* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Drones need their own version of Asimov's laws of robotics – MEPs

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Asimov's Laws

1/ A Drone may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2/ A Drone must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3/ A Drone must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Great, now all we need is the Zeroth Law:

0/ All Drone Manufacturers should include an AI clever enough to successfully interpret the other three laws.

This may take some time...

West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

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This will, of course, mean disaster

Where am I supposed to get my gold-pressed Latinum from now?

NHS to go paperless by 2020. No, really, it will, says gros fromage

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Paperless NHS?

Yeah, right, because there is no real need in the NHS for absolutely secure, infallible, reliable passage of data between Departments, Hospitals, GP Surgeries, Care services etc.

Okay, so the written word can be misread, or even entered incorrectly, but once committed to paper it's all there in your notes, permanently, with little chance of being accessed by anybody malicious.

Yes, Notes do go missing, but it's a very rare occurrence compared to the incidence of data loss or corruption.

Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?

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I can't believe that not one commentard has mentioned BOFH yet, nor that he wasn't included in the poll.

I'm quite sure he would be able to take full advantage of the situation...

NHS site defaced with screed protesting Syrian conflict

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Re: Well, I see their point ...

More importantly, they haven't hacked the Norwich and District Dog Fancier's website, despite the NDDF being well known to have political weight in the region.

Směrť Špionam! BAN Windows 10, it SPIES too much, exclaim Russians

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Re: CAN you REALLY turn off those features?

Wireshark is your friend...

High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes

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Frankly, if she walked into a datacentre, there's no way she'd be able to carry out any hacking, 'cos she'd be followed everywhere by a pack of drooling techies...

Embracing the life-changing qualities of USB power packs and battery extenders

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Re: elegant metallic finishing


It's not that long ago that cars only came with a driver's windscreen wiper, is it? Or maybe it is... My 1960 Land Rover Series 2 only had the driver's side - but then Land Rover were always a bit different. :)

My Morris1000 from 1972 had a heater and all sorts of luxuries - even a cigarette lighter!

Rock reboot and the Welsh windy wonder: Centre for Alternative Technology

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Drat, you beat me to it.

I was going to say, at 50KW, it would probably power everything in our Comms Room at work, not just a PC.

Ex-Prez Bush, Cheney sued for email, phone spying during Olympics

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Great, you posted it twice so as to make sure you got all the downvotes...

And it begins: Ashley Madison bonk-seekers urged to lawyer up

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He's asking for $760million for embarrassment?

Yes, I was going to post the same thing, he must have been very, very embarrassed...

The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

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Re: Are reg writers really that naive?

Reg writers also seem to assume that one can only use your .gov.uk address to sign up from a work computer... when it's much more likely that whoever signed up from home, but using their work email address.

Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'

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Re: Python

You can't get the wood, you know...

Software update borked radar, delayed hundreds of flights, says US FAA

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Re: Testing methodology

What is it called when you test the code as it is actually used over a valid duration of time by real people?


Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

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What happened to the dolphin after it was captured?

They kept asking it questions, but all it would say is "Darwin likes fish!", and then going "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"

Anti-botnet initiatives USELESS in sea of patch-hating pirates

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Who would of thought..


Would HAVE!!!!

Typewriters suck. Yet we're infinitely richer for those irritating machines

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Re: <pendantry>

I hate to do this, but it's Pedantry, not Pendantry.

Pendantry is the art of dangley jewellery...


Carphone Warehouse coughs to MONSTER data breach – 2.4 MEELLION Brits at risk

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Re: Security Certification ?

I'm not looking for an IT security job, its more that all IT jobs should have a proven competency in IT security as an absolute requirement. Sadly they don't. Until then such SNAFUs will keep on happening.

You could have every member of your IT staff trained and qualified in IT Security, but if your beancounters and middle management don't have an appreciation of the need for security, it ain't going to be implemented correctly.

Cloud computing’s refuseniks: How long can they hold out?

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There's the fact that in all but the smallest cloud providers you have bugger all influence over their techies if the infrastructure goes down and your finance server is unavailable at year end, or your email's not working for a couple of days. I get that.

So if you get that, why are you still pushing for people to jump in feet first?

Right there, you've outlined why no sensible business will use the cloud, as neither of the two issues outlined above is likely to change for the better.

If an SME uses Office365, and Microsoft lose your email, what real-world comeback have you got? You can't sue them, they've got endless lawyers, and probably fine print that says it's not their problem anyway. You're screwed.

First SPACE SALAD on Monday's menu for ISS astronauts

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Have they thought of putting bacon with it?

Piiigs iiin Spaaaaace!!

Oh wait, it's been done.

Let kids delete their online rants, demand campaigners

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"Vulture Central's backroom gremlins invite Reg readers to try and decipher the iRights website"

Original Text:

"It must be right that the commercial considerations used in designing software should be balanced against the needs and requirements of children and young people to engage and disengage during a developmentally sensitive period of their lives. It must also be right that safety software does not needlessly restrict access to the internet’s creative potential."


Wot it is, right, is that them big companies wot write the web should be told to give a shit about us wot wants to read it all, right, and they should back off and let us get on wiv it, right, and anuvver fing, they shouldn't oughta be allowed to block stuff we want to look at, right?

At last we know for sure. Blighty's 'best mobile network' is ...

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Well anecdotally, I would have to disagree, my brother went for a phone on EE and ended up giving it back, as he never got any useable signal at all round where we live, never mind 4G. Of the others, O2 is the most consistently available network in this area, but even that has dead spots, with Vodafone a close second.

SPACESUIT, once FOUND ON MOON: Crowd action saves it for the public

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I wonder what happened to the one they built for the Doctor Who episodes, it was supposed to be an exact replica of the Apollo11 suits.

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

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Re: Smidgeon as a unit of length

The precise engineering term for a very small mismatch in sizes is "the Gnats Dick"..

Or round here, "Gnat's Cock", although the polite version is "Gnat's Whisker".

A mate of mine used to call a small set of engineering micrometers the gnatscockometer...

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@ Phuq Wit Re: Tad more...

Round here, we definitely use tad on it's own, as Ben Bonsall above showed:

"You're late!"

"Just a tad".

"Do you want some dessert?"

Yes, but just a tad, please".

べーコンはどこですか? demands post-pub nosh fan

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Re: I'd say

@ Chris W

Couldn't see any humour though.

So, you really think that when I said Each weighed item must be exact to 3 decimal places, and each item by size should be specified and checked with a micrometer I was being serious?


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Re: I'd say

@Chris W

So you're trying to tell me that cooking is not an exact science then?

I need to throw away my Vernier scales and live free?

No longer should I scrutinise each carrots julienne for consistent length and width?

I should stop counting the number of baked beans in each serving?

This is all a revelation to me...

Please note that this, and my original post, may contain a soupçon of sarcasm, and a smidge of humour, possibly too small to be noticeable...

Alister Silver badge

Re: I'd say

No, no, no...

Empirical measurements are just not good enough.

Each weighed item must be exact to 3 decimal places, and each item by size should be specified and checked with a micrometer.

For example, where "one large onion" is specified, we need to know to the nearest micro-linguine what the diameter should be...

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Me too!

SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

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Musk and SpaceX had at once time appeared to be in with an outside chance of doing this job, replacing the cripplingly expensive 1970s-era hydrogen technology of the Shuttle and the SLS with new kerosene- or methane-powered kit. Plans have been discussed for new SpaceX "Raptor" engines, more powerful than the Merlins in the 9 and the Heavy, which could power a new class of super-Falcons - like the SLS, as big as oldtime Saturn Vs but more powerful than either.

As it is, the Heavy will probably be doing well to step into the Delta IV Heavy's shoes lifting US spy satellites - and if it can do that, Musk will no doubt be happy enough.

All this presupposes that NASA and Friends can bring the SLS in on time and on budget, not something they have much past history of doing.

Rise of the swimming machines: US sub launches and recovers a drone

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Re: Aren't submarine drones

You tend not to want to get a torpedo back once you've launched it...

An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one million miles out

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Re: What a beautiful place to live

We are capable of doing miracles like sending up this craft and yet we can't stop people from polluting the planet every day of their lives...

And, we are capable of doing miracles like sending up this craft and yet we can't stop killing each other over what it says in some old books, or in pursuit of money...

Go figure, indeed...

Evil computers sense you’re in a hurry and mess with your head

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Re: Computers are afraid of me...

We have a 2.5 lb Lump Hammer hanging up on the server racks in our comms room: it is very rare we have any problems from those servers who can see it.

A friend of mine got so exasperated with a desktop PC that he opened the 2nd floor office window and chucked the system box out of it. Having trudged downstairs, retrieved it, cleaned off the soil and grass and plugged it back in, it worked perfectly. It still has a dented corner as a reminder.

Sometimes, physical abuse is all these computers understand...

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But you can probably restore a church window without your hammer freezing up

Umm, possibly not, if you're "slaving over stained glass in a damp Gothic stone hut in a provincial village" In the middle of winter!!

Pwned so many times - but saved by the incident response plan

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Interesting pedantry, thank you.

Taken in the abstract, it is grammatically correct to say "a colleague and I discussing " and not "a colleague and me discussing" where "a colleague and I " are the subject of the verb "discuss"

In the context of the sentence as written, "a colleague and I" are the object of the verb "overhear", and therefore it should be "a colleague and me" as you say.

However, because there are the two verbs in the same sentence, it is unclear to me which is the correct usage, and to me it felt more natural to use "a colleague and I " as it would if I were to speak it out loud.

Helpful Nimble enhances NUKE THE LOT option on array control panel

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Its product is NAF

How very dare you! It's not that bad...

Space Station 'nauts dive for cover from flying Soviet junk

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"The data on the possible close pass was received too late and was not sufficiently precise enough"

Eww... The NASA bloke needs to learn English, the data was either not precise enough, or was not sufficiently precise, but it can't be both together...

Farmer mooved after reunion with two-year fugitive cow

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Re: Spotted

"Geeves, my ermine trimmed coat if you will"

Sorry mate, it's Jeeves...

600 MEELLION apps open to brute force account guessing

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Re: Once again

the lack of *any* RFC standard about web-based identity and password handling is telling.

You really think an RFC would make any difference? Why pick on RFC, they don't do standards, they define protocols?

What's wrong with W3C doing something about it, they set web standards.

Lawyer brands client 'small penis asshole' before challenging him to a DUEL

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Re: I wouldn't normally do this but...

I am completely failing to see an IT angle here

The story is filed under "Bootnotes" and therefore just has to be amusing, not IT related.

'Progress made' as EU aims to get new data protection laws ASAP

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Brussels moves like a striking cobra,

Well, one filmed in extreme slo-mo, anyway...

Proxyham Wi-Fi relay SUPPRESSED. CONSPIRACY, yowl tinfoilers

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Yeah, even a copper would probably guess that he can look where it's pointing...

That gives him an even chance on tying down the origin of the signal to two directions, depending on whether he knows the radiating end from the reflector end...

Peak Google? Chocolate Factory cuts costs amid dwindling growth

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What do they expect? Massive year on year growth in perpetuity? Oh yea, it's shareholders we're talking about....

Exactly. "Analysts and Investors" need to get a grip on reality. Not only do they seem to expect year on year growth, but they seem to expect that the percentage growth should increase every year - something which is unsustainable and completely unrealistic for a mature company.

Adobe: We REALLY are taking Flash security seriously – honest

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Adobe: Look, honestly, we really do take Flash security seriously!

Rest-of-the-World: AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Dodgy mobe dealer jumps on VAT carousel, gets 13-year ban

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Re: Laughing all the way to the Swiss Bank.

Are we somehow back in the 1970's and all that sweet german plonk that was fashionable to drink at the local Bernie Inn on a Sat night out eating Chicken & Chips in a basket or of we pushed the boat out it was Scampi and Chips.

Soup in a basket...

Always a popular fast food...

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

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Reg Units

Please El Reg, can you quantify a "smidge"?

Is this greater or lesser than a "pinch" and does it equate to the engineering term "gnat's".

How many MicroJubs in a smidge?

Europol knocks out mobile cybercrime gang in Spain

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That's Lester's secondary income buggered then...

as above

NASA chooses ace SPACE PILOTS who'll take the USA back into manned flight

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Re: Oh, please... :-)

They aren't called Jenediah, Bill, Bob and Valentina by any chance, are they?

No, It's Alice, Bob, Chuck and Dan...

Robot SHOOTS into the air with hot gas from its soft round behind

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Is it going to be an inflatable robot like Baymax?

Complete with authentic farting noises, and a roll of adhesive tape...

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