* Posts by Arthur the cat

994 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


That's Numberwang! Google Cloud staffer breaks record for most accurate Pi calculation

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Pi day

And 22/7 is a lot more accurate!

Try 355/113. Known to the Chinese 15 centuries ago, and accurate to single precision f.p.

If you're worried that quantum computers will crack your crypto, don't be – at least, not for a decade or so. Here's why

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: What about black projects?

That would imply an "alternate" physics community of individuals unknown to the people currently working in the field.

It's worth reading this paper On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs.

TL;DR version: secret conspiracies only remain secret if there are very few people involved.

Arthur the cat Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: The article assumes todays crypto is secure.

Most of the algorithms were generated by former-NSA folks or those with ties to the US gov.

The current state of the art algorithms were pretty much all invented by one person, Daniel Berstein. Most people would not regard djb as having close ties to the US, or any other, government. If he is working for someone, they've got 99% of the entire world's secrets.

UK digital competition review: Forget money, we should consider 'balance of harms' during tech mergers

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: ACTive Attractive Applied Imagination as Fabless AI Driver. ..... Applied Imagination

There is a sound. IT's UNDERGROUND

Damn! Now I've got Astronomy Domine running through my head.

Uber driver drove sleeping woman miles away from home to 'up the fare'. Now he's facing years in the clink for kidnapping, fraud

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Wire fraud

Can a US person comment on this please? Am I right in thinking wire fraud covers just about anything involving money and a state boundary, so acts as a catch-all charge even if the authorities can't think of anything else to charge you with?

Tim Apple. Larry Oracle. Ginni Layoffs: It works so why the heck not?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: It's all relative

Reagan was also not blessed with the best of brains, just good speechwriters.

I've seen the suggestion that the Reagan administration was a perfect example of Minsky's Society of Mind, in that a lot of relatively mindless agents with different agendas pulled in different directions but overall it ended up looking like a coherent system with a single purpose.

Unless you want your wine bar to look like a brothel, purple curtains are a no-no apparently

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

My MP is a smug moron.

Cue ~629 dittos.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: security test of ISP

AAisp - pretty decent again but has the advantage of IPv6

Zen does IPv6 as well (I turned mine on a couple of months ago), but they're not very good at publicising it. The only thing I know of in the knowledge base is this


which basically says "mail ipv6@zen".

When I emailed them they replied 19 minutes later telling me I had IPV6 enabled on the line and to reboot my router to use it. Worked fine, no problems at all. I now have a stupid amount of addresses.

Schneier: Don't expect Uncle Sam to guard your web privacy – it's Europe riding to the rescue

Arthur the cat Silver badge

politicians stateside don't have a clue about the internet

How very different from the home life of our own dear queenparliament.

Canada has lunar dreams as Germany worries about what lies beneath

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Canada has to pay for it's military protection

Canada has to pay for it's military "protection" by the USA in many ways.

Given the geography, the only country likely to invade Canada is the USA, so that's rather a protection racket. "Nice country you've got here, be a shame if it got broken."

Arthur the cat Silver badge

My self-hammering mole has started burrowing in

A line from the missing 1960s film, Carry on Spaceman, as delivered by Sid James.

How to make people sit up and use 2-factor auth: Show 'em a vid reusing a toothbrush to scrub a toilet – then compare it to password reuse

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Not even El Reg.

[MFA on El Reg's web site.]

So there's hope yet it'll be rolled out to comments.

Which rather defeats the option to comment anonymously. Personally I'd prefer to live with a few trolls in order to get the anonymous insider comments we occasionally have on sensitive subjects.

You. Shall. Not. Pass... word: Soon, you may be logging into websites using just your phone, face, fingerprint or token

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: The missing element in ALL of these is...

Strange that so many industry "experts" can't seem to think of this.

I suspect a lot do (my old and relatively simple house alarm system has a duress code that sets off the alarm), but in most cases management veto the idea on grounds of cost or belief the users won't understand it/will trigger it by mistake. As most people aren't mugged at ATMs, there are going to be far more cases when someone confuses their PINs and gets locked out without money or card, rather than being saved from losing money in a mugging, and they are going to whinge loudly and long about it.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: The difference between something like this fob and the yale-type key that I use to open my door

I can be confident that there is no way that at any stage in the future the door lock is able to copy my key.

Your door lock can't copy your key, but if you take your key out of your pocket in public? That news item is just over 10 years old.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Access control and process scheduling issue

Virgins, you need Virgins to tame Unicorns.

I'm not letting Branson anywhere near my computer.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: A simple mitigation

Restrict Javascript engines and separate the browsers designed to run remote apps from those designed to surf the web.

Nice theory, but unfortunately surfing the web these days usually involves reams of Javascript. I run NoScript and I'm constantly boggled by how many web sites simply won't display anything without JS enabled. Even stuff that could easily be a static page seems to need to fetch content by a JS call, and that's without enabling tracking/analytics.

Boffins put the FUN into fungus by rigging yeast to squirt out the active ingredients in cannabis

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: rigging up yeast so it produces cannabis compounds

Is anyone surprised that it's at Berkeley?

Surely to be properly Berkeleyish it should be a yeast that produces LSD?

Long phone is loooong: Sony swipes at flagship fatigue with 21:9 tall boy

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: 2001

Anyone else thinking about the black monolith scene from 2001 ?

That was 1:4:9, not 21:9.

Who needs malware? IBM says most hackers just PowerShell through boxes now, leaving little in the way of footprints

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: It's a feature that we requested

For years people complained that UNIX system were much better than Windows for system administration because so much housekeeping can be automated with a small shell script

and then some idiot decided "curl … | /bin/bash" was a brilliant way to install software.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Not really someone to hire

I think that's called 'playing both sides against the middle,' see Milo Minderbinder in "Catch 22".

IIRC see also Bofors, a neutral Swedish arms company, neutrally selling weapons to both sides.

'We don't want a camera in everyone's living room' says bloke selling cameras in living rooms. Zuckerberg, you moron

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: "Does he get that?"

Because I want to erect a memorial latrine over the grave.

Memorial latrine and dance hall, surely?

Black-hat sextortionists required: Competitive salary and dental plan

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Unfortunately for the senders I knew it was a scam instantly - you can't have video footage of me watching porn because I've never owned a webcam.

Ditto. I also use an OS they've probably never heard of, never mind have the ability to hack, and as for "I have an exclusive pixel in this e-mail, and at the moment I know that you've read this email", well as you sent me a text/plain email, I really don't think so.

I just wish there was some way to do to their Bitcoin wallets what superglue does to door locks.

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Smart metres is an EU directive

You don't have to have a smart meter installed despite what the idiots who phone you about it might say.

You don't have to have a water meter installed either, but my water bill dropped by ~75% when I got a meter.

Smart meters have 30 minute pricing bands as one of the long term aims is to time shift energy usage away from peak periods, and some companies already have time of use tariffs as an option with (from memory so illustrative, not totally accurate) cost ratios of 35%, 100% and 175% for night time, day off peak, peak periods. Don't want a smart meter? Certainly sir, you can keep your dumb one, but we'll charge you at the 175% rate as you might use it all at peak time.

Bored bloke takes control of British Army 'psyops' unit's Twitter

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: The Best of British

Can't trust those Celts y'know. Sneaky types in blue woad don'tchaknow.

I think you Pict the wrong tribe for wearing woad.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: You all missed including the black helicopter

Black helicopters are for paranoia. This deserves a clown's nose icon. [Hint to El Reg.]

Arthur the cat Silver badge

And apparently aren't aware of the wayback machine.

I liked this image from that page. Anyone feel like a quick chorus of He's Got the Whole World In His Hands?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Should change its name

to 99 Brigade, as it's obviously a bit flakey.

'Occult' text from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ep actually just story about new bus lane in Dublin

Arthur the cat Silver badge

a suitable enough clusterfuck of vowels

Surely you need a clusterfuck of consonants for a truly eldritch look and feel?

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"(*) and all that.

(*) "An extra pint of milk please", in the Old Ones' tongue.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

Arthur the cat Silver badge

I got tired of adjusting my ancient stone circle for Daylight Saving Time.

Adjusting for the precession of the equinoxes must be a bit of a bugger as well.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Innovative sundials?

To be fair, analogue watches don't work in the dark either.

There are ones designed for the blind that do.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Well, I guess you could have a 'sun' dial on your coffee table if you rigged up some Arduinos, LEDs and stepper motors...

Don't forget the GPS so you know your exact latitude and longitude.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

We could be seeing even less of the ancient time-telling method as those with the knowledge to build sundials pass on.

Until it gets revived by another generation, like hand weaving or bread making.

Surrey Uni mans the space harpoons, and NASA buys more seats on Russian rockets

Arthur the cat Silver badge

the dangers of the harpoon approach

You don't want a pointy, potentially shattery thing on the end, but something seriously sticky like the end of a chameleon's tongue.

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Hipster demographic

If you could also get a decent coffee and a quick lube for your bike they'd be onto a surefire winner.

There's at least one bike repair stall in Market Square nearby, and more coffee shops than you can shake a stick(*) at in the area.

(*) Anyone know where this stick shaking idiom comes from?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Mini computer flingers

You mean there's a shop in Grand Arcade selling PDP-11s?

I wish, I really wish that were true.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

Arthur the cat Silver badge

white wine and lager beer

Wimps! They should have tried a robust red and Special Brew

WeWork restructuring bites El Reg hacks where it hurts as afternoon brew delayed

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Bloody Vegans

Can I just point out that title's an oxymoron?

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: As we get older...

It's 'shuffle'.


That's because Shakespeare didn't have shift registers available. The big question is, is it shift right or left, pursued by bear?

BT's outgoing CEO: He's officially gone, but he'll score £1m in pay, pension until Oct

Arthur the cat Silver badge

"Customary restrictions on working for competitors are in place"

I thought EU employment law made that sort of thing illegal? Or are CXOs not covered because of their seniority?

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Bennett Greenspan prefers to see himself as a crime-fighter.

As do all vigilantes.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

I want the exclusive copyright on my own DNA.

Copyright comes from the act of creation. The copyright isn't yours, it's your parents.

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

Arthur the cat Silver badge

comparing Bluetooth to RS-232 or USB is asinine, since the latter cannot operate without wires

Years (decades) ago, back in the days when HMG was sniffy about private radio spectrum use, a friend of mine had a remote controlled aircraft that worked over RS-232, and fairly obviously that didn't have wires. He use an LED on the controller and an IR receiver attached to a small micro in the aircraft and it worked fine.

UK spy overseer: Snooper's Charter cockups are still getting innocents arrested

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Is that all?

The first time my wife did jury duty, there was a woman who simply said "If the police say he's guilty, then he's guilty."

I hope she reported that to the court. That person should be permanently disqualified as a juror.

Chang'e 4 wakes and Yutu 2 stretches its solar panels for another day... on the friggin' MOON

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Chang’e 4 … minimum temperature of -190 °C

What's the Mandarin for "Them Chicagoans are a bunch of soft jesses"?

You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: It will not last ...

I can remember when FORTRAN and COBOL were the top languages

In some (admittedly niche) areas they still are. Old languages never die, they just get filed under "legacy system that we can't replace because nobody knows what it does".

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

Arthur the cat Silver badge


I used to enjoy the Apple/MS/Linux flame wars

Nonsense! Emacs/vim/vi flame wars are far superior!!!1!!

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: A raft of new reality TV shows...

Bare Grills

Even nudists wear aprons near barbecues.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: a severe case of the trots.

However I don't think any future government, in my lifetime, would never, ever dare to put forward the idea of a referendum, ever again.

You've got far more faith in our politicians than I have.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Gotta love El Reg @AC

You should see the Mail today: the headline is "Theresa's Triumph!"

Well, it's possible she's got a motorcycle stashed away somewhere. Or some underwear. And she's definitely got people reminding her she's mortal.


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