* Posts by Tikimon

741 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009


NASA admin: What if we switched one delayed SLS for two commercial launchers?

Tikimon Silver badge

What was good enough for Challenger...

Hey, what's the harm in launching in spite of problems to stay on the announced schedule? More important to be timely than safe!

I hadn't considered until now what a huge advantage Space-X has in this way. Being self-funded, directed (mainly) by a single leader with a vision, and not beholden to government funding lets them delay anything they want for as long as they want. The SLS seems doomed to "Make it fly anyway, tomorrow or sooner, but spending less than planned." Good way to go BOOOOOOOOOM.

I've watched two Space Shuttles and crew destroyed on live TV. Don't want to see that again, thank you.

The HeirPod? Samsung Galaxy Buds teardown finds tiny wireless cans 'surprisingly repairable'

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Wireless?

"an metal box purposefully designed to be soundproofed is fine".

What car was EVER designed to be soundproof? None, and none are! They will reduce sound levels, yes, but you can still hear what's going on. Unless you're a wanker with your entertainment system set to eleven and the windows pulsing in and out. But that's not "soundproof" at fault.

Also, ya moron, in a car you're traveling WITH vehicular traffic at the same speed, belted into a big metal machine that few drivers can easily ignore. Much safer and less conflict. On a bike, the rider is slower, smaller, and vastly more vulnerable. The Danger Factor skyrockets, and so it's STUPID to block one's hearing with headphones!

Tech sector risks GM-crops-like crackdown if it doesn't win back trust, warns privacy watchdog

Tikimon Silver badge

NOT "Luddite", just smart

"There is a wave of Luddite mentality redux that is sweeping the world..."

No, there is not. Calling someone a Luddite implies that they will reject a useful technology because they cannot handle or do not want change. Rejecting a New Thing for sound and considered reasons is NOT Luddite behavior. That's good sense being shown by people strong enough to not blindly follow fads and marketing.

On the other hand, adopting new tech because It's New! is accurately called "gullible." These are the ones calling people like me a Luddite. I've watched wave after wave of new technology roll by, some was good and lasted, some was shite and died out. I'm wise enough to know what I need or don't, and what's a good idea or not.

Sometimes Old Skull works best anyway. I recently switched to a safety razor instead of gee-whiz cartridge razors. I get a closer shave at five cents per blade versus $1.50 per cartridge that lasts the same time. I frequently use a 1920's hand drill, which goes anywhere, works in the rain, and never needs charging or a new $65 battery. That's not Luddite, that's just good sense.

'What's up, Skip?' asks paraglider – before 'roo beats the snot out of him

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: With all these deadly creatures I always asked myself

Don't worry mate. You live, you die, you live again! Kind of like weekends and workdays, really.

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Another reminder that smug gits are all too common

Hey City Boy, "wild animals" are EVERYWHERE. Either we wipe out the wildlife (no way!) or we coexist with them, total avoidance is not possible. I have several kinds of wildlife wander through my yard daily, including coyotes and various predatory birds. Peregrine falcons roost on an office building in downtown Atlanta - who's invading whose territory there?

The parachutist didn't mess with them at all, they ran a fair distance to attack HIM. There's no blame to assign here and you're a judgmental idiot to blame the evil nasty human. GAH...

Thought you'd seen everything there is to Ultima Thule? Check this out: IN STEREO!

Tikimon Silver badge


Maybe I'm just hungry, and as a Southern guy fried chicken is often on my mind. But mighty Odin, what monster space-bird did that leg COME from? Asteroid impacts could be the least of our problems if furious giant space chickens come to avenge their legions of slaughtered terrestrial descendants.

VOTE NOW! Which movie character/replicant would you choose to save us all from... (wait for it...) Angry Birds In Space?

FBI warns of SIM-swap scams, IBM finds holes in visitor software, 13-year-old girl charged over JavaScript prank...

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Caution.

I agonized for a year over whether to adopt a dog. In my case, that's the same as adopting a child, total integration as a family member and every bit of time and attention I would give to a human kid. Like so many other human-childless people the dog would BE my child. Last August I finally cracked and visited a shelter that a co-worker fosters dogs for. I found a sweet Coonhound/German Shedder mix, named her Kaylee and took her home.

I've never known so much happiness. Every "obligation" I worried about has turned out to be a source of joy. We've walked hundreds of miles together in all weather at all hours, met many nice people and dogs, enjoyed the outdoors when I might have sat at home instead. I've learned that whatever I'm doing, if she wants to play, we play for at least a few minutes. Annoyance? Interruption? Hell no, I always end up smiling and laughing and feeling great! I've become a clock-watcher, I want to go home and see my best girl who's waiting for me.

Dogs have complex personalities and every one different. Rescues either lost a good situation, or escaped a bad one and often have some baggage along. Love and patience can overcome those... same as we would give a hurt, unloved human child. Give someone like that a good loving home and they will blossom and love you forever. In many cases the question becomes, Who Rescued Who? Kaylee and I saved each other.

It's NOT for everyone. However, if you're vacillating like I did for so long... wanting a dogly friend and family, but worried about holding up your part of it... GO FOR IT. I should have done this long ago, but denied myself and a dog or two years of happiness. I'll be crushed when I lose her someday, but I'll go rescue another mutt. There's no replacing Kaylee, but I'll never be without a dog again as long as I live.

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: I feel let-down by ElReg readers

Dude... that sort of activity is highly illegal and Just Plain Awful. Do you even KNOW any jokes like that? Yick!

Tikimon Silver badge

I faked an early "AI" like that

I lost interest in coding after BASIC, but I did something similar in stores. After a few fast minutes of typing I left the machine on a tempting text prompt. When a key was pressed, it would return STOP THAT. Further key presses got I MEAN IT. LEAVE ME ALONE DAMMIT. DO YOU EVER WASH THOSE HANDS? ALL RIGHT THAT'S IT, I'M CALLING SECURITY. and so on. Of course I only got to see the fruits of my labor a few times, but in them early days people didn't know the embryonic PC's limits and weren't sure to disbelieve or not.

The moral, if there is one, might be that 30 years later people are still easily fooled by simple programming tricks into believing in machine intelligence.

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms

Tikimon Silver badge

Instant spy movie device!

This suggests a plot trick suitable for a Bond film. Jimmy is driving around in his modern Smart Connect Austin. Yes, really! I'm sure the "Q" who plugged an infected USB drive into the main network in front of everyone would think this was a marvelous idea and that the admin password "MhasAtinyDick" is strong. Anyway, the Evil Overlord's minions hack the car. They eavesdrop to learn what Bond knows about them and which porn he's watching on the in-vehicle entertainment system. Not like they really WANT to know that, but you get it all when you're hacking data. They track his location and send incorrect navigation info to the car, directing him to where they have an attack team waiting. When he unwittingly drives into the ambush, the evil minions disable the engine, unlock the doors, and change the system to show a Benny Hill episode. While Bond is distracted trying to get the Japanese tentacle clip back on, the evil minions jump him. When Bond turns up missing they'll ask Q to locate the car. He will then discover the password has been changed and Bond's subscription to Pornhub has been canceled.

Hey, I'd rent that on DVD.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Wow

I want to shave my beard because I can't friggin' stand all that hair on my face. I also have a decently manly chin on a not-unpleasant face, and don't need to use a beard to fake the chin or hide my frightening visage.

No, it "ain't natural" as the poster said. Neither is the haircut he and other bearded ones regularly get, so that Natural argument falls right apart.

FBI boss: Never mind Russia and social media, China ransacks US biz for blueprints, secrets at 'surprisingly' huge scale

Tikimon Silver badge

Fallacy detector - swap a term or two...

"It's a public safety issue. We are a very strong believer in door locks and curtains on windows, but we are duty bound to protect American people. This can't be a sustainable end state, an unfettered space for terrorists and spies to hide their communications."

The same arguments given for why encryption is bad ALSO apply to door locks and curtains in our homes. It's illegal for cops to stand outside your house and look inside, or to simply walk in and poke around whenever they feel like it. To do so requires a SEARCH WARRANT, signed by a judge who determines if there's sufficient cause to violate someone's rights.

Those same protections ALREADY apply to our digital lives, no matter how hard the pigs try to pretend they don't. The New Western Stasi do NOT need to spy more, instead they should be totally stopped until they obtain a specific warrant for specific information. There's a reason these protections were written into the Constitution, because our founders knew that governments can't be trusted.

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

Tikimon Silver badge

The missing element in ALL of these is...

Duress options! We should be able to unlock and use our widget with one finger/eye/PIN or combination of these. Another one - just alike but a different finger/eye etc - would provide a duress option, or several. If being mugged, the duress method unlocks the phone and calls for help, while perhaps experiencing "network problems". If enduring an illegal search at the border or stopped by a nosy cop, Duress One unlocks MOST of the phone but leaves certain other hidden elements encrypted or locked out. These let your attacker believe you're cooperating to avoid nasty consequences. Duress Two could be used to trigger a reset or brick the device. That's when you're already in bad trouble and trying to cover your butt.

The debate is stupidly limited to how to unlock a device, or keep it encrypted. We need other options than Submit or Refuse when faced with cops or criminal attackers.

This is also simple way to reduce ATM muggings as well. One PIN to access the account, plus a duress PIN to fake a transaction, call the police, and maybe even dispense marked bills. Strange that so many industry "experts" can't seem to think of this.

Smart home owner? Don't make your crib easy pickings for the smart home pwner

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Not really sure that the world has changed that much

Yes, it's changed quite a lot! First, the so-called "stereotypical hacker" you describe has not been a notable player or serious threat for years. The Good Stuff is written by well-funded professionals, for whom it is a BUSINESS. It's not about individuals on pathetic ego trips, but well-run outfits making sophisticated malware to steal millions. And hoodies? Seriously?

Second, nobody will sit outside a house on the off chance the residents will leave, that's NOT convenient and is a good way to get questioned by cops. Instead, they can sit comfortably at home, in their van, etc. and monitor dozens of potential burglary sites.

The world has changed indeed. Never could so much info be easily gathered from so many sources, stored in searchable form and shared around with a click. Dystopia doesn't begin to cover it.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: "Insane homeowners association"

Discovered what HOAs really stood for when shopping for my last house. Anyone I asked "do you have an HOA?" made disgusted faces or actually snarled at the mention.

So I filtered my home searches to exclude HOA properties. That eliminated about 90% of the homes on the market! It's difficult to avoid the horrid things. AND YET we managed to find a great house in an awesome 40+ YO non-HOA neighborhood. Everyone keeps their place looking nice, none are painted orange with pink trim, and yard Nazis don't trespass looking for things to fine us for.

I'll live in a hut in the woods before accepting an HOA's interference.

Tech industry titans suddenly love internet privacy rules. Wanna know why? We'll tell you

Tikimon Silver badge

Holding back the tide...

You can build a seawall to hold back the ocean tides and storms. However, one day an unexpectedly large and violent storm will cause a small breach or work around the edges. Once the water starts flowing, the breach/bypass enlarges. More breaches form. Catch it quick and you can stop a few small leaks. Once it gets to a certain point the erosion can't be stopped and the tide rolls in unhindered.

Don't underestimate the power of fifty states of annoyed citizens and non-Washington lawmakers. Marijuana is racing toward decriminalization in spite of the best oppression the War On Drugs could muster (and the best lobbying from the alcohol companies). Don't forget that these state laws were passed in direct opposition to an existing Federal ban, all but daring the Feds to interfere. At this point the federal government would be fools to enforce the national ban in states where it's been voted legal. The backlash would overwhelm them and they know it.

The move toward consumer privacy is such a movement, as is state or city-sponsored telecom development. There are already too many leaks, too many places the water is flowing through. The frantic lobbying shows the fear in the tech industry. They have managed to lock down Washington well enough, but that's a single entity. Trying to control fifty fractious states? They can play Whack-A-mole if it amuses them but it can't be stopped. Not anymore.

Microsoft 'welcomes dialog' over HoloLens use by the military, but doesn't have to listen

Tikimon Silver badge

The Blindly Naive here is astounding

The best and wildest technology most often tends to come from the military and their weapons programs. Later, said tech trickles down to the consumer level. They developed ultra-stabilized cameras on helicopters for target acquisition and fire control. OMG Evil Military Tech! Kills people! Guess what Planet Earth used to get those great shots of undisturbed animals from a half-mile away? Who developed the high-resolution satellite imaging we all love today? Hint: it wasn't to monitor herds of gazelles. Eye-tracking? Targeting systems for pilots. Night vision scopes. GPS location. The list goes on and on. What these strident little snowflakes are too dumb to realize is that they will have to go live naked in the woods to avoid all military-related technology or the companies that make it. It's not possible to make civilian-only technology. The Army even uses toothbrushes.

Most of these self-important idiots don't care that these tech advances reduce the risk to Our Troops in the unpleasant prosecution of warfare. They're fine with our soldiers dying, because they hate the military and everyone in it. They really believe we can simply throw our weapons away and world peace will descend on the planet. Of course they've forgotten how well Belgium (the Invasion Highway) declaring neutrality worked out in two world wars, and myriad other examples of disarmament inviting attack.

So "you're not buying it" huh? Don't want your spending to fund "weapons"? Silly rabbit, you ALREADY HAVE!

Visited the Grand Canyon since 2000? You'll have great photos – and maybe a teensy bit of unwanted radiation

Tikimon Silver badge

Radon warning for the applicable...

If you live in an area that's considered to have a high radon risk, TEST YOUR DWELLING. In-home radon gave me and a cat lung cancer a year apart. Killed the cat, I only lost a lung lobe. Never smoked.

Use a digital tester, not the stupid vials that must sit for weeks and test one spot only. We used a couple of those that gave low readings, but the expense kept our test points few and we missed the hot spots. Since then I got a digital tester (~$200 on Amazon) and have checked every room in the house. I've got the radon under control now, and use the tester to monitor ongoing levels. Mine shows daily, weekly, and monthly levels since last reset for the location it's in. Quick check, or long-term average, digital has you covered.

Trust me. DO THIS.

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

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: four unambiguous numbers

Or you can use ten to show time and date for most purposes. Right now it is 021919.1137. One could add seconds if needed, but I'm never that rushed thank goodness.

AM/PM is for preschoolers. Days have 24 hours, learn to count over 12 for heaven's sake...

Revealed: Numbers show extent of security fears about security biz Kaspersky Lab

Tikimon Silver badge

It's probably just a dip, not a crash

When the US gummint started its witch hunt against Kaspersky, the ignorant, the gullible, and those who the Feds can lean on dropped Kaspersky AV. Pretty much everyone who is going to follow that herd probably already has. Now it's back to business as usual, to some degree. There are still those who will avoid Kaspersky, but there are many others who will decide to use them anyway and those are future sales.

Not to mention, for some of us the NSA's dislike is for a security product is a glowing endorsement! That might in fact help international sales.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

Tikimon Silver badge

The monsters are gone now, come down!

Giant pandas clearly are following poor lifestyle choices in an awful environment, and doing poorly as expected. But WHY did they get this way? If a group of once-successful bears moves into a marginal area and starts living on nutrition-poor food, they will not develop into a new species. They will die out instead due to poorly adaptive behaviors. For giant pandas to get where they are, their current lifestyle had to be POSITIVELY adaptive at some point in their past. They had to be more successful than "regular" bears, as weird as that first sounds.

When does it pay to live somewhere marginal? When the better living conditions are full of monsters or endemic disease. Somewhere in the past, something nasty arrived to decimate panda populations. The survivors were driven up into the mountains, where there's not much high-quality food to eat. Meanwhile down below, the rest of the population was wiped out or driven away. Eking out a bare living beats dying any day. I suggest the giant panda is a survivor of such an event.

Every giant panda alive is descended from the ones most compelled to live high and eat bamboo, so that lifestyle is very strongly wired into them. The problem is that now the giant panda could be making a better living farther down with a broader diet. The monsters are gone or the epidemic has faded into the background, but the panda keeps living on the fringe. In the new context, their once-successful behavior has become extremely maladaptive.

This happens in the natural world all the time, and it might require some pretty weird changes to survive. When the crisis has passed, the survivors MAY eventually try different behavior and become better adapted to the changed environment. Some do not and fade away into extinction. Barring a radical change in behavior, the giant panda - in the current conditions - is indeed a failure and would probably die out eventually without human interference or assistance.

They're miserable losers now, but in the past this lifestyle was their only chance to keep the species alive...

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Station idents become invisible to the TV viewer

THIS is why I don't have cable TV or any of the other media distribution. It does NOT become invisible. It's like an annoying guest constantly talking and pulling me out of the story I'm TRYING to get immersed in.

Seriously. Every year or two I get the urge to sign up and open the floodgates of entertainment. Then I see a video with a Station Bug prominently displayed in the corner and remember why I never do it. Not even going to rail about the popups, pop-ins, scrolling tickers and other ad-related crap they inject, but that's a factor as well.

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Bent coat-hanger and curtain wire

Also handy is an inexpensive pistol-sized crossbow with string tied to the bolt. It lets you thread through the maze of ducts and pipes where an RC car can't go, and where you'd never see your cat again. Use blunt-tip bolts in case you miss and hit something important. We used to throw a weighted line, but pitching through small openings from atop a ladder makes aiming tricky. And anyway, this is more fun!

Yay, we got a B for maths. Literally, a bee: Little nosy nectar nerds smart enough to add, abstract numbers

Tikimon Silver badge

Aimless musing - Chicken or Egg?

So, can other animals count? Of course they can, but the semantic answer is heavily dependent on what one means by "counting". As far as I know, other animals have not named the whole numbers in sequence like we have. However, they clearly can tell More or Less, and in a nameless way they can recognize and compare the quantity of items. To a point anyway, anything over five to a rabbit is Hrair. It's such a valuable survival skill that it's hardly surprising it's appeared in so many families of life.

It only seems like a valid question because we humans approach it from the other end these days. We name all the numbers and put them in order and call that Counting. Other animals don't, so we question if they can assess and compare quantities. That's a deceptively biased view, since ordered number names aren't necessary to do this. We humans don't have any exclusive counting powers, we have only refined the innate ability to recognize quantity etc. that our ancestors - and many many other animals - already had.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: IOT=Crap - remotes needed, but wrong reason

"But who would buy a new TV without a remote control these days?*"

There's a functional reason why that has NOTHING to do with being lazy. When I were a wee lad, we had four local television stations, no cable, and a twist dial selector did the job just fine. Now there are hundreds of cable channels and multiple source inputs to choose from. We could technically put scads of buttons on the TV but that would make it bigger ( and fugly) for no benefit. Ergo, a remote control is really necessary as a multi-input, multi-channel selector.

Admittedly, I'll gladly stand to change channels, but it's damn handy to hit MUTE from my comfy perch. I change channels infrequently, but silence annoying ads, menus, etc, quite often!

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Minor? That depends..

"In my experience, the amount of stress can vary greatly." No kidding! When I've speed-walked the dog the last half-mile home, or dart into the house form the car having barely made it, you can bet my heart is pounding. All manner of stress bubbling around due to fighting an unplanned emergence.

And yanno, once you get past the WTF? factor, this is a pretty good idea.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: you could simply not put the creepy things in your home

"Then again I am not a tinfoil hat paranoid open that believes everything the internet has to say.."

Neither are we, snowflake. You need to work on your critical thinking skills to figure out what's worth listening to. The big tech companies have been caught overreaching and violating our privacy over and over. But you don't believe that for some weird reason. Incident after incident fails to convince you. You are exactly their TARGET MARKET - gullible buyers who can't or won't recognize the frightening implications of these products.

Living proof that the Internet never made anyone smarter.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Tikimon Silver badge

Niggling gripe...

Pigeons coo, they don't caw. That'll be crows wot does that. They be smart birds, calling for reinforcements or to have a larf at something.

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Promise to do better

"I wonder if the Winklevoss twins would have been as evil if they had managed to maintain ownership of their creation? Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

YES the twins would have been better. As far as I know, they're not conscienceless psychopaths like Zuckerberg. Power didn't corrupt him, he was always an asshole.

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

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: We dream of automating.....

Not all of us! As I get older, I'm going the reverse direction. Doing it myself gets me off my ass and moving and I know it's done right. Measure 500ml of liquid? That's what measuring cups are for, read the bottom of the meniscus and you're close enough. Why spend $$$ on Alexa, when I already have a Tiki to do all that and more? Dream of automating to become indolent? No thanks!

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Bad planning

"Kudzu has plenty of uses, which is why it is established as an invasive species in the US."

Typical of humans, kudzu was introduced to the US specifically as an erosion control measure without any pre-distribution testing. Controls erosion? Good enough! The government actually paid farmers to plant it, and it was called Creeping Roosevelt by many. Also Mile-A-Minute Vine.

Sorry spud, the problem isn't that this wonder plant is lying around ignored. Industrial use of any plant typically requires it's farmed somewhere you can collect it. The PROBLEM is that there's a patch here, some there, over there, not convenient to collect for business use. In the meantime, it's burying land and and killing trees, and it's growing up to three feet a day in summer. Maybe one could farm it for products, but the random patches eating the South don't count and are simply a pest.

China's really cotton'd on to this whole Moon exploration thing: First seed sprouts in lunar lander biosphere

Tikimon Silver badge

Bio-Weapons Reactor Prototype

Can all you technical types have really missed the REAL purpose of this experiment? As pointed out, there have been other bio experiments done before. But this time, the environment box is poorly shielded. They hope exposure to cosmic radiation will mutate the flies over several generations.

All those Bond movies missed the boat, China will be the first to have a secret moon base. While Western space agencies languish under budget cuts, the Chinese will develop a race of gigantic space mutant flies. One fine day they will fly to Russia and the United States and begin eating everything in sight. Giant maggots will wallow over the landscape, devouring what the flies don't and crushing everything else. After developing in the harsh conditions on the Moon, they will be tough enough to survive any conventional weapons attack. The West will collapse under the onslaught.

And you thought the little fly was cute...

Googlers to flood social media with tales of harassment in bid to end forced arbitration

Tikimon Silver badge
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Re: Social media "campaign" versus legal challenge

Companies with unethical practices they'd rather not face trouble over work hard to keep them hidden. One whistleblower is not enough, one sex crime victim can be ignored or marginalized. They simply don't have a loud voice to attract attention, and are easily deflected by power, money, and armies of lawyers.

Shove such a company into the public eye airing the dirty details for all to see and they're forced to respond. They can fix the problems, spin like mad and hope, make empty promises and wait for the storm to pass, etc. However it turns out, NOTHING happens until that public exposure and getting large numbers of people interested.

True, this won't change anything where a legal challenge would. However, more exposure than they can sweep under the rug will keep the problem in the public eye, and any legal challenge might then have a fighting chance.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

Tikimon Silver badge

Planned and expected escalation!

You can guarantee these blocks will be bypassed by VPNs or some other trick. THEN come the calls for MORE restrictions. At every step, real people find ways around the BS restrictions, and that is the ongoing excuse for more government lockdown and control. This crap always starts small and is expanded indefinitely, deliberately, and with careful consideration. Truth and fairness get no welcome from power hungry politicians.

Too many politicians have no interest in solving problems. They want to EXPLOIT problems for political gain and power, and will invent a supposed problem if none is handy at the moment. Solving a problem means a pat on the back and nobody gives them power anymore. Much better to ride a conflict as hard as one can and milk it for reasons to be given more POWER. In fact, it's best to invent something that's not really an issue, as it can never be solved and will be an endless excuse for more government control.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: You missed one...

"Adult scooters of any kind, electric or not. It's an infantile and inefficient mode of transport."

Smug gits like this used to make the same stupid comments about adults on bicycles. I used to take public transport to work. It was one mile level ground to the train station, trade later to a bus, then a quarter-mile to work from the bus stop. I could drive to the train station and have a car sit all day, or get there under my own power. Sorry, that's too far to walk when I'd rather be back in bed. So I used a Xootr, an adult-sized kick scooter. It folded up and made a good footrest on the train and bus. If I detoured to a store, it carried easily in one hand. For my short runs it worked great. I later switched to a bike and rode that instead of taking the bus, but it was difficult getting it on a crowded train (there was space nominally reserved for bikes but real world and all).

My wife and I have also used them to get around beachside towns and similar places where parking is a pain and you're not in a hurry. We don't have to lock it up like a bike, just carry it along. My concrete-floored downstairs - in addition to a Tiki Lounge, bike shop, gym, and airgun range - has a scooter track that winds through the rooms. Guests and party-goers have a blast scootering around down there. So don't knock it until you've maybe tried it!

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

Tikimon Silver badge
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Meet the Bug-A-Salt, destroyer of arthropods

The only weapon you need to dispatch spiders and most other home-invading arthropods is the Bug-A-Salt. It's a plastic spring-loaded pump shotgun that fires a burst of ordinary table salt with an effective range of about three feet. The salt blast can be directed into cracks and corners and behind breakable things, unlike a flyswatter or broom or newspaper. The salt is non-toxic to pets, won't damage surfaces, it usually doesn't splatter the bug so no mess, and salt vacuums up during regular cleaning. With practice, you can shoot bugs out of the air. Tape a small flashlight under it to illuminate dark corners.

I'm a proud owner, and can attest to its effectiveness. I bought mine when I had an infestation of flour moths, I mean HUNDREDS at once all through the house. Cleaned out the kitchen and pantry multiple times to no avail. I later found The Hive, a half-empty bag of cat food hidden behind something downstairs and removed their main breeding ground. Before then, I destroyed thousands of moths with the Bug A Salt. It also does stellar duty as a spider killer. In fact I blew away a couple of black widows in my Tiki Lounge, then fired a few blasts into the dark little corner to clean out any juveniles or eggs.

It usually gets a laugh at first mention, but it's really a nice design and works great.

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Ticks and Lymes disease

Bzzt, wrong. If you get the tick off within 24 hours (or so) it hasn't had time to transmit the bugs for Lyme et al.

This is the basis for Nexguard (for example) flea and tick medication for dogs. The ticks/fleas bite the animal, then are killed by the medication circulating in their blood. The animal MUST be bitten for the parasites to get killed by the drug, but it happens before they infect your pet.

It's 2019, and from Beijing to Blighty folk are still worried about slurp-happy apps

Tikimon Silver badge

Missing the damn point!

""All relevant internet companies have made active efforts to strengthen the protection of users' personal information.""

NO NO NO! It's not about protecting the info they've stolen from us, it's about not having it taken in the first place! No data harvesting, no data to "protect".

It's also ludicrous to talk about "protecting" our private data when the company is going to sell it to someone they approve of. That's simply vetted, secondhand theft of personal info.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

Tikimon Silver badge

And the obvious next step...

Assuming this works and is actually taken up... Product manufacturers won't be happy with "we can recognize the sound of your bags being ripped open". They will want to make SURE the competing snack maker won't mistakenly get credit. I predict that they would rapidly include some electronic widget to play a chime or jingle when opened. Twofold purpose, to let the spy ear know it was Crazy Crackers you opened, and to reinforce the Crazy Crackers jingle in the consumer's mind.

Ah, I just realized. Rather than have a cracker pack include a sound player, use RFID or other cheap tag to Id the product. Then the spyware calls the mothership for the proper jingle and it is played BY THE SPEAKER. Much more simple, and easily changed on the fly. Yeah, that's the way it'll go.

Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Hand Holding

"No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!"

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: "Superficial Marketing Tosh" Virgin is hardly a pathfinder

"So don't be so disparaging, most of the innovations in transport have started this way, and it is a necessary step on the path to more widespread use."

I get where you're going, and agree. Problem is, this is not how space transport is starting. This kind of flight profile was done with the X-15 program decades ago. "Space transport" implies (to me anyway) that one transports something from Point A to Point B. Virgin's program is not Transport, it's merely an expensive carnival ride, where the loading and unloading are done at the same platform a few minutes apart with a thrill ride in the middle.

That's ALL this project will ever be good for. Other companies are working on Transport, moving people and cargo from Earth to orbital destinations and sometimes bringing them back again. As far as speculative "deliver something to space and hand off to another ship" Space-X style rockets would do that better with less complexity and risk.

Taylor's gonna spy, spy, spy, spy, spy... fans can't shake cam off, shake cam off

Tikimon Silver badge

The dawn of digital "checkpoints" for government control

As noted, recognition tech is being taken up rapidly. It's only a matter of time before the government demands access to those scanners and data. ALL of them. Like Google, the spymasters believe its their right to know everything about everyone and store it forever. Soon facial recognition will be installed at shopping malls, train stations, sports venues, public buildings, anywhere a thin claim for preventive security can be made. Desire to recognize customers (for "rewards" of course, lol) will lead to most retail using it as well.

Think CCTV is invasive? It's usually mounted kinda high up, often providing imagery that lacks enough detail to ID people. Facial recognition will be at eye level and close, taking excellent shots of our faces. CCTV has a vague "watch for trouble" mission. Facial recognition has ONE purpose, to record and if possible identify everyone who passes it.

If you combine spying through your phone, home-automation setup, and public face recognition, you already have the effective elements of the Telescreen from "1984". With access to all these systems, the spymasters will watch and listen to us everywhere we go. It's worse actually, because Orwell didn't imagine huge searchable databases to store and serve up all that info.

All this tech was supposed to make our lives better, not bind us in digital shackles...

UK Supreme Court considers whether spy court should be immune to legal probes

Tikimon Silver badge

What do laws matter?

...when you're above the law?

That's the real point of all this for the spymasters. They believe they are above/below/outside/ARE the law, and have to answer to nobody. Ergo, their actions should be secret, without oversight, without redress or recourse. They will never accept being reined in, and in the unlikely event restrictions are passed they will simply ignore them, like they're ignoring our legal protections now.

Oversight? Limits? Even if you add restrictions, what the hell is anyone going to do about violations? NOTHING. Just like has happened since Ed Snowden ripped the mask off.

OneDrive Skype integration goes live aaand... OneDrive falls over in Europe

Tikimon Silver badge

Exactly why software BLOWS and is getting worse!

"Hey, did we change this because we think it's a better design and that we've proven that"

What an arrogant, clueless twit! It doesn't matter if your stupid TEAM think it's a better design! It's the USERS who are important! You prove you made it better when the USERS are MORE HAPPY. If you make your users UN-happy, you have made the product WORSE!

Like Apple, who don't even bother with user testing anymore, they ask other Apple fanbois if they like it. Stupid, stupid, stupid...

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

Tikimon Silver badge
IT Angle

Only in Hollywood

Gettin' your hands dirty ain't smart where pathogens are lurking. Only in movies do "scientists" dig around in piles of steaming poop barehanded. Yick! Real scientists wear impervious gloves!

As do others who deal in icky substances. I saw a vet check a horse before sale to see if she was preggers. He put on a long vinyl sleeve thingie, then shoved his whole damn arm into the mare up to his shoulder. Stood there with a thoughtful look on his face, feeling around for a minute. He then declared her "clean" and removed the arm with the most godawful schlorping sound, and peeled off three feet of slimy glove. When I feel like IT is just too stupid for words, I think of that job and disk errors don't seem so bad.

Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier

Tikimon Silver badge

Aging bands to age whiskey!

Seems appropriate.

Wow. Apple's only gone and killed off Mac, iPad, iPhone family... figures for units sold to fans

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Revenue up, units down

""...a unit of sale is less relevant for us at this point compared to the past."

So in plain language, Apple is all about The Bottom Line, the end to which all means are directed, and the primary measure of the company's success. Hard to reconcile that with their holier-than-the-competition PR...

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: Buzzwords...

"Rap is just Country music without the country, or the music."

WRONG. Country music does not glorify crime and "gangstas". It does not treat women like mindless objects for sex or label them "bitches" or "Ho's". Rap is a sometimes toxic collection of misogyny and criminal attitudes loaded with F-words.

Country music is at worst kinda boring. It tends to be about the life situations the rest of us non-criminal types care about. Life and its windings, love gained or lost, bad jobs, dogs and automobiles. Your kids can listen to it with no worries about nasty language or misogyny. It's almost the diametric opposite in content and intent from Rap.

I'm not even a fan of Country Music, but it doesn't deserve to be lumped in with Rap/HipHop.

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

Tikimon Silver badge

Re: To be human.

AT LEAST IT'S SHORT! I had an African national professor for Organic Chem II. Great guy and excellent English with a charming accent. However, he ended most sentences with "does that make sense." I deliberately dropped the question mark, he said it as a placeholder and without a questioning inflection most times. I started making hash marks every time he did it one day and noted 30 repetitions in 45 minutes. Apparently someone talked to him about it, because one day he started visibly trying to not say it to end sentences, grinning at himself when he slipped. Like I said, great guy and I actually passed that beast of a class.

Yep, another typical irrelevant anecdote. I gotta have a purpose.


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