* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Whisky snobs scotched by artificial tongue

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Twenty dyes and it can monitor a change in brightness of each one. Make a conservative assumption that it can resolve four levels of brightness change, i.e. two bits. That's forty bits of data which is 2^40 unique possible results.

The technique seems to have great possibilities for identification of various liquids.

Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

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Fall Creators Update

Also known as the Lucifer Release.

DUP site crashes after UK general election

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"Tim Fallon's Liberal Democrats have ruled out forming a coalition again, presumably because the party got its fingers burnt the last time."

Also, Labour will remember how the Liberals gave them the runaround when holding coalition talks with both them and the Conservatives the last time.

My unpopular career in writing computer reviews? It's a gift

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Alternative psychic joke ending

.....The shop assistant said, "we were hoping that you could tell us".

P.S. try butchers' gloves.

Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

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Re: 10base2 outside of the building you said?

If you think coax is 'fun', try making triax connections, they're hilarious.

Live blog: Fired FBI boss spills the beans to US Senate committee

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"As it traditional, he released his opening statement [PDF] 24 hours ahead of time ..."

How long has it been traditional? If it's a formal inquiry, don't the rules of sub judice apply?

Nuns chastise Google and Eric names Larry greatest human alive

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Those clothes are not nuns' habits and I'm fairly sure those women are not real nuns.

(I used to travel from a train station that was close to a convent. I've seen a few nuns in my time.)

Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017

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Mind slip

"Asked about Theresa May's stance on end-to-end encryption, he said: "I have no idea what that question means. I wish I understood cryptography." "

For a moment, I read 'he' as 'she'.

Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

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"Britain has a long-term health problem: Britons are living longer ...... "

"... current English health budget ...", "... The English NHS has a poor reputation for IT: ..."

You seem to be concentrating on England. Are the Scottish and Welsh systems any better or worse?

When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

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Do you remember ....

.... When small, cheap drones were thought of as a cool new thing that would be useful and fun? Then idiots started using them and doing stupid and dangerous things with them.

P.S. "...it's not so much game visuals invading the real world, ..."

Well, no. If that did happen, there would be an urgent need for legislation.

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

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Stella Rimington ....

.... is a former _spymistress_.

If you're going to use gender specific terms then please get them right.

NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

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Re: I like Russians. I could support rapproachment

I believe that Trump is being used as a useful idiot by people who are even more scary that he is.

Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

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It would then be the 'duty' of every terrorist to encrypt passages from their favourite book and post them on Facebook, etc at regular intervals.

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Indeed. In fact, no I don't, because I'm not a criminal and I wouldn't appreciate being treated like one.

Phiendish phisher gets phive years in phederal for $2m phlights phraud

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Should have been 'extradition phlight' too?

Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

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Re: One of my pet peeves

"It sounds as if there was nobody on watch empowered to make decisions nor any means of quickly reaching anyone who could."


Companies are very good at taking money from people because that's what they want to do, so they have systems and procedures in place to enable that. When it comes to returning money, they are useless at it because they never put any effort into developing systems and procedures for it, and they don't want to.

Horror in space: Hot alien giant boiled alive by nasty radiation-belching star

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That picture

The planet is a spheroid, the star is an ellipsoid. Why is that?

The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

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The May Way

"What is the solution? Well, the end of religious wars came about largely because of two things: greater personal and economic freedom and better education."

So, let's reduce personal and economic freedom and cut the education budgets. Er, .......

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

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Re: Book stores.

I tried reading Mein Kampf. (Some time ago, when I read that there were steps being taken to ban it, I decided I should read it while I could still easily find it on the internet.)

I didn't get far. It was the most boring and mind numbing experience that I can remember. The only people who would want to read it (apart from academics, etc) would be people who want their existing views confirmed by an 'expert'.

The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

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How rude?

As for rudeness, it's difficult to assess 'tone' in text communication, especially with a stranger. I've been told that my writtten communication is 'curt' but that's because I want to be efficient and clear.

Earth resists NASA's attempts to make red and green clouds

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Blasted weather!

"NASA warned people living in an area triangulated by New York, North Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia they may see coloured clouds. But nature had other ideas."

I suppose mass disappointment is better than mass panic.

Goodness gracious, great Chinese 'Fireball' malware infects 250m systems worldwide

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Re: adware is not a crime

The CEO of a Beijing based company is probably 'well connected', if only for survival purposes.

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

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Re: Right move, wrong person

"If Google developed tools for this, and then made money selling them to governments to apply them fairly and across the board, ..."

So, Google develops software/plugins, sells them to Government which then forces us to install them? I'm not sure how your revolutionary idea would work. Please explain.

The Big Blue Chopper video that IBM might want to keep quiet

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"... the company overlord ..."

Overlady, surely.

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

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Don't you believe in us Simon?

"This is The Register so we'll assume you know that FAT is ..."

But you explained it to us anyway. :(

Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement

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Re: Trumpy the clown

"However, carbon dioxide isn't a polutant, ..."

Quite right, it's not a pollutant. Water isn't poisonous so worldwide coastal flooding will be fine as well.

Social media vetting for US visas go live

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Re: Pfft!

I'm wondering if the El Reg commentardiat counts as 'social media'. We sort of get together and exchange ideas and opinions in a forthright manner in a well established forum.

Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

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Re: Normal USB Attack Vector

Would that be when they sneak outside for a cigarette?

German court says 'Nein' on Facebook profile access request

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How would you interpret any poems she wrote or any links to works of art, etc.

Sons of IoT: Bikers hack Jeeps in auto theft spree

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Nothing to hide

"... a member obtained the truck's vehicle identification number (VIN), which is usually printed on the dashboard."

It's the same in England, with the VIN number; visible for all to see. I assume this is so a police officer can walk by and easily run some kind of check on the vehicle?

Plastic surgery patients face extortion in wake of clinic data breach

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Are they running their own webserver, next to their NAS, in a broom cupboard?

UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be 'deputised' by the state

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"... experts had already spoken among themselves about the prospect of enforced co-operation before deciding it's unlikely to be applied in practice."

Those who forget its lessons are doomed to have it repeated on them.

German robo-pastor preaches the GNU Testament

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I'd love to see ....

.... the appearance, voice and style of Preacherbot, from Futurama.

NORK spy agency blamed for Bangladesh cyberheist, Sony Pictures hack

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Re: Still not convinced

You don't need a world class technological infrastructure to become good at 'coding' and doing cyber-espionage/theft. You need people who are motivated to learn, to spend long hours learning and practicing and working as part of a team. I'm sure it's very easy to motivate people in North Korea.

P.S. They've developed ICBMs and are on their way to having reliable nukes so they can do the hard stuff.

Defend yourself against ISP tracking in an Trump-era free-for-all

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What is metadata, exactly?

"It can see that you've requested, for example, wikipedia.org, even if it can't see which page your connected to."

I searched for 'peanut butter' on Wikipedia and my browser address then contained the following text:


Doesn't that text get sent to the ISP, in plain? Similarly for Goggle searches, eBay searches, etc?

I'll take the sandtrooper in white: Meet the rebel scum making Star Wars armour sets for a living

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"The original stormtrooper was 5ft 10in and 110lbs."

Is that correct? That is remarkably light if so.

BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

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Just saying

"Cruz's watchword in all interviews was “profusely” - that's the adjective chosen ..."

'Profusely' is an adverb.

New 'Beaver' web server has exactly ONE user outside China

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That was a dam funny joke. Expect a flood of upvotes.

‪WannaCry‬pt ransomware note likely written by Google Translate-using Chinese speakers

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@Doug Mac Re: More to the point

"Totally different language than Mandarin, ..."

You might want to consider this small extract from the article:

" ...a glaring grammatical error in the note suggest the speaker is non-native or perhaps poorly educated."

You might notice that the extract I quoted also has a grammatical error.

Where does it end??

Walkers' Crisps pulls backfiring Tweet campaign that paired Gary Lineker and a bunch of nasties

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Re: And Yet Again - risk analysis

They should publish their plans as an article here on El Reg. The commentardiat would tell them exactly what will happen if they go ahead.

Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

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"Customers who have bought and downloaded copies of major BBC series... are being offered the choice of an Amazon voucher worth 10 per cent more than the value of their online library or a cash refund of the equivalent value."

"However, customers who purchased a series pass will be able to access their remaining episodes until November."

Did people actually buy something tangible, downloaded, stored and watchable on their PC or did they buy a 'pass/licence' to stream-watch something stored by the BBC?

Nokia's retro revival 3310 goes on sale and disappears immediately

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On eBay, you can get the new ones for about £100 and the original for about £23, at the moment.

Consider this 'warning' on an eBay advert:

"... and it also plays Snake! The version of the legendary game that comes pre-loaded on the device is not a carbon copy of the original, however, so keep this in mind if you're planning on buying the new 3310 just for it."

Why did they make the game different and why did this eBay seller think it was important to make sure his advert mentioned it?

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

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"The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long."

Is there a special word for that particular mixture of paranoia and hysteria?

GPU-flingers' bash: Forget the Matrix, Neo needs his tensors

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Re: What's a tensor?

I can barely remember anything from that book but that ditty is burned into my mind for some reason and I think of it whenever I see the word 'tensor'.

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

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"How much bread do they think I want to store?"

I remember when my manager bought a brand new Volvo. Six months later he told us that the dealer had got in touch to try and sell him a brand new Volvo. I suppose he had a 'history' of buying a brand new Volvo :))

PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

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"... the increasingly popular PayPal Logo ..."

I've been printing the PayPal logo onto T-shirts and selling them from my car at the local Saturday market. They're selling like hot cakes.

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

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"... legally dubious efforts to extract money from people – something that culminated in Steele pleading guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering ..."

So, that's 'legally illegal' then?

No nudity please, we're killing ourselves: Advice to Facebook mods leaks

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Re: So

If the baby is wearing a blindfold then I don't think it's in any moral danger. Better safe that sorry though.

Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

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Re: The real issue

"... In response, we implemented an alternative communications link and resumed services."

After what length of delay?

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