* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Not just the proles getting the heave-ho as British Airways races to save millions

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Re: Dumbsourcing

(what can I say, I was a fitter before Mortis became a Rigger...)

Lol I hadn't heard that one before.

Eds off their meds: Does this headline REALLY need to be so astronomically long it can be measured in parsecs?

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You might at least have marked it NSFW, although it's my own damn fault for looking, I suppose.

So. Why don't people talk to invisible robots in public?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Safe TV replacement

Don't trust them goldfish, they call home all the time!

They're watching me, you can see them, like this:


In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

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Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...


However, I would like to bet that Mr Dabbs spent an inordinate amount of time proofreading this article, just so his comments didn't come back to bite him :)

Mars' poles shrink during ice ages, boffins say

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I think it fair to say that most Men's poles shrink in cold weather...

China confirms moonshot

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Re: NK for the win

Ah, but I bet they didn't bring back any samples!

ISS pump-up space podule refuses to engorge

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Re: Performance issues.

Yep, all those people staring, I'm not surprised they couldn't get it up.

Beleaguered 123-reg customers spot price hike

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I can't believe I'm about to type these words, but:

"to be fair to 123-reg"

the domain renewal price rises are a consequence of Nominet's (and ultimately ICANN's) policies, and all registrars have had to increase their pricing by quite a large hike.

What is slightly disingenuous is that a lot of registrars seem to be keeping the price down for initial purchase, but stinging you for renewals.

The six stages of post-security incident grief avoidance

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Six Stages of Incident Response

Based on detailed research of recent incidents involving large companies, I can confirm that the following are the Six Stages of Incident Response:




Grudging Acceptance

Half-hearted Remediation

Business As Usual

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

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Re: Is it just me, or...

Sadly, due to the obvious decline in comprehension standards around here, it's probably time that each "Bootnotes" article had a big banner at the top saying "THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN IT ANGLE"

Bearded Baron Shugs hired by Gov.uk to get down with the kids

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Not a fan of Lord Sugar, but I do think that there should be more emphasis on apprenticeships and other paths into employment beside the last decade's ill advised push to get every school leaver into university.

'Grey tech' broker DP Data Systems has gone titsup

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Vowed to go clean rather than shut up shop. Shuts up shop

That made me laugh.

Obviously, integrity and probity don't pay.

ISS 'nauts to inflate pump-up space podule

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The Glorious 25th May

For Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!

IETF spikes government metadata collection with DNS request crypto plan

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@massivelySerial, I dunno why you gained a downvote for that, so have one of these in compensation

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Bootnote: For those unfamiliar with DNS, the domain name system is the infrastructure that converts "www.theregister.co.uk" into the relevant IP address, so you don't need to memorise the 12-digit numbers to get to a website.

Yeah, thanks for that.

At least you didn't mention "Telephone Directory", as nobody knows what one of those is nowadays...

British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

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Re: Not 59,000 each then?

I came to post the same thing - the poor bastards won't move very fast with 59,000 cameras attached to them...

Pepper robot acts like real teenager, gets job at Pizza Hut

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Re: How about a rampant robot

Any chance they could make "Pepper" look like Gwyneth Paltrow??

UK distributor Steljes goes titsup

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Steljes, which specialised in flat panel projectors and interactive whiteboards

Ah, I'm glad you said that.

When I first read "audio and visual specialist" I thought they might be one of those ridiculous Hi-Fi places that try to sell you a hand-crafted, gold-plated, unicorn-piss embalmed CAT-6 cable for £500 to improve the sound of your digital audio device.

Hate Windows 10? Microsoft's given you 'Insider' powers anyway

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Are you kidding?

Er, Yes?

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I hope they've built this feedback system to be robust and scaleable, cos I foresee a massive spike in traffic heading its way.

Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?

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"Betteridge's law" is applicable to the headline of this article, with the answer being a definitive "no".

Oh good, I don't need to read it to comment then...

UK plastic beats cash in 2021

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Well I don't know where you live, but round here, odd-job men certainly don't take card payments, and nor do market stalls, car-boot sales, the local chip shop, the thing at the petrol station that I use to pump my tyres up, and a number of the local shops will only accept card payments for goods over £10.00.

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Although there is an obvious decline in the use of cash, there will come a point below which the percentage of cash use is unlikely to fall, simply because there are still times when cash payments are the only available option.

Pointless features add to browser bloat and insecurity

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Re the title image:

"We're going to need a bigger bloat!"

Password reuse bot steals creds from weak sites, logs in to banks

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Re: If you use Online Banking you get what you deserve

Actually, my online banking login requires knowledge of a numeric banking ID, a passphrase, and a uniquely generated passcode using a hardware dongle, so username + password from another site isn't going to get anyone very far.

The Sons of Kahn and the Witch of Wookey

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And the Youth Faction replied unto them: So we do too remember who Kahn was, he was the baddie in an early Trek movie possibly in black-and-white.

...and more recently played by that omnipresent thespian Bend-Him-over-the-Cucumber-Patch?

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Re: Prophetic

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!

Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!

Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

I sometimes think Tolkien was doing some serious herbiage when he wrote these.

Photoplethysmography up

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Define "a lot"? You can get them online for around £35 or so

Note I said "proper".

A professional Pulse-Oximeter as used by the medical profession is likely to be £150 - £200 or more.

Anything cheaper is likely to be inaccurate, or unable to compensate for patient movement or circulatory variations.

The "oxygen bit" at it's most basic measures the "redness" of the blood in the capillaries - which can be correlated to the oxygen saturation. In practice, it's a bit more involved than that though...

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Yet another way to worry hypochondriacs and annoy GPs.

"Doctor, Doctor, My Smartband says my blood oxygen level is 70%"

"Yes, yes, if it was true, you'd be unconscious by now, Mrs Smith"

There's a reason proper Pulse-Oximeters cost a lot of money.

Google Chrome deletes Backspace

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Re: Great! Now how about never resetting Forms unnecessarily...

I have a serious beef with forms that automatically reset especially when the Captcha isn't satisfied. Government payment sites I'm looking at you, but many corporate sites also suffer from this...

Unfortunately this is one of those things mandated as best practice for security, so you are likely to see it become more and more common, as more sites fall under the limitations of PCI-DSS and other security restrictions.

Congress presents plan to tighten reins on FBI hacking

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I'm afraid this bill is doomed to failure, it just doesn't have a snappy enough acronym... The SMH Act, whats-that-all-about?

The should have called it the STOMA-HACK Act...

Oh, wait, maybe not...

Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

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Under present UK law, you're not allowed to pick up roadkill you have hit and take it home.

They may have to revisit this, in light of Google's plans.

Africa poses for 7,000 snap mosaic

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Nice work.

Remind me, who did the coastline - I thought for a moment I could see fiords...

Peer tables motion to kill vaping rules

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Re: madness

Ignoring the facts that e-cigarettes are almost as bad as the real thing...

Perhaps you would like to find us an example of "the facts" that we can look at?

Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

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Re: how it feel to to be wrenched back from an even more definite terminal event.

To the best of my knowledge, the things that define who we are, and maintain our memories, are all a result of electrical charges in the brain.

I'm pretty sure there are no persistent physical changes in the brain which would still be present after death. Think of it as RAM - the information is only held whilst electrical power is maintained.

Therefore, whilst the autonomous functions of regulating breathing and heartbeat, and functioning of the gut, etc, would all still be there (they are built in - like a BIOS), I don't think a re-animated brain would contain any vestige of the person who it used to be.

Inside Project Loon – Google's megaplan to build a global internet

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Google are the New Seekers

and they should re-release the song:


I'd like to teach the world to ping

In perfect harmony

I'd like to let them browse the net

and use this company


I'd like to see the world for once

All searching through one site

And use their browsing history

to place ads in their sight.

White hats bake TeslaCrypt master key into universal decryptor

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Re: Brings back memories

Ahh, them were the days, when graphics had real weight to them, proper blocks of colour, none of yer new-fangled pixel rubbish.

Electric Babel Fish swims into crowdfunding

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"I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle"

How Nokia is (and isn't) back in the phone business today

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To my mind, Nokia were the absolute champions of the intuitive GUI on their non-smart phones.

Maybe they can bring those skill to bear on skinning Android.

US power grid still fragile in the face of EMP threat: GAO

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Re: This nearly happened in 2012

Had this (in 2012) been a direct hit America and most of Europe would now be living in Bronze Age levels of technology

Really? Does a solar flare remove all knowledge of electricity from people's brains then? And stop unaffected countries from helping?

I think you are overstating the case wildly, a Carrington-class event might lead to a few months of severe disruption, but we would soon start to recover.

GCHQ's Twitter move: Wants to be 'accessible', people to 'understand'

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You could ask them about Gareth Williams?

Coat, 'cos I forgot my bag...

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Re: Hello World

Fotherington-Tomas is a gurl!

FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

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Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

"A policeman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!"

By Jingo!

Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

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adding a new level of excitement for hundreds of millions of viewers in Europe and beyond.

I can hardly contain my excitement indifference...

Curiosity find Mars' icecaps suck up its atmosphere

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Re: New Orderly World Orders AI …. for Live Operational Virtual Environments ‽

Oh Gods, who let him in...

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34 million observations from two Martian years prove Mars is cold, dry and nasty


Amazing! that was money well spent then.


Joking apart, it's pretty cool to see climate data from another planet.

A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

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By the sound of it, we don't need to go asteroid mining to get loads of useful minerals, we just need to clear out LEO and GEO of all the bits and recycle them.

What they need, right, is to launch a really, really big ball of Blu-tak, which can collect all the small debris.

Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

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Re: Alister


I think the question is, why were they near misses? If totally avoiding the problem is Sci-Fi, what can we do that is realistic to keep them down to near misses.

Sadly, the nearest anyone can get to a reason why they were near misses is that they broke up before hitting the ground.

Partially a function of their mass, size and shape, but also of their composition, initial entry speed and angle. The Chelyabinsk meteor had an estimated size of about 20 metres diameter, that of Tunguska was of the order of 60 to 190 metres long and 10 metres across. In both cases they entered the atmosphere at very high speed and a low angle of attack.

I can see no way that humans can engineer these circumstances with any reliability within a sensible timescale.

Besides. If we can track them, we can know where they will hit. What is the most reliable way to avoid danger then? Fire lasers and hope for the best, or evacuate the town/city in the path?

I think you don't really have a grasp of the enormity of the effects should an event similar to Tunguska occur in a populated area. In the original event the trees, to a large extent, contained the blast, and minimized the dust cloud that was formed.

Even then, there were widespread climate and weather disruptions for months afterwards. If a similar event happened over a city, the planet would probably go dark for weeks due to the dust and rubble thrown into the atmosphere, and that's still talking about an airburst event.

Should a Tunguska sized meteor actually touchdown, then whichever country it hit would be mostly wiped out - note I said country, not town, or city.

The Tunguska blast was estimated to be about 15 megatons or equivalent to roughly 1,000 Hiroshimas.

There is no way that we could effectively evacuate the whole target area of an impact event like that.

Apple, AT&T, Verizon named in $7bn VoIP patent claim

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They forgot to ask for a pony. Always ask for a pony!

And World Peace!

Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

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Re: 1920x990

A 4K space sausage - stirs the imagination :)

...and the appetite!

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