* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

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Re: Numbers

I remember a friend of mine who is an IT teacher being roped in by the school to help cut costs of electricity. He and a Maths teacher who was also head of accounts, decided to work out how many lightbulbs they needed around the school.

They went into the main hall of the school, and the Maths teacher began counting each fixture... 1, 2, 3... Meanwhile my friend clocked that there were 8 rows of 5 fixtures, and said "40"!

The Maths bloke scowled, and said, "No, I want an accurate count, not an estimate"

President Trump tweets from insecure Android, security boffins roll eyes

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Re: But not Facebook

I can just imagine the Department of Agriculture run to reflect Trump's YUGE success at playing Farmville.

Ooh, this could work!

Department of Transport run along the lines of GTA3

State Department as envisioned by Age of Empires

Department of Defence done like Call Of Duty


In real life, Q is a woman! Head of MI6 calls for more female techies at SIS

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Vauxhall Cross

I wonder how many tourists are confused when they come to London and see the Vauxhall Cross building is not a smoking ruin, like it was after Skyfall...

I'm deadly serious about megatunnels, vows Elon Musk

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Black Helicopters

So, he's starting to dig a tunnel under his desk...

Or am I reading this wrong?

Gimme some skin: Boffins perfect 3D bioprinter that emits slabs of human flesh

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Just imagine what a printer jam looks like

Well, I would imagine...

Pretty much like Jam, really, with bits in...

Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored

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Re: Back to MD5, et. al.

All I said was that this encryption was good enough for jehovah.


"Are there any women here today?"

<squeaky voice> No! No, no <cough> <deep voice> NO!

China's Great Firewall to crack down on unofficial VPNs – state-approved net connections only

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Expect Theresa May to take this line too.

Fortunately for us in the UK, the government famously identified VoIP as being the technology used to bypass ISP blocking etc, so until they get that right, we are pretty safe...


Lord Blair said:

"All the different apps for phones mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord King, along with all the other services, are increasingly being used across the internet via something I now know more about than I ever wanted to – a system known as VoIP, the Voice over Internet protocol.

This makes all those transmissions untraceable. I will not specify them, but they are being used in methodologies that members of this House will be using most days."

Happy Monday, Juniper admins: Get patching

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Article image

You've got a nice selection of tools there, however, the one most commonly used on Juniper kit appears to be missing:

The 20lb Lump Hammer.

Assange reverse-ferrets on promise to fly to US post-Manning clemency

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Re: him inside the ecuadors

Swedes may be embarrassed now for playing USA lackey and change their ways also.

Change there ways how?

Not bother to try to investigate an alleged rape?

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No shit, Sherlock...

Seven pet h8s: Verity is sorely vexed

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Re: Stuck-in-time Overflow

Perhaps a special exemption can be made for Delphi.

Ooh, Miaow...

Fancy a saucer of milk?


Fired Ofcom Remainer bod sues UK gov for withholding his payoff

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After Emmott was disinvited to an Ofcom board meeting in July


What's wrong with uninvited or just plain not invited?

What's the biggest danger to the power grid? Hackers? Terrorists? Er, squirrels

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Re: Misunderstanding

Was it a misguided attempt to cook them?

Yeah, a bird with a bit of class, it wanted proper roast acorns, none of your cheap microwaved rubbish...

Oh, wait...

Meet 'Moz://a', AKA Mozilla after it picked a new logo

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Re: Synonym

To avoid downvotes, can I point out I am not recommending this as a suggestion.

Too Late!


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And because anyone can type the logo, Mozilla reckons it is "open and democratic."

but not pronounceable...

Moz colon slash slash A

However, the spoken word is soo last century, dahhling...

Well, that sucks: China's Tencent so sorry after vid emerges of faux blowjob office game

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Re: re: I never said that the AC demanded / suggested that.


Look, I'm old, and grumpy, so git orf my lawn...


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ACs on here demanding that we grovel for being old! I can't believe they've got the cheek to suggest that.

Because they didn't.


I never said that the AC demanded / suggested that.

I asked if they wanted us to...

This is not the same thing.

Alister Silver badge

Yeah,. racial abuse, sexual harassment, open discrimination against homosexuals, these are all things that used to be commonplace back in the day. As a straight white male, you probably saw nothing wrong with those things but I'm willing to bet that the subjects of those actions were really not OK with it at all. Hell, smoking in the office used to be commonplace, that doesn't mean you should be lighting up now.

So, do you want all of us over 40 to grovel and apologise for being born and living when we did?

Maybe you should be grateful that the vast majority of us recognised the injustices and put in place a culture which no longer tolerates such behaviour.

Kill it with fire: US-CERT urges admins to firewall off Windows SMB

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Why would anybody with an ounce of sense allow SMB through boundary firewalls anyway?

If anything outside the network needs SMB access, it should be over a VPN, not by opening ports.

Li-ion tamers: Boffins build battery with built-in fire extinguisher

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Re: "...still a fire in my books..."



nomenclature is fine on its own, it doesn't need an "ism"

Dodgy Dutch developer built backdoors into thousands of sites

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Re: I've seen this movie

It was called "Sneakers" -1992

I don't recall seeing the bit where there's a dodgy web developer... in fact I don't think the world wide web was in general use when that film was made? It was all about a piece of hardware that could decrypt encrypted information.

Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

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Re: confused

- "substances found within caffeine" doesn't make any sense. Caffeine is a specific chemical compound.

The clue is in the name... "compound" i.e. made up of more than one thing.

Caffeine is a complex hydrocarbon containing Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen and Nitrogen in various combinations, the posh name is trimethylxanthine.

Alister Silver badge

The problem with all these "X is good for you", "X is bad for you" announcements is that they occur in isolation.

I'm pretty sure there have been other studies which suggest that caffeine, tea and chocolate have deleterious effects on the human body. I'm also sure I have read other studies which suggest tea and chocolate in particular are beneficial (in sensible amounts).

What is needed is a study which takes into account all the previous work done concerning a substance, and then measures any harmful effects against any perceived benefits, and makes a judgement as to whether, on balance, the substance is good for you, or bad for you, and at what level of intake.

Dovecot mailserver graded 'nearly impenetrable'

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Was going to post the same thing... It's not the most straightforward piece of software to configure...

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

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Re: Conspiracy? Two references to speeding bullets during the webcast.


Man you seriously need to upgrade your Tin-foil Hat, and your meds!

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In that instance a SpaceX rocket blew up on the launchpad, incinerating a Facebook satellite.

Goddamnit Gareth, how many more times: IT WAS NOT A FACEBOOK SATELLITE!

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

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Re: The pontification of Lara Croft with swishy hair and swaying breasts...

I thought it should have been pointification... or am I missing something here?

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Thumb Up


For the benefit of Scottish readers, that means you'd have to walk 3,000 miles and then walk 3,000 more.

I genuinely Lol'd at that, out loud and everything.


EE brings 1,000 call centre jobs to UK and Ireland

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Is "in-sourcing" the new thing for 2017?

I certainly hope so.

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

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I was thinking "reavers" as well...

Miranda Mouse...

EU policy makers consider FRAND licensing of machine-generated data

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The principle of free movement of personal data enshrined in primary and secondary law should also apply in the cases where the GDPR allows member states to regulate specific matters.

So, what happened to the protection of personal data then?

Oh it's anonymized!

Well that's alright then...

So, if I understand this correctly, I could, in the future, face EU sanctions if I don't allow other people access to data that I generate? Really?

That can't be right, can it?

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

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Re: What can we say? It's The Reg wot won it.

Thanks for responding. I did wonder whether your original intention was just to go "look at this: funny" and I'm not sure I understand the motivation for El Reg to contact Microsoft about it.

In these litigation-fearing days, I guess it's no surprise that Microsoft would remove the image once brought to its attention, but it's a very sad reflection on society nowadays.

Cheers for replying.

Alister Silver badge

What can we say? It's The Reg wot won it.

Well I hope you're feeling suitably smug, but frankly it seems a rather hollow victory to me, pandering to those who go out of their way to find things offensive or "inappropriate".

Personally I thought the combination of picture and text was funny, and completely inoffensive.

Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

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Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com

I'm sure I've asked this before, but anyway... Is his wife called Su?

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

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So when BT start saying they provide FTTC to so many percentage of the country, the fact is they don't know for sure whether it actually works.

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

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consumers are not tech savy

I think you are quoting A Non e-mouse out of context here, I don't think he's blaming the consumer.

What I understood him to be saying is that because consumers are not tech savy and don't know what to do, it is up to the ISP or device manufacturer to ensure that the device is secure by default.

Alister Silver badge

I don't see why this is such a surprise.

For the vast majority of households, an ISP router is considered to be a consumer device just like a TV, stereo, or bedside alarm clock, there is no expectation that you should have to fiddle with its internal workings, it should just work and be secure.

It is only those of us who work in the IT world who take delight in replacing the ISP router with our own chosen brand, or making changes to settings, or investigate what devices are on the network.

The onus is on manufacturers or suppliers to configure the device to be secure as sent from the factory, whether by providing random passwords for each device, or other similar mechanisms.

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

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Re: WTF is a DB engine doing on the Internet?

That's what happens when you run your DB engine on the Web server...

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Re: Cue useless drivel as defence

It makes it the Microsoft of databases - not to be trusted near a public connection.

Curiously, Microsoft SQL is locked down to local connections only by default, and requires a certain amount of effort, and joined-up thinking, to make it accessible on a public connection, or even to any other host on the network.

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

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Re: Boom tomorrow

Any civilization in the neighborhood will not be amused then?

Well they've had 1,800 years to get used to it, I should think they'll be celebrating the anniversary, with fireworks, or something.

You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies? That's how the Moon was built, say boffins

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You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies?

Did all the little moonlets have a siren that went weeeyooooooeeeeeeyooooooeeeeeeeeeyoooooooo ow, ow, urgh, uuuuuuuurgh.

Or am I thinking of the Clangers...


Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

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And look what they did to the Toblerone!

Half the chocolate for the same price!

Autocomplete a novel phishing hole for Chrome, Safari crims

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Autocomplete a Novel

I completely misinterpreted the headline, I thought it was a story about AI thriller writing...

TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

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Isn't a chimp some kind of monkey?


It's an Ape, as is the Librarian.

Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

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Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

I'll add a Me Too here, very sorry to hear about your Father.

British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

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he RN still has no replacement anti-ship missiles lined up for when its current weapons are retired in 2018 – though sources tell El Reg that the UK is exploring options for this with France.

Yes, well the Exocet is French, that works quite well, I seem to remember...

NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

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I wonder if it was a conscious nod to Arthur C Clarke to name one probe Lucy, after Jupiter became Lucifer in Odyssey 2.

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

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Re: What is truly disrupting...


Not even this?:


Alister Silver badge

Re: What is truly disrupting...

Well to my European eyes, it doesn't look particularly bad, it's pretty much a stretched clone of the current Honda Civic. Not quite sure I understand the vitriol being poured in its direction regarding its looks.

AWS chief: Tens of thousands flocking from database rivals

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<wilfully misunderstanding>

"with virtually no downtime"

</wilfully misunderstanding>

So, is virtual downtime the same as real downtime, only distributed over more hardware?

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