* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Avengers: Infinity War: More Marvel-ous moolah for comic film-erverse, probably

Alister Silver badge

Re: Must be my age

And of course Purdy.

Pah, modern new-fangled rubbish, that was the New Avengers.

What about Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman)?

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Alister Silver badge

Re: So those Windrush landing cards needed to be held for maybe 120-150 years.


Or, possibly, digitise / ze.

No need to invent new words.

Good news: AI could solve the pension crisis – by triggering a nuclear apocalypse by 2040

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Re: I wish they would stop promising us nuclear armageddon.

I wish they'd just get on with it, or I'm going to have to replenish all my stock of tinned foods.

Sod Armageddon - the Best Before Date is approaching!

Alister Silver badge
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Re: "Id like to see their definition of AI"

Dear Reg: You could pioneer some common sense in the name of scientific accuracy. How about linking every instance of the term "AI" to a couple of paras explaining why it is actually nothing of the kind? You do a good enough service setting the record straight on "private" browsing in today's articles, after all.


I often disagree with your point of view on matters, but on this occasion, I can only endorse what you've said, and offer you this -------------->

Cosmic prang probe: Euro space boffins to smash sats, virtually

Alister Silver badge

Re: Serious question.

I think your no.2 is too simplistic, objects can have variances in velocity sufficient to cause collisions but still be in the same orbit.

Otherwise, how could one spacecraft approach and dock with another spacecraft in the same orbit?

Alister Silver badge

Re: What really happens when accidents occur in orbit?

Only if they happen on the orbital motorway?

Alister Silver badge

Your user name doesn't really reflect reality, does it?

Go back and read TFA, these will be simulated collisions.

UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed

Alister Silver badge

"Knowledge and experience of digital and data policy and/or the tech sector is desirable but not essential,"

Is this not just the standard PC bollocks nowadays, that if you put that "relevant knowledge is required" then it's seen as being exclusionary or discriminatory?

DON'T PANIC! America's net neutrality won't be ending today after all

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Why is Batman hitting Robin?

UK.gov demands urgent answers as TSB IT meltdown continues

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[Nicky Morgan] said the reports of unauthorised transactions, access to other customers' accounts, and failures of in-branch services "have all the hallmarks of an IT meltdown".

Is "IT meltdown" an officially designated term now? How is it quantified?

US sanctions on Turkey for Russia purchases could ground Brit F-35s

Alister Silver badge

Re: There really...

I can't think of any aircraft with as bad a flight safety record

Lockheed Starfighter?

Alister Silver badge

Re: There really...

@Skippy Bing

'the safety record of a Corvair '

I suspect we are talking the Chevrolet Corvair which was identified by Ralph Nader as highly unsafe.

'It's got all the reliability of an NSU RO80'

Again, not an aircraft, and the rotary engine was renowned for the seals at the tips of the rotor failing.

'as popular with pilots as a clapped out Austin Ambassador'

...none where they complain about the window popping out when you jack it up and the steering wheel being square.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Alister Silver badge

Re: Yo Dabbsy

Buses stop at a bus station

Trains stop at a train station.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my work station

Has work stopped??


Alister Silver badge

Re: Yo Dabbsy

in which case I'd go to the whaleweigh station.

There aren't enough downvotes in the world to cover that one...

Alister Silver badge

You miss the point, Ken.

IME Younger people don't bother to even try and remember stuff.

Some of our younger staff here (who allegedly have a degree in computer science) have to be told, and told and told the most basic stuff, time and time again.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Of course not. That was all done and dusted at O-level.

Hahahahahahaaaaaaa... Oh sorry, did I just type that out loud?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!

Wot, you mean it was a podcast?!

Alister Silver badge

Thanks to the Internet, I have the opportunity to be better informed about a wider range of subjects than has ever been possible hitherto. And so does everyone else, if they're prepared to take it. Is that a bad thing?

No, it's obviously not a bad thing, and I too am better informed about all sorts of subjects as a result of the internet.

But, I do believe that it discourages the individual retention of knowledge, because of its immediacy.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Not Dutch

Just a FYI, it's an American story.

I see you've been reading Wikipedia.

The story predates any American publication by many years, and its origin is obscure.

Alister Silver badge

I'm in danger of revealing my grumpy-old-man status here, or even getting into a full blown rant, but it seems to me that the mental retention of literary allusions, cultural references etc is something older people do.

It is my perception that younger people, who have grown up with the ubiquitous use of computers and smartphones, and particularly the advent of Google and Wikipedia, make no effort to retain such things, as they can just go and look them up when needed, and then forget them again until next time.

Alister Silver badge

Education is no longer designed to teach.

I recently made the mistake of helping my daughter with her "A" level biology homework - which given I used to work in the medical profession I thought should be a doddle.

She had to describe in 'detail' the movement of blood through the circulatory system, so I started with the blood leaving the left ventricle through the semilunar valve into the aorta, and how it travels through arteries to the capillary beds and then back through the veins, through the inferior and superior vena cava, to the right atrium. (simplified)

She was sitting looking puzzled, so I asked what was wrong. She said "Oh, we don't need to know all that"

I was gobsmacked. How can you possibly learn human biology if you don't even need to know the names of the bits you are supposed to be talking about?

I've noticed this before though, that students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside the strict focus of the coursework.

Pavilion Data Systems hands more engineers their marching orders

Alister Silver badge

The decision to separate from these employees was driven by a combination of performance management and alignment to ongoing objectives and investments.

We've decided to concentrate on software sales...

Amazon, LG Electronics turned my vape into an exploding bomb, says burned bloke in lawsuit

Alister Silver badge

Re: Health Hazard?


do you want to ban open fires and diesel cars as well? They are much more hazardous to your health than secondary tobacco smoke.

Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Alister Silver badge

Re: its like the leads at the back of my desk at work.

According to Sir PTerry, it's due to malignancy - the local hostility of things towards non-things.

LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Alister Silver badge

Any volunteers?

build a prototype able to follow a PFY around

For the post of LESTER TESTER?

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Alister Silver badge

socks in a lunchbox

That's just crying out to be a euphemism...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Probably...

Why the thumbs down?

You forget, Americans read this. Mentioning a blow job is akin to setting fire to the Bible.

BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

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large enough to consume our company whole whilst leaving room for dessert, a cheese board and several after-dinner cognacs.

Oh Simon, fancy forgetting the wafer-thin mints...

SpaceX finally Falcon flings NASA's TESS into orbit

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Re: What duck?

Yep :)

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

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I see people are highlighting 999 calls, fear not, by the time this is done there won't be any police etc.. left due to cuts.

More immediately, the 999 services are going to be moving from TETRA radios to 4G on EE, so even if you could call the emergency services without a mobile signal, the controllers won't be able to talk to the fire engines or ambulances...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Mobile as the emergency option?

It sounds reasonable.

It doesn't sound so reasonable when you consider mobile network coverage is only at about 85% in the UK. There's still a lot of places without a signal.

Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

Alister Silver badge

So, next step, perpetual motion!

Or possibly Nuclear Fusion, real soon now!

Surprise! Wireless brain implants are not secure, and can be hijacked to kill you or steal thoughts

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wireless brain implants are insecure

Thank gods I forgot to put mine in, this morning, eh?

Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

Alister Silver badge

Re: Ringworld Calling...

There'd need to be some fairly tight controls around using this to avoid it getting out into the "wild".

"What do you mean, you shouldn't have kept it in plastic containers! Nobody told me!"

Alister Silver badge

Brit boffins save planet

Yeah, until the microbes go on the rampage, eating plastic all over the planet, leaving nothing but metal behind...


We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Alister Silver badge

Re: Is this a modern mathematics A level question, an A* guaranteed?

"Ah Simpkins, come in, stand at ease."

"Thank you sir"

"Now, as you know, I have to prepare a report for the Ministry about these five missing aircraft"

"Yes Sir"

"So can you tell me what happened, exactly?"

"They were brought down by an overwhelming enemy force, sir"

"Really, Simkins? And why didn't the enemy squadron appear on our radar, exactly?"

"Uh, it wasn't exactly a squadron, sir... more of a flock, kind of thing..."

"A Flock, Simkins?"

"Yessir... But they were terrible, sir, mad staring eyes and great sharp beaks and everything, our aircraft didn't stand a chance!"

"I see... Just to clarify then, the enemy force was comprised of what, exactly?"

"Seagulls sir, a great flock of seagulls."

"Thank you Simkins, that will be all."

'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Hmm

and screeched onto the internet with CompuServe along with hideous numeric email address.

Strangely, I came across my old Compuserve address only the other day, it was 101360.1534@compuserve.com

It's dead now, of course.

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Alister Silver badge

It is great and well until that singular cloudy provider goes TITSUP* for whatever reason

SYNTAX ERROR: Reference not set to an instance of an object...

Unfulfilled reference / dangling footnote detected.

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Alister Silver badge

Re: Turn it off and on again

it's just Roy answering the phone.

I thought he'd got a reel-to-reel answerphone now?

Alister Silver badge

Re: negativity

El Reg, please do not trade factual accuracy for a nice rhyming headline.

Erm, this is The Register, you know?

Rhyming headlines and quotes from 1960s musicals are far more important than a few facts.

Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Alister Silver badge

The registry for .uk, Nominet, for example, has long withheld the personal details of domain registrants and provides only technical information publicly.

This is not true. I've just done a quick blast round some of our company .uk domains and some of my personal .uk domains, and the full registration information is returned by whois.nic.uk.

Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

Alister Silver badge

With the recent investment in Reaction Engines Limited, this may stand a chance of becoming a reality

Hmm, whatever fraction of the £26M that was shared between Boeing and Rolls Royce. Not exactly a massive injection of cash, considering the size of either company, more an expression of polite interest.

'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

Alister Silver badge

Re: YES all digital devices are insecure

I have a digital alarm clock

That's So last century, darling...


'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Alister Silver badge

So where's the one addressed to:

Mr Whydontyou Gofuckyourself

27 Hawthorn Drive

Little Whinging


GU21 6FU

Lib Dems, UKIP's websites go TITSUP* on UK local election launch day

Alister Silver badge

What could possibly be offensive about a small bird of the Paridae family?

Snubbed R Us: Microsoft eschews Vulture Consultants in Playmobil tech research

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Re: This is terrible.

You know, sawing off bits of Barbie and then taking her to hospital.

Ah yes, those far off innocent days...

Penis pothole protester: Cambridge's 'Wanksy' art shows feted

Alister Silver badge

Re: A simple solution...

Mine is full of eels.

That's one elver problem...

Alister Silver badge

after a semi at 69 Cock Lane was up for sale.

Well, half-way up, anyway...

Can't view memes on London-Southampton train? It's the worst line for mobile coverage

Alister Silver badge

Re: London-centric as ever

But on the bright side, we're looking out the window at the Peak District, not London ...

Well... you say that, but mostly we're looking out of the window at fog, or snow, or cloud, or rain...

Actually seeing the Peak District is quite rare...


Great Western Railway warns of great Western password reuse: Brits told to reset logins

Alister Silver badge

Re: No email here

Have you considered that if you haven't received an email, it means your account was not breached?

Do you use a different password for your GWR account than any other internet login? Then you probably don't have a problem.

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