* Posts by Richard 12

2950 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Richard 12
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Mechanics are woodworking

Cheap battery drills are great - extremely high torque, designed to take abuse and it's easy to swap the chuck for wheels.

Add some ebay speed controllers and a bit of basic woodworking, and It's Aliiive! Aliive I tell you!

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Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Richard 12
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Re: Even Easier Solution

Those up to no good tend to quietly drive up the street in their van and walk purposefully up to each front door holding a cardboard box, and try the door.

If it doesn't open, they try next door. And next door.

If it does, they go in and make their "delivery".

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Richard 12
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Re: Drilling Brass

A nitride-coated ("Gold") drill bit is now normal.

You can buy a pack of 50 for £30. They aren't great but they are good enough.

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Richard 12
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Re: Odd thing about millenials...

Selection bias, I believe.

One will only encounter foreigners who are willing to travel and/or engage with those weird almost-people who live in far-off places and have funny accents and strange culture.

The locals have no such limitations.

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Richard 12
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Professional just means you're getting paid.

Doesn't mean you're any good at it.

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Richard 12
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Re: Having to explain things

More precise, not more accurate.

Having more significant digits doesn't mean you can trust them equally.

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Super Cali health inspectors: Tesla blood awoke us

Richard 12
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Not true. The HSE only enforce a short list of "high-risk" industries, such as construction.

The local shop, hotels - those are all enforced by the local council.

The HSE have the legal right to step in, but they do not have the legal duty.

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Richard 12
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It is almost certain that there are people trying to use OSHA as a stick to beat up Tesla because they lost their job.

It happens to every company sooner or later, and Tesla have just fired quite a lot of people.

The state OSHA office are rightly obliged to investigate all allegations, and I hope they are taking them seriously.

Even if it is a false allegation, there will be things Tesla should do better.

Unlike most UK local government, who tend to completely ignore their legal duty to investigate H&S reports, and then whitewash over the hospitalizations they could have prevented.

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Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

Richard 12
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Re: "the aircraft’s autopilot system will trim against the control column force"

Sounds like an obvious consequence of a poor design, rather than an intentional one.

So incompetence, not malice.

If the aircraft is supposed to be flying straight and level and starts to nose-up, the autopilot needs to apply nose-down force.

So far so obvious.

If it has control of the trim tabs, anything it does not know about that causes flight to deviate from straight and level might adjust the trim tabs.

If it doesn't have any way of knowing whether that attitude change came from the pilot or external forces, moving the control column would take it out of trim as the autopilot does exactly what it was designed to do.

It would seem that is what happened. And it's inevitable from such a design.

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Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

Richard 12
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We used to use Skype

However Microsoft are ripping Skype to pieces, so we'll need to replace it soon.

But with what?

All these things seem to have pretty decent phone apps, but desktop versions are conspicuous by their absence or phone-styling.

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Intel's security light bulb moment: Chips to recruit GPUs to scan memory for software nasties

Richard 12
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Re: Ah but you need to buy an Intel CPU with added GPU....

Tough one really.

All Intel CPUs now have a GPU cluster that's either completely unused because there's a discrete GPU fitted, or fairly overloaded because there isn't.

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Linus Torvalds schedules Linux Kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release

Richard 12
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Re: A new scheme?

'Cos that's just plain silly willy-waving.

Version numbers are meaningful in a few ways:

Compatibility breaks. There are always lines where forward, backward and interoperability compatibility can't be maintained.

Feature checks. Features get added, replaced and removed.

Downgrade. It might not be practical to downgrade back to the previously-installed afterwards.

Upgrade stages. It might not be possible to support upgrading from all prior versions.

It is very useful to signal these barriers in the version number, or to at least make it easier to document - "Compatible with 3.x and 4.x" etc.

- Marketing tends to ruin all the above of course, commonly with either "big numbers are good" willy-waving, or by requiring particular numbers for particular features. "Can't call that v2, we promised feature Y would be in v2!"

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NHS Digital execs showed 'little regard' for patient ethics by signing data deal

Richard 12
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It's a potential public health disaster

If you think that your data is likely to be used to your detriment, you will either lie or you won't seek treatment at all.

Thus these people will simply wait until they collapse on the street and have to be taken by ambulance, at huge cost to the NHS.

Or they'll spread something around for years that would have been easily treatable or preventable.

Once again the Home Office demonstrate a complete and total disregard for the obvious consequences of their actions.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 poised to fling 350kg planet-sniffing satellite into Earth orbit

Richard 12
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Hitting the Big Green Button at any given moment isn't difficult.

It just means that calling a Hold scrubs the launch until the next day.

If not tonight, then tomorrow.

They have several hours worth of launch window, just in 30sec chunks.

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Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Richard 12
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Re: Strictly speaking shouldn't telephone directories be illegal under GDPR?

When I last got a new phone number I was asked whether or not I wanted to be in the phone book.

It made no difference to the contract price either way.

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Richard 12
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Re: Phone book

My phone number and my name are not in the phone book.

Yet I still have a phone number and people can still phone me.

My name and address are not in the public (edited) electoral roll.

Yet I can still vote.

My name, addres and phone number do not need to be in the public whois database for my domains to resolve correctly.

As you said, there is no difference and ICANN simply needs to comply with the law or suffer the consequences. It is neither technically nor politically difficult for them to do so, as most registrars already do offer a service which would comply - at extra cost.

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Best thing about a smart toilet? You can take your mobile in without polluting it

Richard 12
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And then took half of it away, the bastards.

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UK health service boss in the guts of WannaCry outbreak warns of more nasty code infections

Richard 12
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Re: WannaCry was a shot across our bows.

Nah, it just took out the rigging.

The hull is fine, but putting up new masts takes a while and you can't do it under fire.

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A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Richard 12
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If you don't think your early work can be improved

Then you have learned nothing.

It's a good sign when you think code you wrote a decade ago was pretty awful.

If nothing else, there's been a lot of basic algorithm research, and huge changes in the languages themselves.

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Gemini: Vulture gives PDA some Linux lovin'

Richard 12
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Re: Linux: all the tools are Windows-based.

Windows Zip handling is bloody awful.

It's neat that it integrates into Explorer, but it's so incredibly slow as to be unusable for large files, and has really odd limitations as to which file copy operations work.

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European Space Agency squirts a code update at Mars Express orbiter

Richard 12
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Vxworks, probably

Nearly all these things are Vxworks or bare metal.

Real-time operating systems are quite niche, there aren't many of them.

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Richard 12
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Yes, you just have to choose it from the boot menu.

Oh.

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

Richard 12
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Re: Total bollocks.

Funny how actual Skype doesn't do that.

Maybe the Skype for Business people could talk to the Skype people?

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It's April 2018 – and Patch Tuesday shows Windows security is still foiled by fiendish fonts

Richard 12
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Re: Bug bountiful

Large parts of Flash were insecure by design. It was a happier time, when everything and everyone on the Internet was sunshine and flowers*.

Then they started trying to bolt on protection so a malicious Flash file couldn't steal your data and set fire to your living room.

Unsurprisingly, trying to cage a wild beast is difficult, and it can still escape to eat your homework.

* hahahahahhaaa

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Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

Richard 12
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Re: winfile.exe?

Fileman was newer, Win 3.1 IIRC.

Win 3.1 was very, very different to 3.0.

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Richard 12
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The original was 16bit

So on 64 bit it should be four times bigger and eight times better, right?

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They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Richard 12
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Re: Congress first....All US Government offices second....

Exploding collars would concentrate minds better.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Richard 12
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Re: It isn't just computers!

But not always general aviation.

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Richard 12
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Re: Mice and carpal tunnel

Shame that's impossible on Apple mice, because it uses touch to work out left click, right click and wheels.

Annoys the hell out of me.

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

Richard 12
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Re: Mythbusters

Human women get two bites of the vision cherry, as the L (Red) and M (Yellow/Green) colour receptors are encoded on the X chromosome.

So they are more likely to have good ones than males.

Or even multiple copies - M in particular has many variants that are slightly different. Whether they get wired up independently is an open question - more research is needed!

S (Blue) is on chromosome 7, so insensitivity to that is rarer.

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Ass-troplastic! Printing parts from p.. er... human waste

Richard 12
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Does SLS work in microgravity?

Surely laying down an even layer of powder is very hard without gravity to keep it in place.

Not to mention cleaning the excess off the final part...

The printer NASA have tested was an FDM, which seems far better suited. Less messy, too.

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Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

Richard 12
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Re: Dont you love...

I don't want anyone to get shot.

It is clear however that many Americans are happy, nay they demand for more blood be spilt upon the altar of their guns.

That makes me angry. Very angry.

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Richard 12
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Re: You can't legislate evil out of society

I don't assume.

I know that making guns more difficult to acquire reduces the incidence of mass shootings to almost (but not quite) zero.

We have a decade of evidence to prove it.

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Richard 12
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Re: You can't legislate evil out of society

But you can make it more difficult for then to commit said harm.

By AC's argument, we should let anyone have thermonuclear weapons because they'll kill millions of people with a pointed stick anyway.

It is a lot more difficult to kill someone with a knife than with a gun.

A teacher stands a much better chance of keeping the door closed against a machete-wielding maniac than the same maniac with a semi-automatic rifle.

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Intel flogs off Wind River after it failed to deliver mobile supremacy

Richard 12
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Can't say I'm surprised

Practically nobody runs VXWorks on x86/AMD64

It's almost exclusively MIPS, ARM, and PowerPC. I never saw how it could fit in with Intel's other products.

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Mad March Meltdown! Microsoft's patch for a patch for a patch may need another patch

Richard 12
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Re: Askwoody

Mac is far worse.

"Updating in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, REBOOT! Don't care if you were working, this machine belongs to Apple for the next 45 minutes"

Linux is the only OS that seems to have got it right.

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Intel outside: Apple 'prepping' non-Chipzilla Macs by 2020 (stop us if you're having deja vu)

Richard 12
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More likely is the end of macOS

Rather suspect this is more likely to be Apple killing macOS and making something like a Chromebook running iOS.

I know a lot of people who would be more than horrified - but it'd probably be a profitable move from Apple.

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Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

Richard 12
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Hot hydrogen is better

Oh yes.

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Richard 12
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Honestly, fusion power generation will happen first

Which tells you everything you might want to know about self-driving cars.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Richard 12
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Re: Not EU? - Declare a new continent

While very true, that's very much in the realm of proboscis removal.

DEFRA are indeed the reason why so many farmers are in the shit, that little piece of crap Farage not bothering to turn up to meetings is why fishing quotas are poor...

Lots of examples. I'm sure you can come up with hundreds.

However, EU regs also act to protect you from the UK government.

They're why your employer can't work you into the ground, why you have any privacy rights at all...

Hundreds of examples.

Remove that brake, and Reese Mogg will have your kidneys for dinner and give you a daily whipping.

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Richard 12
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Re: Thanks to the British voters?

Gods no. Adding the abstentions to either side is either ****ing stupid or the act of a dictatorship.

The only thing you can say is that they either didn't think voting was worth their time, couldn't decide, don't agree with any available options or were unable to vote.

Question: What does drawing a cock and balls on the ballot paper indicate?

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Richard 12
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Iceland and Norway have EEA membership

Which would be open to the UK if they wanted it.

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Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database

Richard 12
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Re: A Deposit scheme !

Cue people leaving repeatedly and claiming their £200, yet somehow never entering.

Never underestimate the incompetence of the Home Office.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much it wants someone else to build distros for its Windows Store

Richard 12
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Weasel

Definitely weasel.

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Richard 12
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Sounds very useful for cross platform devs

At the moment you have to spin up a Linux VM to run most of the good cross-platform tools.

This would just leave Mac as the outsider - quite a smart move from Microsoft.

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Richard 12
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Re: Raise your WINE glass and wet your WSL?

WINE seems unlikely, given that WSL is the exact opposite.

Converting A into B is quite different to converting B into A.

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What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Richard 12
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Re: It's a feature - Scunthorpe

I miss the mayor of Wetwang. By far my favourite Countdown host.

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PwC: More redundos at HQ of UK 'leccy stuff shop Maplin

Richard 12
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Some people like cow juice

There's no accounting for taste.

*Sips a cappuccino at 20:30 because to hell with common decency*

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Richard 12
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Re: You do realise.....

Back in the day Maplin was pretty good value for the times when "I need this today or tomorrow".

Most people are willing to pay quite a bit more for that - but it only works if the local shop has stock. The moment it needs delivering anywhere...

Then they stopped doing components and started selling tat that nobody needs at short notice, and that the "kids toyshop" next door sells for half the price.

I don't think any former customers are surprised that didn't work.

Comet screwed up in much the same way.

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Richard 12
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Re: Bummer....

The "Amazon Marketplace" sellers are really damaging Amazon's reputation.

Especially since some of them started being "Prime", yet not "Fulfilled by Amazon".

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