she's brunette.But I'm not describing an image I am looking at, I'm remembering features about her, that's the strangest thing and maybe that is a source of some regret."

If he's not describing an image, what is it he's remembering? I'm now confused, but very fascinated.

All aboard the warship that'll make you Sicker


Re: All sounds German to me

the Welsh for "sure" is "sicr"

Which made me doubt my earlier comment that it wasn't Gaelic. But online Scots dictionaries suggest it is Scots. It's used in that well-known line from one of Walter Scott's works:

"He sall walk a mair siccar path, and be a dainty curate"


Re: All sounds German to me

I'm pretty sure it's not Gaelic, but the Scots dialect/language of the time, which, as did English, derived from old Geordie.

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes


would 5,000 be more than the error bars on it...?

I think so. It's a large absolute number, and the bigger the overall population, the narrower the error bars.

What it means is that there at least 5,000 people in the UK who are concerned about this. So probably not one in my neighbourhood, but perhaps ten in my county. (I think I know who they are.)

Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds


Re: You ban "agile".

You, sir, are a fool.

I've been told that many times.

And probably a youthful one.

Absolutely. Born as recently as 1955.

My point was about making blanket statements. Unit tests are one way to test code. But, like Agile, it can become a mantra rather than a thought out method. (People older than me would probably say horses for courses.) Before implementing unit tests at least ask yourself why you're doing it.


Re: You ban "agile".

"Anyone who doesn't write unit tests is a knave and a fool and should be railroaded out of the building."

Anyone who makes blanket statements like this should be ignored.


Teen UK hacker pleads guilty after earning $385k from DDoS tool


"but to me it's just wrong"

Like the spelling of your name, laddie. (kidding)

Lord Perth stood the storm, / Seaforth but lukewarm, / Kilsyth and Strathallan not slaw, man ;

And Hamilton pled, / The men were not bred, / For he had no fancy to fa', man :

Apple iMessage URLs ship OS, device, and IP data to sites, dev says


"Isn't there a security rule about not trusting 3rd party content by default etc?"

But doesn't that happen all the time with images, iframes, etc. from third party sites? Genuine question. I don't like the idea of url previews. But is a server generating a preview image not also susceptible to attack in the same way? Does it not just come down to the code that handles the response?


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