* Posts by Richard 12

2649 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Richard 12
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Still haven't got my rat burger :(

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Richard 12
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Re: Security

Indeed, it does not matter if it takes the device several seconds to verify the command.

The PIC 16F series I was buying almost fifteen years ago would happily do it in the time budget available.

Even with the internal oscillator.

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Richard 12
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Re: so much automation

A "normal" Aga is never off.

Presumably they realised that might be bad for home users gas or electric bills, and isn't energy-efficient in any sense of the word.

Horrible things.

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Richard 12
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Re: Can you control the oven temperature?

Agas are the worst oven known to man. Incredibly inefficient unless you also need to heat the room all day.

The temperature is pre-set during installation and cannot be changed.

On/Off is all you get on an electric, and the gas ones don't even have an indicator to say that they are burning.

Stayed at a place that has a gas one. It went out one day, we didn't realise until it was too late for it to warm up for dinner.

So we went to the pub.

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Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

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Seems foolish

Something that short-ranged is a second car, not an only car.

And that means cheap.

The putative household has a "proper" car they use at weekends and for shopping, and the short-range electric is for the daily commute.

If it costs as much as a long-range electric, nobody will buy it - better to buy the long range one as an only car.

This is why G-Wiz, the Renault thing and the other "road-legal quad bike" things exist.

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Boeing 737 turns 50

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Not many aircraft that fit other aircraft inside

SuperGuppy and Beluga notwithstanding.

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Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

Richard 12
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Re: Telnet really?

Most of the vendors think that as well.

Heck, apparently camera dildos have the same firmware pack as IoT security cameras.

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Richard 12
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Re: telnet??!!?

Perhaps it is time to push an update to Busybox to make SSH the default instead.

Anybody already on that mailing list?

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Richard 12
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I have a Kirby vacuum cleaner.

Well, carpet maintenance system as it does rather a lot more than just brush & vacuum.

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Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes

Richard 12
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Re: forgotten archetypes

That's an entirely different axis.

Incompetent Castellan, Incompetent Lawful Architect, Incompetent Chaotic Neutral Sharpshooter...

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Uber responds to Waymo: We don't even use that tech you say we stole

Richard 12
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Re: Google wins this one

That would explain the 5th.

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An echo chamber full of fake news? Blame Google and Facebook, says Murdoch chief

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Re: Meanwhile "Real" News

Was either Assad or the Russians, as nobody else had the technical ability to do it.

I really doubt that the Russians would because Putin is clearly not an idiot.

Assad on the other hand has definitely done it before, and -

importantly - got away with it last time.

He got away with it this time as well, as Trump helpfully told the Russians the target, giving plenty of time for Assad to move his assets away.

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

Richard 12
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Re: Advertising

Rather higher than $88.

The FDA might also take an interest, those costs are astrological*.

* Like astronomical, except the Gods actively attack you.

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iCloud extortion racket nowhere near as epic as we thought it might be

Richard 12
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Re: How many jaz drives would that take???

They back then up in /dev/random

Everyone's files are there, even files they haven't created yet!

The restore process takes a while though...

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Richard 12
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Re: The problem is the Apple iPhone

macOS has similar problems.

I recently had to do a full wipe and reinstall of OSX Sierra because it couldn't handle the idea that a Mac might have more than one user (so much for the BSD base).

It sat saying "About 5 minutes remaining" for four hours.

Then I gave up, restartes it and the second time it completed the "About 6 minutes remaining" process in a mere 45 minutes.

I assume it has failed to download something and stopped completely, but there was no indication in the UI whatsoever.

Even when it was making progress the second time - no hint that it had managed to do anything at all.

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Richard 12
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Re: In the main....

Unfortunately it's really hard to delete such WiFi fron your phone, as they no longer list known access points when not in range of them.

Bastards.

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Twitter cofounder to sell chunk of his stock for personal reasons

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Minority just means less than half. Could still be a big chunk, don't know or particularly care how many he had at the start of the year.

Smart to liquidate when you can of course. Has Twitter ever made a profit?

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Richard 12
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Re: Reality check time?

Might not be paraffin, I would guess probably not.

There are a variety of biofuels, synthetic fuels and (my favourite) fuels manufactured by genetically-modified bacteria.

One of those will hopefully scale.

GM bacteria are particularly nice as appropriate varieties can make petrol, diesel, kerosene or any other desired hydrocarbon directly - though significant technical challenges remain, such as getting the stuff out of the sludge fast enough not to kill the bacteria...

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Richard 12
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The Government didn't do any risk assessment

At all, as far as I can tell.

El Reg, put in an FOI request for the risk assessment done on placing the thousands of such lithium batteries in the hold, and how many additional planes are expected to be diverted due to fires in the hold, and how many crashes.

If they refuse to answer, we can be sure that they did none whatsoever and have absolutely no 'ing clue how much unnecessary danger they are putting air travellers in.

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Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year

Richard 12
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Re: Apple

Apologies, under the new rules it's called "macOS".

I'm not changing my #ifdef though.

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Richard 12
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A Wintel equivalent would be one with a nice case, so no Mac price uplift necessary.

The trashcan design is what happens when the inmates take over the asylum.

There are plenty of examples of striking PC tower designs that are portable, expandable, easy to work on and yes, beautiful.

Many PC case designers have succeeded at this - they aren't cheap, they are good.

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Richard 12
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Re: Apple

Are playing a very dangerous game.

You need a Mac running OSX to legally develop for OSX and iOS.

Right now, there are no professional-grade Macs, so you have to develop on consumer-grade kit.

If this continues for much longer then there will be no professional applications for OSX or iOS.

In the long term, Apple will either have to allow development on Linux/Windows, or Hackintosh, or there will be no professional-grade iOS apps and iOS will start to die.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Richard 12
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Re: A long time ago

Unfortunately such sockets also wear out very quickly and rarely get replaced, leading to the same end result.

It's a shame the US doesn't have any decent sockets. Twistlock is fragile and jams, Stagepin is OMG dangerous, Edison is fragile and falls out...

Most US electrical regulations are about preventing fire, very few states have regulations intended to prevent electric shock.

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Richard 12
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Re: so much wrong here...

US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket if you turn your back on them, or look at them too hard.

Also, nearly all of the earthed/grounded variety get installed upside down because it makes them look like a face.

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Richard 12
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Zombie! Help! It speaks!

Electrocution means dead. Dead dead dead.

I think you mean "shocked" or suffered an electric shock.

110V-120V is certainly sufficient to kill, so he's quite lucky.

Fortunately this is an impossible occurrence in the civilised world, as the UK electrical standards used in much of the globe were designed for safety of the user, not just reduced chance of fire.

EU plugs and sockets vary rather a lot. They just aren't standardised.

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Richard 12
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True.

If El Reg goes down I will be very sad.

On the other hand, everything I own will be unaffected, and I can still go to the pub.

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Richard 12
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Many tears will be shed

By everyone who's ever bought one of these devices, because they will all stop working.

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Richard 12
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Re: There's a reason some of us call this stuff IoS.

That's two-factor.

Something you have (the TX) and something you know (the sequence).

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Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Richard 12
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'Twas effective, far more zombies down int' big smoke than in God's own county.

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

Richard 12
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Re: ULA

The cargo plane approach is the only one that's been successfully tried, as far as I know.

The success rate is a national secret because it was done for spy sat film canisters, so who knows how many payloads plunged - or even aircrews died.

So I guess maximum payload mass of maybe 50kg?

And now they want to do it for a hundred times larger payloads...

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Richard 12
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Re: Question: How many engines does....

Oh, and the camera for that photo is at the top of the first stage facing downwards.

You're seeing the flame from the main engines, looking down the length of the stage.

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Richard 12
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Re: Question: How many engines does....

The RCS thrusters normally aren't considered engines per se, as they are very low thrust and specific impulse.

They are only for steering in the vacuum of space, where aerodynamics arr irrelevant.

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Richard 12
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Re: Congratulations to SES and SpaceX

Or indeed the first time.

Masten, Armadillo (now Exos) and Blue Origin have put exactly nothing in orbit so far. Of them, only Blue Origin even hope to do so within the next few years.

NASA and SpaceX are currently the only entities to have ever re-used significant parts of an orbital space launch system.

The leap from suborbital to orbital is very significant.

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Richard 12
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Re: I'm ... not sure

Rocket engineering, like many things, always looks easy from the outside when it's working.

Rockets are particularly fun because for the most part they either work, don't work or explode.

Rest assured that the actual rocket engineers are working their socks off to make it not explode.

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Richard 12
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Re: ULA

In-flight refuelling involves gently inserting your probe into a tube that's being helpfully dangled exactly where you want it by the other aircrew.

It's not really any harder for the pilots than formation flying, and the technical challenges of pumping the fuel and cutting it off without fireballs can be tested without risking an aircrew - eg in a wind tunnel.

Mid-air retrieval involves grabbing a falling parachute that your aircraft is actively blowing away, without collapsing it before you have a good hold, then pulling away without hitting the ground or ripping bits off the aircraft or payload.

With a payload that's very near the absolute maximum that the airframe can carry.

You can't test very much of this without risking an aircrew.

The financial cost is minimal, possibly even cheaper than a droneship, but the risk to the aircrew is insane.

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

Richard 12
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Re: Well I'm currently crowdsourcing funding

That still wouldn't be the strangest production of Swan Lake.

The classics have been "re-imagined" in almost every way imaginable. And will continue to be so.

Still waiting for the zero-G edition.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Richard 12
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Re: Robot wars?

Yes, the machines on Robot Wars are all ROVs. Though some of them do have a small amount onboard intelligence, a few teams have tried automated weapons that "fire" when they detect an object in the area-of-effect.

Obviously these are ungodly dangerous so have to be remotely armed and disarmed.

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Ford to build own data centre to store connected car data

Richard 12
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Because it shouldn't leave the jurisdiction!

There is no such thing as a cloud. It's just somebody else's computer.

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Richard 12
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At least the plastic ones are cleaner.

Just don't iron them.

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Richard 12
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Such a waste of a button

The assistant itself probably is a USP in Korea if it supports Korean usefully, as I bet Cortana, Siri and Google don't.

But blowing a button on it is a complete waste in the rest of the world.

And putting the fingerprint sensor on the back sounds like a good idea - until you try to use it. I don't know about you, but I look at my smartphone from the front, and don't have x-ray vision.

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Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

Richard 12
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Re: At 90X Jupiter's mass, and fairly pure hydrogen, how did this not ignite into a star?

Brown dwarves are MACHOs, and we have been pretty sure there aren't enough of them to account for the discrepancy for many years.

WIMPs remain plausible, and IIRC the Standard Model even predicts a few possibilities for them. Detection remains a problem as (by definition), they don't interact with the electromagnetic force.

Then there are various possibilities that have yet to make testable hypotheses but might.

And then hundreds of discredited or simply crackpot ones like MOND and others that might fit in some circumstances but do not work for smaller scales - like within a solar system.

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Did you know: Crimelords behind DDoS attacks offer customer loyalty points?

Richard 12
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The question is more "Who's buying them?"

I guess it could be cover for intrusion attempts or revenge for a slight or insult, but otherwise what do the purchasers want to get out of it?

"For the LOLs" doesn't really work if you just pay a few hundred USD, it's a bit expensive for a laugh and not visceral enough for a "to prove I can".

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Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Richard 12
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Re: Not thought though

So the ISP passes this cost onto Openreach.

Simples!

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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Richard 12
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Re: Re. 10

That may well be FTDI drivers deliberately nuking non-FTDI hardware. Actual physical damage in fact.

One of several reasons we don't use FTDI anymore.

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Richard 12
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Even if that were true (it isn't), those who were upgraded to Win10 automatically did not agree to the Win10 EULA as they were not guven the opportunity to reject it.

MS (and others) will never go to court to enforce the EULA on a consumer because they might lose, and if they did it would quite possibly be the end of the company.

You don't bet the farm unless you really have to.

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Richard 12
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Except that doesn't work

I personally know of at least two systems where the Win 7 > 10 in-place upgrade failed and would not roll back successfully. In the end the only apparent possibility was a full nuke'n'pave. Fortunately there wasn't much data lost, but there was some.

I am certain that there are thousands of similar cases.

I am also equally certain that there are tens of thousands of people who tried to reject the upgrade but were forced into it, eg by the complete lack of a "Cancel" button in later stages.

Many of those will have wanted to return to Win 7, many of those will not have been able to find out how, and many will have been unable to because the "downgrade" process was not 100% reliable

Even a 1% failure rate would be many thousands of failures.

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Pure Silicon Valley: Medium asks $5 a month for absolutely nothing

Richard 12
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Re: So they got $135m for this bo***cks?

Many companies selling real, physical custom hardware and software have an order of magnitude fewer staff.

I nearly said these companies have higher revenues as well, but then I realised that I have higher revenues than Medium.

As does the busker down the road.

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Richard 12
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Re: Good advice but

Guidelines are there to make you think when you break them.

Almost of of these recommended practices will have occasions when they should or indeed must be broken.

- The classic "access uninitialised memory" reason is when the memory content in question comes from another device, whether by DMA or other means. Initialising it yourself would be a bug - but reading past where the DMA has currently reached is also a bug.

So yes, break the guidelines - but when you do, think about why you're breaking them. Is it the right thing to do, or just the easy thing?

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Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Richard 12
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Re: We've been there before .. in 1991

Yet my several thousand unique image scrolling display scrolls smoothly and quickly on Windows.

Also on Linux.

It took an hour or so to write, and less to port and reuse.

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Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

Richard 12
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Re: Simple solution...

Where are the consequences?

There clearly aren't any, as they either don't think they'll get caught, or don't care if they are.

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