* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2908 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Want to create fake web profile pics? This creepy AI tool makes them on demand. Plus predictive policing, and more

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: crying out for a mashup with hotornot.com

I gather that thisnakedpersondoesnotexist.com exists. It's just not conventionally been good at faces.

And, this may be taken as a challenge, but, how many pictures of different naked people do you need, anyway.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

I think it is harder than that.

I think that advanced advert-handling will defeat the kind of ad-blocking that you describe, and by "defeat" I mean that if you don't see the ads then you don't see the web page content either. I get that at The Register sometimes, or I used to, not by blocking but I think when I loaded several pages at once and that either means ads arrive too late or it's just Not Allowed. I reload the scolding news page and it usually comes up fine.

What seems to happen is that JavaScript in the web page detects whether the advert actually arrived in the browser, which is what you proposed to prevent happening. The JavaScript then would prevent the advert-avoiding user from seeing the story on the page.

Almost the simplest ad block possible is to run a browser without JavaScript or page images included at all, which I did happily for years with the old Opera, on dial up, because I could just press G to turn image display on in a page when I wanted to see graphics.

Another model uses a proxy server on the PC itself, which just refuses to download adverts from known advert sources. Or, I'm not sure this existed, but it doesn't download advert-sized graphics to the browser, but to read the picture size, the graphic file has to be downloaded to the proxy server - which is your proposition.

Another Opera product has or is basically a proxy browser; the browser runs in the cloud (not called that at the time, I think) and on your PC or phone (I think the target was phones with low bandwidth) there is something like "remote desktop" so that you see what the browser is displaying. That theoretically could prevent showing adverts to the user although they were present in the browser. But I don't know if it did. It is cheating, after all.

But - it can be done.

I think that a browser with a "reading mode" - discarding junk from a web page and showing you the useful stuff - also amounts to doing something like that.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge


It doesn't actually rhyme?

Not if you mean "JavaScript".

(Unless I just don't know the word that it rhymes with.)

"Analytics" rhymes with ******.

"Advertising us" rhymes with ***********.

"Third-party solution" rhymes with "ablution", but that is literally the opposite of dirty.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: The Usual Response...

Text has entropy, or something, of about 1 digital bit per letter: on average it's a fifty-fifty bet what the next character is. Some have more options, Q basically has no options - it's always u.

I've been using two random numerals and six consonants (one capital), usually with a little verbal reminder: for instance PDL5HTZ8 I'd remember as "pendulum height" and the rest does come from memory. (This isn't a current password.) So maybe time to upgrade now. What's "safe"?

'This collaboration is absolutely critical going forward'... One positive thing about Meltdown CPU hole? At least it put aside tech rivalries...

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: What an absurdity!

But you can just restart Windows in Safe Mode? :-)

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

Spike Jones (not that one) goes metal?!

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Robert Carnegie Silver badge


Doesn't the modification make a serious head injury more likely next time?

I suppose that may be intentional.

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

I can imagine something a lot more sinister.

Such as if the picture actually is of teenaged Jeff Bezos. And the lady works for the Enquirer or the CIA or something. I haven't worked out all the details of this theory, but it could involve secret filming of a date.

Or it could be a plot involving abduction and, well, horror.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Pictures or it didn't.......

I just cycle in ordinary clothes, but I do find that doing so cold weather leads to disconcerting numbness in the, er, front padding.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

On BBC Radio 4 this morning

Or maybe BBC Radio Scotland or whatever, I channel surf... anyway, I may be naïve here, but when the host's interviewee intimated that that Mr Enquirer has the amusing name of "Pecker", I thought, "Ninety percent of the British audience of this broadcast won't know why it might be considered amusing."

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

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

First it was Venezuela...

Martin Niemoller should be alive now.

He would be 127 years old. That would be incredible.

I dunno how he felt about coffee.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: El Reg interview time?

Certainly eligible for "Who, Hm".

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

The 2000 AD solution

As far as I remember, this wouldn't happen in Judge Dredd's American "Mega City One" because the roads are already congested with mobile homes driving around while people live in them, due to the housing shortage.

It does make some sense for self driving cars to go quite a long way away from your destination to park, especially now that you may be taxed for a car parking space at work. Just driving round and round, though, is cheating. Not playing the game.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

"blessed by BRP, Mercury, or similar"

Isn't Neptune your chap for divine blessing of marine crafts?

According to the novel "Rivers of London" the fire brigade are technically worshippers as well - long story? (With rather a number of horrible gory deaths and such like, the novel I mean.)

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

Someone described their login process to me as "I type user1 user1" at which point we both realised that half of that was meant to be the secret password. I believe I promised to forget this, obviously I haven't - but I did change the name in this telling.

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Deadpool

As mercenary assassins go, Deadpool is considered nearly heroic by several other superheroes. He did kill REDACTED though, on the orders of REDACTED.

Plug in your iPhone, iPad, iPod, fire up the App Store: You have new Apple patches to install

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Must be a popular one...

I get my updates through iTunes on Windows; I expect it to be more robust or redoable but I'm not certain. I think that last time the download to PC took an hour and the install about ten minutes, but the phone may have had to be plugged in to the PC throughout. Maybe I'll wait a little for this one.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: What about iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, and iPad 4 ?

The new devices check for their own updates, I don't know if the older ones do. If they're no longer supported then that's that. Do remember that some devices and some OS versions can be crashed or exploited by a "text" message that includes noncompliant emoji, so you really could be stuck with thst problem.

And so I bought a secondhand iPhone 6 last year.

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

He's not a bit on the side, he's her husband. And his connection to the British Empire is only by marriage. And do people generally apologise to the other party in a road accident? What would it take to send flowers, the driver's friend is quoted as saying. Well, her address for one thing - which, as the passenger, she presumably wasn't asked for?

The lighter side of HMRC: We want your money, but we also want to make you laugh

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: If we taxed the rich properly

I expect on your private island you can grow the smoking herb of your choice as well, tax free.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Child benefit... @AC

It's CHILD benefit, not pay-your--mortgage-for-you benefit (do you still get that as well, it used to exist, would it survive austerity, I know where I'd bet).

What it reminds me of, I may be misremembering the story, but my mum grew up with British food rationing and had three brothers. This meant that gran could give grandad an egg with his breakfast every day of the week that was supposed to be for the kids.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Silly NIC games ...

Du you buy MAC addresses from a global authority, like IP addresses?

Then it sounds like someone bought 20 addresses since they were only shipping up to 20 network cards in one multi-pack.

Or, after manufacturing each 20, something with a counter on the production line got reset.

Or, the manufacturer actually had 40 MAC addresses and you were just unlucky not to get one Box A and one Box B.

Huawei and Intel hype up AI hardware, TensorFlow tidbits, and more

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: As a fake its unconvincing

From memory (I did write it down), BBC Radio 4 news the other night told us,

"President Trump's dismissed reports that he worked for Russia as a big fat hoax."

Can you tell me if this actually is funny, then I can send it in to "Private Eye". I did e-mail it to "The News Quiz" but I do not expect a conclusive result. They'll laugh at anything. "Unfortunately, Slimming World has had to cancel its meetings here on Saturday mornings as the group is too large for the room."

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Deepfakes

The ones that you notice are unconvincing. And the ones that you make on a phone app probably aren't state-of-the-art. When real money is spent? I think you've been got and you don't know it.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Military Ship Radar

It - oh, joke. It wiped your memory too.

I don't remember getting the sedative, euphoric, anaesthetic, and memory zapping drug I was supposed to have during a colonoscopy examination in 2016, but since I remember the colonoscopy itself at least as well as I might want to, I have wondered whether the anaesthetist pocketed the drug for their own use later.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

There was an early episode on the Starship Enterprise which led to the ship generating a space-time warp field that made the ship's clock run backwards 71 hours. At the time it was "worry about that later" (er, how?) Later on they became increasingly proficient at time travel. The title for the original event is slightly NSFW so I'll just let you look up stardate 1704.2.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Running backwards ?

As described at http://www.beaglesoft.com/mainfaqclock.htm the operating system's time is based on a count of the CPU timed interrupt signal. The interrupt is a function to pause application processing and handle some device requiring attention, or in this case just to tell time. However, the web page is to support a utility which deals with early and inaccurate timing runtime hardware by using either the CMOS RTC or "The U.S. National atomic clock" to provide time. In the circumstances, something like that might have been already installed on the machine.

Or, on the lines already suggested, something cues up the time to be added, 00000001, but the microwaves cause this input to be read as 11111111, which is minus 1 approximately ish.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge


I'd heard of computers causing gynaecological disturbance but not the other way around. Particularly through electricity.

So I am wondering about, let us say, a convenient product for the circumstance, that might either be wrapped in a plastic polymer with disagreeable electrostatic properties, or contain such a polymer.

Alternatively I'm thinking about French underwear, but I do have work to do, so I'll save that reverie for later.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge


I read "a bag of plastic coins", which raised many questions, such as can you get middle-age onset dyslexia!

I believe some people jingle coins in their pockets, and at a certain time in the past, the pockets might be all nylon or whatever. I don't intentionally... but I do use a plastic box in a flattened egg shape as a pocket coin purse - which along with a case of unusual design for my keys, continues to prevent wearing holes in the fabric - and at a brisk walking pace, it rattles.

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Actually, no thanks, foul stuff.

I got a non-smart Breville "Hot Cop" machine. When activated by hand, it dispenses 500 ml of good boiling water from its spout, after 60 seconds.

If you don't want an exact multiple of 500 ml of boiling water at 60 second intervals then you are out of luck, and I find it more than I need - in fact I needed extra-large cups. But a current model of the machine now allows the quantity to be varied. But, as far as I know, not verbally.

It just occurred to me, maybe I could put glass marbles or something in the machine and get less water out. (Is that what they've done?) Supposing that I can buy Pyrex marbles...

South Korea reckons mystery hackers cracked open advanced weapons servers

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Hmm. DAPA.

Is that like DARPA, but instead of Research Projects, it is just Purchasing?

To be honest, I know the answer is "no", but it struck me.

Oh, SSH, IT please see this: Malicious servers can fsck with your PC's files during scp slurps

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Please tell me if this is a stupid question.

So do we need to update rcp as well?

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: WinSCP 5.14...

The article says yes, but https://www.cvedetails.com/cve/CVE-2018-20684 says:

"In WinSCP before 5.14 beta, due to missing validation, the scp implementation would accept arbitrary files sent by the server, potentially overwriting unrelated files."

Version 5.13.5 apparently is "before 5.14" but perhaps is not counted?

I think, firewall: don't let your WinSCP play with strange servers.

Having said that, I'm looking at an old WinSCP version here, which says:

"SSH and SCP code based on PuTTY 0.63+"

If WinSCP is based on PuTTY, and PuTTY hasn't been fixed, then...…huh???

Do you feel 'lucky', well, do you, punk? Google faces down magic button patent claim

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Yiddish?

Further down, Wikipedia says Arabic was also "official" until 2018, and presently has "a special status". Which sounds a wee bit like when the Dilbert organisation assigns an employee to "a special project", which I'm sure is the intention.

The article is not adequately edited, to which I attribute calling the plaintiff company "the Israeli" - I presume corporations are considered people and citizens only in the U.S., and so this is, at best, a form of grammar that I'm unfamiliar with - but it's only a word short e.g. "the Israeli company" so maybe the writer forgot they hadn't typed the word "company". That happens often to my train thought.

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Aproximate

Specifically, when you're doing mathematics with infinite decimal places then the difference between 4.0 and 3.99999999... is 0.00000000... which obviously is 0. So 4.0 and 3.99999999... are the same number written two different ways.

Personally I distrust this infinite stuff, but I'm comfortable imagining someone starting to write out the digits of the number, and never stopping. But there's no question of getting to the end; there isn't an end.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Testing gone wrong

I may be missing the point of the story about electronic road signs. It said GO TEAM all across the city; wouldn't it only be a problem if it said STOP?

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Itchy Chin

Possibly most of the internet is now free of servers displaying today's date as January 14th, 19119. (It's a Millennium Bug thing. Ask your legacy team.)

http://snapahead.freeservers.com/ reports that as of that date "I don't have many mp3z". Right-click to see page source produces a message "I don't want U to steel from me!"

It's like tasting a madeleine cake.

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Better safe than sorry.

If AI is required to judge whether the user is joking or not, the "Little Lost Robot" scenario (i.e. danger of death) could arise. Those who don't like BBC humour nowadays may prefer a machine that defaults to saying "¿Que?" when instructions are unclear.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Wild West Days

That was Elvis "The Pelvis" Presley. The Internet can do you a topless Cliff Richard.

Just for EU, just for EU, just for EU: Forget about enforcing Right To Be Forgotten outside member states

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

What's the "M People" connection?

"Search for the Hero" doesn't seem quite right.

I think "What have you done today to make you feel proud?" was a solo title by the singer.

I understand the group also covered "Don't Look Any Further" and "What a Fool Believes", and an original album track was, possibly, "Never Mind, Love".

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Since it substitutes for what mouth and hands can do (*), it ought to be able to participate in business meetings on your behalf. Particularly if you already have to treat your boss n the way this wonder machine is designed to.

(*) It seems to me that it should look much more like an excited squid. Maybe it does when you take the cap off?

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

I'm not their consumer but

Arguably Fox and Breitbart are amongst the best at selling stories with minimal truthful content. They have quite the audience, for one thing.

One "good" bad trick is to report opinion, what's been said by the President or the White House or the candidate running in Springfield. On the other side... well, the other side really, isn't hugely different, politically. Like homo sapiens and chimpanzees, they are 99% the same. What's really different is other countries. Therefore also what's really scary. I don't think I see a lot of partisan content from the other side, except for someone who keeps posting a list of Republican office holders who are child molesters. And I don't know which cases are accurately stated but I assume that those who are known to be child molesters are the ones that we don't have to worry about. Anyway, the point I was going for is that a "news" site whose actual business is transmitting partisan statements from partisan third parties is technically lying only in calling this stuff "news". Oh, and in the words "Fair and balanced." And "Most watched. Most trusted." Though... if you don't "trust" them, then why watch, so they must be at around 99%.

Gyro failure fingered for sending Earth-gazing Digital Globe sat TITSUP (That's a total inability to snap usual pics)

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

You have redundant parts when you expect some of them to break. So, some of them break Then, more break... You still eventually run out.

S'pose you could send another box up that only contains extra gyros, and that mates with the original. Or send up a new bird with a better camera.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Somewhere, deep in space, three hundred years hence...

So, let's use Jeff Wayne's material instead. ...What?

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Somewhere, deep in space, three hundred years hence...

I think an XKCD comic that I'm not bothering to search for pointed out that nearby stars are a few years or a few decades away in terms of their light reaching us, not usually centuries etc. Your laser beam might reach a close star in a bit over four years, and then, maybe, they could shoot back. That would deal with the drone problem worldwide, at least.

Unless they sent this drone in the first place. Have they tried playing John Williams music at it?

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

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: From bitter experience I must disagree

Wimbledon: presumably different games (or, same game, different matches).

If they pass coverage from BBC1 to BBC2 or back then it's liable to run in parallel on both until there's a pause.

It's how tennis is - when it's on, there's a lot of it. Five-a-side or more would let more people play at one time and on one TV channel.

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Bjlljkks :-)

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Look out

Vaping causes drooling dementia in 90 percent of users exactly 20 years after the first or only huff. Possibly. But since it isn't 20 years yet, it hasn't been detected. This is how medical research works: long term effects require long term research.

Oh, it's 30 years if you were just standing next to a vaper. But whichever comes first.

It's a Christmas miracle: Logitech backs down from Harmony home hub API armageddon

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

Re: Please forgive my ignorance, but isn't "undocumented API" an oxymoron?

I don't know the details, but I think perhaps it's that the Harmony Hub may include open source or other imported software that implements this API as well as other functions - but Logitech didn't plan to offer this API or advertise that it was there in their device - although not in its specification?

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

Robert Carnegie Silver badge

419 not 491

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_scam unless for some reason you did that on purpose.

"The number 419 refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud."

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