* Posts by Alister

3263 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Intel bags FAA pass to fly 100-strong drone armadas over US soil

Alister Silver badge

Why is there a video of some rather obviously Sidney related imagery dumped into this article?

Why didn't you read the article? It does explain.

'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

Alister Silver badge

Curious why Spacecom feel they can go after the builders for compensation - AFAIK there was nothing wrong with how it was built (apart from not being built exclusively from asbestos).

Drama in orbit: Brazen UFO attacks Earth's Sentinel-1A satellite

Alister Silver badge

Not a UFO

Surely, UFO is the acronym for "Unidentified Flying Object".

This wasn't flying - it can't, it's in space.

I propose UOO: "Unidentified Orbiting Object"

SpaceX blast kills Zuck's sat

Alister Silver badge

Re: "anomaly"

@Alan Brown

I think I hear a Whoosh there, as the point misses you.

Marketing Hack was alluding to the plot of "Diamonds are Forever" and the diamonds are an essential part of the satellite...

Helpful airport robots

Alister Silver badge

And, what do they actually do?

SETI searchers: We still haven't found what we're looking for

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's a conspiracy!

@ D A M


Now go and have a lie down in a darkened room bunker...

Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

Alister Silver badge

Re: 120 London buses

Are the buses laden or unladen, and are they travelling in Europe or Africa?

That's a bit hard to swallow...

Alister Silver badge

Re: 120 London buses

But is that the old London buses or the new ones? What's the difference between the two?

About 6 foot 10 inches, or 14.8571 linguine

Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

Alister Silver badge

So, in your title image, which of the apparent gem stones is the one with the camera in it?

Is it the big red one in the middle of her forehead, or is it the smaller green one mounted um, further down?

Snakes on the phone!

Alister Silver badge

Re: Snakes on electric lines

...create a short circuit that would disrupt the distribution of electricity.

Not to mention disrupting the life of the snake.

Must be annoying, having to scrape fried snake off your electricity feed.

Quake-hit Italy: Open up Wi-Fi

Alister Silver badge

Re: That's daft

I agree with Mage, rescue organisations should not expect normal civil infrastructure to still exist after a natural disaster like this. The International Red Cross is a well funded, well organised group, who should have their own communications ability.

In the UK the local Red Cross and St John Ambulance have their own VHF / UHF radio gear, as well as access to RAYNET etc.

Mars to get Chinese delivery. Estimated time of arrival: 2020

Alister Silver badge

Re: Please consider changing the title

I'll have a 27, a 43, two 19s, a plain Chow Mein and 3 boiled rice please.

I fart in your general direction! Comet 67P lets rip on Europe's Rosetta probe

Alister Silver badge

Your mother was a punch card reader and your father smelt of static C libraries

Oh come on!

"Your father smelt of Raspberry Pi" surely?

Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

Alister Silver badge

The trouble is, a lot of teen girls (and boys, definitely) don't immediately associate the act of procreation with the end result, so "OMG babies!" is not something that goes through their mind at the time...

Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

Alister Silver badge

Re: The Power of Power

the crystals sat in their irregularly shut down locations were as reluctant to stabilise

Err, this is the Dilithium crystals, is it?

Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Nice recommendations

extremist Muslims represent the most likely source of terrorist activity in the UK.

30 to 40 years ago, you could have said "extremist Irish Catholics represent the most likely source of terrorist activity in the UK."

I wonder if you would have been one to encourage the view that anyone Irish or a Catholic was therefore likely to be a terrorist?

Terrorists often co-opt a religious or political ideal to justify their acts, but it doesn't mean that they represent the views of normal followers of that religion or ideal.

What could possibly go wrong here?

What indeed.

If you want to build your own Nvidia-powered self-driving car – or hack one – here's a blueprint

Alister Silver badge


"Yus, Milady?"

Angler hooks German's todger at nudist lake

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up


And how long did that take you to put together?

No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

Alister Silver badge

Seems to me that the only way to find out...is to go there ourselves

Exactly, all these namby-pamby robots with crappy sensors, just get a bloke to go and stick his finger in a dark patch, he'll soon tell you if it's wet.

(and if it isn't, he can always have a rest break).

Alister Silver badge

Re: Things fade in the sun - even on Mars.

One advantage of the dryness is at least solar panels will work pretty well at high latitudes so we can at least colonise the poles.

Just so long as you keep the dust off them...

Nuclear fallout shelter becomes cloud storage bunker

Alister Silver badge

Re: nuclear shelter used mainly for bullshit advertisement

the tech support were unable to find the problem and asked me my cPanel (in fact my account's) password!

I don't see that this is something to get worked up over?

Wouldn't it be worse if tech support had their own login to your cPanel, or, even worse, were just able to look up your password for themselves?

False Northern Lights alert issued to entire UK because of a lawnmower

Alister Silver badge

Well it shows how infrequently the University staff do the lawns, if this is the first time it's happened :)

Former RN flagship HMS Illustrious to be sold for scrap – report

Alister Silver badge

Fast jet carrier operations will resume with the introduction of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the Royal Navy's two new super-carriers, in 2018.

Umm, nope, that's incorrect. Fast jet carrier operations won't resume until the F35 becomes available in 2020 (at the moment)

London cops hunt for drone pilots who tried dropping drugs into jail

Alister Silver badge

Police did not say exactly how they stopped the second drone.

They parked a big black Eurocopter EC145 in it's way

NASA wants to sell International Space Station to private enterprise

Alister Silver badge

Sorry to reply to you twice, but this has only just struck me:

As much as I respect Musk and SpaceX and their ilk I'm very uncomfortable letting some an important element of our future fall into the hands of private companies.

Do you not see this as an opportunity for Space travel to finally become mainstream?

If you look back at the history of all the world's transport infrastructure, from ships, to railways, to cars, to aircraft, most of the innovation and funding necessary for the advancement of the technology has come from private companies, or even, on occasion, private individuals.

The advancement of space travel has not followed the traditional path of most of those other modes of transport, because it was hijacked by political interests to score points, which gave us the Apollo missions and the Shuttle.

Normally, a new method of transport would start with a few eccentric entrepreneurs, then would become a plaything or diversion for the rich, and finally would attract sufficient commercial investment for it to become available to the masses. This is how cars, railways and aircraft developed, and is how space travel should have developed.

We are now seeing the beginnings of the first stage of this with Musk and Bezos, and Branson is offering the second stage, of being a rich man's toy with his proposed Virgin Galactic flights to LEO.

What we need now is more long term commercial investment in space hardware, until we have the equivalent of Ford or Boeing building spacecraft on a production line.

Alister Silver badge

Err... forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't the International Space Station you know *International*, does NASA even have the right to sell it?

Don't worry, It's "International" only in the sense that the "World Series" only has teams from North America.

Joking apart, you raise a fair point, as whilst NASA is by far the majority stakeholder, they have only paid for about half the total cost of the build and ongoing funding.

Beauty site lets anyone read customers' personal information

Alister Silver badge

In TFA it says:

The company cited its use of SSL and compliance with the payment card industry data security standard, both of which would do nothing to stop a brute force attack.

So they are claiming to be compliant, whether they need to be or not.

Alister Silver badge

I don't see how this can possibly be PCI-DSS compliant.

I know that every year we have a fight with the Pen-Testers because they say our password reset facility on a certain site allows enumeration of valid email addresses. (It doesn't, if you put in a non-existing email address you don't get an email - no message to say whether it was valid or not.)

Maybe they should get a different QA.

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's not 3D

It's hanged in his home office


Alister Silver badge

Re: sunnies after dark ?

For me, in a rural area, it's not so much oncoming cars / suvs which are the problem, it's the oncoming nitwit cyclists using strobing white front lamps after dark which just remove all possibility of seeing anything other than their light, and a glowing after image where my retinas have begun to char.

Two G4S call centre staff sacked over 999 answering scam

Alister Silver badge

Re: I chose the wrong career

in a county that is mostly corn and turnips?

And has some of the highest road accident statistics in the UK.

Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

Alister Silver badge

The bees will be carted off to West Lancashire

But, but, these are Welsh bees, from Cardiff, you can't just uproot them to Lancashire, they won't know the language!

McDonald's launches wearable then pulls it after kid feels the burn

Alister Silver badge

Re: Enquiring minds...

I've got kids who happily go to a restaurant and eat sea food with tentacles

Your kids have tentacles?!! :O

so I must be doing something right

Umm, no, not so sure about that now...


Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Alister Silver badge

"As part of our multi-billion pound investment in our network and services over the last few years to ensure that customers have access to cutting edge products and services, we have been replacing many of our legacy systems and reviewing the products and services delivered over them: as part of this review we will no longer be offering free email accounts with our broadband products."

It's a shame that part of the "multi-billion pound investment" couldn't be spent on maintaining a doman and an email server. They don't have to offer free email to new customers, but would it really hurt them to support their existing ones?

Shadow Broker hacking group auctions off claimed NSA online spy tools

Alister Silver badge

Re: Paying for Nothing that does Something is a Great Value Product to ReCycle and Driver

Yep, you surpassed yourself there amfM1, almost lyrical in places.

ISPs face piracy sue-balls

Alister Silver badge

Re: Then the US government.

More to the point, manufacturers of blank CD / DVDs had better watch out, and maybe manufacturers of USB sticks, as well.

I would have said manufacturers of blank audio and video cassettes but I'm not sure anybody knows what they are, anymore :)

Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

Alister Silver badge


That's not what the Wiki says, nor is it correct.

The British government decreed that a flight to India, using petrol engines, was too hazardous for R100 to undertake, because of the "unknown" effect of the tropical heat on petrol. This was complete nonsense, and was purely done so that the government sponsored craft would get the kudos for the Indian flight.

Alister Silver badge

All of this is documented in the classic book 'Slide Rule':

Yeah, I just happened to have re-read it only the other week, so the details were quite fresh in my mind.

Alister Silver badge

I feel it's a little disingenuous to quote the R101 case as concrete proof that Airships don't work.

R101 was a victim of typical British bureaucratic interference in an engineering project, and the design was betrayed by cost cutting and ill-informed autocratic oversight.

The R100, which was built in parallel by private interests, performed admirably, matched or exceeded all of the goals set by the same requirement as for the R101, and was a complete success.

Unfortunately, to hide the bungling which caused the R101 incident, the British government declared that the civilian Airship was not a viable proposition, and the successes of the R100 were quietly buried.

The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Alister Silver badge

Well, Alistair,

I'm afraid your credibility has taken a severe beating with this article.

Not only does the whole spiel appear to be written in an attempt to justify your ownership of a smart-band, but you gratuitously admit to having purchased it in PC World.

Shame on you sir, I thought you knew better than that.

Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

Alister Silver badge

Re: Quick Release or build it like it is in my head

Plenty of LR Defender owners remove the steering wheel at night to prevent theft.

Well I've driven a Land Rover with just a pair of mole-grips on the end of the steering column, so I'm sure a thief would get around it.

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

Alister Silver badge

Re: arms race


I'm no fig plucker's son but I'll pluck figs until the fig plucker's son comes.

Woah, where did fig plucker come from?

As I know it, the rhyme is:

"I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son, and I'll keep on plucking pheasants 'til the pheasant plucker comes"

Head of UK oversight body to join GCHQ 'tech help desk'*

Alister Silver badge

Re: Or even

Or, (since it's in the UK)

"scary stasi snooping doughnut".

Nobody expects... a surprise haemorrhoid operation

Alister Silver badge

I bet he's glad it was a haemorrhoidectomy rather than an orchidectomy.

I've only ever heard of a conjurer managing to extract flowers from someone's rear orifice.

And no, I couldn't be arsed to look up what an orchidectomy is, so balls...

Linux security backfires: Flaw lets hackers inject malware into downloads, disrupt Tor users, etc

Alister Silver badge

Re: Won't you think of the children?

Sweet Jesus, Donald, where are you when we need you?

I wonder if he knows Jesus was a towelhead?

SAP whacks application cracks, shutters baker's dozen of potential hacks

Alister Silver badge

advise our customers to secure their SAP landscape

Is "landscape" the new "environment" then? I seem to be out of date.

Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Alister Silver badge

Re: Simple solution...

and there isn't a day goes by that I don't get to see and enjoy photos and videos of my young nephews, nieces and cousins as they learn to walk and talk, play in their gardens, start at their new schools, attend their proms, graduate from their Universities, and eventually post their own videos of themselves getting wasted in fancy dress.

Either you have an inordinate amount of relatives spread over a large age-range, or they live somewhere where time works differently to the rest of us!

NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

Alister Silver badge

Re: Shaky!

The rocket should be a nice stable point of reference...

Given that the story is all about how the shaking of the rocket was sufficient to disconnect the power cord of the camera, I think you might be a little optimistic in thinking it would be a stable point of reference... :)

Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Alister Silver badge

I saw this on BBC News the other day, and at the time thought that an all-in-one banking app was a bad idea.

Their stated aim is to "promote transparency and clarity while providing an incentive for customers to switch providers" but I cannot see that one-app-to-rule-them-all is in any way likely to promote transparency and clarity.

Enforcing extra competition for the sake of it seems to be something this government have tried to do for a number of sectors, and it just doesn't work. I don't understand why they feel someone switching banks every six months is something to encourage?

As someone posted earlier, maybe people don't switch banking providers because they are generally happy with the service they get - or, more likely, there is not enough difference between the services provided by any single bank which would justify switching.

Internet of Car...rikey what the hell just happened to my car?

Alister Silver badge

Re: operate the ignition

A diesel has no ignition system.

Strictly true, but what else would you call turning the key on before pressing the starter?

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