* Posts by breakfast

1250 posts • joined 24 May 2007

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Chap tames Slack by piping it into Emacs

breakfast
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Re: EMACS. Is there anything it cannot do?

Philosophically, no. Emacs is a simple pure text editor that allows one to extend it in various directions but is, at heart, easy enough that anybody with the ability to instantly memorise 8000 keystroke sequences could master it in only a couple of decades.

Excel, meanwhile, is really complicated.

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Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

breakfast
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Re: citizen infractions of rules can be prevented?

Something that weirds me out is that politicians have a desperate authoritarian hunger for data about all their citizens, but they resentfully reject the outcomes of any research performed on their behalf. How will they react when their systems start giving them the same suggestions that their data scientists have been doing for the last fifty years?

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Dear rioters: Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

breakfast
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Big Brother

Re: Not forgetting...

Do you mean the cameras in the automated passport control queues where you go in and it fails to scan your face three times then a human customs officer lets you through but it's still worth it because it is quicker than the queue for the regular passport?

Those can't even recognise my face from a photograph of my face. I don't think there's a great risk of them identifying anybody in any kind of disguise.

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China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech

breakfast
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Re: bye bye china

You know who is making the investment in all sorts of parts of the developing world? China.

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Living in space basically shoves a warp drive into your blood stream

breakfast
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Re: This is some really useful medical science

Obligatory reminder of the problems related to this.

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

breakfast
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Would it work for shipbuilding too?

If so, it could constitute... NOAH'S ARC.

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

breakfast
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Re: The Greats have gone

Surprised I have got this far with nobody mentioning Adrian Tchaikovksy's Children Of Time one of the most enjoyable SF novels I have read lately.

Also weird that everyone has apparently forgotten Neal Stephenson - Seveneves is pretty hard sci-fi and a lot of fun with it.

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Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

breakfast
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Re: Just wondering

I only regret that I have but one like to give.

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breakfast
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Joke

Re: 1400?

The good news is that we have slightly over 18 months to prepare and large public sector IT projects created here have a great record of arriving well ahead of deadline, working well and costing surprisingly little.

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Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

breakfast
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Re: You call that a quiz?

Ah but if you enable Javascript you will find that false, 0, "", NaN or null will also all mean false.

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breakfast
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This does remind me of the classic NPR April Fools from a couple of years ago.

To be honest it is hard to see much value in most comment sections- 80% of them are simply a habitat for trolls, ideologues and credulous chumps. Not the erudite Register commentards, obviously, we barely break 50%.

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Alien 'lava lamp' with dying magnetic field orbited Earth a billion years ago – science

breakfast
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Mushroom

Re: When is the last time you used yours?

I heard an account of an office where they were used on everyone's desks, activated whenever they broke the build.

I suspect the story was completely spurious, but I rather like the idea because it gives you a brief window of opportunity after your build break to get it fixed before it becomes super obvious...

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Please virtualize my reality before asking me to goggle at a fake one

breakfast
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If your house is that small it's no wonder the conveyancers weren't able to find out much about it.

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Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

breakfast
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Mushroom

The clear litmus test for futurist bollocks

I assumed this story was overblown future-panic bullshit, but then when it was covered on Radio 4 who should pop up on my radio but Professor Kevin Warwick. No further evidence required.

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'App DDoS bombs' that slam into expensive APIs worry Netflix

breakfast
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Re: Repulsive attraction

And how do they even work? Can we get some first rate science juggalos on this?

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Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps

breakfast
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Trollface

Just invite Fran Healy over.

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

breakfast
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Re: Jesus!

They would learn to do that eventually, but until then they would probably get cross.

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JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding

breakfast
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Re: broken by design?

The functional side of Javascript is exactly the thing that makes it powerful and perhaps my favourite part of the language, but functional programming is hard to grasp conceptually, hard to learn and - in my opinion at least - harder to write in a way that is easy for other developers to follow.

Most developers see a language that looks a bit java-like and assume they can write java ( or C or C# ) with it, which is understandable, and then desperately try and squidge the language into their expectations. That makes for cumbersome code that eventually gets the job done and is fairly easy to read.

Of course as you say most people using Javascript aren't programmers at all by training and just keep poking at the code and pasting from StackOverflow until it works.

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Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers

breakfast
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Re: Never fucking heard of it

It has some very high profile users - for a long time Old MacDonald hosted his farm at eie.io

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Trump to world: Forget moving to America to do a startup

breakfast
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Re: The Post-US Era... Europe forth place

I bet people regularly express appreciation of your comments.

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DIY music veteran SoundCloud flounders, lays off 40% of staff

breakfast
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I use it for podcasting which you would think would be an ideal revenue stream for them seeing as it necessitates a lot of data and you pretty much have to pay to subscribe ( also true of every other podcast service of course ) but they don't put much effort into supporting it or making positive moves for podcasters and I have certainly heard some horror stories from other podcasters about working with them. If they're going to focus on content creators then offering some podcast support seems like a fair idea.

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Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

breakfast
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Re: Control group?

"We're not unreasonable, I mean, no-ones gonna eat your eyes."

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

breakfast
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Re: Isn't there a risk ...

This is interesting to me in general- how do we know that our constants are constant? I know that the speed of light can very by medium, are there other potential variances that we don't know about because they don't show up in our corner of the universe?

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

breakfast
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Re: "crime in the UK is in decline"?

In addition to the police statistics we have the National Crime Survey which is independent and victim reported ( which is why the tabloid headlines about "WHY DOESN'T THE CRIME SURVEY INCLUDE MURDER???!?!?!!!!111" are so ridiculous ) and that seems to concur that crime is on currently reducing - in fact crime seems to have been in decline across the western world and nobody really knows why, hence the questions about leaded petrol etc.

Suffice it to say it's another classic British industry in decline.

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GitHub flub spaffs 8Tracks database, 18 million accounts leaked

breakfast
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WTF?

To me the big question is why the content of the database was ever on Github. Structure, sure, I get that. But the records inside?

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Blunder down under: self-driving Aussie cars still being thwarted by kangaroos

breakfast
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Re: What about wombats

To be fair, cats seldom travel that fast.

At least if you hit a badger your hubcaps can double as a shaving brush for a while.

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Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

breakfast
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Re: 'Snot fair

I don't like the idea of a personal eclipse from May. The last thing I want is her moon all over the sun.

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breakfast
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Black Helicopters

Re: Darkness fell over America in November

Practically, kind of a disappointment for everyone else too. Imagine what a wonderful world one could make if all the religious nutjobs suddenly vanished into the sky.

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

breakfast
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Megaphone

Re: So when will the politicians learn?

We have had twenty-five, maybe thirty years of spin-based politics, where marketing crept into election campaigns and became a driving force. But in that period marketing crept into everything else as well and now we have a generation who grew up being marketed at so hard and so constantly by everyone that it is just noise to them. The smart political move now is to have clear convictions that you are willing to stick to and argue for, to be the person you claim to be and to step away from the tired marketing and spin-doctor tropes that have lead our electoral narratives for so long.

It feels like a breath of fresh air to have some actual politics back in our politics, instead of just buffed surfaces and used-car-salesman slickery.

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Two hot Jupiters around two similar stars orbiting at similar distances look similar, right? WRONG

breakfast
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Re: "Cruel mistress science throws astroboffins a curveball"

A cruel mistress throwing a curveball may also be the most jumbled up metaphor that El Reg subheaders have brought us for some time.

But then again, I suppose they are trying to create a pitcher in words.

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Oil and lube firm offers to ease pains of frustrated office workers

breakfast
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Joke

That reminds me

I used to work at an oil company and we had to deal with some slippery customers.

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Microsoft boosts its AI framework with Cognitive Toolkit 2.0

breakfast
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More like PARROTY level, amirite????

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Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

breakfast
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Trollface

Re: You can only be a "Centre of Excellence" ...

We can go one better: "Majestic Australian Ray Mass Institute of Technical Excellence"

Yes, I went there.

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breakfast
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The name can be improved upon, however: The Australian Research Society of Excellence, Gravity Rays And Bosons or something along those lines.

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Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

breakfast
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Re: "it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking"

The interesting question is what will happen once they can't just blame the big bad EU for everything that is unpopular?

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

breakfast
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Re: So, just another day in the office...?

"Don't rule out the possibility of a careful, well resourced third party being behind this."

But also don't rule out the possibility of Occam's Razor being applicable in most cases. I don't know whether there is anyone playing five-dimensional chess out there, but when you can follow the money to a logical explanation, going out of your way to search further could be a poor allocation of resources.

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Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

breakfast
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Terminator

Re: Ned Ludd is dead

I think this is by far the most plausible starting point for a war between humans and machines - once everyone else is out of work and they start to get a bit tetchy the 1% or the 0.001% or whoever it is now owns all the resources just turns the war mahines on the rest of us.

Hopefully the Pew institute is going to be preparing us for this by designing anti-robot weaponry, allowing them to become the "Pew pew pew" institute the moment the trouble kicks off.

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Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

breakfast
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Re: If it works, try again?

This certainly sounds like an Edge case.

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The Co-Op Bank's online banking has gone TITSUP*

breakfast
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Every time something like this happens it's one tick closer to me getting off my ass and finally moving my account somewhere more competent. It's not like they have a significant ethical standpoint now anyway, all owned by hedge funds and vulture capital same as the rest, so it really is inertia by now. The extended downtimes for online banking are chipping that away rapidly by now.

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Microsoft Azure capacity woes hit UK customers. Yes, you read that right

breakfast
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Re: UK and no Cloud?

Azure is the colour of a totally cloudless sky, so I guess the name should have been a giveaway from the start.

Nice to have an Azure story that isn't just another Blue Sky Of Death though.

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Pen-tester gets past Microsoft VB macro barriers

breakfast
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In this field its hard to know what you can and can't say

I guess what I'm saying is there must be a lot of red lines for pen testers.

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Amazon: 'Alexa, how do you fix shoddy APIs that keep breaking apps? Asking, er, for a friend'

breakfast
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Difficult to read

For some reason my break read "Skills Kit" as "Shills Kit" right through the article. Until I noticed my mistake I assumed it was an unusually frank piece of naming.

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

In terms of DAW the best thing I've found on Linux is Ardour, which is as good as anything else I have used, but I have only really tinkered with other products on Windows and it is a few years since I did that. I can't say how it matches up to a current Cubase but I will say that once you have the routing figured out it is pretty great as a midi controller and works well for multi-track recording. It's not easy to use but no more difficult than any equivalent tool I have tried in the past.

Of course where VSTs are concerned it is pot luck whether something will run under Wine, I haven't spent as much time looking into that, but for the results I have been aiming for I've found Ardour to be pretty good.

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breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

"Not well documented" is the curse of anything Linux when you get off the beaten track, which is a shame because the tools are often pretty great if one can ever figure out how to make them do anything and utterly frustrating when one can't.

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breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

If you need real audio you're running Jack at minimum latency though, right?

Pulse is fine for day to day work, but with Jack I've managed to get some fairly nice sounding music on an entirely Open Source stack.

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New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

breakfast
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Paris Hilton

Mystery

How has it got to this point without anybody making a joke about a catastrophic junk collision???

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Code-sharing leads to widespread bug sharing that black-hats can track

breakfast
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Re: Or most of those tutuorials are poison pills to insert vulns

Honestly most of them are written by people who figured out a solution to a problem that was bugging them. If they knew more they probably wouldn't have had such a hard time figuring out the solution so they wouldn't have written the tutorial.

"Badly reviewed tutorials" is all well and good to complain about when one is dealing with a large corporate distributing a development platform, but most of these are volunteer efforts and one is often lucky to find any documentation at all around whatever edge case one is currently working on.

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Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

breakfast
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Re: Hydrogen fuel cells

From what I could follow, there is definite potential to use hydrogen to get energy from out-of-the-way renewable locations into power networks ( or cars or whatever ) when it is impractical to build massive powerlines. It may also make a good balancing medium to allow us to smooth out renewables production against demand. So there are certainly uses for it in terms of energy infrastructure and if it does fall into those usage scenarios then bringing it into usage as a regular fuel is not so far fetched.

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

breakfast
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A Snap Election eh?

The best thing about a Snap election is that the winner gets the power.

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Boffins fabricate the 'most complex bendy microprocessor yet'

breakfast
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Re: "Disulfide" forsooth!

Well I for one do not sulfur this foolishness gladly!

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