* Posts by John Brown (no body)

12036 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Weight, what? The perfect kilogram is nearly in Planck's grasp

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: What does this mean for the "Olympic Swimming Pool/Double Decker bus" standards?

"Excellent! You've just proven we can now determine the mass of a cat by counting how many moles are in them."

Furrets Last Theorem depends on modular moles?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Heavy science

They do claim: "there is no reason to believe that exactly one unit of Planck time has any special physical significance"

Correct. You need two short Plancks for significance.

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"P.S - the person quoted in the article, who has a "Business Critical backup machine" and is getting his updates straight from Win Update. What a pratt! You have no business working in IT!!!"

Maybe he doesn't work in IT. Maybe he just happens to have enough skills and not enough resources to look after the IT kit in a small business as an aside to his actual job. At least he understands the need for backups. That's a lot moire than many small businesses have.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Hardware support/drivers

I wonder what happens when a less technical user gets auto-updated to Win 10 only to find their scanner or printer or whatever no longer works and neither MS nor the OEM are going to provide a Win10 driver "because it's obsolete", ie more than a couple years old.

An Internet of Things music thingy? What, you’ve already got one?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
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"£60 a year? Too expensive to pay for music you don't get to keep."

Damn right!

Every greedy bastard seems to be trying to change the market from buying to rental with the pretense that it's "more convenient for busy people on the move", Bollocks! They just want a never ending income.

While the people who like to think they are too busy to stop and have a coffee with their breakfast and instead get on the bus or the train with their StarCosta branded cardboard cup of brownish milk think it;s a good idea,. the rest of think it's a rip-off.

Shocker: Net anarchist builds sneaky 220v USB stick that fries laptops

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Net anarchist?

"discharged its 220V through its metal casing."

Is that the same metal casing that by law is connected directly to ground when plugged in in and powered up?

Twitter reduces BBC hacks to tears with redundancy notice

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: "This isn't easy for us"

"Thing is, ex-Twitterers probably won't find it hard to find new jobs."

That's true. Especially since it's mainly programmers who are going. I'm not sure that fits with the aims of making twitter a more agile and nimble company who will develop new software and get it into the hand of users more quickly when they just sacked half of the people doing that specific job.

Is streaming pirate video legal? Europe's highest court will take a look

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: It's nothing to do with Pi

"The hardware and SW they have might be entirely legitmate."

Exactly. Pretty much any general purpose computer with a media player capable of streaming can play the "pirate" streams. You just need to find and enter the link. All the Kodi add-ons do is collate them for you so only those specific add-ons are potentially infringing and that process I could see as being blocked in some way, similar to the take-down/blocking notices to TPB et al.

When it was individuals producing the add-ons for others "in the know" to download and use, it was a niche activity and pretty much ignored. But once commercial interest get involved such as in this case selling Pi's with Kodo AND the potentially infringing add-ons pre-installed, it becomes mass market and then official notices has to be taken because people are making money from it.

It's a bit like Uber and similar. The "sharing economy" works, even when technically illegal or unlicenced when it's just people sharing or swapping services locally on a small scale. Once it becomes a commercial operation then it will be noticed so it can be regulated, taxed or banned. Capitalism can often spoil what might be "a good thing" for the "little" people. There's always some greedy bastard who wants to get rich quick on the backs of others and/or push the boundaries of the law and spoil it for everyone else.

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: how do you steal a car that will drive itself back home?

"Car can't go anywhere and can't communicate with a server to alert the authorities to it's position"

It already sent the SOS long before you got it into the truck. It's amazing how quickly an SOS can be sent with GPS co-ordinates, even on a 2G signal. It's even quicker than Morse code. It might even have time to send full hi-res video of you jacking it onto the trollies if it's got 3g or even 4g.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Mobile surveillance

Just who will be able to obtain a copy of the car's data, and in what circumstances?

AIUI, if a vehicle is involved in an accident or a crime, all the on-board ECUs/SatNav etc are fair game for plod to peruse as required. I'd expect that at this m oment in time they only delve that deeply for something fairly serious since plod are not renowned for the in depth IT skills and will most likley have to hire in expensive experts.

Over time I'd expect them to eventually to just plug into the car and have their systems build an "instant" VR simulation such that even your basic beat plod could operate it. That is when the real concerns over who gets access to the data becomes relevant. So it's good that we think about it and maybe set up legislation now so we don't end up with every plod involved in random pull-overs plugging into the data-port.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: What ifs

"And now we have a car company saying quite unambiguously that they accept the blame for faults in their car design or manufacture,"

Pretty much every software company in the world <cough>Microsoft</cough> would go bust by the end of the week if they made the same commitment.

Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Bob Forward? Try Larry Niven

"a judicious use of gravity."

Unless you are planning to slingshot around a few star systems and add ENORMOUSLY to the trip time, I suspect that will not work. Without even looking at the maths, I suspect a spacecraft traveling at 50% C is not going to be deflected very much at all by any star we currently think might have habitable planets.

LOHAN chews the fat with US TV station over Spaceport's FAA-ilure

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: South Africa?

"You would have had one of the small island governments in the middle of nowhere"

There's a slight problem with all that "nowhere". It's WET nowhere and one Playmonauttm has already been sacrificed to the great wet nowhere.

BBC bypasses Linux kernel to make streaming videos flow

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Aunty Beeb's a fibber then

"a proper iPlayer for us Linux users, then!"

Yeah, I got suckered in by the headline thinking Auntie was releasing an OS agnostic player for the browser. 'twas still an interesting read though.

Man goes to collect stolen-car court docs found in stolen car in stolen car

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

He should get a life sentence...

...for his own protection. He's too stupid to be allowed out on his own!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: What a maroon....

No, a distress flare.

Well, I expect he's now distressed and maybe he likes 80's fashion?

Google's .bro file format changed to .br after gender bother

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: 3-column mind

Exactly. FFS, even Windows is capable of dealing with file extension longer than 3 chars nowadays.

The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Buy a secondhand VW

"VW Polo Bluemotion "

Isn't that the ones which have the AdBlue tank in them so they produce far less NOx anyway?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Bunker Fuel

"Now if every container ship and oil tanker was forced to change then the effect would be a lot greater "

At least in terms of the super panama class of container ships it's been claimed that the cost of shipping a container from China to the UK is less than the cost of the trip from the port to the final destination on the back of a lorry. Using cleaner fuel would be better, but it's already cleaner than all those lorries trundling to and from the ports to load/unload the container ships.

How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Intelligence and education does not always equate with common sense

"Intelligence and education does not always equate with common sense."

Yes. Overthinking the problem when you are used to only dealing with complex problems sometimes leads to not even considering the simple solutions. Also know as the "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" syndrome.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: OH that computer...

"PC only tech about setting up iMacs. No, there are no other boxes."

Even as a PC (Windows) only tech, he ought to be aware of the many and various Windows PCs which come in a single box, ie everything is in the slightly fatter than normal screen. FFS, I was seeing PCs like that at least 10 years ago. IIRC HP have a current line of them with touch screen tech included.

PS, icon for your "PC tech", not you the poster.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I still can't get my head round this one(@ Frederic Bloggs)

"There were places you could see on your right, but never reach, because every right turn was blocked off,"

The "right" turns you refer to are usually signed with an arrow showing left-right-right so you cross the road at a light controlled junction rather than stop in the middle holding up traffic while waiting for someone to let you turn right or have an extra long red light so right turners can go. The first time I saw that on a busy London road I though it was quite innovative and useful.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: I still can't get my head round this one

"And if no one's taken the time to explain to users how it works, they may never know!"

And there is the heart of the matter.

In the past, a reasonable estimate for staff training costs was to budget about 1/3rd of the IT hardware/software budget for staff training because odds were that most of your staff had little to no experience with computers. But even those companies who actually did pay for staff training rarely paid for new staff to be trained. They learned the bits they needed from the ones already trained. This lead to a general reduction in the knowledge base as is usually the case in oral tradition.

Nowadays, almost no company trains their staff on the basics because "everybody has computers, they already know how to use them", so any training which might be provided is purely for new, specific software apps.

Even kids at school (I mean 15-16 yo, not toddlers) don't seem to know many of the basics such as the most common keyboard shortcuts or even that TAB/ALT-TAB will navigate form fields and this is the generation who should be using PCs like it's second nature.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Itty-bitty pyttipanna

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Fat lot you know about culinary superpowers

"only the late great Escoffier "

Oh is that name of the guy who does lunch for The Muppet Show.

(IT angle - Kermit)

Neuroboffins use supercomputer to partially build DIGITAL RAT BRAIN

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Politician brain

Don't be silly. When did you last hear a politician give a clear answer?

Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: What worries me more:

"What? If one of my parents (in fact: anybody) had dared to interfere with the putting-together I would have been really mad "

I came here to say the same thing. The whole bloody point of these toys is for the kid to build it themselves, play with it, then re-build as something else.

NASA boffins on Pluto: We see skies of BLUE and... RED water ice

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

I notice that...

...they very carefully avoid showing Icehenge in the publicly released images.

World's oldest person scoffs daily ration of bacon

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Let's hear it for chips (fries in the US)."

No, what we call chips is not what the USAains call fries. Fries are piddly little skinny things with a poor surface to volume ratio meaning you get lost of fat/oil per chip than with proper, thicker/fatter chips :-) I think they call them steak cut fries.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"As someone who'll likely have to work til they are three score and ten I'd rather not drop dead the day after I retire."

And yet, that is the precise scenario assumed when the state pension was introduced and why there is a huge pension deficit now. Pension age was set to reflect the fact most people rarely survived more than a few year once retired.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Needs recalculation, TimR.

" hog farmer - who'd-a-thunk? "

I though Jake was an ex-marine who after saving the world three times went on to be a successful engineer with many patents and trade secrets to his name and lives in a fortress of solitude. I had no idea he was a hog farming astronaut too! :-)

Phone-fondling docs, nurses sling patient info around willy-nilly

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Mobile Phone use in a hospital

"You don't really want to lie ill in bed surrounded by people bellowing into their mobile phones, do you?"

Surely have as normal an environment as possible can only help?

Israeli lander FOUND ON MOON (in 2017)

John Brown (no body) Silver badge


EU desperately pushes just-as-dodgy safe harbour alternatives

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: rapid flow of information between the EU and the US depends on mutual trust

"Of course, there's always the third option, I suppose, which is to slap a band-aid over it and just proceed as usual, hoping it will all go away until something else happens and you have to find another band-aid. That's really the most likely option in the short to medium term."

And the fourth option, of course. The US eventually realises it's losing the "privacy race" and ups it's game to try and be better than everyone else, just like the arms race and the space race :-)

Come on Team USA, you know you want to win the "race" rah! rah! rah!

Nope. Sorry. My irony meter just exploded.

US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Not really sure it takes Sherlock Holmes...Occams Razor?

...or alternatively, some of the towns and cities in the area now under ISIS control might just have had the odd vehicle dealership or two not to mention that the locals may have been "persuaded to donate" their privately owned vehicles.

Safe harbour ruling: RELAX, Facebook and Google will be FINE!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Does it matter?

"Even your musical doorbell has been backdoored by GCHQ/NSA"

Day-um! My IoT doorbell will have to go, I really enjoyed the convenience of clicking my smartphone app and having my data fly off to the googleplex to check if anyone had pressed it recently or to change the programmable chimes from a wide selection of low low cost choices in the doorbell app store.

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Nuclear power: safe for humans, great for the natural environment

"If the recovery of wildlife in the exclusion zone were compared with a virgin, unpolluted, abandoned zone* then the recovery figures for Chernobyl would seem far less impressive."

Maybe so, but that's not the point of the article. The point is to compare current reality with what the doom-mongers (and the standard models) predicted would happen. It's all supposed to be a highly hazardous death zone. But it isn't. Far from it.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

"Don't forget the poor bean counters!!!"

There are no poor bean counters. That's why they became bean counters.

Safe Harbour ruled INVALID: Facebook 'n' pals' data slurp at risk

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: The ICO will still do nothing

"We recognise that it will take them some time for them to do this."

I still haven't quite got the hang of not driving while drunk, so I'll just carry on without fear of prosecution while I work on some new procedures which are in line with the law as it stand then, eh?

(No I don't actually "drink and drive", the above scenario is for illustrative and entertainment purposes only)

Avast antivirus hole patched after public Project Zero slap

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

the Google Project Zero asset.

Is that like a web site but with extra gravitas?

Rise of der Maschinen: Daimler trials ROBOT LORRY in Germany

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Rush hour and breakdowns

I can just imaging the scenario where multiple robo-lorries are on the motorway in rush hour and one in the slow lane "sees" a breakdown or accident ahead in the same lane. There no chance to pull out because lanes 2 and 3 are also full. So robo-lorries slows down and eventually comes to a halt. As do all the other robo-lorries behind it. It can't pull out because there is moving traffic passing continuously in the next lane.

Now, think back to the cyclist incident with the Google robo-car where it couldn't tell if the cyclist, stopped but balancing, hence wobbling, so the Google robo-car refused to move.

I have wondered if all these new motorway upgrades with concrete divider walls might have been designed with three divider walls so automated or semi-automated lorries could use them as "super guided bus" lanes, one lane in each direction with exits/entrances at junctions. The obvious problems are that joining or leaving lorries have to cross all the traffic lanes, Using the "slow" lane side would have joining/exiting cars having to cross the guided lorry lane. the upside is segregation of lorries and cars and minimal (if any!) AI needed for the trucks.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge
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Re: @moiety

"have some LOUD WARNING that audibly says "MANUAL CONTROL ACTIVATED!" Or something to that effect; something that would prompt the pilot/driver to go "oh shit!" and grab the stick/wheel."

I can attest to that working very well indeed. While driving, I shouted out to my wife who was in the passenger seat "GET YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL", whereupon she immediate reached out to the non-existent steering wheel that wasn't in front of her. As a kicker, she's not driven a car since she failed her driving test 40 years ago :-)

US tries one last time to sway EU court on data-slurping deal

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Fair play to Max Schrems

"despite precedence suggesting that they will usually go with the AGs view"

It's worth remembering just how big and powerful the EU as an entity actually is. It may be a bit more fragmented than the USA in terms of internal states and sovereignty, but when it does stick together it can wield a pretty big stick, even over the USA.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"website analytics generally falls under the category."

So? Maybe some companies will realise that having umpty-seven "analytics" and tracking shite on their websites doesn't actually produce anything meaningful and a few PHBs will suddenly find they have no pretty graphs to show the suits and end up having to find some real work,

Virgin Media's SPAM-AGEDDON 'fix' silences mailboxes

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: But why?

"Have they not been sued to death? This is clearly costing companies money in lost business."

Is it affecting the business accounts? AIUI, it's only residential accounts that have been affected.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Tagged email affected too.

"Since the changeover all(?) tagged emails (i.e. of the form account+tag@virginmedia.com (or @blueyonder.co.uk)) are bounced."

I'd have expected that to happen. Those account+tag things were a GMail feature.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"they did exactly the same when they migrated ex-blueyonder customers a couple of months back. Days of outages, massive spam, loads of emails blocked."

I can't say I noticed any difference in spam on my BY accounts. Maybe it's just some accounts which happen to have attracted spam in the first place due to usage patterns but the users never realised before because it was being rejected before they ever saw it.

I do seem to vaguely remember going into the webmail or account control or whatever and turning off all filtering options as soon as the switch over happened, so that might have something to do with my lack of problems.

Beard transplants up 600% for men 'lacking length elsewhere'

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Does face waxing work? "

Painful. But only at the time. Using ladies leg hair cream is a more long term pain as it burns like hell so I've read.

I've heard electrolysis works though. No idea if that;s true or how permanent it is. Or of it hurts.

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Abbott And Costello spoiler

"so it ought to be the obvious. I suspect whether it will be or not, the occupant will be the key/solution to the episode."

My bet is on it being the doctor in there.

Mold whine: Soylent superfood shipments stopped by spore scare

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

try a hamburger and do your stomach a favor.

Shirley you mean bacon...or is this story from El Regs Western Outpost in which you are partially forgiven for not knowing what the taste of proper bacon is. Please thoroughly read the Articles of Faith, in particular the comments sections. Three times.

Apple gobbles Brit AI outfit VocalIQ

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Yes, but can it understand Geordie?

"Even I can't parse that and I'm English!"

Same here and ahm Geordie!

MInd you, there's loads of different Geordie accents and pronunciations too, even from different parts of the same toon nivvor mind different toons and villages.

From here, go a little south and school becomes scewell and pool become poo-ell. A little West and toad in the hole becomes turd in the hurl!!! (a future post-pub neck filler? Nah, maybe not!)

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