* Posts by Alister

3334 posts • joined 19 May 2010

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Alister Silver badge

Re: RAF?

why Army but not RAF?

Which do you think is more capable of dealing with a threat that is slow moving and doesn't go above about 800 feet?

What has the RAF got that can deal with what is essentially a mobile but ground-based threat?

I suppose they could carpet-bomb Gatwick?

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

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I wish I could draw

This is a cartoonists dream - images of British coppers running round the airport perimeter with butterfly nets and shotguns.

Where's Giles when you need him...

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Re: Airport radar should be able to show this.


They are ground vehicles with ADS-B transponders.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Airport radar should be able to show this.

FlightRadar24 doesn't use radar, sorry.

It relies on ADS-B information, or multilateration using FlightRadar24 receivers, both of which techniques require the target to be actively transmitting a recognisable signal. It is unlikely that a drone would have that sort of transmitter fitted.

Ho ho ho! Washington DC sends Zuckerberg a sueball-shaped present

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Facebook, Facebook?

Oh yes, I remember them, they went bust after being sued into oblivion...

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

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Re: Is this libel?

No, it isn't libel.

"Libel" noun: a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation.

As far as I can see, nothing in the article is false, and I'm sure El Reg's legal team will have checked.

Introducing 'Happy Quit', where Chinese smokers are text-spammed into nicotine abstinence

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Can you get Nokia patches?

German cybersecurity chief: Anyone have any evidence of Huawei naughtiness?

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Re: Evidence? You want evidence?

@John Savard

I hope your tin-foil hat isn't made in China.

You make McCarthyism look quite rational.

Alister Silver badge

Typical Germans, asking for evidence. Evidence! I mean, come on.

Don't they know rhetoric and false accusation is all you need nowadays?

The UK government didn't mess about looking for evidence, did they? No, they did just what Uncle Sam said.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Huawei the lads!

For years I thought it was pronounced hoo-way, and it's only recently I've heard all the newscasters calling it wah-whey.

I'm not sure which is closer to the Geordie...

Scrubtastic end to 2018 as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace all opt for another day on Earth

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an "out of family" reading on first stage sensors had tripped the alarms.

Orphaned process?

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants

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Bah! to your piffling Space Command, let's get the Galactic Patrol up and running, now!

Jingle bells, disk drives sell not so well from today. Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open array...

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You do know it's Christmas, don't you?

Just checking...

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

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We need MorPork


Memes, messengers, and missiles: From Twitter to chat apps and weapons, security is ho-ho-hosed this Xmas

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Re: ???

Why MAC addresses? Article (linked) doesn't explain it.

It's the bastard offspring of a Google car.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

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Re: Bandwidth and storage are miniscule

Once at Google HQ it would be converted to text and stored as such

So I wonder if there will be a standard text representation of a fart. Will it be:






Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

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Re: Don't forget the other fallen

3 people were killed during a ground nitrous oxide tanking test in development of Space Ship Two. That's four dead and they aren't even in commercial service yet.

How many people do you think died in developing aircraft to the point where they were commercially successful? How many people died before automobiles were generally safe to drive? How many people died building the railways?

People die, it happens all the time. This generation seems to think any loss of life is unacceptable, and because of that, are needlessly risk averse.

Earlier generations were more pragmatic.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Superficial Marketing Tosh = Virgin on the Ridiculous

Just to point out that Branson's endeavour is the only one so far to offer spaceflight (even if illusory) to "ordinary people" - in quotes because you have to be rich, Obvs - but by that I mean, not trained astronauts.

Think back to the early days of powered flight, and that's exactly what happened, it was first touted as a rich plaything, before disseminating to the general public.

Automobiles, too, were first and foremost a thing for rich people to play with, until mass-production became a thing.

If you go further back, look at Richard Trevithick who offered rides behind his new steam locomotive on a circle of track, to those who could afford it.

So don't be so disparaging, most of the innovations in transport have started this way, and it is a necessary step on the path to more widespread use.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Talking cargo

"Self-loading Freight" is the phrase I'm most familiar with.

UK white hats blacklisted by Cisco Talos after smart security code stumbles

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surely better terms that are neutral can be found

Go on then, suggest some?

Not everything has racist connotations, unless you deliberately choose to be offended.

If I'm playing snooker, and I pot the black, that's not racist, is it, or should we perhaps look at renaming the ball?

Godmother of word processing Evelyn Berezin dies at 93

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Only if you changed all the levers...

'Exclusive swag' up for grabs as GitLab flings bug bounty scheme open to world+dog

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My perception is that they are a lot more sickly sweet than they used to be.

I find a standard sized bar is more than I want to eat, nowadays, although I do still enjoy the bite-size ones.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

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Re: So...

and therefore the fraud charge is real.

See, as a I understand it, the US are trying to extradite a Chinese National who is the CFO of a Chinese company who sold Chinese technology to Iran through a Hong-Kong subsidy, to face charges of breaking a US trade sanction.

And my question is, what the fuck has it got to do with the USA?

Latest Google+ flaw leads Chocolate Factory to shut down site early

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Re: Google+ shutdown

but as they found out, you can lead a horse to water,

but a pencil must be lead.


Waymo presents ChauffeurNet, a neural net designed to copy human driving

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Re: Simple questions

In the UK, at least from a legal perspective, the red light overrules the desire of the emergency services to get past you.

However, that's not quite what the AC posted. In the UK, you may pass a red light under the direct orders of a Police Officer.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

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Re: Music


No Contest!

Alister Silver badge

Re: Flickering fluorescent lights

And that door-opening sound?


It's unmistakeable, even after all these years. I was watching a Sci-Fi program recently where I'm pretty sure they ripped off the Doom door opening, and I recognised it straight away.

The other thing that sticks is the music, I remember downloading the midi files 'cos I liked them so much.

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

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Re: Optional

Yep, the only reason they found it was because they were doing a luna-magnetic survey.

There's a reason it was called Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner

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From my recollections of changing my kids' nappies, they needed no encouragement or specific dietary additions to produce a contents which warranted full HAZMAT protocols to be enacted, and a 20 mile exclusion zone.

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There are those who quite rightly hate them, and those whose tastebuds checked out years ago.

Lol, no editorial bias on show here... :)

It's a, it's a, it's a SYN flood: Quick, ditch that packet

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DDoSes don't bother with such tricks anymore

Really? I wish you'd tell that to the bastards who are currently sending > 1GB/s of SYN packets at one of my networks.

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

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It's really sad that you are so deluded that you think that all the many posts on here deriding Assange are just astroturfing.

You only need to look at the posting histories to see that this is not the case, unless you are so paranoid that you think the posting histories are a carefully maintained fiction as well?

We get it, you think the sun shines out of St Julian's arse.

Some of us, however, have a more balanced view.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Assange is a political prisoner, in the United Kingdom, end of


Cue, not Queue.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

Alister Silver badge

Re: Speaking of confusion.....

You're not fooling me, number 6!

Reminds me of the bloke running a boating lake, he had a megaphone to call in the people who had had their alloted time...

"Number six, you're time is up"

"Number six, please come in now, you're time is up"

"Number six, come back in!"


"Number nine, are you in trouble?"


MAMR Mia – it's not just WD: Toshiba's popped to the microwave too

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We understand microwave electro-magnetic radiation has frequencies and wavelengths between 1mm and 1m, and frequencies between 300GHz (1mm wave length) and 300MHz (1m).

Curious, I've never considered the 70cm band (432MHz) to be microwave.

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

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Re: Risk assessment

If bear spray is not very toxic than why were 24 people hospitalised, one described as being in "critical condition"?

Because it's an extreme irritant, especially to the respiratory system. It is not, however, Toxic. It is not a poison.

Alister Silver badge

Re: The machines were just trying to share!

I first parsed that as "Bears & hot peppers are a normal part of the diet here at Chez jake."

But I suppose bear steak is something you've eaten, anyway.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

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Re: Neither

Australian bacon rules...oi, oi, oi

Welsh Bacon is best... Hoggy, Hoggy, Hoggy, OI, OI OI!


Forget ripping off brains for AI. Butterflies and worms could lead us to self-repairing intelligent robots, says prof

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"This animal shows that behaviour and we have no real idea of how that happens, except that it seems to be inbuilt".

Thank you. After posting my comment I had that exact thought. It's very easy to say something is an instinct but actually it mostly, as you say, means we don't know where it comes from.

And that begs the wider question of how, and why, organisms manage to expand, modify and store behaviour over generations, or through metamorphoses as in this case.

I would say though, that to call this "intelligence" is a bit of a stretch.

Alister Silver badge

During the whole metamorphosis process, the memories of the caterpillar remain intact and are transferred to the butterfly. “Things that the caterpillar has learned, the butterfly still remembers,” Levin explained.

Is there actually any proof of this at all, or is it just anthropomorphising something which is an innate instinct?

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

Alister Silver badge

Re: Was this

Lessons learned of course

Not sure which of the lessons from the 2012 outage would be applicable to yesterday's situation?

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

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I reckon they were trying to remove all the Huawei kit from their backhaul on the quiet...

Customers baffled as Citrix forces password changes for document-slinging Sharefile outfit

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Citrix did not say how frequently users will be required to change out their passwords

What's wrong with "change"? Where does the "out" come from?

Tumblr resorts to AI in attempt to scrub itself clean from filth

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antic statues

Are they the ones that get up to stuff when nobody's looking?

Van Clomp's The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies is Art I tell you, Art!

Three become six as new 'nauts arrive for a visit to the ISS

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Re: Still find it amazing

Sorry FEers but as that picture shows, it's very clearly round.

It's just a disk...

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt

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Re: Well, who'd have thought it?


I don't know why THIS rag has a bunch of Left wing morons on it .. perhaps you're just young, who knows.

In what universe is it a Left Wing thing to support Theresa May? She's a Right Wing politician FFS.

The EU is ALL about Germany and France .. that's why over the past 40 years you've seen manufacturing leave the UK in the MILLIONS of jobs.

No, over the past 40 years, various flavours of UK government have systematicaly destroyed most of the manufacturing industries all by themselves. And had it not been for certain protections offered by EU employment law, they'd have removed most ordinary workers rights completely.

It makes no difference whether May voted to leave or remain, not even the most rabid remainer could have made much difference to the way this is turning out.

Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs*

Alister Silver badge

Re: Motes and beams


Nice rant!

Are there off-site backups for this data? Don't be silly, it would be really expensive to do that, and nothing bad will ever happen to it, because nothing bad ever has happened, and, um, sparkly unicorns or is it glitter elves, I forget.

I Lol'd.

Laptop search unravels scheme to fake death for insurance cash

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Re: "nice prosumer Canon camera."


I often find reading the story first most illuminating.

I find reading the story and understanding its contents even more illuminating, as it prevents one making crass and inaccurate comments later...


Igor staged his death in Moldova by arranging for the corpse of an unknown person to be placed between two bushes at the entrance of the Cojusna village in Moldova and placing in the clothes of the corpse lgor's passport and other identification documents

Alister Silver badge

Re: "nice prosumer Canon camera."

But who was the unidentified body?

Yes I thought that - surely it must be some sort of crime to obtain a dead body in the first place, even in Moldova

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

Alister Silver badge

Screwdriver? Try a spanner!

Whilst working as a fresh-from-school apprentice in a telephone exchange, I was tasked with helping to wire up an additional selector rack in a Strowger exchange.

The rack was already in place and powered by the 50V DC feed through two hefty copper busbars about 4 inches apart. The busbars were plastic clad, apart from the ends near the rack where terminations were made.

The individual wiring to all the selectors was carried on open steel cable trays mounted above and to the side of the busbars, and these cable trays were bolted together by M10 nuts and bolts.

So who do you think it was who managed to drop his 10mm spanner neatly across the bare ends of the live and return busbars then?

The equipment room went strangely quiet, as all the selectors stopped chattering, and the spanner glowed gently, and then brighter, and brighter, and then melted gently in the middle, and all the equipment sprang back into life, followed by the clang of alarm bells and the flashing of warning lights.

I carefully climbed down the ladder from near the ceiling, and went and owned up to the T.O.

I wasn't sacked on the spot, just lectured on the importance of caring for my tools...

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