* Posts by petef

101 posts • joined 13 Sep 2010


A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars


Re: Thanks Opportunity!

And let us not forget Spirit.


Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently


Re: Go for it, Google!

Yes, Opera is based on Chromium but its ad blocker is part of the browser not an extension.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters


No custom font is needed if you write uʍop ǝpᴉsdn. However I think that even the most gullible phishee would spot that.

HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale


My company had a recent meeting of all employees as we are in the midst of a merger. A spontaneous cheer went up when it was announced that we were dumping Notes.

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades


Are they waiting for the Windows 10 1809 update?

Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi?


The Opera browser has offered free VPN for the web for some time now.

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved


Re: Goodnight, Firefox

I recommend https://feedly.com. Content is synchonized across all devices. You can import and export OPML when migrating from/to other readers.

Card-stealing code that pwned British Airways, Ticketmaster pops up on more sites via hacked JS


@2Nick3 I meant undisclosed in the current incident. I agree with you that it is unlikely to be zero-day.


Most people seem to be missing the point of these recent hacks. It is not important that the tool was Magecart, the language was JavaScript and the infected code was imported from a third party.

The server was compromised. The bad guys either exploited some as yet undisclosed weakness elsewhere on the server or did an inside job.

British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages


The RiskIQ report builds a plausible argument from the evidence it gathered.

What is not explained is how the copy of the Modernizr JS hosted by BA was compromised.

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth


Re: Hope it's true

AIUI special relativity say that objects with non-zero mass cannot attain the speed of light because energy applied to them just makes them heavier. There is nothing to say that objects cannot travel at the speed of light or faster, just that they cannot achieve that state from sub-light speeds.


Re: Just a side note

Not quite. Antimatter has antiprotons and antineutrons at its core with positrons (antielectrons) orbiting (in the Bohr view).

Disk will eat itself: Flash price crash just around the over-supplied block


Of course HDD is a cyclical industry.

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord


Larry Wall for BDFL

Let Parrot flourish

Chrome, Firefox pull very unstylish Stylish invasive browser plugin


Re: Stylus

Thanks for pointing out Stylus, I shall migrate.

One of my prime reasons for using Stylish is to read El Reg without the gratuitous headline images.

ICANN pays to push Whois case to European Court of Justice


ICANN seem to be taking their non-profit status quite seriously.

Russian battery ambitions see a 10x increase in power from smaller, denser nukes


Re: Specific Energy

A fair point but the mass of an engine can be amortised against a large fuel tank if we are talking about many years of operation.

BTW I upvoted you and would have given an extra if I could for the obligatory XKCD reference.


Specific Energy

3300 mWh/g is about 12 MJ/kg, the units chosen on Wikipedia. That is ~20x better than an alkaline cell though a quarter of that of petrol.


I got 257 problems, and they're all open source: Report shines light on Wild West of software


Re: At least the command line is OK

As long as you have patched for Shellshock.

Oracle demands dev tear down iOS app that has 'JavaScript' in its name


You use the word JavaScript 12 times in your article. Expect a letter from Sue, Grabbitt and Runne.

Must go now, there's someone pounding on my door.

Elon Musk's mighty erection fires sperm at orbiting space station



The less gentle readers are directed to Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “The Big Space F***” published in Again, Dangerous Visions in 1972. The asterisks are mine.

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again


I use Notes at work and it is truly appalling. I have been objective and built a list of its faults which currently has 120 entries.What is the worst? Maybe that I cannot read webmail on my smartphone because most on my email is filtered into folders and Notes actively prevents you from reading them.

Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick


Obligatory XKCD reference

Exploits of a Mom

From July, Chrome will name and shame insecure HTTP websites


When email introduced security measures such as SPF and DKIM the Bad Guys were in the forefront of adopters in my observations. I expect malicious web sites to be ahead of the game in supporting HTTPS. A green padlock can be used to sell snake oil.

Crypto-jackers slip Coinhive mining code into YouTube site ads


The Opera browser added a blocker for mining a few weeks ago. That is in addition to the built-in ad blocking.

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec


Re: That's not news

Indeed, here is a quote from the BBC story:

A flick, derived from "frame-tick", is 1/705,600,000 of a second - the next unit of time after a nanosecond.

Take notebooks: About those new Thinkpads...


In Windows I turn on what they call Toggle Keys in Ease Of Access. That makes the computer beep whenever the caps lock (and num and scroll) key is pressed.

As Apple fixes macOS root password hole, here's what went wrong


Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password



IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies


I like to be objective rather than just saying that Notes sucks. (Others may find different labels for my attention to detail.) I have my own list of annoyances through major defects that runs to over 100 items. Many of those are actions which are unintuitive, the list started as a crib sheet. That compares with Outlook at 21 and Gmail with 4.

Java SE 9 and Java EE 8 arrive, 364 days later than first planned


REPL in Java has been available for years using Jython.

Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus


Re: 18.5:9 ?

Actually the simplest integral ratio is 812:375

Two million customer records pillaged in IT souk CeX hack attack


Onliner Spambot

Pah, only 2 million? Onliner Spambot has (some) details of over 700 million accounts.


Browser trust test: Would you let Chrome block ads? Or Firefox share and encrypt files?


I use Opera which not only has a builtin ad-blocker, there is a nifty button you can click to compare the speed of loading a page with and without ads. The result for this page is 9s with and 3s without ads. So how tempted am I to whitelist this site?

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000


What self-respecting nerd is going to get worked up about a decimal pattern?

G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror


Why stop there?

By the same token sales of kitchen knives should be banned because terrorists use them to kill people.

Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers


Re: Never fucking heard of it

Rather less than the ocean, IO is British Indian Ocean Territory, population ~2,500.

Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting


Will it work against uoıʇdʎɹɔuǝ uɐıʃɐɹʇsn∀?

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired


Nah, we’re in the 21st century now: correct horse battery staple

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report


Same as now, their parents’ credit cards. ;-)

Avast blocks the entire internet – again


Re: Avast has form for this sort of thing

Avast completed their acquisition of AVG last October.

As of today, iThings are even harder for police to probe


macOS Sierra 10.12.4

El Reg makes no mention of the update to macOS / OS X released at the same time, There are a shedload of security fixes. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207615

eBay dumps users into insecure authentication mechanism


Re: Maybe not about 2FA?

SMS is generally 1½FA. If your smartphone is compromised then its new pwner will get access to your eBay app and SMS. That applies to email too.

Git sprints carefully towards SHA-1 deprecation


Re: Using a second hash function is no different than using a single hash [twice]

Hah, my scheme applies a second ROT13 to the first 32 bytes which makes it twice as secure.

AMD does an Italian job on Intel, unveils 32-core, 64-thread 'Naples' CPU


Re: But What About Purley?

In that video the unreleased Naples was tested against Broadwell-EP which has been out for about a year. It will be fairer to compare against Skylake-EP when it is released. That will have AVX-512 and presumably the other performance lifts we expect with a new generation.


There is no need to go that far. I use a snippet in the Stylish extension to disable El Reg’s headline pics.

@-moz-document domain("www.theregister.co.uk") {

div.article_head img.article_img { display: none; }


GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail



Nobody seems to have mentioned that this is git. All checked out repos have all history so it is intrinsically backed up.

I've got a brand new combine harvester and I'll give you the API key


On the Internet nobody knows you’re a tractor.


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