* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Not me...

Was he *Walked* out of the building?

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

frank ly Silver badge

They walk among us

Many years ago, the company I worked for won the Queen's Award For Industry and we got a visit from Prince Phillip. The goods lift was painted and carpeted (!) and the corridors along which his party would walk were painted. Also, one of the cubicles in the toilets was clad from floor to ceiling in painted plywood so that there was no possibility of any part of him being seen by anyone if he should need to use it.

When we looked out of the window and saw his car arrive, we realised that we were in the presence of a living god.

Israel cyber chief's 'pants' analogy for password security deemed, well, 'pants'

frank ly Silver badge

It's "... from t'north.", as you'd know if you really were or understood the use of the apostrophe.

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

frank ly Silver badge

Re: I find PDF highly useful

"Email is, of course, HTML based; ..."

I set my email client to block all HTML content. If you can't type it or attach it, I won't look at it.

MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo

frank ly Silver badge

Re: 'Knob' rolls off the tongue

A paramour sometimes does (if you're lucky).

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

frank ly Silver badge

Just wondering

"Since cracking the six-digit passcode may take up to 22 hours (or longer for a passphrase), then brute-force methods used by the cracking tools are likely to cease to work."

Why didn't they operate a 1 hour lock-out after five (or whatever) failed attempts? Or did they and the hackers have found a way to bypass it?

Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

frank ly Silver badge

re. Chops

It's the British slang for the mouth or jaws, not the entire face.

Japanese fashion puts the oo-er into trousers

frank ly Silver badge

I'll stay with my slashed doublets; they never go out of fashion.

RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds

frank ly Silver badge

I'm wondering

"With one person in the image, the accuracy was 94.1 per cent, ..."

What was this person doing that was classified as violent behaviour?

Meet the real spin doctors: Scientists tell H2O to chill out so they can separate isomers

frank ly Silver badge


This could explain how water is able to form a persistent memory of previously added substances even after many repeated dilutions. The arrangement and distribution of para-water and otho-water moleculues represents a binary memory store of previous 'experiences'. At last, a scientific explanation for homeopathy!

Facebook's democracy salvage effort tilts scale in Mississippi primary

frank ly Silver badge

I'm wondering if it's a natural/'de facto' monopoly due to its dominant position in social media. Would that have any bearing on how it has to behave towards its customers (advertisers).

Hold on. Here's an idea. Let's force AI bots to identify themselves as automatons, says Cali

frank ly Silver badge


"the speech generated by bots is often simply speech of natural persons processed through a computer program."

Yeah, right, and I could take some words from this article then rearrange them into coherent sentences and pretend it was written by Kieran McCarthy of El Reg. Would the EFF support me in that?

Victoria's educational apps-for-students let creeps contact kids

frank ly Silver badge

Victorian Department of Education

I'm thinking about frock coats, double breasted waistcoats and mutton chop sideburns but I'm sure they're a laid back and relaxed bunch of people being Aussies.

Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

frank ly Silver badge

Personal Tragedy

About 20 years ago when I had my first computer from PC World, I decided to fit a new hard drive into the spare bay, to use as a data drive since the C: drive was getting full with all the music and video files that seemed to get downloaded.

A simple job, easy to fit after some faffing around, configure it and make sure it could be seen by the OS. So I did 'format D:' and went to make a cup of tea. When I got back I quickly realised that something was wrong.

You know how the 'C' and 'D' key are very close to each other on the keyboard? I lost about a year's worth of media file downloads and you'd be right if you guessed that I hadn't backed them up.

After that I vowed that nothing like that would ever happen again. My OS system partition is backed up by regular partition imaging to a removable drive with a two image rolling backup on two separate disks and so is the personal data partition. My media collection is on a 1TB network drive and I maintain a separate copy on another drive that is only connected when making a backup. I do practice restoring the OS partition now and then just to make sure.

NASA’s new exoplanet-spotter survives sling past the Moon

frank ly Silver badge

"... around Earth’s moon."

Try saying "... around our moon." instead. It sounds much more personal and heartwarming.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

frank ly Silver badge

"Here at El Reg, we have one top-class rifle shooter who practices his art in the UK, ..."

I thought all firearms (except licensed shotguns for farmers, hunters and gamekeepers) were banned in the UK? Didn't the Hungerford shooter use an AK47?

Facebook Android app caught seeking 'superuser' clearance

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Oh Sorreee! Sorree!

I always blush when I make that particular spelling mistake.

Astroboffins find most distant source of oxygen in the universe

frank ly Silver badge

Re: At least nobody is getting undeservedly rich off the gravitational field.

Don't forget the bouncy castle operators, they get their customers to do all the work too.

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

frank ly Silver badge


Apart from the cloudy service, what about if your internet connection goes down? Isn't there any kind of automatic and sensible fallback behaviour for these situations?

I haven't been paying much attention to these systems because they're not the sort of things I'd ever want in my home.

Boffins build smallest drone to fly itself with AI

frank ly Silver badge

0.094W is probably the power requirement for the electronics when it's not working too hard. I doubt if it's that low for powered flight.

Robo-callers, robo-cops, robo-runners, robo-car crashes, and more

frank ly Silver badge

"... so dialed down the AI to ignore them."

Did they test it, in real world lighting conditions with plastic bags and life sized mannequins, etc? Did they inform the driver that the software had been 'dialed down' in such a way?

If not then it sounds like criminal negligence.

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

"If you read it carefully you will see that he is not advocating the measure."

That's because his words were written carefully. Senior and 'respectable' unelected establishment figures are often used to fly kites in a way that might get politicians burned. After noting the reactions to the kite, politicians can then decide if it would be ok to fly it themselves.

Virtue singing – Spotify to pull hateful songs and artists

frank ly Silver badge

I've just found Tim Minchin on YouTube. I'm always late to the party. Thank you !

Consent, datasets and avoiding a visit from the information commissioner

frank ly Silver badge

Re: How does that work?

No, you're wrong! I have a carefully thought out system.

frank ly Silver badge

How does that work?

"In the corporate world, your social feeds may be sucked into business systems to assist financial services firms looking into your financial status and habits and making decisions about whether to offer you a loan or some other product."

If I join Facebook and make lots of posts saying I've won the lottery and have invested it wisely, will my credit rating go up?

I'm wondering what information they trawl and how they use it.

ESA's all-seeing space eye captures momentary sunshine over Britain

frank ly Silver badge

I think that the data from ESA satellites like this is made public after ESA members get first research dibs on it.

Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

frank ly Silver badge

Dr. Drai

"Dr Drai, gynaecologist and author of 20 Things You May Not Know About A Vagina,..."

Is he also know as 'The Vagina Pedagogue' or am I getting confused again?

Microsoft reckons devs would like an AI Clippy to help them write code

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Some lines that caught my attention...

"Guests can roam as they like through the code, or follow the cursor of another coder as they edit."

Perfect for PHBs to monitor and manage you.


Silicon can now reconfigure itself with just a jolt of electricity

frank ly Silver badge


It begins.

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana

frank ly Silver badge

Re: GIMP is pretty good

If you want a free alternative to Photoshop, or GIMP; I'd recommend Krita. You can get the Linux appimage or the Windows version in installer or portable/standalone mode. There is an active forum where the actual developers take part and they listen to ideas for future improvements and additional facilities.

AI boffins rebel against closed-access academic journal that wants to have its cake and eat it

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Blood suckers

They could create a profit by placing carefully targeted advertising in the online jourmals. What could go wrong?

Javid's in, Rudd's out: UK Home Sec quits over immigration targets scandal

frank ly Silver badge

Being pedantic:

"... in order to convince us that her master actually meant to say "hashing", "

Amber Rudd was her 'mistress', not her master.

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME

frank ly Silver badge

MATE fix

The MATE flavour (spin?) has MATE 1.20 which has now fixed the minor panel cosmetic problem that was present in the 1.16 and 1.18 versions, if that's of interest to anyone.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Happy Endings at work

When she asked you why the juice wasn't flowing, did you tell her to plug it in?

Recycling tech biz bosses get years for VAT fraud, money laundering

frank ly Silver badge

banned from holding a directorship

Does the ban period for being a company director come into effect after the release from prison? If it's concurrent with the prison sentence that that would seem strange.

Is it possible to be a company director while you're in prison?

Massive cyber attack targets mid-Atlantic nation 'Berylia'

frank ly Silver badge

Proper simulation

Did the government of Berylia activate its bot army to post 'influencing' material on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms? Did they pay for ads intended to influence public opinion?

If we got to this situation for real, would Facebook, Twitter, etc, come under government orders to block/delete postings from known or suspected hostile sources?

Amazon and Netflix join Hollywood to lob sueball at 'Kodi' service SetTV

frank ly Silver badge

Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

Is that what they claim to be or what they are trying to achieve?

Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

frank ly Silver badge

"We need ethicists and people thinking what to do in those situations."

What the heck is an 'ethicist' and how do you get to be one?

What we need is people to be aware of what is happening and for politicians (there are some decent ones) and lawmakers to do their jobs, which is to represent the people who voted for them (fat chance).

UK pub chain Wetherspoons' last call: ♫ Just a spoonful of Twitter – let's pull social media down ♫

frank ly Silver badge

He has a duty to study the competion, often.

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Dave

A conversation from about 20 years ago, when we got our first computer in the 'product development' department:

Colleague: What shall I name the file as?

Me: redgiraffe17

Colleague: That's a stupid name!

Me: Can you think of a better name?

Colleague: (long silence)

Colleague: How about 'specification.doc'?

Me: That might cause problems later.

What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

frank ly Silver badge

Don't forget the waste drainage and storage area, or maybe have it all plumbed through to the domestic facilities. They could team up with the Japanese for that.

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

frank ly Silver badge

@David 18

"I sometimes wonder what nastiness I could post through their door and stay on the right side of the law...."

You could post leaflets that describe your honestly held and genuine beliefs, about what should be done to scientologists for example.

Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

frank ly Silver badge

It will be developed using the standard government Cyber Resources Application Procedures methodology.

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

frank ly Silver badge


Wouldn't it be easier and quicker to install extension lines from the bar to your offices? Then the PFY could clean/flush them out every morning and fill your offices with that wonderful heady aroma.

Birds can feel Earth's magnetic fields? Yeah, that might fly. Bioboffins find vital sense proteins

frank ly Silver badge

re. "... and even mole rats."

You sound surprised. Mole rats live underground and they need a good sense of direction because there's nothing more embarrassing than going around in a circle when you're digging a long tunnel.

Amazon and eBay agree to expose potential VAT evaders for UK tax man

frank ly Silver badge

The sarcasm is strong in this one.

AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

frank ly Silver badge

You What?

So, I put in my calendar, the dates when I'll be going away and when I'll be coming home. Then I make that information available to a system that has already probably slurped my address and home phone number .......................

I'm sure that only trustworthy organisations and honest people will be able to have access to that information.

Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

frank ly Silver badge

Wait ....., sorry ..... I was vaguely remembering the Stainless Steel Rat series. Oh god, I'm getting old.

BtGH was good and funny too.

frank ly Silver badge
Thumb Up

All the Bill stories are hilarious and very well written :)

Elon Musk's mighty erection fires sperm at orbiting space station

frank ly Silver badge

Doing it the hard way

"These cells have to be activated before they can start swimming towards the egg. ...The astronauts will do this by adding a chemical mixture to the thawed samples."

There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019