* Posts by mtp

74 posts • joined 27 Sep 2009


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


Tangible value of currency

Much like GB pounds or any other currency not backed up by a vault full of gold. A currency only has value is if you think other people (including bank managers) will take them as if these bits of paper with £10 written on the front are a real asset.

I recommend reading "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" for some interesting observations on this kind of thing.

The Register translates VMware's VMworld Europe 2018 news into plain English – our free guide for every reader


But can it Encabulate?


Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?


Re: Wasps

When I was about 10 I trod on a underground wasps nest. I remember the ground sinking a bit then was enveloped by a cloud of wasps. I did the world record sprint probably being followed by a comic strip style --> arrow of wasps. I was pulling handfuls of wasps out of my clothing. Must have had hundreds of stings.

Clearly I am not allergic but it was not a fun day.

Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm kicks crisis meeting into long grass


You win some and loose some

Sounds just like the Noke U-Lock that I backed many years ago. Shipping was supposed to be Sept 2015. They post occasional updates but nothing happens, it seems very unlikely that the lock will ever appear.

You win some and loose some with this kind of project.

At least I got a LOHAN patch and pint glass from my most recent kickstart.

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration


Weight vs Mass

"weigh more than 250g". Sloppy terminology. For measuring onions in a market with a balance then you can get away with calling mass weight (although physicists cringe) but for a drone that flies up and down and could be anywhere in the world then there is no universal way to convert mass (g) to weight (N).

Is there a standard acceleration to convert mass to weight? If so what happens if you live somewhere at one of the extremes where this varies? Can you buy gold at the equator (low g) and sell it at high latitude (high g) ? Mass is the same but weight will be different. This gives me a idea...!

There are industries where you can get away with this kind of sloppiness but aviation is not one of them.

At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?



12 days to go and you are all making me very hungry.

But I now plan to go out and buy a goose for the first time.

Drunk canoeing no longer driving offence in Canada


Re: sounds like a joke but...


Forgotten your Myspace password? Just a name, username, DoB will get you in – and into anyone else's, too

Big Brother

Re: Wells that me never being able to access my account ever again

Personally I always enter a DOB of 1/1/1900. If you are going to fake it then it is only polite to make it a obvious fake.

I have often wondered if this is related to my spam which is mostly death related - release the value in your home, pre paid funeral plans ETC.

For more details phone me on 0123456789 or come and visit my lovely village of Gypping in the marsh, I am usually to be found at the earthworm sanctuary.

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists


Faith healing

I once came across a monitor that I knew had a dodgy connection on the VGA connector. I clasped my hands on either side of the monitor (quite vigorously) and loudly proclaimed "you are healed!".

The screen immediately came to life and I left feeling smug with some very surprised people behind me.

Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one



Always wondered why Maxwell did not discover special relativity. In hindsight he was so close, just one more logical step and he would have been there.

He will have to put up with the T shirt instead.


United States Air Force grounds F-35As after cooling kit cracks up


Re: Hang on a minute...

Probably electrical insulation.

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code


Re: Portrayal of computer tech guys in films/tv. @Jamie Jones

Don't forget the Red Dwarf "Enhance" scene


LOHAN chews the fat with US TV station over Spaceport's FAA-ilure


50 foot rocket approved

If these people can launch a 50 foot rocket then what are they doing that Lohan cannot?


Muttering quiet blasphemies at the gods of red tape ( as opposed to blue tape which would be just fine ).

FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas


Re: Lohan loophole

It still has mass but I stick with the -ve weight


Lohan loophole

Do they actually say weigh? If so then Lohan has a great loophole here because when in initial balloon mode it has -ve weight so is clearly below any threshold that the all powerful FAA deems to set.

Apply online to go to Mars. No, seriously


Re 'average pay' beware casual statistics


There must be a good applying for the role of Tarzan joke here somewhere but it is too late at night to work out the details. "I have nothing against your right leg - the problem is that neither have you".

Beware poorly sourced statistics.


Re: Only Americans?

Discriminating based on ethnicity or sex is illegal but discrimination based on place of birth which is equally random is not only allowable but legally enforced. Strange how these things work out.

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!


Re: Do people still use Yahoo?

This seems to have happened to loads of people (maybe all of yahoo). Loads of spams flying around using yahoo address books. There is always at least one in my spam folder. The address book database has clearly been leaked to spammers.

US nuke boffinry to be powered by Facebook-inspired Linux servers


Let there be light

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back



But is it safe? Got to be careful about running tools from random sites.


Win10 is almost a virus

Same experience here. Win10 is becoming something of a virus and I am having to continually fight to prevent it overwriting my OS (Win 7). Nothing should be allowed to replace the OS on my PC without my explicit consent, Win 10 is right on the edge of this.

Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more


Scientists say that X

I am so allergic to the phrase "Scientists say that X". It crops up so many times in the popular literature (newspapers+tv) frequently with some fringe theory not backed up by statistics. Not reporting science would be much better than reporting anything that is pushed hard but with minimal significance.

SIX MILLION fingerprints of US govt workers nicked in cyber-heist

Thumb Up

Flaw with biometrics

This is the big flaw with biometrics, you cannot revoke it when it gets compromised. If megacorp X has a password hack then at least the customers can change passwords and have some chance of getting through this unscathed. If Omni Consumer Products Y has a fingerprint database and it leaks (as it inevitably will) then the mitigation involves mutilation.

(Icon picked for relevance not agreement)

Mysterious cosmic dustball fires up Milky Way's black hole



What is CMDR Metta upto?

Well this is a geeky website!

Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet


Work up to it

They should try the easier options of the sahara and antarctica before going for the big one of Mars. If they cant cope with Antarctica then there is clearly no point in going for Mars which is many times more hostile.

Strap on fitness finesse: Withings Activité Pop



Is it just me but I find a watch 36mm wide by what looks to be about 8mm thick bulky and low tech. If I am going to be buying a high tech watch I don't want a vast hunk of plastic and metal. The thinner the better and no wider than is required to suit the purpose.

Is this fashion over function? Maybe the next iphone should have a 5mm deeper body and weigh 200g more. Then again if my phone (actually a nexus 5) was 5mm thicker and had a 3 day battery I would be entirely happy about it.

French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week


General quotes on the topic

I can't put it better than these people



Re: Religion, nationalism, not liking Mondays? The excuse is irrelevant.

And the bible mildly says "And he that blasphemeth the name of the lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16"

All religions are equal. All can be (mis)quoted to good or bad.

"[T]hey took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to xxxx. And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. "

"I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger."

Which religion?


Re: Re:most media sidestep the nasty incidents commited by Christian terrorists.

These things work in cycles. As generations pass the dominant religion changes and different religions feel oppressed. There is no overall moral high and low ground - just currently dominant factions.

All religions are equal in all ways, as generations pass they fragment and drift in different directions but ultimately they are all as (in)valid as each other.

There are thousands of religions believed by people at the moment, millions of forgotten religions and a infinite number of religions that have yet to be conceived. Isn't it a incredible coincidence that of all the millions of possible religions children tend to go for the one believed by their parents.


Re: I don't for a second believe the 'Charlie' murderers were acting as Muslims.

Simply put all religions are equal. I could elaborate and give examples but why bother - the point is simple and easy to understand. Just take any hate article and swap islam/jew or any other combination of religions . If you find that the result offends you less or more then consider why.

Most convincing PHISHING pages hoodwink nearly half of you – Google


Re: Do they check if the data is legitimate?

Gilbert Murray

The Laboratory

Gypping in the Marsh


The original site is down and has been ambushed but the internet never forgets.


El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.


Whats the problem?

Looks fine to me. Every time a site has a cosmetic tweak it takes a bit of getting used to (slashdot) but generally the changes turn out to be broadly neutral. It keeps the expensive look and feel consultants in work. In this case I quite like the new look although it must be said that there was nothing wrong with the old one.

Orion 'Mars' ship: Cosmic ray guard? Go. Parachutes? Go. Spacerock shield? Go!


Re: 2 stroke, 4 star, Diesel?

Launching from the Earth is much harder work than from the Moon so on the return trip huge and delicate cryogenic engines were not required.


No nudity, please, we're GAMING: Twitch asks players to cover up


Pasties - serious

I am with everyone else in having crazy visions of people wearing pasties ( I am sure there is a internet site dedicated to this but I refuse to look for it).

There are 2 obvious possibilities and I am curious as to which is relevant:

1) A El Reg hack made a very strange typo - inconceivable (unless Iocaine powder is involved).

2) Pasties is American for some item of clothing but this cannot include lingerie, swimsuits, or undergarments so I am at a loss as to what it could be.

Beers all round as Vulture 2 lands in Blighty


Re: Photo #6

The famed pipe was present and I can confirm that it was sitting on the table just before that bottle of becks appeared.

NASA's MAVEN enters Mars orbit to sniff its gas



Sniff - I smell "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator"

LOHAN wraps Kickstarter tin-rattling at £30,725


Re: You've gotta be in it to win it!

I am actually hoping for a delay. Sods law will put me on holiday (Late Oct) when I am supposed to collect my gleaming LOHAN beer application device from the claws of Vulture Central.

Maybe fireworks night +-1 would be a suitable date.

Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book


Uwo boll

Uwo boll - please step forward. We have a job for you.

BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...


Gilbert Murray

When a website asks me for a name and address and I need a throwaway identity (spam reduction) I use

Gilbert Murray

Gypping in the Marsh

In the aim of giving a more solid identity to this tar pit for Nigerian scammers although sadly the original Gilbert Murray has retired from his public duties


What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet


Re: Orbit

They are originally from the Oort cloud but any comet that comes near Jupiter will have a significant orbital perturbation which moves the outer part of the orbit to something more Jupiter like.

The relevant word is apogee and I intended to give this as a reference but googling it shows that the word has been seriously corrupted. The original meaning makes the occasional appearances but 90% of them are adverts.

Luckily a alternative name for this 'Aphelion' is so far uncorrupted although the wikipedia page is Earth centric.




Pure Douglas Adams.

Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices


Rotating price rises but cable broadband is excellent

I have virgin cable tv, phone and broadband. Every 6 months to a year I get a letter saying

TV prices are going up by X% but dont worry - we are not touching phone or broadband.

6 months later....

Phone prices are going up by X% but dont worry - we are not touching TV or broadband.

6 months later....

Broadband prices are going up by X% but dont worry - we are not touching TV or phone.

The annoying thing is that I only have the phone line to report faults on the broadband and at the moment the phone line is broken. I must find a way to get that fixed - probably when the broadband next breaks.

The cable TV is rubbish - the bandwidth is so tiny that even the static logos on the top right are shimmering with artifacts.

That being said the broadband is excellent - this is the only reason why I stick with them. Just switch to a alternative DNS such as because the standard one produces non standard responses to invalid URLs.

The fact that there is a broadband only service is news to me - that has been well hidden!

'Sterile neutrinos' re-ignite 'we found dark-stuff' debate


Re: could it be molecular?

Not at those energies. This is about 1000 times too energetic to be from a molecule.

Brit chap weaves silver bullet for wireless health scare bollocks


Re: Perhaps

Send me a pair and I will book a session at a test site and post a formal report. No iPhone but a carefully positioned Nexus 5 should do the trick.


Oyxgen free?

I accept that it is bi-legged and by the looks of it directional but it is it oxygen free? Got to have the ultimate hifi undies here.

Stephen Hawking: The creation of true AI could be the 'greatest event in human history'


Re: like a bird

How can you know that? A true AI could have every aspect of a human or none or many others. For the sake of argument assume a AI that is human equivalent in every way - this is just a thought experiment but if it begs you for mercy when you reach for the power switch then where does that leave us?


Off = murder?

If someone creates a true AI which is self aware then can it be turned off? Logically this is murder. At some point in the future tricky issues like this will need to be dealt with.

Is no browser safe? Security bods poke holes in Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox and earn $1m


Re: Run them in a chroot jail

Maybe trivial if you have full access and known kernel bugs but from the restricted environment of a subverted browser it is going to me much tougher. A chroot adds a simple extra layer of protection for minimal cost. To break out requires low level access and a known kernel bug but the chroot makes exploiting the bug harder.

Dammit internet... you promised naked videos of my Facebook friends


Internet darwin award

This is some kind of internet darwin award. Anyone who installs this will somehow remove themself from the internet. I can't say exactly how (that is evolution for you) but by some combination of nested viruses and rootkits they will hopefully find the internet so slow and useless as to give up on it - I can only hope.

Boeing going ... GONE: Black phone will SELF-DESTRUCT in 30 secs

Black Helicopters


They can claim it is secure but it is going to have backdoors. Any phone sold to governments / military etc is going to have at least one backdoor. It might even be illegal to sell a phone without a backdoor if the NSA come knocking. Blackberry has had issues with that in the past.


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