* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

1721 posts • joined 23 May 2011

Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Vintage stamp duty

"Anyone have any idea where the money's going to?"

Tax cuts for rich people.

Okay, we're living longer, don't want pensioners to live in penury, and don't want them queued on trolleys round the hospital car park. But that aside, the cut in inheritance tax has got to be paid for by somebody.

1
1

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: What about the writing?

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was one of Chris Chibnall's. So if you like that, you're in luck.

5
0

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: dichotomy and delay

"Right, about as difficult as cancelling a magazine subscription…"

It's about as simple as falling off a cliff. The trouble is, the bastard EU have built safety railings, attached a safety harness and a parachute to us, and ensured there's a barge at the bottom with frogmen ready to dive in if we miss the barge. And then people complain it takes too long to get rid of all this stuff.

3
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Brexteers: the people who invented the self flushing loo. Sit down, and after two minutes, it flushes, whether you've finished or not.

19
3

Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

"Unfortunately optimising compilers used to think "what is this idiocy" and throw it away, hence many languages contain a isNaN function or similar."

When I was a much younger programmer, I, *ahem*, deleted a bunch of NaN checks. For that reason, I always add a comment when writing expressions like if ( !( x >= 0) ) etc;.

That said, you probably don't want infinity either, so doing a check for non-finite numbers is easier and less prone to destruction by compilers and novice programmers.

0
0

Astroboffins spot tiniest star yet – we guess you could call it... small fry

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

The paper says, "Stars with masses below 0.25M are the most common stellar objects and prove to be excellent candidates for the detection of Earth-sized planets and their atmospheric characterization."

It doesn't say much more than that on the topic, only referencing you to other papers.

1
0

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

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Iiiiiioooooo

Well it appeared they had four dopeys. And now they have more than one grumpy.

15
0

Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: "Internet e-mail is not a secure medium..."

"opportunistic TLS"

A Man In The Middle can remove that opportunity.

1
0

Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: The point is H3+ is really unstable in anything like a normal environment.

The environment H3+ inhabits is far more normal for the universe than the one we inhabit.

4
0

'Vicious' neutron star caught collecting dustbunnies

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

I couldn't find a preprint. But there are probably some more snaps and a model fitted to the data. (Although, another report suggest there might only be one other, lower quality image and a back-of-the-lottery-ticket model.)

Still, I think you're being hard on them. The astrophysics is reasonable. There's enough in that image to substantiate it. A higher quality image, which they're aiming to get, would pin down the details, but its unlikely to show the structure is wrong. Whether the dust is capable of forming planets is another matter, but we know planets can turn up round neutron stars. So maybe.

6
0

Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Boffin

"Bees are very short-sighted."

Are you sure? Because I've never seen a bee wearing glasses. (Although I once saw bumble bee with shades.)

8
0

Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

homogenerous

[ xx / xy ; 1 ]

I fear my foray into the space of projective sexuality has been badly received. I should have stuck to straight binary.

6
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: How to spell haterosexual

I'm homogenerous.

3
1

Imagination: Apple relations still rotten but, hey, losses have shrunk

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Stock sticking it up your arse; it's not a sex toy.

8
0

Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Confused

"The cgs system was replaced by the SI system quite a long time ago - I was just at the end of using cgs in schools."

Unless you're an astronomer. They're a bunch of erg-heads. But then in astronomical terms, the change has only just happened.

2
0

One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Why I am always skeptical about surveys like this.

I've never met a poor project manager. They're always well paid.

9
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: In other news

But doing it properly is too expensive. We'll take a gamble on something cheaper.

22
0

Shadow Brokers hike prices for stolen NSA exploits, threaten to out ex-Uncle Sam hacker

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Go

"Nobody makes me bleed my own blood except me"

Did we really need to know he was on his period?

1
3

Ever wondered why the universe only has black holes in S or XXXL? No? Boffins have an answer

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Rare?

It's argued they're rare, but easy to detect, close up; and become more common, but harder to detect, as you move further away.

That said, it's a tendentious proposal.

1
0

Blunder down under: self-driving Aussie cars still being thwarted by kangaroos

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Roos

"Perhaps because deer don't hop?"

They may not be the equal of kangaroos, but roe deer have a bounding gate that sees them in the air as often as they're on the ground.

2
1

Met Police laggards still have 18,000 Windows XP machines in use

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Good IT, public or private, is pretty rare.

11
0

Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: re: what advantage there would be to buying another router

"er ... isn't the article you just commented on reason enough ?"

The investigation which found the backup bug thought it to be tightly locked down. The issue here is weak default passwords (because the production line handling stickers can only cope with stickers of such-and-such size and accessibility requirements means the font must be a minimum of such-and-such size).

2
0

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

No, his lawyers played back the tapes.

22
0

Etsy issues pink slips for almost quarter of staff in quest for profit

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

I've had one of my leg amputated. I feel this will make me more nimble, better support me, and allow faster execution of any pratfall I attempt.

13
0

BT problems impact Department for Work and Pensions services

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Perhaps a navvy with a digger severed the cable.

0
0

Stack Clash flaws blow local root holes in loads of top Linux programs

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: User friendly solution

Not a linux zealot, but would you trust the people who put it on their desktop or the people who put it on servers (and build it in mobile phones) to have a better grasp of security?

0
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Am I naive to think that the code that allocates new stack pages (libc? kernel?) or the code that allocates new heap pages (libc?) should check they're not about to overwrite each other?

Recursion and alloca aside, the size of stacks are known at compile-time, too.

3
0

You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Thumb Up

It was noticed we got the arxiv link. Thanks, Katyanna.

1
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Devil

With a name like Nemesis, it's hard not to be.

5
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

@ShelLuser

"For all we know it could have collapsed in the mean time and is now one of the many black holes out there."

The lifetime of a star is dependent upon its mass and, to a lesser extent, upon its chemical composition. The chemical composition of the sun and its companion will be identical, as they were formed from the same material at the same time. A massive disparity in mass seems unlikely, too; maybe it could be twice as big, but not ten times. So I would expect it still to be burning.

12
1

Banks could be stung for €5bn under GDPR, screams latest report on industry readiness

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Megaphone

See, this is exactly why we're leaving the EU. We don't need no more red tape. The British way is to let the banks shit all over us and we don't need no Brussels bureaucrats bullying our banks into looking after our privacy. After all, none of us has to conceal the fact we only have one ball;1 I can assure you, Delors, that each and every one of us has an anatomically correct pair of testicles -- even the women. Hurrah!

1. But, of course, you can reclaim your missing ball from the Albert Hall at any time. Please bring three pieces of photo identity, a DNA swab, and a picture of the missing organ.

10
0

Oh snap! Election's made Brexit uncertainty worse for biz, says BT CEO

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: The gargoyle’s mouth is a loudspeaker

"I really don't think it's a case of knowing what to ask for from the EU, it's a question of what they will give us!"

Exactly. All we want is the upsides we currently have with none of the downsides. Simples.

We're just got to wait for those pesky Europeans to come to their senses and see how reasonable that is. We may need to remind them we have nukes and that Donny is looking for an excuse to rebalance American-German trade in America's favour.

5
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: The gargoyle’s mouth is a loudspeaker

"We'd all have been better off with no government at all for the last 5 years."

Coincidentally, that's what's about to happen.

15
0

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Facepalm

"Which was, of course, the situation prior to Tony Blair. Party affiliation wasn't allowed on the ballot paper...It was Blair that insisted on the party being the main thing on the vote, leading to the hilarious upset caused by the "Literal Democrat" candidate in one constituency."

Richard Huggett stood as a "Literal Democrat" in the European Parliament Election, 1994.

Tony Blair was elected PM in 1997.

1
0

DUP site crashes after UK general election

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

"So, how will they stop those horrible Polish plumbers and Lithuanian chefs flying into Dublin, hoping on a train to Belfast (no passport checks) and then onto the boat to Liverpool (no passport checks). Ain't gonna work..."

That's what certain sections of mainland UK population may want. But how much of an issue is it in Northern Ireland? If they're just passing through, well, nice vote you're having there, Theresa; shame if something happened to it.

I was being facetious about taking everything on trust. But the previous, deeply paranoid Home Secretary ramped up measures against illegal immigrants. These days its "papers please" before anyone can be employed, rent a house, or get treatment on the NHS; and woe betide you if you get caught serving someone who shouldn't be here.

So movement of people across that border could, in principle, be less of an issue than the movement of goods. But clearly, whatever leverage the DUP have over the UK, doesn't extend to the EU.

5
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Conservatives + DUP = IRA?

They've explicitly said they don't want a hard border. But they do want a hard Brexit. And they don't want a special half-in half-out status for Northern Ireland. So I think we'll just have to trust them on the border: they'll file whatever paperwork they think is appropriate and pay whatever tariffs they believe are due.

2
2
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Irritatingly smart-arse comment

covfefe

10
2
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: But seriously...

"would that pass Italy's record for # of elections in 1 year?"

We had two general elections in 1910 and two again in 1974.

3
0

Forcing digital forensics to obey 'one size fits all' crime lab standard is 'stupid and expensive'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Not just commercial forensic labs...

Thanks for all your comments. It's good to read the views of someone who knows their shit has experience in the field..

3
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Yeah, "accredited" would have made the joke work better. However I'm pretty thinly accredited and very widely indebited.

2
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

I'm not certified to comment on this story.

18
0

Infosec guru Schneier: Govts WILL intervene to regulate Internet of Sh!t

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: "So far virtually all customer modifications of IoT devices made them more secure"

"My heating system also requires a mandatory yearly check by an approved technician - and I wouldn't like some idiots mess with its firmware, given what it burns."

WTF?! You're using a nuclear reactor to heat your home? God, you're brave.

3
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: Others problems first

"I do agree that something needs to be done but not by the governments , it needs to be done by the people themselves, they need educated by professionals not by marketeers."

If people were going to educate themselves they would have done it by now. And anyway, how does an uneducated person separate a "professional" from a snake oil saleman "marketeer"?

The government is us. Today, of all days, that should be apparent. We nominate our representative. They talk to the experts and make decisions on our behalf.

5
1

NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: OTT

"Chelasea Elizabeth Manning wasn't Chelsea as a man; before she was she, he was called Bradley Edward Manning"

The joke was her surname is Man[n]-ing.

5
0

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

"it's about politics, which is the opposite of logic."

And most people here are trying to beat politics with logic.

4
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge
Joke

We can only hope the terrorists will audit libSSL and fix all its bugs for us.

8
0
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

balancing harms

"So either we have strong security or we have no security."

False dichotomy. The government can look at my bank records but my nosey neighbour can't. And similarly we could escrow messages without backdooring the crypto -- giving me more security than rot13 but less than end-to-end encryption. So your job is to explain to my nosey neighbour, without side-stepping the question, why Whatsapp chats should receive a level of protection greater than that accorded to my money or (AFAIK) my voicemail.

Because the end goal of the state is to make the use of end-to-end encryption a prosecutable offence anywhere in the western world. Sure the contents of a server might occasionally end up on the front page of the News of the World or on Wikileaks. But we've lived with that. We coped. And politicians would rather deal with an embarrassing leak than dead children. And my nosey neighbour, who anyway has a vested interest in reading my comms, would eagerly agree that's the right trade off to make.

3
13
Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: "The former policy wonk -

He may have been talking bollocks, but his performance was far better than his interlocutor. Any non-tech person listing would have been listening along and saying, "Why can't we do this, it all sounds reasonable."

7
0

Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: give the transport ship a magnetosphere

Well some of the stuff you need to shield against isn't charged (X-rays and gamma rays) and the Earth has a shit load of shielding -- sufficient for life to survive without a magnetic field.

And the Earth's magnetic field may not be strong, but it extends 10 times the Earth's radius so has plenty of room to "bend" particles round the Earth. (It's much more complicated than bending - plasma physics with induced currents. Urgh.) So a couple of dipole magnets aren't going to do it.

And I don't know what the consequences of a larger field would be on our biology.

2
0

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: The Internet again!

"That was the Christians, because part of the library was also used as a pagan temple."

According to Wikipedia, "There is little consensus on when books in the actual library were destroyed....Ancient and modern sources identify four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria: Julius Caesar's fire during his civil war in 48 BC; the attack of Aurelian in AD 270–275; the decree of Coptic Christian pope Theophilus of Alexandria in AD 391; and the Muslim conquest of Egypt in (or after) AD 642".

2
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017