* Posts by Arthur the cat

939 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


Ever feel like all your prayers go unheard? The Catholic Church has an app for that

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Your piousness is all gone!

Hail Mary

would be a great name for an Uber like company with all female drivers.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: I am British so OK

Tea bushes are safe aren't they?

With the added advantage that global warming makes them easier to grow in the UK.

People say tabloid hacks are always looking for an angle. This time, they'd be right: Tilting disk of proto-planets spotted

Arthur the cat Silver badge

The amount of sunlight would also vary across different latitudes.

It does with just a single sun as well.

What a cheep shot: Bird sorry after legal eagles fire DMCA takedown at scooter unlock blog

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Legal question

The boris bikes needed to be returned to a lockable location (I believe, never seen one myself)

They did, but the latest wave of hire-by-app bikes, Ofo, Mobike, etc, could just be left anywhere. I say could rather than can, because here in Cambridge Ofo first restricted the areas where you could leave their bikes to (roughly) the town centre only and is now giving up. This might be connected with the fact that just about every member of the HTTR(*) community(**) around town has an Ofo bike with the lock mechanism removed.

(*) High Tattoo/Teeth Ratio.

(**) Or for the less politically correct: thieving scrotes.

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Lucy is here!

The Shatner version I hope?

A truly unique aural experience.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: One things for certail...

the AI Singularity is just around the corner, not more than 30 years away now

Is that before or after commercial fusion power?

Q. How exactly do you test car seats? A. With this sweaty 'robutt' that twerks for days and days

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Low resolution

Gym membership is highest in January.

Yes. "New Year, New Me", get gym membership, go a few times in January, once in February, never for the rest of the year.

Personally, I'm quite happy with the old me so don't bother with such nonsense.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Never trusted SystemD

Someone else here still reads Warstall I see

The politician's syllogism pre-dates Tim Worstall's columns for El Reg.

Typical! You wait ages for a fast radio burst from outer space, and suddenly 13 show up

Arthur the cat Silver badge

And the MSM is already spouting off about aliens.

I think the media are locked into a permanent Silly Season. They might as well report aliens, Bigfoot and bombers on the moon, because that makes just about as much sense as most "real" news. If there's an afterlife Guy Debord must be laughing his head off.

Reg Standards Bureau introduces the Devon fatberg as coastal town menaced by oily blob

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Callow Youth

No reverse gear on those things [Bubble cars], so had to be helped by other drivers to turn it about

When I was in Junior School one of the teachers had a Bubble car, and one day parked it far too close to a wall. We had great fun pretending not to understand that he wanted us to push it backwards so he could open the door - "Sorry Sir, can't hear what you're saying in there".

Arthur the cat Silver badge

If you prefer astronomical units(*)

it's 2 femtoparsecs.

(*) On the grounds the only good news at the moment seems to be space related.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Needs a local agent

Just like the old "Sark Lark", someone with an EU address could take over these domains and for a modest fee keep them in existence. A few Euros per domain per annum shouldn't be too onerous for companies, and a nice little earner for whoever is doing it.

NHS England claims it will be all-digital within the decade

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: all-digital ...

May I ask how is this done, in both medical and technical terms?

Ask your doctor to show you.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: all-digital ...

Prostate checks have long been all digital

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: html in email...

I get a lot of legitimate emails these days where the plain text part is either completely blank, or says something like "you have been sent an email"

I get a third type as well, where the text/plain part has exactly the same content as the text/html part (and usually awful layout so it's unreadable without horizontal scrolling).

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: html in email...

This is a secure message from Bank of America.

I used to be with BoA (briefly). Their "secure mail" wasn't mail and wasn't secure. They would send you an email with a JavaScript attachment that you were supposed to save and then run in your browser! (I wonder how many people did that without reading the script first.) This then took you to a BoA web site which displayed an image of a US style mail envelope (I'm in the UK), complete with franked US stamp, which you clicked on to read the message. While the message was displayed cut and paste were disabled, just in case you wanted to keep a copy. If you wanted to communicate with them, the only allowed methods were snail mail (to the US), or fax. Fortunately changes in US law meant they dumped all their non-US customers, so I ended up with a Swiss bank that is technically competent and actually cares about its customers

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Great for this Engineer

I can't say that I've ever been overly impressed with academic credentials per se, or, in many cases, with people who tout them.

Thinks of people I've known with MBA after their names. Shudders.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Imagine a smart bomb that refuses to explode

...or refuses to explode where it was meant to, instead exploding where it was not meant to, but where it meant to explode.

See Peter Watt's story Malak (Warning: PDF) about AI weaponry doing just that.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Imagine a smart bomb that refuses to explode

I don't need to imagine it. "Dark Star"

You are false data. Therefore I shall ignore you.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Number of people

There are only 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.

There are only 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, those who don't and those who understand ternary.


Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Vindicated

Throughout my working life (I recently retired) I harboured a secret Unix hostname convention.

In one company I named the machines after the elements(*) because they have obvious numbers and convenient 1 or 2 letter abbreviations. I also added "me" as the 2 letter version of localhost. This all worked fine until I had complaints that people couldn't remotely access mendelevium. It turned out everyone thought the 2 letter version was "me" rather than "md" and were baffled when they kept finding themselves on their own machines rather than the server.

(*) until we got too big and the names got a little random. "tupperware" was one "element".

Arthur the cat Silver badge

You would be amazed how many IT people under 50 don't understand the concept of nibbles/BCD/2's compliment......

I suspect the number of people understanding excess-3 representation is less than the population of a small village.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: That Genesis reading

it would be nice not to make the Bible the go-to source in exalted moments, as we have so many other choices.

"Oh bother", said Pooh.

Google settles Right To Be Forgotten case on eve of appeal hearing

Arthur the cat Silver badge

A question for the lawyers

If the case is over, does the reporting restriction cease? Do we get to know who NT1 is?

Bonne année, Google, Facebook! France to tax tech giants from 1 Jan

Arthur the cat Silver badge

When in France …

Google should take a leaf out of the French farmers' play book and deliver all search results burning merrily.

The eulogising of The Mother Of All Demos at 50 is Silicon Valley going goo-goo for gurus again

Arthur the cat Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Fighting the slide towards hagiography.

"Silicon Valley is much more Gwyneth Paltrow than it is Ayn Rand"

Either option is pretty horrific.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Cranky

I have to wonder why almost every comment here, made more than 20 minutes ago, has at least 1 downvote.

I've long thought there's a phantom downvoter that lurks around here. He/she/it doesn't seem to attack every set of comments, but you'll often see the 1 downvote on every comment pattern, over a wide variety of subjects..

Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: @karlkarl

Double up your 16.6 hours: that's just one way. It will take 33 hours before the response from your keypress gets painted on your screen.

That's why they developed mosh.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: I was around 50 years ago, just barely

You mean 'THE' Galactic Register. I wonder what their icon would be?

A hyper-vulture?

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

Arthur the cat Silver badge

the NHS will be paperless by 2020

Right. Just like our offices have all been paper free for the last few decades.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

Arthur the cat Silver badge

products donated by the likes of US food producers … Hormel.

A vending machine that can SPAM you. Cue Vikings

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: mmmm

After the next upgrade, I presume red faced, winged devil monkey flocks will be the accepted reality.

Ah, you mean it's just me at the moment?

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Norfolk

Which is why she should have used "I was looking for signs they might be Deep Ones" as her excuse.

I thought they were further south, off the coast at Dunwich.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Norfolk

And there I was, thinking that was going to be a "NFN" (Normal For Norfolk) reference.

Nosey for Norfolk?

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Mommy

Mom is a West Midlandsism.

Brummie maybe, not all of the West Midlands. I grew up in the West Midlands and said "Mum". Mind you, my mother was from the Home Counties.

Openreach names 81 lucky locations to be plugged into its super-zippy Gfast pipe

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: 81?

I'm about 150m from the cabinet. I'm in!

Bah! I'm 370m from the cabinet.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Missing Information

First off, brilliant stroke by Parliament. For a change, someone was awake at the wheel.


a) how and why was the "victim" of this attack carrying such sensitive data around with him in the UK or, if he wasn't, how could he be compelled, with no legal role in FB, to access and hand over the data?

b) how did the authorities over here even learn that the opportunity existed?

How about the answer to both questions being "because it was a set up". The CEO of Six4Three can't release the files to the public because of a US court order. The CEO wants to release files to the public to help in his battle with Facebook. The CEO just happens to come to the UK carrying a copy of the files, which he doesn't need for the journey, and the parliamentary committee just happens to find out he's got them, and sends round the boys.

The CEO (possibly) has a defence of force majeure against the charge he revealed sealed documents, the DCMS committee gets their hands on documents they want and look like heroes. Both parties are happy.

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Also, the number of people who don't realise that it's cheaper to buy a mobile phone upfront and then go "contract free" is astounding.

It may be that if cash is tight people find it easier to budget for a constant monthly payment, rather than a big wodge of cash up front and then lesser payments afterwards. The latter needs a cash surplus to start with.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Starship

With the subversive names of his landing barges I'd have thought he could come up with something less dull than that. BFR is still far better.

Given that the first flight of any new rocket tends to end in RUD, maybe the first one should be called "Big Bada Boom".

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how

Arthur the cat Silver badge

I didn't want to dispose of an impressive scat without showing someone.

Was this at home or work?

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Arthur the cat will be hoping not.

Fortunately it's over on Mars and I'm here on Earth.

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Could you help us all out by providing your email address?

When bored I've given phishers one of my email address. Usually it's the fuck.off@just.fuck.off.right.now.com one, sometimes it's the kill.the.president@whitehouse.gov one. They're quite welcome to send email to those, especially the latter one.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

Arthur the cat Silver badge

A conspiracy theorist might see a pattern emerging

So would an actuary.

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Some time spent researching the works of Wittgenstein might be of value to you.

We discuss very little else in the saloon bar of the Whippet and Ferret.

Linguists, update your resumes because Baidu thinks it has cracked fast AI translation

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Polyglot parliament

The European Parliament allows members to use their own EU language, and a team of interpreters provides translations into the others. The members know that they have to pause for the interpreters. The result is that oratory is destroyed.

Probably a good thing as the pauses let you think about what's said rather than just emotionally reacting to the oratory. Mussolini and Hitler might have had less of an impact if they'd had to wait for translators after every sentence.

'The inmates have taken over the asylum': DNS godfather blasts DNS over HTTPS adoption

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Cant trust my UK ISP

Your own ISP in the UK is more trustworthy than Google.

TalkTalk? Virgin? I'd trust Google more than cheap ISPs, because they're more competent and less likely to accidentally leak passwords and account names. If, on the other hand, you want to talk about privacy, that's a whole different conversation. That's why I run my own DNS servers, and web sites, and …

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: The first thing that struck me

Is that home users nearly always get their DNS from their home router supplied by their ISP as standard.

Is it the customer's router that does DNS, or does the router DHCP DNS information point at a server run by the ISP in order to make caching more coherent? My ISP does the latter, but it's Zen who are usually more competent than most. (I run my own pfSense router and override the settings anyway.)

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Re: Milk in Bags?

Used to be quite common in the UK - decades ago. I seem to remember UHT coming in plastic bags. That was in the days when normal milk came in glass bottles, before they invented plastic.

The main dairy in my home town switched to plastic bags in the late 60s, and got loads of complaints - not about the bags, but because people were no longer being woken by the early morning clinking of glass bottles, so ended up late for work.

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

Arthur the cat Silver badge

Vacancy for a scapegoat

Maybe Zuckerberg has been chatting with David Cameron, and Clegg will end up taking the blame for Facebook's privacy invasions.

Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

Arthur the cat Silver badge

you can't make a Veblen good out of a dumb computer terminal

Isn't that exactly what an iPhone is? Dumb computer terminal plus various apps including a voice app called "phone"?


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