* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Inside the real-world Double-O section of Her Majesty's Secret Service

Alister Silver badge

Ok so this is all about Bond...

...but I'm surprised you don't mention Le Carré, as his books gave a much closer representation of the real SIS (although still with a lot of artistic licence).

From Dr No to Skyfall: The Reg's one month of Bond

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Re: Instead of rating various Bond's

Bugger, still can't spell it right:


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Re: Instead of rating various Bond's

>>Of course nothing beats Desmond Lewellen [sp?] as Q

Not enough "L"s


It's a Welllllsh name, and therefore must inclllllllude lllllllots of lllllllllls, lllook you!

Europe UNDER ATTACK in simulated cyber security test

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Re: This is not a drill!

Mine's a hammer drill, it goes:


HTC outs Jelly Bean running One X revamp

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Given that they have just announced a new larger battery pack on this new version, then I suggest they have acknowledged there is a problem?

Better pay your taxes: The world's NOT going to end this year

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"Those folks counting down to the end of the world, currently scheduled for 21 December according to the Mayan calendar, are going to be disappointed, a gaggle of experts have said."

Won't they feel silly if they're wrong...

...Oh, wait...

McFlurry McMisdemeanour costs Welsh lass McJob

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Re: That's it, I'm done...

Lester Haines wrote:

>>HcHeaps of fun, for sure

...and it was going so well...

Tesla drops veil on top secret solar Superchargers

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Tesla drops veil on TOP SECRET solar Superchargers

I'm sorry, surely that should be LIFTS veil - dropping the veil would mean hiding it?

Climate sceptic? You're probably a 'Birther', don't vaccinate your kids

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Re: You count engineer as a scientist?


>>>>"As usual, we would advance our preferred term, "boffin", for an actual real scientist (physicist, engineer, archaeologist etc) to differentiate from the trick-cyclists, sociologists and other marginal eggheads."

>>Engineers are not scientists, they are a whole different stream of profession in their own right. I am personally a software engineer and am proud of the term, which means that companies like BT calling their techs who come round to your house with a screwdriver "engineers" annoys me after I spent 4 years at a top university studying to become an engineer.

From the passage that you quoted, Lewis is saying that the term "boffin" should be used to describe scientists and engineers, etc, rather than those of the alleged sciences like phsychology. He is not, to my mind, suggesting that you call engineers scientists, anymore than you would normally call archeologists scientists.

And I find it laughable that you think that four years at Uni makes you a better "engineer" than someone who works on hardware using real tools...

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I think you "Full Disclosure" should be twice the size and in bold - it sums up how I feel as well:

"Full Disclosure: Your correspondent is quite OK with the idea that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and further that global temperatures appear to have risen noticeably at the back end of the 20th century - though there is a lot of uncertainty about how much, what they did before records began, etc etc. Nonetheless, I'm personally sceptical - only sceptical, I deny nothing - regarding the accuracy of forecasts and models which predict massively accelerated further warming this century; and also sceptical that anyone knows at all well what the likely consequences of this possible warming would be in terms of sea levels, crop yields etc.

All that said, it is quite possible that the alarmists are right and the coming decades could see serious sea-level rises, crop failures etc. Unfortunately I'm really, really sceptical about the idea that the human race can support any reasonably advanced and wealthy modern civilisation using only or mostly renewable power. The proposed cure seems likely to be worse than the disease. Furthermore it isn't actually on the table - most of the world's governments don't even offer a serious pretence of trying to achieve it, though they are happy to encourage others to choke their economies to death.

So I'm a sceptic."

Hapless Kate topless, toothless law useless

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Given that the original photographer may not want to be associated with the images due to legal reasons, does this mean that the images are now officially "orphan works"?

Swiss railways ticked off at iOS clock knock-off

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Re: Something fishy here...

You did read the article, then?

It's the iPad version of IOS6 that uses this clock.

Fans rap Apple's 'crap' Map app

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Re: Not an iDevice user anymore but....

just checking: is that 1 Infinite Loop?

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It's my understanding

...that the underlying map data for the new Apple Maps was supplied by Tom Tom.

Any navigation errors, or, as reported elsewhere, missing or incorrectly named towns, are therefore Tom Tom's errors, not Apple's.

This may help explain the continued reporting of drivers blindly following their sat-nav into rivers, off the edges of cliffs etc, if Tom Tom's data is so flawed.

Twitter to UK.gov: Web super-snoop law will trample twits' rights

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Re: Communications by electro-magnetic energy

Talk about the law of unintended consequences...

Does this mean that all users of two-way radio - be they business users or radio hams and cb'ers, will have to store records of their conversations for a year?

Ten USB 3.0 HDD enclosures

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Re: USB-SATA Electronics

That's what I thought. So when you do comparative speed and performance tests, you would expect to see all the ones using the same chip to perform the same, wouldn't you? (given that the hard drive fitted is the same one in each case)

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I would be interested to know whether the electronics in the SATA / USB interface are all built by the individual enclosure manufacturers, or whether, in fact, they buy in existing circuits and chips from one or more sources.

This would make the performance comparisons interesting.

Why lock your digits to a phone? Telefonica to flog cloudy numbers

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As you mentioned the Chuckle brothers

I thought the two services would be TuMe / TuYou

Most disappointed...

Space Station 'nauts touch down on Kazakh steppe

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>>The station will get a bit more crowded up

What's wrong with being merely crowded?

Reg hack uncovers perfect antidote to internet

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Re: Safer idea?

>> If the caisson gets stuck you can just narrow the diameter and carry on....

Or do as Brunel did and get a load of workers to jump up and down on it...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Safer idea?

Brunel used a similar idea, I believe, for the Thames Tunnel although on a slightly larger scale:

"The shaft, from whence the Tunnel works are carried on, was built at Rotherhithe in the form of a tower, 50 feet in diameter, 42 feet in height, and 3 feet thick, at about 150 feet from the edge of the wharf, and it was sunk into its position by excavating the earth within."

"From An explanation of the works of the tunnel under the Thames from Rotherhithe to Wapping (1836)."

HGST floats helium for low power, MASSIVE capacity HDDs

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Helium filled Hard Drives

Now 12% Lighter!!

Ding dong, the Ping is dead! Apple brings in Facebook for iTunes

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I wonder

If the changes necessary to implement this were the cause of the iCloud outage?

Dreaded redback spider's NEMESIS: Forgotten Captain Cook wasps

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Re: The list of non-dangerous creatures in Oz:


Good on yer, Mate!

LOHAN straps on satellite comms capability

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"Being able to help with the British space programme is brilliant"

Um, isn't this overstating the case just a little, especially since the base of operations is currently Spain??

Yahoo! bureau! chief! sacked! for! Mitt Romney! racism! jibe!

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Re: Pot, meet kettle...


Your point has changed since you had your history lesson, hasn't it, sonny...

You originally accused +++ath0 of adding "random" and "gratuitous" +++ to his username, whereas you now learn that that was not in fact the case.

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Re: Pot, meet kettle...

Too young to remember the Hayes modem then, obviously

Want to avoid another cookie law mess? Talk to EU bods next time

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Wouldn't it be better

to spend some money and time educating web users about what cookies are used for, instead of trying to impose legislation which penalizes most legitimate site owners and developers, and is completely ignored by most of the companies it was supposed to stop.

In my experience, talking to lusers, they all have this "Why is some one writing data to /My/ hard drive - it shouldn't be allowed!" attitude which has been fostered by the EU bureaucrats and privacy advocates, despite the fact that the majority of the time it is completely harmless and indeed beneficial to the user.

What nobody in authority, or average user on the street seems to understand is that the alternative would be for each and every web server on the internet to store each visitor's preferences in some sort of massive database, which, in order to work effectively would have to keep track of IP and MAC addresses, and probably local hostnames, and the logged on user, in order to correctly identify and remember a user's preferences.

Is that not more of an invasion of privacy, and more likely to be abused, than writing a text file into your user profile?

Was Russia Today hacked - or did it just forget to renew rt.com?

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Domain renewal

Whois info for rt.com:

Record expires on 22-Sep-2021.

Record created on 23-Sep-1991.

Database last updated on 10-Sep-2012 04:46:02 EDT.

Yep, they forgot to renew it.

Titans of tech: Why I'll never trust 'em

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"If you're a large enough company, you can afford to adopt the attitude that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM/Cisco/Microsoft/Oracle/VMware/etc." A goof in IT spend is a small wobble in the share price; it is not an upset that could cost you the entire company. Small businesses, start-ups and SMEs don't have that buffer. An IT cock-up can be the difference between making a slim profit and going broke. In this space there is no room for "faith"."

This. Exactly.

I wish I could add several "pint" icons as well as a thumbs up...

Voyager's 35th birthday gift: One-way INTERSTELLAR ticket

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Re: Build quality

I think you're wrong, Celsius is denoted "C" where I come from

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Re: unlikely temperature

Yes, typo fail there - was meant to say -270C working on the fact that it may not be quite absolute zero, although I guess that still may be wrong...

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Build quality

My mother has a refrigerator that she bought new in 1968, still working fine...

Okay, so admittedly it wasn't stuck on top of a massive firework and shot into space, and it isn't currently floating in a vacuum at a temperature of -470C

On balance, It probably wouldn't work so well if it had been through all that - and besides, where would you plug it in?

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Re: Serious question...

Thanks for that, when I said the Earth, I suppose I really meant the Sun.

So, in order to visit the outer planets, both these vehicles must have originally been launched in the plane of the ecliptic, is that correct? But they have now changed direction so that they are traveling at ninety degrees to it?

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Serious question...

...if that is possible.

The article makes reference to "north" and "south" in a number of places, eg

...the direction of the magnetic fields, which will change from running east-west to running north-south.

Right now, Voyager 1 is heading north while Voyager 2, at least 9 billion miles from the Sun, is moving south.

Are these directions with respect to Earth - and therefore does this mean the two craft are traveling up from, and down from the plane of the ecliptic, respectively?

Thecus chucks 2 new NAS boxes at SOHO punters

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My experience has been that at the price point the Thecus N8800pro for just less than £2000.00 is cheaper than we could manage building it ourselves.

it comes with 8 x 2TB drives (giving 11TB useable in Raid 5) and supports iSCSI, as well as all the usual protocols.

We use quite a few of them dotted around branch offices for backup storage.

(I am not employed by or otherwise associated with Thecus)

The Register flicks switch on Data Centre channel

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Timothy Prickett Morgan’s deep-diving server coverage

I'm very sorry, but I completely misread that, for some reason, as

Timothy Prickett Morgan’s deep-diving sewer coverage

Maybe a Freudian reflection of my mind...

GCHQ spooks give biz chiefs crash course in thwarting hackers

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"Separately, a survey of 320 UK IT professionals by Check Point, published today, found that a third said their primary focus was on stopping external assaults - such as hacking, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on websites, and malware - while 26 per cent said their main challenge was preventing inadvertent data losses by employees"

So, a third concentrate on external attacks, nearly a further third concentrate on preventing data loss, and the rest think it won't ever happen.

NASA captures mind-bogglingly gorgeous solar video

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Re: It really looks like that

JDX was asking about the Aurora, not the coronal ejection...

I don't think the Aurora has ever fried anybody's eyeballs.

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Re: Aurora Question


Yes, it really can look like that, but you have to be lucky to catch it on a good night - most of the time it's a lot less garish - although still impressive.

'Nutjob' serves half-baked Raspberry PI scam

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Re: Isn't it ironic

I would be seriously worried if your auto-correct has "analcucumber" as one of its dictionary words - or possibly you had occasion to "Add to Dictionary" at some previous time.

China mutates plants ... IN SPAAAAAACE

Alister Silver badge

Re: I for one welcome our new capsicum overlords..

You nearly received a down vote, that was soooo bad.

Second LulzSec suspect charged over Sony Pictures hack

Alister Silver badge

>>Sony Pictures maintained that only 38,000 accounts were actually compromised.

Oh, well that's fine then, if it was only that many, especially since they were compromised by a thing called a "SQL injection attack" which no-one has ever heard of or learnt how to protect against...

</sarcasm> (just in case someone takes this seriously)

Mars rover harangues empty landscape with loudhailer

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Re: Yak yak yak

They have Yaks on Mars??

Who knew...

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Re: at that very moment...

But you forgot the outcome:

"After millennia of battle the surviving Martians realised what had actually happened, and joined forces to attack the Milky Way in retaliation. They crossed vast reaches of space in a journey lasting thousands of years before reaching their target where they attacked the first planet they encountered, Earth. Due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was swallowed by a small dog. "

So, quick, deploy the small dog brigade...

It's Lego's 80th birthday party, but only the boys are invited

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@ AC

>>Possibly Minibrix

Yep! That's them

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My daughter will sit and play with my old Lego for hours, building all manner of things, from houses to cars, without any prompting from me. But then she is also quite happy to get covered in oil helping me fix my Land Rover, so maybe the environment she grew up in was against her :-)

She is, however, definitely not a "tomboy", as she has the usual fascination for all the pink tat that is nowadays thrown at young girls, and the usual clothes, makeup etc that is "normal" for a girl of her age.

On another note, when I was young I used to have some lego-like construction bricks which belonged to my dad, which were made of a type of rubber, rather than hard plastic. Anyone else have anything similar?

Going viral 9,500 years ago: 'English descended from ancient Turkey'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Not quite


>>Scots isn't part of the Celtic family of languages. It is very similar to English.

I wrote "Scots and Irish Gaelic" not Scots (which wouldn't mean anything, anyway, if anything, Scottish is the brand of English spoken by Scots)

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Re: Not quite

>>Our only indigenous language is Welsh.

This is not the case, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Manx and Scots and Irish Gaelic are all derived from the same origins, Celtic peoples who migrated from Eastern Europe.

Red hot chilli peppers floor Bristol shoplifter

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Re: Eh?

You obviously don't frequent the right pubs...

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