* Posts by Scott 1

106 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


The Handmaid's Tale or Man-made Fail? Exposed DB of 'BreedReady' women probably not as bad as it sounds

Scott 1


Someone is applying nuance and common sense in 2019? This cannot stand! Mobilize the army of crazies!

Q. What's a good thing to put outside a building of spies? A: A banner saying 'here we are!'

Scott 1
Big Brother

Yes, but that's us Americans. You can trust us, right? Right?!

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Scott 1

Re: "our next generation machine learning model"

Just our future AI machine overlords taking the next steps toward world domination.

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

Scott 1

"We think this counts as reporting, right?"

By asking this question, you have demonstrated much more journalistic integrity than almost every other news source out there.

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Scott 1

Engineer is from the same root word as "ingenuity," not "engine." Therefore, a driver should rightly be called an "engine operations technician."

Scott 1

I'm a licensed civil engineer in Florida. I'm not a fan of the overuse of the word "engineer" for jobs that obviously have nothing to do with actual engineering. However, Oregon was taking that too far, in my opinion. I can agree with restricting people from calling themselves a "licensed," "professional," or "registered" engineer, as that implies being certified and is fraudulent (as is the case in Arizona and Florida).

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

Scott 1

I still think one of our biggest problems here in the U.S. are the government-created local utility monopolies. For example, in my neighborhood we have only one coaxial cable provider and only one landline phone service provider (who is also the only fiber optic provider) because it is *literally illegal* for anyone else to attempt to offer those services. Ending that stupidity would go a long way toward solving these problems, because then we'd be able to get real competition for broadband services.

In news that will shock absolutely no one, America's cellphone networks throttle vids, strangle rival Skype

Scott 1

Water is wet, etc.

Verizon, my service provider, is up-front with their throttling. They openly say that they throttle all known video streams to an equivalent of about 420p (I usually get about 360p on YouTube). I can't easily tell the difference between that and a 1080p stream on a cell phone screen, anyway.

Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

Scott 1

I'm guessing the fire department was using an account with a fixed amount of data per month (i.e. 8 GB), and they exceeded that limit. That caused Verizon to switch their account to "safety mode," which is effectively unlimited data at extremely reduced speed.

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Scott 1

Emergency Stop

When I worked for a major hotel chain's data center, we once had a security guard push the emergency off button for no reason in particular. He said he just wanted to see what would happen (and it was strongly suspected that he was stoned at the time). The end result was similar, likely costing millions in lost revenues. On the plus side, we found out the hard way that the individual UPS units for our servers were absolute crap.

The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

Scott 1

Lovely, seeing as I own one.

Yes, I own one. Let the roasting begin. I probably deserve it.

Qualcomm still serious about Windows 10 on Arm: Engineers work on '12W' Snapdragon 1000

Scott 1

Fire the Marketing Department?

Surely they can come up with a better name than "Snapdragon 1000" for their laptop SoC. I think they would be best served by keeping the "Snapdragon" moniker for SoCs aimed at the mobile market and creating a new brand name for SoCs aimed at laptop and desktop computers.

Scott 1

Re: ASUS Primus?

Surely there's a market for a device that's hot enough to cook your breakfast while you do your morning "surfing."

SpaceX flings SES-12 satellite into orbit, but would-be lunar tourists should probably unpack

Scott 1

Re: It's 2018...

If it ain't broke...

Scott 1

Life in Florida

Scared the s*** out of me when the windows were rattling just after midnight last night. I didn't expect to get that, considering I live more than 45 miles (~70 kilometers) away from the launch pad.

Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

Scott 1

"...and that would achieve the most important aim of the proposal, which is to force punters to use password managers that get in their faces and firmly insist on complex and fresh passwords for every online service."

Yeah, brilliant, until the password manager is hacked, resulting in *all* of your accounts being breached.

Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

Scott 1

Re: Where's my towel?

<glass_half_ridiculous> Maybe it'll counteract some of this global warming we've been experiencing. </glass_half_ridiculous>

Google learns to smile, because AI's bad at it

Scott 1

Model Bias

"Biased models have become a contentious issue in AI over the course of the year, with study after study documenting both the extent of algorithmic bias, and the real-life impacts such as women seeing ads for low-paying jobs and African-Americans being sent more ads about being arrested."

I just received a targeted ad for a gallon of coyote urine (and no, that's not a euphemism for mass produced American beer). I wonder if this was the result of model bias or just my weird browsing habits (maybe a bit of both?).

Sayonara North America: Insurance guy got your back when Office 365 doesn't?

Scott 1

Sure, but...

It's easy to point and laugh at the spectacle that results from outages of major "cloud" services (let's not kid ourselves, it's a lot of fun, too!). However, I wonder how their reliability compares to "in-house" I.T. / phone services.

I escaped the I.T. sector several years ago (which was fortunate for my sanity and the safety of everyone around me). I remember "back in the day" that our in-house I.T. and phone systems experienced complete outages from time to time, at a frequency of about 2 to 4 times per year, on average (per my best estimate).

[For the naysayers: no, I was not responsible for setting up or administering these systems.]

SpaceX lands another rocket

Scott 1

Never boring

Considering how I get treated to a house shaking sonic boom every time one of those rockets comes in for a landing (after 1:00 AM this most recent time), I doubt I will ever find these landings "boring."

California cops pull over Google car for driving too SLOWLY

Scott 1

Road Hazard

Don't these people realize that driving too slowly is quite dangerous?

FCC swamped by 2,000+ net neutrality complaints against ISPs

Scott 1

Re: US Libs Love Regs

"Dubya" is a liberal. This is why Mr. Obama didn't really change a whole lot when he took office. If anything, he doubled down on "Dubya's" worst policies.

Scott 1

Re: Don't hold your breath

There's a simple solution to this problem: Use Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo Mail / etc. (literally, there are hundreds of alternatives). Additionally, you have the benefit of not having your e-mail address change when you switch to a different ISP.

Pluto's moon SPLIT OPEN by ancient FROZEN OCEAN

Scott 1

Sometimes it seems like our explorations lead to more questions than answers. Hopefully Pluto's moon will be explored more thoroughly during my lifetime. I am absolutely fascinated by this.

Texas senator Ted Cruz serves up sizzling 'machine gun bacon'

Scott 1

Re: The republican clown car.

I'm not giving the prospect of her getting charged a high probability. That would require the Attorney General being willing to file charges, and it's currently a Democrat-led organization. I seriously doubt they are going to do that to their "heir apparent."

SpaceX six days from historic rocket landing attempt

Scott 1

Re: Why land at sea?

As a current resident of central Florida, I can tell you that the great majority of the people here are actually quite decent. We do have our share of oddballs, however, and the warm, moist climate seems to attract them for some reason. Despite their fame (thanks to the websites about the exploits of "Florida man/woman"), these are the minority, and it's truly a case of "a few bad apples spoil the bunch."

Globe-spanning SEA-ME-WE 3 sea cable feared cut, broken or ...

Scott 1

Life's no fun...

...without suitably bizarre conspiracy theories.

Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Scott 1

Re: But is a fluid definition a bad thing?

The article was limited in scope to the UK. The comment about eliminating absolute poverty was referring to eliminating it everywhere else where it exists.

DOUBLE BONK: Fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets

Scott 1


It's a new feature on a proprietary device. I'm not surprised there are a few teething problems.

Of course, this observation is boring and not sensational. I would not make a good journalist.

MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

Scott 1

Giant golfer? Not likely.

A giant golfer's divot would probably result in a shallower depression with a soil/debris spread generally in only one direction.

Now, they may have been creating a hole for a game of giant *golf*, but that wouldn't necessarily involve giant golfers.

NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

Scott 1

Surely this means that all whistle blower interviews will now be held in a remote location, miles from any nearby AC electrical sources, using only equipment run on DC provided by a battery?

You know what today's movies need? More drones

Scott 1

I hope they're successful

There are a lot of potential uses in Civil Engineering circles. Structural inspections, aerial mapping and photography, watershed studies, geologic hazard investigations, environmental investigations, etc. etc. If these film guys make some headway, maybe that'll open some doors for us, too.

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Scott 1

Re: Not so smart; desperate housewife is desperate.

"I don't seem to recall Jobs presenting snake-oil-merchant slides to diss the competition;"

Really? Almost every one of this major keynote speeches had at least one slide to that effect. He has snubbed the names of the Android versions, high percentages of Android devices on old OS versions (like Cook just did), the smaller number of apps available for Android vs iThings, build quality of Android devices, etc. etc.

USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

Scott 1

One trick pony

The problem here seems to be the fact that this facility existed solely for the purpose of producing a mildly interesting, under-powered phone (relative to the competition) with a few quirky features and customization options that didn't really catch on.

US citizens want stricter CO2 regulations by two to one – Yale poll

Scott 1

Begging the question

The major problem here has to do with fallacies in the survey question. It states that the policy would "reduce climate change and improve public health" as a foregone conclusion. While we have all had the debate about the causes of climate change ad nauseum, I cannot find any credible evidence that increased levels of CO2, in and of itself, would negatively impact human health. The question also ignores the major negative impact on public health and the environment that higher energy costs, via impacts to the economy, would cause.

Philips lobs patent sueball at Nintendo in US: Seeks to BAN Wii U

Scott 1

Patents take a long time for approval

The patents were initially filed in 2002 or something like that, but were only approved a couple of years ago. That would explain the delay.

As I said in another post, though, please don't mistake this observation as a defense of Phillips in this matter. I think the patents should be invalidated because they are taking a throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks kind of approach. They don't really describe a specific means for accomplishing anything. Also, I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could probably find prior art.

Scott 1

Re: "a user interface system based on pointing device"

Mind you, I'm not defending Phillips on this one. However, they do also mention in the second patent actions triggered by gyroscopic or accelerometer inputs. Button inputs are also depicted in their appended drawings.

However, the whole patent reeks of a throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks approach. I thought the object of these things was to protect *specific* inventions and innovations.

Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are OK, thanks

Scott 1

Re: Alarmists, get in line!

If the IPCC is correct, it might not be a particularly "cold" war this time.

Scott 1

Re: Alarmists, get in line!

I guess we'll need to get away from the "global climate change" and back to the "global warming" moniker, first. Nothing too terribly difficult. I'm sure we could have it sorted within a week or so.

WTF is Net Neutrality, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Scott 1

"Some 89 per cent of Americans have a choice between at least two broadband companies - so why not switch?"

I currently have a choice of 5 or 6 different broadband providers. The two best ones mostly don't suck, and one of the two charges outrageous fees based on the amount of data used. You could say that I have a choice (and in reality I realize that I do), but it's really not much of a choice.

How Google's Android Silver could become 'Wintel for phones'

Scott 1

No, but it might put Google in their place (if all the hardware manufacturers participate). Of course, corporate politics and the "tragedy of the commons" being as they are, this is very doubtful.

Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

Scott 1

Re: Why bother with...

You're new here, aren't you?

Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Scott 1


Considering how old Chewie's supposed to be, this might work out better than you think.

El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Scott 1

Re: "BuzzFelch"? WTF?

You don't think The Register knows the definition of a slang term describing a deviant sexual act?

Are you new here?

I wouldn't be too surprised if The Register *invented* the act.

Our irony meter exploded: Apple moans ebook price-fixing watchdog is too EXPENSIVE

Scott 1

Re: Monopoly Power

True, but considering that U.S. Judges consider "precedent" set as far back as the late 1700s in their rulings (and sometimes precedent set during the Roman empire), I would say that it's both relatively *very* recent and quite relevant.

US senator asks: Will Bitcoin replace Swiss bank accounts?

Scott 1

The point?

I thought one of the points to bitcoin is that it's a non-national currency, so it will make it easier for *everyone* to conduct business across state/provincial/national lines, both the savory and unsavory characters. The ultimate question is whether we want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater in this case. I would argue that we do not. Surely there must be other, less "Orwellian" methods of tracking down criminals than monitoring everyone's bank accounts and currency transfers.

Call yourself a 'hacker', watch your ex-boss seize your PC without warning

Scott 1

Re: So nobody told this judge that the word 'hacker' has several different meanings?

I think he means that in a Big-Brother, 1984-style manner. In other words, "liberal" = communist/socialist. Let's face it, many liberals are (whether you realize it or not).

Note that I said liberal, not Democrat or Republican. There are many Republicans that are quite liberal and several Democrats that are not.

Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

Scott 1

Re: Signed lengths

"It's also useful to have -1 available to represent 'no such number'; for example, the length of a file that doesn't exist. Use 0 would be wrong because it's a legitimate value. More generally, having invalid representations adds redundancy which can help error checking."

Wouldn't this be a good case to use the humble "null" value rather than resorting to signed integers?

Village-swallowing MUDCANO was no accident, say boffins

Scott 1

Re: Voting iregularities?

It's also odd how stories involving wells and fracking bring out so many mining and drilling "experts" eager to enlighten us with their "knowledge."

Scott 1
IT Angle

I work with drillers every day in a Geotechnical engineering firm. You're right that there is no way for us to know what's underground prior to drilling, so drillers pretty much have to expect the unexpected all the time. In my opinion, they're culpable since their actions led to the disaster -- this is what insurance is for. Our drillers do things by the book, and we still sometimes (very infrequently) have borehole collapses that cause damage to houses, sidewalks, roads, etc. It goes with the business.


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