* Posts by Dale 3

370 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Danger mouse! Potent rodents 'see' infrared after eyeballs injected with nanoparticles

Dale 3
Joke

Nano-batteries to go with those nanoparticles. At first, that's what I assumed. Now I'm thinking something along the lines of the mechanism of a self-winding watch. When the IR starts fading, you sweep your eyes side to side a few times to recharge. In the heat of battle there's enough action to keep it going all night.

Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you

Dale 3

Compelled?

Is there a legal basis that requires him to appear? If yes, then fine them daily until he appears and send in the bailiffs if they don't pay up. If not, then give it up guys, he said no.

Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

Dale 3
Go

Rolling billboard

Whoever buys advertising space better keep their message short.

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Dale 3

Re: Debt = Bad

"As the A/C said, the [root] cause was cheap credit so why is cheap credit the answer?"

And as Tom 38 answered, cheap credit wasn't the cause, inappropriate lending was. Mortgages being given to people who were at very high risk of not paying them back, then the lenders would take all their high-risk mortgages, package them together into the CDOs that Tom 38 talked about and sell them on to other banks, who treated them as less risky without looking at the contents.

You could argue that the cause of the problem was the CDOs being incorrectly (or fraudulently) rated less risky than reality. Or you could argue that the cause of the problem was the fact that such risky mortgages were being offered in the first place. You can't argue that cheap credit was the cause of the problem. Even if the credit was cheap, these people still couldn't afford to pay it back so never should it have been given to them.

Dale 3

Re: Profitability

Yes, overpriced goods, product range and mistakes in online are usually what everyone talks about whenever Maplin comes up, but what I got from this article is that this author asserts it was problems at the corporate finance level that actually (or additionally) led to the death-spiral. The balance sheet numbers showed increasing sales every year up to 2014 and gross profit being maintained at around 50% which means they were still selling stuff and making a profit from what they sold despite being "expensive", but the whole time corporate debt and increasing liability for interest on the debt were catching up with them.

The buyout by Rutland in 2015 enabled them to reset some of the debt and interest liability, albeit with lower sales and gross profits (though still around 50%), but the years following showed exactly the same pattern - sales and profits going up but debt and interest going up much faster. The debt scared their suppliers into withdrawing credit supply arrangements, and if you have nothing to sell you have no business. So actually, customers were still going in and buying stuff, but the author's contention is that spiralling corporate debt killed them.

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Dale 3

Magic Leap

I guess Magic Leap are providing the hardware.

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Dale 3

Lenticular

I get the idea of testing slightly altered signs to see whether they might be misinterpreted by an autonomous vehicle, but calling a lenticular sign an "attack" is not much different from hanging an actual stop sign over another road sign and calling that an attack. That's not an attack, that's just showing a different sign and having it classified correctly.

Developer recovered deleted data with his face – his Poker face

Dale 3

Re: I wonder if there will be any poker face stories

Here's hoping whoever's involved at KFC/DHL are regulars here, and their story will be told in due course (with identifiers "redacted" to protect the guilty, of course).

Future of Misco UK hangs in the balance – sources

Dale 3

Re: I wonder....

CPC are pretty good at sending a multitude of thick catalogues, most of which are more or less identical from one week to the next.

Bolsover Cruise Club are incredible. You don't even need to have gone on a cruise, you just need to have walked past their shop or something and you'll be on the receiving end of all manner of letters, postcards and booklets, multiple times per week.

Amazon crowd-sources new HQ location, Bezos tells mayors to woo him

Dale 3

Seattle

Maybe part of the plan is to send a message to Seattle city to give them a better deal for the existing HQ1 facility, otherwise they'll gradually shift more and more operations over to HQ2. Or play the cities off against each other.

Top repo managers clone, then close, a nasty SSH vector

Dale 3

Joern Schneeweisz

Sorry, I was rather hoping for some seven dwarves puns.

Samsung drops 128TB SSD and kinetic-type flash drive bombshells

Dale 3

1 MiB

They usually operate alone but sometimes have been known to work in pairs.

FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

Dale 3

Re: Fingers crossed he rots somewhere horrible for it...

Maybe they already thought of that, and this is the technique they want you to *think* they use, to distract miscreants from the actual technique they use.

Enumeration bug offers five-finger discount on Woolworth Australia loyalty points

Dale 3

Re: Good for you

You may be overthinking this. Rather than kneejerk-reacting to the possibility that loyalty scheme costs might be added to shelf prices, just look at the prices. If they're cheaper somewhere else, go somewhere else. MySupermarket.co.uk is good for comparing before you leave home.

UK mobile number porting creaks: Arcane system shows its age

Dale 3

Re: Why oh why etc.

No, terrible idea. If you have poor network coverage in your home/office/commute/etc, you can't switch to another network with better coverage. The monopolistic network provider is in no hurry to improve coverage because their customers are billing agents, not end users, and they're not losing any customers over this.

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

Dale 3

Why do you build us up...

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

...just to let us down...

Those dreaming of sending hipsters crashing into the dirt can forget it, though.

(buttercup?)

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4G: Tube comms trials for emergency crews

Dale 3

Re: Noooooooooooooooooooo!

I googled it. Turns out, "Progress is an organisation of Labour party members which aims to promote a radical and progressive politics for the 21st century." So I'm not sure what your point was :-)

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Dale 3

Sounds like they've been taking notes from Microsoft on how to roll out an upgrade.

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Dale 3

What will they do?

I just wonder what all those million people out there will do. Not initially, obviously, as I'm sure they will be building and sciencing and exploring and, well, populating. But after a while I'd imagine a lot of them would get terribly bored. I mean, here on Earth we can go to the beach, climb a mountain, visit beautiful and exotic locations, play golf, do gardening, whatever, literally thousands of different things we can do outdoors and in. On Mars, you're basically stuck indoors all day watching TV. Oh sure you can put on a suit and go explore the planet but it's all basically the same wherever you go and, whereas a holiday to the Namib desert might be exhilarating the first time, if that's the only holiday you can ever have you're going to get tired of it pretty quickly.

I guess a million is a large enough group that there will be incredible diversity of people and skills, and over time they will come up with all manner of entertainment and pastimes, probably even some that cannot be done on Earth, but you're going to have to choose a million indoors-type people because most, I would think, would still occasionally enjoy being able to look out over a different landscape.

Long term I don't worry so much. If they and succeeding generations make it, they could in time build huge structures to contain enough of an atmosphere to replicate some of the outdoor activities we take for granted, but I doubt that could happen for several decades at least. It's those first few decades before you can get the big stuff in place, that I wonder about.

Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads

Dale 3

Re: Ebuyer / Amazon Hard disk prices

Top tip: Go to uk.camelcamelcamel.com and copy & paste any Amazon URL into their search. It will show you the price history of that item, so you can see how good any bargain really is.

Acronis adds automated ransomware protection to latest Backup version

Dale 3

Re: True Image?

True Image 2014 was the last of the decent UIs. When I built my current Windows 10 PC I had to camp out on Ebay until I found a copy of 2014 to buy.

China's first large passenger jet makes maiden flight

Dale 3
Coat

Re: On the plus side, instant familiarity

Plane racism, surely?

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

Dale 3
Joke

Allow me to introduce you to Sarcasm.

Sarcasm, meet Mr Baldrickk.

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Dale 3

Re: People DO hate adverts

So I trimmed a hefty piece of slate to fit the reply-paid envelope. About a week later, the barrage (which had been ceaseless for months) stopped completely.

Did you write your name and address on it, or are you telling us they abandoned their entire marketing strategy and pulled their outgoing mail pipeline, in the space of a week, on the back of a single piece of slate? Nice story, but I call porkies.

Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

Dale 3

Load shedding

A lot of South African expats now living in South Australia must have had a big skrik thinking they had woken up in the wrong SA again. I wonder which is worse, load shedding due to not starting up the quick reaction generator station, or load shedding due to the govenment having forgotten they needed to build one in the first place.

Video intercom firm Doorbird wants $80 for device password resets

Dale 3

Re: Idiots Of The...

£12 gets you a doorbell that you can only respond to while you're at home. I understand the main novelty of this device is that you can respond to a caller when you're not at home - either it makes it look like you are at home and just too lazy to come to the door (maybe it might dissuade a burglar, maybe), or you can let a trusted visitor in without having to be there yourself. Personally I'm not interested in either of those usage cases so I'd be there with you and the £12 bell, but there are probably a few people for whom those novel uses would be appealing.

Dale 3

Re: I have a large paper folder

Or take photo, email it to self. If you use Gmail or a similarly cloudy provider, it's now instantly available even when travelling. Assuming you trust the security of Gmail.

ITU-T wants video sizes to halve again by 2020

Dale 3

Re: Is this even possible?

"Enhance!"

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Dale 3
Headmaster

fibre-to-the-premise

A "premise" is a proposition that forms the basis of an argument.

A "premises" is a piece of land and the buildings on it.

"Premises" can also mean multiple propositions that form the basis of arguments, but a "premise" never has anything to do with land and buildings unless you're arguing about them.

Go on, I used the icon and everything.

Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

Dale 3

I call fake

No way someone this thick would have spelled "you're" correctly.

Jersey sore: Anchor rips into island's undersea cables, sinks net access

Dale 3

Re: Redundancy

These three all lying together were probably more for capacity than redundancy. The link to France was the redundancy part, and it's doing as intended.

Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History

Dale 3

Re: Back-door?

If this really is a CPU you can walk inside, then for fire safety it probably is required to have a back door.

International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Dale 3

It's usually smoke that kills

Indeed. Our fire trainer always refers to it as toxic fumes rather than smoke, because people generally are conditioned not to worry so much about smoke until they also see flames, but if they think the smoke is toxic (which it is) then that bothers them greatly enough to take action sooner.

Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Dale 3

Re: Overlapping windows

"Guys, you know all that code you commented out a couple of years ago? Well we need it back in NOW"

Indeed, although I doubt they will be uncommenting all of it, just some now, some in the next release, and so on. They're finding it hard to get people to upgrade desktop Windows now because people can't see the need. Better make sure they don't end up in the same position on mobile, by drip feeding the improvements.

EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

Dale 3

Re: B-but but b...

but how are the telcos supposed to survive without the price gouging?

The EU is also allowing/encouraging all the networks to merge into each other so there's less competition between them and contract rates go up. In other words, the telcos will survive because cost-per-month goes up faster than cost-per-minute goes down.

Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

Dale 3

Re: More dead cats :)

Darwin in action. Eventually the only birds left will be the ones smart enough to avoid cats.

Or is it... eventually the only cats left will be the ones that kill and eat birds.

Oh.

Bot-herders fire fake GPS co-ords at Niantic to collect Pokémon

Dale 3
Joke

I can see how this would be useful. I would love to be able to play some of the modern games that people talk about, but unfortunately I'm not a gamer, my PC is too slow, my reactions slower, and I generally get killed within the first 15 seconds. I wouldn't mind having a bot which could play the games for me and just send me an email every so often telling me how often I had won. Then I could go back to reading Reddit or something.

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

Dale 3

Re: Waste of time

Truck was turning across traffic (car hit at 90 degrees) Assuming worst case it had started from stationary due to waiting for oncoming traffic, a big heavy truck with low acceleration could easily take 30 seconds to complete the turn. A car going at 74 mph will cover over half a mile in 30s. The road may have looked clear for half a mile when the truck driver started his turn. If not starting from stationary the distances will be smaller, but still the point is that cars going at 74mph cover a lot more distance per unit of time than many people realise.

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

Dale 3

Re: Huh?

Thanks for looking it up and sharing. Pity the author didn't think it was necessary to explain the industry-insider terminology to this mostly not-advertising-executives audience.

Florida U boffins think they've defeated all ransomware

Dale 3

Rate detection

Our IT guys stopped a ransomware infection in the act (by pulling the network cable on the victim machine). They detected it by one of their monitoring systems noticing high volumes of files being changed on the network by the same PC in a short space of time. Network files were restored from backup within a couple of hours. The victim PC got re-imaged and lost everything local, but we're encouraged to avoid keeping things locally for just this sort of reason. I suppose it might have gone unnoticed longer if the malware had trickled its network activity. It's always going to be an arms race between malware and anti-malware, but being able to analyse and monitor the types of changes being made to files sounds like a good supplement to volume and rate statistics when defending against attacks.

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Dale 3

So that's the origin of the staircases in Harry Potter.

Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Dale 3

Re: Anybody else think that humanity is reduced by this?

We're going to need to dramatically change the meaning of work and the rewards given to displaced workers if the future is a relative few entrepreneurs and people handling those parts of design and software-writing that cannot be automated, and a huge mass of people who are otherwise underemployed.

Apart from some of the terminology, this is probably a statement that has been uttered by every generation since the industrial revolution.

'Double speak' squawk users as Silent Circle kills warrant canary

Dale 3

Re: It was a business decision

You didn't use an icon so I'm not sure if you were serious or being sarcastic. In case you were serious... you do understand how warrant canaries work, don't you? It's a statement affirming that they haven't (yet) received any secret warrants which they aren't allowed to reveal publicly. If they subsequently receive one, they "yank" the warrant canary. It's not done "on a whim" as you say, it's the entire point. If they say "business reasons", well maybe that's because they're not allowed to say the real reason.

Eds off their meds: Does this headline REALLY need to be so astronomically long it can be measured in parsecs?

Dale 3

Adverts which pause when you look away would be awesome. Sticky tape over the camera, and they're permanently paused.

Freeze, lastholes: USB-C and Thunderbolt are the ultimate physical ports

Dale 3

Just remember...

the last mainstream connections devices will need

...there is a difference between technical need and company/shareholder need.

Our CompSci exam was full of 'typos', admits Scottish exam board

Dale 3

Re: Brilliant...

If your tablet weighs 65kg, it must be full of the wiruses and malwares. Don't worry though, because "David" from the Microsofts Customer Technical department will be calling you shortly. To save some time you could get your event viewer open now and have a look at all the errors. Keep your credit card handy.

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

Dale 3

Control devices through an app

unimpressed with the ability to control devices through an app, possibly preferring to stride over and flip the switch themselves

I don't mind in principle controlling things from my phone, it's just too much of a bother to have to unlock the phone every time I want to turn a light on. Or use one app to turn the lights down, another to start the movie player, and another to adjust the volume on the telly (then have to unlock it again every time the volume needs adjustment).

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Dale 3

My explorer.exe on WIndows 10 also need regular killing and restarting, though not because of the Start Menu which continues to work fine (so far)... my explorer.exe leaks memory and generally doesn't last more than 2-3 days because it's consumed all 16GB of the available RAM. (Probably it isn't the Windows exe itself, but some other add-on which is leaking, but I haven't found out which one(s) yet.) When I get a moment I'll be writing myself a little utility to automatically kill and restart explorer.exe.

Geniuses at HMRC sack too many staff! Nope, can't do it online. FAIL

Dale 3

redundant = surplus to requirements

How to do it correctly: Improve process (+£); find redundant people; make them redundant (-££).

How government/large organisations do it: Make arbitrary number of people redundant (-££); change process (+££); find out how many of them really were redundant; get contractors to deal with the backlog (+£££).

Password reuse bot steals creds from weak sites, logs in to banks

Dale 3

What good could they do with it

Ok lets assume someone could get into my account. What good could they do with it

Jeremy Clarkson had a similar thought when he published his bank account number and sort code in his newspaper column. Some joker quickly signed him up for a direct debit to a charity. Just because you can't think of something another person might do, doesn't mean they can't either. There's a lot more information than just account numbers available to someone who can get into your account.

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