* Posts by GBE

410 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010


Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems


IoT gone too far?

I know we've all laughed at silly IoT products, but a packet-switching pickle really is a bridge too far.

In a galaxy far, far away, aliens may have eight-letter DNA – like the kind NASA-backed boffins just crafted


Re: Nitro

Basically we know that the existing systems of protein and nucleic acid metabolism must have been optimal at the point of life's origin,

No, that's not how evolution works. We know it was "good enough" to survive more often than whatever it was competing with.

Anybody who thinks evolution produces optimal results has obviously never tried to maintain a human body in working condition for more than a couple decades...

NASA's Dawn Mission receives nod in memory of Apollo 13 'naut for asteroid belt derring-do

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You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages


I like JavaScript because... PHP!

I do like JavaScript.

But, it's because when I'm working with JavaScript I'm also working with PHP.

Compared to the giant steaming pile that is PHP, JavaScript is an elegant and beautiful monument to clear thinking and thoughtful design. For either one, you can rarely trust any "answers" given in various online fora. They're all filled with the incompetent leading the stupid -- especially when compared to something like the Python user mailing list.

Amazon's titchy robots hit the streets, Waymo starts a self-driving car factory...


Re: Scout - what could possibly go wrong?

And I'm also curious how Scout will ring doorbells.

Neither UPS nor Amazon delivery drivers ring doorbells now, so why would one expect a scout to do so?

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons


Re: What intrigues me

[witness didn't think it was a real nun]

Why not?

Perhaps it wasn't a 90+ year old woman?

There probably are a few nuns less than 90 years old, but you've got bet the odds...

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


Only by marriage?

And his connection to the British Empire is only by marriage.

His uncle was the last Viceroy of India and the first Governor General of India.

That sounds awfully imperial to me...

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit


Re: "much adored" ?

"much adored"

Yea, right. There are approximately 6 people who "adore" systemd, a large majority of users who tolerate it, and a vocal minority who hate it.

I'll stick with openrc, thank you very much.

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe


Creating a QR code is trivial

It depends on if you are dealing with an advanced script-kiddy or someone who is actually IT literate. QR codes are a bit more advanced than normal script-kiddy stuff but would say one has to be IT literate to use one.

Nonsense. Anybody who can run a browser and knows how to "google" can create a QR code.

Just googlling "create a qr code" and clicking on the first link takes you to a web site where you enter whatever text you want. One more click, and there's your QR code.

Florida man stumbles on biggest prime number after working plucky i5 CPU for 12 days straight


When written out in full?

Mersenne primes, when written out in full, equal 2^n - 1 where n is the exponent needed to generate the prime and is used to form the codename.

Can anybody explain what the qualifier phrase "when written out in full" means? Aren't Mersenne primes always equal to 2^n - 1 (for some integer n) regardless of how they're written?

Naked women cleaning biz smashes patriarchy by introducing naked bloke gardening service


Wrong punchline

"Ahem, rectum."

"Aye, yer not joking there miss. Blood all over the place."

The punchline I always heard was:

"Wrecked 'im? Hell, it killed 'im!"

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how


Will there be a VMS Datatrieve update?

Was datatrieve released as part of OpenVMS?

If so, has anybody submitted a patch for the Wombat help info with this important update?

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location


Re: Implanting chips in employees

Has anyone seriously suggested this?

Yes. There's a company in Wisconsin, US that's doing it:


IIRC, it's voluntary, and not everybody with a chip got it implanted -- you could get it built in to a ring.

Did you by chance hack OPM back in 2015? Good news, your password probably still works!

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iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!


Is an iPhone really worth 4X?

£999 is enough to pay for ...

How the hell do people justify iPhones to themselves?

That's what I always think when I read these reviews. My current phone (Moto G5+) was $280 brand new and unlocked (and I coughed for the high-end model with extra memory). The Moto G4 I had before than was under $200 brand new, unlocked, retail. For the life of me, I don't see what the extra $800+ is getting people...

That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar


As long is customers put up with it...

The quality of Microsoft's "produts" will continue to get worse for as long as the customers put up with it, and they show little sign of rebelling yet...

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity


Re: The name 'Tesla' has been hijacked

When you ask someone what a Tesla is unless they are an old skool Electrical Engineer they might say 'oh, that's a funny car that runs on batteries'.

I think you'd be surprised how many people would know what a "Tesla" is (at least vaguely) if you started asking around in a modern hospital's radiology department. My 86 year old mother can tell you how many Teslas her cardiac stents are rated for...

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal


Re: Sooo, they fined him less than he spent to do it legally

For sentences of more than 12 months, "85%" of the sentence must be served, but after that the prisoner can be paroled if their behavior was good.

Is it really parole? Where the released prisoner is still under court supervision and subject to re-incarceration if certain behavior restrictions are violated?

Or is it just a sentence reduction? Where the sentence is completely served, and the released prisoner is not under court supervision?

Everything I've read refers to it as a sentence reduction.

Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel


Re: "the system has a more modern and no-reboot look"

I still find it a pain having to reboot everytime a kernel or Graphics driver update (get your shit togetther, Nvidia) forces me to.

Why do you have to reboot for an Nvidia driver update? I've been running nvidia cards for decades, and don't remember ever having to reboot for driver updates.

I do remind myself every couple of weeks (when I've got some spare time) to reboot my desktop boxes just to make sure they are still still bootable. If you wait for six months, then inevitably something will force a reboot right in the middle of some urgent work -- and only then will you find that some update or other that happened during the past months required a configuration adjustment that you forgot. Now you've got to figure out what went wrong while people in manufacturing are twiddling their thumbs waiting for you.


Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

When it comes to Multi-monitors, workspace per screen is the only way to go IMO.

Definitely! I've always run that way. When XFCE dropped support for multiple screens a few yeas ago, I ended up switching to running multiple instances of openbox+tint2. It works great 99% of the time, but there is still a bug where openbox occasionally locks up the X11 system. That's annoying but not bad enough to make me give up having multiple screens.

Salesforce dogged by protests, leaked emails, and guerrilla blimps on first day of Dreamforce


Re: I had to use salesforce product for a while

Me too.

We were supposed to use it as a software engineering bug-tracking system. It was awful. We wasted potfuls of money paying somebody to write some customer screens/flows/whatever. It never worked in a useful manner, but at least it was expensive and wasted a lot of time. After a couple years, we finally convinced the powers-that-be that it was hopeless, and they let us set up a MantisBT system. I guess, the sales and support people still use SF...

Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again


A new Dickens novel?

A man who has refused to identify himself to Google or the UK courts but is still trying to drag the ad tech company through a Right To Be Forgotten legal action...

A man with no name, a long drawn out legal battle, a secret history of crime...

Sounds like somebody's found a new Dickens novel to me...

Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say


Re: Technology that doesn't exist

there can always be a transition period and then a post-transition period transition to the new technology period, and then a post final transition deadline transition to accommodate the timetable slippage of the post-transition transition period...

Thank you Sir Humphry!

Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba


Linux has had CIFS support w/o Samba for ages.

I don't get it. The Linux kernel had native CIFS support without using Samba for many, many years. Why would ChromeOS still be using Samba?

CADs and boffins get some ThinkPad love


Nobody is suggesting 4:3

Nobody is suggesting 4:3.

Then I will! I want a laptop with a 4:3 display like my last _IBM_ Thinkpad had. My current Lenovo T500 has a 16:10 (1680x1050) display, which isn't too bad, but not as nice as as a 4:3 (1600x1200).

Teardown chaps strip away magic from Magic Leap's nerd goggles


Re: Waveguide wizardry

Anyone care to enlighten me on how wave guides are used to form an image on the multiple focal plane plates??


They modulate the shield frequencies and cross-circuit to B!

Funnily enough, no, infosec bods aren't mad keen on W. Virginia's vote-by-phone-app plan


Kill it just because of the spelling

I don't care if it is secure and it does work. "Voatz" should be eliminated (with prejudice) just for the spelling of the name. It takes a special sort of idiot to think that misspelling is clever, and we don't want to encourage those sorts.

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare


Re: It's a sad story actually...

They are capable of it, which makes it all that more tragic that they so rarely actually do anything great.

The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products. And some of the wired, optical mice were top notch. That's about it.

US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)


Security through obscurity?

PCAnywhere is not exactly bulletproof when it comes to security. In 2012 hackers revealed they had stolen the source code for PCAnywhere back in 2006, prompting Symantec to advise customers to disable some older versions of the software.

In what sort of crap design is disclosure of the source code a security problem? What century _is_ this?

Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away


Re: Dowsing?

There is a theory that at least one form of dowsing works on the principle of detecting changes in the Earth's local electrostatic field as one walks around.

Except all of the real, scientific, trails of dowsing show that it _doesn't_ work.

So, trying to come up with theories about how it works seems a bit silly.

Science! Luminescent nanocrystals could lead to multi-PB optical discs


Re: Why DVD size?

The 3.5" floppy has a shuttered case and designed to go in a pocket. Far more sensible than DVD style packaging.

IIRC, whith the first CD drive I used (a bulky, Sun branded SCSI thing), the CDs were in shuttered hardshell cases similar to 3.5" floppys. They were pretty bullet-proof, but people voted with their wallets, and they died off very quickly.

Cops fined £80,000 for revealing childhood abuse victims' names


Re: What good does this fine do?

I mean, basically the government is now handing out a fine to an institution which got paid with... government money (aka: the taxpayers money!) in the first place. Could someone please explain to me how exactly this is going to have an effect?

It can have an effect because the PHB of government department X takes if very seriously if a chunk of money is deducted from his budget and moved to the budget of some other department's PHB. The basic goal of managers in government is to maximise their department's budget and/or headcount. Taking money away and giving it to "the competition" stings.

The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze


Repudiating democratic norms

Imagine the havoc that could be caused by a video of a prominent politician repudiating democratic norms – and no one is sure whether it reflects reality.

Is that worse that what we have now -- seeing them every day and knowing they are real?

It might be reassuring to have some hope that those clips aren't real...

SpaceX flings SES-12 satellite into orbit, but would-be lunar tourists should probably unpack


comprehensively blew it up

It is also the seventh launch from the rebuilt launch pad since SpaceX comprehensively blew it up during the fueling of a Falcon 9 prior to an engine test in 2016.

I'm not sure why, but the phrase "comprehensively blew it up" made me laugh out loud. :)

Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion


Re: Shite

Microsoft C compiler v4.0 and CodeView in the mid 80s

That was indeed a solid product. IIRC, it was basically a repackaged version of a compiler/debugger by a company they bought. (Whitesmiths?)

It took a while, but they eventually f*&^#d it up: it turned into VisualStudio.


Nope, I misremembered. The first couple versions of Microsoft C were repackaged versions of Liveboat's Lattice-C compiler. Supposedly versions 3 and up were developed entirely by MS:



Re: Hmm...

Githubbers, back up your stuff and move elsewhere.

Yep. I assume that's what's going to happen.

John McAfee ‘goes underground’ in motorcade to flee SEC


Bravo on the Kibology reference

it's Spot that is NOT ALLOWED

It's been _ages_ since I've seen a kibology reference.

Good one!

How many ways can a PDF mess up your PC? 47 in this Adobe update alone


Re: Use-After-Free and Heap Overflow in 2018?

how do these make it through QA and testing?

How would we poor Adobe users know?

Oh yea, we _are_ Adobe's "QA and testing".

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt


I'd vote is for "HMS Cunning Plan"

Not that the MoD cares what some random USAan thinks....

Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience


The virtual weather forcast for tomorrow is...

mostly tedious, with intermittent stabs of queasiness.

Brilliant line, that.

I don't really "get" 3D films either. Mostly they're just annoying (at least they don't make me physically ill they they do some people). The only 3D film I've seen that I thought actually benefited from the extra "D" was Coraline.

Failbreak: Bloke gets seven years in the clink for trying to hack his friend out of jail


7 years for trying to get somebody out a few months early

Somebody forgot to do a risk/reward analysis.

As a general rule, people in county jails are serving sentences less than 12 months. The friend in county is going to be out a _long_ time before his hacker buddy gets out of federal prison.

Paperback writer? Microsoft slaps patents on book-style gadgetry with flexible display


Can I please get a laptop that is not 2mm thick and battery will last more than 3 hours. Oh and optical drive ? Yes I know that makes me a freak. Oh and to really prove how much a freak I am. Can I please have more than 2 usb ports.

And a 4:3 display!

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork


Talk rhymes with Bork?


In what English dialect does "talk" rhyme with "bork"?

What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently


Re: At the risk of becoming tiresome...

I think the router manufacturers might be on to something good IF they use a username and password that's randomly generated and put a tag on the front of the device.

No matter how many preachy articles tech journalists write, 99% of consumers are _never_ going to change admin/wifi passwords. That's not going to change. Ever. So the endless harping on this is pointless.

I think all of the new routers and APs I've seen in the last 7-8 years (even low-end consumer units) came with random admin passwords and random Wifi keys. However, the tag is always on the bottom or back not on the front. This is the only practical solution.

Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness


But... "hoppy" _is_ an unpleasant flavour

The results were [...] more hoppy than the control brew [...]

More importantly, there were no unpleasant flavours.

[I'm sure this will get plenty of downvotes, but...]

That's completely contradictory, since hoppy _is_ an unpleasant flavour!

Obviously I really, really don't get the whole IPA fad...

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics


Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

Surely he will be out on probation well before then

If you're talking about parole, that doesn't exist in the federal system. He could get up to 14% off his sentence for good behavior.

Probation is a sentence imposed by the judge. Sometimes a sentence involves both incarceration and then afterwards probation.

A ghoulish tale of pigs, devs and docs revived from the dead


Allways Educational!

I have to admit that I always end up learning something from Dabbs's columns. Often it's a slang phrase or pop-culture reference unfamiliar to us USAins. This time it was "baked bean wrestling". Somehow, I've spent more than a half-century on this planet without knowing that baked bean wrestling was "a thing".

Defra to MPs: There's no way Brexit IT can be as crap as rural payments


Still playing that "Brexit" gag?

OK, it was funny at first, but now it's just tiresome. You need to come up with something new.

That "President Trump Show" show, OTOH, that's still pretty fresh with new twists every episode. I'll admit the plot has gotten increasingly hard to believe, and I can't figure why there aren't any dragons or zombies in it.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory


management is not satisfied with the financial results

management is not satisfied with the financial results

No kidding.

When was the last time you heard management say "OK guys, we're satisfied: sales and margins are high enough, so everybody take it easy."

Sacked saleswoman told to pay Intel £45k after losing discrim case


She appeared Pro Se (Is it "Pro Per" in England?)

Guiney, who represented herself


Not all who represent themselves are kooks, but there does seem to be a pretty high correlation. Even if you're not a kook, it's still a good way to get your ass handed to you in court. At least in the US, it's usually possible to find a lawyer who will take this sort of case on a contingency basis.


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