* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Alister Silver badge

Re: Mobile as the emergency option?

It sounds reasonable.

It doesn't sound so reasonable when you consider mobile network coverage is only at about 85% in the UK. There's still a lot of places without a signal.

Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

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So, next step, perpetual motion!

Or possibly Nuclear Fusion, real soon now!

Surprise! Wireless brain implants are not secure, and can be hijacked to kill you or steal thoughts

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wireless brain implants are insecure

Thank gods I forgot to put mine in, this morning, eh?

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

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Re: Ringworld Calling...

There'd need to be some fairly tight controls around using this to avoid it getting out into the "wild".

"What do you mean, you shouldn't have kept it in plastic containers! Nobody told me!"

Alister Silver badge

Brit boffins save planet

Yeah, until the microbes go on the rampage, eating plastic all over the planet, leaving nothing but metal behind...


We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

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Re: Is this a modern mathematics A level question, an A* guaranteed?

"Ah Simpkins, come in, stand at ease."

"Thank you sir"

"Now, as you know, I have to prepare a report for the Ministry about these five missing aircraft"

"Yes Sir"

"So can you tell me what happened, exactly?"

"They were brought down by an overwhelming enemy force, sir"

"Really, Simkins? And why didn't the enemy squadron appear on our radar, exactly?"

"Uh, it wasn't exactly a squadron, sir... more of a flock, kind of thing..."

"A Flock, Simkins?"

"Yessir... But they were terrible, sir, mad staring eyes and great sharp beaks and everything, our aircraft didn't stand a chance!"

"I see... Just to clarify then, the enemy force was comprised of what, exactly?"

"Seagulls sir, a great flock of seagulls."

"Thank you Simkins, that will be all."

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

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Re: Hmm

and screeched onto the internet with CompuServe along with hideous numeric email address.

Strangely, I came across my old Compuserve address only the other day, it was 101360.1534@compuserve.com

It's dead now, of course.

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

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It is great and well until that singular cloudy provider goes TITSUP* for whatever reason

SYNTAX ERROR: Reference not set to an instance of an object...

Unfulfilled reference / dangling footnote detected.

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

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Re: Turn it off and on again

it's just Roy answering the phone.

I thought he'd got a reel-to-reel answerphone now?

Alister Silver badge

Re: negativity

El Reg, please do not trade factual accuracy for a nice rhyming headline.

Erm, this is The Register, you know?

Rhyming headlines and quotes from 1960s musicals are far more important than a few facts.

Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Alister Silver badge

The registry for .uk, Nominet, for example, has long withheld the personal details of domain registrants and provides only technical information publicly.

This is not true. I've just done a quick blast round some of our company .uk domains and some of my personal .uk domains, and the full registration information is returned by whois.nic.uk.

Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

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With the recent investment in Reaction Engines Limited, this may stand a chance of becoming a reality

Hmm, whatever fraction of the £26M that was shared between Boeing and Rolls Royce. Not exactly a massive injection of cash, considering the size of either company, more an expression of polite interest.

'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

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Re: YES all digital devices are insecure

I have a digital alarm clock

That's So last century, darling...


'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

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So where's the one addressed to:

Mr Whydontyou Gofuckyourself

27 Hawthorn Drive

Little Whinging


GU21 6FU

Lib Dems, UKIP's websites go TITSUP* on UK local election launch day

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What could possibly be offensive about a small bird of the Paridae family?

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Re: NationBuilder, eh?

Roll on the GDPR.

I don't know why there is such unbridled optimism that the GDPR will magically fix all IT security issues. In my view it is more likely to be an unmitigated disaster, just like all the other government led security initiatives.

Snubbed R Us: Microsoft eschews Vulture Consultants in Playmobil tech research

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Re: This is terrible.

You know, sawing off bits of Barbie and then taking her to hospital.

Ah yes, those far off innocent days...

Penis pothole protester: Cambridge's 'Wanksy' art shows feted

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Re: A simple solution...

Mine is full of eels.

That's one elver problem...

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after a semi at 69 Cock Lane was up for sale.

Well, half-way up, anyway...

Can't view memes on London-Southampton train? It's the worst line for mobile coverage

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Re: London-centric as ever

But on the bright side, we're looking out the window at the Peak District, not London ...

Well... you say that, but mostly we're looking out of the window at fog, or snow, or cloud, or rain...

Actually seeing the Peak District is quite rare...


Great Western Railway warns of great Western password reuse: Brits told to reset logins

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Re: No email here

Have you considered that if you haven't received an email, it means your account was not breached?

Do you use a different password for your GWR account than any other internet login? Then you probably don't have a problem.

Huawei P20 Pro: Triple-lens shooter promises the Earth ...

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Re: I rather think the author is using a turn of phrase you don't understand.

like I understand that "Shouldn't of" is becoming common

Ah, now there, we are in complete agreement!

Those who use shouldn't of or couldn't of should be hung, drawn and quartered with a blunt knife. It is an abomination unto Nuggan.

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's a real curate's egg

the author is using a turn of phrase they don't really understand.

I rather think the author is using a turn of phrase you don't understand.

From the page you linked to...

The initial meaning of the phrase was to describe something which was partly good but which was ruined by its bad part.

It's now more often used just to describe something that is partly good and partly bad.

Alister Silver badge

Long Exposure

With regard to your point about the "Night Mode" Hill shot, In my experience, with a long exposure shot, even on a top-of-the-range SLR or DSLR, you would get the problem of the sky appearing too light, as it reflects back the street lighting.

I would not consider this to be a problem of the specific software, just the limitations of the location.

White House: Is it OK to hijack, shoot down, or snoop on drones? Er ... asking for a friend

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Why now?

Radio-controlled aircraft, helicopters, boats etc have been around - and easily available off the shelf - for at least 30 years, and nobody's given a shit.

The task to make one of them able to deliver a terrorist payload is no different to that involved in modifying a quadcopter, and in fact most R/C aircraft have a much better range than your average "drone", so why is it suddenly a problem?

Russian regulator asks courts to disconnect Telegram

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Re: Who are the extremists, exactly?

So, Are you suggesting we ban children?

I could go for that, although I can foresee a flaw or two in the plan. But think of the benefits - Theresa May wouldn't be able to use "think of the children" any more - that'd be great!

Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory go TITSUP*

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Re: Outlook.com email was screwed up on Sunday night/Monday for me

What do you do for email? Run your own server?

Well, as it happens, yes, I do.

But for my Hotmail I use Thunderbird, instead of webmail, so I can download all my mail from that account to a local machine, and then I can back it up on a USB drive as well.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Outlook.com email was screwed up on Sunday night/Monday for me

All my important email goes there. I would be screwed if I lost that account.


Issues like this are precisely why I don't trust the cloud.

Sorry, these two statements do not marry up. If you don't trust cloud services why the hell would you trust your important email to a Hotmail account??

Virgin spaceplane makes maiden rocket-powered flight

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Re: Perhaps?

doesn't produce any tech relevant to real space travel.

Whilst I agree with your main point, that Branson's primary goal seems to just be about giving rides to rich tourists, I think the principle of an air-launched second stage is one worth pursuing as an alternative to ground to space rocketry, which (with the exception of Reaction Engines) is what everyone else is doing.

Shhh! Don’t tell KillBots the UN’s about to debate which ones to ban

Alister Silver badge


Based in Wales?

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

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Strategic maintenance of skills.

Sadly, not a lesson learned by the UK government, who have systematically wiped out heavy industrial skills from the workforce, to the point that when we wanted a new steam locomotive boiler, we had to get Germany to make it for us...

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Doesn't fit on a laptop.

I'm sure if you hammer the nails in hard enough it will...

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I can recommend the IBM Model M - if the keys stick, just hit them with a hammer...


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or even "silent but deadly" possibly?

Super Cali upstart's new rocket test approaches, even though the size of it won't launch a Tesla motor

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Re: Ford needs to up its game...

In the UK, the Astra is made by GM (as Vauxhall)

Oops, not any more, it's owned by PSA Group, apparently!

2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

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Re: The music

It has some of the most iconic music ever written.

Which were all pieces from classical composers. None of it was written for the movie.

Both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones scores were written by John Williams, who unashamedly borrowed themes from Holst, Strauss, Dvorak, and Bach (among others) to create his music.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Silent Running...

I'm still waiting for "Rendezvous with Rama" to hit the big screen

Agreed, but unfortunately I don't think the original story has enough sex and violence to appeal to Hollywood, and I shudder to think what an "adaptation" would turn out like.

Probably like I Robot - only the title remains.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

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it was a vege commie muslim


Intel admits a load of its CPUs have Spectre v2 flaw that can't be fixed

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Re: So since Intel have now confirmed that are unwilling to fix...

You're right, car analogies don't work.

Oh, I don't know, it's not far off:

(Most)PCs have windows, the user is aware of this fact at the point of sale.


2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

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Re: "the monolith is a representation of a wideframe cinema screen rotated 90°."

@D A M

If the engines are meant to be nuclear fission - which is what I remember from the book - then what fuel would you need, I wonder. Is it more likely to be reaction mass, than "fuel" as such?

Alister Silver badge

Re: "the monolith is a representation of a wideframe cinema screen rotated 90°."

Most of the triangular containers along the spine between the sphere and the engines are fuel tanks, as I recall.

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This prologue indicated a direction far less trippy than the final version. But 2001 just kept getting longer so the footage was never used and is presumed lost – although based on Kubrick's well-known obsessive cataloguing of research materials, it is sure to be stashed safely somewhere.

It was my understanding that Kubrick explicitly ordered the archive to be destroyed on his death.

I can't remember where I read that, though, unless it was Clarke's book.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Just a moment... Just a moment...

I'm going to go out on a limb here but wasn't HAL's behaviour almost supernatural to what humans can understand? i.e. he was under the control of the monolith or in contact with it.

No, that only happened in the sequel 2061, after HAL had been physically destroyed at the end of 2010.

In the original 2001, both book and film, his "psychosis" was due to conflicting instructions in his programming.

Doomed Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 crashes into watery Pacific grave

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Re: So glad to see

I'm a rocket surgeon, and I do brain science in my spare time...

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Black Helicopters

Re: More trash for the ocean

I know, I took a spent uranium fuel rod to the local tip, but they said they don't handle that sort of thing. It's ridiculous, I wrote to my local MP about it.

Need a needle in an artery? Move over, doc, there's an app for that

Alister Silver badge

wrong vessel

The article (and some previous commentards) seem to make no distinction between arteries and veins.

In all but a few extreme cases, it is normal to take blood from, or inject drugs into, a patient's veins, and NOT the arteries. The name sort of gives it away really, it's an Intravenous injection, or IV fluids that are given.

Unless you are doing something clever like blood transfusion or dialysis, you would not deliberately stick a needle in an artery.

Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

Alister Silver badge


You might want to read RFC 1918

You might want to realise that given the troll icon, he was not being serious?

Alister Silver badge


Why don't you use

Ahh, long weekend. Refreshed? Great, now purge yourself with all the storage you missed

Alister Silver badge

Refreshed? Great, now purge yourself

I'm not sure you really wanted to say purge? Purge suggests an enforced emptying...

Gorge yourself is probably more what you meant...

Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

Alister Silver badge

Re: Finally somebody said the truth

@David 164

Nope they are being tested on London roads, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfRqNAhAe6c

In case you missed it, that video shows a car which had to have a driver who was fully engaged in watching the road, and twice in the course of the video (10 minutes?) he had to take manual control.

Not very autonomous, is it?

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