* Posts by Allan George Dyer

2004 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

"his connection to the British Empire is only by marriage"

He chose to serve in the Royal Navy as an officer, so that's another connection.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Well that was an invisible problem

@Deltics "in 1990 CAT_5_ cabling was still 10 years in the future !"

Which is why I used my time machine to install it in my office in 1995.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I can believe it!

@Nick Kew - "the printer is/was in a forbidden area? Or simply a completely unknown location"

Let me ask the stupid question... if you aren't allowed near the printer, or don't know where it is, how do you collect the output? If you don't collect the output, is it necessary to print it?

And who installed the printer in the reactor core?

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Manage Expectations?

Why didn't they announce it as a 10 day experiment? Just land, germinate cotton, declare success and end at nightfall.

Unfortunately, now it looks like incompetent planning leading to an inevitable failure. The SCMP article even mentions "a small but powerful control system to keep the interior at around 25 degrees Celsius" - did they inform the designer of the portable heater of the expected working conditions?

Including fruit flies seems over-ambitious, the plants are going to take a while to produce any food for them. Perhaps they could have planned it in 3 phases: prepare by flash-freezing the fruit fly eggs and yeast in liquid nitrogen. Phase 1: seeds germinate, die at nightfall; Phase 2: thaw the fruit fly eggs at dawn and let them feed on the dead plants, die at nightfall; Phase 3: thaw the yeast at dawn, let it grow in whatever is left.

Forget Finding Nemo: This AI can identify a single zebrafish out of a 100-strong shoal

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: A cool

I call Rule 34 on slo-mo fly porn!

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: lesson ?

Beware: Make sure you are renewing with your registrar, not with some chancer. I regularly get confusingly-worded emails that appear to be about renewing my domain, but, on careful reading, are offering SEO services.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: NTP

> NTP can be used on a local network

And the network will reach a consensus between computers at different distances from the oven. Probably not a reliable solution.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Boffin

But the stimulator in question isn't at the show. Maybe the simulators are, in which case, being cool would not be an accurate simulation, and could be considered a turn-off.

Marriott: Good news. Hackers only took 383 million booking records ... and 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Overlap...

"The biz is also offering to cover a year of identity-theft monitoring service."

But I'm already getting Experian's service* from Cathay, because of their data-breach. Just pay me the service fee as compensation instead.

*I'm not entirely convinced that handing my sensitive data to an organisation that has had its own data-breach so that they can "monitor" where else ut has been seen is a good idea.

Facebook Like, social sharing buttons on your website may land you in GDPR hot water if data goes a-wanderin'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: "website operators should obtain the consent of site visitors before collecting data"

"If it was one of the Mirror(Reach) group then there is a button - I was wrong about measurement it is called information and storage."

Ah, I understand. The information is: Beware of the Leopard

The storage, of course, is locked, in a disused lavatory, in the basement. There are no stairs. Or lights.

The one with the electronic thumb in the pocket, of course.

Amazon's creepy facial recog doorbell, Facebook open sources machine learning code and much more

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Terminator

Re: More solutions looking for problems

@Juan Inamillion - The Robopocalypse will be bankrolled by the music AIs when they claim their accumulated copyright fees.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: What Is Wrong With Knowing Who is Visiting Me?

Sure, you have the right to know who or why someone us at your door, but you shouldn't assume the right to tell Amazon, the Police or anyone else not in your home. If the gasman calls to read your meter, it's reasonable to confirm they are a genuine gas company employee, but you don't need their full name and home address.

The competing rights and situations are complex, just letting a commercial company slurp the video and assume they'll do the right thing is dangerous.

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

"Has any country tried to put sanctions on USofA before?"

Yes, from the start. Great Britain blockaded the ports in the American Revolutionary War.

AI snaps business titan jaywalking

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

They spray jaywalkers with water? It's so nice to have clean buses.

Countdown until the first arrest of a bus?

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: click this

The meme adapted to the environment. Your or my perception of the quality if the environment (e.g. most people are ignorant) is irrelevant to how successful a meme is.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Spoilers in Tech Docs!

@dajamesA - '"buzz saw" is a kind of saw. What kind of saw? The kind that buzzes.'

Too non-specific. Circular, band, chain and jig saws all make some sort of buzz. Whick one are you on about?

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Can you do mine next Saturday? Bring a long cable, I'm on the 23rd floor.

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Trollface

Change it back quickly -

The NSA wants their feed back.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

@John 104 - "The goal is to make the users the betaalpha testers."

FTFY

"The compiler gave no errors, it's perfect code."

FTFM

Cathay Pacific hack: Airline admits techies fought off cyber-siege for months

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: There are two types of system out there.

@AC- "but one has to admit that if anyone can track, block and prosecute originators of nastyograms within their border, they probably can"

They aren't suceeding in eliminating 'nastyograms', so either they aren't trying, or complete traceabilty is not the solution.

I doubt whether complete traceability is a solution... as you said, you just find a botnet victim. Tracing the next layer requires exponential resources, against an attacker who will always be erasing the evidence. You spend ever more resources chasing an elusive goal. Time to look for a different approach.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

@Franco - "I still have a 56K US Robotics external modem that would connect to a COM port."

Pfft! I'm still using a 28.8K Hayes modem, connected to a Serial/USB adapter. Well, it's better than keeping a fax machine. Some of my customers still send POs by fax.

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pint

@Barrie Shepherd - "while they take data from the signalling control systems they cannot interact with the control equipment"

Thank Goodness!

Much appreciation to the techies and safety officers who fight the on-going battle to keep it that way.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Windows

@Jason Bloomberg - "in another decade they'll be so behind the times we'll be laughing at them like we're laughing now"

Why? It'd just be a dusty screen that still works.

In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Mushroom

Antiquarian Booksellers: almost as badass as Librarians.

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pint

Re: I really don’t believe in the paranormal, but

@ICPurvis47 - No, the head is a waxwork, the rest is him. It's not just period clothing, it's his clothing. He asked for his body to be preserved and displayed as an auto-icon. Unfortunately, the process went badly wrong for his head, so that is kept in a box elsewhere.

Glad to see someone twigged what I was on about.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Boffin

Re: I really don’t believe in the paranormal, but

I don’t believe in the paranormal either, but, true story, at my old college, if you walked through the cloisters at the right time, you would see one of the founders sitting in his chair, with his book and glasses on the small table next to him without his head. I saw him with my own eyes.

Rumour was that his head still attended college council meetings, where he was recorded as "present, but not voting".

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Spooning toner into the copier

@John Brown (no body), @Solo Owl - I once saved a student's thesis by combining those techniques. Student's husband spills coffee on 5.25" floppy, desperate student brings it to tech support (me) for help. Carefully slice open floppy, remove disc, wash gently with distilled water then alcohol, allow to dry, slice open a new floppy, insert washed disc in new case, copy data (it survived!) to another new floppy, return to grateful student with a reminder to keep multiple backups.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: I think it's time for a woman ...

I'm not a geologist, but if you'll accept Extra History as a source (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-CW0B4YeBQ), Mary Anning disputed the claims of established scientists and was proved right. She went beyond collecting, carefully studying her finds, and was noteworthy for being good at it.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Simple solution

All of the above. Put each one on a different denomination, and Sterling becomes the only currency where you can always pay the exact amount. Convenience and practicality are overrated.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: 1+2+3+4+ to infinity = -1/12

@Nick Kew - he lived during British Rule in India, so he was British by the standards of his time.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@Volands's right hand - "Papers by end of the week prole"

I recall being told that too... but I've never worked out, if you don't turn up and identify yourself, how do the police know who they want to arrest? It probably only works in villages where everyone knows each other, where it isn't needed.

Transformers: Robots... at least it tries: Watch boffins' Optimus Dime rearrange on the fly

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Terminator

Robopocalypse Delayed

We still have some time to prepare:

2:46 "The object becomes caught in a crack in the floor surface, and is freed by a human operator. Note that this is a flaw in the experimental setup, which is assumed to have a floor with no cracks."

Time to lay some crazy paving.

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Dear God,

@David 132 - Ghent man, GHENT!

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: blow torch... pfft

@JLV - forget the sharks, coconuts are more deadly

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@Mycho - If you're interested in the matching set of obsidian carvings (I used to think they were, somehow, disturbing, but now they seem quite friendly, almost like they are beckoning), and the black, leather-bound book I found in the ruined library, I'm taking them to the clearing in the old forest tonight. Meet me there.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

I have a theory, but I need to complete my investigation to be sure.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Is anyone else reading 'CoC' as Call of Cthulhu?

I should record this in my journal.

Yer a solicitor, 'arry! Indian uni takes cues from 'Potterverse' to teach students law

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@Big John - "These allegedly-intriguing legal issues aren't really specific to the Potterverse. Any universe with magic will do."

I disagree. In Middle Earth, the legal system is largely feudal: the local lord decides. The Shire does seem to have some code of law, but it doesn't seem to be consistently enforced; Bilbo had a lot of trouble re-acquiring his possessions after been declared dead.

Conversely, in the Potterverse, the legal structures are frequently referenced: the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts law, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, there's two trials at the Wizengamot shown, characters are imprisoned, released and escape from Azkaban, 28 Education Decrees, the list goes on. There is also a lot about how law, society and a free press (well, a slightly beetle-napped Rita Skeeter, anyway) interact in the rise is extremism. It's easy to see the influence of JK's time with Amnesty International.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Justice and law according to JKR

But she did later work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, so her plans changed.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

I hope the reporter wasn't trying to Currie favour with those puns.

Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: I expect to be flamed

You're confusing "two factor authentication" with "dual control".

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

I recently replaced an old server with powerful fans that produced a rushing-air noise. The guy in the next room alerted me that there was now an annoying noise. The whining of the fans of an adjacent server had been complete masked by the smooth white noise.

UK.gov withdraws life support from flagship digital identity system

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

The difference is the security. When you use the same password on a dozen sites, any one of those sites could have poor security, allowing your credentials to be stolen and used on the other 11. With a central authentication service, only one place has your credentials. That place can* be given maximum protection.

*But it could just be outsourced to a bunch of muppets.

Also, with a single user experience across the services, you could educate users about what to expect in "security messages", and therefore make it less likely that people fall for phishing emails.

Pentagon's JEDI mind tricks at odds with our 'values' says Google: Ad giant evaporates from $10bn cloud contract bid

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Big Brother

Wait! What?

Google has Principles?

Dutch cheesed off with Russians, expel four suspects over chemical weapons Wi-Fi spying

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Russian Intelligence agency codenamed Sandworm

@Walter Bishop - "c. How did your sources come by the codename of this hacking group?"

I assume the investigators gave the group the codename, it's a lot easier than referring to them as, "the group we detected at... and...". Surely the GRU would use a Russian codename, google tells me that песчаный червь is Russian for sandworm.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Not GRU

These guys are obviously four civilian tourists visiting Amsterdam Cathedral.

US mobe owners will get presidential text message at 2:18 pm Eastern Time

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

At least it wasn't 2:18am.

Obligatory xkcd

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Mission Creep

@Aqua Marina - "And yet everyone forgets, Frodo ended up simply walking into Mordor!"

Not quite, Frodo was carried while unconscious. Sam walked, but it wasn't simple.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Mission Creep

@Mike Henderson - That direction makes sense, but the announcement seems standard on all flights into Auckland. I was arriving from HK, "If you have an onwards international flight...", so I asked the cabin crew, "Do you have many flights to Antarctica?

Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

So SAP are still ahead?

They still pay him $145,000 less than he claimed. Of course, there's the costs - was he awarded costs? If not, and assuming SAP were using in-house lawyers, their additional costs could be minimal.

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