* Posts by Alistair

1284 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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El Reg drills into chatbot hype: The AIs that want to be your web butlers

Alistair
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feeling lazy today:

Will just leave this here:

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Alistair
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Re: Unreal

@ Dr Syntax:

in both cases, Index!

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Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

Alistair
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Missed title opportunity Ed.

Satellite clocks from Swish Swiss institute go all cuckoo on Galileo!

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Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

Alistair
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Re: Srtaws in the wind

@KO'b

We're retiring SPARC, Power, Itanium and PARisc hardware left right and centre, everything is going to hyperdense x86_64.

99.9% RHEL here, with only the 'full kit appliance' stuff on OEL. Even our venerable Z28 is getting gutted.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

Alistair
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Interesting times these are.

Pvt Manning dumped a crapton of documents to the WikiLeaks folks that basically revealed that the US military actions in the middle east included illegal actions by American military staff. Illegal in terms of US law and illegal in terms of global military conventions.

In terms of *how* this happened, who gives a fat rats ass? The Internet Media Personality that has been couch surfing for too long may have "Manipulated" Pvt Manning, the media could have "Manipulated" Pvt Manning, or perhaps Pvt Manning was just plain seriously horrified at what was there.

President B Obama decides to commute the vast majority of Pvt Manning's sentence. This, in most respects is a sensible move. Pvt Manning's sentence was long. I do believe that I've read a summation by someone in a global NGO thinktank that pointed out that the sentence itself may have contravened a little known loop in American military law. There are other reasons why, on the tail end of his presidency he should be cleaning up messes like this.

The Internet Media Celebrity enshrined in the Ecuadorian Embassy has decided to participate in a twatteratti posturing competition with Prez.Tweeter.Trump. Sadly for IMCetEE, B Obama's actions have basically placed IMCetEE in the position of having to get off the couch and dance. Considering IMCetEE's penchant for celebrity and luxury, I seriously doubt he'll be putting his money where his mouth is. <*cough*>

Finally, along with all this, the lot that seem to think that Prez.Tweeter.Trump is about to change anything at all in the United States of Goldman Sachs loose their collective mind yet again because B Obama is trying to do something even so slightly correct.

Manning commutation makes sense.

Snowden hasn't even been charged, as far as I recall, let alone convicted of a crime.

While wall street speculation banks and the military industrial complex *still* ran the united states under B Obama's watch, I think he put more style, class and grace into the 'reality tv show' that is the presidency than we've seen from any president since before I was born. He also tried to make a very few small changes that *might* have improved the american situation just a little tiny bit. <note : tried : >

Sadly, the *media* has spent the last umpty-leven years doing everything it can to polarize every component of american society apart from every other component of american society. This keeps the american voters at *each others* throats. Its quite simple, if the left is beating the shit out of the right who is beating the shit out of the poor who are beating the shit out of the police, then they're all too busy to notice who is running the train off the bridge.

Seriously?

If I could quit, pack up everyone I care about and put together enough acreage in the farthest reaches of the south pacific, disconnected from "Modern Society" to make sure we'd be fed, I *just* might do it. The amount of stupid flying about these days, even here is making me seriously want to just leave the game.

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Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

Alistair
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AWwwwwww to heck with all these damn studies.

Tea, Coffee, chocolate. Good for you bad for you dammit --

I'm just gonna go have a scotch.

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Seagate hauls out fat form factor throwback hard drive

Alistair
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Re: Gah - I thought that meant a return of the...

I know of at least one Bigfoot drive that lives in the back of a rowboat. On a long rope.

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Phoney McPhoneface: The thrilling tale of ZTE's crowdsourced mobe

Alistair
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Re: Phoney McPhoneface

You could set that as your HotSpot SSID the next time you're on an aircraft, preferably just moments before takeoff.

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Dodgy Dutch developer built backdoors into thousands of sites

Alistair
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Re: If a developer has access to a site's code, this is trivial

I doubt I'd have a cosmetics designer touching my code.

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Samsung fans flames of burning Galaxy Note 7 mystery

Alistair
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Pop, Whoosh, unh unh.

I truly appreciate the whooooof of 5 litres of gasoline on 5 or 6 broken up skids in the middle of a big pit, on rapidly cooling September evening under an open sky and miles from the nearest cell tower.

However I suspect Samsung will have a convoluted combination of (Anita Ekbert, Mamie Van Duren) software errors, and an odd sensor embedded in the battery that periodically sent out a strange signal, causing the software to do bizarre things.

<Hmm I'm in a musical mood today apparently>

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SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

Alistair
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oook oook reporting

Rocket not go boom

Rocket go Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh

Strange phones can now go RingRing for more time!

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US Marines seek more than a few good men (3,000 men and women, actually) for cyber-war

Alistair
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Re: Bit of empire building here?

@ Pen-y-gors:

"Cyber-skills are needed but wouldn't it make more sense to have a single team that provides a central cyber-resource?"

The key word in your sentence is "sense". This is military. And US military. And US military Industrial Complex.

Go back and read US history. Several versions since there isn't a single version that stands as correct.

a) Corruption is rampant. Everywhere it is about making someone OTHER than the serving soldier money.

b) endlessly, needlessly, reduplicated redundancy is an absolute and utter requirement in order for the profits to make it to the sadly ignored and maligned profiteers of wallstreet.

c) for each and every iteration of a process in the services invoke (b) as frequently as possible in order to invoke (c).

Oh, and while we're at it, save as much money as possible when it comes to treating *anything* the serving soldier is diagnosed with. Just to be saving the profits for the poor maligned profiteers of wallstreet.

<who? Me? no, I'm a Canadian. Sadly, if it is at all possible, we treat our service (men/women) even more atrociously than do the 'murricans, and Yes, I know more than a few personally>

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Dieselgate: VW pleads guilty, will cough up $4.3bn, throws 6 staff under its cheatware bus

Alistair
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Re: Where does the $4.3e9 go?

@Herby

It will pay CyberGulie to build a CyberWall!

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Alistair
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Re: Urrm:

Oh --- Look:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38600012

Now, is Fiat/Chrysler now considered a foreign manufacturer?

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Alistair
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Urrm:

"The stiffness of the penalty and the pursuit of criminal charges against individuals is an unusually tough deal for a major corporation – and banks – in the US United States of Goldman Sachs"

FTFY.

Lets see if they get around to chasing down either Ford or GM for something similar.

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Embrace the world of pr0nified IT with wide open, er, arms

Alistair
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Re: Gamification of exercise

@Esme

I don't derby on wheels. I waltz.

Does your group use proper skates or those horrendous inline things?

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Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

Alistair
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Inspiration(al) lock screen messages

Sadly, I rather get both sides of the situation here.

Life in general can be quite challenging. Sometimes we choose to take on something that truly terrifies us, and 'terrify' is relative, so for some folks that could be getting out the door to go see a friend. In some cases that working up the courage for that 'first step' to a challenge is the hardest part of success.

Sadly juxtaposed on cliffs like that, while the sentiment can stand, the fact is that mental health is a substantial issue, and folks who feel cornered in their lives could well see that as encouraging them to finally take their exit. (Umm .. a Black Mirror episode comes to mind).

Personally I'm not wont to make light of either end of the message portrayed in the screen, but rather to keep an open mind about both. As for MS pulling the combination, I don't particularly blame them. Hopefully they find something a bit more apropos in the way of a quote for that image. It is a pretty image.

(and thanks for the bit about TPB)

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You know what, maybe Tabby's star ate a planet, ponder space eggheads

Alistair
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@YAO-FM:

Part of the issue here is that all TV/Movie/SF entertainment show this process happening over *minutes* at best. Nature is *not* McDonalds. Your natural phenomena tend to take a *heck* of a lot longer to occur at solar scale. I'll grant you that once things start scaling down a good bit, things can happen faster. (quasars etc).

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MongoDB hackers now sacking ElasticSearch

Alistair
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Mr & Mrs BlackHat

Have received the December bill for their credit cards and are off to work.

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Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

Alistair
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Ayudame! Go CyberGulie Go!

Watch as CyberGulie jumps on his CyberJet to fly down to the CyberBorder to inspect the BrandNew CyberWall being built by modern CyberAmerican warrior workers and paid for by CyberMexican CyberPesos!

/sarc

<the above in Dora the explorer voiceover>

Okay. The fun part here is that Prez.Tweeter.Trump actually at one time had something that was called a "reality TV" show. This presidency is going to be more hysterically entertaining than that disaster of prime time. The only reason it isn't *FUNNY* is that it *IS* real.

<Hysteria != Humour>

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Train your self-driving car AI in Grand Theft Auto V – what could possibly go wrong?

Alistair
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Canuck issue.

I wonder, not having played GTAV, does it snow in San Andreas?

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Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

Alistair
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Linux and (doesn't quite work) drivers

I've run into only one wifi nic in the last few years that presented issues in linux and the issue was ACPI based - grub options for acpi can resolve these issues. - This can cause other issues with hardware monitoring tools, but the cases are a very slim collision.

Honestly - having dealt with some seriously bleeding edge hardware of late in the lab, I've not found hardware that was not supported (at least in basic form) by the RHEL 6 or 7 series. There *are* vendor proprietary drivers for things like nVME and 10G/40G/Infiniband that have either more options or better options than are presented in the open source kernel drivers, but I've not found the hardware 'failing to work' out of the box.

Worst case I've dealt with was a hybrid Infiniband/10Ge network card and proprietary SFP pair - the default kernel open source driver had issues recognizing the SFP as being 10Ge, as a result it loaded by default the inifinband options. This was resolved in modprobe.d/ config settings and by blacklisting the infiniband driver in the initrd, but loading it *after* the 10Ge driver. The proprietary driver also had issues with the switches we were connected to due to overflow signalling. - so - in general -- linux has come a hell of a long way in the last 12 years.

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Alistair
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Up and coming legal mandates in the US

The bikini will be banned as vile sexual abuse of the female form, and is to be viewed as a predatory sexual instrument.

FBI: Excuse me <Cloud service provider><ISP><Computer repair operator>, can you find us people with bikini photos? We can offer financial incentives!

Lets take the "Abusive/Pedo/Rape/Murder/terrible thing" out of the equation and then re assess the circumstances somewhat. When you do that, the fact that MS is scanning their cloud data *at all*, most especially since it is the *default* storage point in their newest OS installations that set of actions becomes seriously questionable in and of itself.

That we have individuals who are claiming that (I use claim here as the cases are not concluded and not written in stone) they have suffered emotional and psychological damage as a result of having to review the material they found does not strike me as in any way unexpected.

That the claim is that MS failed to provide sufficient support for these individuals, well, its fairly clear that MS is not in this game to pay anyone one red cent that they don't have to so its rather likely that they didn't provide appropriate support. Appropriate support would be expensive. PTSD is a real thing. And some folks have higher tolerances on the Scoville scale than others, just as one example, so PTSD could be in a similar way variable in affect. Perhaps there should be *appropriate testing of the candidates* before they are so assigned, rather than trying to mop up after the job has repaved the worker's psyche?

I *DO* get the "They was huntin pedos!!" side of the equation. Social morality at *this* time frames paedophilia as a horrendous crime.

What other crimes will social morality dictate in the future?

At what point do we as a society decide that fear and terror has been dictated to us in order to keep us distracted from the fact that we are still to this day effectively slaves, permitted just sufficient freedom to distract us from our slavery? What do you do when the decision is made to enforce the donation of organs, when you no longer 'really need' them?

A private company, bulk storing user's data as part of the default installation is scanning that bulk data for evidence of crimes using barely trained operations staff who have no legal mandate and no legal training .

Jesus FUCK people. This is not slippery slope territory. This is half way down the cliff after stepping off territory.

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FBI takes gag out of Cloudflare's mouth after three-year legal battle

Alistair
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As my mother puts it

Truth and Justice in the American Way.

Jedgar was a result of the times. Oliver Stone's series on American history is a good input if you want to get the idea of why the system is bent the way it is.

@AC "But this all happened on Barry's watch"

What B. Obama will stand out for in historical terms is that he did this with a level of grace and style that we've not seen in a hell of a long time. I do believe that he honestly tried to change one or two small things. At least as a front man he played his role well. The Bush and Clinton attempts at dynasty need to be sheared off at the toes, and Trump is just the utter opposite of Obama.

I stand by the United States of Goldman Sachs comments. And will stand behind that assessment until such time as we have a new Glass-Stegal rule and the investment banks are evicted from the commodities markets (Thanks GWB).

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How to secure MongoDB – because it isn't by default and thousands of DBs are being hacked

Alistair
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Agile DevOps Gone Wild

DevOps: Hey, operations? We have this idea and we need a honkin big nosql DB to play with, can you set that up tomorrow morning?

OPS: How much space do you need and, No, we'll need 10 days at least.

DevOps: Uhhh, we're not sure how much space we need, its just an idea right now.

OPS: get back to us when you know what you need please.

DevOps: Hey, Look, AWS has these things, and they're cheap, fire up a few and lets use that.

10 Days later:

OPS: Do you folks know what you need for that DB?

DevOps: Oh, hell, no, we're not going through that mess of code, we've got a BETTER idea now...

EndOfQuarter:

VPDev: What the HELL are we paying AWS this much for?

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New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Alistair
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Re: This:

Not the AC in question cornz, but, enjoy the con man now that the sales pitch is over.

Much like Microsoft.

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Binary star bash-up should add new light to Northern Cross in 2022

Alistair
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Look mummy, there's a bright light in the sky

1) when this happens, ElReg needs to sponsor a WWE style verbal debate between our left wing and right wing commentariat. At night, in the middle of the Sahara, under the open sky.

(D.A.M. and AMfM at the top of the bill?) (yes, chair throwing should be allowed, but more appropriate all contestants *must* wear a bad blond toupee)

2) I hope that I'll have some time off in the right window to be sitting somewhere that the (new, hot ticket item) LED street lights have NOT been deployed around here (the glare from ultra bright/bluewhite LED's is an enormous increase in light pollution). I'd like to see that when it happens.

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LinkedIn, eBay founders and pals kick in $27m to bring Jesus to AI bots

Alistair
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The shitshow that is current *artificial intelligence* has at best approached the state of a 2 year old raccoon. (I swear my cats make more sense). In highly specialized cases it may be quite effective.

In the long term, however we're working at the level of figuring out what we want AI to be able to do, and how we want to allow it to grow. I can understand ethicists and to some extent even lawyers, but I baulk at the idea of allowing mytholigists into the mix.

While mythology in all its forms has perhaps been an input into many individuals cultural indoctrination, we can see (at this end of the 18th,19th and 20th centuries) what our mythology and culture has done to the planet. Historians would suffice to provide the edification that AI would need to avoid such horrendous mistakes in its perceptions.

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Too much landfill, too little purpose: CES 2017

Alistair
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Re: "Clearing away the trash"

@AC

"Get married"

Thats what my wife did to get all that dealt with. I'll take a 'bot please.

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Alistair
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Re: Guns + ammo, lack of electricity

According to the *last* ebola outbreak, 72.5% fatal. However it REALLY doesn't spread as well as even the black plague. Direct contamination with bodily fluids of the infected. (effective countermeasures are latex and most importantly, face shields).

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NASA taps ESA satellite Swarm for salty ocean temperature tales

Alistair
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eegad

Science -- obscure, weird, honest to pete boffinry. Kudos to the team if they get it all figured out.

as to climate change: Its January, -6C outside, just a dusting of snow. We had 8 separate 30C+ days this summer. Yup. Changing it is. Certainly in the last 40 years there has been a change. When I were younger it was colder this time of year, and there was *lots* more snow about this time of year, and summer days could get hot, but not *that* hot that often.

Is it AGW? - I'll concede that the physics indicates that it could be anthropogenic. Is AGW absolutely proven? Not in my books. There is too much fuzz in the model. And they've not yet made a single correct projection.

Hell yes, lets stop dumping so much crap in our atmosphere. It is fairly well concluded that the output from the industrial revolution is not good for peoples to breathe in quantity.

If we can get better data, more accurate data, and more precise modelling, go get it. It may just show that this is part and parcel of what our planet does over millennia. It could prove that the most critical output to put a stop to is the bullshit that falls out of most politicians. It could prove that methane as produced by ducks is the cause. But, until we have proof and a model that makes accurate predictions, keep looking.

And since we know where the worst CO2 outputs come from, lets try to stop using that, and find something that can do the same thing without spewing (CO2/CO/Methane/Nitrogen oxides etc) because the *physics* tells us that it is POSSIBLE that these could be contributing.

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Fake History Alert: Sorry BBC, but Apple really did invent the iPhone

Alistair
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Re: Uhhhh

@AC

I like to get dressed up all fancy ass, get seriously seriously hammered on rum, and have long intellectual conversations with my good friends and my dog about all sorts of things, including pretentious holier than thou celebrities.

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Man jailed for 3 days after Texas cops confuse cat litter for meth

Alistair
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Re: Road site test?

potassium cyanide test, very effective. Not so reliable with sodium cyanide.

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Fedora 25: You've got that Wayland feelin', oh, that Wayland feelin'

Alistair
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Wayland. Fedora 25

Doc Ock, Steven R.;

I have a pot of coffee.

Remote X sessions are an absolute requirement. And getting KDE EGL sorted would be quite good. At least with work stuff I can live with nouveau, but...

Have it popping away in a vm. Have to admit they've done a brilliant job with balloon.

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Snapchap snaps back: Snapchat Snapbrats' Snapstats are Snapcrap

Alistair
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Re: Accurate Metrics from...

as far as I've been able to tell Ms Smythe, I think that would be a negative number.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

Alistair
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good grief Donald Trump.

(Okay, that's clickbait in the title)

TV station name needs to be corrected from WFTV to WTFV.

Wait. 37 convictions under his belt. What was that three strikes thing everyone was ranting about?

Right, Florida. Too much orange juice and sunshine on the beach, or way too many Cuba Libre I suppose. I know, he can claim Vitamin D overdose and get a doctor to back it up and get a discharge on one of his 37 convictions! Hell, maybe he's diabetic! <HDR ref>

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Drones will be able to carry 120GB footage of you in the shower if Seagate has its way

Alistair
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yegad

Well. I'm not likely to be caught on drone video in the shower due to the simple fact that the bathrooms have no windows. Yeesh.

There are 4 or 5 drone owners in the area (mind you, we're talking the quad copter $269 on special at christmas type drones, NOT $6,500 units) and if even ONE of those is fired up one can pretty much hear it from 2 or 3 blocks away. (We've several large greenswards in the area, which is typically where these folk break out the drones for fun).

The drones that you'd need to be worried about spying on your dear sweet innocent daughter are the ones that make almost no noise. And as a result can carry just slightly more than a gram. And get caught in a breeze from the dog exhaling in the wrong direction. And fly for about 2 minutes.

In reality -- the biggest issue with drones in my books is idiots flying them in places where they could get whacked by an aircraft with real live people on board and possibly do damage causing said aircraft to fail. We've been through this argument dozens of times on this site and the assessment has been that "no way a drone can take out a plane", and "there are already laws".

I'll agree there are already laws (and since my middle one got one of those neat cheap at Christmas drones from a ...part time relative...,I know them), personally I think they need MUCH more teeth.

And while I'll agree that it would be fairly unlikely that his drone (range 150' not meters, weight about 470g, 99.9% plastic) will take out an aircraft by bouncing off the surface(s), I've seen one around the corner (easily 4' across, 6 props, likely in excess of 10lb) that could do some serious damage to either a small plane or even the engine on a jet.

Now. I've seen M2 drives out there with *decent* IO rates (no, not 4Gb/s) in the 1Tb to 2Tb range already -- admittedly 4K video would be pushing them rather hard, but I don't think that they'd be impossible to use --- I suppose it rather depends on the encoding that is being done on that video....

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My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

Alistair
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Yeesh.

1) I *personally* LOVE to cook. When I'm in the right mood, have time and don't have to worry about scheduling. Cooking can go off the rails with me sometimes. Its why when I schedule a bash where I'm going to be doing the meal for those that are coming I make it an all evening thing.

(for the record, I apparently can eat until both the cows and the sheep come home, and my weight fluctuation is about 11 pounds. My Doctor (after 13 years) keeps telling me he wants my metabolism as my weight for my physicals has remained within a 5 pound range, and I'm NOT particularly physically active.)

2) My SO despises the art of cooking. Most likely since her background was bland, formula, meat veg and starch meals with almost no real flavour, and when she does try our offspring are less than supportive of the results.

3) *FOOD* is many many many different things. I've tried crickets, worms, monkey brain, termites and a few other things that the standard "western diet" that the *complete* list of commentators likely eat will never include. Don't throw something in the bin just because you don't like the concept.

4) The article makes it clear to me that the author is not well. If that were *just* diet this product would at least lead the author in the direction of 'better diet' apparently. I myself have had massive periods of (sometimes months long) internalized depression that may or may not be related to season, diet, and work/life balance. But I manage to hide it a little too well. The author may not be able to hide it. Thus I have to let the 'lazy/lackadaisical/malnourished/obese' author manage to put out something worth reading in his own fashion. (I will allow the obtuse to select their own insulting term from the list, one will note that the sentence would survive without the insult)

All that said. Good on ya mate, go for some more walks (you have a cat, but dogs are better for walks), and consider either keeping that stuff in the cupboard for when ya need it, or hammering back some killer vitamins. (I KNOW what that will produce in rants, but #$% it, the Costco version of Centrum Silver rocks my world these days, two a day for 2 months pulled me out of a TERRIBLE mental and physical funk and made tackling things seem so much easier). Now I just need to get the SO out the door and moving more often and we'll soon both be better off.

As for the Gluten/Lactose/blah intolerance crap.

GO TO A DOCTOR. Don't assume just because you remove something that its true. Its a simple set of tests, although you DO have to *participate* in the tests so expect to have to WORK for your *snowflakieness* ( of 25 people in my life that have been sent off for that gluten test, only ONE has had celiac. The snowflakes however have made her life better by ensuring that there were more product on the shelf, even if it costs 3 times as much)

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Alistair
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Re: Hipsters discover SlimFast...

DrX

Pemmican is a native food product from up north of the 52nd.

Learned to make it in grade 3 as part of our native studies.

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MacBook killer? New Lenovo offering sexed up with XPoint booster

Alistair
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I'll take it -- just have to get someone to cough up the $$

-> 1TB M2 main disk

-> 32Gb ram

-> 72W/h back battery

-> 250Nit screen

-> Nvidia Video

-> cheapest possible option on installed OS

Format/Wipe/clean the M2 on arrival -- this is almost enough to entice me to go back to Gentoo.

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Major maser microwaves Hubble

Alistair
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This thread is ironic.

Star wars mentioned (check)

Storm Troopers mentioned (check)

Death Star mentioned (check)

Popcorn mentioned (check)

Family night out to see Rogue One (booked already) (check)

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Vinyl and streaming sales offset CD decline in UK music sales

Alistair
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Hmmm

Dad went goofy one year (since he had a ton of cash to hide) and we ended up with an out your mind sound system in the living room (I was all of 11 at the time). The speakers have not survived completely, but the tuner/amp and the turntable he got (Garrard labelled, hand built and according to serial number a member of a unique series of units based on the 401) still work.

Parents had a music addiction - so there are something like 500+ vinyl disks around this system, including an original King Crimson pressing, and quite a variety of other music. The original cut of DSOM, which is in my mom's collection, and the vinyl print *I* got, about 84 or so, put together weigh less than the pressing that recently came out. Had all three in an enthusiast shop, with top of line hardware (Turntable, pre-amp, amp, speakers) -- and included comparing to the AAC version, FLAC version and CD. The latest heavy print absolutely takes the prize, especially on Money.

FLAC is good, but it heavily depends on source. AAC is shit. Mom's copy has 15 years more crap on the vinyl than mine but sounds better than my pressing.

Turntable from moms system is currently being cleaned and having bits tightened and bolted back in. The fellow from the shop was horrified that she'd let so much dust settle in it.

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Elon burning to get Falcon back on the launchpad

Alistair
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reading skills at risk

Aluminium *liner* buckled.

carbon overwrap

(wee baby gap)

possibly solid oxygen (wheeee)

stop load cycle, disconnect, spin up pumps, de-pressurize O tank eeeeever so slightly, solid oxygen jumps state, expands, pops one (or more) carbon strand(s) in overwrap - (sparkie) (carbon goes whooof)(rocket goes boom)

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Ridiculously small Linux build lands with ridiculously few swears

Alistair
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Re: Finally something small about Linux

Umm

Default initial install in our environment has:

sshd

ntpd

Tripwire

(ungodly backup agent with 4!!!! sockets)

(ungodly scheduling agent with 3!!! sockets)

running - total 11 open sockets. And 4 of them are in LISTEN on 127.0.0.1 only.

and a total of 4.2Gb of consumed disk space.

(who the sam phuket runs anything they *don't* actually need on *any* server. HPUx and AIx can be done much the same with some care)

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Happy new year.

Alistair
Silver badge
Pint

Happy new year.

And after the mauling I've suffered this year, I'm seriously considering a career change. Have had 2 interviews with my target, both (myself) and the person with whom I'm discussing are feeling good about the idea, and nothing is yet written in stone.

I'll be required to learn at least 2 additional spoken languages and buff up the 2 (french/spanish) I already have moldering away in my brain.

This will be a leap off a cliff for me, I've *no idea* if I can handle the job at all, but my (possible) future superior assures me that pretty much everyone on the team felt the same way coming in. My salary will be roughly in line with what I make now, and the benefits are miles better so that really isn't in my way. I suppose, being that I've found some like minds about ElReg and some that I'm not like, but still respect, I am wondering;

Considering that I'm now in my 50's, is a full on jump across a huge gap to a new career something that anyone considers at this age?

Is it normal to be both thrilled and terrified at the prospect of utter failure, or possibly even random cases of success?

If one had a similar opportunity at a similar age would anyone else take it?

In my case it is the opportunity to (hopefully) do *something* to improve the lot of some folks who live in other, less comfortable parts of the planet. No, not a charity, but more an NGO with some teeth.

Beer, its friday, before the newyear, and I'll be having a couple with good friends over a nice meal tonight. And I'll offer one to you if you have coherent thoughts to reply.

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Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Alistair
Silver badge
Windows

This is an interesting debate.

I happen to own one of the cursed VW's.

for about $12 I can buy a basic reader that will scan the vehicle software codes (I actually paid $39 for the one I decided to buy since it covers some newer vehicles and standards, and can be updated with more info) - I can get the same functionality as my mechanic (and from experience, spending an hour or two on Da Interwebz) generally better diagnostic results than the VW dealership. It has already saved me in excess of $4000 simply by providing guidance on what to replace to avoid a problem.

I can for about $400 get a dongle and a bundle of software that will let me muck with the tuning and individual settings in the software that manages my vehicle.

Given that I'm a middle ground programmer I might be able to write code to get to that in about 3 years of hobbying my way through it - (i.e. something that would read parameters, interpret them correctly, and allow tuning of parameters)

I seriously doubt that I'd be capable of re-writing any of the actual vehicle code. I can safely say that I'd be more than a bit paranoid about trying that.

All of the above said, I can understand that effectively, what is being said here (re Tiggity) is that what once was a fairly simple mechanical thing that was easy for a reasonably competent mechanic to fix or maintain on his own, is becoming a device that requires some specialist to even diagnose.

(Wait, you thought that auto manufacturers actually make money on selling cars? Oh dear oh dear. NO. you don't go to Wall Mart's Car Department and select a vehicle. You go to a FORD dealership, or a GM dealership etc, and ... um, they sell you a service agreement with wheels).

Same would apply to the fellow up the block that just dropped something like $190K on his new Volvo M2500, there just isn't a scanner on the market that will read the codes off that system, he has to take it to the dealership. For *everything* -- apparently changing the oil filter without access to the computer system can "damage" the engine.

There are *two* levels to this :

a) the diagnostic data should be available to the end user to permit basic maintenance, and simple mechanical repairs by the end user that owns the device.

b) If there are functional reset required as part of basic maintenance, these reset functions should be available to the end user.

c) command and control functionality should be locked to the console (driver interface in the case of vehicles) and not exposed in any way to the outside world.

AND

Firmware that runs a vehicle or device like this is stuff that the manufacturer should be in control of UNTIL OR UNLESS they decide that they will no longer support said vehicle or device for a nominal fee.

I'm not sure that forcing companies to put their firmware out into the open is necessarily a good thing, but the API that does diagnostics and the diagnostic information damned well should be out there so those that have the inclination and time can fix the things they own.

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2016 just got a tiny bit longer. Gee, thanks, time lords

Alistair
Silver badge
Windows

The Leap Second

A) I've seen what can happen with 8 year out of date BSD.

B) NTP, and "drift" is the solution where you have (sadly out of date OS)

For a couple of years we had a swat team floating around for leap second events, *just* in case -- lately though, we know where the hiccups are and we have notifications designed to make people pay attention - there is one DB that gets halted (still) since it *still* does stupid things when the slew starts underneath it. I'll not talk about certain networking OS companies that still haven't fixed clustering software to cope with slew/skew and inline adjustments that they implemented in other parts of the OS....

1
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Uber's self-driving cars get kicked out of SF, seek refuge in Arizona

Alistair
Silver badge

Uber:

Uber's business model is "Rules don't apply to us".

Sadly - VC's and some idiot that does valuations have bought the cowpattie.

Insurance lawsuits that have been buried as far as possible will eventually repave that capital.

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Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

Alistair
Silver badge
Windows

Bugger off you lot.

314 million files on the volume

948,726 of them in one folder. (and 5 other folders of a similar ilk)

NFS mounted

HPUX.

This is my christmas.

8
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White House report cautiously optimistic about job-killing AI

Alistair
Silver badge
Windows

Just wow.

not too much ego in these pages.

AI as they're discussing in real terms is not going after "cashiers and truckers", its going to be going after the jobs that actually require skills that have to be learned over time. AI advantage, only has to do it ONCE not 5 or 6 times. or 200.

This will include diagnostics of complex systems. Yes, they have to teach the AI or it has to learn, but invariably a) it only has to do it once and b) they may well have the data corralled already.

Furthermore, snowflakes have no place in automation. so they'll go the way of the dinosaur, and eventually your 'exceptional' IT skills go down in value. Rapidly.

The long discussion here is - and we DO need to have it, check numbers on a) Farmers/farm workers between 1948 and 2011. b) manufacturing labour between 1948 and and 2011. Keep in mind that there has been a massive change in population in that period. - We as a species need to figure out what we will be doing in the next 45 to 50 years with the idea of 'employment' and the idea of 'work' and the idea of 'income/wealth'.

Personally, I'm all for getting the elevators built so we can start populating the asteroids, and spreading out a bit. I'm sure we can figure out how to do the floating orbital caves.

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