* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Chaos Theory causes password entry pandemonium

Alister Silver badge

Re: Correct Horse Battery Staple

IF the website \ program will allow it of course...

...and this is the problem, the overwhelming majority of websites and applications I use, that require a password, are still insistent on it containing capital letters, numbers and non-alphabetical characters, or limit it to 12 characters, or don't allow spaces.

I want my password to be cheese pizza with anchovies but I usually end up with B4c0n4nd3gg!

BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Alister Silver badge

It's lean, rich and lower in fat than the main meat groups.

...Just like Horse...

Apple CEO Cook's investor-meeting reveal: 'Dog bites man'

Alister Silver badge


Being right-pondian, reading the word Bathroom always makes me wonder, just for a moment, why anyone would want to take a bath in a retail store - even one so exalted as an Apple store. Perhaps cleanliness is next to Jobs-liness.

Even the word Washroom conjures up an image of a hospital sluice, rather than a place to go for a piss.

Why can't you just say toilet, or if you want to be coy about it, lavatory?

MasterCard tries to zap PayPal with own-brand mobe wallet

Alister Silver badge

The change now taking place, ... is consumers’ growing desire to pay not with a card but their phone.

Is that really the case? I am perhaps a luddite (despite working in IT) but I have no desire to pay by phone, and I haven't yet met anyone who expressed that desire.

New social network is for DEAD PEOPLE

Alister Silver badge

Re: Has Reg Shoe joined yet?

I'd have picked "Night Watch", meself...

Trekkies detect Spock's Vulcan homeworld ORBITING PLUTO

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— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy)

Sadly DeForest Kelley never had a Twitter account, but it's a shame, as he could have been @TheRealMcCoy

Perfect sex minx calculated from 'deep' probe of X-rated flicks

Alister Silver badge

Re: ::yawns::

Oh4FS wrote:

10 million and one of them stuffing dildos in every orifice ...It's like 10,000 reruns of Gilligans Island....

I must have missed that episode...

Boffins use DVD burner to scale graphene supercapacitors

Alister Silver badge

Re: El-Kady

What's more Graphite Oxide? Isn't that carbon dioxide? Is someone pulling someone's lower limb?


Graphite (Carbon) Oxide = 1 Carbon and 1 Oxygen

Carbon Dioxide = 1 Carbon and 2 Oxygen

Concurrent gives old SQL users new Hadoop tricks

Alister Silver badge

Will it still let me do this?


Apple design bloke Ive finally honoured properly - with Blue Peter badge

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I think you're confusing Jonathan Ive and Jeremy Clarkson...

Obama says patent trolls 'extort money', pledges reform

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@ Ronald J Riley

Nice rant, shame about the comprehension fail...

The sentence you quote has nothing to do with Obama's view on patent trolls, it is talking about teaching programming in schools.

Satanic Renault takes hapless French bloke on 200km/h joyride

Alister Silver badge

Re: No brakes? - Range Rover

@ TeeCee

quote: The separate transmission brake on Land Rover vehicles is actually a drum brake. Apart from the obvious advantages in having all the vulnerable bits inside a drum casing rather than dangling exposed under the car, drums are superior to disks as hand / emergency brakes as they are, by nature, self-servoing.

Depends on what age of vehicle - my Series 2 and 3, and my early 110 had a drum transmission brake, but my later Ninety and later Range Rovers had a disk brake. In my experience, the drum brake filled with either water or oil from the transfer box, and became quite ineffectual, not a problem with the disc.

Alister Silver badge

Re: No brakes? - Range Rover

Arnold Lieberman wrote:

I do know of someone who managed to do a whole motorway journey in her Range Rover with the handbrake on - I think a new set of pads/disks was all that was required.

It's probably safer to drive a Range Rover at speed with the handbrake applied than it would be a normal car, as the handbrake acts on a separate disk on the back of the gearbox, rather than on individual wheels.

The only danger is breaking the half shafts if you apply the handbrake suddenly whilst moving.

CEO Tim Cook: Apple retail stores are 'like Prozac' to me

Alister Silver badge

Re: "It's like Prozac."

Be funny if this quote was misinterpreted and taken as a Ratner-esque comment on the excitement of Apple Stores.

UK doesn't have the SKILLS to save itself from cyber threats

Alister Silver badge

Re: Need to Know Rules the Cyber Roost

Can I just point out that two posts ago you said:

And that is as much as I wish to say, today, on the matter. Have a nice one, y'all.

Shut up, already...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Security skills

Goddammit, that's twice now I've had to give you an upvote.

Stop being so reasonable, will you!!!

Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

Alister Silver badge

Re: You still have landlines in England???

Speaking of party lines, anyone else remember 1 & 1 carrier (or WB900). I fitted a few of them over the years.

One subscriber had a normal analogue pair, and the other subscriber used the same pair but their audio signal was carried by modulating a 40Khz carrier signal down the same line.

Filters at the subscriber premises and exchange kept the two signals apart.

I remember we used to have problems with the carrier subscriber picking up radio signals from the BBC.

Alister Silver badge

Crossed lines get their name from the first automatic phone networks, based around a "crossbar" switch

Nonsense, crossed lines predate crossbar switches by at least 20 years, and probably longer.

There were a number of reasons why you would be able to overhear another call. In the early days of paper and lead insulated cables, (still in use in the 70s and 80s) you could end up with cross-talk between pairs if the cable got wet.

For actual interconnection of calls, these could be caused by the operator plugging a call into the wrong jack, and later, on Strowger exchanges, they could be caused by the wiper stepping to the wrong contact due to relay stutter.

Men's rights activists: Symantec branded us a 'hate group'

Alister Silver badge

...It is not the job of Norton Symantec to be telling their customers which sites are and are not morally acceptable."

Umm, only it is, really, that's the basis on which the product is sold. You don't have to use it though.

FUD flies as Raytheon reveals social media analysis tool

Alister Silver badge

Re: Social networks are clouds - a snooper's paradise - DATA ENTROPY

Do you know, Eadon has made a post which did not contain one instance of the word "Microsoft", nor did it try to tie in any aspect of the article to a certain Redmond based company.

Have an upvote, take two aspirin and go and lie down...

British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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".

Alister Silver badge

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!

Alister Silver badge

"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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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?

Alister Silver badge


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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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'

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

...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.

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

LOHAN fabricates full-fat fantastical flying truss

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

That'll go down a treat...

Japan Airlines to serve KFC on Christmas flights

Alister Silver badge

@ 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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

Re: A.B- Sorry

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

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