* Posts by ChaosFreak

87 posts • joined 19 Apr 2011


Stalker attacks Japanese pop singer – after tracking her down using reflection in her eyes


Spelling error

Her name should be spelled Matsuoka, not Mastuoka.

Bowel down: Laxative brownies brought to colleague's leaving bash


Re: A tip-off...

> https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/05/germanys-typhoon-problem-only-four-fighters-can-be-made-combat-ready/

Haha, I was reading that URL quickly and thought it said "Only Foo Fighters can be made Combat Ready".

Guns, audio and eye-tracking: VR nearly ready for prime time


I gotta wear shades...

"Once it becomes like putting on a pair of shades, things will really take off, but that could be a decade away."

Have you heard of this company called Magic Leap?

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10


My First Computer Game

OK, so not a Timex Sinclair 1000 but still nostalgic... I managed to get my parents to splurge on a TRS-80 ("Trash 80") as an "educational device" (not a toy) back in 1981 when I was still in primary school. My big sister (six years my elder) was taking night computer courses at Boston University and so we bought a modem so that she could dial into their PDP-10. I soon figured out where she kept her password and spent hours playing "adventure"... when I finally got a Commodore 64 a few years later, the first games I bought (OK, downloaded from a pirate BBS) were the Infocom games as opposed to the flashy graphics games, which were WAY more engaging. I remember spending almost 48 hours straight solving "Planetfall". But try and tell that to kids these days...

I did manage to teach myself BASIC from the manual included with the TRS-80, the start of a long and satisfying career. My sister also has spent her whole career coding. I think she made it in just before the home computer industry decided that computers were "toys for boys" and began marketing exclusively to boys. Most of the jobs I worked in the early days had a very healthy (even by today's standards) mix of gender among the programmers, but that was a window that soon closed, unfortunately.

The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act


Maybe now the Eco-idiots will embrace GMOs?

This would seem to be a huge call to action for agricultural scientists to use gene splicing and editing to engineer crops that can resist insect attack without the need for pesticides.

But you'll hear very few "ecologists" embrace that approach. They'll just start screaming "Monsanto is evil!" even though the vast majority of GMO research is done by non-profit institutions.

As the article rightly states, organic is only an answer for those who can afford Whole Foods (aka "Whole Paycheck"). So I guess we need to starve 3 billion humans to save the insects, because GMOs are "evil"...

Canucks have beef with Soylent as to whether or not it's a real meal deal


Re: Only word adjustment needed

Unfortunately, Soylent would have to make this wording change across the whole world, in all of its markets, just to accommodate Canada. This is because when you market a product online, you can't have one message for Canada and another message for the rest of the world. Everyone is on the same internet (more or less).

They are successful selling it as a "meal replacement" everywhere else, they're not going to abandon that just to get around Canadian regulations.


Re: Mystifying...

@Ramses Niblick...

I think you forgot to end your comment with "No, you can't have your ball back kids, and stay off my damn lawn!"

It's a true sign that you've gotten old and irrelevant when you start blasting the "kids these days" for their "new fangled ways".

This new generation aren't "disengaging" or "playing" when they are on their mobile devices. Have you ever asked them what they are actually doing? They are COMMUNICATING with each other. This generation is the most connected we have ever seen. As a result, they are far more empathetic and more likely to care about the plight of people they have never even met. Stephen Pinker proposes that humanity has become far more peaceful than ever in history in part due to the development of low-cost printing and narrative story telling. People could see the plight of others and actually started caring. This connected generation is a huge step further down that path. I, for one, welcome our future millennial overlords, and I'm barely a Gen-Y.

It seems to me you have your own definition of what makes communication and interaction "real", and that you are unable to see things from the perspective of a new generation raised in a connected world. The "ideal" you seem to pine for is where people are only friendly with, and concerned about the plight of, those who they personally know and spend time with in person. This is a myopic view of community that limits the potential of humanity to truly become a global community that values all lives equally.

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report


My Surface Pro 4 Used to Overheat Constantly

When I first got my Surface Pro 4 (I pre-ordered, so had one of the first off the line), it used to overheat at least once a day. I would leave it on at night, and the next morning it would have completely rebooted. This was a mystery, until I witnessed it happen once while I was using it (the big thermometer icon appears on the screen). Sometimes I couldn't even install updates because it would fail halfway through with the thermometer icon. I had to rig up a beer keg cooler and place the Surface Pro on that to prevent it overheating.

I never returned it or had it serviced, but the problem went away after a year. I suspect that Microsoft rolled out some updated BIOS/firmware and/or drivers that fixed the problem.

Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)


Indiegogo -- It's like Amazon Prime but with special three-year shipping!

Indiegogo -- It's like Amazon Prime but with special three-year shipping!

French firm notches up 50km unmanned drone inspection flight



Why not equip them with ADS-B and traffic avoidance software?

India sets June 5 as the day it will join the heavy-lift rocket club


Maybe I'm just old, but this reminds me of Salvage 1!


Anyone remember this show?


Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry


What we likely won't see is a change in policy from Microsoft.

The author ends with "What we likely won't see is a change in policy from Microsoft." I'd be interested in hearing from the author as to what policy changes he would recommend to Microsoft.

This is not meant as a criticism of the author or a defense of Microsoft, I am genuinely interested in how Microsoft could change its policies to make it less likely that un-pached XP machines will be attacked in the future.

America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit



Are you sure it's not a Q-36?


Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors


Re: Juicing is bad

Yes, but you eat LESS fruit when you eat it whole than when you juice it. It takes 2 - 4 oranges to make a glass of orange juice, but if you eat one orange (with all the pulp and fiber) you're likely to feel full and not eat three more, so you get 1/4 of the sugar.

Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am


Right On, Man!

I've "bought" three items on Indiegogo in the past three years:

One was a kinect-like device that was supposed to allow you to control your computer with gestures. They were six-months late shipping. Their driver caused Windows to crash. Then they went out of business before they could fix the driver. I have an expensive paperweight.

The second was a set of glasses that was supposed to help you fall asleep or recover from jetlag. They were over a year late shipping. The first one didn't work. They replaced it and this one "works" but doesn't do what they originally said it would do.

The final one was a carbon fiber wallet. It is two years late shipping and still hasn't shipped.

Indiegogo... it's like Amazon Prime but with three-year shipping!

(PS - I know that Indiegogo isn't an online store and that I'm not "buying products", I'm "supporting projects". It's just that the fail rate is so incredibly high.)

Amazon Chimes into video-conferencing: Look out, Skype, Google


Skype and Hangouts Suck -- There's a Real Opportunity Here

Our organization has shifted back and forth from Skype to Hangouts as we experienced constant instability with both platforms. With a hangout with more than 4 people, there's about a 100% chance that one of them will be unable to get audio or video to work.

On Skype, the issue is drop-offs, occasional complete inability to make or receive a call and screen sharing is hit or miss.

If Amazon comes out with a solid, high-quality service, they could clean up.

Google's big Spanner in the works for price war against AWS


We're on MS and Google--Not Happy with Either

We're in the unenviable position of paying MS for Office 365 to get email and access to Office software, but we can't use their cloud because, when we previously tried to migrate all our files from Google to MS, the MS cloud "updated" all of the "Last Modified" timestamps on the files, making it impossible for users to sort files by date (which is quite common when looking for files). MS support refused to call it a bug, instead saying it was "by design" because, technically, the new "copy" of the file was "modified" when it was created on the new cloud (even though it's an exact copy).

So, we're stuck with two clouds, paying two bills and using only half of the functionality of both.

My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder


Awesome! Can we order it in the colonies?

I just tried looking it up on Amazon here in the US and it doesn't seem to be for sale here yet...

Nissan reveals self-driving chair


Dammit! I thought of that years ago

Should've filed for a patent...

Assange returns to Earth


You have six fingers on your right hand... someone was looking for you.

Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch


This is Terrible News

Just think of the data this space-based X-ray telescope could have produced over its lifetime. What a shame...

Surface Pro 4: Will you go the F**K to SLEEP?


Go the Fuck to Sleep!

Damn... I have the same "bag heater" issue with my SP3. You put it to sleep, it wakes up immediately. Put it to sleep again and put it in your bag, an hour later you have a very hot bag and your Surface has turned itself completely off (due to thermal overload) which means you're starting from a clean boot.

I was hoping the SP4 would solve these problems. Sounds like it hasn't.

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station


Boeing = Russian Rocket

Hmmm.... I'm glad NASA is excited to have "two American companies" who can put people into space without going "hat in hand" to the Russians, but unfortunately one of those companies, Boeing, buys 40-year-old rocket motors from Russia, so... better hang on to that hat the next time Russia decides it wants some of its old Soviet territory back and we decide to impose sanctions.

Boffins unwrap honeybee black box recorder project


Measuring Stress?

I wonder if this project also measures the stress on bees of having an RFID chip glued to their bodies...

NASA 'nauts complete another EPIC SPACEWALK to route cables around ISS


Open the Pod Bay Doors

What if HAL doesn't let them back into the airlock.

Uber reveals fresh passenger data spaff – and city officials are OK with this


Ummm... you missed a word there

I think you meant to say "skirting of CORRUPT taxi regulations"...

Like every other inefficient, poorly run, low-quality business, the taxi industry rushes to their government protectors to keep them from having to actually provide clean, safe taxis driven by polite drivers. You know, like a real market economy would demand that they do. So instead they try to outlaw the competition.

I live in Cambridge, MA (mentioned in the story) and for the past 2 years I've been taking Uber almost exclusively instead of taxis. Today I happened to be on the way home from a meeting and happened to be right in front of a taxi stand so I thought, OK, I'll save some money and take a cab.

The taxi pulls up, I get in and immediately he says "CASH ONLY!" even though his cab had the VISA/MasterCard logo on the window. Having learned my lesson in the past in trying to argue with cabbies over this issue, I just got right out and ordered an Uber.

Seattle pops a cap in Uber and Lyft: Rideshare bizs get 150-driver limit


Re: hailo

Uber engages with the taxi industry. You can order a taxi on Uber's app and pay for it through your Uber account. It's cheaper than a "black car" and you get confirmation on when your taxi will arrive.


Re: @ Dave ..The same-old same-old

UMMM... what's to stop your "true psycho" from getting a job as a cab driver and doing the same thing? After all, he's a "true psycho", and I wouldn't put anything past a "true psycho".


Re: @ Dave ..The same-old same-old

And, restricting the number of Uber drivers to 150 will solve these four issues.... how exactly?

If these four issues are that important, address them directly.

Pass an ordinance requiring Uber et. al to pay taxes/licenses on par with taxis, have the same safety requirements as taxis, same customer complaint process as taxis and same insurance requirements as taxis.

I can understand leveling the playing field and letting the market sort it out, but simply restricting how much business they can do is ludicrous. It's obvious that this is just a protectionist measure to make the cab companies happy, and it's not about the four issues you mentioned.

ALIEN WORLD Beta Pictoris snapped by Earth's Gemini 'scope


I Saw this Coming 20 Years Ago!!!

The name "Beta Pictoris" struck a chord when I read it. So I searched my hard disk for a Sci-Fi novel I started writing as an undergrad over 20 years ago, and as it happens in my novel a team of explorers is heading from Earth to Beta Pictoris. As I recall, I picked it at random among nearby star systems... very freaky coincidence.

Hello Warsaw: Greenland ice loss will be OK 'even under extreme scenarios'


Re: IPCC blaming heretics again?

Carbon dioxide is not only plant food... most of it ends up in the oceans, which makes the ocean more acidic, which makes it harder for corals and shellfish with calcium carbonate exoskeletons to build and maintain their shells.


You may be able to paint sea level rise and even atmospheric temperature rise with a swath of "no consensus" but there is absolutely no doubt at all about how increases in atmospheric CO2 cause increases in ocean acidification.

Seafood supplies a large proportion of the protein in the diets of billions of humans. Do we want to play Russian roulette with that?


Qatar whips covers off giant footballing vagina

Paris Hilton


Can we please have skydivers parachute into this stadium... dressed as sperm a la Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex"... PLEASE????

US watchdog snaps on thick gloves to probe Tesla's FIREBALL e-cars


"Burst into Flames?" -- More El Reg Sensationalism...

Your use of "burst into flames" to describe the two Tesla fires is wildly inaccurate. In both accidents the drivers were warned by the vehicle's onboard monitoring system that an unsafe condition had occurred and in both cases the drivers had plenty of time to calmly pull over and exit the vehicle. In the first instance, no "flames" actually occurred (only heat and smoke) until the fire department erroneously punctured the battery casing.

Elon Musk is correct to point us to the much greater risk of carrying around 40 liters of a highly volatile, flammable hydrocarbon in tanks much less well-protected than the Tesla's batteries.

Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in flawed piracy crackdowns



You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Just don't leave the country

"wherever in the country I happen to be..."

Yeah, just don't try leaving the country. I found myself in Japan on a two-week business trip expecting to power-watch all the seasons of Breaking Bad I had just "bought" on Amazon Instant Video only to be slapped with a "This content is not available in your location" message. Needless to say, Amazon support claimed "licensing constraints" and couldn't help.

Data Direct Networks prepares to board Amazon S3. It's cutlasses now, lads


Another Proprietary Box

Remind me again why I should invest in yet another proprietary hardware architecture when I can just use Open Stack Swift to build Petabytes of cloud storage from commodity drives in commodity enclosures?

So fondleable Windows 8 didn't work out so well: Why not try it IN 3D?


A HUGE Improvement for RSI Sufferers

For those of us who have lived through RSI (and continue to live with it) having a point/touch device that replaces the mouse and doesn't require you to constantly take your hand off the keyboard, reach out to the side, manipulate the mouse and then put your hand back on the keyboard, is a real necessity. The "trackpoint" on the old IBM Thinkpads was a good device for achieving this. I'm hoping the Haptix delivers a similar mouse replacement with the added advantage of understanding many more gestures. I've already ordered mine.

BTW, they exceeded their $100K goal already.

HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE


Re: Phones off during taxiing??

No, he's being sarcastic. Please adjust your sarcasm detector...


Re: One phrase

Yes, because terrorists who are trying to remote detonate a bomb in the hold will certainly not do so if the flight crew tells them to shut off their phone.


I'm a pilot too... when I get the annoying buzz in the headset I do two things: (1) check my flight bag to see that I've turned off my phone; and (2) yell at my first officer to shut off his damned phone.

Passengers cannot get close enough to avionics systems to interfere in this way. If you're getting that annoying buzz, the offending phone is almost certainly on the flight deck. Well, unless you're flying really small fry like a Cessna 402 where they let passengers sit in the right seat!


Re: "10km above the Atlantic"

Don't fret... if you're on a two-engine aircraft then your flight path is never more than gliding distance from an emergency landing site.

A Boeing 767 has a glide ratio of about 22:1 assuming zero thrust (i.e. both engines are shut down). That means from 36,000 feet you can glide a distance of about 150 miles (apologies for the Imperial units; we Americans are keeping the British traditions alive).

I recall the case of Air Transat Flight 236 which glided to a landing in the Azores after a fuel leak (and poor decision-making by the crew) led to complete fuel starvation over the Atlantic.



Re: You don't have to turn you phone off

You, sir, have made an intelligent and reasonable argument that I hadn't thought of before. And on a Reg forum.

A pint for you...


Re: Not just radio signal safety

Hehe, yeah... I was once yelled at to shut up during the safety briefing by a Qantas sky nazi... I was translating the safety briefing for my Japanese clients.


Re: Not just radio signal safety

Sure, "my plane didn't crash" is an anecdote. And as we all know the plural of anecdote is not data.

However, there are roughly 30,000 aircraft operations per day in the world. Cellphones have been ubiquitous for at least 15 years. We KNOW that not everyone shuts down their phones in flight. Yet airline safety is at an all time high. No plane has every crashed due to cell phones. And crashes from all causes are at historic lows.

While not strictly a controlled study, the evidence is overwhelming.

If you want to be safe, turn off your cell phone while DRIVING, and don't worry about it while flying.

Ashes latest: Don't show Ozzies THIS perfect spin bowl science ... too late


It's always amazing

As an American i watch the cricket-derived sport baseball more often, but the physics is the same (although I believe a baseball has a higher lift component due to the stitched seams--a comparison of the characteristics of baseballs vs. cricket balls should be next on the agenda for the Oz boffins). It always amazes me to see a breaking ball or a changeup suddenly just die and drop down.. or a slider drift away from the plate at the last minute. And don't get me started on the knuckle ball.

iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent


He who lives by the sword...

...dies by the sword.

At this point, it shouldn't take a genius to figure out that tech companies face enormous cost and uncertainty under the current patent system and they should declare a "truce", band together and eliminate software patents altogether.

Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD


Re: Not the perfect food..

Hehe, reminds me of the time our CTO unveiled our new logistics process management software with a PowerPoint slide:

"Introducing Fish Bowel!"

Admittedly, English was not his first language...

Thumb Up

Re: Is May 21st the new April 1st?

Upvote for using "Jungian" in a Reg comment.

Rules, shmules: Fliers leaving devices switched on in droves


Re: Engineering tolerances?

If this is the scenario you worry about you should never leave your home.


Re: am I strange?

Try First Class



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