* Posts by Mike 125

191 posts • joined 1 Jun 2010


Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Mike 125

Re: Yay landfill!

>cos it keeps charge for ages and I carry spare batteries (AA). No need to worry about enough signal to get a map. No need for a subscription for decent outdoor maps. It's water resistant, drop proof and I can work it with thick gloves on and see it in bright sunshine or pitch blackness. It carries a full set of 1/25000 UK maps and the compass always points north

That's exactly what I require. This is a bit cheeky, but care to plug that device? Outdoor exploring is great with a map, but sometimes finding the pub becomes the overwhelming priority...

'It's like they took a rug and covered it up': Flight booking web app used by scores of airlines still vuln to attack – claim

Mike 125

yet again.

>Yet again you've let them get away with an anodyne statement.

Oh yea. Thanks. We all missed that.

>Did you ask how bad it would have been if they didn't give security the highest priority?

Goddamn, of course! That's gonna work. Why didn't anyone else think of it?

This sort of ironic reaction from corporate suits surprises exactly nobody any more. It's a script and everybody knows it. But it still needs to be put out there, so there's a record of more 'just doing what everybody else does'. Eventually, maybe, these people will be held to account.

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

Mike 125

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Mike 125

Re: Hmm

Good answer. We have different lives.

"I'm cold."

"And if you stick on a jumper you'll get warm. But I'll always be a tight a'se."

Mike 125

Re: Hmm

>I have a smart multi-room heating system which is genuinely a huge improvement in terms of convenience, cost and comfort.

I have a timed CH system with thermostatic radiators, and a limited imagination. Care to explain just 1 way in which your system is either 'smart', more convenient, cheaper or more comfortable than mine?

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

Mike 125


TMP/temp was always a dumb name- all files are by varying degrees temporary. I use a 'transfer' directory: stuff en route to an unknown, as yet, destination. It's otherwise known as 'to_be_sorted'.

But like temp, it's also never empty...

Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail

Mike 125

Context is everything.

"...a history of killing small animals..."

Bernard Matthews Farms has a very similar history.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

Mike 125

Could it be...

It's like they *want* us to hate them. Or... they've started hooking us on the dependency, and then occasionally must remind us how impossible life is without them. It's just like the IoT Ts, which require a connection to work *at all*.

Crazy stuff.

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

Mike 125


Yes agree, and yet, Elon Musk? But then he thinks we're in the matrix... so.

>Today's AI systems are trained through a massive amount of automated trial and error; at each stage a technique called backpropagation is used to feed back errors and tweak the system in order to reduce errors in future

...which is exactly how a human child learns, (with some lizard brain emotions thrown into the mix). Most people mean 'human-like' intelligence when they talk about AI. If we want machines to be human, we'll have to 'program' them the same way. Oh and yes, there's the small matter of some decent hardware.

30 years ago, NASA put Challenger behind it and sent a Space Shuttle back out into the black

Mike 125

Re: Irrelevant musing, move along...

"but brought with it a harbinger of the fate that would eventually befall Columbia, 15 years later."

>I'll never forget either day, the bad and the good. (or the loss of Columbia, but that's another story)

I'll never forget either tragedy. They were so different and the causes so diverse and complex. Years ago, I spent hours reading up all the engineering detail from the investigations- riveting stuff to any space nerd.

Both events are perfect examples of the benefits of hindsight. The warning signs seem so obvious now. We should learn from that, but I doubt we will.

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Mike 125

It's all about the short term..

"So many buy-and-build strategies, repeat managed buyouts and successive private equity or venture capital investments continue to saddle businesses with unsustainable debt levels."

Yep, so short termism is at the core of this. I joined a small, niche electronic design business in 1988. I was into the tech, and embedded micros were just coming in, so I learnt my craft in assembly and C.

One day, my boss took me down the pub and offered me a pint and a directorship. He then explained his plan: get the company to a certain size, and then look for a buyer. Zzzzzzzz. I turned his offer down, (not the pint).

When people in suits lead a business whose core product is of zero interest to those people, it will fail or cease to exist.

Solid password practice on Capital One's site? Don't bank on it

Mike 125

>>Never failed me.

Sadly, you can't prove that. Absolute certainty is always dangerous.

Email security crisis... What email security crisis?

Mike 125

Re: Who the fuck cares about such semantics in this day and age?

>>There is no God. Or god. Or whatever. Wake up and join the 21st Century, already.

Yea there is- his other name's Wilko Johnson. I accept your point about the 21st Century..

Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

Mike 125


"A strong, self-confident government could negotiate with these tech giants to create a fund, run entirely independently, to support public interest media."

My instinct is that the tech giants are way beyond democratic influence, let alone control. On the other hand, the BBC is by definition completely enabled by government.

The BBC gave us public interest media, which used to be exceptional quality by any international measure. Recently, the mistaken ratings chase (which I've only ever understood in the light of immoral executive and celebrity salaries) has led to a dramatic decline.

So I'd give JC a chance. But then I don't trust a party controlled by hedge funds managers and semi-pubescent public school boys. And I do enjoy some stuff on BBC3 and Newsnight is still pretty good. So it's easy for me.

Or maybe I'll just do as normal and vote Green. What difference does it really make...

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

Mike 125

Re: The Prime Directive

>> The Prime Directive. I wish they'd stop bugging me about this Prime thing. I don't give a crap

...straight out of James T's memoires.

Mike 125


>>Speaking to others I found that they had similarly been caught out.


Next day? Nothing Amazon sells is that important.

I move stuff from the 'wants' list to the basket, and when it bumps over £20 I place the order. Frequently it's here within 2-3 days.

Stupid Amazon. Thinks it's so great, giving us what we want when we want it.

FreeBSD has its own TCP-queue-of-death bug, easier to hose than Linux's SegmentSmack

Mike 125

get fuzzy

These problems seem to be about uncontrolled resource allocation for particular (malicious) edge-case patterns of network data.

But shouldn't good edge-case tests pick them up? A good test must include worst case. It seems like tests are only ever about the headlines: bandwidth and reliability with 'normal' data.

Somebody gotta crank up the fuzz.

Cracking the passwords of some WPA2 Wi-Fi networks just got easier

Mike 125

Re: This probably be like all those uncountable Android security holes

>>despite all the fearmongering.

Yea, yea, like "Nooooo noooo, you fools, this is all Project Fear." It's magic: whatever problem gets labelled 'Project Fear', makes the problem disappear, irrespective of the actual evidence. Try it- it really works! Oh, you did.

Hmmm. I wonder if anyone's applied this technique elsewhere...

If you're serious about securing IoT gadgets, may as well start here

Mike 125

Re: Tradition works - we're going back to vinyl

>>Tradition demands that you strike the Viol,

Hmmmm. I once Shook my Booty. Yea, you heard.

Mike 125

why indeed

>>but why?

...because 'can'. And will until something breaks.

As for the current crop of IoT, they're basically Christmas Cracker novelties: fridges, lights, front door locks, toilet flush, etc. I'm sticking with tradition. Tradition works - we're going back to vinyl, (and VHS tape now I read, but that was also crap, so I'll skip that one!).

I have just 6 Internet Things: a router, 2 phones and 3 laptops. And those alone cause enough problems.

The idea that a vital, fundamental home device such as a lock requires a live connection back to the manufacturer just to work, is insane.

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Mike 125

Oh no...

"rejigging The Register's website so that it looks great on desktop and mobile, automatically adjusting the layout depending on your device's screen size."

Ok, but please don't commit Windows 8.

Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Mike 125

Re: I've got a better solution...

>>but it's labelled... we really do have that...

I was about 9 when I stopped labelling books. Was I a prodigy?

Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

Mike 125

Class act.

"Harlan Ellison, the legendary science fiction author who kickstarted the 1970s "New Wave" of science fiction has died in his sleep.."

Somewhere in all his horrific dystopias, he found the perfect way to die.

Mike 125

Re: Minor pedant


>>but to be even more pedantic, it's "&".

No, it's really not.

Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

Mike 125

Not reading articles again... and not thinking...


>>should still work locally, just without voice control.

Here we see the difficulty: people just refuse to accept the insanity- so they just vaguely sit, quietly talking to themselves, and gently rocking to and fro... "no, it can't do that... dribble dribble... no...that's not possible...".

If you're willing to accept a home life as unreliable, unpredictable and insecure as Windows 95, then continue using these devices.

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Mike 125

Psycho creeps will always be with us.

>>the mother – who had no idea of her daughter's online interactions

And there, just there- that's most of the problem.

Not wanting to go all DM here, but in the UK the mom would probably have been arrested.

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++

Mike 125


"I’d like to see C++ supporting a guaranteed completely type-safe and resource-safe style of programming. This should not be done by restricting applicability or adding cost[...] I think it can be done and that the approach of giving programmers better (and easier to use) language facilities can get us there."

I disagree. If it could've, it would've, by now. Performance and safety will always be in conflict.

C++ has been a Vasa for years. It floats because it's in dry dock.

Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

Mike 125

It's that easy.

Crashing a Tesla.

Low AI rollout caused by dumb, fashion-victim management – Gartner

Mike 125

Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

@Rich 11

Re: your link: (IMHO) biggest mistake Mr Musk made was going so hard on 'Autopilot'. Autopilot is why I don't want a Tesla. Beating the pants of any petrol road car is why I *do*. And I suspect that's the case for many potential buyers. If he'd just focussed on electric and performance, life would've been so much simpler. So I guess that's evidence that anyone can get caught up in the hype.

You know what your problem is, Apple? Complacency

Mike 125

Re: The problem: Tim Cook is not a visionary like Steve Jobs

>>And like every other company, the companies that are ran by the accountants die.

The Big Four - four big exceptions.

Uber 'does not exist any more' says Turkish president

Mike 125

Re: That's the way to do it.


That's interesting. Maybe it feels like a way to rebel, when you don't have many.

As for the line, of course it wasn't meant literally - this was back when TBBT was funny. For me it referred to the bigger picture, with the irony being that the character who always misses the obvious often speaks a deeper truth.

Mike 125

That's the way to do it.

Sheldon Cooper:

"I like China. See, they know how to keep people in line."

Turkey too.

A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

Mike 125

Re: On time, on budget, good quality. Pick two


lpCurrent++ = lpNext++;

If those are pointers, the left side is illegal in C. But assuming it's an indirection via a pointer, that implies a memcpy operation. The left side would normally show the indirection operator: '*lpCurrent++', but it could be masked by some textual trick. And remember that '*' is higher precedence than '++'.

So the statement behaviour is well defined and does what you'd expect: copy the content, then increment the pointers. Your tools must have been very broken!

But of course, the statement isn't threadsafe by any stretch. It breaks down into a complex sequence of loads and stores.

>>My "write for wetware" comment stands..

Indeed, and I completely agree.

Mike 125

Re: On time, on budget, good quality. Pick two


>>increment/decrement operators, I have direct experience of the clusterfuck that can arise from using those,

If you're discussing C, calling aspects of a 46 year old language 'a clusterfuck' may sound supercool and down wit da kids, but it's not as clever as you think. And the article is about assignment operators, not inc/dec operators which are indeed more interesting.

Understanding why they were added, (back in the day), requires a good level of understanding as to what happens behind the scenes of an innocent looking line of C.

Just saying, dude. And I agree with your 2 from 3 comments.

As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant

Mike 125

All the best, Elon.


This was kind of inevitable. 'Socmed' is a universal amplifier of the worst aspects of human evolutionary inheritance. To say it is not a force for good is a dramatic understatement.

But it's a shame people don't recognise the absolute need for a PR advisor/ handler, before the whole thing goes public. Do the ranting down the pub with a mate.

UPnP joins the 'just turn it off on consumer devices, already' club

Mike 125

Re: Knocking on my firewall door

>>the principle that stupid honest people shouldn't be allowed to suffer at the hands of crooked clever people is very widely accepted.

Yea, except for when it actually matters:

"No. Do not coat my apartment block in super-flammable cladding."

"No. Do not blindly accept my exceptional bank transfer request, without at least a second factor authentication and authorisation."

I could go on...

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Mike 125

Re: How much Slurp did Windows add to Notepad with this "Fix"?

>>What useful function did they take away?

Differentiating line endings. That was its only useful function.

It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

Mike 125

Re: Sigh

>>...as a psychologist, I have to say I guarantee you that not only is the cognitive load of trying to remember twenty-three random words...

Making it to the end of one of your sentences overloads my cognition.

'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

Mike 125

>> Nothing happened.....

If nothing happened it was probably TalkTalk. I'm with them, and use the following logic: Based on their performance, anyone actually employed by them is barely capable of making *any* sort of call. So if there's a call, it's not from TalkTalk. Also, I only use VoIP, which means I'm anyway off-grid more than half the time...

2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

Mike 125

> This groundbreaking film went into pre-production over half a century ago

It's staggering how little progress has been made since, both in SF film story telling, and in 'properly' smart computing.

Ah well, back to my PowerPoint slides.

Corking story: Idiotic smart wine bottle idea falls over, passes out

Mike 125

> spend money upfront on a device that can only be used with its cartridges

I hate anything with cartridges - Epson printers, 16+ bladed shavers, guns, those appalling little coffee things, now wine. The list goes on.

As for why Kuvee failed, that's obvious: it didn't have Bluetooth.

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Mike 125

>> a history of sucking badly in the Bluetooth department

EVERYTHING BT has that history, and future. BT is a piece of sh't.

Pi - great stuff. Less emphasis on grunt please - we have Intels for that, and look where it got them.

23,000 HTTPS certs will be axed in next 24 hours after private keys leak

Mike 125

I don't want to kick a man when he's down but..

..oh go on then.

Inside a shed out back of Trustico.

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Mike 125

>> it was a mere pamphlet

Yea true, but back in the day, RS would only supply to company accounts - Farnell too, as I remember. Maplin would send you 1 resistor, 2 ceramic caps and if you could afford it, a matched pair of OC71s!

'Maplin Electronic Supplies, Rayleigh, Essex', burned on my memory.

Another good company gone bad. Very bad.

Neil Young slams Google, after you log in to read his rant with Google or Facebook

Mike 125

>> I'm embarrased

You should be.

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Mike 125

The V1 sounds a bit rough

Some of us went through the pain of having to use pre-NT MS Windows for real work. We know what 'V1' (and earlier) feels like. And I'm damn sure this is not like that.

I was on the point of buying a WileyFox recently. It's tough out there.

Best of luck to all concerned. I'll be in the queue.

The blockchain era is here but big biz, like most folk, hasn't a clue what to do with it

Mike 125

Re: What it is

>> And contrary to the way cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work, the confirmation process does not have to be resource-intensive. (That resource-intensive confirmation process is central to how Bitcoin works, but it's not a fundamental requirement for blockchain in general.)

OK, got it. So the 'mining', (competitive, rewarded verification) is not central to the blockchain. That's the bit that was missing for me! Thanks.

But then blockchain becomes simply a distributed, crypto-verifiable database, right? And that already exists, right? Classical distributed database theory has long solved the inherent 'race condition' problem, a problem which Bitcoin descriptions always dramatically claim Bitcoin has 'at last' solved.

So, can someone fill in the bits I'm missing...? Unless...............

Microsoft works weekends to kill Intel's shoddy Spectre patch

Mike 125

Same old....

The Intel dude says "We use speculative because the customer demands speed at the cost of security."

The software dudes say "We use C because the customer demands speed at the cost of security."

I'm seeing a pattern here.

The Intel guy was so clearly constrained that he offered nothing, and his arguments against open hardware were weak - hardly a surprise. Bring on open hardware.

Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter

Mike 125

Re: Lottery winners earn more than you.

>>and went back to their day job

...or killed themselves. There is no sufficient reward for debugging other people's (peoples'.....?) crap code.


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