* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

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Re: Define

At the risk of feeding the troll, the majority of Sci-Fi writers chose a Naval metaphor for their space-ship-borne characterizations, so the use of "Marine" to describe the ship-borne fighting force is following that tradition.

Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

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Re: Meh, so what...

Thankfully, no individual member of the species is a teenager for very long, and the period of childhood before and adulthood following the teenage years makes up for the shortfall.

That said, if we continue to dissuade our young from individual thought and experiment, by using education systems designed to meet targets rather than encourage learning, then we could well become "the species that goes "meh, so what" then goes down in a blaze of apathy".

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Re: Meh, so what...

One of the leading drivers of intelligence is curiosity. If there was a species that went around going "meh, so what" at everything, they wouldn't be around for long, nor be particularly intelligent.

Bug-hunters: They're coming outta the goddamn walls, aargh!

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"Goddamn The Walls"

Shame, I preferred that version, what did you go and change it for...

Kirk to beam up chat with ISS astronaut on Thursday

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Re: Land of his birth?

“William Shatner to boldly go to the land of his birth”

Actually, as Kirk explains:

“I’m from Iowa, I just work in outer space”.

Let me explain... Kirk is from Iowa, Shatner is from Canada.

First video inside thinking fish's brain captured by boffins

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Re: 'FOOD!', piscine predator ponders purposefully

I was going for "PREY!" or "PROVISIONS!"

Mine's the one with chips also in the pocket.

Shirley you mean Potatoes

First the NYT, now the Wall Street Journal: But are hacking attacks from China new?

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I believe the term you are looking for is "False Flag" as in, "operating under the flag of a country not your own"

Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

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Re: There are these things called...

But only if you want to look a fool, wandering around with your iThing with a USB adapter and an SD card reader hanging from it.

Feds slurping your private data? But that's OUR job, says Google

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Re: Pity Google does reeally push the issue by ...

My employer owns it's own mail server and all records are deleted two days after it has been read.

That must make life interesting, when someone says

"you know that email I sent you last week..."

"No, what email?"

Red supergiant Betelgeuse heads for SMACKDOWN with 'dust bar'

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...or think of it another way, Betelgeuse could have blown up 600 years ago, and we still wouldn't know about it for another 40 years.

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How do they know that the dust bar is even in the same plane as the star?

It could be thousands of kilometres in front of or behind the path of Betelgeuse, as we see it, so the "collision" may be complete fabrication.

'Gozi Trojan trio' blamed for multimillion-dollar bank raid spree

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As the US Department of Justice points out, "the charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty".

Really? When did they change to that?

Opposable thumbs for FISTS, not finesse, say bioboffins

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Re: broken metacarpals

A better explanation for why humans have shorter fingers and thumbs is surely so that its easier to send TXTs.

Indeed, the next evolutionary step will undoubtedly be the joining together and weakening of the fingers, and an extension and increased dexterity of the thumb.

Google, Microsoft go head to head in Santa-tracking tech race

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Did no one else spot this?

... Microsoft's experience supporting NORAD's day-to-day activities during the rest of the year was what gave the agency the confidence that Redmond could pull off a project as important as the Santa Tracker.

So America's first line of defense appears to be a Microsoft based solution...

Forget about fondling that slab... within 2 years, it'll fondle YOU

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Re: Context please

Previous gems from IBM:

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"But what ... is it good for?"

Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

Alister Silver badge

As well as coming up with strange new food combinations, the eating computer will also be able to make healthy foods taste better.

The Nutri-matic machine made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic examination of the subject's metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject's brain to see what was likely to go down well.

However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Thanks Douglas...

NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON

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Probably going to get flamed to death here, but this seems like mindless vandalism to me...

Atmos: Give us your tired, your poor... Heck, our cloud will even take that S3 app

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Unfortunately, whenever I see the name Atmos, I think Sontarans...

LOHAN fabricates full-fat fantastical flying truss

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Now that you've carefully calculated every last bit of mass, can I suggest you add in a flotation device and a sachet of yellow dye...

Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

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That'll go down a treat...

Japan Airlines to serve KFC on Christmas flights

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@ Graham Marsden,

You're going to try and tell us that you didn't know the ingredients list off by heart, aren't you?

Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

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Re: I hoard files

You're running as root!

The Horror!

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Trade Waste

Unfortunately, if I were to try and offload all the IT related crap that's filling my cellar, they would probably refuse it on the basis that I must be trade - 7 CTR monitors, at least 20 rotting carcases of PCs from IBM PC-AT onwards, innumerable keyboards and mice, and the shells of two 2U HP servers, not to mention the hard drives, CD-ROM drives (2x speed, anyone?), modems, motherboards and graphic cards.

BOFH: The Great Patch Mismatch

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Re: Halon Rocket Fuel

I have a similar tale of an "F" size (about 4 foot tall and 8 inches wide) Medical Oxygen cylinder which was dropped in the gases store at an Ambulance station and snapped the valve off.

It went through (in order) a brick wall, three ambulance vehicles, another brick wall, the stone retaining wall at the side of the driveway and disappeared into a wood. Later found half a mile away...

You can still see the new brickwork where they patched up the building.

EINSTEIN'S BRAIN had unusual lobes and cortex

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Re: It is common knowledge...

Look, just don't start with the "Hedgehog Song" ok?

A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

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Re: Not only that

Um, possibly because whilst Babbage and Flowers designed and actually built computing devices, neither Lovelace or Turing did. This article is mostly about the hardware, not the theory behind it.

Geneva devastated by monster tsunami, millions at risk

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News just in from 563 AD

I'd heard the Swiss were quite laid back, but that's taking it a bit far. I wonder when they'll publicise the Army Knife, it's only been around for 120 years...

France again threatens Google with link tax

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Re: A.N.Other Way, La Belle France ...... Next Generation NEUKLearer HyperRadioProActive IT

@amanfromMars 1

"How very odd that you cannot tell the difference between/make a firm decision on whether this text is man or machine generated and posted."

Given your predilection for long, rambling sentences with random capitalisation and strange phrasing, bordering on the unintelligible, is it any wonder if we conflate your postings with the output of a spambot?

I did in fact describe you as "a failed Turing Test" and an "email spam generator which has achieved sentience" so I think you're ahead of the game either way...

Alister Silver badge

Re: A.N.Other Way, La Belle France ...... Next Generation NEUKLearer HyperRadioProActive IT

I often wonder if amanfromMars is in fact a failed Turing Test on the rampage, or possibly one of those email spam generators which has achieved sentience.

Kick your computer... before it kicks you

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Re: A.B- Sorry

That's alright, It's good enough to be worth posting twice :-)

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Reign of terror.

The workstations at my place of work know better than to mess with me. In fact, I often only have to stand behind the user who complained of some obscure failure to find that the machine is miraculously working again...

In our server room, all the racks face the workbench, where it is our practice to leave the disemboweled remains of an HP Proliant DL360 (with the screwdriver still embedded in the RAID backplane) as a salutary lesson to all who are watching.

A friend of mine once physically threw his tower PC out of his bedroom window, after it persistently disagreed with him about the availability of a network share. Having retrieved it from the lawn, and shaken out the soil from the case, it has worked perfectly ever since.

Slideshow: A History of James Bond in 20 Games

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In The World is not Enough, the player appears to be holding a sonic screwdriver?

Plucky orangutan rescued from encroaching biofuel plantations

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Ook! Ook, oook-ook...

He couldn't find an LSpace portal.

'Hypersensitive' Wi-Fi hater loses case against fiendish DEVICES

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Re: Inquiring minds...

@nigel 11

"Your physics is wrong. The wavelength being bigger than your head doesn't mean it cannot interact. It just means you need to use different mathematics to properly model it. (Were you right, holding a nail and sticking it into the live hole in a plug would be harmless ... a mere 50 Hertz! )"

What absolute rubbish!

Sticking a nail in a power outlet has got nothing whatsoever to do with wireless or frequencies, it's a direct electrical connection.


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...and needs to be treated.

With electrotherapy?

Quite contrary Somerville: Behind the Ada Lovelace legend

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Re: Ada Lovelace day

I love that the link contains the word b01ngs

OFT writes volley of stern letters to naughty web retailers

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Re: Do what?

>>There's nothing to stop you having an email address shown as well as the form, is there? How much >>re-writing and redesign does that involve?

>>And you don't even have to make it a "mailto" link, either, just plain text somewhere down the bottom of the >>form, so that by the time most people get there they've already filled in your form?

If you put an email address on a web site in any form of text, it will be scraped by a bot and spammed within hours. They need to rethink the ECommerce Regulations to take account of today's malicious internet users.

Vote NOW for the vilest Bond villain

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Re: Where are...

Bambi and Thumper?

You really class them as vile?

Alister Silver badge

Difficult decision

One's instinct is to go for Blofeld, but in fact he was quite charming, in all his guises, rather than frightening or villainous. Eliot Carver was quite nasty - much more obviously evil, to my mind, possibly because his plot was almost believable.

Some of the others mentioned were too over the top to be really menacing, and in fact I always had a sneaking feeling of pity for Jaws, he didn't really come out of things well.

Red Grant was pretty evil, he came across as a real psychopath, but I would say that the outright nastiest, though, was Franz Sanchez, definitely the most vile.

Inside the mind of a Bond supervillain: Psychotic, autistic - or neither?

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Re: Modern villains...

>>The idea of a media tycoon who creates his own news in order to cover and sell it is IMO a good one because it could be true to some extend.

Isn't this what William Randolph Hearst was supposed to have done?

Facebook says it's LOSING money in the UK ... pays hardly any tax

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Re: Losing money?

"it's only an Internet's comment."

What, the internet can make comments?

Shirley internets is correct, as in a plural, often used in a "humorous" manner.

World+Dog hails 50th birthday of the LED

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Re: GEC?

Wrong one. The General Electric Company or GEC was a major British-based industrial conglomerate, involved in consumer and defence electronics, communications and engineering. It became Marconi.plc, and was then sold off piecemeal.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Prior Art.

Isn't a piezo-electric sounder technically a Noise Emitting Diode?

You could probably try for Smoke Emitting Diode, but I bet there's loads of prior art - I know I did it enough in my youth to various inoffensive semiconductors, and there's probably someone who managed to do it with a diode in a glass bubble as well...

Report: Google offers to 'brand' search results in Euro antitrust probe

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>>Google have established themselves as a search monopoly, they must now live with the consequences of that which includes playing nicely with others.

I disagree, Just because Google is the most popular search engine does not make it a monopoly. Nobody is forced to use Google. For the vast majority of normal desktop users (ie those who buy Windows PCs) the default search engine is Bing unless they make a conscious decision to change it.

If people use Google as their search engine, it is a personal choice, and there are plenty of alternatives. In the same way, if they use Google, they have the freedom to ignore any search result presented to them.

If Google was actively blocking competitors products and services from appearing in their search results then there would be a case to answer, but they don't.

Alister Silver badge

I really don't get this.

Two points:

1/ Why shouldn't Google push it's own services higher up the results than a competitors? End users are under no compulsion to click on those results, they have the freedom of choice to ignore them .

2/ Don't Bing put Microsoft services higher up their search results than anyone else's? In what way is this different?

Japanese cellco drops veil on futuristic hands-free video phone

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Re: Drop the veil- again?

Agreed, what is it with this "drops veil" stuff, don't El Reg practice English anymore?

For years, it has been understood that lifting the veil reveals something, and dropping the veil would hide something - see also "shroud". Is this alternative a Merkin invention, or just a comprehension fail?


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Re: The wonder of Stonehenge

That's easy, they told the planning board it was a temporary structure...

Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Well as the aforementioned Reg hacks are regularly legless, a couple of feet should make no difference...

LOHAN plugs into some hot LiPo treatment

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>> Just a thought... If the battery pack is in the truss and the heater is on the rocket, how do you seperate the 2 at launch?

The playmonaut will carry a small pair of scissors, or possibly a hacksaw...

Samsung claims Apple jury foreman LIED to get REVENGE

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Re: Peers ...

>> A jury of pears

Quite apt for a case involving Apple.

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