* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

Alister Silver badge

The end of the world is nigh!

Or so my users would have me believe. This is because, apparently, Wikipedia is unreachable at the moment, (oh, and our cloud based support ticket system, too).

Hmm, another cup of tea, I think.

EU Net Neutrality debate heats up as Tim Berners-Lee weighs in

Alister Silver badge

Tim-Berners is a really weird first name.

I thought it was a type of wood-fired stove. If not, it should be.

Torrent is a word, and you can't ban words, rules French court

Alister Silver badge

Dear sir, I wish to complain, I am a fan of fast flowing rivers, and have recently been unable to satisfy my obsession as I am unable to google "raging torrent".

Tor veteran Lucky Green exits, torpedos critical 'Tonga' node and relays

Alister Silver badge

Re: Imperial Troops Have Entered the Base!

TOR fully compromised on 2016-09-01.

Maybe we could set up a legacy TOR node in memory of a once great network. We could call it "Eternal September" or something...

Alister Silver badge

I'm not normally one for tin-foil hattery, but it does rather sound like he's aware of government interference, or has been leaned on quite heavily.

Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

Alister Silver badge

Re: Sounds like nonsense to me


So if you're a pilot, consider this:

You're trying to fly a heavily laden aircraft on a precise course at minimum altitude through turbulent air at damn near stalling speed, with flaps and everything else hanging, and then some idiot flies a drone at your windscreen. Do you think sudden avoidance manoeuvres are going to result in

a/ missing the drone and continuing as normal.

b/ crashing into the flames.

Just asking?

Euro IP study finds 25 Tor-and-Bitcoin-loving pirate business models

Alister Silver badge

A promised Phase 2 study will offer

even more opportunities to spend money on pointless research...

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Alister Silver badge

to borrow a favourite expression of my daughter's...

What a twonk!

Chinese hacker jailed for shipping aerospace secrets home

Alister Silver badge

"Bin assisted the Chinese military hackers in their efforts to illegally access and steal designs for cutting-edge military aircraft that are indispensable to our national defense, oh, and the F35 as well."

Ivory tower drops water bombs on dumpster fire

Alister Silver badge

I wonder if the same collection would turn their attention to Mrs May, now, I'm sure they would have some interesting things to say about her proposed policies as well.

Cryptocat dev reckons WhatsApp is blocking calls to Saudi numbers

Alister Silver badge

I don't suppose anyone has considered that the VoipNotAllowedActivity Class might simply be a bunch of code to handle the situation where the network or handset doesn't allow VoIP, instead of the App dying in a heap if it can't connect?

Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Alister Silver badge

Graphene was discovered in 2004 and was hailed as a “miracle material” in the news.

Unfortunately, no-one has discovered why, yet.

Missile bods MBDA win Brit military laser cannon contract

Alister Silver badge

what's infamous about Westland?

Here you go:


The Westland affair in 1985–86 was an episode in which the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Defence Minister Michael Heseltine went public over a complex cabinet dispute with questions raised about integrity and which senior official was not telling the truth.

The argument was a result of differences of opinion as to the future of the British helicopter industry. Westland Helicopters, Britain's last helicopter manufacturer, was to be the subject of a rescue bid. While the Defence Secretary Heseltine favoured a European solution, integrating Westland and British Aerospace (BAe) with Italian (Agusta) and French companies, the Prime Minister and the Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittan wanted to see Westland merge with Sikorsky, an American company. Heseltine refused to accept Thatcher's choice and suggested she had lied about it. She had leaked a confidential letter, then tried to cover that up. It resulted in resignations in January 1986 by Heseltine and Brittan. The episode embarrassed the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1986 and damaged her reputation

Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration

Alister Silver badge

Re: Important question

Do you get to listen to the Blue Danube as the docking computer kicks in?

Well of course you do, it's built into the docking algorithm.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Passive?

Personally, I'd rather not have unexpected visitors just dropping in without me present if I was umpteen thousand miles up with nowhere to go if they're less than friendly.

It's OK, it is, after all, only the "International Docking Adapter" not the "Interplanetary Docking Adapter".

Only participating nations on Earth have the plans for the International Docking Standard, so passing Aliens will be completely unable to connect to it.

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Alister Silver badge

Maybe they should also include in the Bill, that the Secretary of State be granted the power to sit on a beach and tell the tide to stop coming in?

It would be consistent, and equally as effective.

In these troubling times, senators unite to end America's big divide – rural v urban broadband

Alister Silver badge

It must be cold there...

Those cows look Friesian.

Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Alister Silver badge

You could always substitute Lakeland Plastics:- I'm sure those were the makers of plastic storage containers we always used when I was a lad in the 60s. I don't think Tupperware was very accessible here in the UK at that time.

Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Alister Silver badge

It does seem to have been a long time coming, I agree, almost to the point of feeling like vapourware, I too have read about Reaction Engines, Sabre and Skylon, for well over a decade, without seeing much progress.

However, I think that is probably due to a lack of funding, rather than issues with the underlying technology, and as we all know, trying to secure funding from the British government for any sort of technology that doesn't involve the BAE Systems pork barrel is doomed to failure.

UK.gov flings £30m at driverless car R'n'D, wants plebs to speek their branes

Alister Silver badge

Re: Still waiting...


I think you missed this bit?

But this comes after the world witnessed the first fatal autonomous vehicle crash. Last month, a man driving his 2015 Tesla Model S on Route 27 in Florida crashed into a 18-wheel tractor trailer after he and the computer system failed to spot the trailer.

FBI arrests satellite engineer on charges of espionage

Alister Silver badge

Re: I'm sorry...

I was just watching that the other day...

"Junior, there's no way, *no* way that you came from *my* loins. Soon as I get home, first thing I'm gonna do is punch yo mamma in da mouth!"

Alister Silver badge

Or was the stolen data not actually 'classified' at all, just commercially sensitive stuff that the Americans would rather foreigners didn't get their grubby paws on?

Did you miss this bit of the article?

"Justice did not have access to classified material, but, claimed Special Agent Peter Lee in an affidavit, he allegedly handed over proprietary trade secrets that, under international arms laws, could not be moved from the US without an export licence – in breach of arms laws, as well as trade secret protections."

SETI mulls reboot: Believing the strangest things, loving the alien

Alister Silver badge

Re: You're an Alien from outer space!

Downvotes for Star Trek quotes, what is the world coming too?

Alister Silver badge

You're an Alien from outer space!

"No, I'm from Iowa, I just live in outer space".

4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Alister Silver badge

I seriously lol'd at this comment:

"It's amazing that it is still down, particularly as this is not a cheap service we are using. All they are offering is a day's free hosting for every hour outage - but only up to a month free - so that’s £60."

Mate, if you think that's expensive, then maybe you shouldn't be running "online booking systems", for god's sake invest in a proper hosting facility,

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Alister Silver badge

Re: Disqualified

@anonymous boring coward

Yeah, the foxes shouldn't have any right to eat. Why not exterminate all wild animals from this island while we are at it? In other countries they have bears, lions, tigers etc, but in this one we can't accept some foxes. Pathetic.

Wow, Strawman much?

No, the foxes shouldn't have the right to eat farmed poultry, there's plenty of other things they could eat. I did not, and do not suggest exterminating them all, I've no idea where you got that from. And I don't support hunting, either.

Alister Silver badge

Re: @Alister: Disqualified


I don't think I said anywhere that I support hunting, did I?

I was simply correcting ChrisG who said "a small mammal that largely (in the countyside) keeps down rodent numbers and looks cute"

This may be the townies view, but anyone who farms knows what a struggle it is to deal with foxes.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Disqualified

So no idea about how the real world works

...to chase a small mammal that largely (in the countyside) keeps down rodent numbers and looks cute.

I'm sorry, but you also have no idea how the real world works if you come out with shit like that.

Foxes are a pest that kill enormous numbers of chickens and geese every year, they aren't just a cute little animal.

Alister Silver badge

Re: The obvious problem with this

But hang on: Britain could decide to leave the internet, couldn't it? That would keep all that nasty stuff out.

Oh I would so love to see the outcome of a referendum on Britain leaving the Internet, I wonder how many dumb fucks would vote for it.

Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Alister Silver badge

“In principle, anybody skilful and capable to attain access into the ICT system could take control of the ship "

Or, alternatively, anybody with a RIB could board it and do what they want.

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Alister Silver badge

Re: Let's talk balls

What about balls? Has anybody tried sitting on them? Does it work for them?

I sat on my balls once - not to be recommended, the pain was excruciating.

Gartner: Brexit cluster-fsck has ballsed up our spending forecast

Alister Silver badge

Tech spending forecasters at Gartner are all in a tizzy

Ha! They didn't see that one coming, did they!

Loose wrists shake chips: Your wrist-job could be a PIN-snitch

Alister Silver badge

"Attackers can reproduce the trajectories of the user's hand then recover secret key entries to ATM cash machines, electronic door locks and keypad-controlled enterprise servers."

I wonder if they could work out what a watch wearer was doing, given the output like this:


UK.gov's hated Care.data project binned

Alister Silver badge

Not enough public confidence, says minister

No shit, Sherlock

Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

Alister Silver badge

You could win a prize

a critical analysis on the implications of Love Island for romantic archetypes and chest-waxing in the postmodern era

put me in mind of:

Award for the most gratuitous use of the word "Fuck" in a serious screenplay...

ITU okays another TV spec

Alister Silver badge

" It enhances dimly lit interior and night scenes, revealing more detail in darker areas, giving TV producers the ability to reveal texture and subtle colours that are usually lost with existing Standard Dynamic Range TV"

Umm, is he talking about turning the brightness up? I can do that on my 15" CRT telly!

Paper wasps that lie to their mates get a right kicking, research finds

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: The cost of cheating

Well said Pascal, the whole basis of the "experiment" seems flawed to me, they don't even mention if they had a control group of unpainted vs unpainted wasps fighting to compare traits with. And the conclusion drawn from the "experiment" seems wholly out of proportion to the actual results.

Bad science, in my view.

Theft of twenty-somethings' IDs surges

Alister Silver badge

Do people under 30 have actual IDs?

Few of them seem to vote so are we sure they all really exist and are not some Matrixian constructs?

Well I have a teenage daughter who appears long enough to eat any food available, and then disappears again. I'm pretty sure she does exist... if only occasionally.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Are we surprised?

But on Facebook at least, only your direct circle of friends can see that information (by default)

Yes, but a large number of Facebook users have all sorts of miscellaneous additions to their friends list, like favourite shops, football clubs, local pubs etc, as well as friend requests from friends of friends, or even people completely unknown to them.

Those extra additions open up their information to far more people who may not be trustworthy, unless specifically blocked.

UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

Alister Silver badge

Age verification

"Please tick here to confirm you are over eighteen and therefore legally allowed to access this site"

That should do it.

Uber opens up on Oz deactivation policies, just a little

Alister Silver badge

Re: "Deactivated"?

It's as if they consider their drivers to be robots.

But that's the problem for Uber, isn't it, they are desperate to insist that they don't "employ" drivers, they just "facilitate" getting drivers and passengers together, so they are trying to avoid any of the usual terms associated with the parting of ways between an employer and employee.

They could have used "terminated" but perhaps that has even worse connotations? :)

Humans and bees share the same sociability genes

Alister Silver badge

I can't say I've ever felt the urge to unleash my sting whilst feeling threatened or angered, perhaps eating bananas has desensitized me to the effect of the pheromones?

Forget YouTube – meet ChewTube: Strangers watching millennials eat

Alister Silver badge

Re: Coming Soon

Social Deification - watching each other become Gods?

I think you need to chastise your spillchucker, as I'm sure you meant defecation.

Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

Alister Silver badge

We need change to make this country a global leader in education and science

Well given his track record whilst at the helm of education, forgive me if I appear less than enthusiastic about his abilities.

Trans-Pacific FASTER fibre fires first photons, finally

Alister Silver badge

FASTER fibre fires first photons, finally

Fank phuck for that, finks founder.

Brexit-bored Brits back to bashing the bishop after ballot box blues

Alister Silver badge

netizens are far more interested in grumble flicks than finding out who might be the next leader of the country

Yeah, well that's probably because neither of the prominent political parties have a clue who is likely to be their leader, yet, either.

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Alister Silver badge

Re: Hacking a disk that's been 100% written to zero.

I don't know about multiple writes to zero, but I learned a salutary lesson some years ago when a friend of mine managed to do a clean install of windows 7 beta over his XP boot drive by mistake (he meant to install it on a separate drive).

So the existing partitions had been removed, and then new partitions created, and the new O/S written to the drive.

Despite that, with a piece of software called GetDataBack_NT which cost about $50, we were able to recover all of his previous partitions and data from that drive, and clone it to another drive, and boot it.

Ever since then, I've been very careful not to assume that overwritten data can't be recovered.

Dixons, UK's fifth 'emergency service', brushes off Brexit scare stories

Alister Silver badge

And the third: not the Ambulance Service

As in the UK, the government has never acknowledged the NHS Ambulance services as an emergency service, which is why their staff are expected to work until state retirement age, unlike Police or Fire service staff.

Body of evidence: Biometrics and YOU

Alister Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Fred Potter explained for us the task of getting a satisfying facial at home without relying on a massive online image database to deliver the money shot.

"getting a satisfying facial", "deliver the money shot."

Either my mind is in the gutter, or the writer's was...

Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

Alister Silver badge

Re: Serious questions to answer on this one.

You land with a fire, you get everyone off the plane. You don't sit and wait to see if the fuel tanks burn through before the fire crew controls the fire. It is not safer on the plane. There is nothing safe about a burning plane. The moment it stops you hit the parking brake, switch the engines off, yell "evacuate, evacuate, evacuate" to the cabin, secure the aircraft and leave.

But the aircraft didn't land with a fire, the fire started during the rollout on the runway, so no preparations would have been made by the crew for emergency evacuation. Also, the engine on the non-fire side would have needed time to spool down before you could safely evacuate on that side.

Also, if the crew had yelled "evacuate, evacuate, evacuate" to the cabin, then some idiot would probably have opened the door on the side where the fire was.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019