* Posts by Alister

3202 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Alister
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Trollface

Re: A different name for every site?

Chlamydia is a very nice name for a girl, isn't it? some sort of flower?

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Alister
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Re: Silly first name.

You just need to listen to how it is pronounced, Alistair, Alastair etc.

Except that almost universally, people pronounce my name as my username is spelled, and I'm sure Mr Dabbs gets the same, too. Even if I carefully emphasise the second "A":

Hi, I'm Alastair, pleased to meet you.

Hi Alister.

AAAAAARRRRRRGH!

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Alister
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Silly first name.

I was christened Alastair, but quickly gave up on the idea that anybody - even immediate family - would ever spell it correctly. Birthday cards over the years have been written to any number of variants, so I can probably claim at least 20 pseudonyms.

I have never frequented Starbucks, but were I ever to attempt transactions with one of their baristas, I think I would just accept defeat and go for Fred. Let's see them mess that up!

Oh and did one of your cups say Avast - that's some serious mangling of Alistair!

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Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Alister
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Re: Monitor

Why not, if he'd got one handy? Belt-and-braces diagnostics.

He'd look pretty silly if his "known-good" monitor had decided to die at that moment...

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Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

Alister
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Re: Nanny Ogg's space travels

Her favourite song captures the essence of this planet's defence against alien (e.g. human) interference.

A Wizard's staff has a knob on the end?

Shirley not?

:)

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

Alister
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Re: The King of Vegetables

@I ain't Spartacus.

Is your name Rincewind, by any chance?

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Alister
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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Well said sir, I wholeheartedly endorse your comments.

Christmas should be a thing only in December, not plastered across a quarter of the year.

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Alister
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Re: Sprouts

Sprouts are indeed lovely.

But sprout-flavoured tea? You are effectively drinking cabbage-water...

Hmmm...

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I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

Alister
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Aladdin Sane, Stand Down! You are bound by law!

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Russian 'troll factory' firebombed – but still fit to fiddle with our minds

Alister
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Separated by a common language...

An unidentified man broke the glass on the first floor of a building

In the UK, that would no doubt be the ground floor of the building, not the first floor.

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Self-driving cars may not have steering wheels in future, dev preview for PyTorch 1.0 is here, etc

Alister
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Re: What about towing trailers?

Are they really expecting the driver to get out and use a box on a cable like many cranes have? Or maybe to yell instructions at the tow vehicle?

No, they expect you not to tow trailers or caravans, be a pedestrian, or a horse rider or a cyclist. For truly autonomous cars to work, they must be the only item allowed on the roads, and will only take you from clearly defined point "A" to clearly defined point "B".

It appears that with all these "innovations" what is considered normal behaviour now will be curtailed to meet the limitations of the new technology.

To me, this seems the wrong way to go about things, the new technology should be designed to work within the constraints of current behaviour, but that's not how it seems to be at the moment.

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

Alister
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Re: a bit thin?

Also known as Love-in-a-Canoe tea...

As in: fucking close to water.

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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

Alister
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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me:

Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Stop it with the Christmas theme, OK?

It's barely October.

No Christmas themed headlines until December, FFS!

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30 years ago, NASA put Challenger behind it and sent a Space Shuttle back out into the black

Alister
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Re: Space Shuttle - Pop Culture Favorite

There's something very inspirational about a spacecraft that flies into space and lands back on the ground.

That's why, whatever your thoughts on Mr Musk, the SpaceX booster landings tick all the boxes - it's how spacecraft should be, as we've seen for over half a century of Sci-Fi movies.

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

Alister
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@Nick Kew

No, they weren't. The first available flash drives came in 64MB, 128MB, 256MB and 512MB sizes - and those are still available today.

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Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

Alister
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Oh, so it's your fault!

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UK.gov asks biz for ideas on how to 'overcome' data privacy concerns in NHS

Alister
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"overcome privacy challenges"

UK firms are being asked to pitch digital solutions to overcome privacy challenges

I think they mean: bypass the annoying privacy restraints

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Alister
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Re: Best thing they can do...

Give the £9m to the NHS and let them sort it out.

Can't do that, they might spend the money on something silly and inconsequential, like a few more nurses, or an extra ambulance, or something.

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UK ruling party's conference app editable by world+dog, blabs members' digits

Alister
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Re: "Everything blamed on the firm they bought the app from."

And rightly so!

I'm no supporter of the Conservatives, but I'm pretty sure they didn't go to the developer:

"Oh, and please make sure our app includes loads of bugs, and is more full of security holes than Adobe Flash"

It's fun to blame the party, but it's the company who sold them the app whose fault it is.

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Bombing raids during WWII sent out shockwaves powerful enough to alter the Earth's ionosphere

Alister
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Re: Ten Ton Tess

Yep, he was an evil looking man, apparently.

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That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Alister
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Re: Insurers, banks, board of trade, government...

Would that be metric or imperial F'tons ?

Well imperial, obviously, a metric one would be a F'tonne...

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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Alister
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Thumb Up

After passing my handset over the contactless pad, I made sure to flourish it over the empty paper cup that she'd labelled "Tips - thank you!"

Classic!

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US State Department confirms: Unclassified staff email boxes hacked

Alister
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data breeches

Awesome! Trousers with storage in them, what a great idea!

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Oh Smeg! Hacked white goods maker resurfaces after system shutdown

Alister
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Schurely Schome Mischtake?

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Alister
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there's a lot of difference between Massachusetts and Mississippi

Yeah, there's no "i"s or "p"s in Massachusetts.

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Alister
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but decided not to raise the topic of his bollocks with staff in a foreign language.

Wise.

Very Wise.

Excusez moi monsieur, mais mes couilles ont été endommagées par votre tablette AR.

Quelle domage!

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Berkeley bio-boffins' butt-blasting belly-bothering batt-teria generates electricity

Alister
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It shouldn't be a surprise, really

Given that all higher forms of life uses electrical signals to control muscles, communicate pain, and do the whole "thinking" thing, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that bacteria have the ability to swap electrons.

The evolution of life from single-celled beings to multi-cellular organisms must have started from such basic building blocks, and the ability to pass electrical signals between cells is essential for that process, whether you are a bacteria or a eukaryote.

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New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

Alister
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Alright, Beatrice, there was no alien.

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO.

Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket, and refracted the light from Venus.

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Martian weather has cleared at last: Now NASA's wondering, will Opportunity knock?

Alister
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Re: Not allowed to

"Fire twinklers and light balls!"

I'm not lighting my balls for anybody!

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GDPR v2 – Gradually Diminishing Psychotic Robots: Brussels kills Terminator apocalypse

Alister
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Re: Weaponizing AI will happen, denying this is suicidal

For much of human history, there was not even the concept of a 'civilian'.

And yet, for a certain period, it was only professional soldiers who fought.

I remember reading an account somewhere of one of the classical Greek wars of Alexander's time, where the combating soldiers were fighting, in a city, dodging round the incumbent citizens who were trying to carry on with their normal lives.

Even in First World War France, if you came back thirty miles or so from the trenches, civilian life pretty much carried on as normal.

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Alister
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killer robots are not something that no one ever wants to see

Ooh! double negative!

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Milton Keynes: Come for roundabouts, stay for near-gigabit broadband

Alister
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Never mind the roundabouts...

What about the concrete cows!

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Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

Alister
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I trust it's SMB 1.0 that it supports, just to leverage all the available exploits onto a new platform?

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It's a mug's game: Watch AI robot grab a cuppa it hasn't seen before

Alister
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Re: Couple of questions

My other question is, are tongues the usual way of picking up shoes?

I think you would only pick up a shoe by its tongue if it is as a preparation to putting it on your foot, (you would normally pull the tongue towards the front of the shoe to open up the aperture to put your foot in).

You know what, thinking about it the above is wrong, and that yes you would normally pick up a single shoe by putting one or more fingers under the tongue.

For a pair of shoes, side-by-side, I would tend to put my fingers in one shoe, and my thumb in the other, and pinch the sides together to lift both.

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Alister
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And they dare to call this “AI”.

But this is AI, the actual level of competence of real AI, and not just data-mining, which is what the marketing types have hijacked the term to mean.

This is a computer learning from a mixture of teaching and its own experience, and is what real AI should be.

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British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages

Alister
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Re: third party scripts, including from external domains that the company itself owns

If the company owns the domain then it isn't a third-party script.

Wrong.

Modernizr is a third-party script library, as are JQuery et al. They are produced and distributed by a third party. Just because you host a local copy on your own domain doesn't make them not third-party.

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Alister
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Re: @John Leyden / ElReg: Can you please get the headline changed?

@AC

it is clear that there were no "third-party scripts" involved

Modernizr is a third-party script library, as are JQuery et al. They were not written specifically for the BA site, or by BA's dev team, they were written by a third party...

No, they weren't hosted externally, but that's a different matter.

So the headline is technically correct.

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Alister
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Let's just be clear

The scripts WERE NOT hosted on an external resource, they were served from inside BAs infrastructure. The path they came from was:

https://www.britishairways.com/cms/global/scripts/lib

However, they WERE third party scripts in that they were not written specifically for the BA site, but were local copies of script libraries freely available to web developers from various vendors.

In this case, they were modified versions of the freely available scripts, with malicious extra code added to siphon off users details to an external domain.

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Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

Alister
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Joke

Ok... how do I load it with washing over the internet

Depends on what fabric you're using... apparently Brocade is quite fast.

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Alister
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Your sub heading made me think of Jeff Lynnes' opening lyrics for "Ticket to the Moon"...

Remember the good old 1980's

When things were so uncomplicated

I wish I could go back there again

And everything could be the same

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Microsoft tells volume customers they can stay on Windows 7... for a bit longer... for a fee

Alister
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Re: Microsoft is giving people some extra time...

Unless your company runs some weird custom middleware or specialized software

Yeah, like Active Directory, or Visual Studio...

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HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

Alister
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Re: We take security very seriously

You forgot:

It's not you, it's me.

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Alister
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Re: redirecting HTTP to HTTPS

In my experience, the current crop of Comp Sci graduates wouldn't have a fucking clue how to do this, nor why they should...

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Heart-stopping predictions from AI doctors could save lives

Alister
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Difficulty breathing can be associated with heart problems, yes, as in congestive cardiac failure, or atrial fibrillation, where the breathing problems are due to a backlog of fluid in the lungs.

A heart attack does not usually cause breathing difficulty except as a consequence of the associated chest pain, however "shortness of breath" is often reported as a symptom as the body is trying to compensate for the lack of oxygen to the heart. There is no actual impairment of breathing.

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Alister
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making it difficult for oxygen to be circulated around the bloodstream

Nope. The article does not explain it very well, but the arteries which are involved are the coronary arteries which supply blood and oxygen to the muscle of the heart itself, not those which transport blood to the rest of the body.

A heart attack is actually the death of a portion of the muscle tissue of the heart, due to oxygen starvation caused by blocked or constricted coronary arteries. The proper term for a heart attack is a Myocardial Infarction, which literally means heart muscle death.

Note that a Heart Attack is not the same as a Cardiac Arrest.

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I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

Alister
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Lumphammer at the ready...

Aah, so you're a waffle man.

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Software dev-turned-councillor launches rubbish* chatbot

Alister
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Joke

What kind of animal does this?

Um, Badgers, maybe? They are quite fastidious about keeping clean, so they might want a washing machine...

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Congress wants CVE stability, China wants your LinkedIn details, and Adobe wants you to patch Creative Cloud

Alister
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Re: CVE Funding

No, no, no, no NO! US government funding for CVE will remove any and all trust I have in the system.

Did you miss the bit where it says the CVE is already government funded - just not on a long term basis.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Alister
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Tide, stop coming in!

Tide, I said stop!

Please stop the tide, my feet are wet.

bubble-bu-blub-blub-blub.

Yeah, go on, try legislating encryption out of existence, see how that goes for you!

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No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Alister
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Re: Quality output

Next, there is blisteringly blindingly bright white, for 90% of the page, to keep you from being able to see anything on it [like staring directly into the sun].

I reckon there's a conspiracy among monitor manufacturers and web designers, to use as much white as possible, to decrease the useful life of the screen.

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