* Posts by no-one in particular

195 posts • joined 11 Feb 2011


Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?

no-one in particular

Re: Very disappointed..

> I'd certainly like to know how contractors wood cure felt roofing without a flamethrower

With a blowtorch, a more elegant tool, less random than a flamethrower.

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

no-one in particular

re: You can change a password...

> but you can't change your fingerprint

Place your hand here, no, don't worry, it won't hurt me a bit <insert maniacal giggle here>

Dirty COW redux: Linux devs patch botched patch for 2016 mess

no-one in particular

Re: Huh?

> This is why theorem provers have been invented.

Not quite, certainly not worth the "LOLNO".

Theorem provers were invented - because, hey, why not, they're fun - and after that someone had a go at applying them to software. And found that it is jolly tricky to express your software, requirements and all, in a way that can be usefully processed by a theorem prover. So, precious little software has ever been "proved correct" and bug free - so little, and encountered by so few working programmers, that the "all" in "all software ... has bugs" barely even registers as hyperbole.

And even that is pre-supposing that the requirements can still be regarded as 'bug free' themselves, as Lee D pointed out.

ML fails: Loyalty prediction? Not really. And bonus prediction? Oh dear

no-one in particular

Re: It's hard not to come to the conclusion.....

> Otherwise it wouldn't/shouldn't have come as a surprise to them...

I didn't spot where the article expressed any suprise. Just a reasoned explanation of what is going wrong, so that we can all understand how it is going wrong, not just that it has been going wrong.

Perhaps also a modicum of sadness that those who actually need to understand an article like this will be precisely those who would never read it - and it was ever thus.

Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

no-one in particular

@adam payne

"These people made a choice" ?

As has been pointed out above, the ones who made the choice to play Pokemon whilst in a car aren't likely to be the ones who were killed.

no-one in particular

Re: Blaming the wrong tool

> Most Pokemon gyms & stops are at places where youths would normally congregate at anyway,

Do you have evidence to share with us that is the case?

> There's no real evidence other than just a random co-incidence unless the researcher has hard and fast evidence that the last app open on the unfortunate's mobile was indeed Pokemon Go.

That would only be true if _every_ place where youths normally congregate was also a Pokemon place.

Otherwise, you divvy up the location into the (for this case) 4 groups based upon combinations of two simple yes/no variables and ta-da you have controls against which your stats can be calculated. No need to look at the mobile phones.

From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop

no-one in particular
Thumb Up

Re: To be honest...

I was going to upvote you, then I spotted you'd reached 42 upvotes and I just couldn't disturb that!

Please accept a virtual upvote.

Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself

no-one in particular

Re: A solution for Linus...

> What Linus needs is a good scrum master

Ye Gods, what an image! I thought the nightmares I had last night were bad, you've put that thought in my head...

Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

no-one in particular

Game changer for remote teams

Care to expand on how it is so much better than any existing method of sharing a screen? VNC, TeamViewer ... and we can apply those no matter what the debugging environment happens to be, not just tied to a single supplier's IDE.

no-one in particular

Been there, done that

CodeWright added its CodeMeeting feature back in, ooh, 2002? Earlier? And I don't recall that it was claiming to be the first...

Guy Glitchy: Villagers torch Openreach effigy

no-one in particular

Re: Lewes is the most fun

> this years tableau's were


Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

no-one in particular

Re: Brilliant idea

> one-handed Ctrl-Alt-Del has been possible on PC keyboards (some of them, anyway) ... Left hand...

Get yourself a decent Northgate Omnikey Ultra and the 3-finger salute is done with just the Right hand: Thumb on RHS Ctrl, Index on RHS Alt and Ring on cursor pad Del. If you're (still) flexible enough you can make it into a proper Vulcan salute :-)

Black screen of death after Win10 update? Microsoft blames HP

no-one in particular

Re: The registry that should never have happened

> "The Registry" was originally supposed to replace all of the INI files with something more efficient, but then everything "OLE" began to pollute it

Turn that around - OLE (assuming you want something like OLE, but that is another matter) _needs_ the centralised Registry (for hopefully fairly obvious reasons).

_Then_ people started having the brilliant idea of dropping what was held in INI files into the same place, ensuring that we lose the ability to write comments about _what_ this value is for and _who_ just changed it and _why_ they did and _when_ (ok, so you never bothered with writing those comments but at least you had the opportunity to document your INI file contents).

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

no-one in particular

Re: "by the size of his Micro Channel Adapter"

Upvoted, for bringing back memories of the COSMAC ELF, and the RCA CDP-1802 processor. Still have my '1802 kit-built board stashed away somewhere, wonder if it'll still fire up?

Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

no-one in particular

Re: Curiousity and dead cats...

Have a look at the SOHO satellite page - the view using the occulting disc is used to show the "space weather"


no-one in particular

Re: Pinhole projection methods

During the partial phases have a look around, there are so many things that work well for this - a favourite is dappled light from a tree or bush. Colanders and draining spoons also work well, as do wickerwork-chairs!

no-one in particular

Re: Don't worry USA

> you don't look directly at the sun for more than a glance no matter how much is obscured by the moon

But when it is completely obscured at Totality then it _is_ safe to look and you really, really should.

no-one in particular

Re: despite it hurts



And it is a lot easier to stare at the partially eclipsed Sun without the immediate "gosh, that's bright, squint, look away" reaction, which makes it more tempting. But it is still just as damaging until it reaches Totality.

Go fork yourself: Bitcoin has split in two – and yes, it's all forked up

no-one in particular

Re: Carp Soup

> The LEAF is a much better choice for legal tender.

but we've run into a bit of an inflation problem and have started a programme to burn down all the trees.

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

no-one in particular

@vetia Re: This is a bad thing

> Yes, the "reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes" does harm society.

> But then, so does censorship.

and as soon as we have an article about censorship that viewpoint will be taken into account; meanwhile, back at the discussion of adverts...

JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding

no-one in particular

Re: Who needs static typing?

So I followed the URL you gave - can't watch video at work, but loved the text:

> I’m genuinely curious as to why programs in dynamic languages are as reliable as they are ...

note that doesn't say _how_ reliable they are, just that it is suprising that dynamic typing is even capable of reaching whatever that level of reliablility.

And continues

> ... although I confess I don’t yet have many of the answers.

How about endless hours of debugging and swearing when you finally spot the typo that static typing would've caught at the first attempt?

When corporate signage goes BAD

no-one in particular

Oldie but goodie

Every time I saw this one I kicked myseff for not carrying a camera with me.

Back in the mid 1980's the bus from Barnes to Richmond went past a tall building whose signage had at least one letter that had simply fallen off the otherwise proud company name "Rawlplug"

Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

no-one in particular

Re: Other than it taking a bit longer to update

> Even if a phone did die in the process restoring it is trivial.

To you it is trivial, but to Joe Bloggs who has just been faced with a dead 'phone for the first time, not so much. Where does he find out how to restore it? Look it up on the Web? But his 'phone was how he normally accesses the web.

> Was anyone remotely inconvenienced with this?

Restoring a 'phone is so trivial it is actually _convenient_ to do so? Interesting use of the word.

And as for the "anyone", well, what about Tachikoma earlier on in the comment thread?

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

no-one in particular

"Invocation Of The Fundamental Orifice Of St. Agnes" by Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

no-one in particular

Re: Next version will use camera

> the strange fad for holding phones horizontally

Otherwise all that electromagnetic radiation will shine into the your ear and IRRADIATE YOUR BRAIN!

(plus it means that they have to put it on speakerphone so that everyone can hear how special their conversation is)

Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons

no-one in particular

Re: No there aren't

>> "There exist no such topics. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING should be joked about."

> Just where does this modern misapprehension come from?

>...Try talking to people face to face and making off colour jokes, and see where that gets you,

Saying that there should be jokes about X does not imply that every joke about X should exist (be spoken out loud) and certainly not in every context/situation.

Gallows humour will save your sanity when the gallows are looming but isn't appropriate at your toddler's tea party.

Then again, some toddlers... and the parents... the gallows look quite friendly now.

The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

no-one in particular

Re: If you can't stand the heat

> - cannot be arsed to fucking read anything, ever

Absolutely, this.

But do we give some credit for honesty to the person who recently started a forum post with: "Not going to spend (waste?) my time reading the other messages here, but..."

Uber red-faced from Waymo legal row judge's repeated slapping

no-one in particular

Re: Tortoise

> and all traffic to and from it was both encrypted and authenticated


Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

no-one in particular

Eliza was a 4GL

> Expert Systems (like Weizenbaum's Eliza)

Eliza is/was not an Expert System! It's nothing even vaguely like an XPS!

But the Fifth Generation Machines of the 80's *did* justify all the money spent on them: as they were intended to run logic languages efficiently, the phrase was heard "Prolog, The Language of The Fifth Generation" which was inevitably repeated as "Prolog, the Fifth Generation Language". Soon, "if Prolog is the 5GL, what is the 4GL?". Guess what they chose. So without all the money spent on those machines we wouldn't have people gainfully employed trying to bullshit about why you should call SQL a 4GL.

I always love reading the Wikipedia page on 4GL whenever I feel the blood pressure dropping.

Exit stage left, muttering.

Victory! The smell of skunkworks in your office in the morning

no-one in particular

> It was the techie greybeard who then had to take apart their festering "solution" and solve the original problem. Senior management merely saw this as the greybeard taking a long time to solve a "new" problem.

This, a thousand times this!

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

no-one in particular

Re: The same everywhere...?

> responsive web design and is being used all over the place so that websites are usable on mobiles and tablets.

So why are so many websites serving up two *different* sites, one for desktop and one for mobile/tablet? That isn't responsive, it isn't HTML flowing to suit

the available space, it is two distinct and seperately UNresponsive page designs. Just look for any site that suggests you go look at its 'mobile' version

(like, ooh, The Register).

The very fact that anyone even thought to include an option in a browser for "request desktop site" confirms the point that Simone was making.

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

no-one in particular

Re: The first reusable?

> The SRBs are really questionable on reuse since they were of course the component that caused the Challenger disaster and that's something that might not have happened had the design been throw away. No need to design the SRB as a series of demountable ring sections.

The SRBs were assembled from sections because of the problems transporting them from the factory, not because they were reusable.

US Customs sued for information about border phone searches

no-one in particular

Re: Plausible deniability

> There are a lot of other countries to choose from

Unfortunately, if you happen to be an eclipse chaser then the choice of where and when to take the holiday that you want is limited. I get the feeling that this year's stories could put the Libya trip into an entirely new perspective.

Damn, I've just suggested on a social website that I may have visited Libya.

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

no-one in particular

Re: No Working Prototype

Kickstarter *used* to vet their projects but a few years ago decided to short-circuit that, leading to a sudden surge in twaddle (the great "making potato salad" days).

More recently, they instigated the "working prototype" and "more than just renders" rules. That sounds good - and a few projects do get cancelled by KS for breaking those rules. *BUT* it appears to be run as "we will cancel if enough backers complain - perhaps" rather than "we won't allow them to start in the first place".

Which means that Kickstarter themselves don't (seem to) do much to keep the project starters honest, they have crowdsourced that to their backers.

Have to say "seem to" as there isn't any visibility of projects that never make it onto the site in the first place.

Large Hadron Collider turns up five new particles

no-one in particular

Re: Inverse femtobarn

> So a femotobarn (10e-12b)

Um, isn't femto 10e-15? 10e-12 is pico, is it not?

no-one in particular

Re: Inverse femtobarn

Well, I'd expect the Reg to be using the shed rather than the barn (let's see if I've got this right - one femtobarn is a gigashed?)

Wearables aren't dead but apps on wearables might be

no-one in particular

Ear-worn devices (hearables)

"hearables"? FFS

CloudPets' woes worsen: Webpages can turn kids' stuffed toys into creepy audio bugs

no-one in particular

Re: I don't think there's anything particularly bad about Web Bluetooth itself

> Chrome pops up a prompt and the user has to explicitly choose a device to connect to

But isn't "the user" in that statement the Bad Man? So presenting him with a prompt and a choice of delicious low-hanging fruit is hardly any form of security.

More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

no-one in particular

Mousetrap, some wire, bit of glue, a battery and a flashing LED - if you want it to appear on the 'Net then get 'Er Indoors to tweet when light blinks.

Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

no-one in particular

Re: Been here before

I was thinking more of the Japanese "Fifth Generation" which was intended to run Logic Programming because that was the bees-knees of AI back in the 1980s.

The inevitable Wikipedia article


- although that me grit my teeth because it presents "argument" that there were "parallel generations of programming languages" because they've fallen hook, line and sinker for the "4GL" marketing twaddle that came out because of misreading the line "Prolog is the language of the Fifth Generation" as "Prolog is a fifth generation language" so we can call our database language "fourth generation" and then retrofitting "SQL is 4GL" to the claim here that "TeX is 4GL".


Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

no-one in particular

Re: Password misery

> why does the register want me to create an account with a password..

> Even if you think it ties me to my comment that is not really sure

> there are several dozen people with exactly my name in the world

It isn't tying any identifiable "you" to your comments, but it is tying all your comments together and separating them from everyone else's on each site for the public to see - even if 20 other people created accounts with the same visible handle of "Dave 15" clicking on the hyperlink that is on one of *your* comments will show *your* history, it won't mix in any of the other "Dave 15". If you change your visible handle, the trail remains.

(note: some forums allow/encourage handle changes, some prevent it: I haven't checked what The Register does)

no-one in particular

Re: Alternatively...

Or a deterministic password generator, like - a plastic card in your wallet


Bloke launches twinkly range of BBC Micro:bit accessory boards

no-one in particular

Re: x2 NICs

> It's designed to be used as a router - so 4 NICs plus a WAN port.

Are you sure about that - 4 NICs? I'm still looking for more detailed diagrams (are they available?) but the site you linked to shows that the board has a BCM53125 Ethernet Switch IC, which makes me think that the SoC has at most 2 NICs, one of which is connected to a port on this Switch. Not quite as flexible as 4 separate NICs.

Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

no-one in particular

Re: Of course releases are slow..

>The application is pretty much un-maintainable

Although Scott Gilbertson seemed to be up to the task

> underlying infrastructure is obsolete and will therefore be crumbling

Crumbling? An odd idea even when applied to old hardware, but software? "This 'if' statement was written 20 years ago, the bits must be starting to flake apart by now".

> What happens if the execution environment has security issues or does not function in the next version of $OS?

You do just what everyone would expect: test on the next OS version asap - if it *does* have trouble then you start the deliberate process of replacing the application (by re-coding it or getting an equivalent product in or...) - or decide that the cost doesn't warrant the work and look for a different approach to fulfill the business needs. All done before you roll the new OS out to production systems.

You know how online shops love to keep tabs on you? Now it's coming to the offline world

no-one in particular

Re: Always another choice of retailer.

> I've been to 3 major hardware chains here in the last week

So you *have* had a choice of retailer, all of whom had equivalent goods (in this case, none that you liked, but all still equivalent). So if one of those retailers started doing creepy things tracking your purchase data, the others are equally fine choices of retailer.

Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II

no-one in particular

Re: and tapped it gently until the particles aligned

Magnetic Field Viewer


Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all

no-one in particular

Re: Apple? Invent?

> Atkinson worked out QuickDraw which had features no one else had thought of (BitBlt,

BitBlt was documented - with that exact name - in SmallTalk before QuickDraw existed; graph ports and regions were equally known.

Microsoft goes retro with Vista, Zune-style Windows Neon makeover

no-one in particular

Re: Ugh

> its just a bit basic and naff looking without customisation.

Isn't that the point, that XFCE allows (by starting out bland, encouraging) you to customise it to suit yourself, if that is the sort of thing that concerns you?

For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

no-one in particular

Re: But...

> I'm farsighted, and will probably have problems with focus at such a close range. Have these VR headset people even thought about that?

Decent headset displays since the 1990s (at least the ones I saw, and most of those I just read about) were focussed at infinity.

I didn't spot anything in the article about the focal distance for this headset (and can't view the videos 'til I get home).

no-one in particular

Re: But...

> One would expect it to have adjustable oculars, the same way as binoculars have had since forever. > [who] Would be silly to make an expensive device without such a basic feature

How about the Vufine+? Their second model, a monocular display ("augmented reality") supposedly even usable when flying a drone but with a fixed focal distance of 12 inches, no adjustment at all.


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