* Posts by frank ly

5473 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy

frank ly
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Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1642/

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frank ly
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Re: Neato

From how I understand it, the US based detectors wouldn't detect a gravity wave approaching from directly above the United States because it would affect all four arms of the two detector equally; or at least with a much lesser difference than a gravity wave approaching from the horizontal direction.

About a quarter of the way around the Earth would be the ideal place to have another detector and India seems to fit the bill for that.

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Used a cell phone in NYC? The cops probably tracked you

frank ly
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@ Mark 85 Re: Two comments

Some time ago in Germany (I forget when or where I read it), the police were very suspicious of a man they stopped because he didn't have a mobile phone. They said to him that this indicated he was probably involved in criminal activity and didn't want to be monitored or traced.

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Indian telcos ask for details of Facebook-flaying neutrality law

frank ly
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It can be tricky to decide

Suppose an ISP/telco had a background music streaming service hosted internally, containing a selection of old instrumental tracks for which they'd paid a one-off licensing fee for that purpose. They could offer that as a zero-rated data service. Many people enjoy background music at home and barely notice what they're hearing.

They could set up a simple weather forecast website (internally) for farmers etc. that was updated regularly and was zero-rated.

On simple consideration, these seem harmless and useful. But are they harmless? I'm not sure.

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Bluetooth direct to the internet: What could possibly go wrong?

frank ly
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Not going anywhere near my home

Or anywhere I'm responsible for safety/security.

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South Korea abandons manufacturing enclave in nuclear North

frank ly
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Lines on a map

"The Complex stands on North Korean soil, .... Workers from the North are paid in cash but must hand over their hard-earned at the border."

Would that be the north-side factory gate, not the border?

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Norks stabilise non-threatening space speck ... for about five minutes

frank ly
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Explanation

The reason the satellite started tumbling was because of its sheer joy of having got out of North Korea.

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TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

frank ly
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Wrong, in so many ways.

"... Parliamentarians fought and won the right to see the text being negotiated on their behalf by bureaucrats."

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US Congress locks and loads three anti-encryption bullets

frank ly
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I think they mean that the NSA (and police, etc) hold a 'magic key' and can use that to decrypt any message they feel they ought to, for the detection of lawbreaking and safety of citizens of course.

Instead of calling on Silicon Valley to "do something", perhaps they should call on the NSA to "do something". After all, the NSA has experience in this area.

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Twitter CEO Jack's off to the settings page, adds robot-sorted tweets

frank ly
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Re: 320 million?

"making a facebook and twitter presence", "making a web presence" , "webifying"?

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Japanese boffins fire up 100Gbps wireless broadband connection

frank ly
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Puzzled

"... at 300GHz, would break the terahertz frequency barrier."

How does a 300GHz transmitter break the Terahertz frequency barrier? Are they talking about the upper sideband limit when modulated at 100Gb/s? If so it seems like a terminology cheat.

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Linode SSH key blunder left virtual servers open to man-in-the-middle fiddles for months

frank ly
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Re: Finger trouble

I knew that somebody would say something like that. I accept the principle but I was hoping for better grammar. I wonder if you type command lines with the same care as you type sentences.

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frank ly
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Finger trouble

Why did they put the 'f' (force, no prompts, ignore nonexistent files and arguments) in 'rm -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*' ?

A simple finger slip could give 'rm -f /etc /ssh/ssh_host_*'.

For something so important, I'd have thought that 'rm -i ' (prompt before every removal) would be more sensible.

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Bitcoiners are just like everybody else: They use rubbish passwords

frank ly
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Re: "...I'll be back"

I'd never be able to remember how to spell his surname so it's not "all-too-obvious" to me.

How about "all-too-obvious1" as a password?

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Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies

frank ly
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Happy

re. WALLABY

Which came first, the acronym or the meaning?

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Don't touch that PDF or webpage until your Windows PC is patched

frank ly
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"... without deviating from the behaviour of the version of Excel in which it was created, ..."

That's the problem right there. The vast majority of people who use computers for things that are useful, imporant or essential to them have got used to using the MS Windows suites and all their characteristics, as well as the characteristics of the underlying OS. There's also a massive installed base of computing software assets and associated data files with their ingrained ways of working.

You could say the same thing about Photoshop vs GIMP etc. for doing the things that most people do with them (not counting pro-level graphics people of course).

The other problem is lack of general awareness of the availablility of SOHO Linux solutions and the learning curve associated with getting them up and running and doing what you need them to do. Most people don't "know about computers" because they're interested in them; it's something they've had to learn because their job demands it (and did so slowly, over time) or they want to surf the internet, send e-mail, etc.

Windows has massive presence and inertia and I can't see how that situation will change in the near future.

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We're going to use your toothbrush to snoop on you, says US spy boss

frank ly
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Re: Ahem...

The Networking Security Association strives continuously to protect all consumers. Rest assured, citizen.

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

frank ly
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Ah, Memories (and registers)

I just had a look at Machine Code For Beginners :) I remember the Z80 and the 6502 very well. I used to be able to do mental arithmetic in hexadecimal.

These are wonderful - a big THANK YOU to the publishers.

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LIGO boffins set to reveal grav-wave corker

frank ly
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Is it a test?

Let's hope that the Director doesn't open a sealed envelope that says, "It was an injected test signal". This has happened before.

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Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

frank ly
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re. "wily manager"

A truly wily manager would have a friend who ran a PC maintenance company and they would be paid $10,000 a year over several invoices.

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It's 2016 and a font file can own your computer

frank ly
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re. Libgraphite 2-1.2.4 is known vulnerable,

My package manager says that I have libgraphite2-3, so I'm ok?

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Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

frank ly
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From the linked report

"But one Virgin engineer who contacted us laid the blame at the feet of developers.

He said: “I see this all the time, developers will not allow Virgin Media onto new build developments even though Virgin Media are willing to pay the costs involved." "

That's interesting. Does anyone have any idea why this might be so?

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

frank ly
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Where is ....

.... 'Data security is our top priority' ?

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

frank ly
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Variables

"... wildly overestimate what constitutes a “knob” of butter."

It depends what you're used to handling.

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MapR claims big-data wrangling Hadoop patent first

frank ly
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"... a patent filed using open source ..."

I think that needs to be re-worded. Perhaps it's open source code that implements a patented technique or method? I assume they intend to charge license fees for commercial use.

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What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

frank ly
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Re: Olympic Archer

As I remember from his book, the Colonel told the idiot, "Stop boring the arse off tired soldiers with your stupid fairy stories. By the way, I'm a friend of Lord Northcott and he's never heard of you."

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Fired Norse Corp CEO blames the media

frank ly
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Management basics

"... some staff were promised a significant bonus upon completion. ..... and the bonus wasn't forthcoming. ..... Norse agreed to stop withholding the bonuses after one of the programmers threatened to sue."

Every competent manager knows that it's money which motivates people to do a good job and that it's easy to lie to technical staff and get away with it.

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NASA seeks rocketeers for annual RockOn! shindig

frank ly
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Re: I want that

That would have been £38 on ebay + £24 p&p from the USA but the supplier has sold out. I also felt the urge to own one.

Note: If the event is only for US people, then it's the ability to 'soder' that they need :)

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Row over GCHQ-built voice algo MIKEY SAKKE rumbles on

frank ly
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Happy

re. "... backhanded compliment."

That was a clenched fist compliment.

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It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

frank ly
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An analogy?

If I store my private documents under rocks in the park, I can't complain if people find them and tell other people where to find them. I should store them under lock and key somewhere.

I realise that it goes beyond this with 'unauthorised' copies being made and stored under other rocks in different parks, but when will people learn not to store stuff on public facing websites?

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College kids sue Google for 'spying' on them with Apps for Education

frank ly
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Isn't this normal for Google, for everyone?

I'm sure that all Gmail is scanned, automatically, and targetted ads are placed according to keywords. The use of the word 'intercept' implies that Google somehow went out of their way to get their hands on the emails. In fact, Google 'handles' everyone's Gmail. Is Apps For Education somehow supposed to be different?

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

frank ly
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re.Mutti

'Mutti' is the German word for 'Mum'. Can any German commentards tell us if this is used affectionately or in a different way?

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

frank ly
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Wasn't he a pizza delivery boy/man?

I get media/tv people mixed up all the time.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

frank ly
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Re: Any chance of a solution?

"while(status == SUCCESS)"

That's assuming that getStatus() returns a 1 or not_1 as appropriate. Often, it's assumptions all the way down, especially if other people have been writing/modifying other parts of the system.

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ABC storage project adrift in 'brown ocean'

frank ly
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Re: wtf is 'brown ocean' ?

Wikipedia! it tells you :) It's an weather phenomenon involving cyclones moving from sea to land and getting stronger. It could be that he means that any problems intensify when the kit is installed in its final site. However, I suspect that the spokesman was using the expression as a euphemism for a vast quantity of crap.

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Danish Sith Lord fined in Galactic Republic rumpus

frank ly
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I'm surprised/disappointed

I'd have thought that a Vulture brand saddometer would go up to 11.

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GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

frank ly
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Re: or maybe...

The Patrician used to pay very careful attention to anyone who scored well in the Ankh Morpork Times crossword puzzle, for that reason. He sometimes went so far as to 'persuade' the compiler to put certain clues/solutions in to see if any spies allowed their pride to overcome their caution.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

frank ly
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@DainB Re: What's all fuss is about ?

After three years of using only Linux Mint, I've found that Windows 7 Pro (I bought a recycled OEM license) is not a replacement for Linux Mint and is also a pain in the arse.

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A RAT and a spammer both avoid the slammer

frank ly
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I'm wondering

Did they use Tor and Bitcoin for all their interactions and transactions or did they get careless and sloppy?

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Random ideas sought to improve cryptography

frank ly
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Re: Silicon solution

This has been done. I raised a similar point some time ago and it is available in the form of a USB 'dongle' that contains a noisy zener diode (if I remember correctly). I can't remember when and in which article someone gave the link to its maker's website.

If you Google "USB random number generator", there are lots of hits. The bits are out there.

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T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

frank ly
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Free is good?

If many people on the same mobile network are getting 'free' mobile video, isn't that a strain on the network, giving poor quality for the video and poor delivery for other applications? Does anyone have experience of this service?

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Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

frank ly
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"... the majority of those younger than I are utter twats with no ability to see anything outside of their own narrow experience."

Like the ones who shut down the account of a woman called Isis, because she was obviously a terrorist sympathiser?

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frank ly
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@geresj Re: Lingua Franca?

"Cookie is an English borrow word from the Dutch ..."

Actually, it's called a 'loan' word. That's ok though because (as I understnd it) the Dutch language use of "lend/borrow/loan" doesn't map onto the English usage.

Then again, we did take it, with no intention of returning it, so is it a theft word?

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US police contracts and private forum posts dumped online

frank ly
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This is why why need strong encryption!

Oh, .... wait a minute.

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

frank ly
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Re: How bad?

Not frozen, no.

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Home Office lost its workers' completed security vetting forms

frank ly
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re. January 2015

"Dictaphone ... encrypted .... locked to remote access."

They have some fancy dictaphones nowadays. (Am I behind the times?)

"lost in the home of member of staff"

The kids didn't need a Christmas present that year.

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We Googled the ex-Google guy and Google said he was clean, says Wikimedia

frank ly
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Oh yes

A quick Google and a look in Wikipedia will tell you everything you need to know. We live in interesting times.

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

frank ly
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I've been caught out by that. Why doesn't the compiler or some pre-processor spot it?

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Former tech PR Jeremy Hunt MP ordered by judge to delete tweet

frank ly
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@Solid Squid Re: The judge should apologize

"Unless a judge has explicitly allowed it you aren't supposed to publish any of the court proceedings from within."

Criminal trials are public events (in the UK) and what is said and done there (if "newsworthy") is reported in the newspapers the next day or sooner. Jeremy Hunt didn't report what was said; he gave his public opinion of the case in such a way that the judge decided it might prejudice the trial.

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Microsoft: We think your Office files should see other people

frank ly
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Re: Try doing that on Linux Mint!!

I have the Dropbox client on my Linux Mint machine and also have Insync (an independent Google Drive client). Both of them give me a synchronised folder on my machine. I used to have a Copy client which is a similar free cloud storage offering but I never used it so I took it off.

I have the Dropbox folder inside the Google Drive folder so that the contents of the Dropbox folder get dual cloud storage backup.

I tried it three years ago; it worked and it still works.

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