* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

Alister Silver badge

Yorkshire coding

#include yorkshire.h

int main()


for (aint a = 0; a > 10; ++a)

while (nobbut middlin) {

std::cout << 'Ow much?';


const bool Gi_us_a_butty = b'aint likely;

return 0;


Fancy a viaduct? We have a wrought Victorian iron marvel to sell you

Alister Silver badge

Re: Just up the road...

I wish they'd turn the Monsal Trail back into a proper railway or hand it over to Peak Rail

Sadly, too many vested interests, not least the Duke of Rutland, who, like his father, cannot see the benefits that the railway would bring to Haddon.

And frankly, the current idea of having dual use through the tunnels just shows how out of touch the planners are - how can you put cyclists/walkers and steam locomotives in the same tunnel?

Symantec cert holdout sites told: Those Google Chrome warnings are not a good look

Alister Silver badge

Specific Certificate Authorities

Maybe instead of just quoting "Symantec" it would be useful to mention the actual root CAs that this impacts?

So, if you have an SSL certificate issued by any of the following, you need to get a new one:

Thawte, VeriSign, Equifax, GeoTrust and RapidSSL.

Oh bucket! Unpack the suitcases. TRAPPIST-1 planets too wet to support life

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(Remember earth is only a fraction of a percent of water. If you were looking at it through a telescope, you'd probably write off the water as an error and conclude it was as dry as mars.)

Given that looking through a telescope at Earth you see a mostly green and blue planet, I doubt that you could conclude that.

Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon

Alister Silver badge

Re: Cringe with shame

Pun's are mean't to make you groan...

As are greengrocer's apostrophes...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Cringe with shame


You obviously don't appreciate the type of adolescent humour practised by The Reg, so why don't you just stop winging about it and go away?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Hi, my name is...my name is.. Oumuamua

I assumed it was pronounced "Yo Mamma"

I read it as Ooh Mwah Mwah

Cluster-f*ck! Etcd DBs spaff passwords, cloud keys to world by default

Alister Silver badge

Re: exposed by default

I suggest you change your cloud provider.

Neither AWS nor Azure allow open ports to a new VM, you have to configure a security policy to allow traffic.

Alister Silver badge

Re: The etcd community provides multiple guides on proper security

If it isn't secure by default, it isn't secure.

...and if it is secure by default, thousands of idiot developers will consciously and deliberately turn off the defaults anyway... See Amazon EC3 containers.

Leading by example: UK.gov's secure server setup is patchy at best

Alister Silver badge

Re: Would you please stop misleading articles like this?

Agreed, and quoting Scott Helmes' site results means nothing either, as the majority of websites don't support all the HTTP Headers he suggests are necessary for an "A".

www.google.co.uk... "D"

www.ebay.co.uk... "C"

www.theregister.co.uk... "F"

It's an arbitrary mark which doesn't reflect real world practice.

Alister Silver badge

Birmingham is an "A" now

SSL Report: www.birmingham.gov.uk (

Assessed on: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:49:35 UTC

Overall Rating


Alister Silver badge


All you are seeing there is that the www.midsuffolk.gov.uk site is not meant to be browsed by HTTPS, it's an HTTP site, hosted on a server which happens to have an old self-signed certificate on it.

if you browse to http://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk then it works fine.

You must be yolking: English pub to launch eggstravagent Yorkshire pudding

Alister Silver badge

Remind me again, just exactly where is Robin Hood Airport? :-p


Which is north of Sheffield...

Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

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Re: Meh


It is precisely your attitude which has meant that a large number of scientific and technological advances which were originally conceived in Britain have had to go elsewhere to find the funding to progress from "interesting theory" to "commercial success".

Whois? More like WHOWAS: Domain database on verge of collapse over EU privacy

Alister Silver badge

On the other side of the equation, civil society groups were actually happy with the idea of anonymized email addresses, noting that it would "go a long way to reducing spam and harassment that end-users face."

This again is an issue only due to ICANN's decision to try and monetize the data they hold.

Up untill a few years ago, it wasn't worth the effort for a spammer to manually trawl through whois records for email addresses, and the level of spam to my admin email accounts for our domains was minimal.

However, then ICANN decided to publicise a list of any changes to whois records or domain registrations, including contact details, and now, I get over 100 emails a week offering me SEO services or "Build You a website" or other shit.

The abuse and domain admin emails for domain registrations should not be obscured, they should be readliy available to anyone who needs to look them up using the whois system.

But they shouldn't be published as an easily farmable list, everytime there's a change in any domain registration, and that's what is happening now.

Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

Alister Silver badge

Re: Irrelevant

You can work a low orbit satellite from the ground with a decent antenna on a handheld 5 watt transmitter using UHF. The trick is finding a vehicle that you can use to help. A small handheld yagi should also do.

Yes, but In the context of commercial space travel, talking to spacecraft outside the moon's orbit, that's not relevant.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Irrelevant

Eventually we will move on to everything being cabled/fibre except for local very low power (WiFi, Bluetooth)


Aircraft comms will be by trailing a fibre link round with them? same for ships? Links to satellites? And if we start to have a commercial space presence, then all the spacecraft will have a fibre link?

Ship to shore and shore to ship using satellites, and air to ground, and space to ground, can be by relatively low power directional beams, but ground to air and ground to spacecraft will still have to be broadcast. And then there's radar.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Not useful

Why we think we'll be broadcasting *anything* 100 years from now is a mystery to me.

That's a very limited view.

If we do start to become a space-faring civilisation, even if only within the bounds of our solar system, then we will have to begin with some form of radio communication between planets and spacecraft.

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

Alister Silver badge

Re: I suspect you're not thinking like a futureologist!

Isaac Asimov thought of it in 1954 - Caves of Steel being the tome that you are seeking, in which our heroes "ride the conveyors" that sequentially accelerate people up to train speed.

Also "The Roads must Roll" by Heinlein.

UK digi minister Hancock suggests Facebook and pals give your kids a time-out

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Hancock said the limits would be enforced using a new legal requirement for social media companies to ensure that anyone setting up profiles is aged above 13.

Nice of him to leave the details of how they could possibly do that to the social media companies to sort out. Because of course every 13 year old has irrefutable proof of age, and nobody lies on the internet.

DVLA denies driving licence processing site is a security 'car crash'

Alister Silver badge

PCI-DSS is the credit card industry's security standard. Anyone who handles credit card payments is obliged to comply with its requirement.

Does the DVLA site actually handle credit card payments? My recollection is it hands you off to SagePay or somebody for that process?

Bots don't spread fake news on Twitter, people do, say MIT eggheads

Alister Silver badge

Re: Basically falshood is like candy and burgers. Designed to be very appealing

IE it's an infectious meme.

Sorry, I misread that as "IE is an infectious meme"

Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten?

Alister Silver badge

Re: If this goes against Google

Presumably every website and library, etc. will have to go and delete every single crime report older than x years, and then on an ongoing basis.

Well no, I don't think so, as they can legitimately claim journalistic exemption, unlike Google, who can't.

The problem with this, and similar cases, is that government, judiciary and individuals all seem to think that forcing Google to delist search results is the same as removing the content from the web.

It isn't, and they should be going after the sources of the content, and not Google.

Incidentally, why don't cases like this challenge other search engines? I know Google is by far the most common, but even if Google loses this case and has to delist the references to NT1, they'll still be available on Bing, Baidu and so on.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Things can and do come back to haunt you


So where does Google get the reference to your D&D conviction from?

Maybe instead of whinging about Google, you should get the original source to remove it?

Alister Silver badge

Re: I'm with Google here...

I tend to agree with you. At the end of the day, Google searches do not create web content, they just link to sources of it.

If the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not require newspapers to remove the historical reports of the offence, then why should Google not link to it?

Maybe the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act should be updated to include rules on how to handle News content published online.

FBI chief asks tech industry to build crypto-busting not-a-backdoor

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Re: He's right, but no one here will accept it


What you appear to be missing is that any change to a new improved law enforcement friendly cryptography will just be ignored or bypassed by criminals and terrorists.

It would be far better to get that message across to law enforcement and governments, than to try and put in place something which won't work.

Pasties in SPAAAAACE: Cornwall hopes for slice of £50m spaceport cash

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HMS Camden Lock

Looking forward to them spreading the word to alien races about the exciting new development opportunities offered by Cornwall, Peterborough, and Slough.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

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Re: Over 40 and used one of these?

I bought the Zylog Z80 Programming Manual, with MY OWN money, on the strength of having a ZX81, and taught myself assembler.

Unfortunately, when I started college 6 months later, all the Computing courses were done on Rockwell AIM65 machines, so I had to start again...

UK.gov cooks up code of conduct to enforce a smidge of security on Internet of S**t kit

Alister Silver badge

See that stable door?

The one flapping about, with no horse inside?

Just close it, will you?

ESA builds air-breathing engine that works in space

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Does this work in a similar way to SABRE?

Ah, after reading how SABRE works, the answer is no.

As you were...

UK data watchdog's inaugural tech strategy was written with... *drumroll* Word 2010

Alister Silver badge

Re: Really?

They don't get the money, it goes elsewhere (probably treasury). My partner works for another regulator, they earn a she'd load by also offering pre-assessment advice, but they're not aloud to spend it. There budget is strictly set by government guidelines..

----------> [dies]

I really, really hope that English isn't K's first language.

'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

Alister Silver badge

My recollection is that I've always received a polling card through the post before a local or general election, which I've presented to the officiating officer at the polling station prior to voting.

Is this voter ID trial more about saving on printing and postage, I wonder, than it is about voter fraud?

Alister Silver badge

Alternative solutions offered – which include the use of utility bills – "are also problematic" because they lack photo ID, are easier to fake and are again inaccessible to people who don't pay bills.

And increasingly, don't exist, as more and more utility companies are offering incentives to customers to use online billing instead of paper.

Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

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Re: Well it's obvious

And I took full advantage! :)

Can't believe the article didn't include some such comment.

Alister Silver badge

Re: That twerp who ran into a window...

Most of the birds which try to achieve take-off through my office window are wood pigeons, with the odd pheasant on occasion. Given their renowned intellectual prowess, I think the most you might expect as a response is... duh!

Alister Silver badge

Well it's obvious

Apple employees don't know how to use Windows.

Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

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I'm quite sure China have been building IGBT for years, it's nonsense to suggest that acquisition of a British firm in 2008 would suddenly, magically mean they found out about something which has been around since the early 1990s.

Java EE renamed 'Jakarta EE' after Big Red brand spat

Alister Silver badge

Re: What about an anagram?

Vajazzle would be quite apt.

WordPress is now 30 per cent of the web, daylight second

Alister Silver badge

Re: So many negative waves!

Anyone who claims to be hand-coding contemporary sites today is a liar, or a fool, or has a client who is one.

What a curious statement. There are thousands, if not millions of contemporary sites out there which either don't need a CMS, or are custom built and don't use an off-the-shelf solution.

If nobody was hand-coding, as you put it, there would be no need for php developers, .NET developers, etc, they could all become Wordpress drivers.

Alister Silver badge

It could be worse...

30% of the web could be sites built using Dreamweaver or Frontpage...

US startup wheels out EU-compliant drone traffic management app

Alister Silver badge

Nice screenshot, I'm guessing the pretty red bit is over the runway, and the pretty amber bit is over the whole airfield perimeter.

But why doesn't the red and amber bit extend beyond the physical confines of the runway so that approach and departure are protected?

US Navy gives Lockheed Martin $150m big frickin' laser cannon contract

Alister Silver badge

The high-energy fiber laser

Powered by Weetabix?

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor

Alister Silver badge

Re: Has anyone ever gone so far as to...

merge the screens of completely different machines into a seamless whole?

Not quite a seamless whole, but I use a piece of software called Synergy, which allows me to link different machines together, so my main machine has 2 monitors, one 27" widescreen immediately in front of me, and one 19" widescreen on my right, and then I have another machine with a single monitor which is on my left. Using Synergy, I can move the mouse pointer all the way from the left hand screen to the right hand screen.

When the cursor is on the left hand screen, then mouse and keyboard commands go to one machine, and when the cursor is on the centre or right hand screen mouse and keyboard commands go to the other machine. I can move files from one machine's desktop to the other just using drag and drop.

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Alister Silver badge

Re: Funny but contrived


They are stories!

As in, made up!

Google: Class search results as journalism so we can dodge Right To Be Forgotten

Alister Silver badge

Re: Two words...

well, 50% right, anyway...

Cryptocurrencies kill people and may kill again, says Bill Gates

Alister Silver badge

Re: Worst argument ever

cash is completely untraceable.

Not true. Each bill has a unique serial number which can be traced back to where you got it from, be that an ATM, or a bank teller, or a supermarket cash-back or whatever.

It's not easy, but it's not completely untraceable.

4G found on Moon

Alister Silver badge

You are correct. Delos Harriman, his name was.

Full disclosh: Facebook to pay shareholders $35m over IPO non-disclosure claims

Alister Silver badge

I couldn't work out where dishcloths come into this story...

Ohhhh-klahoma! Where Verizon's sweeping legacy down the drain

Alister Silver badge

So, if I understand this correctly, each mobile tower / base station has a minimalist hardware footprint, and passes every transaction back to software in a data-centre for all the usual handshaking, registration, call-handling etc, is that right?

Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Alister Silver badge

Re: I've never quite understood

I have always used the H in honour

So you pronounce it hhonour?

How strange.

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