* Posts by Spamfast

133 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010

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Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

Spamfast

Or just a fizzy mineral tablet.

Certainly more environmentally friendly and a lot cheaper.

I seem to remember a study that compared various sports drinks against more run-of-the-mill ones. It turned out that the most effective generally available drink to take after exercise to restore your electrolytes quickly is cows milk. All the trendy sports drinks tested were no better than supermarket fruit squash or tap water.

Spamfast
Meh

Re: Well someone's been on a heavy drinking session

keeps the body hydrated

The idea that drinking alcoholic beverages dehydrates you has been largely debunked in a number of controlled studies.

Having a mouth like Ghandi's flip-flop in the morning is down to the poisonous effect of alcohol not because you've lost fluids. If drinking lots of water could fix this, I'd never get a hangover from beer which is mostly water after all.

And remember, back in the middle ages many people's primary source of fluid was beer although much of it may have been at the lower end of the strength scale.

Spamfast

Re: Beer and wine don't go together

Don't forget mead - honey.

Spamfast
Happy

Re: Beer?

Malmö! Sweden isn't Denmark.

I don't speak Swedish. Jeg snakker dansk. (Badly!) :-D

But upvoted because, you're right, the Swedes don't use 'ø'.

In my defense, I was navigating with a Danish road atlas when we went there.

Wouldn't have all this uppitiness from the minions if the Danes had held on to their vassal countries back when. And the beer might be better. ;-)

Spamfast

So what do doctors prescribe for pain to a severe hepatic with a bad peptic ulcer?

Read my post. I said over the counter.

If a doctor prescribes paracetemol - after checking what else the patient is taking - then that's fine.

Allowing people to buy it from supermarkets/pharmacists and take uncontrolled doses without a doctor checking is iffy.

Spamfast

Re: Beer and wine don't go together

Beer on whiskey, that can be risky.

Isn't that just a chaser?

Spamfast

Re: Beer?

You can definitely find things sold as lager that are not beer -- they are crime against humanity.

Damn straight.

We went to a camp site in Falsterbo near Malmø, Sweden one summer. On the way to the beach (which was lovely, by the way) we bought a few tins that were labelled as "Danish" lager at a fairly high price but what the hell, we were on holiday.

First swig my other half took got spat out.

On closer inspection it turned out the "Danish style" lager was actually 3% ABV Swedish glop. SWMBO was very miffed at this slur on her homeland and refused to touch it after that and insisted on drinking the ones we'd brought from her side of the Øresundsbron.

Being the British drainhole I am I had to finish of the Swedish stuff. Waste not, want not!

Spamfast

don’t Tylenol

Totally agree.

Actually, I avoid paracetemol (as it's called on this side of the pond) under all circumstances.

If it were brought out today it would never get approval by the FDA/MHRA for over-the-counter use because it's way too easy to overdose and destroy your renal system and it has some pretty dire synergistic effects for people taking a whole range of other common medicines.

Aspirin is much safer for headaches, despite it being a bit hard on the stomach if you overdo it. Ibuprofen's okay but I find that better for muscular pain. YMMV of course.

Spamfast

First of all *groan*. (At the pun. Well done though!)

I do the same re full English breakfast. But there is apparently some evidence that a banana or other potasium rich nibble helps.

Spamfast

Shadenfreude isn't pretty, you lucky bar-steward. ;-)

I was like you until I was twenty - pub crawl down Gloucester Road every night followed by a kebab & still made it to morning lectures. My first hangover was a bit of a doozy. Had to spend the day in the darkest corner of the Stanhope Arms nursing tomato juice laced with tabasco (and the odd vokda).

*sigh* Nostalgia's not what it used to be.

Spamfast

Re: white wine and lager beer

Should be Buckfast with SB, surely?

Skype goes blurry, Office gets a kick in the privacy, and Microsoft takes us back to 1990

Spamfast

Can't agree more.

It's no use finally giving regulators teeth if they won't bite the malefactors.

Reminds me of HMRC in the UK repeatedly making deals with rich tax evaders to "pay back what they owe" (usually meaning some small percentage of the millions they've dodged) instead of slapping them in irons.

Joe Bloggs in the meantime gets hammered if he, due to the Byzantine rules, mistakenly underpays by a few hundred.

It's OK, everyone – Congress's smart-cookie Republicans have the answer to America's net neutrality quandary

Spamfast

Re: I've always wondered...

All the technical discussion of fields in IP datagrams is irrelevant.

What the content providers in the US are determined to get - and bribing, sorry, lobbying polititians for - is the right to pay ISPs to ensure that their traffic - based, I presume, on source IP address or by deep packet inspection - is prioritised over everybody else's who hasn't paid the ISP, regardless of purely functional requirements or indeed the value of any QoS fields in their or others' datagrams.

If every piece of routing kit on the whole Internet honoured QoS fields - although exactly how to interpret them would have to be agreed internationally and by all equipment manufacturers first - all that would happen is that people/companies would abuse them to ensure their web site loads quicker and so on.

Given that reality, the best option for everyone other than the big content providers and ISPs is to press for a situation where by and large all datagrams are treated equally, except in the case of emergency services and to quash DoS attacks.

As I and others have pointed out, streamng video works absolutely fine this way if the recipient ISP provides a decent sized pipe to the end user because it can be buffered. It would be nice if VoIP/video-calling/conferencing was seamlessly high quality and low latency but it's not the end of the world if it drops out now and then. ("Sorry, didn't catch that. Can you repeat?") but in any case the protocols developed for this are now very good at coping with a jittery channel by rapid, dynamic resolution modification.

Spamfast
Alert

Re: I've always wondered...

I have to disagree with Yes Me and strongly agree with Carpet Deal 'em and ElReg!comments!Pierre.

If service providers are allowed to pick and choose traffic to prioritize they will inevitably find ways to monitize this by taking bungs from content providers.

In any case, video & audio streaming works perfectly well on the Internet without any kind of prioritization. If all the routing gear from source to destination treat IP datagrams of any type equally (with the exception of flooding attacks of course), the core protocols and the streaming protocols work extremely well even with quite modest bandwidth. This is a testament to how well designed they are.

What should be getting discussed in Congress is why US ISPs & mobile operators won't provide connections with decent data rates to their customers. European & Asian ones are able to do this at a reasonable price and still turn a hansome profit. (Oh yes, sorry, that's not going to happen in the land of the free market because of the almost Soviet Union style monopolies/cartels that are allowed in the telecoms industry.)

DXC Technology utters words 'hiring' and 'digital' 105 times in Q3 earnings car-crash

Spamfast

Re: The invisible hand will make it all better.

"Best interest" would be decided in the court proceedings. Short or long term would be part of that. Most shareholders these days seem to want short - part of the current problem with big business, especially financial ones.

If the shareholders just vote the execs out, the execs get to keep all their goodies. If the shareholders sue and win, they can claw some of it back and also send a message, not that it is attempted very often. (The shareholders generally being other companies whose execs are cronies of the first company's execs.)

The point is that even if a company is making vast profits, considering the employees' interests beyond the bare minimum requirements of employment legislation can only be justified if the board can show the shareholders that it benefits the bottom line - by law. This is the reality of modern capitalism which some of us with ethical tendencies - whether from religious belief or because we understand that humans are social animals - find repugnant.

When you do occassionally get management that understands that a happy, secure workforce is a more productive and profitable one in the long run, some glans of a beancounter (aka CFO) comes along and takes it all away to improve this year's figures or increase the dividend on his own shares.

Spamfast

The invisible hand will make it all better.

Unfortunately, the board has a legal requirement to put the interests of the shareholders first.

If the shareholders can prove that they haven't, they can sue.

Adam Smith was such a dick.

Yay, we got a B for maths. Literally, a bee: Little nosy nectar nerds smart enough to add, abstract numbers

Spamfast
Trollface

Re: Geometry too

They also construct regular hexagons, apparently without a ruler and compasses.

If you place a uniform heat source underneath a layer of viscous fluid, it will often generate hexagonal "Rayleigh–Bénard convection cells". You also often get hexagonal prisms when lava cools or a colloid dries out. (Think Giant's Causeway.)

I'm not saying bees aren't smart - the expermient described demonstrates that they are pretty clever - but regular geometric shapes do not necessarily require drawing tools or imply intelligent design.

Neither does the evolution of eyeballs in case there are any fundies reading this! ;-)

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Spamfast
Unhappy

Re: Auld Alliance

Fru Spamfast is under the same threat of resettlement but I'd be happy to move to Jutland as a dependent. (And can then nip to Flensburg for the cheap Aldi beer!) Would some Welsh ancestry help, d'you think?

Spamfast

Re: Lycra

Thanks for sharing. I'll send you the therapist's invoice.

On the other hand, maybe I'll forward it to Monsieur Dabbs. He must have known what he was inciting. ;-)

Spamfast

Re: Why, ... have I never heard of a fish-tape?

Use cheap materials and expect poor results. ;-)

Pulling a nylon line first and/or using rounded plastic caps helps for those really tricky runs.

YMMV of course.

Spamfast

Re: Why, ... have I never heard of a fish-tape?

Don't be too hard on tfewster, Stevie. :-)

Moved to new premises as a BOFH and moved from Twinax/10-base-2 to Cat5 & Krone patch racks (I'm that old, yes!) and had to make a few changes to the contractor's work. In the pub one evening, asked an electrician mate of mine how they got the cables through such constricted orifices and was enlightened.

But I've never heard of Romex until now.

Go figure.

Anyway, hope the new knowledge helps at some point, tfewster. It's good to share. :-D

Spamfast
Happy

Re: Bent coat-hanger and curtain wire

I think I've still got my official cable-running kit of bent coat-hanger and curtain wire somewhere. Budget would never run to a trained ferret.

I bought a fish-tape as I have suspended ceilings in my flat and the internal walls are stud so it's easy to drill/saw through above the tile level. (It's a converted office that used to house a graphic design & print outfit so also has lots and lots of mains sockets at a sensible height above the floor i.e. 3ft. It was love at first site when the agent showed it to me. But I digress.) Makes life a lot easier.

However I'd never take my own tools to work - just order one and charge it if you have the authority. Otherwise relax in the smug knowledge that you're getting paid [insert hopefully professional rate here] for unnecessarily time-consuming work that the graduate hires or trainees get paid [insert unfairly low rate here].

Leaky child-tracking smartwatch maker hits back at bad PR

Spamfast
Headmaster

Re: As my grandmother used to say

As my Latin teacher used to say more succinctly, "caveat emptor."

Spamfast
Pirate

Re: Iceland

And when Icelandic banks do fail, they're held to account.

When the banks fail in the UK, they get rewarded with hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and the upper management and shareholders laugh all the way to the, erm, bank.

That money has to be borrowed (see 'national debt') and guess who provides the loans?

The VAT (purchase tax) rate was 'temporarily' increased in the UK during the last debacle to help to pay for all this and hasn't gone back down since. Guess who gets hit hardest by purchase taxes? It sure ain't the bank executives.

Because times are hard, all workers get their wages frozen. "Sorry, we can't afford to give anyone a pay rise this year. Don't be silly. Of course that doesn't apply to the upper management. They're still going to get a 20% rise for doing such a good job this year."

Spamfast
Facepalm

Re: Iceland

Coming from a tiny, ocean-surrounded country where everybody knows everybody just about

It was an Icelandic security firm that found the security flaws.

The firm that manufactures the watch is German. Germany has a population of 85 million and is part of the Shengen agreement so has no border controls with most of the the rest of the EU. That's maybe 400 million people.

But anyway, to say everyone in Iceland knows everyone else is ludicrous. Iceland has a population of 350 thousand. Do you know that many people? How many people do you think you know well enough to trust with your kids? Fewer than a hundred I'd have thought. That's less than the population of many streets.

Try checking things before posting - you might avoid coming across as a prat.

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

Spamfast

Re: Slow learners

Hi Doctor Syntax. I agree that the Internet is just a communications network and anybody can set up a net-based service using any model they choose. (The constant erosion of net neutrality and overreaching government censorship are huge threats to that assertion of course but those are different topics.)

I think what Milton is talking about is the culture of expecting services on the Internet to be available to the end user without a fee. He does have a point there.

Of course it's Google, Facebook et al who have promoted this false concept of "free" services while hiding the actual cost to the end user by any means possible.

But then TANSTAAFL (the second law of thermodynamics) & "if you're not the customer, you're the product" apply on the Internet as they do anywhere else.

Maybe what's really needed is a better educated populace who understand this and can then actually give informed consent if they are happy to accept the costs of the "free" model? (It might help too with the lack of real democracy despite us in theory being able to vote our politicians in and out every few years.)

BT's outgoing CEO: He's officially gone, but he'll score £1m in pay, pension until Oct

Spamfast
Devil

Who you know.

Nothing to do with adding value to the business once you've sleezed your way in.

Search "remuneration committee".

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

Spamfast
Coat

Re: Even better than Google.

Ethics?

It's a county east of London, isn't it?

Coat ...

Japanese astronomers find tiniest Kuiper Belt object yet – using cheap 'scopes and off-the-shelf CMOS cameras

Spamfast

Re: I might have to put my interstellar travel plans on hold...

with all that debris out there, I wouldn't want to chance bumping into one of those

Head out in the same direction as the sun's spin axis and you should avoid most of the debris.

You might hit something in the Oort Cloud still though.

Anyway, the finest astronomers of Earth have prepared this map for you. If you could just fill it in as you go along they'd be ever so grateful ...

Bug-hunter faces jail for vulnerability reports, DuckDuckPwn (almost), family spied on via Nest gizmo, and more

Spamfast

Re: SS7 hacked?

SS7 hacked?

SS7 has been repeatedly compromised. (Or hacked in the modern usage.)

It was invented in a era when it was assumed that end users not having physical access to the signalling channels within telco networks was good enough. SS7 runs internally between the network hardware, not accessible via the local loop, and eggshell security is still widely acceptable in corporate/government circles. Security has had to be bolted on afterwards as this became increasingly untenable but we all know how difficult that is.

It's been a while since I was using it but my understanding is that, for example, telcos have to give each other pretty wide reciprocal access via SS7 in order to allow services like circuit discovery/reservation & tear-down, caller-ID, call re-termination, SMS etc. to work across the boundaries. This means that state agents or corrupt employees can exploit vulnerabilities very easily. Internet-facing TCP/IP interfaces have been added to SS7 kit to make remote management and configuration over the Internet possible as well so even this isn't a requirement if the login security on that access path is compromised.

Internet protocols/services can be equally naive of course but at least this seems to be more widely understood than in the SS7 realm and defenses such as firewalls, pubkey ssh, syncookies, DNSsec, multi-factor auth, deprecation of unencrypted HTTP, etc. are now widely becoming accepted as requirements not luxuries. I imagine there's also a lot more peer review of IETF-based mechanisms that ITU/ISO ones. (Every technical specification of the IETF is available for free from their web site without even having to become a member. ITU/ISO documentation is somewhat less easily obtained.)

You think election meddling is bad now? Buckle up for 2020, US intel chief tells Congress

Spamfast

Re: Can't Wait

Eye shod of guessed ewe mite.

Spamfast

Re: Taiwan cyber spying

Larry Niven's State? Was Peerssa right about the fragility of totalitarianism?

But be careful - Orwell's vision couldn't last. Huxley's could.

Spamfast
Headmaster

Re: Can't Wait

are to smart

Like the comment. But pedantry is a curse. "too smart" please.

Musk shows off the latest power plant for Starship, replaces Tesla CFO with a millennial

Spamfast
Alien

Re: Methane?

Neat. And what exactly did the Soviets accomplish with it? Took their pencils to orbit, did they?

Not this old chestnut again. Both the US & Soviets used pencils early on but stopped the practice due to flamability in high oxygen atmosphere and the obvious risk of conductive graphite debris getting into electronics and elsewhere.

Both space agencies ended up buying the pens developed by Fisher Pens using no more than $1 million of the company's own money - NASA paid no part of the development costs. Once they'd confirmed it was fit for purpose NASA paid around three dollars per pen for the first batch of a few hundred. Occassionally, government projects do get value for money from private companies!

See Snopes for information about the Fisher Pen.

Stage fright or Stage light? Depends how far you dare to open your MacBook Pro's lid

Spamfast
Meh

Re: Rinse and repeat

Have to agree, from what I've been reading.

I'm writing this on a late 2008 MacBook. I upgraded the RAM from 2GB to 4GB using a COTS SODIMM as soon as I got it. I've had to replace the battery with an after-market one and the HDD with an SSD. Maybe £200 for the two items which isn't bad over ten years. It's been updated to El Capitan which is as far as it'll go but so far nothing I install has had a problem with that.

Other than the slot-load optical drive getting a bit temperamental and a little bit of cosmetic cracking of the plastic on the display hinge it's still running fine - reasonably fast boot, quick wake up, perfect display & keyboard and fast application launch & operation.

I am not looking forward to the day when something irreplaceable goes. Given what I've read about the reliability of modern Apple laptops and also how they are now even more overpriced than they were back in 2008 I don't think I want to risk buying one but I also really dislike the retrograde changes in Windows 10's ghastly Metro UI and its intrusive/uncontrollable maintenance/snooping policy. And while Cygwin is great it's not as good as having a real POSIX OS under the hood.

I use Linux all the time server-side and for things like Jupyter on VMs on my lappy but with the best will in the world even Ubuntu is not as slickly integrated onto laptop hardware as OS X or Windows. In particular, graphics performance always seems to be poorer than the hardware should be able to achieve. (The fault of the GPU manufacturers not publishing the hardware info or writing decent binary dirvers I know, not of Linux itself.)

Living on borrowed time. Oh well. I'll have to burn that bridge when I get to it, I suppose.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

Spamfast

Apologies - slip of the pen but still lazy.

Ironically, I have a European patent. (Subsequently also US and various other jurisdictions too.)

Which brings me to another bugbear.

I worked closely with a London patent lawyer to draft the application. I ended up suggesting rewrites and new sections and creating all the diagrams. (The word "embodiment" makes me wince now.) We emailed and phoned back-and-forth over a month or so while doing this.

The submitted application ended up containing at least 60% of my wording lifted verbatim from my emails. A lot of the rest was boilerplate. We still got charged for him having written the whole thing of course. Because his firm claimed he had expertise in the area - which he clearly did not - this was an especially eye-watering sum. Thankfully my business partner had deep pockets - no way I could have afforded it!

On the other hand, he did find a few existing patents/applications that might have represented prior art that we had missed in our searches but we had to be the ones to decide - correctly, it transpired - that these did not invalidate my innovativions.

But then, I shouldn't have been surprised. A patent lawyer like a management consultant is defined as someone who borrows your watch and then charges to tell you what time it is.

Spamfast
Unhappy

Sadly not just software patents and not just the US Patent Office, although the US one is probably a worse offender that, say, the EU one.

The number of patents that are granted where there is so much prior art or that are describing obvious solutions to problems is depressing - basically it's just lawyers generating work for other lawyers.

Things like 'digital motors' spring to mind. Fsck right off!

Spamfast
Happy

The Register asked Apple about its patent strategy, just because we enjoy the ritual of sending email and having it ignored.

Made I larf, that did!

Ever feel like all your prayers go unheard? The Catholic Church has an app for that

Spamfast

Previous references to DNA & Pratchett cover why the proof of god(s) can't work. Look at it like this.

If one could prove the existence of the supernatural, it would cease to be supernatural and therefore just another phenomenon amenable to investigation by scientific, empirical enquiry.

It would then be difficult to argue that said phenomenon was not just another natural one like gravity or badgers and no more in need of worship than those.

If you do want proof, try standing at the top of a hill in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting "All gods are bastards!". (Thanks Terry. I snorted tea through my nostrils when I first read that.)

Spamfast
Headmaster

Re: No point

Use "its" not "it's" - the second means "it is".

(Upvoted anyway as I'm a frothing Pastafarian fundamentalist.)

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Spamfast

Re: Arrested development?

Okay, Poor wording on my part, I agree.

The cleaners are there to clean but within very specific parameters - they don't have the time and aren't being paid to put up with the sort of filth that many so-called professionals leave behind themselves in the toilets or to clear up dirty crockery littering every surface or repeated major spills in the kitchens.

The toilet brush in each cubicle is there for the user to clean up his own fouling during/after flushing. It's not just there for the cleaner. Simiarly, the washing up liquid, sponges, paper towels etc. in the kitchen are there for us - the cleaners usually have their stuff on a trolley.

A cleaner is a co-worker and should be treated with the respect any colleague deserves. Sadly, nerks with white collar jobs often don't see it that way.

Spamfast
Unhappy

Re: Grateful..

Eeew!

Thanks so very much for that image.

I'm frightened to go into an office now!

Spamfast
Trollface

Re: Arrested development?

Too true. These days teenage/tweenage girls can be as gross as their male counterparts.

Same issue though - always had someone cleaning up after them.

Which gets us onto the issue of pathetic parents who run around after their kids as if they're still toddlers.

Discuss ...

Spamfast

Re: Arrested development?

Apologies for the typo - it's Arschloch, not Archloch. (My other half would give me an F- for that!)

Spamfast

Re: Polite notices

Two things really.

1. Any notice that has to have "Polite Notice" written on it probably isn't!

2. The correct wording is "Please leave this toilet in a state in which you would prefer to find it."

Spamfast

Re: Yes, I have been to places like the one described

There's a Colonel Melchet quote in there somewhere.

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

Spamfast

Re: What I'd like to know

It was an A-road with a 60mph speed limit. She would therefore have been entitled to go at that speed. Her passenger reported that she was doing 50.

What she was also entilted to do is to expect that a car coming from a side-road would not pull out in front of her.

As has been pointed out already, at 50 or 60, even a Kia has significant momentum and kinetic energy - easily enough to spin even a heavier car around and perhaps into a ditch where it might flip.

The police RTA investigation officers are usually able to determine the truth of the matter but we've no reason to doubt the occupants of the Kia just because a member of the bracket-fungus class - sorry, nobility - was in the other vehicle or perhaps because they were women, which seems to be the subtext of several comments here.

Given his poor judgement in other areas of life, I have serious misgivings about the prince's competence to be behind the wheel on a public road - also corroborated by him being photographed only two days later not wearing a seatbelt.

Personally, I think everyone should have to get re-certified to drive every five years and that period should reduce if we start to need re-testing after failing the first time round.

A picture tells a 1,000 words. Pixels pwn up to 5 million nerds: Crims use steganography to stash bad code in ads

Spamfast
FAIL

Not an expert on JS but anyone who writes a JSON parser by simply encapsulating an eval statement is a fscking menace. JSON or other data parsers should be written from scratch to parse the text as data only.

Such foolishness would be the client-side equivalent to concatenating input onto SQL query strings at the server end.

Never allow data that is not under your control to be handled as code. Period.

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