* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Speeding jet of Siberian liquid hot Magma getting speedier, satellites find

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And even more during a Solar Eclipse...


The Zucker Mister Social Club: Facebook's daddy wants to be your friend, for realsies

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"Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I've run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin."

Is general literacy really in such a parlous state that reading 25 books is considered an achievement?

Dear Gods, there's no hope...

Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

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Re: I can haz smart meter haxxored?

Innocent face-->

Really? You think Paris is the face of innocence? Blimey...

Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

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Re: Fantastic!

Here it is at last, what every teenage girl has been waiting for - the hairbrush that doubles as a mic!

and has a built in vibrator function...

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

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Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist at the NPL

It's all Whibberley Whobberley, Timey Wimey...

'Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

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'Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

If that was meant as a Jabberwocky reference, you didn't try very hard... ;)


'Twas Brillo and the Kythe Docs did GYP and Google in the Weave

Windows 10 nags, Dirty Cow, Microsoft's Linux man love: The Reg's big ones for 2016

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Re: "Microsoft's Linux man love"

Does this mean that Bill Gates is like Captain Kirk?

Naah, more like Yoda...

"Never more than 640k will you need"

Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage

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Worryingly, if this does prove to be another cyberattack on the Ukrainian grid, it sets an uncomfortable precedent that similar attacks may occur annually at this time of year.”

Well yes, whilst ever you don't disconnect it from the Internet...

Google's latest legal opponents: Shooting victims' families – and a cheesed-off ex-manager

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Funny to see how strongly Americans defend their First Amendment rights, except when they think they can sue somebody...

Europe trials air-traffic-control-over-IP-and-satellite

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I do wonder whether any pilots were consulted in this matter?

I would be interested to hear whether a pilot would prefer to receive verbal instructions as necessary, rather than have yet another screen in front of them full of extraneous information.

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

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Re: Cable degradation

And if there's a break in the cable somewhere, there's always a strong smell of TCP as the packets leak out...

MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

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Ah, the UK government with their unerring ability to get to the heart of the matter, have once again aimed their sights squarely on the root cause of the problem.

Some may have been sidetracked by the idea that the general uncertainty of jobs, the pressure put on school pupils, the increasingly underfunded mental health care sector, may have contributed to a rise in the suicide rates.

But no, they are foolish irrelevancies, the problem is the internet, and the government have an enviable track record of successfully managing it.


Christmas cheer for KCL staffers with gift of extra holiday after IT disaster

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With the greatest of respect to your relatives, they don't sound very dilligent teachers. My parents were both secondary school teachers, and at least two weeks of their 6-week holiday were taken up with lesson and timetable planning for the new term,

I remember them with a great roll of paper spread out across the floor trying to fit all the lessons into a week, and all the pupils into the lessons without any clashes.

(this was in the eighties, nowadays I expect they'd use a spreadsheet).

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

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Re: Why can't the EU...

We could just ban the sales of VW's, Audi's, Skoda's and Porsche's until they fix all the 'bent' cars

AARHHG! so many grocer's...

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Re: Reg units - @Your alien overlord - fear me

Might I respectfully suggest the goebbels as an appropriate name for the new unit?

No no, the goering, he was in the air a lot at one time...

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Re: "the best available technology"

CATNAP: Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoiding Prosecution

Bravo sir!

Major outage at broadband biz 186k

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no future?

The Register has contacted 186k to ask when it expects the service to return to normal, and the reason for the outage. ®

I would have thought it is clear from the below that the answer is "never"

"If you are currently experiencing an outage with your broadband service, please be advised that you will need to find an alternative provider as we are unable to continue to supply your current service."

It sounds to me (pure speculation) that whatever deal they had with BT Wholesale has fallen through, rather than it being a technical issue.

ESA to try tank-to-tank fuel switch on sat that wasn't designed to do it

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Re: How?

What they're going to do is eject the fuel into space from the other tanks (at a low delta V) and then swing round and suck it all back into the main tank...

No seriously, That's what they'll do, honest...

Military reservist bemoans frost-bitten baby-maker on Antarctic trek

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I'm sure there's a joke to be made about being forewarned about this and getting a tip off

No need to go off half-cocked...

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

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The Register has contacted Microsoft for an update.

I don't think that's a good idea, the last thing you want is another Microsoft Update...


HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

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Re: I have an idea

Also done!

Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

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Re: Cuddly?

Is "cuddly" some politically correct euphemism for "old" now then?

I don't think I can recall Hanks in a "nasty" role before, so I think that's what Andrew means.

HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

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Re: I am enough of a naval history buff...

"I think it is nuts for a small country to try to have a big naval force"

We're a small country who has one of the longest coastlines in europe. You need a large navy to defend it.

We're also a country which now relies almost entirely on foreign imports for most of our raw materials and consumer goods, most of which come by sea. We therefore need to be able to protect our supply lines, should it ever become necessary.

'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'

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Re: @Emmeran: Maybe...

An apostrophe can be a contraction as well as a possessive.

Yes, but only in specific cases, and not for plurals.

Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

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I've recently been working on a Winsocks application...

Didn't realise I could have got these to protect it.

HyperGrid's ex-ice hockey player evangelist wants to slot the puck

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..wants to slot the puck

Well, so long as it's between consenting adults, I say let 'im!

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

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RE: Windows 10? What is it?

It's the operating system Microsoft couldn't get business to buy even when it was free.

Hull surfers cut off by router attack

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I'm sure I read a recent story on here about certain models of ZyXel being wide open to attacks due to an internet facing open management port which was meant to be locked down to certain IPs, but was left open to everyone and his dog.

I thought it was Talk-Talk, but apparently not, I can't find the story now.

Could well be the same problem though.

Imagine every mistake you can make with a new software rollout...

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Re: Brings a whole new dimension to punishment

but impossible to prove given the state of Roman record keeping.

Ah, so they were using Odyssey as well!

Scotland's Skyscanner sold to Chinese rival Ctrip in £1.4bn deal

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Skyscanner is one of the largest travel search platforms in the world

It is?

I'd never heard of it...

Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

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Microsoft’s chatty bot Tay became a sex-obsessed Nazi in just 24 hours. Normally it takes years of toil in the music industry to achieve that.

Thumbs up for this, but see icon

USS Zumwalt gets Panama tug job after yet another breakdown

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what's the point of having a stealth warship

It's not to try and hide it, so much as to make it harder to hit with a missile.

The days of warships firing dumb shells at each other are long gone, and so the majority of anti-ship ordnance is missiles nowadays, either ship-launched or air-launched.

Giving your warship a low-return radar signature means that potential attackers have to get closer before they can successfully lock on, and if combined with a reduced heat signature to fool IR targeted missiles can help protect the ship from attack and bring attackers in range of the offensive armament.

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USS Kumquat

So, you're saying it's a bit of a lemon?

Missile tech helps boffins land drone on car moving at 50 km/h

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I thought you could only fly a drone within the direct line of sight of the operator?

Or does that only apply to personal use, and not to commercial operators?

Twitter bans own CEO Jack Dorsey from Twitter

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Ah, the dichotomy...

For a miraculous moment, I witnessed @jack having been suspended from his own shitty website

And it was a pure, perfect life. I miss it.

— Gus (@guscraw) November 23, 2016

...of posting this on Twitter.

HPE's first standalone year ticks most boxes – except Donald Trump's

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Ha, made you look!

See, you only have to add Trump to any headline, and the clicks go up, and up...

Signal security revealed: A triple-Diffie-Hellman with a double ratchet

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Signal developer Open Whisper Systems has quietly posted some important documents for developer consumption:

What! You mean they've posted details of strong encryption algorithms on the Internet!

But that means the Terrists can use it!



Microsoft still working to fix Outlook sync issues

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As I posted on the previous story about this, I was able to make Thunderbird work with my Hotmail account by setting up an alias on the account using the outlook.com domain, and logging in with that email address.

The error thrown when trying to connect to my hotmail.co.uk account was Error="AuthFailed:LogonDenied-FederatedStsUnreachable

which suggests that the Federated Trust between the outlook.com domain and other domains like hotmail.co.uk had failed.

Stay out of my server room!

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The headline image...

Trevor, you shaved your beard off!!

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Our comms room at the office - it's not big enough to grace with the term "Server room" - was carefully planned by us IT staff when we moved buildings 6 years ago. We were given free reign to design the best possible space, as we were starting with a new build.

It had three 42U racks full of servers, and a fourth 42U cab which held the switches, patch panels and routers which sat in the middle of the room with free access all round.

It had nice open worktop areas round two sides, with loads of power and network outlets, and plenty of storage space for cables, components, etc, etc.

It is currently full to bursting with assorted crap, including old office chairs, 4 car tyres, a pile of ceased network switches and routers from a branch office which closed, 2 large-screen TVs, and the bicycle, and full golf-trolley, belonging to one of the Directors.

We can't actually open the doors to the racks without moving stuff out of the room.

Oh, forgot to say, access is controlled by physical locks and electronic passkeys, only the IT team and Directors have access. Guess where most of the junk comes from...

It's time: Patch Network Time Protocol before it loses track of time

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pretty much any 'net-facing server is running it


Pretty much none of mine do, unless they really need to sync time between themselves. I have a few specific ntp servers which fetch time from pool.ntp.org but the firewalls don't allow inbound connections to them.

2016. AI boffins picked a hell of a year to train a neural net by making it watch the news

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It's a good thing that nowadays everyone seems to "emote" when talking - think back to the fifties, when people seemed to speak whilst barely moving their lips, particularly upper-class English folk.

Gov's industrial strategy: 'Look, we've changed the words above our door'

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May's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to back priority technologies – such as robotics and biotechnology


Of all the technologies that the government could be funding, those are considered a priority?

Outlook outage outrage

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AD authentication borked

The error I was getting mentioned something to do with Federated Trust issues.

The exact error was:


when trying to log in to POP using a hotmail.co.uk account, which suggests an issue with AD domains and the Trust between them.

As mentioned in the article, I set up an alias on my account using the outlook.com domain, and using that I was able to connect and retrieve mail as normal.

UK PM Theresa May's £2bn in R&D still a drop in the ocean

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Hang on a minute...

What she said was "the government will invest an extra £2bn a year in R&D by 2020. So this doesn't actually commit her to doing anything before her present term of office ends, nor does it mean that there will be any extra money in the next 3 years.

Going shopping for a BSOD? We've found 'em in store at M&S

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Re: London Waterloo

I've never got a camera handy though.

What, do you not own a smartphone? you luddite, you.


Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

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Re: Poor show

they would have got away with it too if it wasn't for those meddling kids!

AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

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Re: Lack of Research

That's a very short list of sex acts.

It's the Wholesome American list of approved sexual perversion.

Most of the list you mention are highly illegal in a number of US States.

Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

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A large number of low-flying satellites is definitely breaking the mould.

Not to mention seriously impeding any further earth launched space travel under the orbital path of all of those whizzing satellites.

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As anyone with a vague interest in SpaceX knows, a rocket blew up on one of their launch pads in September, with no casualties except for the Facebook-owned satellite strapped to the rocket at the time.

How long are El-Reg going to perpetuate this myth?

It was not a Facebook owned satellite, it was a Spacecom owned satellite, built by IAI, and Facebook and EUTelsat had rented bandwidth on it.

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