* Posts by Annihilator

3233 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

First low-frequency fast radio burst to grace our skies detected at last

Annihilator
Holmes

Re: Uh, am I the only one

It’s the observed frequency we’re seeing though, we have to correct for redshift (something that is hard to do given we don’t know the source).

If we assume it’s intergalactic in origin, redshift of z=3 isn’t unreasonable, meaning it was at least 2.4GHz at source - so maybe an intergalactic wifi signal :-D

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Visa fingers 'very rare' data centre switch glitch for payment meltdown

Annihilator

Re: Failure rate

By the same token they won’t include the successful transactions that would have been in the “unattempted but originally intended”, so it is probably safe to assume similar failure rates.

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Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning

Annihilator

Re: To be expected

"Why does it take a CEO this long to realise the so called catchphrase of "headwinds""

We've got some very strong headwinds... giggiddy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0zjm188VKM

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Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

Annihilator
Coat

Re: I can forgive 'Matt' for all of his sins...

“One day they will have the brains to put some lighting in the hot isles....sigh.“

Like in the Balearics or the Canaries?

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Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Annihilator
Pint

Non IT related

But when on a massive project celebration, i sensibly booked a hotel room knowing I would be rather inebriated.

Having successfully returned to the room in the wee hours and collapsed half dressed onto the bed, i was woken a mere hour later by a fire alarm. While the klaxon was traumatic enough in my delicate state, it turned out I was in a disability-friendly room which also had a rather bright flashing red light. So my quiet darkened room quickly turned into a room from hell.

I was rather bewildered.

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UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

Annihilator

Lesbian Spank Inferno

Nice reference to Coupling there - very niche!

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Skype for Business has nasty habit of closing down… for business

Annihilator

Re: WTF @ArrZarr

Oh definitely more complicated, but 90% of the added complication will likely be due to developer ineptitude or laziness. They say the bug is due to a memory limit/constraint, as if S4B running up multiple gig of RAM would be fine otherwise.

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Annihilator

Re: WTF @ArrZarr

You don’t need to store the coordinate with the colour data, by your logic a 7680 x 2160 24-bit bitmap would require 116MB, and a quick test in MS Paint proves that is not the case - it’s 47.5MB in line with as2003’s maths.

As for using ints to store it, well that’s just bonkers and bad programming - which to be fair, is the whole point.

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Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

Annihilator
Facepalm

@rse biscuits. In my defence, I read the article and the heading in depth to ensure the joke wasn't there, but somehow was blind to the subheading.

Still, if a joke about the continued low uptake of Microsoft's mobile OS offering, it's worth making twice?...

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Annihilator
Joke

"The company last week reminded users (both of them) that support had ended for the aforementioned versions of its mobile operating system"

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UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

Annihilator
Flame

Re: right to silence

"Well you'd be a rotten judge then. A principle of UK justice is the right to silence. You cannot be convicted of anything purely on the basis that you declined to talk."

Unless it's your computer passwords. :-|

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Annihilator

Actual accidents

The biggest surprise about this story is the cold callers being bothered about whether the person was even in an accident or not. In my experience they just ring you on the off-chance.

Cold Caller: "Hello, I'm calling about that accident you had recently?"

Me: "I wasn't in one..."

CC: "Oh, maybe it was a member of your family?"

Me: "No..."

CC: "<desparation>Someone you might know?...</desparation>"

<click>

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Epic spacewalk, epic FAIL: Cosmonauts point new antenna in the wrong direction

Annihilator
Boffin

Re: Deorbit throw

"Ignoring air resistance, a gentle throw antispinward will drop perigee by 50km and mean an object does one less orbit than the ISS in about a month"

And it has the happy side effect of boosting the orbit of the ISS by a teeny tiny fraction.

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Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

Annihilator

Re: I'd happily own a phone

"without a front-facing camera. Unless you video call or take selfies, not sure what the need is."

OK, but the one thing a phone really does need - a speaker at the top, the face, in order for you to use it for its primary function - a phone.

I agree, the notch would be largely irrelevant if it was a black bar at the top, not a stupid shape.

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Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time

Annihilator

Re: Obligatory...

"Joing aside, does anyone know if they ever thought of including something in the design to keep the panels clean? I've always thought it was a bit of an own goal not to, but I'm guessing they had a pretty good reason for not adding some wipers."

Pretty in-depth response from the mission manager below. Short version, they wouldn't have taken the dust off, they'd have damaged the cells and there was a far simpler solution for the scope of the original mission - make the panels slightly bigger than required to mitigate the issue.

https://www.quora.com/Why-werent-wipers-installed-on-the-solar-panels-of-the-Spirit-and-Opportunity

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NASA reveals Curiosity 2020's 23-camera payload

Annihilator

Re: It's needs a Dyson...

Plus I’m not sure how well a vacuum cleaner would work in the near vacuum of Mars! A can of compressed air might be more useful. Or violently destructive.

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FYI: iOS apps can turn on your camera any time without warning

Annihilator

Live view?

While it’s true you normally give all-time permission, is it not the case that when the camera is active, there is always some live view on the screen?

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WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

Annihilator

Re: Firmware update or OS?

“It also requires that the attacker is [emphasis]already on the WiFi as a client[/emphasis], i.e. already knows your WPA2 key / has a WPA enterprise connection.“

Yep, that’s how I interpreted it too. To be honest, i always forget this isn’t the case on wifi anyway. I’ve always assumed anyone on the same network as me can sniff my packets (ooh er...)

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Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: £1,000 for a phone

"I could get an interesting, roadworthy car for that"

I love cars under a grand. But I refer to them not as "interesting", but as a "mysterious" roadworthy car. As in, "I wonder which part I'll need to replace next..."

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Annihilator
Thumb Up

"Apple was hoping to reveal to an astonished audience at tomorrow's 10th anniversary iPhone event."

Don't worry, they'll still be astonished.

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: The answer to the question.

Farnsworth: "I'm sorry Fry, astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all"

Fry: "Oh, what's it called now?"

Farnsworth: "Urectum"

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Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

Annihilator
Facepalm

Re: Anntenae (not anntenas)

"you meant indicies "

And you meant indices. Pedantry is brilliant weapon to deploy, but maybe not do it while standing in a greenhouse.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

Annihilator
Pint

Re: Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

God bless her, and all who sail in her...

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Arcade Fire releases album on USB fidget spinner for £79/$105

Annihilator
Joke

Fidget spinner only option

The fidget spinner was also available without the Arcade Fire album. It retailed at £99.

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Currys PC World rapped after Knowhow Cloud ad ruled to be 'misleading'

Annihilator

Re: Lawyered up

"Arrived as promised the next day... dented by their warehouse crew"

Strange promise they made... XD

Having said that, had exactly the same experience, from lack of staff, to ordering online myself, culminating in the large dent.

Topped off by delivery bods saying that it would be quicker if I kept the dented one, as that would allow a replacement to arrive the next day. Turns out to be bollocks and they just couldn't be arsed to take it back to the lorry.

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Annihilator

Re: No vaping in the workplace please

"Unless you are around a person who is using a large e-cig that creates a huge billow"

That appears to be the problem though. How do you separate the casual e-cig user that has a quickly dissipating puff of vapour, compared to the bell-ends that appear to be using a weaponised vaping device that has a capacity roughly equivalent to a 747's fuel tank? They're the ones that tend to give vaping a bad name, and are usually obnoxious enough to do it in a very crowded environment (last concert I went to for example)

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Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

Annihilator
Stop

Brakes

"Of crucial importance from a safety perspective there are three distinct braking mechanisms in place to stop a runaway scenario."

I can attest to the sturdiness of the brakes on this thing. During the descent while standing at the front window admiring the view, there was cause for the system to stop. To say my face greeted the window with a resounding *THWACK* would be an understatement.

Great holiday though.

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Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

Annihilator

Re: Preemptive strike

"Obviously that doesn't help with a surprise attack which looks like a missile test. And I've no idea what the quality of intelligence sources inside the DPRK is."

This is the confusing thing. Either, they need to know in advance of a missile launch, which renders all the defensive capabilities rather useless without intelligence (which I doubt they have a huge amount of in NK). Or, they can intercept any missile they detect, which means they didn't in this case.

So either, the missile defence stuff is useless, or NK are bullshitting with their claim of a successful test of an ICBM.

Or third option, the US knew of the test, and let them carry on without reacting.

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Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: +1 for the wargames pic

Came here to make the same comment.

Some had Princess Leia's gold bikini as an awakening, I had Ally Sheedy's yoga/stretching in War Games.

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Latest Windows 10 Insider build pulls the trigger on crappy SMB1

Annihilator

Re: As Windows 10 grows and matures...

"Why do you want to go back to crazy cd's and of of date win 7 iso's"

Because not everyone has access to fast, unlimited broadband?

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Annihilator
Meh

Re: You want toast!

I'm all for recycling, but I'm not sure I'd want to scavenge a food preparation device out of a skip... For example, I once through out a perfectly functioning toaster at uni because I came home to discover mice stealing the crumbs from within the toaster, and on closer inspection found evidence of piss and droppings in there.

Enjoy your toast though :-D

* anti-tamper screws to keep warranty costs down. Normal screws, a person who could just about wire a plug would probably have a go, make the problem worse, put it back together, claim under warranty denying all knowledge. Anyone savvy enough to own a triwing screwdriver would do the same thing, but less likely to make it worse..

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America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

Annihilator

Re: It heard about Trump being POTUS

I'm surprised it performed a smooth landing in that case.

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Annihilator
Thumb Up

Re: The road ends eventually.

" will your television carry the brute force needed to handle newer, tighter codecs? "

Spot on. I remember the first HD DVB-T2 trials in London where participants were sent new receiver boxes, back in 2006/2007. The channel "BBC HD" was broadcast from Crystal Palace.

I wasn't a participant, but it was perfectly possible to capture the raw data signal on a PC capture card, it just couldn't natively decode the exotic new MPEG-4 data stream. I managed to get the signal to decode, but couldn't manage it on my reasonably well-specced PC in real-time, it probably transcoded at around 10fps. My current TV is older than this trial, so definitely wouldn't be able to handle MPEG-4 with a mere firmware upgrade.

Similarly, when DVD first launched, PCs at the time needed an MPEG-2 add-on card as the required decoding wasn't possible in software-only due to the limits on CPUs grunt at the time.

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Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up

Annihilator

Indeed. For those backing with over 200 notes, if you're that interested and can brave the spider-infested attic, you can have mine for half that. There's also a C64 up there with a print out of the source code for a knock-off version of Space Invaders that I wrote if you can be bothered to type it all in. It might be on a tape, but I wouldn't be sure of that... The things we used to do to avoid paying £2.99 for a cassette at John Menzies...

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SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Annihilator

"SpaceX cut the feed blaming video link problems but the feed came back just in time to show the Falcon 9 sitting on the sea barge"

Cue conspiracy theorists in 3... 2... 1...

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Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Annihilator

And under these rules, they'll now just lie and say they attended the appointment but you weren't in.

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Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs again

Annihilator

"IT outsourcing is so outdated..."

"I don't get it. Why not move most of this infrastructure to a public cloud service or several (AWS, Google, etc)..."

Ummm... this is a joke or sarcasm, right?

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New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

Annihilator

Re: Meh!

"A perfect opportunity for the likes of Samsung to make hay and take all the profits from the mobile space."

Samsung are too busy spending money on adverts that scream "look! we quality control these things! honestly!", presumably in a lab that has a rather paranoid halon system.

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Annihilator

Re: Same Old Tricks?

"I was really questioning whether Apple's view as to what the market would bear is accurate. The article itself refers to a decline in iPad sales, and a big part of the reason why is price"

I assume they probably have a good idea of price points. They probably also know that the vast majority of the wifi+mobile models are purchased by corporates, or through telcos. And there will be an element of the wifi+mobile models enabling the wifi-only models to be sold cheaper. For the same reason an extra 96GB storage doesn't cost £90.

I imagine the decline in iPad sales is related to a saturated market. The only real sales are on upgrades these days - if you wanted an iPad, you'd have one by now.

1
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More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Annihilator
Pint

Re: Someone added a zero?

" Someone added a zero? "

There'll be a line on the invoice somewhere for 'consultancy'

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Last Concorde completes last journey, at maybe Mach 0.02

Annihilator
Unhappy

Re: Good looking

"what is that makes those 'rings' in afterburner boost? Some sort of frequency/harmonic effect?"

Shock diamonds. They're glorious and I only partially pretend to know how they work

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_diamond

As to its beauty, while I'm glad this one has a hanger, I'll be sad to drive past Filton and not see her anymore.

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NASA's Curiosity puts cat among the climate pigeons: Lack of CO2 sinks water theory

Annihilator
Coat

Complicate theories

Let's keep it simple. Let's just have a theory that Mars had still water. Let's not overcomplicate things trying to prove it was sparkling water that had been through some giant cosmic Sodastream.

3
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Microsoft's DRM can expose Windows-on-Tor users' IP address

Annihilator
Headmaster

Re: Is it just me

"the day when W10/Cortana says 'I'm sorry Dave I can't let you do that' are getting closer and closer."

Well you'd need to change your name first :-)

Beside, HAL wasn't evil. He was trapped with paradoxical mission parameters - report open and honestly, but secretly keep the mission objectives from the crew. HAL ultimately deduced that if the crew were dead, he wouldn't need to lie to them anymore. That could work for some of my stakeholders to be honest...

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Boeing's 747 to fly off the production line for the foreseeable future

Annihilator
Headmaster

"Five engine 747 configurations do occasionally happen, though."

I'm sure you're aware, that extra-engine isn't plumbed in and is the rare example of Quantus strapping a spare engine to take to another aircraft. It's basically external cargo. :-)

Strictly speaking though, all 747's are 5-engined. If you include the APU in the tail. :-D

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BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

Annihilator

Re: A Typical Scam Call I Get

"Anyway, being a _scrapped_ vehicle, it doesn't show on the public query system and website lookups like Halfrauds (and others) don't bring back colours."

We Buy Any Car brings back everything, even for scrapped cars (or knows about a car I've had scrapped anyway). Takes less than a second from you giving me your registration number to me knowing everything I need to know about the car. In the time it take you to tell them your engine size, they've already looked it up.

If they wanted to put some effort into it, it wouldn't be hard to build a front-end for the call-agent and screen scrape a bunch of these sites.

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Annihilator

Re: A Typical Scam Call I Get

"Specifically, I gave them the registration of a car I used to own (scrapped) but with wrong colour and engine. They immediately asked whether I'd gotten the colour wrong and coached about the right colour, then did the same about engine size."

Not hard to find either of those things. If you know the make and registration, the gov lets you know this. https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ (you don't need V5C)

If all you've got is the registration number, any car parts website (Halfords etc) will tell you make and model which you then stick into the checker above.

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Annihilator

Re: A Typical Scam Call I Get

Can we Talk to the Business Owner "We don't have one we are a co-operative"

I leave you with a recent tweet from Jack Dee:

I got "Is it possible to speak with the house-owner?" So I gave him the number for Nat West.

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Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

Annihilator
Coat

"The ESA says the clocks are accurate to within 1.8 nanoseconds over 12 hours."

Apparently not!

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Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview

Annihilator

Re: Windows 10 Conveyor (belt) Edition

As I've struggled to establish in the past, you can choose which updates you wish to install on Win10Pro, they just don't make it easy:

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/10/06/windows_10_market_share_ifelli_in_september/#c_2995016

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