* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

1442 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

'I posted winning race ticket in Facebook selfie ... and someone stole it!'

Peter Simpson 1

Thumb over the barcode/number/last name...ALWAYS!

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Hi, um, hello, US tech giants. Mind, um, mind adding backdoors to that crypto? – UK govt

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Do they not have *** advisers in government?

In the US, they're called "Corporate Lobbyists"

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PM wheels out snoop overseer minutes before latest snoops' charter bid lands

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: what a job title!

Pronounced "Ick-Oh"

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

No, actually senior management knew nothing, about any of this.

They're shocked, shocked, that a few rogue programmers would do something terrible like this.

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

Peter Simpson 1
WTF?

Re: Is anybody surprised by now?

[Sgt Schultz]

But ve knew NUSSING!

Ve saw NUSSING!

[/Sgt Schultz]

This is a front line German corporation building premium automobiles. Germans have a well-deserved reputation for thoroughness, obsessive documentation and rigid hierarchical organization. I'm sure there are specifications, inspection forms and sign-offs for everything, including employee bathroom breaks and positions of all the labels on the vehicles, specified to fractions of a millimeter.

Now, they expect us to believe that code enabling emissions cheating was added to production software by a few lower level employees, with nothing to gain personally, and managed to remain undetected by management in spite of requirements specifications, source control systems, software code reviews, multiple cycles of testing to those requirements specifications, and multiple years of production? (And the additional "bypass" hardware on the engine? No one thought to ask why it was there?)

Pull the other one.

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Volvo eyes kangaroo detection tech

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Sounds like

...a team has been in the Australian Capital Territory this week "to film and study the roadside behaviour of kangaroos in their natural habitat".

A Volvo engineering team's cunning plan to spend a Swedish winter in a warmer clime.

// no Skippy icon?

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Why was the modem down? Let us count the ways. And phone lines

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: <4 yorksiremen> Hardware modem?

In university, I had my own personal Teletype.

I'm probably the only one who has ever programmed a HERE IS drum. Had my login password on it.

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Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: Luxury

The only letters we could send were E, H, I and S.

You forgot T

Can't do SHIT without it...

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DEFCON 1 to DEFCON GONE: One of NORAD's spy blimps goes missing

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: Drone shotgun guy time

Gotta deflate it first.

Deflating football shaped objects is a specialty of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots!

(as a bonus, you'll be able to reuse it, unlike the shotgun solution)

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Trio nailed in US for smuggling $30m of microchips into Russia

Peter Simpson 1
FAIL

Re: Silly Russians!

Because then they'll get counterfeits, duh!

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The iPhone 6 doused in bromine - an incendiary mix or not?

Peter Simpson 1
Flame

Ob. Gergel reference

If your legacy after a lifetime of work is a Superfund site, you should have been a bit more careful...

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Russian subs prowling near submarine cables: report

Peter Simpson 1
Windows

Re: Reds are under the bed!

Once you get into the deep South...or any of the more remote regions, some of the locals hold somewhat...unusual...views of things. Witness, for example, the recent JADE HELM follies in the more remote areas of Texas.

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Peter Simpson 1
Black Helicopters

...or maybe they figured, by the time the Russkies had gone to the trouble of pulling up the damn cable, the jig was probably up, anyway, so why not have a bit of fun with them?

Reminds me of the microVAX story...which you can read here:

http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/creatures/pages/russians.html

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Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: Question of Balance?

But...it's not illegal when WE do it!

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Snakes in the aircon, killer crocs in the river, virtualisation for apps

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Poisonous

When I was a young 'un, we moved to Melbourne for three years. I was told to assume all snakes I saw were venomous. A belief I retain to this day. Snakes and I are happier when we are going in opposite directions.

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El Reg revisits Battle of Agincourt on 600th anniversary

Peter Simpson 1

Re: Fromage

Frogs lost both of those wars didn't they?

They did, but not for lack of bravery. "Hell in a Very Small Place", by Bernard Fall, is an excellent account of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The French troops gave it all they had, including paratroops jumping into a battle thy knew they were going to lose. The generals who decided that a remote valley was the perfect place to demonstrate French military superiority were the ones to blame.

The Arc de Triomphe is also a war memorial. One can't help but be moved when reading the markers there.

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Fully working U-Boat Enigma machine sells for $365,000

Peter Simpson 1
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Longer than you'd think:

http://rijmenants.blogspot.com/2013/01/enigma-challenge-update.html

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Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: See this article for a completely different slant on

So, a few rogue engineers...who just happen to report to Mr. Winterkorn, and are in charge of engine development and R&D. And Winterhorn knew nothing about it. Yup, just a couple of low level rogue engineers...you just can't keep an eye on all of them, and this sort of thing DOES happen every now and then.

Was that a flying pig that just went by? And I think I just saw the Devil on skis...

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Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: Doesn't matter

I think you may have missed a point about how big companies work.

A former boss referred to it as "f*ck up and move up"

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El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Peter Simpson 1
Pint

21st century and we still can't do anything without coffee...

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Microsoft boss Satya Nadella is paid $18m – and would trouser $20m if sacked

Peter Simpson 1

Re: So the rumours are true

Rule of thumb: If you're working for a company and you start hearing the phrase "maximizing shareholder value"...polish up your resume.

// should be focused on doing business, not share price

// share price follows if business is good...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: So the rumours are true

It's called "maximizing shareholder value".

// trying to imagine how I could spend $18M/yr.

// would be many donations, methinks

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So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

Peter Simpson 1
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Three isn't enough

Come on, if you expect civilization to involve (admittedly, that seem s to be asking a lot, nowadays), the number should be open ended.

I couldn't leave any of these off the list:

1. Language (extends to written language, and a common language) - to allow ideas to be passed efficiently between generations and continents

2. The wheel.

3. The boat.

4. The airplane

5. The (general purpose, digital) computer, including software for the same.

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Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'

Peter Simpson 1
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Turns out, it doesn't mean "move your ass" at all, it means "to butt in", as to a conversation:

On dit d'une personne qu'elle "ramène sa fraise" lorsque, dans une discussion, elle intervient souvent sans que le sujet de conversation ne la regarde ou sans qu'on lui demande son avis. Ici, la "fraise" n'est autre que la tête. En effet, il s'agit d'un vocabulaire argotique désignant le visage. En réalité, "ramener sa fraise" signifie tout simplement s'"approcher", ce qui a également donné l'expression "la ramener". Quant à ce verbe "ramener", il pourrait provenir des plus anciens "ramoner" et "ronchonner" qui signifiaient familièrement "râler".

Bad translation:

We say someone "ramene sa fraise", when, in a discussion, she intervenes frequently in a discussion that doesn't concern her or which hasn't asked her for her opinion. Here, "sa fraise" refers to her head. It's an argot term referring to the face.

Perhaps also "come over here"...when used as "ramene ta fraise", literally "bring your [face] here"

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Peter Simpson 1
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They often have a crease running down them, like pears. I suspect that's where it comes from.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Could be worse

It's pronounced "AH-noose", TYVM!

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Peter Simpson 1

So, I guess Ford Prefect would be out as well, then?

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Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Peter Simpson 1

Re: Optional extra

"Baldrick!"

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US Navy grabs old-fashioned sextants amid hacker attack fears

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: USCG & USN binned the eLoran system for GPS

Backup is RDF and they still have that, even on cruise ships.

Identify a few AM stations, take bearings and plot an estimated (within a few miles, at least) position.

It won't get you into the harbour entrance, but it might tell you which way to look for it.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: "Next you won't get a position at all, what you get is a line"

My cheap and waterproof quartz wristwatch is accurate to a few seconds a month. John Harrison would be amazed.

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Peter Simpson 1

Re: Computer?

Addition and subtraction and looking up values in tables mostly. As long as you have your copy of Bowditch, there's no heavy math. Adding and subtracting hours, minutes and seconds is about as tough as it gets.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Coast Guard?

Always, always have a backup, and a backup to that backup. Mother Nature is a cruel, heartless bitch, and she will kill you without a second thought if she thinks you're not giving her the respect that she deserves. And that goes double at sea (as the crew of the El Faro, RIP, found out recently).

I'm frankly surprised that the Navy discontinued celestial navigation courses. The Army's still teaching Land Navigation with map and compass.

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VW offices, employees' homes raided by German prosecutors

Peter Simpson 1
WTF?

Re: Or just vague requests

This is not "Joe's Software Shop", this is a large, German corporation that does business all over the world. Additionally, the ECU was manufactured and programmed by a third company (Bosch?) -- likely to VW's specifications. Which will be produced at the appropriate time. We've already heard the caution from the ECU vendor -- "make sure you don't leave this bypass code in for production, it's for test only"

To suggest that some disaffected software engineers somehow took it upon themselves to add the bypass code to the shipping product is to indicate complete ignorance of how these things are done.

Being a German company, process and procedures are likely paramount. So there will be specification documents with signature pages for every single thing in those cars. Of course, some of those documents may have been misfiled...and some signature pages may have fallen off. We shall see. And, there will be written test procedures for that ECU. Test procedures and code review notes. And a source control log.

But it sure wasn't a rogue software engineer who put that code in there because he wanted to bring down the company.

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Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

Peter Simpson 1
WTF?

Re: But why?

Wouldn't MS have a record? They're so obsessive about control, I find it hard to believe some intern's job wasn't de-authorizing all those product keys before they sent them out to be recycled.

And who cares, anyway? Have they not perused the various bittorrent sites?

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Peter Simpson 1

I expect their MOT is a bit lax over there at the moment.

Yeah, but they behead you if you don't pass. Actually, they may behead you anyway.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Stones and Glass Houses @cirby

Maxim licensed his gun to all sides in WWI to his extreme profit.

Charming.

And his son, with all that money, founded the American Radio Relay League, our national ham radio organization. Can't say much bad about them, but the founder...don't much care for how he got his money.

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Linux kernel dev who asked Linus Torvalds to stop verbal abuse quits over verbal abuse

Peter Simpson 1
Linux

Re: YoLotD

Linux has no momentum.

But Android does...

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'Can you hear me now? Oh Peeple, you're so mean *sad face*. It's a leftist agenda!'

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: The Volkswagen saga

I'll just leave this here:

http://www.printmag.com/wp-content/uploads/vw.jpg

// child of the 60s

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Mars water discovery is a liberal-muslim plot, cry moist conspiracy theorists

Peter Simpson 1
Trollface

Re: Just goes to show

Rush Limbaugh is a paranoid xenophobic fool.

// and feels the need to constantly demonstrate that fact

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The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

Peter Simpson 1
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CYBER 74

My university took delivery of a previously owned (they got a deal) CDC CYBER 74 while I was there. It was on this machine that I took my required assembly language programming course from the CDC applications engineer who came with the machine. 60 bit words, hardware floating point operations and a "count ones" instruction. "Anyone know why that's in the instruction set?" he asked. No one did. "By special request from a three letter government agency", he replied.

// much more fun than waiting in line at 3AM for time on the PDP-11

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Want cheaper AT&T gigabit service? Move to a Google Fiber city

Peter Simpson 1
Pirate

As AT&T found out years ago

Once you've paid off the infrastructure, there are years and years of nothing but profit ahead.

Data costs literally nothing to move, once you have paid for the highway. And if you're at all competent, that happens in the first few years.

That $60/month pays salaries and shareholders, not costs.

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Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

Peter Simpson 1
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Nose stud.

// I'll be happy when those and ear gauges go the way of the dinosaur.

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So, what's happening with LOHAN? Sweet FAA, that's what

Peter Simpson 1
FAIL

Re: Come on....

No, it's far worse -- it's US Government bureaucracy!

// I wish I could help...

// probably spent all their money on JADE HELM 15

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MYSTERY PARTICLE BLASTS from Ceres strike NASA probe Dawn

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

Re: mystery particle blast which rattled the probe's sensors

Ob: "That's no moon!!!"

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Hash-tag CompSci: FBI grooms pre-weed teens

Peter Simpson 1
Happy

...and if three people do it...

Walk in, sing a bar of Alice's Restaurant, and walk out.

// they may think it's a movement

// FBI -- wouldn't be surprised if they did

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175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams

Peter Simpson 1
FAIL

<click>

That's me hanging up.

At the most, they get "Sorry, mate, only Mac and Linux here."

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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: @A.C. -- The dangers of embedded software, at last the world knows.

HP, Tek and IBM also included complete schematics for their instruments, so you could repair them yourself.

I once built an optional 500MHz LO for an HP tracking generator, based on the schematics in the manual. Plugged it in and it worked a treat.

Those were the days. We shall not see their like again, I fear.

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Herbie Goes Under Investigation: German prosecutors probe ex-VW CEO Winterkorn

Peter Simpson 1
Mushroom

Re: he was unaware of the "defeat device"

I'd love to see the comments in the code that decides whether to enable or disable emissions control, and in the source control system when that change was checked in.

// turn off emissions controls unless on dyno

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Peter Simpson 1
Headmaster

Sgt. Schultz defense

"I know nuzzing! I zee nuzzing!"

// pull the other one, Martin

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